Class Schedule | Spring 2020

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Theater and Performance Studies
21M.706 Asian American Theater
Lecture Conceison W
7:00-10:00pm
4-253

Prereq: None 
Units: 3-1-8, HASS-A

Explores plays about the Asian American experience. Readings include plays and materials about cultural and political issues, family, and identity. Course includes short formal and creative writing assignments and scene work resulting in a collaborative final performance. Limited to 18.

21M.710 Script Analysis, CI-H
Lecture Gammons MW
2:00-3:30
4-144

Prereq: None
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.800 All the World's a Stage: Socio-Political Perspectives
Lecture Brathwaite M
7:00-10:00pm
4-153

(Subject meets with 21M.801) 
Prereq: None 
Units: 3-0-9 
HASS-A

Investigates repertoire from international creators of theater, opera, performance art, and dance. Explores diverse storytelling and directorial points of view, examining the contexts which inform approaches to performance making. Discusses specific cultural and political shifts that have inspired the work of international artists, such as Marina Abramovic (Serbia), Pina Bausch (Germany), Nora Chipaumire (Zimbabwe), Ping Chong (US/Canada), Peter Sellars (US), and The Yes Men (US). Weekly readings, screenings and guest artists provide the foundation for an understanding of the role of director as an artist who finds inspiration in the contradictions of the world. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.

Performance Practice
21M.600 Introduction to Acting
Lecture 1 Safer TR
11:00-1:00
W16-RRA
Lecture 2 Mancuso TR
1:00-3:00
W16-RRB
Lecture 3 Parent TR
3:00-5:00
W16-RRB
Lecture 4 Mancuso MW
3:00-5:00
W97-269
Lecture 5 Kohler TR
3:00-5:00
W16-RRA
Lecture 6 Gammons MW
11:00-1:00
W16-RRB
Lecture 7 Hammond MW
1:00-3:00
W16-RRB
Lecture 8 Mancuso TR
3:00-5:00
W97-269
Lecture 9 Torn MW
1:00-3:00
W16-RRA

Prereq: None
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 De Pace M
7:00-10:00pm
W97-261
Lecture 2 Lacey W
7:00-10:00pm
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.605 Voice and Speech
Lecture 1 Eastley TR
1:00-3:00
W97-162
Lecture 2 Eastley TR
3:00-5:00pm
W97-160
Lecture 3 D'Ambrosio MW
1:00-3:00
50-201
Lecture 4 D'Ambrosio MW
3:00-5:00
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
Lecure Rodemann TR
11:00-1:00
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
7:00-10:00pm
2-103

How do playwrights do research? In this workshop, you will write scenes and short plays and your inspiration will be interviews that you conduct, the news and current events, or even a classical tragedy by Sophocles. We will explore how research is a part of writing a new play. Students will also read classical and contemporary plays in order to better understand how plays are made.

21M.608 Screenwriting
Lecture Urban W
2:00-5:00pm
56-191

Prereq: None 
Units: 3-0-9 

HASS-A
Explores the fundamentals of screenplay writing.  Presents skills to create compelling characters and stories in different dramatic genres (comedy, drama). In addition to their own writing, students read a selection of screenplays and watch short films that form the basis of class discussion early in the term.  Class is modeled on a professional development workshop in which participants, over the course of the term, write a short screenplay, including a final draft. Enrollment limited. 

21M.623 Physical Improvisation
Lecture Safer TR
3:00-5:00pm
W97-162

Prereq: None
4-2-6
HASS-A

This course explores physical improvisation in dance/theater from a variety of task-based, conceptual vantage points. We will investigate topics such as:
Narrative – how stories and scenarios can elicit movement and emotionally resonant physical interaction; Visual Composition – creating movement and actions on stage from an imagistic starting point;  Hypothetical Worlds – movement based on the creation of rules for Alternate Worlds (as in strange, indigenous time, strange evolution, etc., etc.).  Over the course of the semester, we will explore solos, duets, trios, and larger ensemble improvisations. This class focuses on conceptual frameworks for generating intensely physical dramatic actions and dances that unlock the students’ creativity.  This class works as a complement to the Physical Improv class offered in the Fall;  you can take the two courses in either order.  Enrollment limited.

21M.645 Motion Theater
Lecture 1 Hammond M
7:00-10:00pm
W97-162
Lecture 2 Hammond W
7:00-10:00pm
W97-162

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
2:00-5:00pm
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.704 Music Theater Workshop
Lecture Kohler T
7:00-10:00pm
W97-162

Prereq: 21M.600 or permission of instructor 
Units: 3-0-6 
HASS-A

Introduces applications of music in theater and performance. Encourages experimentation with different genres of singing, acting, and movement by exploring an array of historical and contemporary styles and techniques. Students develop and perform their own original songs and textual materials, gaining a theoretical and practical understanding of the actor's contribution to the dynamic form of musical theater. Previous experience in musical theater not required.

21M.705 Acting Intensive
Lecture Sonenberg TR
1:00-3:00
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 Safer MW
1:00-3:00
W97-160

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.732 Costume Design
Lecture Haac M
7:00-10:00pm
W97-275

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
Lecture Brown TR
3:00-5:00pm
W97-261

Prereq: 21M.603 or permission of instructor 
Units: 4-0-8 
HASS-A, CI-M

Investigates the creation of set design for live performance. Students develop designs related to current production projects at MIT. 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 set design to theater architecture, emerging media technologies and dramaturgies of the 20th and 21st centuries. In addition to creating their own designs, students research, write about, and present the work and practice of a set designer.

21M.735 Creative Sound Design
Lecture Frederickson MW
3:00-5:00
W97-160

Prereq: 21M.606 or Permission of instructor
4-0-8
HASS-A, CI-M

Spring 2020 Topic: Creative Sound Design

This class will examine the role of music and sound in the contemporary theater. Students will develop the creative and technical skills necessary to practice the art of sound design. Using the Viewpoints as a framework to discuss what we hear and see, we will practice deep listening to gain insight into how music and sound influence the experience of live theater and dance. Students will combine text analysis and technical skills to develop sound design projects to be presented in class, and to an invited audience at the end of the semester. Technical skills to be addressed include sound recording, editing, and sound cue creation in Logic Pro X, QLAB software programming, sound system design, and microphones in live performance.

21M.737 Interactive Design and Projection for Live Performance Lecture
Lecture Higgason M
7:00-10:00pm
W97-160

Prereq: None
3-4-5
HASS-A

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. 

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.

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

Same subject as 21W.769[J]
Subject meets with 21M.789

Prereq: 21M.604 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 Brathwaite MW
3:00-5:00pm
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.862 Stage Combat
Lecture Hewlett F
2:00-5:00
W97-162/160

Prereq: None 
Units: 4-0-8 

Fall 2017 Topic: Stage Combat
In this course, students will learn techniques and principles of safe theatrical fighting suitable for both stage and film. The first unit focuses on hand-to-hand combat that can be adapted for a variety of story-telling needs, from slapstick comedy to brutal verisimilitude. The second unit introduces combat props such as historical swordplay (rapier and broadsword) and modern violence (knives and found objects). This is an acting class, not a marital arts, self-defense, or stunt class; as such, your other theatrical training (such as movement, voice, and text) will be incorporated and built upon. Scene work will range from Shakespeare to contemporary plays.

Materials for this course include a pair of gloves and a practice sword (a Nerf sword from Toys R Us is fine). These materials generally come to $30-$35 dollars. You will need to wear movement clothes and sneakers to class sessions. 

Applied Performance and Practica
21M.803 Performance and Design Workshop
Recitation 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.

NOTE: If you are interested in participating in a practicum during Fall 2019 semester, please complete this interest form. Once you have completed the form with your avalibity and preferences, you will hear back from a member of the Theater Arts staff with your practicum assignment. 

21M.806 Applied Performance and Design Production
Recitation 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. 

NOTE: If you are interested in participating in a practicum during Fall 2019 semester, please complete this interest form. Once you have completed the form with your avalibity and preferences, you will hear back from a member of the Theater Arts staff with your practicum assignment. 

21M.809 Performance and Design Intensive
Recitation 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.

NOTE: If you are interested in participating in a practicum during Fall 2019 semester, please complete this interest form. Once you have completed the form with your avalibity and preferences, you will hear back from a member of the Theater Arts staff with your practicum assignment. 

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

NOTE: If you are interested in participating in a practicum during Fall 2019 semester, please complete this interest form. Once you have completed the form with your avalibity and preferences, you will hear back from a member of the Theater Arts staff with your practicum assignment. 

Special Topics/Advanced Subjects
21M.THU Thesis
Recitation 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.