Theatre

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Professors

Julia Ewing. 1976. Artistic Director, McCoy Theatre. B.A., Siena College; M.A., University of Memphis. (Acting; directing; stage movement.)
David Jilg. 1994. B.A., Rhodes College; M.F.A., Tulane University. (Production design; costume design; Spanish-American drama; gender studies.)

Associate Professors

Laura Canon. 1994. Distinguished Service Associate Professor. Technical Director and Production Manager, McCoy Theatre. B.A., Rhodes College; M.F.A., University of Memphis. (Lighting design; scene design.)
David Mason. 2004. Chair. B.A., Brigham Young University; M.A., Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison. (Theatre history; theory; dramatic literature.)

Part-Time Instructors

Brian Fruits. 2013. B.A., Concordia University of Chicago; M.F.A., University of Memphis. (Acting.)
Andre Johnson. 2013. B.S., University of Tennessee, Martin; M.Div., Memphis Theological Seminary; Ph.D., University of Memphis. (Public speaking.)

Managing Director, McCoy Theatre

Kevin Collier. 2006. B.A., Rhodes College.

The Department of Theatre offers courses that develop students’ analytic, performance, and production skills. The departmental facility, the McCoy Theatre, is a sixty by sixty (60’ x 60’) black box theatre. The building also includes a smart classroom, a costume construction shop, faculty offices, and the McCoy Studio, a second black box that serves as an instructional classroom, a rehearsal hall, and a location for mounting student-run projects.

The department’s 33rd season in 2013-14 included Anton In Show Business, The Warriors, and Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson. The 32nd season included Into the Woods, the original work Bouffant: La Teuer de Vampires, and As You Like It.

The Ellis Rabb Visiting Artists Series provides students with the opportunity to work with a variety of theatre artists and scholars since the fall of 2007, including Andrew Wade (vocal and text work), Mara Neimanis (Aerialist Theatre), and Greg Allen (Chicago’s Neo-Futurists); in 2013-14, the Rabb Fund supported the residency of Nick Hutchison, an actor/director affiliated with the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. in 2012-2013, the Fund supported the residency of Frank Bradley, of the American University in Cairo.

Requirements for a Major in Theatre

A total of forty-eight (48) credits as follows:

  1. Theatre 120 or Theatre 221
  2. Theatre 122
  3. Theatre 220
  4. Theatre 280
  5. Theatre 370
  6. Theatre 385
  7. Theatre 485/486
  8. One Theatre literature course selected from:
    1. Theatre 281, 360, 375, 380.
    2. English 230, 235, 323, 332, 340.
    3. Greek and Roman Studies 293/393.
    4. French 332.
    5. Spanish 320.
    6. Other external with approval.
  9. Three additional theatre courses at or above the 200 level:
    Theatre 221, 254, 270, 281, 310, 331, 334, 340, 352, 360, 365, 375, 380
  10. Practical experiences (a minimum of 4 total applied credits) selected from Theatre 129, 139, 229, 329, 339, 341, 342, 343, 344, 345, 346, 460.

In addition, majors must fulfill a performance/workshop attendance requirement each semester, as designated by the Theatre Department faculty.

Requirements for a Minor in Theatre

A total of twenty-eight (28) credits as follows:

  1. Theatre 120 or Theatre 122
  2. Theatre 220
  3. Theatre 280
  4. Theatre 370
  5. Two additional theatre courses at or above the 200 level:
    Theatre 221, 254, 270, 281, 310, 331, 334, 340, 352, 360, 365, 375, 380.
  6. Practical experiences (a minimum of 4 total applied credits) selected from Theatre 129, 139, 229, 329, 339, 341, 342, 343, 344, 345, 346, 460.

In addition, minors must fulfill a performance/workshop attendance requirement each semester, as designated by the Theatre Department faculty.

Honors in Theatre

Detailed information about graduating with Honors in Theatre is available from the department. All Honors candidates must meet the College’s eligibility criteria established for the Honors Program. Only students with a minimum overall GPA of 3.5 and a GPA within the major of 3.7 by the end of the fall semester of their junior year will be eligible to pursue honors. In addition to fulfilling the requirements for the major, students seeking honors will be expected to complete the following additional work:

  1. The one-credit Honors Tutorial, Theatre 399, in spring of the junior year: in consultation with an appropriate member of the Theatre faculty, the Honors candidate must write a proposal for Honors work, positing a substantial Honors thesis or creative project that demonstrates an exceptional understanding of the area(s) studied, to be implemented in the senior year. The department must approve the proposal.
  2. The Senior Honors Tutorials, Theatre 495-496, in fall and spring of the senior year. An overall grade of A- on the thesis or project itself is required for Honors credit.

Course Offerings

105. Topics: Introduction to Performance.

Fall or Spring. Credits: 4.

Degree Requirements: F5.

Basic introduction to elements of performance. Topics will vary with instructor. Some areas covered: spatial relationships, stage movement, and theatre arts. End product will be the creation of a performance piece.

120. Acting I.

Fall or Spring. Credits: 4.

Degree Requirements: F5.

Designed for the beginning student, this course offers an introduction to basic script analysis with a concentration on relationships between characters, their goals and obstacles. Improvisations as well as scripted scenes will be utilized. The course is primarily for actors.

122. Introduction to Design.

Fall. Credits: 4.

Degree Requirements: F5.

An exploration of the creative process and the principles and tools of design as they apply to theatrical production. Emphasis will be on script analysis, graphic techniques, and trends in theatrical design through research, practical exercises, and projects.

220. Theatre Production.

Fall, Spring. Credits: 4.

This course provides an introduction to the basics of technical theatre, with emphasis on standard scenic elements and lighting mechanics. A significant practical laboratory gives students hands-on experience. Open to first-year students by permission of instructor.

221. Acting II.

Fall or Spring. Credits: 4.

This course is designed for a more intensive study of acting. Various theories and exercises will be explored and applied to scene study.

Prerequisite: Theatre 120, or permission of the instructor.

254. Children’s Literature, from Page to Stage.

Fall. Credits: 4.

Degree Requirements: F5.

There is storytelling and there is playmaking. Each is a separate art form yet each is very useful in the primary grades. The goal of this class is to create plays from children’s stories that stimulate imagination, instill a love of language, improve listening skills, and improve language skills. Once the play has been created, the class will perform in local city schools.

280. Theatre History I.

Fall. Credits: 4.

Degree Requirements: F2i, F3.

A survey of world theatre from 1500 BCE to 1800 CE. The course includes study of selected plays, architectural developments, actors and acting, and the various relationships between theatre and politics, religion, philosophy, and culture. This is a writing-intensive course.

281. Theatre History II.

Spring. Credits: 4.

Degree Requirements: F3.

A continuation of Theatre 280, this course examines theatre of the past two centuries, giving special emphasis to theatre in the 20th Century. The course includes study of selected plays, performance genres and styles, and theatre’s roles in political and philosophical movements. (Offered in alternating years.)

310. Stage Direction.

Fall. Credits: 4.

Designed as an introduction to stage direction; the emphasis will be on the analysis of play scripts and the translation of that analysis into dramatic action. (Offered in alternate years; scheduled for 2014-2015.)

Prerequisites: Theatre 120, 220, 280, and/or the permission of the instructor.

331. Movement and the Text.

Spring. Credits: 4.

The actor’s instrument is the self. That includes the mind, the body, the voice and the heart. The goal of this class is to exercise the whole person in relation to the text of plays and the life of characters. (Offered in alternate years; scheduled for 2015-2016.)

Prerequisites: Any 100 or 200 level Theatre course, or the permission of instructor.

334. Costume Design.

Spring. Credits: 4.

This course explores the creative process and the principles and tools of design as they apply to costume design. Emphasis will be on script analysis, period research and rendering techniques, utilizing classroom discussion, design evaluation, practical exercises and projects.

Prerequisites: Theatre 122 and/or the permission of the instructor.

340. Set Design.

Spring. Credits: 4.

The process of scene design, from inception of an idea to completion of a documentation package, will be the focus of this course.

Prerequisites: Theatre 220 and/or the permission of the instructor.

352. Lighting Design.

Fall. Credits: 4.

An exploration of lighting design and documentation through small class projects designed to help develop each student’s ability to make appropriate design choices.

Prerequisites: Theatre 220 and the permission of the instructor.

360. Introduction to Theatre in India.

Fall. Credits: 4.

Degree Requirements: F9.

This course is an introduction to forms of theatrical performance in India, particularly those which exist as religious or devotional practices. The material of the course includes Vedic and epic literature, classical Sanskrit drama, and a variety of contemporary forms such as kathakali and raslila. The course is designed for students in various disciplines, and assumes no significant prior knowledge either of South Asian culture or of performance theory.

365. Special Topics in Theatre.

Fall or Spring. Credits: 4.

Focused and intensive study of various aspects of theatre arts not covered in existing courses. Topics vary with instructor. The course is repeatable for credit with different topics.

Prerequisites: Will vary with topic.

370. Theory.

Spring. Credits: 4.

A study of theories of performance. Not merely a historical survey of ideas, this course investigates how theatre works, and looks carefully at the boundaries of theatrical performance. Considering space and time, concepts of identity, dramatic literature, the theatre metaphors that pervade philosophy and the social sciences, and radical experiments with theatre, Theory is a performance studies course. (Offered in alternating years; scheduled for 2015-2016.)

375. Drama and Modern Languages.

Spring. Credits: 4.

Degree Requirements: F5.

This course is team-taught with a faculty member from the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, most often Spanish. The course objective is to develop an understanding and appreciation of a panorama of intellectual and cultural activities through the reading and staging of a variety of dramatic works. Students analyze dramatic texts as literature; at the same time they develop a series of theatrical scenes for performance in class and one or two public performances of a full play or an extended portion thereof. See Spanish 320.

Prerequisite: Spanish 301 or 302 or the permission of the Spanish instructor.

380. Theatre in the 20th Century.

Spring. Credits: 4.

Through rotating semester topics, this course explores theatre work which is significant to the particular circumstances of the 20th Century. Semester topics include drama in the U.S., Postcolonial Theatre, Modernism, Postmodernism, and performance art.

385. Junior Seminar.

Spring. Credits: 4.

Advanced study of theatre and performance through individual research projects. Through a selected semester topic, this course provides instruction in research and writing methods, and aims students at producing a substantial work of scholarship.

399. Pre-Honors Tutorial.

Spring. Credits: 1.

Junior Theatre majors contemplating honors are required to enroll in a preparatory tutorial. Enrollment in this course does not guarantee acceptance into the Honors Program.

485. Senior Seminar.

Fall. Credits: 2.

Preparation for collaborative or individual research or creative projects to be realized in the spring semester.

Prerequisite: Senior standing.

486. Senior Project.

Spring. Credits: 2.

Preparation and presentation of capstone collaborative or individual research or creative projects.

Prerequisite: Theatre 485.

495-496. Honors Tutorial.

Fall, Spring. Credits: 4-8.

Applied Studies

129. Applied Acting.

Fall, Spring. Credits: 1-4.

Actual stage experience in one of the subscription series productions ranging from minor to major roles. Investigation into character, period and author will be included. 46 hours of work will be required for each academic credit.

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor (director.)

139. Applied Acting: Audition Preparation.

Fall, Spring. Credits: 1-4.

A course designed to prepare students to audition for TTA, SETC, URTA and other established auditions.

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

229. Advanced Applied Acting.

Fall, Spring. Credits: 1-4.

Stage experience in a major role.

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor (director.)

329. Dramaturgy.

Fall, Spring. Credits: 1-4.

Work on a production under the supervision of the director in the area of historical and critical analysis of the play.

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor (director.)

339. Assistant Director.

Fall, Spring. Credits: 1-4.

Designed for students to do advanced work in directing plays in production.

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor (director.)

341. Applied Sets.

Fall, Spring. Credits: 1-4.

Working experience in the design and execution of stage settings.

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

342. Applied Costume Design.

Fall, Spring. Credits: 1-4.

Working experience in the design and execution of costumes for productions of the McCoy Theatre or the Theatre Department. Students act as designers or assistant designers.

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

343. Applied Audio-Visual.

Fall, Spring. Credits: 1-4.

Working experience in the design and execution of audio-visual elements for productions.

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

344. Applied Lighting.

Fall, Spring. Credits: 1-4.

Working experience in the design and execution of lighting designs.

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

345. Applied Production.

Fall, Spring. Credits: 1-4.

Working experience in the various areas of production, including but not limited to stage management, properties management, and set/costume/ lighting crews.

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

346. Applied Management.

Fall, Spring. Credits: 1-4.

Working experience in the areas of public relations, advertising sales, newsletter publication, house management training, etc.

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

460. Internship.

Fall, Spring, Summer. Credits: 1-4.

Degree Requirements: F11.

Actual working experience in areas of interest may be gained through this course. Work may be on or off campus. Applications for internships must be filed and approved prior to registering for this course




PLEASE NOTE: This document reflects information as it was published in the 2014-15 Rhodes Catalogue. You may find more current information elsewhere on rhodes.edu.