5: Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

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Department of Drama
Course Descriptions | Departmental Degree Requirements

Course Descriptions

DRAM 504 - (3) (O)
Early American Drama

An examination of the American theatre (both the dramatic literature and significant productions) prior to O’Neill. Focuses on the development of a uniquely American drama and how the theatre reflected the era in which it was created.

DRAM 506 - (3) (IR)
Modernism in the Theatre

Prerequisites: DRAM 305, DRAM 306 or equivalent
Study of the theory, literature and mise-en-scene of the theatre during the modern era.

DRAM 555 - (3) (Y)
Performing Arts Management

Prerequisites: Graduate standing; 12 credits in drama and/or business related courses; or permission of instructor
An examination of the principles and practices of managing the not-for-profit performing arts organization. Using the theatre as a model, the course focuses on the responsibilities of the top manager within the organization, and the relationship to the artistic staff and the board of trustees.

DRAM 571 - (3) (Y)
Playwriting V

Prerequisite: Nine credits of drama courses or permission of instructor
Introduction to the craft of playwriting and examination of exemplary works. Includes weekly problem exercises emphasizing the development of a way of working.

DRAM 572 - (3) (Y)
Playwriting VI

Prerequisites: DRAM 571 and permission of instructor
Study of the craft of playwriting; continued study of exemplary plays and problem exercises; and increased emphasis on reading and discussion of student work.

DRAM 701 - (3) (IR)
Performance in the Postmodernism Era: An Introduction to Graduate Study in Theatre

Prerequisite: Graduate standing MFA Program
Through detailed research and the “reconstruction” of performance(s), students examine the work of contemporary theatre artists and the nature of the shift from a modern position/perspective/aesthetic to what many historians and critics regard as a post-modern one.

DRAM 702 - (3) (IR)
Theatre Makeup

Prerequisite: Graduate standing MFA Program
Research and studio practice in the design and application of theatre makeup. Emphasizes observation and mastery of basic techniques and materials employed in facial analysis and the creation of juvenile, lead, character, and aged makeup.

DRAM 703/803/903 - (1-12) (S) Independent Study
Independent study conducted under the supervision of a specific instructor.

DRAM 710 - (3) (IR)
Graphics for the Theatre

Prerequisite: Graduate standing MFA program
An intense study of basic design communication skills which serve as the foundation for costume, scenic, and lighting designers in collaboration with directors, designers, actors, and shop personnel. Includes basic elements of design in line, color, texture, visual research methodology, and media techniques in drawing, painting, model making.

DRAM 713/714 - (2) (IR)
Production Laboratory: Lighting

Prerequisite: Graduate standing MFA Program
Participation in the production program, crediting work in the preparation and performance of lighting design.

DRAM 716 - (3) (IR)
Lighting Design I: Elements of Design

Prerequisites: DRAM 710, DRAM 717 or permission of instructor; corequisite: DRAM 718, DRAM 714
Study of the elements of theatrical lighting design essential to the stage designer. Areas of study include script interpretation, lighting composition, color, instrumentation, graphic notation, and presentation techniques.

DRAM 717 - (3) (IR)
Principles of Technology

Prerequisite: Graduate standing MFA Program
Study of drafting techniques which prepares the scenic designer to identify and communicate methods and materials relative to executing the design. Covers standards for theatrical drafting, preparation of ground plans, sections, and design elevations including both pictorial and orthographic drawings.

DRAM 718 - (3) (IR)
Computer Aided Design and Drafting for the Stage Designer

Prerequisite: DRAM 717 or permission of instructor
Study of Computer Aided Design and Drafting techniques which prepares the lighting designer, scenic designer, and technical director to identify and communicate methods and materials relative to the execution of a lighting or scenic design. Taught completely on-line with all course materials and project submissions made electronically.

DRAM 719/819/919 - (3-9) (Y)
Mentored Study: Lighting

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
A guided study which gives students the opportunity to explore with a faculty member areas of lighting design and/or technology which are not contained in the established curriculum.

DRAM 723/724 -(2) (IR)
Production Laboratory: Scenery

Prerequisite: Graduate standing MFA Program
Participation in the production program, crediting work in the preparation and performance of scenic designs.

DRAM 726 - (3) (IR)
Scene Design I: Design Studio—Realism

Scenic design studio explores the range of theatrical design styles which form the core of the designer’s visual catalog. Study includes, but is not limited to, nineteenth- and twentieth-century realistic design styles.

DRAM 728 - (3) (IR)
Scene Painting

Prerequisite: DRAM 710
Study of the materials and methods of scenic painting, and its application to both conventional and non-conventional means of scenic replication for the dramatic and musical stages. Includes use of various scenic media used for scenic illustration, and the methods used for preparing a variety of surfaces to be painted.

DRAM 729/829/929 - (3-9) (S) Mentored Study: Scene Design
Prerequisite: Graduate standing MFA Program
A guided study which gives students the opportunity to explore with a faculty member areas of scenic design and/or technology which are not contained in the established curriculum.

DRAM 733/734 - (2) (IR)
Production Laboratory: Costume

Prerequisite: Graduate standing MFA Program
Participation in the production program, crediting work in the preparation and performance of costume design.

DRAM 735 - (3) (IR)
Costume: Principles of Production

Prerequisite: Graduate standing MFA Program
An intense study of basic execution and design techniques which enable construction techniques, safe and proper equipment utilization, principles of pattern drafting, design analysis, shop organization, and personnel management.

DRAM 736 - (3) (IR)
Costume Design: Research

Prerequisite: DRAM 710, DRAM 735; corequisite: DRAM 738
Application of design principles to play scripts focusing on the examination of the special world of the play as foundation for character and character relationships.

DRAM 738 - (3) (IR)
Costume Technology: Patterning Fundamentals

Prerequisites: DRAM 710, DRAM 735; corequisite: DRAM 736
Exploration of the fundamentals of draping and flat-patterning, the two basic systems of pattern-making upon which all patterns are based.

DRAM 739/839/939 - (3-9) (S) Mentored Study: Costume
Prerequisite: Graduate standing MFA Program or permission of instructor
This guided study gives students the opportunity to work closely with a faculty member expert in the particular area of costume design and/or technology the student wishes to explore beyond the formal course work set down in the established curriculum.

DRAM 740/840/940 - (3-9) (S) Mentored Study: Acting
Prerequisite: Graduate standing MFA Program or permission of instructor
This guided study gives students the opportunity to work closely with a faculty member expert in the particular area of acting the student wishes to explore beyond the formal course work set down in the established curriculum.

DRAM 741 - (2) (IR)
Movement: Exploration

Prerequisite: Graduate standing MFA Program
A physical and psychological approach to addressing the actor's physical habits. Technique and explorations focus on the holistic nature of the actor as communicator and the importance of breath as initiator of sound and movement.

DRAM 742 - (2) (IR)
Movement: Stage Combat

Prerequisite: DRAM 741
An examination of the history of human violence and the forms of personal and military combat frequently used on the stage. Actors learn to perform physical aggression that is safe and dramatically effective through technique in armed and unarmed combat. Opportunity to earn SAFD Actor/Combat certification.

DRAM 743 - (2) (Y)
Voice: Breath, Structure, Sound

Prerequisite: Graduate standing MFA Program
Exploration of the basic approaches to vocal relaxation, breath control, resonance, and projection. Includes identification and correction of vocal habits and regionalisms, and introduction of phonetics, Lessac, and Linklater vocal methods.

DRAM 744 - (2) (Y)
Voice: Tone, Speech, Text

Prerequisite: DRAM 743
Study of the tonal aspects of sound production. Examines appropriate consonant and vowel production, and includes the phonetic analysis of text. The voice is connected to language imagery and emotion, employing textual exploration and physicalization exercises.

DRAM 745 - (2) (Y)
Acting: Impulse Into Action

Prerequisite: Graduate standing MFA Program
Systematic evaluation of the actor's approach to characterization. Methodology includes exercises for kinesthetic awareness, emotive connections, image formation, and action choices.

DRAM 746 - (2) (Y)
Acting: Character Into Relationship

Prerequisite: DRAM 745
Study of complex characterization and style considerations. Works from Miller, Williams, O'Neill, Ibsen, Chekhov, and Shaw serve as material for scene study.

DRAM 747/748 - (1) (Y)
Acting: Production and Performance

Prerequisite: Graduate standing MFA Program
Participation in the production program, crediting work in preparation and performance of acting.

DRAM 749 (2) - (Y)
Acting: Performance Lab I

Prerequisite: DRAM 745
A workshop exploration of original dramatic material written by graduate playwrights in residence. Focuses on short exercises for specific craft development.

DRAM 763/764 - (2) (IR)
Production Laboratory: Technical

Prerequisite: Graduate standing MFA Program.
Participation in the production program, crediting work in preparation and performance of scenic elements.

DRAM 766 - (3) (IR)
Technical Direction

Prerequisite: Graduate standing MFA Program
Study of advanced principles of scenery technology, construction, shop organization, purchasing, planning, and organization of crews to complete a production. Information gained in this course furthers technical directors' skills.

DRAM 768 - (3) (IR)
Construction

Perquisites: Graduate standing MFA Program
Study of traditional and contemporary theories of staging, pragmatic application of scenic construction systems; including wood, fabric, plastics and steel. Information gained in this course furthers technical construction skills.

DRAM 769/869/969 - (3-9) (S) Mentored Study: Technical Production
Prerequisites: Graduate standing MFA Program or permission of instructor
The guided study gives students the opportunity to work closely with a faculty member expert in the particular area of technical theatre the student wishes to explore beyond the formal course work set down in the established curriculum.

DRAM 771 - (3) (IR)
Playwriting VII: One-Act Plays

A writing workshop focusing on the drafting and revision of one-act plays.

DRAM 772 - (3) (IR)
Playwriting VIII: Adaptation

Prerequisite: Playwriting VII
A writing workshop focusing on the full-length play.

DRAM 774 - (3) (IR)
Playwriting: Performance Lab I

Prerequisite: Playwriting VII
A writing workshop focusing on short exercises for specific craft development. The course works in tandem with DRAM 649; the exercises written in this class are then workshopped by graduate actors from DRAM 649.

DRAM 775/776 - (1) (IR)
Production Laboratory: Playwriting

Participation in production program, crediting work in preparation and performance of plays written.

DRAM 779/879/979 - (3-9) (S) Mentored Study: Playwriting
Prerequisite: Graduate standing MFA Program or permission of instructor
The guided study gives students the opportunity to work closely with a faculty member expert in the particular area of playwriting the student wishes to explore beyond the formal course work set down in the established curriculum.

DRAM 792 - (2) (IR)
Design: Psychology of Space, Light and Attire

Prerequisite: Graduate standing MFA Program
Study of design for the actor, exploring the power of the visual world and the role of the designer in shaping the world of the play in contemporary production. Projects teach the student to express concepts using the designer's tools.

DRAM 797 - (3-12) (Y)
Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Research

Prerequisite: Graduate standing MFA Program.

DRAM 813/814 - (2) (IR)
Production Laboratory: Lighting

Prerequisite: Graduate standing MFA Program
Participation in the production program, crediting work in the preparation and performance of lighting design.

DRAM 815 - (3) (IR)
Lighting Design 2: Alternative Forms

Prerequisite: DRAM 716 or permission of instructor
Study of the elements of theatrical lighting design essential to the stage designer (continuation of DRAM 716). Areas of study include alternative forms and spaces, problem solving, orchestration, and cuing.

DRAM 816 - (3) (IR)
Lighting Design 3: Special Topics

Prerequisites: DRAM 716, DRAM 815 or permission of instructor.
Seminar on advanced topics in lighting design.

DRAM 823/824 - (2) (IR)
Production Laboratory: Scenery

Prerequisite: Graduating standing MFA Program
Participation in the production program, crediting work in preparation and performance of scenic design.

DRAM 825 - (3) (IR)
Scenic Design 2: Design Studio—The Classics

Prerequisites: DRAM 710, DRAM 726; corequisite: DRAM 827
Study and creation of classical period scenic design. An examination of design for classical, Shakespearean, and 16-18th century plays.

DRAM 827 - (3) (IR)
Period Decor

Prerequisite: DRAM 710; corequisite: DRAM 825
A study of period furniture and decorative arts from antiquity to the present. Includes a study of cultural influences on the use of interior design elements.

DRAM 831 - (3) (IR)
History of Dress and Textiles

Prerequisite: DRAM 736 or permission of instructor; corequisites DRAM 835 and DRAM 837 recommended.
Study of period and contemporary dress and textiles as the foundation of the designer's creation of costumes for the stage. Analysis of cultural influences of the special world, the psychology of dress, period movement, and the expression of self through choice of dress. Development of investigative methodology through hands-on work with the department’s vintage clothing and textiles collection.

DRAM 833/834 - (2) (IR)
Production Laboratory: Costume

Prerequisite: Graduate standing MFA Program
Participation in the production program, crediting work in the preparation and performance of costume designs.

DRAM 835 (3) - (IR)
Costume Design: Character

Prerequisite: DRAM 736; corequisite: DRAM 837
Application of design principles and psychology of dress to development of character as drawn from a variety of scripts from Shakespeare to Williams. Focuses on translation of idea and character through historical and theatrical forms in the development of design concepts for contemporary audiences.

DRAM 836 - (3) (IR)
Costume Design: Production Styles

Prerequisite: DRAM 835
Examination of advanced production forms with application of design principles to fully developed projects to be selected from a variety of the theatrical forms to include plays, musicals, opera, ballet, and film as appropriate to the student's progress and focus. Emphasizes versatility and experimental solutions to contemporary design challenges.

DRAM 837 - (3) (IR)
Costume Technology: Advanced Patterning

Prerequisite: DRAM 738; corequisite: DRAM 835
Contemporary application of period cut and construction in the reproduction of period fashion for stage purposes.

DRAM 841 - (2) (IR)
Movement: Mask

Prerequisites: DRAM 741, DRAM 742
Study of the actor's responsibility to fill the need of the text and the concept of the actor as a "mask of the action." Mask technique is presented as both metaphor and physical agent for character exploration.

DRAM 843 - (2) (Y)
Voice: Voice and Verse

Prerequisite: DRAM 744
An exploration of speaking and acting verse, focusing on scansion, language analysis, verbal improvisation, and personalization using Berry, Rodenburg, and Wade techniques. Actors score and interpret poetic and dramatic material, integrating text analysis with emotional expressiveness. Emphasizes heightened language texts, primarily Shakespeare.

DRAM 845 - (2) (Y)
Acting: Shakespeare

Prerequisites: DRAM 745, DRAM 746
Performers work for vocal and physical embodiment of Shakespeare's language. Examines the mechanics and structures of poetic language. Includes research and exploration of historical and contemporary approaches to Shakespearean performance.

DRAM 846 - (2) (Y)
Acting: Period Styles

Prerequisites: DRAM 745, DRAM 746, DRAM 845
Study of the actors ability to make informed performance choices based on aspects of structure such as text, historical period, social moves, and production concept. Emphasizes movement in period costumes and accoutrements.

DRAM 847, 848 (1) (Y)
Acting: Production and Performance

Prerequisite: Graduate standing MFA Program
Participation in the production program, crediting work in preparation and performance of acting.

DRAM 849 - (2) (Y)
Acting: Performance Lab II

Prerequisite: DRAM 749
Continues and expands the work of DRAM 749. Actors collaborate with graduate playwrights by developing short performance pieces.

DRAM 863/864 - (2) (IR)
Production Laboratory: Technical

Prerequisite: Graduate standing MFA Program
Participation in the production program, crediting work in the preparation and performance of scenic elements.

DRAM 865 - (3) (IR)
Rigging

Prerequisite: Graduate standing MFA Program or permission of instructor
An in-depth study of traditional and contemporary entertainment rigging systems. Investigates current practices of rigging, their equipment, and the materials involved.

DRAM 866 - (3) (IR)
Technical Design I

Prerequisites: DRAM 766, DRAM 768 or permission of instructor; corequisite: DRAM 868 recommended
Study of structural analysis for the express intent of application to theatrical scenic construction. Review of forces and force actions, beam and frame properties, and actions in wood, steel, and other relevant theatrical construction materials (plastics, fabrics and paper, masonry). Development of pragmatic structural design approaches for technical design and direction.

DRAM 867 - (3) (IR)
Woodworking

Prerequisite: DRAM 768 or permission of instructor
A study of the specialized skills of scenic woodworking and its relationship to traditional cabinetry. The student uses available scenic studio wood working power equipment (table saws, band saws, lathe, routers, shaper, scroll saw and cutawl) in fulfilling training project assignments, and in completing an assigned final finished project.

DRAM 868 - (3) (IR)
Welding

Prerequisites: DRAM 766, DRAM 768 or permission of instructor
Study of the specialized skill of welding. The process includes stick, gas, and mig methods of welding. Students budget and fabricate steel structures for scenic construction.

DRAM 871 - (3) (IR)
Playwriting IX: The Screenplay

Prerequisites: Playwriting VII and Playwriting VIII
A writing workshop focusing on the screenplay.

DRAM 872 - (3) IR)
Playwriting X: The Research Play

Prerequisites: Playwriting VII, Playwriting VIII, Playwriting IX
A writing workshop which continues and furthers the work of the previous playwriting classes, emphasizing preparing scripts for production.

DRAM 873 - (3) (IR)
Dramaturgy I

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
An introduction to the art and craft of dramaturgy.

DRAM 874/974 - (3) (IR)
Playwriting: Performance Lab II and III

A writing workshop which focuses on short exercises for specific craft development. The course works in tandem with DRAM 649; the exercises written in class are then workshopped by graduate actors from DRAM 649.

DRAM 875/876 - (2) (IR)
Production Laboratory: Playwriting

Participation in production program, crediting work in preparation and performance of plays written.

DRAM 906 - (3) (IR)
Thesis

Prerequisite: Graduate standing MFA Program
Preparation of a written thesis which corresponds to the performance of, the direction of, or the design of a production.

DRAM 913/914 - (2) (IR)
Production Laboratory: Lighting

Prerequisite: Graduate standing MFA Program
Participation in the production program, crediting work in the preparation and performance of lighting design.

DRAM 915 (3) - (IR)
Lighting Design 4: Portfolio

Prerequisites: DRAM 716, DRAM 815 and DRAM 816 or permission of instructor; corequisite: DRAM 906
Critical assessment of the lighting student's portfolio and resume which leads to the creation of a professional body of work. Special projects in design and presentation are tailored to the student's needs.

DRAM 917 - (3) (IR)
Advanced Lighting Technology

Prerequisites: Graduate standing MFA Program or permission of instructor
Exploration of advanced stage lighting technologies including MIDI show-control, automated fixture programming, complex cuing, and effect sequencing.

DRAM 923/924 - (2) (IR)
Production Laboratory: Scenery

Prerequisite: Graduate standing MFA Program
Participation in the production program of the curriculum, crediting work in the preparation and performance of scenic designs.

DRAM 925 - (3) (IR)
Scene Design 3: Design Studio—Alternative Styles

Prerequisites: DRAM 710, DRAM 726, DRAM 825, DRAM 827
A study of advanced production forms including selected operas, musicals, and dance productions or ballets. Design projects involve solving design issues which relate directly to music and its influence on the stage picture.

DRAM 933/934 - (2) (IR)
Production Laboratory: Costume

Prerequisite: Graduate standing MFA Program
Participation in the production program of the curriculum, crediting work in the preparation and performance of costume designs.

DRAM 935 - (3) (IR)
Costume Design: Portfolio and Design

Prerequisite: DRAM 836
Critical assessment of the student's portfolio and resume which lead to creation of a professional body of work. Special projects in design and presentation are tailored to the student's needs.

DRAM 937 - (3) (IR)
Costume Technology: Crafts

Prerequisite: DRAM 837 or permission of instructor
Examination of traditional and innovative products and practices used in the execution of contemporary design of accessories and special costume pieces including period, fantasy, special effects, and spectacle.

DRAM 941 - (2) (IR)
Movement: Dance

Prerequisites: DRAM 741, DRAM 742, DRAM 841
Examination of the history of social and theatrical dance, its function in a particular society, and its dramatic purpose within a play. Requires basic proficiency be demonstrated in traditional ballet, jazz, and tap technique. Choreography common to musical theatre performance is taught within each style.

DRAM 943 - (2) (Y)
Voice: Dialects

Prerequisite: DRAM 843
The study of the dialects most commonly employed in theatre. Methodology includes practice with taped dialects, interviews with authentic dialect speakers, phonetic representation, and research into specific cultural aspects influencing structural formation and sound.

DRAM 945 - (2) (IR)
Musical Theatre Performance

Prerequisites: DRAM 745, DRAM 726, DRAM 845, DRAM 846
Integration of song into scene work and the examination of special problems posed for the actor/singer. Focus on character's song presentation within the context of a musical play. Major project includes performance of a fully scripted, original, 20-25 minute musical play, using the music from a major composer of the musical theatre.

DRAM 946 - (2) (Y)
Acting: Portfolio Preparation

Prerequisites: DRAM 745, DRAM 746, DRAM 845, DRAM 846
Audition techniques and practice are examined, as is a wide-ranging repertoire of audition materials.

DRAM 947/948 - (1) (Y)
Acting: Production and Performance

Prerequisite: Graduate standing MFA Program
Participation in the production program, crediting work in preparation and performance of actings.

DRAM 949 - (2) (Y)
Acting: Performance Laboratory III

Prerequisite: DRAM 849
Completes the work of the Performance Lab sequence. Actors develop full-length performance material with graduate playwrights.

DRAM 963/964 - (2) (IR)
Production Laboratory: Technical

Prerequisite: Graduate standing MFA Program
Participation in the production program, crediting work in preparation and performance of scenic elements.

DRAM 965 - (3) (IR)
Technical Design II

Prerequisites: DRAM 866, DRAM 766, DRAM 758 or permission of instructor
A study of dynamics analysis, with the express intention of application to theatrical scenic shifting systems. Students learn basic physics concepts and have the opportunity to employ those principles in practical terms by solving stage shifting problems.

DRAM 966 - (3) (IR)
SPFX (Special Effects)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing MFA Program or permission of instructor
Exploration of advanced techniques in special effects and the materials used to create them. Laboratory assignments establish a basic proficiency in creating special effects. Effects are created using methods of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Topics include using a vacuum form machine, plastic foams, casting, mold making, pyrotechnics, blood, ghosts and illusions, using fire arms on stage, and atmospheric effects. Also explores the differences between movie special effects.

DRAM 971 - (3) (IR)
Playwriting XI: The Full-Length Play , I

Prerequisites: DRAM 771, DRAM 772, DRAM 871, DRAM 872
A writing workshop focusing on writing a full-length thesis play.

DRAM 972 - (3) (IR)
Playwriting XII: The Full-Length Play, II

Prerequisites: DRAM 771, DRAM 772, DRAM 871, DRAM 872, DRAM 971
A writing workshop focusing on revising and completing a full-length thesis play.

DRAM 973 - (3) (IR)
Dramaturgy, II

Prerequisite: permission of instructor
A continuation and expansion of DRAM 873 with emphasis on dramaturgical projects.

DRAM 995/996 - (2) (IR)
Production Laboratory: Playwriting

Participation in production program, crediting work in preparation and performance of plays written.

DRAM 997 - (3-12) (Y)
Non-topical Research, Preparation for Research

Prerequisite: Graduate standing MFA Program

DRAM 998 - (3-12) (Y)
Non-topical Research, Preparation for Research

Prerequisite: Graduate standing MFA Program


Continue to: Departmental Degree Requirements
Return to: Chapter 5 Index