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Saint Louis University

Introduction to Theatre THR-150 Sec 1
Syllabus Spring 2014
Office Hours:

Xavier Hall G13
Office Phone:
Mark Wilson
Cell Phone:
Home Phone:
Xavier Hall G-41
Monday, Wednesday 2-5 pm shop hours
Thursday 4-6 pm shop hours Other times by appointment.
(It is best to contact me by email or a text to my cell phone.)
The Creative Spirit: An Introduction to Theatre by Stephanie Arnold
Fifth Addition McGraw Hill ISBN 978-0-07-338217-3
Older editions should work but the included plays may be different.
The text has a diverse selection of plays that we will read and discuss in
class. We will use the last play as a group project. You can also use an
electronic version. Be sure to check if it will work with your tablet or
viewing device!
Course Summary:
Theatre is a creative collaborative art. Theatre employs the literary craft of
playwriting as a medium for the performing arts of directing, acting,
singing, movement and dance. A theatre production synthesizes the visual and sensorial
disciplines of scenic design, costume design, lighting design, and sound design to support the
live performance. This course will explore the creative components of theatre, the production
process, and how theatre is produced. The student will have the opportunity to observe and
experience the theatrical process of our very own Saint Louis University Productions and the
offerings by The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, The Saint Louis Black Repertory Company, the
Fox and other local theatres. This class will also provide critical and inquisitive insights to
encourage the student to understand and appreciate theatre as an audience member and
explore their own personal creative outlets.
1) Provide a background in the history of theatre and styles of production.
2) Acquaint the student with the mission and goals of theatrical organizations.
3) Examine the creative and technical components of theatre and attain respect for the various
4) Understand the typical organization of a theatre production team.
5) Introduce the student to play production and production concepts.
Teaching method:
Lecture/theatre attendance/Discussions/Activities/Videos/Guest Speakers
“Theatre is a form of knowledge; it should and can also be a means of transforming society. Theatre can help
us build our future, rather than just waiting for it.” Augusto Boal from his book ‘Games for Actors and NonActors’

costume construction. This will be a group collaboration and the conceptual projects will be presented to the class starting on Wednesday April 30. . You will receive one complimentary ticket for each production.  The midterm exam will be on Wednesday March 5.I am looking for your own personal reactions to the plays. and publicity. We ask for a minimum 10 hours of time for the semester.Use your imagination. No class on Friday March 7. lighting. c) Propose and complete a written project or creative effort that explores some aspect of theatre – write a short play. The completed project will include a one page description of the concept and a flavor board or power point slide show illustrating examples of the setting. (This can be exciting but does require an extensive time commitment. Your written reflections will be shared on the class blog in SLU global. activities. backstage crew. (I value your contribution to class discussions. attend one professional theatrical production and share your experience by preparing a review or special interest story. assigned plays. All project and play summary papers will be due at this time. properties. You will present a brief 5 minute presentation to the class and also submit a two page paper summarizing your topic. But.  The musical theatre project will be an individual research project on a specific musical that you select. 2014 .  The final group collaboration project will be the creation of your own theatrical visual and production concept for the play. 2014. After three unexcused absences. additional performance reports will constitute extra credit. . and feedback. lighting. your evaluation for the class will be lowered by one letter grade. properties.  Choose one of the following activities: a) Outside of SLU theatre. I do ask that you have me approve your topic in advance. and topics covered in class.  There will be four quizzes on the required reading assignments –The Creative Spirit text.Introduction to Theatre THR 150 Wilson Spring 2014 page 2 Requirements:  Attendance will be taken for each class.)  Attend a performance of two of the theatre department’s spring offerings. This is your chance to share a brief history and show examples of your favorite musical. The exam will be a take home essay format and we will meet to review and reflect on our semester work. and write a two page special topic essay or reflection on your experience as an audience member. Anna in the Tropics. Scenic construction. I will hand out specific details before Spring Break. costume design and sound design. (Spring Break)  The Final Exam will be on May 9 at 12 noon. 2014. interview a working actor. if you are willing to donate your time and would like to really see how the “magic” happens – this is the experience for you. or research a specific historical aspect of theatre . The team may also present a scene from the play. Try to avoid the “critical review” approach -. director or designer. (30 points for each additional show attended) b) Participate on one SLU theatre production crew. For the heavy duty theatregoer.

submitting materials authored by or revised by another person as the student’s own work.  University-level support (e. . prior experience. faculty member.slu. due to a disability. resources to support student success are available on campus. Trained writing consultants can help with any kind of writing project. For more information. Disability Services) by visiting the Student Success Center (BSC 331) or by going towww. Academic Honesty: Students should refer to the following SLU website for more information and the procedures following a report of academic dishonesty: http://www. Writing Services I encourage you to take advantage of the writing services in the Student Success Center.. taking a test or doing an assignment or other academic work for another student.Introduction to Theatre THR 150 Wilson Spring 2014 page 3 Students with Special Needs . study skills. taking an on-line quiz with the help of another student. learning disability). whose effectiveness requires an environment of mutual trust and integrity. They offer one-on-one consultations that address everything from brainstorming and developing ideas to crafting strong sentences and documenting sources. While not all forms of academic dishonesty can be listed here. etc.Disability Services . getting feedback benefits writers at all skill levels. Students who think they might benefit from these resources can find out more about:  Course-level support ( Students who believe that.g. copying a passage or text directly from a published source without appropriately citing or recognizing that source.xml..slu. or providing any unauthorized assistance in the completion of work submitted toward academic credit. Academic integrity is violated by any dishonesty such as soliciting. call 977-3484 or visit http://www. copying from a book or class notes during a closed book exam.xml SLU Statement regarding academic honesty: The University is a community of learning.slu. Course instructors support student accommodation requests when an approved letter from Disability Services has been received and when students discuss these accommodations with the instructor after receipt of the approved letter.slu.. tutoring/writing services.g.xml In recognition that people learn in a variety of ways and that learning is influenced by multiple factors ( they could benefit from academic accommodations are encouraged to contact Disability Services at 314-977-3484 or to visit the Student Success and/or oral presentation. securing or supplying in advance a copy of an examination or quiz without the knowledge or consent of the instructor. examples include copying from another student. multimedia project. sharing or receiving the questions from an on-line quiz with another student.) by asking your course instructor. Confidentiality will be observed in all inquiries. departmental resources. and colluding with another student or students to engage in academic dishonesty.

. Four reading update quizzes Midterm exam Musical Theatre Presentation Group Collaboration Project Final Exam Attendance at outside theatrical production. Pay attention to the professor’s or your classmate’s presentations by taking notes and keeping all non-related textbooks and non-class related material off of your desk.Introduction to Theatre THR 150 Wilson Spring 2014 page 4 Fine and Performing Arts Classroom Civility Statement — To ensure an optimal learning environment. unless you raise your hand and are directed by the instructor. but the learning of their peers and the teaching of the professor. and politely share your own differing/similar opinions. 2. Electronic devices: During class. The behaviors of each student impact not only his/her own learning. Diversity: Embrace the diversity of others. Evaluation: 60 points 40 points 50 points 30 points 40 points 50 points 30 points 20% 13% 17 % 10% 13% 17% 10% University Productions and written essays for each production. students will observe the following: 1. The scope of work will determine points. 4. crew assignment. In order to facilitate an optimal learning environment. Respect: Treat others with respect in all situations. the student must be an active participant in the educational endeavor. or special creative project. 300 points possible The numbers: Points Letter Grade 290-300 A 280-291 A270-279 B+ 260-269 B 250-259 B240-249 C+ 230-239 C 220-229 C210-219 D Extra Credit: Students desiring extra credit may write a paper or propose a project approved in advance by the instructor. Courtesy: Acknowledge and respect your instructor as the expert. 3. Respect differing views shared by students or instructors. turn off cell phone (no cell phone sending or receiving of text or voice messages) and utilize computers only for class-related activities when permitted to turn them on. Do not talk during instructor-led portion of class.

Joe Turner ‘s Come and Gone Chap 3 of text “Backwards and Forwards” Chap 4 of text Begin toRead And the Soul Shall Dance Chap 4 of text Chap 4 of text Chap 5 of text Chap 5 of text Quiz – Chaps 4 and 5 And the Soul Shall Dance Chap 5 of text Begin Reading Angels in America . Review Syllabus.Ritual to Performance What is theatre – Comparisons to film. and Space . TV/Video. sporting events. The St Louis Theatre Scene. Audience. Preview of “OT for Our Town” Website and press research How Theaters Can Combat the Stay-at-Home Mindset Wed Jan 15 Begin to read Chapter 1 of text Research St Louis shows Fri Jan 17 Mon Wed Jan 20 Jan 22 The Impulse to PerformCollaboration of Actor.Introduction to Theatre THR 150 Wilson Spring 2014 page 5 Outline of topics and class schedule: DAY DATE TOPICS AND ACTIVITIES RELATED READINGS/ QUIZZES Mon Jan 13 Introductions. Gaming Martin Luther King Holiday! OT for Our Town Video Fri Jan 24 OT for Our Town Video Discussion Thornton Wilder Mon Jan 27 Theatre Spaces and ArchitectureA brief history of performing spaces Wed Jan 29 Fri Jan 31 Mon Feb 3 Theatre as a mirror of societyThe social functions of theatre Elizabethan Theatre/ Chinese Opera The Playwrights VisionA Theatrical Blueprint The Theatrical Process Quiz #1 on Chaps 1-3 Wed Feb 5 Fri Feb 7 Mon Wed Feb 10 Feb 12 Fri Feb 14 Mon Feb 17 Wed Feb 19 “Backwards and Forwards” A Method for Text Analysis Joe Turner’s Come and Gone The ActorFrom Mask to Contemporary Performance Joe Turner Acting Scenes Acting for the Camera Theatre and Film The DirectorWho is in charge? KA Video Quiz #2 Chapters 4 and 5 and And the Soul Shall Dance Directing Exercises Discussion of And the Soul Shall Dance The St Louis Theatre Scene Group Discussion Share show planning Chapter 1 of text “Our Town” synopsis Chapter 1 of text In Our Living and Our Dying: Our Town in the 21st Century Chapter 1 of text Read Joe Turner’s Come and Gone Chapter 2 of text Romeo and Juliet The Peony Pavilion Chapter 3 of text Chap 3 of text Quiz covering Chapters 1-3.

Introduction to Theatre THR 150 Wilson Day Fri Date Feb 21 Spring 2014 Topics and Activities Theatre tour and SCRIM lighting and sound demoMiddletown Opens! Introduction to the Designers Scenic Design. Lighting Design. Costume Design. Sound Design page 6 Related Readings Chapter 6 and Chap 11 Mon Feb 24 Chapter 6 of text Begin Reading Angels in America Wed Feb 26 Scenic Design Chapter 6 of text Fri Feb 28 Costume Design Chapter 6 of text Mon March 3 Midterm review Midterm status and class evaluation Chaps 1-6 Two plays Middletown Wed March 5 Midterm Exam Fri March 7 Mon March 17 Wed March 19 Fri March 21 Mon March 24 Wed March 26 Fri March 28 Mon March 31 Wed April 2 Fri April 4 Mon April 7 Spring Break No Class Get Away Day! Angels in America Clips from HBO Series Tony Kushner Angels in America Clips from HBO Series Tony Kushner Angels in America Theatricalism Quiz #3 Angels in America Theatricalism Angels Guest Speaker Dog Lady Discussion Scenes StyleRealism Expressing a World View of Realism The Musical Theatre The Broadway Theatre History The Musical Theatre Broadway History 2 The Musical Theatre Musical Theatre Presentations Wed April 9 The Musical Theatre Musical Theatre Presentations Chap 11 of text Fri April 11 Musical Theatre Presentations Chap 11 of text Chap 10 of text Chap 10 of text Begin reading Dog Lady Chap 10 of text Angels in America Chap 9 and 10 of text Chap 14 Chap 7 of text Chap 8 of text Chap 11 of text PBS Series – Musical Theatre . Chap 11 of text Chap 11 of text Read Anna in the Tropics .

the Medea myth presents one of the strongest characters ever to appear on stage. A tart play which captures life's absurd beauty via a steady stream of gorgeous little comments on big things. Haunting Western theater for centuries.2PM Mary Swanson just moved to Middletown. 3 All 8PM May 4 . adapted by Robinson Jeffers . 26 and May 2. betrayal. Quiz #4 Anna in the Tropics Anna in the Tropics Project Organization Wed April 16 Wed April 23 Medea and Greek Tragedy Jason and The Argonauts Fri April 25 Mon April 28 Anna in the Tropics Work Day Medea Opens! Anna in the Tropics Work Day Wed April 30 Fri May 2 Mon May 5 Fri May 9 page 7 Related Readings Chap 6 and Chapter 15 Chap 6 and Chapter 15 Medea Background Chapter 13 Writing About Theatre Medea Background Chap 6 and 7 Anna in the Tropics Project and Scene Presentations Anna in the Tropics Project and Scene Presentations Final Class and Review Chap 15 Chap 15 Chap 15 Final Exam 12 noon Saint Louis University Spring 2014 Productions: MIDDLETOWN by Will Eno . the other epic and mysterious. But life in Middletown is complicated: neighbors are near strangers and moments of connection are fleeting.2PM Medea is indeed a kind of thrill ride. About to have her first child. MEDEA by Euripides. March 1 All 8PM March 2 . 22 and 28.Introduction to Theatre THR 150 Wilson Spring 2014 Day Mon Date April 14 Topics and Activities The Design Process and the collaboration project. she is eager to enjoy the neighborly bonds a small town promises. careening on the edge of precipices from which we get fearful glimpses of the darkness of human nature. Middletown is a playful.April 25. This adaptation of Euripides' Greek classic by Robinson Jeffers reaffirms his preeminent place among modern poets. poignant portrait of a town with two lives. one ordinary and visible. propelling us along. and revenge. A seminal drama of love. .February 21.

asp page 8 .com/ Stray Dog Theatre Mustard Seed Theatre The Repertory Theatre of St Louis http://www.newlinetheatre.htm St Louis Theatre A general listing of all St Louis Theatre Links The Fabulous Fox http://www.Introduction to Theatre THR 150 Wilson Syllabus Spring 2014 A Sampling of Local Theatre Links: Link to the weekly theatre listing from KDHX Community Radio: http://www.html HotCity Theatre https://hotcitytheatre.fabulousfox.repstl.html Sample Company Links The Black Rep New Line Theatre St Louis Actor’s Studio Peabody Opera House Upstream Theatre The New Jewish Theatre The Edison Theatre Ovation Series at Washington University http://edison.

Read the play the first time for enjoyment. not-for-profit Annual budget Performance venue Current Season Typical Ticket Price Range Target market Due Friday Jan 25.Introduction to Theatre THR 150 Wilson Syllabus Spring 2014 page 9 Assignments for week one and two: 1. other staff) Mission Statement Type of company . f. 2014 2. Purchase or find the textbook and read Chapters 1 and 2. c. 2014 (We will have short quiz on the play that day) . You can also look at other college shows and new companies I may have missed. Start reading the first play reading assignment – Joe Turner’s Come and Gone by August Wilson. Leadership (Artistic Director. Board. e.for profit. 2014 3. We will discuss the local theatre offerings on Friday. h. d. Managing Director. Prepare your response in a short one page list. Due by class on Friday Jan 17. g.imagine you are attending the play or seeing the movie. What shows appeal to you? Ticket prices? Student discounts? Schedule? Links to video and image examples. Research a local professional company and try to find the following information: a. Please have the play read by Mon Feb 3. b. Explore the links to local theatre websites and select a play or plays you would like to attend this semester.