Class Schedule | Spring 2022

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Theater and Performance Studies
21M.710 Script Analysis, CI-H
Lecture Sharifian M
7:00-10:00 pm
W97-269

Prereq: None 
Units: 3-0-9 
HASS-A, CI-H

Focuses on reading a play's script critically and theatrically, with a view to mounting a coherent production. Through careful, intensive analysis of a variety of plays from different periods and aesthetics, a pattern emerges for discerning what options exist for interpreting a script from the distinct perspectives of the playwright, the actor, the designer, and the director. Students discuss the consequences of those options for production.  Enrollment limited.

21M.711 Production Seminar: Augmented Opera
Lecture Scheib M
7:00-10:00 pm
W97-165

Prereq: None
3-0-9
HASS-A

Spring 2022:
Research-based studio seminar free-dives into the complex and controversial work of composer Richard Wagner, the storied Bayreuther Festspiele broadly, and the two operas in particular: Parsifal, and The Ring des Nibelungen. Studio integrates Augmented Realities (AR), Virtual Realities (VR), and/or Hybrid/Mixed Realities (MR) in the development of immersive performance environments. Includes Studio Exercises, Readings, Writings, Video Viewings, Listenings, Visiting Artists, and a bit of creative Programming. Course concludes with a computationally-engaged, experience-elevated, immersive performance prototype.

21M.846 Topics in Performance Studies: Theater for Social Change
Lecture Hurtado F
2:00-5:00 pm
w97-162

Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
HASS-A

Multidisciplinary lecture/workshop engages students in a variety of approaches to the study and practice of performance as an area of aesthetic and social interaction. Special attention paid to the use of diverse media in performance. Interdisciplinary approaches to study encourage students to seek out material histories of performance and practice. May be repeated for credit if topics differ.

Spring 2022 Topic: Theater for Social Change

Sometimes art can be thought of as a mirror to reflect society, to tell us truths about who we are. Sometimes it can be a force that shapes society. This class explores the histories and methods that theater artists and performers engage to change society.

Performance Practice
21M.600 Introduction to Acting
Lecture 1 Hammond TR
1:00-3:00 pm
W16-RRB
Lecture 2 Hammond TR
3:00-5:00 pm
W16-RRB
Lecture 3 Jennings MW
11:00am-1:00pm
W97-269
Lecture 4 Jennings MW
1:00-3:00 pm
W97-269
Lecture 5 Green MW
1:00-3:00 pm
W97-160
Lecture 6 Green MW
3:00-5:00 pm
W97-160
Lecture 7 Jennings MW
3:00-5:00 pm
W97-269
Lecture 8 Hammond TR
11:00am-1:00pm
W16-RRB

Prereq: None 
Units: 4-0-5 
HASS-A

Explores the actor's tools: body, voice, mind, imagination, and the essential self. Through studio exercises, students address issues of honesty and creativity in the theatrical moment, and begin to have a sense of their strengths and limitations as communicating theatrical artists. Provides an opportunity for students to discover their relationship to "the other" in the acting partner, the group, the environment, and the audience. Limited to 20 per section.

21M.601 Drawing for Designers
Lecture 1 Lacey M
7:00-10:00 pm
W97-261
Lecture 2 Lacey W
7:00-10:00 pm
W97-261
Lecture 3 Lacey T
7:00-10:00 pm
W97-261

Prereq: None
3-0-6
HASS-A

Explores drawing as a fundamental component of the design process. In-class drawing exercises focus on developing the hand-to-eye relationship and pre-visualization skills essential to any designer. Studies the use drawing as a route to understanding space and form and achieving accuracy through expression. By drawing figures, landscapes and/or still life compositions in a variety of media, students investigate the figure/ground relationship while dealing with tone, line, and composition, which are all requisite elements of design. Provides exposure to designers who have used drawing as a central component of their work. Students create a portfolio that includes in-class drawings, studies done outside of class, and one research-based written project. Lab fee of $35 required. Limited to 20 per section. 

21M.603 Introduction to Design for Theater
Lecture Higgason MW
3:00-5:00 pm
W97-261

Prereq: None
3-0-9
HASS-A

Introduces the fundamental skills and concepts of visual design for the theater through a series of individual design projects that explore the relationship of the performer to the environment, the interrelation of lighting and stage design, character development through visual means, and the evolution of visual narrative. Develops a basic visual literacy for the theater by honing skills in visual research, drawing, model building, 3-D modeling, and digital image manipulation. Projects will be developed in response to plays, music, poems, short stories and more. For their final project, students will develop designs that imagine live performance considering current public health constraints. Students will work with physical media using art materials kits and using an iPad and Apple Pencil (please take advantage of MIT’s iPad and pencil lending program as needed.) Class work will also require a computer capable of running Adobe Photoshop and Vectorworks. If material costs or computer requirement are a hardship please contact the professor directly to discuss resources and accommodations. Enrollment may be limited.

21M.605 Voice and Speech
Lecture 1 D'Ambrosio MW
1:00-3:00 pm
50-201
Lecture 2 Eastley TR
11:00am-1:00pm
50-201
Lecture 3 Eastley TR
1:00-3:00 pm
50-201
Lecture 4 Eastley TR
3:00-5:00 pm
50-201

Prereq: None
4-0-5
HASS-A

Concentrates upon freeing the natural voice through awareness of physical, vocal and, at times, emotional habits and the willingness and desire to experience change. Teaches progression of contemporary approaches to voice through in-class vocal exercises. Students use sonnets or poems as vehicles to explore the components of language and the need to communicate and reveal oneself through the voice. Designed for students interested in theater or developing their voices for presentations and professional speaking. Limited to 18; preference to Theater majors, minors, and concentrators who have pre-registered.

21M.606 Introduction to Stagecraft
Lecture Ancival TR
11:00am-1:00pm
W97-160

Prereq: None
4-3-2
HASS-A

Provides a foundation in theater technology, examining the creation of a theatrical production from conception to performance. Explores the realization of an artistic and structural vision for a play, taking into account all facets of technical theater: history of productions, types of technical roles, design, drafting, carpentry, costume, lighting, rigging, stage management, sound, and video. Students serve on the production team responsible for building, installing and/or running the department's show that semester. Limited to 18.

21M.607 Playwriting Methods
Lecture Urban W
2:00-5:00 pm
4-251

Prereq: None 
Units: 3-0-9 

HASS-A

Builds understanding of the methods playwrights use to transform an idea - drawn from their own lives, news and current events, even the plays of other writers - into a reality. Students use a variety of inspiration to write their own new scenes and short plays. Examines how research can help develop an idea for a new play and discusses ways to adapt a classic text for the contemporary stage. Writers also conduct personal interviews and use the transcript as source material for a new scene.

21M.623 Physical Improvisation: Bodies in Motion
Lecture 1 Safer TR
3:00-5:00 pm
W97-162
Lecture 2 Clark TR
3:00-5:00 pm
W97-160

Prereq: None
4-2-6
HASS-A

Explores the realities of the body in space and motion - interacting with gravity, momentum, inertia, alignment, negative space, one's imagination, one's body, other bodies, the present room and rooms from memory, geometry, stillness, and more. By releasing tension and abandoning the notion of pre-planning, students experience a natural, spontaneous flow of movement, opening themselves up to, and diving into, whatever might happen. Develops alertness in order to work in an energetic state of physical disorientation, self-correcting what doesn't work and reinforcing what does on the spot, discovering physical/emotional truths and shared moments that leave students aware, centered, incredibly present, and sharply alive. Enrollment limited.

21M.645 Motion Theater
Lecture Green MW
11:00am-12:30pm
W97-160

Prereq: None
3-0-9
HASS-A

Examines the theatrical event from the perspective of composition in a performance workshop. Studio exercises address the process of developing a theatrical work through an internalized understanding of compositional principles in theater. Examines physical action in time and space. Includes outside readings, videos, short essays, and in-class discussions. Provides the performer, director, choreographer, designer or writer opportunities to engage with large and small group ensembles in creation of theatrical events. Topics include image, motion, shape, repetition, gesture, and spatial relationship. Preference to majors, minors, concentrators. Admittance may be controlled by lottery.

21M.702 Live Solo Performance
Lecture Kohler M
2:00-5:00 pm
W97-162

Prereq: None
3-0-9
HASS-A

Studies the theatrical canon of monodramas and solo performances to hone individual acting skills. Goes on to explore each student's original artistic voice by presenting strategies in composing and staging work, thus introducing them to experiments with performing the self in society. Each student creates their own original performance piece by the end of the term. Enrollment limited. 

21M.705 Acting Intensive
Lecture Sonenberg TR
1:00-3:00 pm
W16-RRA

Prereq: 21M.600 or permission of instructor 
Units: 4-0-8
HASS-A

Gives students who have begun the process of bringing themselves to a dramatic moment the opportunity to apply their skills to scripted material. Studio work in this class further develops the completeness, spontaneity, and honesty of expression of the actor's body, imagination, and voice; and introduces written material and the problems of synthesizing the self, the moment, and the scripted word. Weekly rehearsals with a scene partner. Enrollment may be limited.

21M.712 Choreography: Making Dances
Lecture Clark TR
1:00-3:00 pm
W97-162

Prereq: Permission of instructor 
Units: 4-2-6

HASS-A

A workshop course focused on choreographic methods and principles as the launching point for building dramatic performance.

Participants will propose pieces they would like to develop – solos, duets, group works, etc. and the class will both lay groundwork for generating material and focus on defining and expanding each person’s unique voice as creator of performance.

The class will culminate in public performances of students work.

Enrollment by permission of instructor.

21M.734 Lighting Design
Lecture Higgason M
7:00-10:00 pm
W97-160

Prereq: Permission of instructor
4-0-8
HASS-A

Explores the history, concepts and techniques of sculpting space with light within a contemporary context. Students experiment with a wide range of approaches, tools, and skills to develop their own creative vision. Focuses on discrete forms that include live performance, installation, architecture, and developments in applied technologies. Studio projects alternate between conceptual studies and realized designs reflective of students' own unique interests and talents. Enrollment may be limited.

21M.785 Playwrights Lab
Lecture Urban T
7:00-10:00 pm
W97-267

Subject meets with 21M.789
Prereq: 21M.780 or Permission of instructor
4-0-8
HASS-A

Continued work in the development of play scripts for the theater. Writers work on one-act plays in weekly workshop meetings in addition to individual script meetings with the instructor. All students see their work presented as a stage reading during the MTA Playwrights Lab. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Limited to 10.

21M.790 Director's Craft
Lecture Safer W
7:00-10:00 pm
W97-162

(Subject meets with 21M.791) 
Prereq: 21M.600; 21M.710 or permission of instructor 
Units: 3-0-9 

HASS-A

Explores several models of directing, each with its unique structures, philosophy, terminology, and techniques. Develops an individual voice for each student and clarity in his/her directorial point of view. Class sessions concentrate on how a point of view is arrived at through analysis of material and the way the results are rendered with the basic tools of theater. All points of view are honored as long as they can be actively supported by the work. Provides instruction and practice in oral and written communication. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.

21M.840 Performance Media
Lecture Frederickson T
7:00-10:00 pm
W97-269

(Subject meets with 21M.841) 
Prereq: None 
Units: 4-0-8, HASS-A 

Integrates media and communication technologies in performing arts. Studio exercises provide a forum for experimentation. Contemporary and historical techniques for media integration examined through readings, viewing videos and short written essays. Technologies examined include digital imaging, composite and live feed digital video, and web-based performance. Engages the designer, director, choreographer, performer, visual artist or programmer in the practice of integrating media into live art events. Equipment is provided. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.

21M.863 Advanced Topics in theater Arts: Talking and Dancing
Lecture Safer T
7:00-10:00 pm
W97-162

Prereq: Permission of instructor
3-0-9
HASS-A Credit will be awarded 

Advanced multidisciplinary studio workshop provides opportunity for advanced study in the performing arts. Topics vary from term to term; may be taught by visiting faculty. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

Spring 2022: Talking and Dancing

Exploring and inhabiting that amazing zone between dance and theater that is equal parts both. We will dig into techniques to generate text from movement, movement from text, and integrate the two into hybrid performances that are as much dance as they are theater, using the language of words in conjunction with the language of the body. Opportunities to explore solos, duets, groups, and to work with existing texts and to write one’s own.

Applied Performance and Practica
21M.803 Performance and Design Workshop
Kohler TBA
TBA
TBA

Prereq: Permission of instructor 
Units: 0-3-0 

Provides directed practice in the disciplines of performance practice, including design, acting, directing, technical theater, management, dramaturgy and other creative fields. Students test and refine their skills by participating in the creation of produced plays, intensive workshops, installations and other design or performance projects in dance, film, music theater, opera, and other performing arts events. Students work closely with faculty, peers and guest artists. Students seeking to design individual performance and design workshops must be supervised by a theater arts faculty member, and obtain his or her written approval.

21M.806 Applied Performance and Design Production
Kohler TBA
TBA
TBA

Prereq: Permission of instructor 
Units: 0-6-0 

Provides opportunities for applied practice in the disciplines of performance, including acting, directing, playwriting, design, technical theater, dramaturgy, and management. Students test and refine their skills in the prototyping of design projects, installations, plays, dance, film, music theater, opera, and other performing arts events. They also apply theory and practice while tracing the research and rehearsal process through production and public presentation in the theater or in the studio. Students seeking to design an applied project must be supervised by a theater arts faculty member, and obtain his or her written approval. 

21M.809 Performance and Design Intensive
Kohler TBA
TBA
TBA

Prereq: Permission of instructor 
Units: 0-9-0 

Multidisciplinary, term-long, independent study geared toward the development of significant artistic and technical projects in performance and design. Students pursue projects in an array of fields and are invited to propose artistic and research projects as actors, directors, designers, dramaturges, and/or technical designers. Often in conjunction with Theater Arts-produced productions, proposals for intensives must be vetted and supervised by a member of the Theater Arts faculty with whom the student will work over the course of term.

21M.851 Independent Study in Performance and Design
TBA
TBA
TBA

Prereq: Permission of instructor 
Units arranged 

Multidisciplinary independent study provides opportunity for individual practica in the performing arts. While opportunities may include directed theoretical research and practice in production and performance with permanent and visiting faculty, students are encouraged to propose independent programs of study to a member of the theater arts faculty. Permission of supervising faculty member required.