Course Descriptions - Theater
As of Fall 2014 all film courses will use the FILM prefix. Film course descriptions.
Courses with an asterisk (*) are not offered every year
TA 101 Theater Appreciation (4)
This course is intended as a general introduction to the art of the theater: acting; directing; playwriting; scenic, costume, and lighting design. Emphasis is placed on theater as a performing art today rather than upon the history or origins of the theater. The class, in part, involved attendance at live performances and events in the Portland area.
TA 102 Introduction To Acting (4)
Introduction to the art form of acting seeks to give the beginning student: a basic understanding of the building blocks that lead to good acting, aesthetic appreciation for the art of theatre, and critical thinking as it applies to the examination of the world in which we live.
TA 104 Dance Appreciation (4)
This course is an introduction to the art of dance including technique, choreography, production and aesthetics. The focus is on dance as a performing art today rather than on its history or origins. Students will be expected to attend dance concerts and events outside of class time.
TA 111, 112 Technical Theater I, II (3, 3)
First term of sequence concerns the planning and building of sets and stage properties, and the production of organization skills needed to mount theatrical productions. Second term adds elements of stage lighting, scene painting, and theater sound. Both terms require a three-hour lab period per week and participation in departmental productions presented that term. Must be taken in sequence.
TA 114, 115 Technical Theater Production (1, 1)
Attached lab to TA 111, 112 will combine skills in practical construction of stage sets with actual production experience on departmental productions.
TA/FILM 131 Film Analysis (4)
An introductory course in film appreciation with special emphasis on cinema as a dramatic art. Elements to be considered will include cinematography, performance, edited image, and sound. Selected films will be shown.
TA/FILM 135 Classic Movies (4)
Study and analysis of representative films with special emphasis on the importance of directorial concept and the screenplay. Relationships between film and theater will be examined.
TA 144 Voice For The Actor I (3)
An introductory course in basic principles and techniques of voice production specifically for stage performance including physiology, breath support and resonance, articulation and projection. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing, TA 102 or permission of instructor.
TA 147 Movement for the Actor (3)
Introduction to concepts and techniques of theatrical movement and physical theater. Will utilize a variety of relaxation, centering, stylization, and imagery exercises designed to increase body awareness and expressiveness. Skills in ensemble, mime, mask, and light acrobatics will be developed.
*TA 195 Dance: Topics (2)
Beginning dance technique in topics to be names, for example musical theatre, tap, hip hop, etc. Maximum: 12 credits.
TA 193 Dance: Modern (2)
Beginning modern dance technique, emphasis on body alignment, strength, flexibility and development of basic technical skills. Maximum: 12 credits.
TA 196 Dance: Ballet (2)
Beginning ballet technique, emphasis on body alignment, development of basic technical skills, and understanding basic ballet vocabulary. Maximum: 12 credit.
TA 197 Dance: Jazz (2)
Beginning laboratory in jazz dance technique emphasizing body alignment, contraction, and isolation technique of Latin, West Indian, African and American rhythms. Maximum: 12 credits.
TA 241,242 Improvisational Acting I, II (3, 3)
Seeks to acquaint the student through exercises, theater games, and study of basic techniques for creative role playing with the skills and techniques necessary for improvisational acting and development of material for public performance. Must be taken in sequence.
TA 248 Acting I: Process (4)
The first acting class for the major. Emphasis on the building blocks of actor technique leading into scene work: text analysis for the actor, preparation, commitment, character arc, boldness, rhythm, living a life onstage, and collaboration. This course is rigorous and demands outside time commitment for rehearsal. Prerequisites: TA Major; TA 111,112; Sophomore standing.
TA 252 Stage Makeup (2)
A study of the basic principles of the art and technique of stage makeup.
TA 253 Workshop Theater I (1-4)
Training in theater production though the intensive study and rehearsal of scenes and plays. Maximum 12 credits.
TA/FILM 257 Digital Video Production I (4)
Digital Video Production I is designed to develop a broad range of skills integral to addressing a viewer/audience with moving images and sound. The course aims to advance skills not only in image and sound production and design, but also in writing and representational and organizational strategies for this work. Throughout this term, you will work collaboratively and on your own, using introductory technologies plus some writing exercises, to develop your critical skills as a viewer, maker and reader. Prerequisite: TA 131 or 331, Film major.
TA 301 Script Analysis (4)
Examination and analysis of fundamental principles of dramatic structure, form, and style though study and analysis of representative plays selected from major periods. Emphasis on the production implications of selected text.
TA 304 Dance Appreciation (4)
This course is designed to develop awareness and appreciation of dance in its artistic, social and cultural context. The course will offer a variety of experiences, including the viewing of dance in live and video formats, reading about dance, discussing dance, hearing from guest experts and experiencing selected dance movements form various dance genres. We will consider aspects of dance as cultural, spiritual and aesthetic expression, exploring origins and the related roles of the dancer, choreographer and spectator. The class will cover the basic concepts and principals of dance such as space, time and effort as well as expression, form, style and period. Students will gain experience in viewing, discussing, writing about and evaluating dance in several forms, both theatrical and cultural.
TA 305 Understanding Theater (4)
An investigation of theater designed to develop a heightened awareness of how the theater arts express and communicate ideas and experiences. To expand critical awareness of the process by which theater creates meaning and communicates through performance to contemporary audiences. Course will examine the dynamic relationship between theater and the society it both mirrors and influences.
TA 311 Scene Design I (4)
A study of visual arts principles as related to scenic design. Projects in stage geography, design composition, and visual imagery are used to develop the student's communication skills in the area of scenic design. Prerequisites: TA 111, 112, 301, 316. Recommended: TA 114 and 115.
*TA 312 Scene Painting (2)
Training to extend the student's basic skills in traditional methods and techniques of scene painting. Prerequisites: TA 111, 112. Recommended: TA 114, 115, and 316.
*TA 313 Scene Design II (3)
Basic principles of scene design for the theater. Prerequisite: TA 311.
*TA 314 Lighting Design I (3)
Practical and theoretical study of lighting the stage. Developing student awareness of how light affects objects in the theater laboratory and the crafting of intelligent lighting plots. Prerequisites: TA 112, 301, 316.
TA 316 Technical Theater Lab (2)
Laboratory course designed to allow students to further develop stagecraft skills and gain additional practice production experience. Prerequisites: TA 111, 112. Recommended: TA 114 and 115.
TA 317 Theater Technologies (2)
The study and practical application of advanced techniques and materials in all aspects of stagecraft, including drafting and drawing for the scene shop, the organization and planning of scenery construction within a production calendar, and problem solving on current department productions. Prerequisites: TA 111, 112, 316. Recommended: TA 114, 115.
TA 321 Introduction to Costume Design (4)
An introduction to the theory, techniques, and design principles of contemporary stage costumes. Prerequisites: TA 111, 301.
*TA 322U/323U History Of Dress I, II (4, 4)
Historical survey of dress in Western civilization from ancient Egyptian to modern times with emphasis on aesthetic, cultural, and political expressions of clothing. Course may be taken out of sequence. Prerequisite: upper-division standing.
TA 325 Costume Production (2)
A study and practical application of stage costume construction techniques, beginning and advanced. Students will participate in the construction of costumes for departmental productions. Recommended prerequisites: 3 credits of theater arts. Maximum 6 credits.
*TA 326 Pattern Development (1-4)
A study and practical application of the methods for creating patterns for theatrical costumes, including flat drafting, draping, and period pattern adaptation. Prerequisites: TA 325. Recommended: TA 321.
*TA 327 Costume Technology (1-4)
A study and practical application of costume craft and decorative techniques, including fabric dyeing and painting and accessories fabrication. Recommended prerequisite: TA 321.
*TA 330 Multicultural Theater (4)
Exploration of the diversity of our society through theater - comparing and contrasting the works of certain ethnic specific writers and those writers often considered to be in the mainstream of modern theater.
TA/FILM 331U Understanding Movies (4)
An advanced course in film appreciation with special emphasis on cinema as a dramatic art. Elements to be considered will include cinematography, performance, edited image, and sound. Selected films will be shown.
TA 333 Workshop Theater: Directing/Stage Management Dramaturgy (1)
Offerings include stage manager, assistant director, dramaturg, choreographer, and music direction. Participants are required to audition or interview. For PSU Theater Department productions. Information about auditions/interviews is provided on the Theatre Arts Call Board. Meeting times are arranged by the director. Most performances and rehearsals are in the evening; therefore, evening classes will usually conflict. Technical rehearsal for mainstage productions requires a full weekend technical schedule. Course is repeatable for credit.
TA 334 Workshop Theater: Scenery and Lighting Production (1)
Offerings include scene construction and painting, costume construction and crew, stage/run crews, props, sound design and crew, lighting design and crew. For PSU Theater Department productions. Meeting times depend upon the assignment for which the student is registered, and may include daytime, evening, and/or weekend. Technical rehearsal for mainstage productions requires a full weekend technical schedule. Course is repeatable for credit.
TA 335 Workshop Theater: Management/Publicity (1)
Offerings include house management, public relations, audience development, publications, educational outreach, and display. For PSU Theater Department productions. This course meets each term for one hour per week as a group, with the remaining meeting times depending upon the specific assignments for the term in question. Meeting times depend upon the assignment for which the student is registered, and may include daytime, evening, and/or weekend. Course is repeatable for credit.
TA 336 Workshop Theater: Costume Production (1)
Offerings include wardrobe crew head, wardrobe crew, makeup head/crew, wigs head/crew, assistant designer, cutter/draper, dyer, costume artisan, milliner, stitcher. For PSU Theater Department productions.
TA 340 Acting II: Scene Study (4)
Building on TA 248, course work deepens the student actor's understanding of arc, character development, commitment, rhythm of sound and language, and choices that ignite the text. Class demands commitment to intense scene work outside the classroom. Must be taken in sequence. Prerequisites: TA Major, TA 248, and by permission of instructor.
TA 341 Acting III: Classical Text (4)
Building on TA 340, and using increasingly difficult texts, this advanced class moves the actor further into technique. Language and epic style is a major focus of the work, with emphasis on such writers as Shakespeare, Moliere, Behn, and Ford. Class demands commitment to intense scene work outside the classroom. Prerequisites: TA Major; TA 248 and TA 340, and by permission of instructor.
TA 342 Advanced Acting (4)
This advanced acting class builds on past lessons and explores the way we rehearse and apply our craft. Individual acting blocks are addressed. Advanced acting problems are explored through complex texts. Must be taken in sequence. Prerequisites: TA Major; TA 341, and by permission of instructor.
TA 344 Voice for the Actor II (3)
An intermediate course in the principles of voice production for the stage, concepts and techniques for adapting the voice to various stage environments, and techniques necessary for analyzing stage speech problems and developing appropriate solutions. Prerequisite: TA 144.
*TA 345 Topics in Acting: Commedia (4)
Do you love sketch and improv-based comedy? Try it out in a low-stress workshop that traces the roots of comedy back to Renaissance Italy through an exploration of Commedia dell’Arte. This historical, yet raw-and-ridiculous form draws on familiar stock characters, improvised dialogue and physical comedy to create original scenes, much like the character driven sketch comedy that remains popular today.
*TA 346 Stage Dialects (3)
An introduction to the method and techniques of dialect production for theatrical performance, including a survey of basic American, English, and European dialects.
TA 348 Acting For The Camera (4)
An introduction to acting before the camera for film and video. Development of performance techniques for camera and interpretation of comedy and drama for television, film, and emerging technologies. Study and practice in single- and multiple-camera productions. Prerequisites: TA 102 or TA 248.
TA 350 Dance Improvisation (4)
This course is an exploration of spontaneous movement as individual and group creativity and expression, as a potential performance form and as the beginnings of choreography. Through a variety of assigned problems and scenarios, students will use movement as a means to make thought and vision visible. The course is designed to develop awareness, focus, sensitivity and personal movement vocabulary. Reading and writing about improvisation, keeping journals and giving and receiving productive feedback will be part of the class. Visits to rehearsals and live concert attendance outside of class time are a class expectation. Students should come to class dressed to move.
TA 351 Dance Composition (4)
Exploration of basic elements of dance through readings, observation and preparation of solo dance studies.
TA 352 Dance Choreography (4)
Exploring compositional devices and craft unique to group choreography. Choreographing and producing a dance in a performance setting. Recommended prerequisites: TA 350, TA 351.
TA/FILM 358 Digital Video Production II (4)
This course will introduce you to the fundamental theories of editing as well as the technology and skills required to produce a well-edited work. You will learn about the history of editing and the great developments made in this art over the last century, you will study rhythm, continuity, style, space and motion. You will conduct in-depth studies of films, television programs, documentaries, commercials, trailers, music videos, and you will look at bodies of work from established editors. You will also explore the psychology of editing, and seek to answer questions like "What makes a cut work?" and "How does an effective edit engage a viewer?" You will learn how to use editing to shape and structure moving images and sound so as to invest them with intention and meaning. Prerequisite: TA 131 or 331, Film major.
TA/FILM 359 Digital Video Production III (4)
In this course, you will take the basic skills you developed in writing, shooting and editing in DVP I and DVP II, and put them to work on a more substantial project of your own. The course will instead be built around experiential learning and your active engagement with the other students in the course. You will be presenting something in class almost every week. The main project of the course will be a 5-10 minute fictional narrative film that you will write, shoot, and edit. Unlike DVP I, which concentrated on group work, this course will take a more auteurist approach—each student will be responsible for making his or her own film. Prerequisite: TA 131 or 331, Film major.
TA/FILM 360 Digital Video Topic: Music Videos: Theory and Practice (4)
Music Videos: Theory and Practice is a hybrid studies/production course that will explore the intersection of music and the moving image. In every class period there will be screenings, and discussion of selected readings and of the works we screen. We will also workshop our own productions, including written pitches, and entire from-the-ground-up music videos. In addition to an examination of the music video marketplace and production model, we will learn how to analyze music videos, and explore the relationships between music, lyrics, image, narrative, experiment, technology, editing, and design. After a look back at early incarnations of music in film and on television, and early attempts at music video production, we will depart on an in-depth examination of MTV, of music videos, and of the use of music in visual media production.
TA/FILM 360 Digital Video Topic: Remakes: Theory and Production (4)
In this course we will explore the boundaries between art and plagiarism, between individual and institutional aesthetics, between homage and critique. Who likes remakes, and why? Why is Hollywood remaking so many films and TV series each year? Is it a symptom of a copycat culture devoid of new ideas, nostalgic for a mythic lost era in cinema, or a sign of a new postmodern thinking about what constitutes "New Material?" Can we create new connections with our audiences and with other filmmakers through the repetition of shared narratives? What cache does a film from the 1950s, the 1970s, the 1980s carry for a viewer in 2012? What is the relationship between a remake and an audience's collective memory? Is there learning value in the attempt to replicate something made? How is a film remake like a cover of a song? Why would a filmmaker do a shot-for-shot remake of another film? In this class, we will explore these questions through major production assignments, as well as in readings, discussions, screenings, and presentations.
TA/FILM 360 Sound Design for Film (4)
In this class, we will explore the power of sound to direct, shape and alter the meaning of cinematic images. Through in-class screenings, we will analyze narrative films of all kinds, examining audiovisual relationships and their physiological, emotional and conceptual impacts on the viewer. Through creative projects, we will build fundamental strategies for applying sound design to narrative, including sound effects, foley, voice-over and music. We will strengthen the technical skills of editing, manipulating and placing sounds while searching for creative solutions and unexpected choices.
TA/FILM 360 VFX After Effects (4)
This class focuses on fundamentals of visual effects and motion graphics, and an exposure to some of the theory, language, techniques and workflows involved in commercial, TV and Feature Film VFX production. Learning with Adobe After Effects, this class is a natural progression for students who are interested in graphic design, Photoshop image manipulation, video editing and digital film production. By following in class demos, we'll expand your imagination to beyond what can be seen with only a camera. And we'll take time out to learn how to digitally fix common student production mistakes, too!
TA 361 Theater Appreciation (4)
An intermediate course in the art of the theater: acting; directing; playwriting; scenic, costume, and lighting design. Emphasis is placed on theater as a performing art today rather than upon the history or origins of the theater. The class, in part, involved attendance at live performances and events in the Portland area.
TA 362 Contemporary Dance History - 1920 to the Present (4)
Historical foundations for the development of current dance forms studied through lectures, videos, readings and attendance at dance performances and events.
TA/FILM 365 Classic Movies (4)
An advanced study and analysis of representative films with special emphasis on the importance of directorial concept and the screenplay. Relationships between theater and film will be discussed.
TA 366U Dance in Film: Early Years (4)
Focus on the Hollywood musical genre, early years of film to 40's, including choreographers, performers, dance styles, what role the dance serves in the films, what defines the genre and how it developed, the social cultural connections, industry practices, dance history - popular trends to modern dance. Also cultural context, concurrent historical events, social trends, innovations, politics.
TA 367U Dance in Film: 40s (4)
Focus on dance in popular film, 1948 to present, including choreographers, performers, dance styles, role dance serves in the films, social cultural connections, dance history - popular trends to modern dance. Will consider cultural context --concurrent historical events, social trends, innovations, politics.
*TA 369 Women, Theater, and Society (4)
An examination of ways in which women and sexuality have been represented in Western theatrical production since the Greeks. Selected topics will be analyzed relating to feminist theories to the creation of the theater arts by women, with consideration of cultural contexts in which they work. Study of artistic practice by women in relation to issues of power, representation, and access. Prerequisite: upper-division standing.
TA/FILM 370U Topics: Theater, Media, and Culture (4)
Study of a variety of dramaturgical, cultural, and historical issues as they appear in film, television, and other theatrical media. From quarter to quarter topics might include: 70's Film and TV Renaissance, '50's Media and Culture, Vietnam on Film, and Hitchcock.
TA/FILM 370U The American Acting Style: Brando, Newman, De Niro (4)
An exploration of post-World War II American movie acting, with an emphasis on the Method Actors Marlon Brando, Paul Newman and Robert De Niro. We will acquaint ourselves with the theories of Method Acting and examine the ways in which these three icons of the screen embodied, molded and advanced the technique in their roles in such films as "On the Waterfront," "The Hustler," "The Godfather," "Taxi Driver," "The Verdict" and "Raging Bull."
*TA/FILM 370U American Film Acting (4)
American Film Acting is a historical and stylistic examination of performance in American movies from the silent (speechless) era to the present. Will consider key historical developments in terms of changes in the approaches to screen acting and the evolution of an aesthetic both for receiving and interpreting filmed performances. Course will focus on selected actors from different eras and compare several approaches to on-screen performance. Illustrative films and film clips to be viewed in class.
*TA/FILM 370U American Independent Film of the 1980s (4)
Many of the most acclaimed filmmakers of the past thirty years began with independent films made in the U.S. in the 1980s, including the Coen Brothers (Blood Simple), Gus Van Sant (Drugstore Cowboy), Allison Anders (Border Radio), Spike Lee (She's Gotta Have It), and Jim Jarmusch (Stranger Than Paradise). This course examines the aesthetic achievements of this period through a combination of screenings and readings.
*TA/FILM 370U The Animated Feature (4)
This study takes an international perspective on feature-length animation, exploring the works and methods of studios including Disney, Studio Ghibli and Laika, as well as the work of individuals including Donald Bluth, Marjane Satrami, Richard Linklater, and Sylvain Chomet. We'll look at examples of traditional cell animation, stop motion, and computer animation. Students will have the opportunity to investigate particular films, artists or studios of their choosing.
*TA/FILM 370U Blacklist Era Films (4)
The late 1940s and the 50s saw a movement that began in response to the rise of the Soviet Union's power, but transformed into virulent investigations of writers, directors and actors in film and television. This course profiles many of the creative individuals who were blacklisted from employment in their field; it explores the impact the years of Congressional investigations had on those artists and on American entertainment. Most films screened will be products of the era, supplemented by a few more recent films that look back at the time.
*TA/FILM 370U Bodies in Motion: From Kino-Attractography to Silent Cinema (4)
This course considers how early film and pre-cinematic amusements and image-producing technologies, such as x-ray machines and series photography, captured the human body in motion, influencing how it was represented and understood in mass culture and early film and cinema. Among other topics, we may consider Muybridge and Marey's photographic motion studies to examind the relationship between still and motion pictures, study how early film was theorized in relation to the human body in American public discourse, and examine the rise of the Hollywood star system in the 1920s as it was accentuated by film styles and narratives that highlighted how bodies move and may be represented via such formal devices as the close-up and the long shot. If you were enchanged by The Artist (2011) or Hugo (2011), this class will augment the magic of those films by illuminating the historic and poetic conditions Scorsese and Hazanavicius tapped into their recent films.
TA/FILM 370U Cinema Sound (4)
Though often defined as a visual medium, the cinema has always depended, in one form or another, on sound. This course examines various aspects of film sound from a historical and theoretical perspective. The class will be divided into four topical clusters: (1) sound theory and analysis; (2) the sound "crisis" of the late 1920s/early 1930s; (3) film music; and (4) the emergence of the "sound designer" in the 1970s. Individual and group exercises in close listening will help us to hone our critical ear, so that we can appreciate the numerous ways in which sound subtly (but often decisively) mediates our reception of moving images. We'll also use our screening time to develop our thinking about sound. Rather than screening films that simply illustrate particular moments in the history of cinema sound, we'll watch (and listen to) films that take sound and/or sound technology as their subject. Potential films to be screened include, M (Fritz Lang, 1931), The Invisible Man (James Whale, 1933), Singin' in the Rain (Stanley Donen/Gene Kelly, 1952), The Conversation (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974), Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989), as well as more recent films such as Berberian Sound Studio (Peter Strickland, 2012) and Upstream Color (Shane Carruth, 2013).
*TA/FILM 370U The Classical Western (4)
This course offers a rigorous overview of the filmed Western, at one time one of the most popular cinematic and televisual genres in North America, from its origins to 1960. Topics including the vanishing frontier; law, order, and justice; nationalist expansion; individualism; natural environments; and racial and gender conflict, will guide our discussion of films such as The Great Train Robbery, The Massacre, Destry Rides Again, Stagecoach, My Darling Clementine, High Noon, Shane, and Johnny Guitar.
*TA/FILM 370U The Coen Brothers (4)
Ever since Time magazine heralded Blood Simple as "a debut film as scarifyingly assured as any since Orson Welles['s Citizen Kane]," the Coen Brothers have been at the vanguard of American filmmaking. This course will utilize the techniques of formal film analysis to examine the Coen's cinematic signature(s), including recurring stylistic tropes, thematic interests, and reconfigurations of film genres. Readings will be assigned to offer a broader scope and historical contexts. Film screenings will include: Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, The Hudsucker Proxy, and Fargo, as well as several others.
*TA/FILM 370U Eighties Horror Cinema (4)
This course reads the pivotal decade of the 1980s through the horror films that it produced, reflecting not only real-life social anxieties but significant changes in the film industry itself. These changes included the rise of the “slasher” film, an increased emphasis on special effects along with bigger budgets, a nostalgic yearning for the 1950s, and a short-lived flirtation with 3-D, among others. Class screenings, readings, and discussions provide an overview of 1980s horror cinema and key developments in the genre. Tentative films include An American Werewolf in London (1981), Creepshow (1982), A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), the black comedy Parents (1989), among others.
*TA/FILM 370U European Directors (4)
This course examines the innovative and influential European cinema of the 1950s through the 1970s by focusing on the work of three exemplary directors, on a rotating basis. Directors may include: Jean-Luc Godard, Federico Fellini, Francois Truffaut, Ingmar Bergman, Wim Wenders, Alain Resnais, and Luis Bunuel.
*TA/FILM 370U The Fifties (4)
Why the fifties? It was an era of extremes and excess, a time of unsettled cultural values, a time when the nation's media landscape shifted irreversibly. This course will look at a pivotal era in American film, radio, and television as they were influenced by and influenced the culture.
*TA/FILM 370U Film and Fashion (4)
This course explores the relationship between film and fashion. The cinema emerged as a popular entertainment at about the same time that “fashion” became associated with broader accessibility through mass-production; and the two industries have been deeply intertwined ever since. We will examine some of the ways that film and fashion have worked together (economically, aesthetically and ideologically) to produce, reflect and challenge ideals related, for example, to modernity, self-transformation and consumer culture, as well as how these institutions have both troubled and reinforced (often simultaneously) dominant formations of gender, race, class, and sexuality.
*TA/FILM 370U Film Genres in Context (4)
This course offers an in-depth study of Hollywood film genres in the contexts of American culture, the film industry, and film criticism. Basing our study on two of the oldest genres, the western and the romantic comedy, we will also consider some of the practices among filmmakers and filmgoers that keep genres alive, including spin-offs, parodies, shadows and transformations.
*TA/FILM 370U Film Noir 1940 to 1960 (4)
This course examines film noir from the twenty-year period considered to be the classic or first wave of film noir in the United States. Although critics, scholars, filmmakers and audiences have not developed a consensus about term film noir, we will consider it in relation to genre, ideology, aesthetics, and the representation of social difference. We will also investigate several recurring themes: suspicion of legal authority, the intersection of sexuality and violence, and the social displacement of individuals marked as other. Films shown for the course might include The Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity, The Killers, The Night of the Hunter, Gun Crazy, In a Lonely Place, and Touch of Evil.
*TA/FILM 370U Film Noir from 1960 (4)
This course examines film noir and neo-noir as concepts that, after the studio era, are referenced explicitly by filmmakers and audiences. We will consider film noir in relation to genre, ideology, aesthetics, and the representation of social difference in the post-studio era. Our study will include several recurring themes: suspicion of legal authority; the intersection of gender, sexuality, and violence; and the social displacement of individuals marked as "other" by notions of race, ethnicity, and region. Films shown for the course might include The Long Goodbye, Chinatown, Blue Velvet, The Grifters, L.A. Confidential, Devil in a Blue Dress, The Man Who Wasn't There, Memento, and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.
*TA/FILM 370U Film Stardom (Stars, Celebrity, and Cultural Meaning) (4)
What makes a star? Why are stars important to us? Why do directors choose one star over another for a given role? This course explores the textual, psychological and social significance of stars in popular culture. Students will develop a case study of a star of celebrity of their choosing.
*TA/FILM 370U The Gangster Film (4)
This course offers an in-depth study of the film genre in the contexts of American culture, the film industry, and film criticism. We will also consider some of the practices among filmmakers and filmgoers that keep genres alive, including spin-offs, parodies, shadows and transformations.
*TA/FILM 370U Gangster Films and Musicals (We're in the Money!) (4)
Moviegoers may claim they prefer "realistic" movies, but the fact is many of the most popular movies of all time have been unlike any reality most of us know. This course will focus on two Hollywood genres that pull us into very different worlds - one the dark, violent world of the gangster, the other a utopia of music and dance.
TA/FILM 370U High School Movie (4)
"Neomaxizoomdweebie: from the movie The Breakfast Club. It means the same thing as a loser, dork, or dweeb; except it's to the millionth power." (Urban Dictionary) Drawing upon texts such as William Paul's analysis of "Sexual Politics" in Fast Times At Ridgemont High, Robin Wood's examination of "Teen Films," and Joseph Reed's overview of the genre in his chapter "Let's Burn the School: The High School Picture" from his book American Scenarios: The Uses of Film Genre, this course will examine some of the recurring spaces, tropes, iconography, and power dynamics of The High School Movie. Films to be screened and/or discussed might include: Over The Edge, Fast Times At Ridgemont High, Heathers, and Superbad.
TA/FILM 370U History of Documentary (4)
This course will introduce students to documentary history, theory, criticism and practice. Through screenings and classroom discussions we will review and analyze the evolution of the documentary genre and the varieties of approaches adopted by non-fiction filmmakers. We will study the various films focusing on diverse political, economic, cultural, social, and historical subjects. What are the techniques and tools of documentary expression? Are documentaries art? Propaganda? This course challenges students to develop a critical eye, and to deepen their appreciation of the documentary vision. We will also look at the modes or styles that have evolved over the years: including expository, observational, interactive and reflective. We'll also explore a number of other important areas that are central in documentary filmmaking, including ethical and legal questions and the importance of deep and thorough research.
TA/FILM 370U Hollywood Blockbuster (4)
This course examines the "blockbuster" as produced by U.S. studios after 1975, investigating how, in the last forty years, even the most crowd-pleasing hits actually represented significant changes in filmmaking. We’ll consider the development of the "summer blockbuster" and such innovations as shifts in seasonal release patterns, merchandising, and the ratings classification system along with the rise of CGI and found footage in the 1990s before looking at more recent developments. Tentative films include Jaws (1975), Star Wars (1977), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), Batman (1989), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), and The Blair Witch Project (1999), among others
*TA/FILM 370U Martin Scorsese (4)
One of the most influential American filmmakers of the past forty years, Martin Scorsese combines explosive cinematic technique with a recurring set of thematic concerns, including obsession and redemption. This course will examine a selection of representative films directed by Martin Scorsese, including Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, and Raging Bull, as well as formative influences such as Italian Neo-Realism and John Cassavetes.
*TA/FILM 370U Mockumentary (4)
Our historical-conventional understanding of documentary forms is that such modes present us with true, factual, and nonfictional narrative content. What happens then if the cinematic and the televisual formats that we associate with documentaries are used to present us with fake, phony, and fictional material? This course explores questions and concepts related to the Mockumentary (a.k.a. fake documentary, mock-doc) through readings, discussion, and screenings of films and television programs such as the films of Christopher Guest including This is Spinal Tap, Forgotten Silver, Reno 911!, True Stories, The Watermelon Woman, F is for Fake, and The Office.
*TA/FILM 370U The Musical (4)
This course offers an in-depth study of the film genre in the contexts of American culture, the film industry, and film criticism. We will also consider some of the practices among filmmakers and filmgoers that keep genres alive, including spin-offs, parodies, shadows and transformations.
*TA/FILM 370U Narrative Strategies: How Stories are Told on Film (4)
This course looks at the nuts and bolts of cinematic storytelling. Concentrating on films made in the past 30 years, we will examine the visual and structural strategies of classical storytelling and how they have been tweaked, revamped and reconsidered in recent cinema, in keeping with changes in the culture, the film industry and new technologies. The class will trace at least one film (Adaptation) from shooting script to finished film. Film makers are encouraged to share their projects for discussion.
*TA/FILM 370U New Wave Cinemas (4)
In this course we examine key elements, themes and problems associated with the New Wave movement. The late 1950s/early 1960s saw the emergence of several groups of young, movie-obsessed, iconoclastic artists and critics who made conscious efforts to develop a new film aesthetic – one that rejected what they saw as the pretension and sentimentality of mainstream cinema. We will become familiar with the most famous of these movements, the French New Wave (La Nouvelle Vague), and with contemporaneous movements in Japan and Czechoslovakia. This transnational perspective will help us to understand how and why some themes became relevant in multiple contexts, and also how geo-political and cultural differences resulted in varied treatments of similar issues. “New Wave” has continued to be used as a blanket term to describe film aesthetics concerned with upsetting the status quo. We’ll conclude by looking at how the New Wave phenomenon continued as an influence in the late 20th century, and use it to question some of the ways scholars have studied and categorized film history.
*TA/FILM 370U The Road Movie (4)
From Woody Guthrie's populist folk ballads to Jack Kerouac's rambling Beat journeys, the road has occupied a central place in the twentieth century American cultural imagination. In the late 1960s, Easy Rider combined the Western, B-Biker Movie, and Beat sensibilities to form the quintessential Road Movie. This course will examine The Road Movie genre from Easy Rider through Wim Wenders's meditative Road Movies of the 1970s through revisionist films of the 1980s and 1990s such as Powwow Highway, Thelma & Louise, and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, which foreground issues of race, gender, and sexuality. Stylistic, formal, and thematic hallmarks of the genre will be covered, including the quest narrative, countercultural ideology, and "mobility" in terms of both camera and character.
*TA/FILM 370U Romantic Comedy/Romantic Drama (4)
Film audiences may have turned away from the romantic comedy, preferring instead romantic movies with more of an edge. This course will consider the romantic comedy at its best, as well as the genre's shadows, transformations, and TV interpretations that may have more resonance with contemporary audiences. A few classic comedies (such as It Happened One Night and His Girl Friday) will set the stage for later works, including teen pics (from Sixteen Candles to Scream), romance tinged with melodrama (Sleepless in Seattle and Moonstruck), and black comedies by the likes of Scorsese and Lynch (After Hours and Wild at Heart).
*TA/FILM 370U Serial Killer Genre (4)
An introductory course studying films according to their genres and common themes. Students will analyze how the recently developed genre of Serial Killer films has evolved over time and how American culture is reflected in that evolution.
*TA/FILM 370U The 70s Film/TV Renaissance (4)
This course offers an in-depth study of Hollywood film genres in the contexts of American culture, the film industry, and film criticism. Basing our study on two of the oldest genres, the western and the romantic comedy, we will also consider some of the generic spin-offs, shadows and transformations of these genres and the discursive practices that keep them alive.
*TA/FILM 370U Shakespeare on Film (4)
Shakespeare's name, plays, poetry, and image are a hot cultural commodity with name recognition to die for. How has this sixteenth century playwright survived for so long? Are his works truly universal and timeless? This course will focus upon Shakespeare as culture icon and how and why popular film culture has appropriated his image and spun his stories into box-office gold.
*TA/FILM 370U Supernatural Horror Films, 1970s - Present (4)
Horror cinema has long been haunted by movies in which troubled families move into homes already occupied by ghosts, demons, and other supernatural forces. Focusing on the "supernatural family horror" sub-genre of the 1970s and 80s and its resurrection in the past decade, we will use ghosts and other "things that go bump in the night" to unlock the mystery of why supernatural horror remains so popular with moviegoers.
*TA/FILM 370U Warner Brothers Films (4)
To explore the creative and corporate practices as well as the cultural legacy of the American film industry, this course will focus on Warner Bros. as a case study. By examining the executives, stars, directors, screenwriters and narrative strategies in key productions, we will trace the studio's evolution into the multimedia force it is today. Our focus will range from The Maltese Falcon to Million Dollar Baby as well as animated shorts, television series, music and new media.
*TA/FILM 370 The Western since 1960 ("Back in the Saddle Again") (4)
While the Western has not maintained the popularity it once had during Hollywood's studio era, production of the genre has never ceased in the United States. In this course, we will consider Westerns produced since 1960 as we discuss revisions of the genre as well as "returns" to the genre's classical roots; the internationalization of the genre; nationalist expansion; and racial and gender conflict in films including examples of the "spaghetti" Western, The Wild Bunch, MacCabe and Mrs. Miller, Blazing Saddles, and Unforgiven.
*TA/FILM 370U Woody Allen (4)
Woody Allen is a filmmaker. He's also a jazz musician, playwright, comedian, philosopher, artist, author and nebbish. Despite his recent work in cities like London, Rome, Paris, and Barcelona, he is the filmmaker who will perhaps historically be most closely tied to New York City. In many ways, Allen's films are New York "they're fast, funny, complicated, paranoid, narcissistic, romantic, moving, and they never stop coming at you". For most of his career, Allen has worked on a one-film-a-year schedule. Even at the age of 77, he continues that pace: his 45th film, Blue Jasmine, was released this past summer. Roger Ebert described Allen as a "treasure of the cinema." And he is. One of the most prolific and influential filmmakers in history, Allen has provoked extensive critical inquiry; created his own subgenre of neurotic urban comedy, inspiring thousands of filmmakers who've come after him; and managed to remain relevant into his sixth decade of filmmaking, when most directors struggle to retain success after one or two films. Midnight in Paris, released in 2011, was the biggest hit of Allen's career, grossing over 150 million dollars. With that film, he also became the only screenwriter in history to win an Oscar in three different decades. In this course, we will examine as many facets of Allen's filmmaking as we can in our quick ten-week term. We will look at Allen's writing style; the nature of his comedy; his debt to his heroes, Bergman and Fellini; his relationship with New York; his feelings about art and filmmaking; his controversial personal life and the scandal that plagued him for much of the 1990s; the autobiographical aspects of his work; and the recurring philosophies and themes in his films.
TA/FILM 374 Topics in Screenwriting (4)
Repeatable course in screenwriting involving short and long form screenplays, the analysis of narrative structure for the screen, and the practical application screenwriting techniques. Prerequisites: TA 131 OR TA 331. Admitted film majors only.
TA/FILM 374 Topics in Screenwriting: Screenwriting Workshop (4)
This course will take the form of a traditional writing workshop, with a focus on the feature film screenplay. Previous screenwriting experience or classwork is assumed, as we will not spend considerable time exploring screenwriting theory. If you are concerned about your level of experience, please see the professor before registration. Screenwriting is among the only types of writing that is ultimately never meant to be read by any level of mass audience. That is, you are composing texts that are intended to be realized in a non-literary medium—one grounded in audiovisual dimensions. The challenges of that undertaking will form the core focus of our workshops—issues such as story structure, dialogue, theme, voice, format, character development, action, setting, and descriptive writing. The main project in this course will be the first part of a feature film screenplay that you develop and write over the course of the term. As part of that process, you will have pitched your screenplay in class, written a proposal, directed a staged reading, and of course workshopped your script with your classmates. Prerequisites: TA 131 OR TA 331. Admitted film majors only.
TA/FILM 374 Topics in Screenwriting: TV Script Analysis: Writing in Different Genres (4)
Any one wanting a career as a TV writer, or wanting a look behind the scenes, must understand how to write in the voice of any show. In this class, students will examine several top TV shows such as Breaking Bad through the lens of a staff writer. Each week we will read, watch, discuss and analyze an hour TV show. Students will then write in the voice of that show. Prerequisites: TA 131 OR TA 331. Admitted film majors only.
TA/FILM 374 Topics in Screenwriting: Writing the TV Spec Script (4)
Aspiring and experienced TV writers use spec scripts as calling cards to attract agents and get on a writing staff. Students in this course will work on a spec script, either of original material or based on an existing show. Prerequisites: TA 131 OR TA 331. Admitted film majors only. By permission of instructor.
TA/FILM 381 Film History I (1894 to WWII) (4)
In this course, the first of a three-part survey of the history of narrative film, we will look at the evolution of film language from the silent era to the introduction of sound; how the influences of a broad range of cinematic art movements, including Expressionism, Impressionism, Surrealism and Poetic Realism, contributed to the classical Hollywood style. We will also examine the artistic, economic and technological forces that led to the Hollywood studio system and the popularity of genres such as the western, the musical and the gangster film. Discussions, readings and short assignments will exercise students' abilities to think, speak and write critically about films and their historical context. Co-requisite: TA 381L Film History I Lab (Zero Credits.)
TA/FILM 382 Film History II: Cinema and Modernism (1946-1970's) (4)
In this course, the second of a three-part survey of the history of narrative film, we will look at the major artistic, economic and technological trends of motion picture production during the post-war era; how directors such as Hitchcock and Welles were able find a unique expression within the parameters of the classical style and the commercial pressures of the studios. We will also explore how world cinema movements, such as neo-realism and the new wave, presented aesthetic and political challenges to the Hollywood model. Discussions, readings and short assignments will exercise students' abilities to think, speak and write critically about films and their historical context. Co-requisite: TA 382L Film History I Lab (Zero Credits.)
TA/FILM 383 Film History III: Contemporary World Cinema (1970'S - PRESENT) (4)
In this course, the third of a three-part survey of the history of narrative film, we will look at contemporary world film production from the struggles of an independent and avant-garde cinema to the CGI effects of today's blockbuster. We will also examine how world cinema production has adapted to new digital technologies and the demands of a global market. Discussions, readings and short assignments will exercise students' abilities to think, speak and write critically about films and their historical context. Co-requisite: TA 383L Film History I Lab (Zero Credits.)
TA/FILM 384/5 American Cinema and Culture I, II (4)
American Cinema/American Culture constitutes an examination of the American film industry as an art form, as an industry, and as a system of representation and communication within the context of American popular culture.
TA 393 Dance Laboratory: Modern (2)
Intermediate modern dance technique, emphasis on body alignment, strength, flexibility and development of intermediate level technical skills. Maximum: 12 credits
TA 396 Dance Laboratory: Ballet (2)
Intermediate level ballet technique. Emphasis on execution and application of all basic ballet vocabulary and on alignment and skill development. Pre-requisite: low-intermediate technique required. Maximum: 12 credits.
TA 397 Dance Laboratory: Jazz (2)
Intermediate laboratory in jazz dance technique emphasizing body alignment, contraction, and isolation technique of Latin, West Indian, and American rhythms. Maximum: 12 credits.
TA 399 SPST: Computer-Aided Design for Theater and Film (4)
A studio exploration of 2D and 3D design presentation techniques using industry standard software. Students will explore different methods of working in a hybrid 2D/3D environment. Topics covered will include: basic file structure and setup, importing and exporting, basic 2D and 3D drawing tools, modeling, rendering and presentation methods. Each of several projects will begin with a blank page and end with a rendered 3D model. Recommended: A personal computer (Mac or PC) to load a free student copy of the software for work outside of the computer lab; familiarity with the Mac OS. Open to non-majors with instructor’s consent or departmental approval.
*TA 399 Envisioning a Life in the Theatre (4)
This course exposes the student actor to the wide range of 'lives' possible for the American actor. Often we cannot develop a plan to succeed because we do not have the knowledge. In this course, we will explore: the life of a freelance actor based in mid and large-sized cities, life as an actor in smaller towns, founding a company, using theatre as a tool for social work, developing a vision, and developing a five and ten year action plan to fulfill that vision. Once a vision is in place, focus shifts to research, identifying obstacles, and problem-solving to reach goals. We will develop the actors' calling card: the head-shot/resume/audition, we will found theatre companies, found an outreach program, we will interview actors leading diverse lives, we will examine the roles of agents and casting people, and uncover the possibilities for living and working as an actor. Journal writing and engaging projects will mark our progression. By the end of this course, the student actor will have a stronger vision for their artistic life, and the tools to enact that vision. This course is collaborative in nature and invites only committed actors to enroll. Pre-requisites: TA major, TA248
*TA 399 SPST: How 2 B Funny (3)
An introduction to the world of comedy performance. Class will highlight 2 forms of comedy, sketch, and stand-up, with equal emphasis on performance and writing.
TA 399 SPST: Intro to Design (4)
A basic course introducing the four primary fields of theatrical design - scenery, costumes, lighting and sound. Emphasis will be placed on analysis, research, and the exploration of design ideas for each of the four areas. Students will not be expected to have strong technical skills at this level. Rather, they will need to be open to the exploration of ideas and how ideas are formed in a theatrical production. Basic artistic skills and techniques will be introduced to assist students in developing the skills required to communicate design.
TA 399 SPST Mainstage Production (1-4)
Students registered in this course have been cast in the upcoming mainstage production, and/or have been selected to be members of the artistic team, for example stage manager, assistant director, rehearsal secretary, designer, choreographer, rehearsal pianist, etc.
*TA 399 SPST: Movement Performance (4)
This class is an extension of Movement for the Actor TA 147 but may be taken by anyone with an interest in performance experience. The class will consist of a series of rehearsals culminating in a final class project: a weekend of performances in the Studio Theater (LH 115) in Lincoln Hall. The pieces(s) to be performed will be determined in the first few weeks of the session. The remaining classes will be absorbed in the production process. The performances created for this class will be largely original and definitely movement-based. The may incorporate music, stylized choreography, mime, manipulation of odd props, mask. Students are not limited to a nonverbal approach and script may be used. This course satisfies both the Fine Arts requirement and the requirement for upper division credits.
*TA SPST: 399 Staged Combat (3)
Exploration of concepts & techniques related to both armed & unarmed combat for the stage. REV: A participatory studio course that explores concepts and techniques related to both armed and unarmed staged combat for the purposes of stage and camera acting.
*TA 399 SPST: Auditioning (3)
Exploration of various approaches to auditioning for stage roles. Development of audition skills and techniques, including relaxation, self-presentation, cold readings, prepared monologues, and scenes.
TA 399 SPST Dance Performance Lab (4)
This course counts as an elective for the dance minor. Collaboratively designed performance piece including: choreography, text, sound, lighting, sets, costume and props. Students will work with the instructor to create and perform an original movement/ performance piece. Students interested in choreography, performance, music composition, set, costume or prop design and lighting for dance are welcome to enroll. The work will be performed at the end of spring term in the Studio Theater in Lincoln Hall.
TA 4/508 WKSP:Directing Actors for the Camera (4)
A practicum for developing and honing directing skills to work quickly, efficiently and effectively with actors under the pressures of film and media production and without extended rehearsal. Prerequisites: TA 248, TA 454, and/or TA 341.
TA/FILM 4/508 Documentary Field Production I, II, III (4, 4, 4)
Through a combination of lecture, film screenings and hands-on demonstrations, this course will familiarize students with the basics of producing, shooting and editing for documentary production. A major function of this class will be an emphasis on improving your storytelling skills and creative decision-making. This course will familiarize you with how to conceptualize and develop a television documentary. More specifically, the course will be divided into three major components: The Idea, Planning Your Production and Writing and Presenting Your Proposal. Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.
*TA/FILM 4/508 Creating a Web Series for New Media (4)
One of the most exciting new areas of media production is a new version of an old idea: a TV series--but for the web. All over YouTube, original, fictional programming is being created for a new audience--in episodes of under seven minutes each! In this course, students will create their own web series, write episodes, discuss production techniques (including the SAG/AFTRA new media contracts) shoot some scenes!
TA/FILM 4/508 Introduction to Documentary Video Production (4)
This is an introductory level course in video production for both broadcast and non broadcast applications. This course is designed for beginners or more experienced students needing a refresher course. Students will gain hands-on production experience using digital video with an emphasis on shooting, lighting, sound and basic editing techniques. It is designed to prepare you for the continuing series of documentary production classes where you will be working on personal and group projects with the ultimate goal of providing a broadcast quality story.
*TA 4/508, 099 Suzuki Acting & Performing Original Noh & Kyogen Plays in English (4)
Students will learn basic movements and voice conventions of Japan's Suzuki acting method, Noh & Kyogen drama and develop new vocabularies to present an original Japanese/Russian/English fusion Noh play: The Dark Man, about Russia's beloved and tragic poet, Sergei Esenin. The fusion Kyogen play to be performed is "Laundry River", based on a medieval French farce.
*TA 4/514 History of Decor (4)
A historical survey of period decor focusing on furniture and interior architectural detail from Egyptian to modern times with emphasis on periods most commonly used in theater production. Recommended prerequisite: 6 credits of theater arts.
*TA 4/521 Costume Design (4)
An in-depth study of costume design principles. Emphasis is placed on the design of costumes for specific plays, using a variety of styles and rendering media. Prerequisite: TA 321. Recommended: TA 325.
*TA 4/530 Scene Design III (4)
Advanced study of scenic design problems and concept development. Maximum 6 credits. Prerequisite: TA 313.
*TA 435/535 Lighting Design II (3)
Advanced lighting design skills and techniques involving the practical application of script analysis and collaborative techniques while working in the department's Studio Theater lighting student-directed, one-act plays and/or participating in departmental stage productions. Prerequisite: TA 111, 301, 316.
*TA 440/540 Advanced Acting Studio (1-4)
Advanced studio work focusing on rehearsal technique, style, preparation, developing material, and working with diverse environments, all leading to a public performance. May be replicated for a total of 12 credit hours. Prerequisites: TA Major; TA 342, by audition/interview and permission of instructor.
TA 454/554 Directing I (4)
Study and practice in play analysis and directing of scenes. Prerequisites: TA 111, 112, 248, 301. Recommended: TA 311, 321.
TA 455/555 Directing II (4)
Advanced practice in analysis and directing of plays for public performance. Prerequisites: TA 111, 112, 316, 248, 454. Recommended: TA 114, 115.
*TA 460/560 Advanced Directing (3)
Specific problems in directorial methods and styles for presentation in public performance. Prerequisite: TA 455 or equivalent experience.
TA 464/564, 465/565 Development of Dramatic Art (4, 4)
Survey of dramatic literature and theater history from ancient times to the emergence of the modern theater in the 19th century. The course is chronological in its presentation but each term may be taken separately. Prerequisite: upper-division standing.
TA 467/567, 468/568 Modern Theater I, II (4, 4)
A consideration of theater and drama from the late 19th and early 20th century to the present. Representative plays chosen from continental European, English, Irish, and American repertories. Examination of key directors and trends in staging. Course may be taken out of sequence. Prerequisite: upper-division standing.
*TA 469 Women, Theater, and Society (4)
An examination of ways in which women and sexuality have been represented in Western theatrical production since the Greeks. Selected topics will be analyzed relating to feminist theories to the creation of the theater arts by women, with consideration of cultural contexts in which they work. Study of artistic practice by women in relation to issues of power, representation, and access. Prerequisite: upper-division standing.
TA 471/571 Theater History: Periods and Topics (4)
Concentrated study of a particular period and/or topic in theater history: for example, Ancient Greek Theater and Drama, Medieval and Renaissance Theater, Restoration/18th Century Drama, American Theater and Drama, Theater and Science, Irish Cinema/Irish Drama, and Theatrical Expressionism. Recommended prerequisite: TA 464 and 465 or appropriate sophomore inquiry course.
*TA 471/571 THH: Irish Cinema and Drama (4)
Concentrated study of significant developments in modern Irish cinema and drama. In addition to viewing contemporary films by directors like Pat O'Connor (Cal), Neil Jordan (The Crying Game), and Jim Sheridan (The Boxer), students will examine plays by Sean O'Casey (Juno and the Paycock), John B. Keane (The Field), and Brian Friel (Philadelphia, Here I Come) along with the film adaptations made from them. Special attention will be paid both to the challenges involved in adapting narrative fiction to film and to the complex dialectic that exists between dramatic text, theatrical production, and cinematic adaptation. Recommended prerequisite: TA 464 and 465 or appropriate sophomore inquiry course.
*TA 471/571 THH: American Theatre and Drama (4)
American Theatre/Drama: Beginning with with Susan Glaspell and Eugene O'Neill, the class studies a wide range of playwrights, who reflect the rich diversity of twentieth- and twenty-first-century American drama. Also examined are historically significant theatre companies like the Provincetown Players, the Group Theatre, and the Federal Theater. Recommended prerequisite: TA 464 and 465 or appropriate sophomore inquiry course.
*TA 471/571 THH: Ancient Greek Theatre (4)
This class explores the drama and theatre conditions of Ancient Greece—emphasizing the Classical Age but also examining the Hellenistic Period. The tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, as well as the comedies of Aristophanes and Menander will be studied. Recommended prerequisite: upper-division standing.
*TA 471/571 THH: Elizabethan-Jacobean Revenge Dramas (4)
Revenge – a primordial thirst for inflicting harm for a wrong suffered — was rampant in English Renaissance drama. What prompted the “eye for an eye” desire for revenge in this Christian culture and how was it expressed through theater? We will focus on Elizabethan – Jacobean Revenge Tragedies in order to mine the cultural meanings of revenge during this period in history. We will explore the nature of justice, economic inequality, the law, and punishment in a range of texts including Kyd, Middleton, Beaumont and Fletcher, Webster, and Shakespeare. Course work will emphasize several critical skills: close reading of selected dramatic texts, understanding the plays as drama, and analyzing the texts within their historical and cultural contexts. Recommended prerequisite: upper-division standing.
*TA 471/571 THH: Theatre and Science; 19th Century European Theatre (4)
This class explores how developments in theatre practice and drama paralleled larger shifts in nineteenth-century culture. We will consider a number of significant playwrights and theatre practitioners in terms of how they sought to give form to a theatre for the "scientific age." Recommended prerequisite: TA 464 and 465 or appropriate sophomore inquiry course.
*TA 471/571 THH: Medieval and Renaissance Theater (4)
In this course we will focus on Saxon, Italian and English Renaissance and Spanish Golden Age drama. We will concentrate on several important dramatists of these time periods: Hrotsvitha, the Cycle playwrights, Machiavelli, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Calderón de la Barca and Cervantes. We will also study other lesser known plays that provide important background for understanding the drama or that raise interesting critical issues. Class work will emphasize several critical skills: close reading of selected dramatic texts, understanding the plays as drama, and placing these texts within their historical and cultural contexts. Recommended prerequisite: upper-division standing.
TA 472/572 Theater History: Major Figures (4)
Concentrated study of the contribution of one of more major theater artists: for example, Ibsen, Stanislavsky, Appia, Brecht, and Artaud. Recommended prerequisite: upper-division standing. Prerequisite: upper-division standing.
*TA 472/572 THH: Craig/Appia (4)
The purpose of this course is too gain an understanding of the two monumental figures of theatre history, Gordon Craig and Adolph Appia, and the effect they have had on not only the theatre of their time but also the Theatre, as we know it today. In classroom discussions we will view the world of the Theatre at different time periods: late 1800's, 1895-1930, and today's modern theatre. We will see that both Appia and Craig were much more than just stage designers. Their theories and experiments forever changed the way the business of theatre is done. From the actor to the director to the physical environment of the auditorium, much of how we practice theatre today is based on the works and dreams of these two men. Prerequisite: upper-division standing.
TA 4/574, 4/575 Dramatic Writing I, II (4)
A sequence in playwriting involving analysis of dramatic structure, practical application of playwriting techniques. Must be taken sequentially. Recommended prerequisite: 8 credits of theater arts and/or English.
TA/FILM 4/580 Film Theory (4)
A survey of film theory and criticism from their inception to the present day. Students are introduced to key concepts and major figures from Classical Film Theory (Eisenstein, Arnheim, Bazin) through Structuralism, Semiotics, Psychoanalysis, Feminism, and Cognitive Studies. Pre-requisite: TA 131 and Junior standing, or consent of instructor.
*TA/FILM 4/584 Anatomy of a Movie I: Product of the Studio Era (4)
This is the first in a sequence intended for advanced film students. The course will operate as a case study of one well known, critically acclaimed film of the studio era, examining the industrial, technical, cultural and artistic elements in the film's production, exhibition and reception. Topics will include studio ideology and production strategies, the star system, and historic context and meaning of films. Taken sequentially, Anatomy I and Anatomy II courses address the extreme cases of filmmaking during the studio era (1920 - 1955) and independent filmmaking within the last 35 years; either course may be taken alone. Prerequisites: TA 131 & upper division standing. Recommended: TA 370 Film History I, II.
*TA/FILM 4/585 Anatomy of a Movie II: The Independent Film (4)
This is the second in a sequence intended for advanced film students. The course will operate as a case study of one well known, critically acclaimed film produced independently since 1968, examining the industrial, technical, cultural and artistic elements in the film's production, exhibition and reception. Topics will include the independent filmmaker as auteur, the economics of the New Hollywood, and ideology and politics of independent filmmaking, in the U.S. and abroad. Taken sequentially, Anatomy I and Anatomy II courses address the extreme cases of filmmaking during the studio era (1920 - 1955) and independent filmmaking within the last 35 years; either course may be taken alone. Prerequisites: TA 131 & upper division standing. Recommended: TA 370 Film History I, II.
TA/FILM 4/586 Topics in Film and the Moving Image (4)
Concentrated study of genre, structure and style of a particular period, topic and/or figure in film and the moving image; for example, Irish Cinema, Contemporary Irish Cinema, Shakespeare on Film. Prerequisites: TA 131 and upper division standing.
*TA/FILM 4/586 TFMI: Robert Altman: The Man, The Director and His Films (4)
Robert Altman, American independent, is regarded as one of the most important filmmakers of the last half-century. Altman came to define what it meant to work in and outside the system, as an individual and an artist. He simultaneously subverted classical film genres and American myths, history and politics, whilst providing a creative environment unique in the industry. The course will sample a non-chronological selection from Altman's almost 100 film and television projects, which include Brewster McCloud, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, M*A*S*H, Nashville, Popeye, Come Back to the 5 and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, Three Women, Vincent & Theo, Tanner, and Gosford Park, to name just a few. Prerequisite: TA 131 and upper division standing.
*TA/FILM 4/586 TFMI: American Film Criticism (4)
Does film criticism still matter in 2014? We’ll discuss that, and many other questions, like “What makes for an effective review?” “What’s the difference between a written and an audiovisual review?” and “What does the future hold for film criticism as an industry?” We will learn how to write reviews, how the profession works, and how to record our own video reviews. We will also engage closely with the history of this craft, from its golden age of the 1970s to the present day. We’ll conduct in-depth studies of important critics, like Pauline Kael and Roger Ebert, and we’ll chart the evolution of criticism, looking at where it’s come from with an eye to anticipating where it’s going. So this course will be a hybrid writing/history/theory/production course: we’ll be writing reviews, studying reviews, and even creating our own film criticism blogs, which many critics will tell you has become the first step in getting a toehold in this industry. By the end of the term, you will be film critics with your own online venue. Prerequisite: TA 131 and upper division standing.
*TA 486/FILM TFMI: The Films of Hal Hartley (4)
Once called "the Jean-Luc Godard of Long Island," Hal Hartley is an American independent writer/director whose prolific career, like Godard's, includes work that challenges narrative codes and historical legacies of cinematic language. Since the early 1980s, Hartley has written, directed, and produced more than twenty short and feature-length films, several music videos, dramatic work for the stage, and operatic collaborations. We will examine this work through a consideration of the films' unconventional plots; the deadpan, absurdist-comedic approach to narrative; and Hartley's break from the dominant modes of narrative cinema in relation to character development, story construction, cinematography, and mise-en-scène. Prerequisite: TA 131 and upper division standing.
*TA/FILM 4/586 TFMI: Irish Cinema and Drama (4)
Concentrated study of significant developments in modern Irish cinema and drama. In addition to viewing contemporary films by directors like Pat O'Connor (Cal), Neil Jordan (The Crying Game), and Jim Sheridan (The Boxer), students will examine plays by Sean O'Casey (Juno and the Paycock), John B. Keane (The Field), and Brian Friel (Philadelphia, Here I Come) along with the film adaptations made from them. Special attention will be paid both to the challenges involved in adapting narrative fiction to film and to the complex dialectic that exists between dramatic text, theatrical production, and cinematic adaptation. Prerequisite: TA 131 and upper division standing.
TA 511 Introduction to Theater Research (2)
An introductory course in research methods and bibliography for graduate study in theater.