The material on this page is from the 1997-98 catalog and may be out of date. Please check the current year's catalog for current information.
Professors Branham (on leave, winter semester and Short Term), Andrucki (on leave, winter semester and Short Term), and
Kuritz, Chair; Associate Professor Nero; Assistant Professor Seeling; Ms. Plavin (on leave, winter semester and Short Term),
Mr. Pope.L, Mr.
The major in theater combines the study of dramatic literature from the Greeks to the present with work in acting, directing, dance, and design. Students thus acquire skills in production and performance while learning the history of one of the world's major forms of artistic expression. Majors are prepared for graduate work in the humanities or for further professional training in theater. The theater major is also a valuable asset for a wide variety of careers such as business, law, or teaching requiring collaborative effort, public poise, imagination, and a broad background in the liberal arts.
In addition to its academic work, the Department annually produces more than a dozen plays, dance concerts, and other performance events in its three theatres. These require the participation of large numbers of students, both majors and non majors. All members of the community are invited to join in the creation of these events.
The study of rhetoric is designed to provide interdisciplinary insight into the nature, media, and criticism of human communication. Students complete a series of core courses in rhetorical theory and criticism, complemented by courses in language and communication drawn from the curricula of other departments. The major requires course work in the following areas: communication theory, forms and forums of discourse, media analysis, textual criticism, and communication skills.
Majors in theater and rhetoric who are interested in secondary-school teaching should consult the Department of Education about requirements for teacher certification.
The theater major is required to complete the following:
1) a) All of the following:
b) One course required from among:
c) One course required from among:
d) One course required from the following:
2) One course or unit in the Department of Art and one course or unit in the Department of Music, one of which must be in the history of the field.
3) A comprehensive examination in the senior year, except for those majors invited by the Department to enroll in Theater 457 or 458.
Theater majors must also earn five production credits by the end of the senior year. Students considering a major should consult with the Department Chair early in their careers for information on fulfilling this requirement. In addition, the theater major must enroll in one semester of dance, or in a physical education activity course approved by the Department of Theater and Rhetoric.
(Students in the Classes of 1998 and 1999 may elect the major requirements in the 1995-1996 Bates College Catalog.)
Secondary Concentrations are available in both theater and dance. The secondary concentration in theater consists of six courses or units and other production and performance credits. The secondary concentration in dance consists of six courses or units and other production and performance credits. Students interested in pursuing either of these secondary concentrations should consult with the Department Chair.
The major in rhetoric consists of eleven courses distributed as follows:
a) Core courses. Required are:
b) Theories of Communication. Two courses required from among:
c) Forms and Forums of Discourse. Two courses required from among:
d) Critical methods and theory. Required is:
102. An Introduction to Film. A survey of film style and technique, including an overview of film history from the silent era to the present. Enrollment limited to 70. M. Andrucki.
130. Introduction to Design. An approach to the principles and elements of design, offering instruction in drawing, simple drafting, sculpture, painting, and costume and mask construction. Accompanying research in world styles of visual expression informs the exploration of line, mass, shape, time, space, light, and color. Research topics may include African festival, Islamic design, Asian dance-drama, European carnival, and Russian fairground theater. The goal of the course is to "tease out" a fresh expression using the simplest of elements. No previous artistic or theatrical training is required. Enrollment limited to 14. E. Seeling.
132. Stagecraft. This course provides an introduction to the technical skills and techniques used to produce theater productions. Students are introduced to theater terminology, stage lighting equipment, scenery and property construction, scenic painting, sound engineering, and theater management. Crew work on Department productions required. Enrollment limited to 25. J. Williamson.
185. Public Discourse. This course is designed to develop an awareness of and skill in the techniques necessary to a speaker in varying situations, from the large gathering to the small group. Students study and compose public speeches on various political issues. Enrollment limited to 24. Staff.
195. Documentary Production. This course provides an introduction to documentary production, including videography, sound, lighting, and editing. Students learn both to produce documentaries and to recognize the importance of production decisions in shaping the meanings and influence of documentaries. Students collaboratively produce short documentaries on subjects of their own design. Recommended background: prior production experience and coursework in film criticism. Enrollment limited to 16. Written permission of the instructor is required. Staff.
200. The Classical Stage. According to the mad Frenchman Artaud, classical drama was the original "theater of cruelty." This course studies the aristocratic violence and punitive laughter of about a dozen tragedies and comedies from Aeschylus to Racine. Correlated readings in the theater history and dramatic theory of classical Greece and Rome, Elizabethan England, and seventeenth-century France establish the social and intellectual context for the most challenging and disturbing body of drama in the Western tradition. Required of all majors. Not open to students who have received credit for Theater 201. Open to first-year students. M. Andrucki.
210. The Revolutionary Stage. From 1700 to 1900, Europe was transformed by the revolutionary currents of radical politics, industrialization, and romantic individualism. This course studies the impact of these forces on the central dramatic ideas of character and action in plays by (among others) Beaumarchais, Goethe, Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov, and Shaw. Correlated readings in theater history and dramatic theory establish the cultural and intellectual context for these subversive playwrights. Required of all majors. Open to first-year students. M. Andrucki.
215. Popular Performance in Urban America: 1820-1920. An examination of various forms of American popular performance in the context of changing urban social relations involving class, race, gender, and ethnicity. Students read and analyze secondary histories, as well as written and musical examples of melodrama, minstrelsy, musical comedy, ethnic theater, vaudeville, and cabaret. Prerequisite(s) or Corequisite(s): one of the following: History 141 or 142 or Sociology 236 or 240 or Anthropology 101 or Theater 101. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 15. Staff.
220. The Modern Stage. A visionary modern theorist of the stage wrote from his asylum cell, "We are not free and the sky can still fall on our heads. And the theater has been created to teach us that first of all." By examining the mirrors and masks of Pirandello and Genet, the incendiary rallying cries of Kaiser and Brecht, the erotic and violent silence of Pinter and Handke, and the surreal iconoclasms of Apollinaire and Shepard, this course surveys the ways the contemporary theater seeks to elucidate the baffling condition of humanity. Correlated readings in theater history and dramatic theory explore a cultural context which proclaims "ALL WRITING IS GARBAGE." Required of all majors. Open to first-year students. M. Andrucki.
225. The Grain of the Black Image. A study of the Afro-American figure as represented in images from theater, movies, and television. Using the metaphor of "the grain" rendered by Roland Barthes and Regis Durand"the articulation of the body...not that of language"this course explores issues of progress, freedom, and improvement, as well as content versus discontent. Correlated readings in critical literature and the major classical plays by Hansberry, Baraka, Lonnie Elder, and others, as well as viewings of recent movies and television shows. Open to first-year students. Staff.
226. Minority Images in Hollywood Film. African American scholar Carolyn F. Gerald has remarked: "Image means self-concept and whoever is in control of our image has the power to shape our reality." This course investigates the ideological, social, and theoretical issues important in the representation of racial and ethnic minorities in American film from the Depression to the civil rights movement. It examines the genres, stereotypes, and gender formations associated with film images of Native Americans, Asian Americans, and African Americans. Open to first-year students. W. Pope.L.
227. Seventies and Eighties Avant-Garde Theater and Performance Art. This course is a hands-on poetic exploration of the binary territories of "language as object" and "subject as language" as they have been articulated in the work of contemporary performance-theater artists from Robert Wilson, Richard Foreman, and Fluxus to Holly Hughes, Karen Finley, and Jim Neu. Some background in performance is recommended. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 12. Written permission of the instructor is required. W. Pope.L.
231. Scene Design. A study of the dynamic use of stage space, from Renaissance masters to twentieth-century modernists, offering instruction in scale drawing, drafting, scene painting, model-making, and set construction. Students may use scheduled Departmental productions as laboratories in their progress from play analysis and research to the realization of the design. This course focuses on the use of visual imagery to articulate textual idea, and is recommended for students with an interest in any area of drama and performance. Prerequisite(s) or Corequisite(s): Theater 101 or 130. Open to first year students. Enrollment limited to 14. Written permission of the instructor is required. E. Seeling.
232. Lighting Design. The Aesthetics of Light. This course provides an introduction to the unique aesthetic and technical considerations a lighting designer must make. Students examine the modern lighting aesthetic by studying popular culture and learn to translate these images to the stage. Students also are required to serve on a lighting crew for one of the Department's productions and design part of the spring dance concert. Prerequisite(s) or Corequisite(s): Theater 101 or 130 or 132. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 14. Written permission of the instructor is required. J. Williamson.
233. Costume Design. An approach to costume design offering instruction in drawing the figure, color rendering, script and
character analysis, and the various skills of costume construction from pattern-making to tailoring. Work in fabric printing,
mask-making, and make-up is available to students with a special interest in these areas. Research in period styles informs
the exploration of the design elements of line, shape, and color. The goals of the course are skill in the craft and the flair of
creation. Prerequisite(s) or Corequisite(s): Theater 101 or 130. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 14. E.
241. Spanish Theater of the Golden Age. This course focuses on the study of Spanish classical drama of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Reading and critical analysis of selected dramatic works by Lope de Vega, Tirso de Molina, Calderon de la Barca, Miguel de Cervantes, Ana Caro and Maria de Zayas, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, among others offer an insight into of the totality of the dramatic spectacle of Spanish society during its imperial century. This course is the same as Spanish 241. Prerequisite(s) and Corequisite(s): Spanish 215 or 216. Enrollment limited to 20. B. Fra-Molinero.
250. Twentieth-Century American Dance I. Dance activity in America presents an overwhelming array of talent and
diversity ranging from turn-of-the-century artists such as Isadora Duncan and Ruth St. Denis, through such mid-century
innovators as Martha Graham and Doris Humphrey, to Merce Cunningham and the Judson Dance theater in the sixties. In
addition to these artists, the course studies dances from musicals and ballets by choreographers such as George Balanchine
and Agnes De Mille. Most works are seen on video, but students also attend live performances. Open to first-year students.
251. Dance Composition. Through movement experiences, discussions, and readings, this course explores a variety of approaches to the creative process, such as improvisation, short compositional studies, and problem-solving techniques involving imagery, art, and music. Emphasis is on creation and organization of these movement materials into a coherent and communicative whole. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 12. M. Plavin.
252. Twentieth-Century American Dance II. This course focuses on a variety of contemporary questions in dance, including the following: What is the "body image" that grows out of our culture's view of the body? How do cultural diversity and cultural blending influence contemporary dance? How are gender roles and sexuality finding expression through movement? Discussions center on the ways choreographers and dancers confront these issues. Most works are seen on video, but students also attend live performances. Open to first-year students. M. Plavin.
255. Moving Pictures: The Rhetoric of Committed Documentary. Committed documentary filmmakers and photographers have traditionally sought to expose social problems, challenge ways of seeing, and mobilize support for political action. This course surveys the history and rhetorical techniques of documentary film and photography from the social reformers of the nineteenth century to the bold experimentalists of the present. Special attention is devoted to the work of women documentarists. Extensive film viewing is required. Open to first-year students. R. Branham.
261. Beginning Acting. This course introduces the student to the physiological processes involved in creative acting. The student studies the Stanislavski approach to the analysis of realistic and naturalistic drama. Exercises leading to relaxation, concentration, and imagination are included in an improvisational context. Studies in motivation, sense perception, and emotion-memory recall lead the student to beginning work on scene performance. Not open to senior majors in theater. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 16. P. Kuritz.
262. Acting for the Classical Repertory. Students extend their basic acting technique to explore the classical dramas of the world's stages. The unique language of the dramas verse is explored as both an avenue to character study and to vocal and physical representation. Prerequisite(s) or Corequisite(s): Theater 261. Open to first-year students. Written permission of the instructor is required. Staff.
263. Voice and Speech. Students examine the nature and working of the human voice. Students explore ways to develop their voices' potential for expressive communication with exercises and the analysis of breathing, vocal relaxation, pitch, resonance, articulation, audibility, dialect, and text performance. Recommended background: one course in acting or performance or public speaking. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 20. K. Vecsey.
264. Voice and Gender. This course focuses on the gender-related differences in voice from the beginning of language acquisition through learning and development of a human voice. A variety of interdisciplinary perspectives are examined according to the different determinants of voice production physiological, psychological, social interactional, and cultural. Students explore how race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, and age affect vocal expression. Students also analyze "famous" and "attractive" human voices and discuss what makes them so. Recommended background: Theater 263, Women's Studies 100. This course is the same as Women's Studies 264. Open to first-year students. K. Vecsey.
275. African American Public Address. This course is a study of the history of oratory by African American women and men. Students examine religious, political, and ceremonial speeches. Historical topics include the abolition of slavery, Reconstruction, suffrage, the black women's club movement, Garveyism, and the civil rights and Black Power movements. Contemporary topics include affirmative action, gender politics, poverty, education, and racial identity. Open to first-year students. C. Nero.
278. The Rhetoric of Nuclear Culture, 1939-1964. The first quarter-century of the nuclear age witnessed the development, use, testing, and threatened use of atomic weapons. This course examines the diverse political, social, and cultural responses to life in the shadow of the Bomb, including government public-relations campaigns, schoolhouse rehearsals for Armageddon, and organized political protest. Weekly laboratory sessions feature documentary and fiction films on nuclear issues, from Duck and Cover to Dr. Strangelove, from Godzilla to The Atomic Cafe. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Staff.
289. Hate, the State, and Representation. This course examines the representational strategies that the state employs to
establish and maintain a stable identity among its constituencies by identifying and disciplining "deviance." Possible
topics include: body politics in the French Revolution; race and role models in contemporary culture; nationalism and
sexuality in Western Europe; citizenship, "rootlessness," and the Roma (Gypsies) in Eastern Europe; race, disease, and
genocide in the Tuskegee syphilis experiment. This course is the same as Art 289 and Political Science 289. Open to first
year students. C. Nero,
291. Introduction to Debate. A theoretical and practical study of academic debate designed for students without extensive previous experience in the activity. Lectures in debate theory are accompanied by student participation in several different debate formats, including a regularly scheduled public-discussion forum. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 20. R. Branham.
300. Theories of the Stage. A survey of some of the major Western ideas about the moral, political, and spiritual purposes of the theater. Readings include selections from The Republic, Aristotle's Poetics, essays by Renaissance and eighteenth century neoclassicists, and works by various radicals and romantics of the modern era. Prerequisite(s): Theater 200 or 210 or 220 or 225 or Classics 202 or English 213 or 214. Staff.
331. Rhetorical Theory and Practice. A study of the historical evolution of rhetorical theory through reading and analysis of primary texts, from classical times to the present. Students write, present, and discuss papers analyzing divergent rhetorical perspectives and refining their own. Specific attention is given to feminist and African American rhetoric. Prerequisite(s): one course in rhetoric. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 15. C. Nero.
360. Independent Study. Independent work in such areas as stage management, directing, and speech. Departmental
approval is required. Students are limited to one independent study per semester. Staff.
365. Special Topics. Offered occasionally in selected subjects. Staff.
370. Directing. An introduction to the art of directing, with an emphasis on creative and aesthetic problems and their solutions. Included is an examination of the director's relationship to the text, the design staff, and the actor. The approach is both theoretical and practical, involving readings, rehearsal observation, and the directing of scenes and short plays. Prerequisite(s) or Corequisite(s): Theater 261. Open to first-year students. Written permission of the instructor is required. P. Kuritz.
386. Language and Communication of Black Americans. Charles Dickens wrote in 1842 that "all the women who have been bred in slave states speak more or less like Negroes, from having been constantly in their childhood with black nurses." This course examines the linguistic practices of African Americans, alluded to by Dickens. Readings focus on the historical development of "Black English" as a necessary consequence of contact between Europeans and Africans in the New World; on patterns and styles of African American communication, such as call-and-response, signifying, and preaching; and on sociopolitical issues, such as naming traditions, racial/ethnic identity, gender and language acquisition, and education and employment policy. Recommended background: Philosophy 266. Enrollment limited to 15. C. Nero.
390. Contemporary Rhetoric. A seminar devoted to the close textual analysis of recent and provocative political discourse. The texts for analysis are drawn from various media, including controversial political speeches, documentaries, music, and advertising. This course is designed to offer students extensive personal experience in criticism and to introduce key concepts in critical theory and practice. Enrollment limited to 15. Written permission of the instructor is required. R. Branham.
391. Topics in Rhetorical Criticism. The topic varies from semester to semester. The seminar relies largely upon
individual student research, reports, and discussion. Enrollment limited to 15. Staff.
Short Term Units
s19. Spike Lee. Spike Lee is the most prominent filmmaker of African descent working in the United States. This unit examines his films and the responses to them from critics writing in African American studies in the areas of black film studies, black feminism, black lesbian and gay studies, afrocentrism, and black cultural studies. Possible topics include: history and biography in film; the audience for black films; black aesthetics and black nationalism; and images in film of black love, racism, homosexuality, gender, male bonding, interracial relations, and the family. This unit is the same as African American Studies s19. Open to first-year students. C. Nero.
s21. Documentary Video Production. In this unit, students direct and produce video documentaries on subjects of their own selection. Classic documentaries are viewed and discussed in class. Students make weekly presentations of their work in-progress and analyze the works of others. Prior course work or production experience in film or video is recommended. Enrollment limited to 12. Written permission of the instructor is required. R. Branham.
s22. Contemporary Performance Poetry. An investigation of poetry as a performance medium. Included is a historical
overview comparing the European traditions of Dadaism, Futurism, and their proponents in America to the Afro-American
tradition exemplified by Shange, Baraka, and present-day Hip-hop Rappers. The approach is theoretical and practical,
utilizing readings, discussion, film, recordings, and texts created and performed by students. Enrollment limited to 15.
Written permission of the instructor is required.
s23. Debate Touring. Students research, analyze, prepare briefs upon, and debate a public-policy topic selected by the instructor for presentation to various audiences. Recommended background: Rhetoric 291. Open to first-year students. Written permission of instructor required. R. Branham.
s26. Theater Production Workshop I. Working under faculty supervision and with visiting professional artists, student
actors, directors, designers, and technicians undertake the tasks necessary to produce a play. Readings and discussions
explore various ways of understanding and producing a text. Written permission of the instructor is required.
s27. Film and Theater. Films have always looked to the theater for stories and characters. This unit studies the transformation of plays into movies, paying particular attention to such fundamental differences between stage and screen as the use of space and time, the manipulation of point of view, and acting versus stardom. Students read extensively in dramatic literature and film theory, and view a variety of films based on plays. Included are works by such playwrights as Shakespeare, Shaw, Williams, Albee, Pinter, and Shepard, and such directors as Olivier, Kurosawa, Hitchcock, Kazan, Nichols, and Altman. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. M. Andrucki.
s28. The Living Stage: Theater in New York. A study of contemporary theater focusing on the experience of live
performance in New York City. An initial on-campus period of reading and discussion of relevant modern texts precedes
about two weeks of intensive theatergoing in New York. The unit surveys works from the Broadway mainstream to the
farthest reaches of "Off-off-Broadway," and includes performances by artists and ensembles representing the enormous
variety of cultural perspectives available in America's largest city. Enrollment limited to 15. Written permission of
s29. Dance as a Collaborative Art. A practical investigation of the processes of collaboration involving dance and allied arts. An initial period of study examines important examples of collaboration, and experiments with techniques for integrating dance with other arts. Students participate in all aspects of the dance production necessary to tour for a two- to three-week period of teaching and performing in schools throughout Maine. Open to dancers and nondancers. Enrollment limited to 25. M. Plavin.
s30. Theater Production Workshop II. Experienced students, working under faculty supervision and occasionally with visiting professional artists, produce a play under strict time, financial, and material constraints. Readings and discussions explore various ways of understanding and producing a play. Prerequisite(s): Theater s26. Written permission of the instructor is required. P. Kuritz.
s32. Theater Production Workshop III. The most experienced theater students work under faculty supervision and in leadership positions with other students in the production of a play. Readings and discussions challenge students' notions about acting, directing, and design for the theater. Prerequisite(s): Theater s26 and s30. Written permission of the instructor is required. P. Kuritz.
s36. Work-Study Internship in Theater. Qualified students participate in the artistic and educational programs of professional theater companies. Each intern is supervised by a staff member. By specific arrangement and Departmental approval only. Recommended background: two courses in acting, directing, design, or playwriting; participation in Departmental productions. Open to first-year students. Written permission of the instructor is required. Staff.
s50. Individual Research. Registration in this unit is granted by the Department only after the student has submitted a written proposal for a full-time research project to be completed during the Short Term and has secured the sponsorship of a member of the Department to direct the study and evaluate results. Students are limited to one individual research unit. Staff.