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.
How can someone who loves the performing arts, but is also committed to civic engagement find a path to meaningfully combine their interests and use their artistic gifts in service to their communities? Throughout the course, students will be asked to read and think critically about the role of performing arts in society, explore and develop their own notion of civically-engaged art making, and consider the responsibility of theatre artists to address questions of civic engagement and service.
A course on works of dramatic literature whose comparative dimension is theatrical performance. We will consider four Shakespeare plays covering a range of theatrical genres; the emphasis will be on the ways in which Shakespearean meaning can be elucidated when the reader becomes a performer. Students will move from the reading/performing of individual speeches to the staging of scenes to the question of how an overall theatrical conception for a play might be a key to the fullest understanding of the text. Students will write papers about their readings and performances; grades will be based on both the writing and the performing.
As a working laboratory with daily practice, we study the art of confidence and charisma, the anatomy of vocal production, how breath and articulation express action and emotion, how language and punctuation are a roadmap to communication, dispelling fears, and the strengths of vocal idiosyncrasies.
In this studio course open to all, we’ll ramble in the unknown searching for embodied philosophy, thinking art-making, and clarity that’s open for revision.
From epic bards, drinking songs, and classical tragedies to judicial speeches, funeral comedies and gladiators - ancient Greece and Rome knew how to put on a show! We will cover the most important performative genres of antiquity. We will read texts from the archaic to the Roman Imperial period in English translation, paying special attention to the reconstruction of their performance and cultural contexts. We will also listen to modern reconstructions of ancient music and look at ancient art representing various types of spectacles. The course also introduces occasional comparative material from other cultures, ancient and modern.
A continuation of work begun in Introductory Playwriting. In this class, students will complete either one full-length play or two long one-acts (40-60 pages) to the end of gaining a firmer understanding of characterization, dialogue, structure, and the playwriting process.
The Advanced French Theater Workshop will exceptionally be co-taught by the Comédie-Française's leading actor Guillaume Gallienne and Florent Masse. Students will rehearse and perform excerpts from the works of Racine, Marivaux, Musset and Claudel. In doing so, they will focus on love, passion, and desire, as unifying themes in French Theater.
Dance/Theater Pedagogy Seminar explores the connection between engaged dance and elementary school literacy, mathematics and social studies while allowing students the opportunity to be civically engaged and contribute to the community.
An exploration of theatrical sound design and engineering, this class will explore sound for both theater and music theater. We will investigate text from the point of view of sound, and learn how to communicate the ideas, palette and arc of a design to others. We will explore developing a creative process and turning our ideas into sounds that can be used onstage.
A Viking saga, a mad king, a vengeful husband: these are a few of the characters that we encounter in recent small-scale operas (or 'music-theater' works). They give us a starting point for considering how we tell stories in opera. We will look at the music, the staging and the performance and the ways these elements come together to provide a unified artistic work. Students will be encouraged to respond creatively through writing about the work, or musical composition or developing a particular performance idea. The course will be graded on a final project of the student's choice.
Theater artists routinely bend, twist and break all kinds of rules to create the imaginary worlds they bring to life on stage. Why, then, has the American theater so struggled to meaningfully address questions of equity, diversity and inclusion? In this course, we undertake a critical, creative and historical overview of agitation and advocacy by theater artist-activists aiming to transform American theatre-making as both industry and creative practice, as we connect those histories with the practices, structures and events determining the ways diversity is (and is not) a guiding principle of contemporary American theater.
In 2016, Bob Dylan became the second person to win both an Oscar and a Nobel Prize. The first was Bernard Shaw, arguably the first private individual in history to create a global personal brand: GBS was instantly recognizable from Shanghai to New York. In this course, we follow Shaw's career as the creator of Pygmalion, Man and Superman, Major Barbara and St Joan, see and review My Fair Lady on Broadway and explore his use of celebrity to unsettle and challenge his audiences.
The interdisciplinary field of performance studies offers generative strategies for theorizing social life. This course explores the ways performance as a critical theoretical tool and as a practice enables students to examine everyday self-presentation, political economy, gender, race, and sexuality, material culture, ethics, and other social practices.
In this course, we contemplate corpses from Antigone to Alfred Hitchcock and from Shakespeare's tragedies to Stand By Me and Weekend at Bernie's and bring the dead to life.
This course will look at a range of British and American drama from the second half of the twentieth century to the twenty-first, with an emphasis on the developments of the last twenty years.
The musical possesses unique conventions of form and narrative. Focusing primarily on the American musical post-WWII, this course will look at the phenomenon of musical theatre, analyzing musicals both as texts and as performances.
Through original research and creative process, this seminar immerses students in overlapping histories of race, protest, political mobilization and violence in 1960s Trenton and Princeton. Students will contribute to an archive, conduct interviews and make maps, and then use their research to create performance walks on campus and in Trenton. By combining disciplines, the course addresses questions such as: How can we change a place by walking through it with new knowledge? How do the imprints of various, even conflicting histories, impact the built environment? After the semester, students' final project tours will be offered regularly.
In the 20th and 21st centuries, playwrights such as Brecht, Beckett, Churchill and Jacob-Jenkins have written plays that challenged conventional notions of how theater works. This course is a scene study class in which we'll explore a variety of ways to act these plays.
This course explores theories and practices in contemporary theater making, and will be a workshop of ideas for junior theater certificate students in preparation for their final year. We will examine questions such as: what are the differences between process and product, what is collaboration, where does the audience fit in to the creative journey. We will investigate different approaches to theater making. The course will incorporate practical exercises, seminar discussions and visits to rehearsal at Classic Stage Company in NYC.
This course provides students with a rigorous and challenging experience of creating theater under near-professional circumstances.