Skip to Content - Skip to Navigation

Course Descriptions

Please Note: Credit designation, which is located at the top right of each course description, is expressed in (c) class hours per week, (l) lab or (d) discussion section hours per week, and (cr) semester hours of credit per semester. For example, THTR 111 Foundations of Theater is designated as follows—3c-0l-3cr. This means the class meets for two-and-a-half hours per week, usually in fifty-minute sessions if it is a class which meets Monday-Wednesday-Friday, or for seventy-five minutes for Tuesday-Thursday or Monday-Wednesday classes. There are also night classes, which meet once per week for the entire two-and-a-half hours. The designation of 0l means there is no lab time necessary and the last part, 3cr, means that you will receive 3 semester hours of credit for the class. Please note the regular offering semester option in parentheses after the course names below.

THTR 101—Introduction to Theater (every semester and summer)       3c-0l-3cr

An exploration of the theater arts, examining major periods of theater history, selected works of dramatic literature, and the primary theater arts of acting, directing, design, and playwriting.  Class experience includes the analysis of at least two major works of drama, attending two live productions, and viewing of selected videotaped plays and musicals.

THTR 111—Foundations of Theater (fall semesters)                             3c-0l-3cr

A primary course for those engaged in theater and any other performance-related area so as to define the nature of theater art, develop one’s own individual system of analysis, and finally acquire an understanding of process, dramatic structure, composition, genre, theatrical styles, and a theory of performance.

THTR 116—Fundamentals of Theatrical Design (spring semesters)     3c-0l-3cr

Introduces the fundamentals of scene, costume, lighting, and sound design for theater and dance. It is focused on creative processes used by designers to make choices. Topics include script analysis, director and designer communication, and the integration of the design elements into a unified production.

THTR 120—Stagecraft (every semester)                                                 3c-0l-3cr

Exploration of the material, methods, and procedures utilized in creating a scenic environment.  Through instruction and practical application, students learn the fundamentals of scenic construction and develop competency with the basic materials and equipment used in a theatrical studio.

THTR 122—Costume Workshop (every semester)                                 3c-0l-3cr

Instruction and practical experience in the process of building costumes for the stage.  Activities include fitting, cutting, sewing, dyeing, and painting.  There is also instruction in the maintenance of wardrobe, costume stock, materials, and properties.

THTR 130—Stage Voice (spring semesters)                                            3c-0l-3cr

Prerequisite: Theater majors only or permission of instructor

Instruction in the basic development of the vocal instrument of the actor in stage performance.  Emphasis is placed upon the resonance, quality, pitch, and projection of the voice while improving the student’s ability to articulate.

THTR 131—Stage Movement (fall semesters)                                         3c-0l-3cr

Instruction in basic stage movement and the physicalization of character.  Includes work in character development through variety in movement, introductory work in juggling, stage combat, and mime, and the assessment, awareness, and correction of individual movement problems.

THTR 132—Introduction to Acting (all semesters)    3c-0l-3cr

Introduces the student to the art and craft of the theater from the actor’s point of view. Through practical application, students will develop personal and professional skills that will enhance oral communication, self-presentation, and self-confidence. Students will also develop the ability to respond knowledgeably to theatrical productions as an audience member. Open to non-theater majors only. Serves as Liberal Studies elective.

THTR 205—Classic Theater I (Fall ’11, '13)                                      3c-0l-3cr

Prerequisite: HIST 195

A comprehensive survey of western theater from its origins to the beginning of the Italian Renaissance. The course includes the study of significant plays of the period as well as the influence of playwrights, directors, actors, designers and theorists of the era.

THTR 206—Classic Theater II (Fall ’12)                                           3c-0l-3cr

Prerequisite:  HIST 195

A comprehensive survey of western theater from the Italian Renaissance to the end of the eighteenth century. The course includes the study of significant plays of the period as well as the influence of playwrights, directors, actors, designers, and theorists of the era.

THTR 207—Modern Theater I (Spring ’12)                                    3c-0l-3cr

Prerequisite:  HIST 195

A comprehensive survey of western theater from the time after the French Revolution to the outbreak of the First World War. The course includes the study of significant plays of the period as well as the influence of playwrights, directors, actors, designers, and theorists of the era.

THTR 208—Modern Theater II (Spring ’11, ’13)                            3c-0l-3cr

Prerequisite:  HIST 195

A comprehensive survey of Western theater from the early twentieth century to the present. The course includes the study of significant plays of the period as well as the influence of playwrights, directors, actors, designers, and theorists of the era.

THTR 221—Basic Stage Lighting (3 of every 4 semesters)                    3c-0l-3cr

An introduction to lighting instruments, color media, control boards, physical laws of electricity and optics, graphics and conventional techniques used in lighting theatrical productions.

THTR 223—Makeup for the Stage (spring semesters)                           3c-0l-3cr

Deals with practical application of straight and character makeup and may include instruction in creating beards, wigs, prosthetics, and masks.

THTR 240—Acting I (every semester)                                                     3c-0l-3cr

Study of the primary elements of the Stanislavski system of character development. Includes text analysis and the development of physical action through a character’s subtext, as well as motivational and improvisational techniques.

THTR 281—Special Topics                                                                        var-0l-3cr

Prerequisite: As appropriate to course content

Special Topics are offered on an experimental or temporary basis to explore topics that are not included in the established curriculum. A given topic may be offered under any special topic identity no more than three times. Special topics numbered 281 are offered primarily for lower-level undergraduate students.

THTR 310—Theater Criticism (Spring '11)                                      3c-0l-3cr

Prerequisite:  Junior or senior theater major status or permission

This course serves the student of theater as an opportunity to see what they have learned in the areas of theater (acting, directing, design, and playwriting) toward the critical process of responding to theater productions. Students will examine the differences between theater criticism and theater reviews while learning to write critical responses to live performances both on and off campus. This course also fulfills the Liberal Studies’ writing-intensive requirement.

THTR 320—Scene Design (Fall '12)                                             3c-0l-3cr

Prerequisite: THTR 116 or permission

An introductory course in scene design that applies the fundamental principles of theatrical design. Topics include an overview of current scene design practice, design conceptualization, graphic communication methods, and a method of designing theatrical scenery. Practical applications are emphasized through a series of class exercises.

THTR 321—Stage Lighting Design (Spring '12)                               3c-0l-3cr

Prerequisite: THTR 116 or permission

An introductory course in stage lighting that applies the fundamental principles of theatrical design. Stage lighting topics include an overview of current lighting methods and equipment, the controllable properties and functions of stage lighting, learning to see light, a creative approach to stage lighting, and design graphics. Practical applications are emphasized through a series of class exercises.

THTR 322—Costume Design (Fall ’11)                                              3c-0l-3cr

Prerequisite:  THTR 116 or permission

An introduction to the discipline of costume design for the theater with an emphasis on script analysis, figure drawing, character definition, and control of the design elements, supplemented by an overview of costume history.

THTR 323—Sound Design (Spring ’11)                                            3c-0l-3cr

Covers the basic principles and theories of designing sound for the theater. Through demonstration and practical application, the course will cover the following principle areas: basic electronics, recording techniques and equipment, musical and effects integration, theater acoustics, designing sound, and sound reinforcement.

THTR 324—Advanced Stagecraft (Spring '13)                                3c-0l-3cr

Prerequisite: THTR 120 and THTR 221 or permission

Advanced exploration of materials, methods, and procedures involved in operating a scenery studio and theater facility.  Students receive intensive practical experience in technical problem solving, studio planning, and project supervision.

THTR 340—Acting II (every fall)                                                               3c-0l-3cr

Prerequisite: THTR 240

Study of the evolving Stanislavski system, focusing on his primary texts, toward a development of individual student techniques. Emphasis will be on scene study through applying techniques to scene rehearsal and role problems, and exploring the relationships between the psychological states, physical action, and truth in acting.

THTR 341—Acting Styles (every spring)                                                  3c-0l-3cr

Prerequisite: THTR 130, 131, 240, or permission of instructor

Study and practice of advanced acting skills with special emphasis on style and period. Possible areas of focus: Greek Classical, Commedia Dell’Arte (farce), French Neo-classical, Restoration Comedy, Melodrama, High Comedy (Wilde/Coward), or Theater of the Absurd.

THTR 342—Acting Shakespeare (Spring '11)                            3c-0l-3cr

Prerequisite: THTR 240, 340 or permission of instructor

An advanced acting studio that will prepare students to performs in Shakespeare’s plays.  Provides a background overview of the Elizabethan period in addition to various methods toward approaching the movements, language, and verse forms from an actor’s point of view.

THTR 347—Playwriting (Fall '11)                                                       3c-0l-3cr

Prerequisites:  THTR 111 or permission

A practical exploration of the craft and process of playwriting.  Focuses primarily on the practical, hands-on experience approximating the developmental process currently in use in the American theater.  The student will be guided from the initial concept through synopsis, outlines, working drafts, and completion of an original one-act play and a staged reading of this project.  This course also fills the Liberal Studies’ writing-intensive requirement.

THTR 350—Directing (every fall)                                                               3c-0l-3cr

Prerequisite: THTR 111, 240 or permission

Introduction to basic directing skills, casting, floor plans, blocking, rehearsal procedures, and the application of scene and character analysis.  Students will prepare short scenes for public presentation.

THTR 481—Special Topics                                                                        var-1-6cr

Prerequisite:  As appropriate to course content

Special Topics courses are offered on an experimental or temporary basis to explore topics that are not included in the established curriculum.  A given topic may be offered under any special topic identity no more than three times.  Special topics numbered 481 are primarily for upper-level undergraduate students.

THTR 482—Independent Study                                                              var-1-6cr

Prerequisite:  Prior approval through advisor, faculty member, department chairperson, dean, and Provost’s Office

Independent study in theater may be either purely academic or may be a practical production project, supported by a written document giving evidence of significant scholarly investigation or original, creative effort.  May be repeated to a maximum of six credits.   Approval is based on academic appropriateness and availability of resources.

THTR 483—Honors Independent Study                                               var-1-6cr

Prerequisite:  Prior approval through advisor, faculty member, department chairperson, Honors College, dean, and Provost’s Office

Independent study in theater may be either purely academic or may be a practical production project, supported by a written document giving evidence of significant scholarly investigation or original, creative effort. Approval is based on academic appropriateness and availability of resources.

THTR 484—Directing Studio (every spring)                                             3c-0l-3cr

Prerequisites:  THTR 350 or permission

Opportunity for students to direct scene work, one-act plays, or larger projects, according to individual levels of experience, preparation, and readiness.  Practical application of principles of directing to specific problems in directing.  Student projects performed in public, open-class recitals.  May be repeated.

THTR 486—Practicum in Production (every semester)                         var-0-3cr

Prerequisite:  Theater major standing or permission of instructor

An opportunity with academic credit for students to make significant contributions to campus productions augmenting theater coursework in the areas of directing, acting, stage management, technical direction, design (sound, set, lights, costume, makeup), properties, scenic construction and scenic art painting, costume technology, dance, and running crews.  Repeatable course required of all Theater majors for a minimum of six semesters, one of which must be a final project for senior majors.

THTR 487—Acting Studio (every semester)                                            3c-0l-3cr

Prerequisites:  Minimum of THTR 240 or permission; individual foci have additional prerequisites

Advanced studio course offering scene practice with faculty direction, coaching, and criticism.  Specific focus of scene work varies from semester to semester, including improvisation techniques (Fall ’09, ’11), stage combat (Spring ’09, '11), stage dialects (Fall ’10, '12), audition techniques (Spring ’09, ’11), and acting for the camera (Spring ’10, '12) as alternating semester options.  May be repeated with a different focus each time.

THTR 489—Technical Theater Problems (every semester)                      3c-0l-3cr

Prerequisite:  Individual foci may have prerequisites

Open to all students desiring instruction in a variety of technical theater areas not presently covered in other courses.  Topics to include management (Spring '09), props construction (Spring ’10, '12), advanced makeup (Spring ’10, '12), technical drawing/CADD (Spring ’10, '12), and scene painting (Fall ’09, ’11).  May be repeated.

THTR 493—Internship                                                                            var-3-12cr

Prerequisite:  Permission of instructor

Opportunities for students to gain experience with professional performance organizations in areas related to theater and dance.

Dance Courses

DANC 102—Introduction to Dance (every semester)                          3c-0l-3cr

Examines dance as a performing art in both the historical and cultural contexts.  Also includes the analysis of a major piece of choreography, attending live performances, and viewing select works of dance.  No previous dance experience is required.

DANC 150—Fundamentals of Dance (every fall)                                   3c-0l-3cr        

A basic dance technique that sequentially develops the elements of movement (space, time, force) into a variety of dance genre and period styles.  Covers special care and safety of the instrument—the body.

DANC 250—Beginning Modern Dance (every spring)                             3c-0l-3cr

Contemporary dance techniques, improvisation, and choreography.  Examines the historical development and cultural influences on the changing philosophies of contemporary dance performance today.  Performance of creative work required.

DANC 260—Jazz Dance (Fall '11)                                                             3c-0l-3cr

Jazz techniques, dynamic, and style for theater dance from the 1920s through the present.  Emphasis on analysis of music for choreography.

DANC 270—Ballroom and Tap Dance (Fall '12)                                   3c-0l-3cr

A sequential development of tap and ballroom dance techniques in the context of historical development and period styles.  Performance for an audience is required.

DANC 280—Ballet (every spring)                                                            3c-0l-3cr

Sequential development of barre and center techniques that progress to linking moves, turning, and jumps, to dance sequences and choreography.  The historical periods of development and the status of the art today will be examined in a cultural context which includes gender and minority influences.

DANC 281—Special Topic                                                                           3c-0l-3cr

Prerequisite: As appropriate to course content

Special Topics are offered on an experimental or temporary basis to explore topics that are not included in the established curriculum.  A given topic may be offered under any special topic identity no more than three times.  Special topics numbered 281 are offered primarily for lower-level undergraduate students.

DANC 290—Ethnic Dance (Fall  '12)                                                         3c-0l-3cr

Includes dance techniques from a variety of indigenous forms from Western and Eastern cultures. Presented in the historical and social context. An emphasis will be given to the needs of theater production.

DANC 351—Choreography (Spring '12) or (Spring '14)                        3c-0l-3cr

Prerequisite: Three of the following introductory or advanced level dance classes: DANC 250, 260, 270, 280, 290, 485, or by permission of the instructor.

Introduces the necessary choreographic tools needed to manipulate dance as a medium to create dance works. The class will learn and use various approaches to the choreographic process to create dance works, one of which will be presented in a public showing at the end of the semester.

DANC 353—Dance Curriculum and Instruction (Spring '13)                  3c-0l-3cr

Prerequisite: Three of the following introductory or advanced-level dance classes: DANC 250, 260, 270, 280, 290, 485, or by permission of the instructor.

Introduces the necessary teaching skills and curriculum development needed to understand the pedagogical structure for teaching dance. The class will learn the approaches to teaching that are unique to dance and will learn how to design dance curriculum.

DANC 355—Dance Production (Fall '13)                                                 3c-0l-3cr

Prerequisite: Two of the following introductory or advanced-level dance classes. DANC 250, 260, 270, 280, 290, 485, or by permission of the instructor.

A sequential development of the dance production process from audition to opening, focusing on the practical application to private studio, and academic and professional settings. The course will explore the evolution of dance production and the future of dance, from both administrative and artistic perspectives, taking into consideration the constantly changing world of technology.

DANC 481—Special Topic                                                                           3c-0l-3cr

Prerequisite: As appropriate to course content

Special Topics are offered on an experimental or temporary basis to explore topics that are not included in the established curriculum.  A given topic may be offered under any special topic identity no more than three times.  Special topics numbered 481 are offered primarily for upper-level undergraduate students.

DANC 482—Independent Study                                                              var-1-6cr

Independent study in dance may be either purely academic or may be a practical production project, supported by a written document giving evidence of significant scholarly investigation or original, creative effort. May be repeated to a maximum of 6 credits. Approval is based on academic appropriateness and availability of resources.

DANC 485—Dance Studio (every semester)                                             3c-0l-3cr

Prerequisites:  DANC 250, 260, 270, or 280 (beginning technique class taken must be the specific dance genre of the Dance Studio class offered); or by permission of instructor

Furthers the development of the dancer at the intermediate level of a specified genre of dance.  Development in dance requires the integration of both technique and artistic development.  The specific genres vary from semester to semester, including modern, ballet, tap/ballroom, and jazz as alternating semester options.  May be repeated with a different focus each time.

  • Theater and Dance Department
  • Waller Hall, Room 104
    401 South Eleventh Street
    Indiana, PA 15705
  • Phone: 724-357-2965
  • Fax: 724-357-3885
  • Department Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.