Department of Theatre
Jarka M. Burian, Ph.D.
James Leonard, Ph.D.
Albert B. Weiner, Ph.D.
W. Langdon Brown, Ph.D.
Andi Lyons, M.F.A.
Janet M. Sussman, M.F.A.
University of Texas, Austin
Associate Professors Emeritae/i
Albert Asermely, Ph.D.
City University of New York
Robert J. Donnelly, M.F.A.
Jerome Hanley, M.F.A.
Edward J. Mendus, M.A.
University at Albany
Amy J. Lehman, Ph.D.
Eszter Szalczer, Ph.D.
City University of New York
Visiting Assistant Professors
Mark J. Dalton, M.F.A.
University of Washington
Kathryn L. Long, Ph.D.
University of Michigan
James P. Farrell, M.F.A.
New York University
Anne L. Liske, M.F.A.
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Jamie M. Stiller, M.A.
New York University
Kelli D. Wondra, M.A.
Kansas State University
Adjuncts (estimated): 4
Teaching Assistants (estimated): 2
The curriculum of the Theatre Department (which includes its production program) is designed to aid students to reason and write effectively, to acquire intellectual skills necessary to confront a changing world, to acquire proficiency in a core of theatre knowledge and practice, and to understand the self-discipline necessary to pursue a life in art.
Theatre is a performing art. It is also a major area of study through which one may gain a liberal arts education. The Department of Theatre assumed these two views of the theatre to be mutually supportive. Design, direction, acting, writing, technology, history, theory, criticism, and dramatic literature are considered interdependent studies. However, a degree of specialization is expected of all students.
A major in theatre prepares students for specialized graduate study in dramatic art or conservatory training in performance or production. Thus they acquire a wide range of knowledge and skills transferable to a variety of career paths. In addition, theatre majors are prepared to pursue any career path requiring a broad liberal education.
Our graduates are currently acting and directing in television, film, and on stage in New York, and in regional theatres. Graduates in design and technical areas have found employment in the New York theatre, in regional theatres, with touring theatrical and concert productions and with equipment manufacturers and distributors. Other graduates have gone into architecture, teaching, journalism, communications, the law, and business.
Casting Policy Statement
The Department of Theatre, University at Albany, State University of New York, has pledged itself to the goal of achieving cultural diversity in the casting of its productions.
Degree Requirements for the Major in Theatre
A student may elect either a 36-credit general program or a 54-credit departmental program in which emphasis in a particular area of theatre is required.
A student wishing to concentrate in dramatic theory, history, and literature should enroll in the general program and plan a minor to accommodate such interests.
All theatre majors take the following 36-credit core sequence of courses:
A Thr 130 or 135, 201 (for 4 or 5 credits), 210Z, 221L, 222L, 235L, 240, 250, 322 or 322Z, plus three of the following: A Eng 344 or 345, A Thr 225L, A Thr 430, A Thr 455, A Thr 456.
General Program B.A.:
36 credits (at least 12 credits must be at the 300 level or above). Students in the general program are required to take the 36-credit core.
Departmental Program B.A.:
54 credits (at least 18 credits must be at the 300 level or above). Students in the departmental program are required to take the 36-credit core plus courses as follows, and they do not need to declare a separate minor.
18 credit Concentration in Theatre Production:
One or two of the following: A Thr 260 or 270 or 280, 340 or 242 or 244;
Two or three of the following: A Thr 341, 360, 370, 380L;
Three of the following: A Thr 350, 365, 375, 385, 440, 465, 470, 501.
Combined B.A./M.A. Program
The Combined B.A./M.A. Program in theatre provides an opportunity for students of recognized academic ability and educational maturity to fulfill integrated requirements of undergraduate and master's degree programs starting from the beginning of their junior year. A carefully designed program can permit a student to earn the B.A. and M.A. degrees within nine semesters.
The combined program requires a minimum of 138 credits, of which at least 30 must be graduate credits. In qualifying for the B.A., students will meet all University and college requirements, including the requirements for either the general program major or the departmental program major described previously, the minor requirement, the minimum 90-credit liberal arts and sciences requirement, general education requirements, and residency requirements. In qualifying for the M.A., students will meet all University and college requirements as outlined in the Graduate Bulletin, including completing a minimum of 30 graduate credits, and any conditions such as a research seminar, thesis, comprehensive examination, or other professional experience where required, and residency requirements.
Up to 12 graduate credits may be applied simultaneously to both the B.A. and M.A. programs. The graduate courses which are used to satisfy the requirement of "6 credits...in theatre department courses in theatre history, theory or dramatic literature" may substitute for appropriate courses in the required 36-credit undergraduate core. In addition, graduate courses in theatre may be used to satisfy the undergraduate requirement of "additional credits as advised." Graduate courses in other departments, if approved by the Director of Graduate Studies in Theatre as appropriate to the student's M.A. program under the rubric "supporting courses, as advised," may be counted toward the B.A. program.
Students will be considered as undergraduates until completion of 120 graduation credits and satisfactory completion of all B.A. requirements. Upon satisfying requirements for the B.A., students will automatically be considered as graduate students.
Students may apply for admission to the combined degree program at the beginning of their junior year, or after successful completion of 56 credits, but no later than the accumulation of 100 credits. A cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or higher and three supportive letters of recommendation from faculty are required for consideration. Students will be admitted to the combined program upon the recommendation of the Graduate Admissions Committee of the Department of Theatre.
A Thr 107L Introduction to Dramatic Art (3)
General Education: HA
The components of dramatic art; attention to the contributions of acting, script, makeup, scenery, lighting, sound, music and architecture to the theatre as a unified creative expression. A Thr 107E is the writing intensive version of A Thr 107L; only one may be taken for credit.
A Thr 107E Introduction to Dramatic Art (3)
General Education: HA & WI
A Thr 107E is the writing intensive version of A Thr 107L; only one may be taken for credit.
A Thr 129 Performance Aerobics (2)
An introduction to aerobic exercise that strengthens and tones muscles, increases muscle-joint flexibility and cardiorespiratory endurance. Emphasis is on body awareness, alignment, fluidity of movement, projection and performance energy. No previous experience necessary. S/U graded.
A Thr 130 Technical Elements of Theatre (3)
An introduction to theatrical production, including the examination of theatre architecture, scenery, lighting, costumes, sound, properties, and production organization. May not be offered during 1999-2000.
A Thr 135 Introduction to Technical Theatre (4)
Examination of the elements of technical theatre, including function and coordination of theatre architecture, scenery, lighting, costume and props. Three hours of lecture, plus assigned laboratory sessions.
A Thr 140 Fundamentals of Acting (3)
Introduction to the art and craft of acting. Exercises in relaxation, concentration and imaging. Memorized scenes and monologues. Course is limited to freshmen and sophomores. S/U graded.
A Thr 161 Folk Dance (1)
An introduction to International Folk Dance. Dances from many diverse countries and cultures will be taught and discussed. The course will prepare the student to join recreational folk dance groups and to participate in ethnic festivals. S/U graded.
A Thr 162 Introduction to Modern Dance (3)
An exploration of the fundamentals of modern dance technique: body alignment, coordination, strength and flexibility, locomotion performed in rhythmic patterns with an emphasis on anatomically efficient movement and energy projection. An investigation of the elements of movement: space, time and energy and the creative and expressive aspects of dance through improvisation, problem solving, composition and performance. The study of the development of modern dance as an art form. This course will include readings in dance theory and history, video and live concert viewing, movement studies, journals, and a final piece for public viewing. No previous experience necessary.
A Thr 164 Beginning Jazz Dance (3)
An exploration of the basic principles of jazz dance technique including body isolations, syncopation and combinations of basic jazz steps. Readings in the history of jazz dance, video and live concert viewing will place jazz dance in a historical context and create an appreciation of it as an art form. Movement studies, journals and a final piece for public performance are required. S/U graded.
A Thr 201 Production and Performance Lab (1)
Application of theatre study to the challenges of theatre practice through semester-long participation in the production-related activities of the Department of Theatre. Four or five semesters required of theatre majors; may be repeated for credit up to six times. Prerequisite(s): permission of instructor. S/U graded.
A Thr 210Z Play Analysis (3)
General Education: WI
Study of approaches to the analysis of dramatic literature. Readings in dramatic literature, criticism, theory. Written practice in analyzing plays and other assigned readings.
A Thr 221L Development of Theatre and Drama I (3)
General Education: CHP & HA
A survey of dramatic literature and theatrical art in ancient Greece and Rome, Asia and Medieval Europe. This course includes introductory material to provide a foundation for further study in dramatic literature and theatre history.
A Thr 222L Development of Theatre and Drama II (3)
General Education: CHP & HA
A survey of dramatic literature and theatrical art from the Renaissance to the late 19th century. Prerequisite(s): A Thr 221L.
A Thr 225L American Theatre History (3)
General Education: CHP & HA
Development of theatre and drama in the United States from its 17th-century beginnings to the present.
A Thr 228 Voices of Diversity in Contemporary American Theatre and Drama (3)
General Education: HD
Concentration on works which are often omitted from the theatrical canon because of their divergent aesthetic, ideological or sociological values. Selections will include, but not be limited to, dramas and creative contributions by African-Americans, Latinas and Latinos, Gays and Lesbians, and Native Americans.
A Thr 230L Great Drama on Film and Video (3)
General Education: HA
A study of major works of drama through the ages with emphasis on their values as works of dramatic literature as well as crucial raw material for complex embodiment in theatre and film performance.
A Thr 235L Fundamentals of Theatrical Design (3)
General Education: HA
Exploration of the elements of design and principles of composition, especially as they relate to the visual aspects of theatre. Lectures will emphasize scenic and costume design, with projects, exercises and classroom discussions aimed at developing visual awareness and imagination.
A Thr 240 Acting I (3)
Development of the actor's instrument: voice, body and imagination. Topics include vocabulary, analysis for action, discipline, artistic focus, and rehearsal skills. Exercises include improvisations and scripted performance. The purpose of this course is to encourage students to take artistic risks and build confidence in their ability to perform. Prerequisite(s): permission of instructor.
A Thr 242 Voice l (3)
Study of voice production employing exercises in relaxation, breathing, resonation, and the discovery of the individual's optimum voice. Exercises in projection in a variety of performance spaces. Prerequisite(s): permission of instructor.
A Thr 244 Movement I (3)
A movement class focusing on alignment, centering and preparing the body for work on the stage. Employs techniques from the Alexander, Feldenkrais, and Suzuki training systems. Prerequisite(s): permission of instructor.
A Thr 250 Stage Makeup (1)
Exploration of the art and technique of makeup design. Includes exercises in the technique of modeling the planes of the face. Special emphasis on understanding and applying the principles of chiaroscuro.
A Thr 260 Theatrical Drafting (3)
Study and practice of the techniques used in theatrical drafting including orthographic projections, isometrics, mechanical perspective and freehand drawing, which are essential tools of communication for further study in the technical and design areas.
A Thr 263 Decorative Arts in Relation to Scenic Design (3)
A survey of period styles of furniture, architectural ornament, and interior architecture and decoration. Prerequisite(s): permission of instructor. May not be offered during 1999-2000.
A Thr 270 Technical Theatre Practice (3)
Introduction to the materials and techniques used in the construction and handling of theatrical scenery and lighting. Topics include equipment, rigging, mechanical devices, basic electricity, and translation of theatrical drafting. Emphasis on application within the theatrical environment.
A Thr 280 Costume Technology (3)
Introduction to the use of materials and techniques in the preparation and construction of theatrical costumes. Topics include patterning, draping, basic theatrical sewing, budgeting, dyeing, and fabrics. Emphasis on application within the theatrical environment.
A Thr 300 Plays in Process (3)
This course examines the arc of the dramatic event from its genesis in the mind of the playwright to its presentation before an audience. Particular attention is paid to source material and its relationship to the development of the script. The contributions of interpreters such as dramaturg, director, designers and actors are also explored. Students are exposed, as directly as possible, to aspects of the creative process that makes theatre happen.
A Thr 310 Reader's Theatre (3)
Study and practice in the performance techniques and materials appropriate to reader's theatre. Particular attention to the development of vocal expressiveness by the individual performer as well as readers in concert. May not be offered during 1999-2000.
A Thr 315 (= A Mus 315) Arts Management (3)
An overview of the conceptual and practical management structures and systems in professional, not-for-profit arts and cultural organizations. The course focuses on areas of prime importance to the arts manager: organizational structure, planning, board/staff leadership, programming and budgeting. Term project required. Only one of A Thr 315 and A Mus 315 may be taken for credit. Prerequisite(s): permission of instructor.
A Thr 320 Performance Art in America (3)
Performance art has proven to be a radical method of establishing cultural and gender identity. This course examines the origins of the form in avant garde European movements of the early twentieth century and its vigorous expression in contemporary America. Course texts include performance scripts, performance videos and, where possible, live performance art. As the content of performance art is often controversial and sometimes offensive, students in the course will consider issues such as censorship, civil discourse, and the methodology of criticizing controversial material.
A Thr 322 Development of Theatre and Drama III (3)
A survey of dramatic literature and theatrical art from the end of the 19th century to World War II. A Thr 322Z is the writing intensive version of A Thr 322; only one may be taken for credit. Prerequisite(s): A Thr 221L.
A Thr 322Z Development of Theatre and Drama III (3)
General Education: WI
The writing intensive version of A Thr 322; only one may be taken for credit. Prerequisite(s): A Thr 221L.
A Thr 340 Acting II (3)
Developing a role through script analysis. The course focuses on learning and applying a practical method of analyzing a script for character action. Exercises include scene work, monologue preparation, and audition technique. Prerequisite(s): A Thr 240 and permission of instructor.
A Thr 341 Acting III (3)
Developing and opening up the student actor's instrument through performing Shakespearean scenes. Exploration of acting technique beyond the psycho-logical realism of contemporary theatre practice. Exploration of action and character defined by language. Physical and vocal exercises in addition to scene work and script analysis employing scansion technique. Prerequisite(s): A Thr 340, 242 or 244, and permission of instructor.
A Thr 343 Voice II (3)
Study of speech and articulation. Exercises emphasize gaining proficiency in standard stage English and in working with classical texts. Prerequisite(s): A Thr 242 and permission of instructor. May not be offered during 1999-2000.
A Thr 345 Movement II (3)
Development of physical characterization through movement. Employs techniques such as Laban, Essentics, and animal mask. Exercises in character creation through script analysis. Prerequisite(s): A Thr 244 and permission of instructor. May not be offered during 1999-2000.
A Thr 350 Directing I (3)
An exploration of the art and craft of directing for the theatre. Includes methods of approaching the text, organizing the rehearsal process and composing the production. Prerequisite(s): A Thr 221L, 235L and 240, and permission of instructor.
A Thr 351 Directing II (3)
A continuation of study begun in A Thr 350 for advanced students. Prerequisite(s): A Thr 350 and permission of instructor.
A Thr 359 (= A Rus 359 & 359Z) Russian Drama in English Translation (3)
Surveys major trends in Russian drama and analyzes major works from the comedies of Fonvizin and Griboedov satirizing the Russian social scene to the twilight melancholy of Chekhov and the theatre of 20th-century Soviet Russia. Conducted in English. Offered in alternate years. Only one of A Thr 359, A Rus 359 & 359Z may be taken for credit. Prerequisite(s): A Rus 251L or junior or senior class standing, or permission of instructor. May not be offered during 1999- 2000.
A Thr 360 Theatre Production Technology (3)
The theories and practices of technical production, and the application of graphics techniques to the communication of ideas. Topics include technical organization and planning, budgeting, theatre architecture, principles of theatre technology, drafting, rigging and model building. Prerequisite(s): A Thr 135 or 130, and 260.
A Thr 365 Scene Design (3)
The applications of the principles of design to scenery for the theatre. Focus on the analysis of the script in visual terms and the translation of this into the design for a setting. Model-making, drawing and rendering techniques will be explored as methods of communicating design ideas. Prerequisite(s): A Thr 235L and 360.
A Thr 370 Stage Lighting Technology (3)
Introduction to stage lighting technology, and to principles relating to the safe operation of rigging and maintenance. Topics include basic optics, electricity, equipment, the physics of light and interpretation of lighting plans and symbols. Prerequisite(s): A Thr 135 or 130.
A Thr 371 Theatre and Sound (3)
Physical acoustics and electronic sound reproduction as applied to theatrical production. Topics include the acoustic properties of auditoria, electronic sound recording and reproduction, and electronic sound reinforcement. Students must have a prior background in elementary physics and mathematics through advanced algebra (preferably calculus). Prerequisite(s): A Thr 135 or 130 and permission of instructor.
A Thr 375 Lighting Design (3)
The study of light as a design element in theatrical production. Topics include script analysis in terms of lighting, the phenomena of color as applied to lighting, the various methods available for lighting the stage, advanced consideration of lighting control systems and their effect on design, and the preparation of lighting plots. Prerequisite(s): A Thr 260 and 370.
A Thr 380L History of Costume (3)
General Education: HA
Survey of Western clothing history, fashion and style from primitive times to the 20th century.
A Thr 385 Costume Design (3)
The theory and application of the principles of theatrical costume design. Practice in developing necessary graphic skills through study of drawing and rendering techniques. Prerequisite(s): A Thr 235L and 380L.
A Thr 386 Costume Crafts and Properties (3)
Intensive study of the techniques, materials, and tools used in the more specialized areas of theatrical costuming such as armor, hats, and jewelry. Prerequisite(s): A Thr 130 or 135.
A Thr 390 Internship with New York State Theatre Institute (3-15)
Individually arranged apprenticeship employing experiences in the Theatre's current schedule of productions and school residencies. Emphasis on interdisciplinary learning, theatre production, education, and aesthetic, technical, and business aspects of the arts. Internships are open only to qualified juniors and seniors who have an overall grade point average of 2.50 or higher. Prerequisite(s): permission of instructor. S/U graded.
A Thr 397 Independent Study in Theatre (2-4)
Directed reading and conferences on selected topics. A student may take the course once as strictly research and once as a production- related study, but not repeat one or the other. Prerequisite(s): junior or senior class standing, and permission of instructor and department chair.
A Thr 406Z (= A Eng 404) Playwriting (3)
General Education: WI
Workshop dealing with the craft of playwriting. Focuses on preparing a stageworthy script; some of these scripts may be considered for production. Limited enrollment. Only one of A Thr 406Z & A Eng 404 may be taken for credit. A Thr 406Z may be repeated once for credit. Prerequisite(s): A Thr 322Z or 322 or equivalent, and permission of instructor based on submission of written work.
A Thr 430 Seminar in Contemporary Theatre (3)
A survey of dramatic literature and theatrical art from World War II to the present. Prerequisite(s): A Thr 322 or 322Z. May not be offered during 1999-2000. May not be offered during 1999-2000.
A Thr 440 Acting IV (3)
Development of the student actor's ability to portray characters in studies and styles of acting. Exercises in identifying rules of social behavior, tastes, mores, self image, etc. characteristic of a playwright's world and applying this knowledge to the creation of a character. Exercises in rehearsal methods explore the actor's need to consider audience response in creating the performance. Prerequisite(s): A Thr 341 and permission of instructor.
A Thr 442 Voice III (3)
A voice class stressing voice and speech as embodiments of textual styles. Prerequisite(s): A Thr 343 and permission of instructor. May not be offered during 1999- 2000.
A Thr 444 Movement III (3)
Instruction in stage combat. Study of personal combat and types of weapons employed in combat. Exercises in basic safety measures and combat movement with a variety of weapons. Students will be examined in a minimum standard repertoire of combat moves upon completion of the course. Optional certification by the Society of American Fight Directors will be available to some students with the instructor's recommendation. Prerequisite(s): A Thr 244 and permission of instructor. May not be offered during 1999-2000.
A Thr 446 Special Studies in Voice (1-3)
Intensive work in a particular aspect of vocal production; e.g., musical theatre, dialects, oral interpretation. May be repeated up to a total of 6 credits. Prerequisite(s): A Thr 242 and permission of instructor.
A Thr 447 Special Studies in Movement (1-3)
Intensive work in a particular aspect of stage movement; e.g., stage combat, period movement, mime. May be repeated up to a total of 6 credits. Prerequisite(s): A Thr 244 and permission of instructor.
A Thr 448 Special Studies in Design and Technical Production (1-3)
Intensive work in a particular aspect of design or technical production; e.g., scene painting, stage properties, computerized lighting systems, special effects. May be repeated for a total of 6 credits. Prerequisite(s): junior or senior class standing, and permission of instructor. May not be offered during 1999-2000.
A Thr 449 Topics in Acting (3)
Special topics and exercises selected to address particular needs and interests of advanced students. This course may be repeated once when topic varies. Prerequisite(s): A Thr 440 or permission of instructor.
A Thr 455 Seminar in Theatre History (3)
Considers a particular research topic in theatre history. May be repeated once when content varies. Prerequisite(s): Thr 322 or 322Z, junior or senior class standing, and permission of instructor.
A Thr 456 Seminar in Dramatic Literature (3)
Examines a particular genre, movement, period or author. Prerequisite(s): A Thr 322 or 322Z, junior or senior class standing, and permission of instructor. May be repeated once when content varies.
A Thr 465 Technical Design and Production Planning (3)
The application of theatre technology to problem solving in a theatrical organization. Advanced study of equipment, methods, materials and the principles governing their use. Technical innovation, planning, structural design, and advanced drafting considered as functions of the technical director/production manager. Prerequisite(s): A Thr 360.
A Thr 470 Stage Management (3)
Investigation of the theories and techniques of stage management, including a thorough examination of the varied functions and duties performed by stage managers in professional, educational, commercial, and community theatres. Prerequisite(s): A Thr 135 or 130, junior or senior class standing, and permission of instructor.
A Thr 480 Drama in Production (2-3)
Specific projects under the direction of an appropriate faculty member in one or more phases of production related to current Theatre Department activity; may include supervised research in appropriate critical or historical background and theory. May be repeated once with a different primary production emphasis. Prerequisite(s): junior or senior class standing, and permission of instructor.
A Thr 490 Internship (3-12)
Apprenticeship program with professional theatrical organizations for qualified seniors. Internships are open only to qualified juniors and seniors who have an overall grade point average of 2.50 or higher. Prerequisite(s): senior class standing and permission of department chair. S/U graded.