Class Schedule | Spring 2018

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Introductory
21M.600 Introduction to Acting
Lecture 1 MW
11-1pm
W16-RRA
Lecture 2 David R. Gammons MW
11-1pm
W16-RRB
Lecture 3 Kim Mancuso MW
1-3pm
W16-RRA
Lecture 4 MW
1-3pm
W16-RRB
Lecture 5 Kim Mancuso MW
3-5pm
W16-RRA
Lecture 6 Kim Mancuso TR
11-1pm
W16-RRA
Lecture 7 TR
11-1pm
W16-RRB
Lecture 8 Anna Kohler TR
1-3pm
W16-RRB
Lecture 9 Anna Kohler TR
3-5pm
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.

Students in only Professor Gammons' section (section 2)  will need to purchase "Antigone" (9780872205710), "Hamlet" (9781451669411) and "The Plays of Anton Chekhov; A New Translation by Paul Schmidt" (9780060928759).

21M.601 Drawing for Designers
Lecture 1 Oana Botez M
7-10pm
W97-261
Lecture 2 Sara Brown T
7-10pm
W97-261

Prereq: None 
Units: 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. Limited to 20.

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

Prereq: None 
Units: 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 14; preference to Theater majors, minors, and concentrators who have pre-registered.

21M.606 Introduction to Stagecraft
Stephanie Rodemann TR
3-5pm
W97-160

Prereq: None 
Units: 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.624 Acting with the Camera
Anna Kohler MW
3-5pm
W97-162

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

HASS-A, CI-M

Studio workshop explores the discipline of acting for the camera through in-class exercises that focus on the creative challenges inherent to both filming and being filmed. Investigates the performer in the history of cinema, television, and multimedia stage performance through readings, screenings, and experimentation with the theory and practice of performing for and with the camera. Culminates in student-written, edited, directed, and acted short films. Instruction in written and oral communication provided. Limited to 20.

21M.645 Motion Theater
Lecture 1 Jay Scheib M
2-5pm
W97-160
Lecture 2 Caleb Hammond T
7-10pm
W97-162

Prereq: None 
Units: 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.690 Sport as Performance, CI-H
Claire Conceison T
7-10pm
2-103

Prereq: None 
Units: 3-0-9 

HASS-A, CI-H 

Seminar investigates the aesthetics of sport as theatrical performance and explores the performance of race, gender, class, nation, and sexuality in sport. Readings drawn from theatre/performance studies, anthropology, sociology, ethnic studies, gender studies, history, and kinesiology. Topics include barnstorming, Olympics, Title IX, Native American mascots, and a variety of sports ranging from football to figure skating. Limited to 18.

Intermediate
21M.700 China on Stage, CI-H
Claire Conceison W
7-10pm
4-253

Prereq: None 
Units: 3-0-9 

HASS-A, CI-H

Explores the role theater productions have played in shaping Chinese society, politics, and cultural exchange during the past century. Topics include censorship, audience reception, and current translingual and cross-cultural trends. Examines plays in English translation, videos, photographs, archival materials, and English-language books and articles about Chinese theater. Enrollment limited to 15.

21M.705 Actor and the Text
Janet Sonenberg TR
3-5pm
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.710 Script Analysis, CI-H
David R. Gammons MW
2-3:30pm
4-158

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 is limited.

21M.715 Topic in Theater Arts- Performance: Survey of 20th and 21st Century Performance Practices
Caleb Hammond M
7-10pm
W97-162

Prereq: Permission of instructor 
Units: 3-0-9 
HASS-A by petition

Spring 2018 Topic- Performance: Survey of 20th and 21st Century Performance Practices

What does it mean to perform, to create a work of art in the living moment of now, performer and audience experiencing shared time and space?

This course examines the performative act across disciplines including theater, live art, dance and other parallel practices. Works by a diverse range of artists will be discussed comparatively and in a sociohistorical context.

We will observe how themes, forms and movements developed, exploring aesthetic and conceptual intersections and divergences. We’ll discover surprising parallels in the work of radically different artists. 
______
Multidisciplinary seminar provides opportunity for study in performance theory and practice. Topics vary from term to term; may be taught by visiting faculty. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

21M.732 Costume Design
Oana Botez M
2-5pm
W97-261

Prereq: Permission of instructor 
Units: 3-0-9 

HASS-A, CI-M

Studio workshop designed for students who possess a basic understanding of the principles of design and seek a more intensive study of costume. Students develop designs through a collaborative creative process that incorporates production dramaturgy and script analysis, and map those findings to a scenographically charged directorial concept. Fosters period research, conceptual design, and rendering skills through practical studio exercises. Instruction in life drawing, visual presentation, and basic costume construction provides the tools for applying conceptual design skills in performance.

21M.733 Set Design
Sara Brown TR
3-5pm
W97-261

Prereq: 21M.603 or permission of instructor 
Units: 4-0-8 

HASS-A, CI-M

Investigates the creation of stage environments for live performance. Students develop stage designs related to current production projects at MIT. A research paper exploring the work of a theater designer is also required. Focuses on developing the designer's communication tools, particularly in the areas of visual research, 3-D digital model making, and design presentation. Examines the relationship of stage design to theater architecture, emerging media technologies and dramaturgies of the 20th and 21st centuries.

All readings will be provided via stellar. Students will need access to computers with Adobe Photoshop (9.99 per month for students), Vectorworks Spotlight 2017 (free for students). Laptops with these programs installed is recommended though not required - see instructor for accommodations as needed. Additionally, students should plan on purchasing approximately $100 worth of supplies over the course of the semester. 

21M.785 Playwrights' Workshop
Ken Urban T
7-10pm
56-167

(Subject meets with 21M.789[J], 21W.769[J])
Prereq: 21M.604, 21W.754, or permission of instructor 
Units: 4-0-8 
HASS-A, CI-M

The Playwrights’ Workshop is an advanced playwriting course that serves as a continuation of Playwriting 1. (Please note: The workshop is also open to writers who have not taken Playwriting 1, but who have experience writing scripts outside of class. Please contact the instructor for details.) During the semester, students will write and extensively revise a longer dramatic piece, either a one-act play (45 minutes or less) or the first act of a multi-act play. The class is modeled on a professional development workshop, such as a Writer’s Lab at a new writing theater. To that end, we will respond to each other’s work using a method inspired by dancer Liz Lerman. By using this specific structure, students will learn how to give non-prescriptive advice and feedback to their fellow writers. Writers in the course will have their work presented during the new MTA Playwrights’ Lab, a weekend-long festival at the new MTA facility W97 in early April. The Lab will feature staged readings of each play being written in the Playwrights’ Workshop. The MTA Playwrights’ Lab will be an opportunity for writers to experience first-hand the process of new play development, and will be a collaboration between the MIT community and professional theater-makers. Following the Lab, writers will continue to revise their scripts based on the reception and feedback from the audience and their collaborators. Enrollment limited.

21M.789(G) Playwrights' Workshop
Ken Urban T
7-10pm
56-167

Graduate Level
(Subject meets with 21M.785[J], 21W.769[J])
Prereq: 21M.604, 21W.754, or permission of instructor 
Units: 4-0-8 

The Playwrights’ Workshop is an advanced playwriting course that serves as a continuation of Playwriting 1. (Please note: The workshop is also open to writers who have not taken Playwriting 1, but who have experience writing scripts outside of class. Please contact the instructor for details.) During the semester, students will write and extensively revise a longer dramatic piece, either a one-act play (45 minutes or less) or the first act of a multi-act play. The class is modeled on a professional development workshop, such as a Writer’s Lab at a new writing theater. To that end, we will respond to each other’s work using a method inspired by dancer Liz Lerman. By using this specific structure, students will learn how to give non-prescriptive advice and feedback to their fellow writers. Writers in the course will have their work presented during the new MTA Playwrights’ Lab, a weekend-long festival at the new MTA facility W97 in early April. The Lab will feature staged readings of each play being written in the Playwrights’ Workshop. The MTA Playwrights’ Lab will be an opportunity for writers to experience first-hand the process of new play development, and will be a collaboration between the MIT community and professional theater-makers. Following the Lab, writers will continue to revise their scripts based on the reception and feedback from the audience and their collaborators. Enrollment limited.

21M.790 Director's Craft
Janet Sonenberg TR
1:30-3pm
W16-RRA

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

HASS-A, CI-M

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.791(G) Director's Craft
Janet Sonenberg TR
1:30-3pm
W16-RRA

Graduate Level
(Subject meets with 21M.790) 
Prereq: 21M.600, 21M.710 or permission of instructor 
Units: 3-0-6 

Explores several models of directing, each with its unique structures, philosophy, terminology, and techniques. Exploration is intended to lead to the development of 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. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.

Advanced Topics and Practica
21M.803 Performance and Design Workshop
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
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
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.842 Live Cinema Performance
Jay Scheib M
7-10pm
W97-165

(Subject meets with 21M.843) 
Prereq: None 
Units: 3-2-7 

HASS-A

Interdisciplinary studio merges the disciplines of the performer, designer, cinematographer, director, playwright and technician, and examines the deep integration of live theatrical and cinematic idioms. Studio exercises, readings, field trips and in-class presentations provide the opportunity to study the history and theory surrounding the development of genre, and to engage the practice from both sides of the camera. Includes guest artists, lectures, and master classes. Students regularly test what they develop in studio on the stage. Each class focuses on a particular dramatist, theme, or artistic genre and culminates in a full-length collaboration that will be presented in the final week of class for an invited audience. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Enrollment limited.

21M.843 (G) Live Cinema Performance
Jay Scheib M
7-10pm
W97-165

Graduate Level
(Subject meets with 21M.842) 
Prereq: None 
Units: 3-2-7 

Interdisciplinary studio merges the disciplines of the performer, designer, cinematographer, director, playwright and technician, and examines the deep integration of live theatrical and cinematic idioms. Studio exercises, readings, field trips and in-class presentations provide the opportunity to study the history and theory surrounding the development of genre, and to engage the practice from both sides of the camera. Includes guest artists, lectures, and master classes. Students regularly test what they develop in studio on the stage. Each class focuses on a particular dramatist, theme, or artistic genre and culminates in a full-length collaboration that will be presented in the final week of class for an invited audience. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Enrollment Limited.

21M.846 Topics in Performance Studies: Comedy Across Media
F
2-5pm
W16-RRA

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

Spring 2018 Topic: Comedy Across Media

In this practice-based course we will take a laboratory approach to the production of comedy across a multitude of media platforms. Texts exploring various theories of comedy will be read alongside histories of comedic artists, tropesand aesthetics. Each week we will look at, listen to, watch and analyze examples of these, asking not only what makes them funny (or not), but also how these artists employ the media in which they work to comedic effect. These media may include live performance, drawings, diagrams, sculpture, broadcast and recorded sound, photographs, music, film, video and digital media, among others. The primary objective of this course, however, will be the creation of our own comedic artworks and the establishment of a discourse surrounding them informed by the above. Each week students will produce and present their own self-directed and collaborative artworks, exercises, Bield recordings, texts and performances in a generous and supportive environment. At the end of the semester, each student will submit a portfolio of their work along with a personal statement articulating the theory and approach they developed over the course of the semester, referencing the readings, screenings and discussion we engaged in. 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.

 

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.

21M.862 Topics in Performance Practice: Beginning Screenwriting
Ken Urban W
2-5pm
W16-RRA

Prereq: None 
Units: 4-0-8
HASS-A by petition

Spring 2018 Topic: Beginning Screenwriting

Our workshop explores the fundamentals of screenplay writing and it is intended for the beginning screenwriter. Students will complete a short screenplay of 10-12 pages by the end of the term. To that end, students will write a synopsis, a plot outline (“treatment”) and two drafts of the screenplay. The course teaches students to create compelling characters and seductive stories in different dramatic genres (comedy, drama). In addition to their own writing, students will read a selection of screenplays and short films. These texts will form the basis of class discussion early in the semester. The class is modeled on a professional development workshop (such as a development opportunity like Sundance Lab). To that end, we will respond to each other’s work using a method inspired by dancer Liz Lerman. By using a specific structure, students will learn how to give non-prescriptive advice and feedback to their fellow writers. In addition to completing all assignments on time and coming to class prepared, students are encouraged to immerse themselves in theatre, film and television outside of class. Enrollment limited.

Class explores elements of performance in a studio setting. Topics vary from term to term; may be taught by visiting faculty. May be repeated for credit if content differs. Enrollment may be limited.

21M.863 Advanced Topics in Theater Arts: Interactive Design and Projection for Live Performance
Joshua Higgason T
7-10pm
W97-160

Prereq: Permission of instructor 
Units: 3-0-9
HASS-A by petition

Spring 2018 Topic: Interactive Design and Projection for Live Performance

This course undertakes a study of the design, history, artistic purposes, and programming techniques involved in the development of creating interactive performance design systems for controlling video projection, media, and lighting for live performances. Through a study of readings, viewings of historical and contemporary works, and in class practice and performance, we will use motion sensing input devices like the Kinect, infrared-light tracking, accelerometers, live video, generative graphics, and other methods to create interactive design systems for performance. This course is designed to engage artists, designers, directors, choreographers, performers, and students of different backgrounds in the practice of interactive design for live performance.

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.

21M.ThT Pre-thesis Tutorial
TBA
TBA
TBA

Prereq: Permission of instructor 
Units: 1-0-5 

Definition of and early-stage work on thesis project leading to 21M.THU Undergraduate Thesis in Music or Theater Arts. Taken during the first term, or during IAP, of the student's two-term commitment to the thesis project. Student works closely with an individual faculty tutor. Limited to Music or Theater Arts Majors.

21M.THU Undergraduate Thesis
TBA
TBA
TBA

Prereq: 21M.THT
Units arranged 
CI-M

Completion of work on senior major thesis in Music or Theater Arts under supervision of a faculty tutor. Includes oral presentation of thesis project early in the term, assembling and revising final text and meeting at the close with a committee of Music or Theater Arts faculty evaluators to discuss successes and limitations of the project. Limited to Music or Theater Arts majors.

21M.URG UROP in Music or Theater Arts (P/D/F)
TBA
TBA
TBA

Prereq: None 
Units arranged [P/D/F] 

Individual participation in ongoing Music and Theater Arts research projects. For students in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.

21M.URG UROP in Music or Theater Arts (graded)
TBA
TBA
TBA

Units arranged 

Individual participation in an ongoing music research project. For students in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Progam.