How do artists make art? How do we evaluate it? In this course, students of all levels get to experience firsthand the particular challenges and rewards of art making through practical engagement with five fields — creative writing, visual art, theater, dance, and music — under the guidance of professionals.
Music Theater Courses
This course will invite student singers and pianists to prepare and perform songs from 20th and 21st century American Musical Theatre. Each week students will be coached on their songs in a master class format with an emphasis on musical, vocal, and acting issues. Repertoire will be covered in a historical overview from the beginning of the 20th century to the present.
In this studio course, dancers will study the past, present, and future of rhythm tap dance by learning the techniques and Black American histories, traditions, and legacies that have established and continue to sustain the form. While learning fundamental steps and foundational routines, we will interact with various media curated to introduce some of rhythm tap's important people, happenings, and places.
An introduction to the art and craft of lighting design for the stage and an exploration of light as a medium for expression. Students will develop an ability to observe lighting in the world and on the stage; to learn to make lighting choices based on text, space, research, and their own responses; to practice being creative, responsive and communicative under pressure and in company; to prepare well to create under pressure using the designer's visual toolbox; and to play well with others-working creatively and communicating with directors, writers, performers, fellow designers, the crew and others.
This course combines queer centered analysis of mid century American Drama and songwriting with student generated research and performance. Using Inge's plays Picnic and Dark at the Top of the Stairs, we will investigate the codes both real and imagined embedded in the work, and the narratives we assume, project on, and long for in the American theatre cannon.
Students will use Giovanni Boccaccio’s 14th century classic, 'The Decameron' as a starting point from which to explore the fundamentals of storytelling and the ways in which storytelling helps us navigate traumatic experiences. This PIIRS Global Seminar is offered June 7 – July 2, 2021. Application required.
This course offers an intensive survey of gender crossings on the American musical theater stage. The course's study of American musicals (in terms of form, content and context) will be anchored in a historical exploration of world theatrical traditions of cross-gender performance. The course will examine multiple modes of cross-gender performance, while also considering musicals that stage gender role reversals and those that open questions of gender expression and identity.
This course offers an exploration of visual storytelling, combined with a grounding in the practical, communicative, collaborative and anti-racist skills necessary to create physical environments for live theater making. Students are mentored as designers, directors or creators (often in teams) on realized projects for the theater program season.
This course will be an investigative performance driven process resulting in a music theater performance, devised by the students. Led by faculty member and professional director and actor Elena Araoz, this theatrical exploration will adapt to the public health circumstances in which we find ourselves and will culminate in performances that incorporate singing and spoken word.