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Policy on Graduate Minors in Theatre

Application to Graduate Minor in Theatre

The School of Theatre, Film and Television accepts graduate students for minor study in accordance to all relevant Graduate College policies including:

  1. A minor subject is not required for a Master's Degree, but at least one supporting minor of nine or more units is required for the PhD. If a doctoral student chooses two supporting minor subjects, each minor must have at least six units of coursework. Although the minor subjects are usually taken outside the major department, minors within the major department may be permitted with the approval of the student's major professor.
  2. The selection of a minor must be approved by the student's major professor and must be included in the Plan of Study to be filed with the Graduate College no later than the student's third semester in residence.

Additional School of Theatre, Film and Television policies on minor study include:

Per Graduate College policy, the Doctoral Plan of Study must be submitted to the minor school (Theatre, Film and Television) Director of Graduate Study for signature approval no later than the student's third semester in residence.

The student’s home department, in accordance with all relevant Graduate College policies, will determine the appropriate number of credit units to be completed to satisfy the requirements for an outside minor.

For a graduate minor in Theatre, the required units must be completed from T AR courses numbered from 500 to 699.

Graduate minor students may enroll in undergraduate courses (100 to 499), but these courses will neither be counted for credit nor towards fulfillment of the graduate minor.

All School of Theatre, Film and Television courses used for graduate minor study require permission of instructor. Some courses may have additional prerequisites.

In addition to the courses listed below, a number of courses in design and technology may be available depending upon assessment of skills and proficiency. See the Schedule of Classes and speak directly to the relevant instructor.

Graduate students may enroll in 100-300 level courses as a T AR 599 Independent Study only with permission from their primary School’s Director or Director of Graduate Study and the School of Theatre, Film and Television Director of Graduate Study and the course instructor. Students will be required to attend all class sessions and complete all assignments as well as completing an additional graduate level assignment designed with the instructor.

Course Options for Doctoral Minors in Theatre

Course enrollment for minors is not guaranteed. The minor candidate’s advisor, the TFTV Director of Graduate Studies and the course instructor must give permission to enroll in each course. Please be aware that some courses have undergraduate pre-requisites.

Course availability subject to faculty workload.

TAR 500 -- Survey of Directing (3 units)  This course is an introduction to the theory and practice of directing plays for the stage. Students taking this course will study the historical evolution of the role of the director in the theatre. Graduate-level requirements include an additional research project and in class presentation. Grading: Regular grades are awarded for this course: ABCDE.
Co- convened with: T AR 400. Usually offered: Fall, Spring

T AR 501 – Advanced Construction Techniques (3 units)  Advanced study and practice in fabrication techniques for theatrical designers and technicians. Emphasis on a wide range of materials and skills found in theatrical construction. Includes OSHA compliance, respirator training, and safety.  Graduate-level requirements include an additional creative and/or research project.

T AR 502A -- Combat for the Stage (2 units)  A basic study in the execution of staged combat, training in the use of theatrical weapons and hand-to-hand combat required in playscripts. Extensive physical training as well as work in relaxation and focus.  Graduate-level requirements include the performance of an additional special assignment, i.e. unarmed, rapier & dagger, broadsword, and must qualify as a fight combatant.

T AR 503 – Musical Theatre II (3 units)  Intensive text and score analysis in relation to the process of characterization for the actor, singer, dancer in musical theatre. Individual and group performance. Audition materials and techniques for a professional career in theatre.  Graduate-level requirements include an additional creative and/or research project.

T AR 504 – Musical Theatre III (3 units)  Intensive scene study and exploration of the major historical styles and genres of the American musical theatre.  Graduate-level requirements include an additional performance and/or research project.

T AR 507 - Methods of Educational Outreach in Theatre Arts (3 units) Educational outreach activities in Theatre Arts occur in a variety of settings that includes schools, community centers, museums, and professional and community theatres. This course examines the kinds of theatre arts outreach activities that can take place in these settings and focuses on specific methods for planning and teaching such activities. Students will be required to teach during a one (1) unit practicum.  Graduate-level requirement include additional responsibilities for the planning, teaching and supervision of the educational outreach activities and a research paper.

T AR 519 – Sound Design (3 units)  Advanced study in theatrical sound, production and design.  Graduate-level requirements include an additional creative and/or research project.

T AR 548A – Period Styles: Architecture and Decorative Arts (3 units)  Chronological survey of the history of architecture, decorative arts and furniture for theatrical designers.  Graduate-level requirements include additional research papers and an oral presentation.

T AR 548B – Period Styles: Costume (3 units)  Chronological survey of the history of costume, textiles and clothing construction as it applies to theatre production.  Graduate-level requirements include additional research papers and an oral presentation.

TAR 562 -- Collaborative Play Development (3 units)  Explores collaborative approaches to the development of theatrical performance through group improvisation, writing exercises, and the shaping of a performance project to be shown publicly.  Graduate-level requirements include serving as a performer or facilitator (depending on the audition results) and will also be assigned to documenting rehearsal and performance. Grading: Regular grades are awarded for this course: ABCDE.
Co-convened with: T AR462. Usually offered: Spring

Theatre History Courses Doctoral minors must have taken at least one theatre history course at the undergraduate level in order to register for these.

T AR 524 - Art, Propaganda, Protest: African American Performance from the Nineteenth Century to the Present (3 units) This class examines a wide variety of performances and plays by self-identified African American dramatists and entertainers from the 1850s to today.  The artworks themselves address the fundamental issues facing African Americans in US society, and they struggle with definitions of blackness itself.  In many ways, these artists faced steep opposition from the racist images of African Americans that dominated the cultural landscape.  This makes the works themselves a political act.

The order of our readings is more or less chronological, as the newer works build upon and challenge those of their forbearers.  In varying degrees, all are works of art, propaganda, and protest.  All are works of sensitivity and sophistication, humor and rage.  And all are trying to answer the same question, one that is ever constant and ever changing: What does it mean to be a black artist in America?

Graduate-level requirements include an additional class presentation into the production history of one of the plays under discussion.  Also, the final paper will be longer and will include deeper archival research.

T AR 541 – History of Musical Theatre (3 units)  [Taught Spring semester in odd-numbered years] Examines the history, elements, and structure of the musical from its antecedents through the Golden Age to present-day controversies.  Graduate students will be required to fulfill additional course requirements, including a more extensive research paper and presentation of this research to the class.

TAR 563 – Advanced Topics in Production Dramaturgy (3 units)  Advanced study in dramaturgy; topics will vary.  Graduate-level requirements include final project of greater depth than that required of undergraduate students. Working in cooperation with the instructor, graduate students will each devise their own topic for a written final research project of significance related to their chosen field of interest. The length of the final project will be determined by the topic, but if the project's chosen form is a research paper, it should be 10-12 pages in length.

TAR 596A – Advanced Topics in Theatre History (3 units)  Advanced Study in theatre History, is designed to provide students with a framework in which to deeply explore significant styles, periods, eras, and conflicts in the history of the theatre. Primary and secondary source readings will help to guide class discussions and student presentations, facilitating a deep synchronic understanding of historical issues. Regardless of topic, the seminar is intended to focus on intense intellectual and critical scrutiny of specific topics in a seminar setting.

Syllabi representing possible course topics are included with this proposal; however, the course is designated with the intention that a wide range of topics will be represented, and that a wide range of faculty across the divisions may use the course to respond to research and curricular needs. Along with the sample of syllabi submitted, topics could include Design History, History of Acting Theory, History of Latin American Theatre and Performance, and specific histories in greater depth than the survey courses can provide.  Graduate-level requirements include presentation of conference style papers in a symposium environment at the end of the term.

T AR 596B - Advanced Topics in Playwriting (3 units) Advanced-level play-writing course geared toward student writers. The course includes techniques of play-writing taught through writing exercises the writing of short plays, preparation for writing longer lays and readings in contemporary script-writing and criticism. Each semester the advanced topics course will focus on one aspect of play-writing, such as one-act plays, adaptations, and docudrama. Graduate level requirements include one additional paper investigating some particular aspect of play-writing mutually agreed upon with the instructor. Students will present their materials in the class and lead their fellow students through writing exercises based on their research.

NOTE: The following courses are part of the MFA Theatre Arts core curriculum. Doctoral minors must have taken theatre history courses at the undergraduate level in order to register for these (see above).

TAR 601 -- Research Methods (1 unit) Description: Orientation to theatre research methods and materials. Development of research prospectus, bibliographic preparation, and oral and written presentation of individual research.
Grading: Regular grades are awarded for this course: ADCDE
Prerequisite(s): instructor consent required for other than masters students in Theatre Arts.
Usually offered: Fall

TAR 602 -- Theatre and Culture I: Renaissance and Neoclassical (3 units) Description: Examination of plays and dramatic theories in their social and cultural contexts. Focus on the Renaissance and Neoclassical eras of Western Europe.
Grading: Regular grades are awarded for this course: ABCDE
Prerequisite(s): instructor consent required for other than master’s students in Theatre Arts.
Usually offered: Fall

TAR 603 -- Theatre and Culture II: Modernism (3 units) Description: Examination of plays and dramatic theories in their social and cultural contexts. Focus on the modem era of Western Europe and the United States. Grading: Regular grades are awarded for this course: ABCDE
Usually offered: Spring

T AR 660 - Dramatic Theory (3 units) This course provides a survey of dramatic and critical theory foundational to the development of the dramaturg's analytical aesthetic. We will be examining primary documents by theatre artists, performance artists, directors, designers, and others who are intensely concerned about the innovations of the theatre. We will also read some critical reactions which expose the possibilities and limitations that these theories entail.  The objective of the semester is to give students a command of the theorizations, how they work, examples of them in practice, and the potentials for use in generative dramaturgy.  We will learn how to synthesize and articulate ideas and how to envision a future for the profession of dramaturgy and the discipline of theatre.

T AR 661 - The Dramaturg and the Classic Play (3 units) What are the essential tools that a contemporary dramaturg needs in order to best serve plays in the classical repertory?  The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of those skills, resources, and critical perspectives necessary to conduct classic play dramaturgy at the graduate and professional level.  Our examination will be partially historical/theoretical: we will explore plays and works of dramatic theory from the Greek classical period through the Enlightenment.  Our work will also be analytical: classic verse plays demand a deep understanding of dramatic construction, rhetoric, and poetry. Finally, our work will be practical: students will gain facility with standard dramaturgical tasks like script cutting and preparation of a dramaturgical protocol.

T AR 662 - Experimental Dramaturgy (3 units) Devised performance (or simply "performance," as it is called within the field) is a subgenre of both visual art and theatre that is often characterized by experimentation with methods of creation, narrative expression, treatment of topic, and materials used.  As an art form that varies in theory, aesthetic, practice and product from artist to artist, a dramaturg's role within the form will also vary from project to project.  This course aims to familiarize students with the history of performance, methods of performance creation, popular types of performance, and ethical issues within each type, while giving them the tools for working as a creative member of a performance ensemble.

T AR 663 - The Dramaturgy and the New Play Process (3 units) This course provides an opportunity for dramaturgs to explore the exciting terrain of new work, focusing on the myriad ways in which new play dramaturgy differs from other dramaturgy.  Students will learn how dramaturgs work with playwrights on plays under development; we will also explore ways to build and retain relationships with playwrights, new play organizations, and theatres. Students will investigate how contemporary dramaturgs can support diversity and gender inclusion in the selection of new work through literary management and advocacy. These skills will help students to achieve the most important course (and program) goal: the ability to become artistic leaders in their field.

TAR 696A-- Contemporary Trends (1-3 units) Description: Students may earn a maximum of 9 units in TAR 696 with a maximum of 6 units in any area.
Grading: Regular or alternative grades can be awarded for this course: ABCDE or SPCDE
May be repeated: for a total of 6 units of credit.
Usually offered: Fall, Spring