academic catalogue

Theatre (THE) Course Descriptions

THE 105: Introduction to Theatre.
Goal: Study the basic principles of theatre as a performing art within its historical and contemporary contexts. Develop analytical, critical, writing, and speaking skills.
Content: Explore and experience different disciplines within theatre such as acting, directing, design, and management. Read and analyze representative plays from defined periods. View and write reviews of plays.
Taught: Every year.
Gen. Ed. Category: Exploring; Thinking and Expressing Creatively; (FA).
Credit: 3 hours.
 
THE 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.
 
THE 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.

THE 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.
 
THE 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 : Annually.
Gen. Ed. Category: Exploring; Thinking and Expressing Creatively; (FA).
Credit: 3 hours.
 
THE 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: Occasionally.
Gen. Ed. Category: Exploring; Thinking and Expressing Creatively; (FA).
Credit: 3 hours.
 
THE 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.
Prerequisite: None.
Gen. Ed. Category: Exploring; Historical Events & Phenomena; (FA).
Credit: 3 hours.
 
THE 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.
Prerequisite: None.  
Gen. Ed. Category: Exploring; Historical Events & Phenomena; (FA).
Credit: 3 hours.
 
THE 222: Stagecraft.
Goal: To introduce students to the basics of technical theater as a means of preparing them to work on shows and take further courses in design and production.
Content: This course will provide to students a thorough background in the tools, materials, techniques, and processes that are used in the execution of theatrical design and production. Subjects covered will include scenery, lighting, electrics, and scenic painting. There will be a production and crew component to begin implementing the knowledge gained through classroom study.
Taught: Occasionally.
Credit: 3 hours.
 
THE 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: Occasionally.
Prerequisites: THE 125 or permission of instructor.
Credit: 3 hours.
 

THE 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. Theatre minors may count up to one credit of THE 235 for production work at theatres outside Wesleyan, with prior approval and guidance from 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 six hours of THE 235. Theatre minors must complete a total of 3 hours of THE 235.

THE 318: Directing.
Goal: To teach advanced students how to direct a one-act play.
Content : Participants will study and practice methods for directing. They will choose a play which they will then cast, rehearse, and direct.
Taught: Every other spring.
Prerequisites: THE 110 or 108, 125, 235, or permission of instructor. Permission of the instructor required.
Credit: 3 hours.
 
THE 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: Occasionally.
Prerequisites: THE 105  or 110, THE 235.
Credit: 3 hours.
 
THE 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: Synthesizing Perspectives; Women’s Experience (FA).
Credit: 3 hours; cross-listed as WST 328.
 
THE 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 and others.
Taught: Occasionally.
Prerequisite: THE 225 and permission of the instructor.
Credit: 3 hours.

THE 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 THE 108 or ENG 161, THE 125, THE 235; or permission of instructor. Wesleyan Writing Proficiency must be met.
Credit: 3 hours.
 
THE 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: Fall, Spring.
Prerequisite: THE 353 and permission of instructor.
Credit: 1 hour; repeatable for maximum of 4 hours.
 
THE 396: Special Topic 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.
 
THE 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.
 
THE 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 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.
 
THE 499: Honors Thesis. (Fee required).
 
 

Campus image

Calendar of Events

Wesleyan College is privileged to steward many arts and cultural events and share them with the community. Most are free and open to the public. Wesleyan art galleries are open M-F 1-5PM and on Wesleyan Market Saturdays from 10AM-2PM.

Event listing

Visit our Campus

Tour our beautiful 200-acre campus featuring Georgian architecture, lush green spaces, recreational facilities, residence halls, and worship center.

Vist Wesleyan Virtually

NCAA Division III Athletics

Wesleyan College is home to five NCAA Division III sports: soccer, basketball, volleyball, tennis, and softball. In addition, we offer an award-winning Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) Equestrian program.

View More

Join our email list