Graduate Catalog
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Theatre and Dance

HOLLY C. LAU, MFA
Chair
Room 144, Theatre Building
(901) 678-2523

JANICE BENNING LACEK, MFA
Coordinator of Graduate Studies
(901) 678-3188

E-Mail: kshupe@memphis.edu
ccfa.memphis.edu/theatre.htm

I. The Department of Theatre and Dance offers graduate programs leading to the Master of Fine Arts degree in Theatre. Within the MFA degree in Theatre, training is available in directing and in design and technical production. The University of Memphis is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Theatre.

Program objectives are: (1) understanding of the theatre arts and crafts at a sufficient level to communicate with other artists in collaborative process and to make critical judgments; (2) knowledge of objectives and methods of play analysis, awareness of aesthetics, psychology, and socio-historical context, and ability to integrate advanced play analysis skills into the development of an artistic concept for a stage production; (3) comprehensive knowledge of body of plays in various periods of dramatic literature and specific scripts; (4) cultivation of interpersonal skills to communicate productively with artistic collaborators; (5) development of interpersonal skills to effectively handle budgets, contract negotiations, professional ethics, legal responsibilities, and public relations; and (6) awareness of standards and expectations of theatre practice according to professional models.

All graduate students must comply with the general requirements of the Graduate School (see Admissions Regulations, Academic Regulations, and Minimum Degree Requirements) as well as the program requirements of the degree being pursued.

II. MFA Degree Program

A. Program Admission

Admission to the program is competitive and is not automatic upon meeting minimum admission requirements. Students are selected from the pool of qualified applicants; the number of students admitted yearly depends on the availability of program resources required to maintain a high level of student/faculty contact and professional training.

Procedures include:

  1. Admission to the Graduate School. Note that the Department of Theatre and Dance requires a grade point average of at least 2.5 from an accredited undergraduate institution. As well, the department will require evidence of suitable academic preparation, typically demonstrated by performance in course work in the undergraduate major and/or a writing sample.
  2. Submission of a separate departmental application identifying prior theatre education and experience and professional goals. Departmental applications are available from the Department of Theatre and Dance.
  3. An interview with appropriate program faculty either at the university or at a regional or national conference.

B. Degree Requirements

  1. Successful completion of a minimum of 60 semester hours of graduate credit approved by the student’s Graduate Advisory Committee. A minimum of 70% (42 hours) of the total required hours must be 7000 level courses. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required for graduation.
  2. All students in the program must take the following core courses: THEA 7564, Studio in Theatrical Collaboration and Style; THEA 7581, Seminar in Dramatic Theory and Criticism; THEA 7582, Analysis of Dramatic Literature; THEA 7600, Internship; and THEA 7995, Production Practicum.
  3. All students with a specialization in Directing must take the following courses: THEA 7521 Stage Direction; THEA 7526 Directing Studio (1st Year Project); THEA 7526 Directing Studio (2nd Year Project); THEA 7553 Styles of Directing; THEA 7554 Seminar in Directing; THEA 6554 Visual History I Modern to Victorian; THEA 6558 Visual History II Victorian to Classical; and one of the History / Literature courses: THEA 6549 Theatre History; THEA 6548 Musical Theatre History; THEA 6551 Dramatic Literature I (Classical); or THEA 6552 Dramatic Literature II (Modern).
  4. All students with a specialization in Design and Technical Production must take an additional thirty-nine hours of courses determined in consultation with their advisor.
  5. Satisfactory completion of a comprehensive examination.

C. Graduate Advisory Committee

Each student will have a Graduate Advisory Committee. The functions of the committee shall be:

  1. To approve the three-year Plan of Study (which may include remedial work).
  2. T o monitor academic and artistic progress.
  3. To monitor quality and quantity of participation in the theatre production program.
  4. To approve and evaluate production projects, the Production Practicum Project, the internship, and the comprehensive examination.

D. Annual Progress Review

Progress in the MFA program involves more than the successful completion of academic course work. Artistic progress and engagement in the theatre production program of the department are also required.

  1. MFA Portfolio Review: Each year all design students will meet with the design faculty and all directing students with the directing faculty for Portfolio Review. At that time, the student’s competencies, artistic progress, and professional presentational skills will be evaluated.
  2. Graduate Review: Following each semester's Graduate Advisory Committee meeting with the student, the full faculty will meet to review the status and progress of each student. Possible outcomes of the evaluation process include:
    1. continuance in the program without condition;
    2. continuance in the program with conditions; or
    3. non-continuance in the program.
  3. Note: A more detailed discussion of program requirements may be found in the Department of Theatre and Dance Graduate Handbook available from the department office.

THEATRE (THEA)

In addition to the courses below, the department may offer the following Special Topics courses:
THEA 6210-19. Special Topics in Theatre. (1-3). Topics are varied and announced in the online class listings. May be repeated for maximum of 9 hours when topic varies.

THEA 7210-19–8210-19. Special Topics in Theatre. (1-3). Topics are varied and announced in the online class listings. May be repeated for maximum of 9 hours when topic varies.

 


THEA 6216 - Advanced Scenic Production (3)
In this course students will explore advanced problems encountered in stage technology, and methods of problem solving. The students will receive homework assignments to gain a working knowledge of these methods. Additionally, students will prepare a "Tech Expo" type article.

THEA 6217 - Comtemp African Am Theatre (3)
This is a discussion-based class that will examine the performativity, social engagements, and literary qualities in selected late 20th and early 21st century African American plays. This course will focus on the Re-Membering of African American history through a national lens (August Wilson), a social/familial lens, and a local lens (Katori Hall - Memphis playwright with show currently on Broadway). This course includes a performance project.

THEA 6220 - Acting/Musical Theatre (3)
Exploration of techniques that allow the performer to fuse the act of acting and singing. Two lecture hours, two laboratory hours per week. Offered alternate years. PREREQUISITE: THEA 2532, MUAP 1100, MUAP 1610, or equivalency exam/audition and permission of instructor.

THEA 6221 - Stage Dialects (3)
Transcription for International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). Voice and dialect technique for conveying dramatic intention and character. PREREQUISITE: permission of the instructor.

THEA 6222 - Asian Theatre (3)
History and theory of traditional and contemporary theatre forms of Asia, including study in cultural and social history. Offered alternate years. PREREQUISITE: Permission of instructor.

THEA 6223 - Musical Theatre Perform Prac (3)
Study and practice in rehearsal and performance techniques in musical theatre production, including solo and group literature. Two lecture hours, two laboratory hours per week. Offered alternate years. PREREQUISITE: THEA 4220, or permission of instructor.

THEA 6224 - Principle/Music Theory/Theatre (3)
Study of basic written music theory and aural skills to aid the comprehensive theatre professional.

THEA 6455 - Directing Narrative Theatre (3)
Directing techniques for staging literary texts not originally written for the theatre. Includes script adaptation of short stories, poetry, and non-fiction prose. Directing projects required. (Offered alternate years) PREREQUISITE: THEA 4521, or permission of instructor.

THEA 6457 - Vocal Style/Performance (3)
Exploration of language based characterization as it evolves from structure and style of text. PREREQUISITE: Permission of the instructor.

THEA 6501 - Adv Movement Styles (3)
Study in advanced physical theatre styles. Varied semester topics: solo performance, performance art; fighting styles for period weapons, physical theatre techniques for theatre teachers, choreographers and directors. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 hours credit when content varies. (Offered alternate years). PREREQUISITE: permission of instructor.

THEA 6503 - Creative Dramatics (3)
Basic techniques and theories for the use of dramatization in elementary and secondary education; topics include socio-drama, dramatization of school subjects and daily concerns, and improvisation and creation of dramatic plays. (Offered alternate years).

THEA 6514 - Theatre Renderng Technques (3)
Rendering techniques for theatre and entertainment design. Materials and techniques for rendering theatrical space and scenic, costume, lighting, and properties design elements. Emphasis on pre-visualization strategies and portfolio preparation for the entertainment field. Offered alternate years.

THEA 6515 - Scene Painting (3)
Lecture laboratory course covering the techniques of painting scenery for the stage. Offered alternate years.

THEA 6516 - Technical Direction (3)
Lecture/laboratory for theatre technicians to include production organization and safety, engineering, rigging, materials control, and supply ordering. Offered alternate years.

THEA 6531 - Acting Styles (3)
Development of acting styles as influenced by environments of historical periods. May be repeated for maximum of 6 hours credit with change of course content. PREREQUISITE: Permission of the instructor.

THEA 6532 - Mask Performance (3)
Varied semester topics: Commedia dell'arte performance; creation and performance of the character mask; mask work based in physical theatre. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 hours credit when content varies. PREREQUISITE: permission of instructor.

THEA 6548 - Musical Theatre History (3)
Survey of the shaping forces, history, art and craft of American musical. (Offered alternate years)

THEA 6549 - Theatre History (3)
Shaping forces and theatrical forms from early civilization to the present time, with an emphasis on Western culture. Offered alternate years.

THEA 6551 - Dramatic Literature I (3)
Comprehensive survey of dramatic literature from the Greeks to the 20th century, with particular emphasis on problems of production. Offered alternate years.

THEA 6552 - Dramatic Literature II (3)
Comprehensive survey of dramatic literature from the 20th century to the present, with particular emphasis on problems of production. Offered alternate years.

THEA 6554 - Visual History I (3)
Design aesthetics of selected historical periods from ancient times through the Victorian era as applied to theatrical design. Offered alternate years. PREREQUISITE: Permission of instructor.

THEA 6555 - Scenic Technology (3)
Lecture/laboratory using traditional and contemporary materials and scenic technologies including rigging, metals and welding, wood working, and plastics.Offered alternate years. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 hours credit with permission of instructor. PREREQUISITE: Permission of instructor.

THEA 6556 - Lighting Technolgy (3)
Technical principles that support areas of theatrical lighting design; includes instrumentation and equipment, electricity and electronics, control systems, operation and maintenance principles and procedures for stage electricians. Offered alternate years. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 hours credit with permission of instructor.

THEA 6557 - Costume Technology (3)
Topics in costume construction techniques employing both traditional and experimental methods. Emphasis on professional entertainment portfolio development. Topics include: pattern and fit for the designer, dyeing, painting, and fabric modification costume crafts. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 hours credit. PREREQUISITE: permission of instructor.

THEA 6558 - Visual History II (3)
Design aesthetics of selected historical periods from the Victorian era through the twentieth century as applied to theatrical design. Offered alternate years. PREREQUISITE: Permission of instructor.

THEA 6559 - Thea/African Diaspora (3)
Exploration of selected playwrights and theatre practitioners of West and South African, Caribbean, and African American descent. Includes performance projects. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours when content varies. Offered alternate years. PREREQUISITE: Permission of the instructor.

THEA 6571 - Playwriting (3)
Theory and principles of writing plays for the stage; practice in writing either the short or long play. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 hours. Offered alternate years.

THEA 6592 - Thtr Arch/Facilty Plan (3)
Processes and techniques employed by theatre planners in design and construction/renovation of theatrical spaces and structures; includes survey of theatre forms, historical development of theatrical structures and spaces, programming methods and procedures, specification, renovation techniques, multi-use structure concepts, and consultation procedures and practices. Offered alternate years. PREREQUISITE: Permission of instructor.

THEA 6595 - Sound Technology (3)
Technical principles that support areas of theatrical sound design; includes digital and analog equipment, audio signal theory and technologies, systems design, software, operational principles and procedures for theatrical sound engineers. Offered alternate years. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 hours credit with permission of instructor.

THEA 6631 - Acting For Film And TV (3)
Educational experience for the actor in the media of film and television. Offered alternate years. PREREQUISITE: Permission of instructor.

THEA 7211 - Scenic/Costume Design Studio (3)
Students will be working on expanding their working vocabulary and developing techniques of scenic and costume design as a discipline within the larger context of theatrical design. Design will be explored through rapid fire exercises that are intended to develop quick design response, critical thinking, and priority analysis.

THEA 7440 - Sem Critial Studies (3)
Advanced studies in theatre criticism, dramatic literature, and theatre history; methods of scholarly research appropriate for the dramaturg and producing artist; semester topics alternate among studies of selected authors, periods, genres, and theatre movements. Repeatable for a maximum of 9 hours when topic varies. Offered alternate years.PREREQUISITE: Permission of instructor.

THEA 7521 - Stage Direction (3)
Processes of stage direction from script interpretation to rehearsal and performance with emphasis on the collaborative interplay between stage director and designer; traditional and non-traditional theatrical modes; directing projects required.

THEA 7526 - Directing Studio (3)
Seminar/practicum investigation of advanced techniques of the stage director; styles of production, creative interpretation of established dramatic literature and/or creation of original work for the stage. Directing project required. Repeatable for a maximum of 9 hours. PREREQUISITE: THEA 7521.

THEA 7553 - Styles Of Directing (3)
Production styles and methodologies evidenced in art of major modern directorial innovators. Directing projects required. Repeatable for a maximum of 6 hours with permission of instructor. Offered alternate years.

THEA 7554 - Seminar In Directing (3)
Conceptual and practical studies in stage direction with emphasis on the collaborative interplay between stage director and actor. Directing projects required. Repeatable for a maximum of 6 hours with permission of instructor. PREREQUISITE: Permission of instructor. Offered alternate years.

THEA 7560 - Studies Dsgn/Tech Prod (3)
Individually supervised design and technical production projects in areas of scenery, costumes, lighting, and sound. Repeatable for a maximum of 9 hours. PREREQUISITE: Permission of instructor.

THEA 7561 - Scenic Design Studio (3)
Studio explorations of creative design process and its relation to theatrical space and environment; emphasis on analysis, creative expression, and portfolio development involving two- and three-dimensional scenic design projects. Offered alternate years.

THEA 7562 - Lighting Design Studio (3)
Aesthetic principles and practical methodologies for design of lighting: expression of style in various theatrical forms and modes of production; includes research, criticism, project work. Offered alternate years. PREREQUISITES: THEA 6556 or permission of instructor.

THEA 7563 - Costume Design Studio (3)
Exploration/application of aesthetic principles and practical production concerns of costume design; special consideration to interpretation of dramatic text through design and fabrication, employing a variety of rendering processes in the studio environment. Emphasis on professional practice for the entertainment industry, and portfolio development. Offered alternate years. PREREQUISITE: permission of instructor.

THEA 7564 - Thea Collab & Style (3)
Exploration of elements of style as they pertain to concept development for theatrical production; engagement in dynamics of the collaborative process.

THEA 7566 - Sound Design Studio (3)
Seminar and practicum in the style and process of theatrical sound design. PREREQUISITE: THEA 6595 or permission of instructor. Offered alternate years.

THEA 7571 - Advanced Playwriting (3)
Continuation of theories and practice of playwriting with the objective of achieving a finished script, ready for production. May be repeated for maximum of 6 hours. Offered alternate years. PREREQUISITE: Permission of instructor.

THEA 7581 - Sem Drama Theory/Crit (3)
Major documents in dramatic theory and criticism from Aristotle to present. Offered alternate years.

THEA 7582 - Analysis Dramatic Lit (3)
The dramatic text as basis for unified and purposeful production concept; advanced techniques of director and scenographer used to solve artistic/practical problems of specific plays. Offered alternate years.

THEA 7592 - Theatre Plan & Mgmt (3)
Principles of theatre planning and management for educational and regional theatres.

THEA 7600 - Internship (1-6)
Supervised work completed in a professional setting. Repeatable for a maximum of 6 hours. PREREQUISITE: Permission of the advisory committee. Grades of S, U, or I will be given.

THEA 7993 - Special Problems (1-3)
THEA - Special Problems (1-3) Directed individual investigation of special research. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credit hours. PREREQUISITE: Permission of instructor. Grades A-F will be given.

THEA 7995 - Production Practicum (3-6)
Creative performance or production project suitable for public presentation and/or a practical application. Project to be determined in consultation with and directed by the student's supervisory committee. Grades of S, U, or I will be given.

DANCE (DANC)

In addition to the courses below, the department may offer the following Special Topics courses:
DANC 6000-6029. Special Topics in Dance. (1-3). Topics are varied and announced in the online class listings. May be repeated for maximum of 9 hours.

 


DANC 6101 - Dance Repertory (3)
Exploration of stylistic, technical, and expressive elements in rehearsal and performance; may include notated works, faculty, and guest artist choreography. May be repeated for maximum of 9 hours. (Offered alternate years). PREREQUISITE: Permission of instructor.

DANC 6201 - Dance Composition (3)
Investigation of movement sources and development of elements of choreographic craft; emphasis on solo and duet work. May be repeated for maximum of 6 hours with permission of instructor. (Offered alternate years).

DANC 6202 - Adv Dance Composition (3)
Continued investigation of movement sources and choreographic craft from concept development through rehearsal and performance; emphasis on group forms and working with music. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 hours credit. (Offered alternate years). PREREQUISITE: DANC 6201 or permission of instructor.

DANC 6301 - Directed Studies Dance (1-3)
Individual study, research, or practicum. May be repeated for maximum of 12 hours. PREREQUISITE: Permission of instructor.

DANC 6402 - Dance Ed/Diverse Settng (3)
Theory, methods, and materials for teaching Modern and Creative Dance in schools, dance studios, arts programs, and community settings; includes current research in aesthetic education and curriculum development. Offered alternate years.

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