Theatre

The theatre department offers academic and practical courses. Students analyze plays and learn about theatre of the past and present; study acting, directing, voice, movement, and technical theatre; and bring productions to life. Wesleyan's theatre courses are appropriate for students with professional or scholarly aspirations, as well as for students with a general interest in the field.

Departmental productions focus on strong roles for women. Students gain stage experience and excel in areas traditionally dominated by men, such as directing, playwriting, and technical work. Theatre majors are expected to work on productions throughout the college career. Roles and crew assignments are open to all students, regardless of major or year.

The Wesleyan student who majors in theatre receives a foundation that prepares her for apprenticeship, graduate school, or work in the profession. The theatre degree enhances career paths that call for organizational ability, collaboration, effective speech, creativity, problem-solving, and analytical/critical skills.

Student learning outcomes for the Theatre major are that the student:
I. gain skill in analysis and criticism of plays and performance events
II. develop effective techniques for dramatic expression as actors
III. gain experience on and off stage in theatre productions, as actors or technicians
IV. acquire an understanding of the theatrical past and connect it to the present
V. learn to communicate clearly, in oral and written form
VI. choose to develop advanced skills in acting, management, or writing.


Major Requirements: Theatre. (43 hours total).

I. Required Courses (37 semester hours):
THE 110 Criticism and Practice in Theatre or THE 108 African American Theatre 3 hours
THE 125 Acting I 3 hours
THE 134 Introduction to Theatrical Design 3 hours
THE 210 Theatre History and Literature I 3 hours
THE 212 Theatre History and Literature II 3 hours
THE 235 Performance and Production *7 hours
THE 250 Practicum in Theatre 3 hours
THE 322 Stage Management and Producing for Theatre or THE 333 Acting III 3 hours
THE 330 Portfolio 3 hours
THE 396 Special Topics or THE/WST 328 Women, Culture, and Theatre 3 hours
THE 430 Senior Integrative Seminar 3 hours

*The seven hours of performance and production laboratory are intended to be distributed over seven semesters, unless special permission is given.

II. An additional 6 semester hours are required from the following:
THE 215 Advanced Theatre Design 3 hours
THE 225 Acting II 3 hours
THE 318 Directing 3 hours
THE 333 Acting III 3 hours
THE 353 Playwriting 3 hours


Integrative Experience. The integrative experience is fulfilled in the theatre major by the Senior Theatre Integrative seminar, THE 430. Each student creates a personal artistic statement, a resume, an artistic project, and an interdisciplinary critical thinking research paper. During the seminar, students connect the creation and production of artistic forms with theoretical perspectives and experiences outside of the theatre arts.

Professional Development. Throughout her Wesleyan education each student is given opportunities to explore professional and career choices, and to develop and demonstrate the knowledge and skills essential for professional success. Each student will complete a PDE 400 Professional Development Experience and submit a PDE 401 Professional ePortfolio prior to graduation. In addition, students meet individually with theatre faculty in the sophomore year to discuss post-graduate plans. If interested in professional work or graduate school, students are encouraged to intern during the summer with professional theaters after interviews and/or auditions either locally or nationally. For example, students have worked at Imagination Stage in DC, Georgia Shakespeare Festival, Horizon Theatre, Texas Legacies, Santa Fe Opera, Smoke on the Mountain, West Virginia Stage Company, Banner Elk Theatre, and the Maine State Music Festival. In Macon, students may work for the historic Douglass Theatre, the Cox Capitol Theatre, Macon Little Theatre, Theatre Macon, or local schools and community centers. The internship must not interfere with the student's obligations to Wesleyan Theatre productions during the academic year. Academic credit is available through THE 199/452.

Minor Requirements: Theatre.
A minor in Theatre requires 18 hours, from the following:

I. Required courses (12 hours):
THE 110 Criticism and Practice in Theatre or THE 108 African American Theatre 3 hours
THE 125 Acting I 3 hours
THE 250 Practicum in Theatre 3 hours
THE/WST 328 Women, Culture, and Theatre or THE 396 Special Topics 3 hours

II. Additional courses (6 hours):
Six semester hours from any of the other Theatre courses
 

Theatre (THE) Gen. Ed. Course Descriptions

102: Performance and U.S. Culture.
Goal: To use improvisation and role playing to explore movement, gesture, and voice. To offer international students a drama experience. Domestic students may also take the course.
Content: The course focus is on active studio work, including observation, improvisation, movement, and voice and speech exercises. Students will also watch short films and perform scenes. Physical movement is part of the course. THE 102 does not count toward the Theatre major or minor.
Taught: As needed, usually in the summer.
Gen. Ed. Category: Exploring; Thinking and Expressing Creatively (FA).
Credit: 3 hours.
 
108: African American Theatre.
Goal: To introduce ways to read play texts, gain skill in analysis and criticism of plays, communicate clearly in oral and written form, and acquire an understanding of African American plays as part of the changing canon of American theatre.
Content: Students will read and discuss a variety of modern African American plays, write short papers, perform scenes, and give oral presentations based on research.
Taught: Every other year.
Gen. Ed. Category: Developing; Speaking Competency (FA).
Credit: 3 hours.

110: Criticism and Practice.
Goal: To look critically at plays, performance history, and/or theatrical practices. To develop skills in the analysis, enactment, and interpretation of performance events, theatre literature, or theatre criticism.
Content: A particular area of theatre or performance will be closely studied through reading and active performance. Expertise in acting will not be required or expected, but short performances will help students analyze plays and performance events. Students will articulate ideas in group discussion and oral reports. Given the occasional change in topic, THE 110 is repeatable one time as THE 112 if the topic is distinct. THE 112 is not a general education course.
Taught: Annually.
Gen. Ed. Category: Developing; Speaking Competency (FA).
Credit: 3 hours.
 
125: Acting I.
Goal: To introduce students to the fundamentals of acting, including relaxation, concentration, collaboration, and self-confidence, and thereby develop the skills for effective dramatic expression and interpretation.
Content: Theatre exercises and games, monologues, improvisation, and scene study. Physical activity is required.
Taught : Fall, Spring, and occasionally Summer.
Gen. Ed. Category: Exploring; Thinking and Expressing Creatively (FA).
Credit: 3 hours.
 
328: Women, Culture, and Theatre
Goal: Learn to perceive and respond thoughtfully, in oral and written form, to issues of gender and culture in theatre.
Content: Students will gain the tools to analyze, discuss, and write about plays, performances, and production work by women from various cultures, and how women have altered the nature of theatre, particularly within the past thirty years. Students will engage with issues of class, ethnicity, and the social construction of gender identity.
Taught: Alternate years.
Prerequisites: None.
Gen. Ed. Category: Expanding; Women’s Experience (FA).
Credit: 3 hours; cross-listed as WST 328.


Theatre (THE) Other Course Descriptions

107: Applied Lessons in Theatre Performance.
Goal: To enable students to develop expertise in performance for auditions and professional work
Content: Students will receive individual and/or team coaching sessions per semester. They will work on choice of material, acting technique, effective partnering, and audition strategies. Students must provide their own script materials for these sessions. A course fee is required.
Taught: Fall, Spring.
Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
Credit: 1 hour; Repeatable for maximum of 4 hours.
 
112: Theatre Practice and Criticism.
Goal: To look critically at plays, performance history, and/or theatrical practices. To develop skills in the analysis, enactment, and interpretation of performance events, theatre literature, or theatre criticism.
Content: A particular area of theatre or performance will be closely studied through reading and active performance. Expertise in acting will not be required or expected, but short performances will help students analyze performance events during class discussion.
Taught: Occasionally.
Credit: 3 hours.
 
134: Introduction to Theatrical Design.
Goal: To introduce the basic principles of scenic, costume, and lighting design for the theatre. Topics covered include the design process, research, design elements, and practical considerations.
Content: This course focuses on the skills and art of the theatre designer. Students will demonstrate the ability to analyze text, to distill a design concept, to show knowledge of the design elements, and to apply  that vocabulary.
Taught: Every other year.
Credit: 3 hours.
 

210: Theatre History and Literature I.
Goal: To explore the early history and literature of the theatre. To develop analytical, critical, research, and speaking skills.
Content: An examination of the role of the theatre in society from theories of origins and the Greeks through the Elizabethan age and the French neoclassical theatre. The emphasis is on theatre in its political, religious, and social contexts. Students read plays, perform, and present research.
Taught: Alternate years.
Prerequisites: THE 110 or permission of instructor.
Credit: 3 hours.

212: Theatre History and Literature II.
Goal: To explore the history and literature of the theatre from the English Restoration to the present. To develop analytical, critical, research, and speaking skills.
Content: An examination of aspects of performance from the Restoration to post-modern practice. Emphasis on the rise of the director and on realistic and anti-realistic movements. Students read plays, perform, and present research.
Taught: Alternate years.
Prerequisites: THE 110 or permission of instructor.
Credit: 3 hours.

215: Advanced Theatre Design.
Goal: To introduce the fundamentals, principles and practices of theatre design.
Content: The course focuses upon hands on experience with design for the stage.
Taught: Offered occasionally.
Prerequisites: THE 134 or permission of the instructor.
Credit: 3 hours.
 
225: Acting II.
Goal: To apply the principles of the Stanislavsky and Meisner acting methods and other relevant acting techniques to intermediate scene study and monologues.
Content: This course begins students' pre-professional acting training. Students study characterization, communication, pacing, rhythm, and other skills required for employment within the performing arts and related fields. Physical activity is required.
Taught: Alternate years.
Prerequisites: THE 125 or permission of instructor.
Credit: 3 hours.
 

235: Performance and Production.
Goal: To introduce students to all phases of acting, design, and technical work.
Content: Participation in the rehearsal/performance/design/technical process of a Wesleyan College Theatre production. Content will vary with production assignment. Theatre majors who are transfer students and who have significant production experience at another college or university may count that experience toward THE 235, upon approval of the Wesleyan Theatre faculty.
Taught: Fall, Spring.
Prerequisites: Permission of instructor, to be granted after auditions at the beginning of the semester and mid-semester. Permission of the instructor required.
Credit: 1, 2, or 3 hours per term; usually 1 hour. Note: Theatre majors must complete a total of seven hours of THE 235.

250: Practicum in Theatre.
Goal: To introduce students to all phases of technical theatre work.
Content: Students participate in set construction and technical assistance for all of Wesleyan's theatre productions during the semester. Strenuous physical activity is required.
Taught: Fall, Spring.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.
Credit: 1, 2, or 3 hours; repeatable for maximum of 4 hours.
 
260/261: Exploring the Theatrical Past.
Goal: To explore a specific area of theatre history. To develop analytical, critical, research, and speaking skills.
Content: Topics range from costume history to World War II theatre, from the rise of the modern director to the history of musical theatre. The course will help students connect specific moments in theatre history to current practices. Given the occasional change in topic, the course is repeatable one time as THE 261 as long as the topic is distinct.
Taught: Occasionally.
Prerequisite: None.
Credit: 3 hours.
 
318: Directing.
Goal: To teach advanced students how to direct a one-act play.
Content : Participants will study methods for directing. They will choose a play which they will then cast, rehearse, and direct.
Taught: Every other spring.
Prerequisites: THE 110, 125, 225, 235, 250. Permission of the instructor.
Credit: 4 hours.
 
322: Stage Management and Producing for Theatre.
Goal: To introduce students to the practices of stage management and producing for the theatre.
Content: Students learn and practice all of the techniques and duties of theatrical stage managers and producers, including but not limited to preparation of promptbooks, budgets, and production plans; rehearsal and production responsibilities; and working with actors, directors and playwrights.
Taught: Alternate years.
Prerequisites: THE 110, 125, and 235, or permission of the instructor.
Credit: 3 hours.
 
330: Portfolio
Goal: To develop the materials for and knowledge of the application and interview process as a gateway to the first job or internship.
Content: Students will prepare personal marketing and branding materials, as well as developing a portfolio of work that best represents them in a clear, professional manner. The course will cover resumes, CV’s, business cards, cover letters, web sites, head shots, and portfolios. Portions of the course will be tailored to the specific discipline of the student.
Taught: Every other year.
Prerequisites: None.
Credit: 3 hours.

333: Acting III.
Goal: To expand upon the methods used in Acting II and apply them to advanced acting work, such as period styles and audition techniques.
Content: Continuation of pre-professional studies in theatre, via intensive scene and monologue study with emphasis on “style” techniques, using material by Shakespeare, Brecht, and others.
Taught: Every three years.
Prerequisite: THE 225 and permission of the instructor.
Credit: 3 hours.

353: Playwriting.
Goal: To introduce students to the craft and practice of writing for the stage.
Content: Writing exercises and games, reading and analysis of plays, collaborative exercises, practical study of the playwright's role in production. Each student will write one 10-minute play and one short one-act play.
Taught: Alternate years.
Prerequisites: THE 110 or ENG 161, THE 125, THE 235; or permission of instructor. Wesleyan Writing Proficiency must be met.
Credit: 3 hours.
 
354: Apprenticeship in Playwriting.
Goal: To write one or more plays under the guidance of a practicing playwright
Content: Students will receive individual sessions in response to their writing. They will extend their work from THE 353, reading and analysis of plays, practical study of the playwright's role in production, and work on writing a longer piece. A course fee is required.
Taught: Every year.
Prerequisite: THE 353 and permission of instructor.
Credit: 1 hour; repeatable for maximum of 4 hours.
 
396: Special Topics in Theatre.
Goal: To develop an in-depth knowledge of a specialized topic within the theatre arts: a particular playwright, genre, theme, period in theatre history, or technical discipline.
Content: Varies.
Taught: Alternate years.
Credit: 3 hours. A student may take a maximum of six to eight semester hours (two courses) of special topics in any one field.
 
430: Senior Integrative Experience.
Goal: To teach students to integrate varied and interdisciplinary experiences in theatre.
Content: Capstone interdisciplinary seminar for Bachelor of Arts candidates in theatre. Through readings, writings, discussions, and oral presentations on various topics, students connect the creation and production of theatre forms with theoretical perspectives and experiences outside of the theatre arts. Each student creates a personal artistic statement, a resume, a creative project, and an interdisciplinary critical thinking research paper.
Taught: Annually.
Prerequisites: Fulfillment of all course requirements for the theatre major through junior level.
Credit: 3 hours.
 
451: Directed Independent Study.
Goal: To teach the student critical thinking and research or to develop a creative project.
Content: To be determined by the specific nature of the proposed project. Student-proposed topic to be studied in depth, subject to approval by the instructor. Student and instructor determine specific content.
Taught: Fall, Spring.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor and approval of program director.
Credit: 1-6 hours.
 
452/199: Field Study.
Goal: To provide students with practical experience in the theatre arts through an internship or independent project.
Content: To be determined by the nature of the specific project. May gain credit for theatre production experience during the summer months, or in such places as special education schools, off-campus theatre classes, or local theatres during the school year.
Taught: Fall, Spring, Summer.
Prerequisites: Permission of the faculty sponsor and the program director.
Credit: 1-12 hours.
 
499: Honors Thesis. (Fee required)
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