Class Schedule | Spring 2019

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Theater and Performance Studies
21M.710 Script Analysis, CI-H
David R. Gammons MW
2-3:30pm
66-160

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.714 Contemporary American Theater, CI-H
Ken Urban M
2-5pm
2-146

Prereq: None 
Units: 3-0-9 

HASS-A, CI-H
 
Examines the exciting terrain of contemporary American writing for the theater, focusing on what is known in New York as "Off Broadway," "downtown," or "indie theater." Students read work by influential playwrights from earlier generations alongside plays by new voices currently in production in Boston, New York, and across the country. Students also examine the changing institution of American theater, reading a selection of plays in order to determine what constellation of issues and concerns they engage. Discussions unpack how these plays reflect, challenge and re-construct the idea of America in the 21st century. Enrollment limited.

21M.848 Performance Studies: Advanced Theories of Sport
Claire Conceison W
7-10pm
4-253

Prereq: 21M.690, permission of instructor 
Units: 3-0-9
HASS-A

Seminar explores connections between athletics and theatre, performance studies, sociology, anthropology, and history. Focuses on performance of nation, race, and gender in sport, and how sport performs in society. Specific topics selected based on the research focus of each student. Enrollment limited.

Theater and Performance Practice
21M.600 Introduction to Acting
Lecture 1 Brandon Green MW
11-1pm
W16-RRA
Lecture 2 David R. Gammons MW
11-1pm
W16-RRB
Lecture 3 Brandon Green MW
1-3pm
W16-RRA
Lecture 4 Kim Mancuso MW
3-5pm
W97-269
Lecture 5 Daniel Safer MW
3-5pm
W16-RRA
Lecture 6 Kim Mancuso TR
11-1pm
W16-RRB
Lecture 7 Colleen Rua TR
11-1pm
W16-RRA
Lecture 8 Kim Mancuso TR
1-3pm
W16-RRB
Lecture 9 Caleb Hammond TR
3-5pm
50-201

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 Olivia D'Ambrosio MW
1-3pm
W97-162
Lecture 2 Olivia D'Ambrosio MW
3-5pm
W97-162
Lecture 3 Keely Eastley TR
1-3pm
W97-162
Lecture 4 Keely Eastley TR
3-5pm
W97-162

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 18; preference to Theater majors, minors, and concentrators who have pre-registered.

21M.606 Introduction to Stagecraft
Stephanie Rodemann TR
3-5pm
W97-105

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.608 Beginning Screenwriting
Ken Urban M
7-10pm
2-146

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.645 Motion Theater
Caleb Hammond T
7-10pm
W97-160

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.704 Music Theater Workshop
Anna Kohler T
7-10pm
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 Actor and the Text
Anna Kohler MW
3-5pm
W16-RRB

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.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 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.785 Playwrights' Workshop
Ken Urban T
7-10pm
W97-267

(Same subject as 21W.769[J])
(Subject meets with 21M.789) 
Prereq: 21M.604 or permission of instructor 
Units: 4-0-8, CI-M
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. Enrollment limited. 

21M.789(G) Playwrights' Workshop
Ken Urban T
7-10pm
W97-267

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

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. Enrollment is limited to 10.

21M.830 Acting: Techniques and Styles
Olivia D'Ambrosio MW
11-1pm
W97-162

(Subject meets with 21M.835) 
Prereq: 21M.624, 21M.705, or permission of instructor 
Units: 4-0-8
HASS-A, CI-M

Refines the student actor's use of the language of the stage with work on text and physical presentation. Explores issues of style, including the understanding and honoring, in performance, of the specific requirements from several different periods of the Western theatrical tradition. Periods may differ from term to term. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.

21M.835 (G) Acting: Techniques and Styles
Olivia D'Ambrosio MW
11-1pm
W97-162

Graduate Level
(Subject meets with 21M.830)
Prereq: 21M.600
Units: 4-0-8 

Refines the student actor's use of the language of the stage with work on text and physical presentation. Explores issues of style, including the understanding and honoring, in performance, of the specific requirements from several different periods of the Western theatrical tradition. Periods may differ from term to term. Students taking graduate versions complete additional assignments.

21M.840 Performance Media
Joshua Higgason M
7-10pm
W97-160

(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.841 (G) Performance Media
Joshua Higgason M
7-10pm
W97-160

Graduate Level
(Subject meets with 21M.840) 
Prereq: None 
Units: 4-0-8 

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.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.861 Topics in Performance Technique: Physical Improvisation
Daniel Safer TR
1-3pm
W97-160

Prereq: None 
Units: 3-0-9 

Explores elements of technique in a variety of performance disciplines.  Topics vary from term to term; may be taught by visiting faculty. May be repeated for credit if content differs.  Enrollment may be limited.

Spring 2019 Topic: Physical Improvisation
Explore the realities of the body in space and motion - interacting with alignment, negative space, your imagination, your body, other bodies, the room around you, rooms you have been in previously, geometry, motion, inertia, stillness, and more. By releasing tension and abandoning the notion of pre-planning, you experience a natural, spontaneous flow of movement, opening yourself up to, and diving into, whatever might happen. Alertness is developed 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 you aware, centered, incredibly present and sharply alive.

21M.862 Topics in Performance Practice- Choreography Lab: Practical Dance Theater
Daniel Safer TR
3-5pm
W97-160

Prereq: None 
Units: 4-0-8 

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.

Spring 2019 Topic- Choreography Lab: Practical Dance Theater

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

Over the semester, participants will propose, develop, and present a performance based in Choreography and utilizing Dramaturgy, Costume, Sound, and Lighting Design, and the crossover between Dance and Theater. The process will be exploratory - we will look at rehearsal as a place to make discoveries and shape them, starting from the collision of ideas and movement and expanding outward from there. 

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.

Advanced Topics and Practica
21M.803 Performance and Design Workshop
Nicole Paschal 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 Spring 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
Nicole Paschal 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 Spring 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
Nicole Paschal 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 Spring 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
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 Spring 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.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 (graded)
TBA
TBA
TBA

Units arranged 

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