Support WU
A-Z Index

2006-2007 CLA Catalog


Quick Links

Jump to a Discipline

Jump to a Specific Course

Willamette University

900 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97301

503-370-6300 voice

Theatre View this department's website

The theatre program at Willamette University offers a Theatre major with emphases in acting, performance, and design, or the option to craft and propose to the department faculty an individual emphasis. A faculty, staff and guest artists with extensive academic and professional experience teach a wide-ranging curriculum, providing the student with a rich variety of perspectives from which to learn. Theatre is a vital part of the liberal arts experience at the University through the public performances of four plays and a dance concert per year, as well as student-created projects and the wide array of classes available to majors and non-majors alike.

Students majoring in Theatre are provided with a range of experiences within all areas of the theatre: acting, directing, stagecraft, costume construction, design, dramaturgy, lighting, voice, movement, theatre history, and dramatic literature. It is the department's intent to train Theatre majors in all aspects of the discipline during their four years at Willamette, thereby creating a well-rounded theatre artist. Just as the liberal arts environment provides the student with insight into and an understanding of a variety of subjects, the Theatre Department strives to create an environment conducive to the individual growth of the student within the context of the most collaborative of the arts disciplines.

The time spent in a university is valuable not only for the particular instruction a student receives; it also serves as a time of great personal growth and heightened self-awareness. The theatre department supports this matriculation in ways both tangible and intangible. The great amount of work done in the department in classes and with mainstage productions demands that the students budget and prioritize their time and energy. Truly, there is no class or subject irrelevant to the study of theatre, and the department's outlook reflects this respect for our place as an integral and vital part of the College of Liberal Arts. Students are expected to develop a high level of self-discipline in the theatre department. Pride of commitment to the work and the willingness to take on the responsibility that comes with being part of an ensemble are tangible rewards that students will carry with them long after graduation. Also, classes offered through the theatre department meet several General Education (Modes of Inquiry) requirements.

In addition to the permanent faculty, there is a guest artist program, providing students the opportunity to learn from and work closely with theatre artists currently working in the profession. Two or three guest artists each year, in the capacity of actors, directors, designers or choreographers, are invited to take up residency for the duration of a production. During that six week period, the guest artists are also involved in the teaching of classes and workshops. Members of the Theatre faculty approach their work with a high level of professionalism and the expectation that the type of student Willamette University attracts will embrace the demanding yet rewarding opportunities that lie ahead, and rise to meet and learn from those myriad challenges.

The four mainstage productions are selected with care to provide the students with experience in a wide range of theatrical styles. From the Greeks to Shakespeare to the most recent contemporary works by respected modern playwrights, the emphasis is on producing exciting interpretations of well-written texts. The department reaches out to the school community through matinee performances offered specifically for high school audiences. Theatre is a vibrant, exciting, challenging department filled with faculty and students striving to continue the journey of discovery and interaction with our fellow humans that leads to greater understanding of ourselves, our neighbors and our world.

The Willamette Playhouse is the home of Willamette Theatre classes, workshops and productions. The building includes a dance studio, acting studio, costume shop, prop storage, makeup room, scene shop, film studies room, light and sound production facilities, dressing rooms, classrooms, and faculty offices. There are two performance areas: the 250-seat thrust configuration Kresge Theatre and the Arena Theatre, which features flexible seating of up to 125.

Requirements for the Theatre Major

Students majoring in Theatre are required to take the Core Courses (6.5 - 7 credits) below. See Theatre emphasis areas for total number of credits needed.

Core courses

Senior Project

Students must commit to a senior project at the end of the semester prior to entering their senior year. Projects will be proposed in consultation with a departmental faculty advisor to suit the individual emphasis of the student and to provide the best and most appropriate "capstone" for their undergraduate studies. The criteria for the projects are available from the professor supervising the emphasis track or from your advisor. The proposal must meet the approval of all members of the departmental faculty. For example:

  • A project for Acting Majors will either entail a significant role in main-stage production, supplemented by production and character research, and a production journal, or the creation of a one-person performance piece based on a person that you feel has influenced your thinking, feeling, point of view. This person may be dead or alive, historical or fictional. Students who choose this option must work closely with a faculty member.
  • A project for Design Majors might entail a significant design responsibility on a main-stage production, supplemented by production research, and a production journal.
  • A project for a Performance Major might entail a significant research and a paper, or directing responsibility on a main-stage production, supplemented by production research and a production journal.

Note: All Senior Projects will entail a production journal in which the student makes daily entries of their thoughts and reflections about the process they are undertaking. The final grade the Senior Project is based on the project itself, a daily journal, an academic paper, and a public oral defense.

One credit in music or art history (1)

As approved by advisor

Majors will fulfill the additional required credits in the major by electing to emphasize one of three different areas within the discipline: Acting, Design, or Performance Studies.

Acting Emphasis

5 to 6 additional credits; 12.5 or 14 credits total

Additional recommended courses

  • ENGL 341 Shakespeare: The Comedies (1)
  • ENGL 342 Shakespeare: The Tragedies (1)

The Department recommends one credit of physical activity (e.g., yoga, Alexander Technique, etc.) approved by the Acting Supervisor

Design Emphasis

Four credits from the following (4)

  • THTR 165 Stagecraft II (.5)
  • THTR 233 (CA) Fundamentals of Costume Design (1)
  • THTR 240 Stage Makeup (.5)
  • THTR 356 Fundamentals of Stage Lighting (1)
  • THTR 357 Scene Design/Production Studio I (1)
  • THTR 358 Scene Design/Production Studio II (1)
    One credit in music or art history as approved by advisor (1)

Performance Emphasis

4 additional credits; 11.5 to 12 credits total

  • CLAS 244 (IT; W; 4th Sem Lang Req) The Greek and Roman Stage (1)
  • THTR 318 (W) Performance in the 20th Century (1)
  • Three theatre courses 300 or above (3)

Integral to the education of the theatre major is participation in the department's production activities. Awarding of the B.A. is predicated on student involvement in crew work. Majors will be expected to have a significant involvement in at least twelve productions during their time at Willamette. Participation in set and costume construction, lighting implementation and as crew heads for the running of shows is mandatory and is assigned by the faculty. Specific responsibilities and time requirements vary with each season.

Requirements for the Theatre Minor (5 Credits)

Minors will also be expected to be involved in the department's production activities at 50 percent of the participation level of department majors.

Faculty

  • Susan Coromel, Associate Professor of Theatre, Acting, Chair
  • Christopher L. Harris, Professor of Theatre, Scene Design, Chair
  • Jonathan Cole, Associate Professor of Theatre, Directing/History
  • Bobby Brewer-Wallin, Instructor of Theatre, Costumer
  • Virginia Belt, Instructor of Theatre, Dance
  • Maria Lu, Instructor of Theatre, Dance
  • Vikki McGuire, Lighting Design and State Management
  • Steve Thompson, Technical and Scene Shop Supervisor

Course Listings

THTR 010X (CA) Theatre Practicum (.25-1)

Any student who is making a significant contribution (either technical or performance) to a faculty-directed play or faculty supervised project which is being presented in the department's production season, may apply to receive credit for this activity. The application must be requested during the production schedule (not after) and will be evaluated by the faculty member involved who will determine the amount of credit to be granted. Creating in the Arts.

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor

  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Harris

THTR 011X (CA) Theatre Practicum - Atypical Performance (.25-1)

Any student who is making a significant contribution (either technical or performance) to an independent, atypical performance or production not covered by the standing Theatre Practicum may apply to receive credit for this activity. The project can be faculty or student directed or coordinated but it must involve significant faculty supervision. This application must be submitted to the appropriate faculty member prior to the production schedule (not after) and will be evaluated by the faculty member involved who will determine the amount of credit to be granted. Creating in the Arts.

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor

  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Staff

THTR 020X Dance Practicum (.25)

The major focus will be on learning specific dances. Additional attention is given to theatrical elements needed to support dance presentation or productions, including but not exclusive to participation in selected activities from the related areas of costume, light, sound and makeup design.

Prerequisite: Fall audition

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Belt, Harris

THTR 105X Ballroom Dance (.25)

Introduction to the mechanics and conventions of a range of ballroom dance styles, including popular dances of European and North and South American origin. Dances will include the waltz, fox-trot, polka, swing and tango.

  • Offering: On demand
  • Instructor: Staff

THTR 110 (CA) The Theatre: A Contemporary Introduction (1)

An introduction to the broad spectrum of theatre's principles, goals, physical resources and working procedures. Sections are included on concepts of theatre, acting, production, audience and theatrical literature. Further direct involvement in performance and technical activity, critical writing and discussion, and attendance at outside theatre events. Additional responsibility in applied work on theatre productions.

Mode of Inquiry: Creating in the Arts

  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Staff

THTR 112 Costumes Through the Ages: Prehistoric to Present (1)

This course examines the relationship of costume to social behavior of diverse cultures. Also studied are evolution of production techniques and economics of costume distribution and display. Aesthetic aspects are discussed through study of extant artworks and artifacts.

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Brewer-Wallin

THTR 140 Acting I (1)

Course work in fundamental techniques of acting. The students will do intensive personal and social investigation through exercises in movement, voice training and improvisation as methods of making contact with themselves and others as they explore an actor's training and ensemble work.

Corequisite: THTR 150

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Coromel

THTR 141 Acting II (1)

Study of major realistic/naturalistic acting theory. In-depth exploration of play and character analysis, scene and monologue work.

Prerequisite: THTR 140

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Coromel

THTR 145 (CA) Acting for Non-majors (1)

The objective of this course is to provide a basic understanding of the art of acting through firsthand experience. The course is meant to increase student awareness of his/her potential through exercises; introduce students to the acting method of psychological realism; and provide students with experience and confidence to perform in front of others.

Mode of Inquiry: Creating in the Arts

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Staff

THTR 150 Voice/Movement I (.5)

Basic vocal technique and breath control. Development of resonance and vocal power. Work on individual selections to achieve clear tones, control of pitch and vocal resonance response.

Corequisite: THTR 140

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Coromel

THTR 151 Voice/Movement II (.5)

Basics of articulation with work on the articulatory mechanisms and individual American-English sounds. Work on the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) and stage combat is included. May include elementary work on basic dialects, interpretive work in scene studies, classical drama and/or dramatic literature in translation. Corequisite with THTR 141.

Prerequisite: THTR 140 and THTR 150

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Coromel

THTR 155 (CA) Stagecraft I (.5)

An introduction to the physical aspects of theatre production. This course provides students with the basic knowledge and skills used in backstage production support. Areas of study include construction, costuming and lighting. Required of all theatre majors, but also intended for the interested non-major who would like to explore the performing arts from the backstage point of view.

Mode of Inquiry: Creating in the Arts

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Staff

THTR 157 (CA) Introduction to Design for the Stage (1)

A course designed to be an introduction for all students to the basic ideas and techniques of designing for the stage. Team-taught by members of the Theatre Design faculty, focusing particularly on the development of scenic designs, costume designs and lighting designs. Particular attention to be paid to the development of an appropriate theatrical image and understanding how each of the various design areas contribute and support each other in creating a seamless unified whole

Mode of Inquiry: Creating in the Arts

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Harris

THTR 165 Stagecraft II (.5)

Analysis and detailed application of the principles introduced in Stagecraft I. The course will provide the comprehensive knowledge that will prepare students to plan and direct the technical aspects of backstage production.

Prerequisite: THTR 155

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Staff

THTR 175 (*CA) Introduction to Dance Technique (.5)

Students are introduced to the basic principles of dance technique through participation in beginning ballet, jazz and modern dance vocabulary.

Mode of Inquiry: Creating in the Arts (To complete the Creating in the Arts Mode of Inquiry requirement in the Dance classes, students must satisfactorily complete two of THTR 175, THTR 180, THTR 181, THTR 182, THTR 282, THTR 283, THTR 284, and THTR 384 or a student may repeat any one of these classes in order to fulfill the CA requirement)

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Belt, Lu

THTR 180 (*CA) Beginning Jazz Dance (.5)

Class participation in basic jazz techniques. Develops student's understanding of jazz dance as an expressive art form.

Mode of Inquiry: Creating in the Arts (To complete the Creating in the Arts Mode of Inquiry requirement in the Dance classes, students must satisfactorily complete two of THTR 175, THTR 180, THTR 181, THTR 182, THTR 282, THTR 283, THTR 284, and THTR 384 or a student may repeat any one of these classes in order to fulfill the CA requirement)

  • Offering: On demand
  • Instructor: Belt, Lu

THTR 181 (*CA) Fundamentals of Ballet (.5)

Class participation in basic techniques of ballet. Develops an understanding of the ballet aesthetic.

Mode of Inquiry: Creating in the Arts (To complete the Creating in the Arts Mode of Inquiry requirement in the Dance classes, students must satisfactorily complete two of THTR 175, THTR 180, THTR 181, THTR 182, THTR 282, THTR 283, THTR 284, and THTR 384 or a student may repeat any one of these classes in order to fulfill the CA requirement)

  • Offering: On demand
  • Instructor: Belt, Lu

THTR 182 (*CA) Fundamentals of Modern Dance (.5)

Class participation in basic modern dance technique. Through developmental exercises and dance combinations, the students are introduced to modern dance as an expressive artistic medium.

Mode of Inquiry: Creating in the Arts (To complete the Creating in the Arts Mode of Inquiry requirement in the Dance classes, students must satisfactorily complete two of THTR 175, THTR 180, THTR 181, THTR 182, THTR 282, THTR 283, THTR 284, and THTR 384 or a student may repeat any one of these classes in order to fulfill the CA requirement)

  • Offering: On demand
  • Instructor: Belt, Lu

THTR 213 Introduction to Dance (1)

Introduction to an analysis of the function of dance in society, including historical, anthropological, cultural, aesthetic and educational aspects. The significance of dance as an art form will be examined. Attention will be given to the interdisciplinary nature of dance and its relation to the other fine arts.

  • Offering: Alternate years in spring
  • Instructor: Belt

THTR 217 (TH, W) Theater History I (1)

Study of evolution of religious ritual into structured performance practice and the origins of theatre in various parts of the world. Special attention to how dramatic text, cultural values, political structures, and performance spaces and styles interact to create performance phenomena from shamanistic times through the 18th century.

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Thinking Historically; Writing centered

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Cole

THTR 219 (IT) Theater History II (1)

Study of dramatic texts and performance practice and theory from the late 18th century through the present day. Emphasis on the connections between theatre and culture.

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Interpreting Texts

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Cole

THTR 233 (CA) Fundamentals of Costume Design (1)

This course covers play script analysis for costume design, with projects involving the design process, costume rendering and presentation. Fabric dyeing and basic principles of costume construction are also covered. Open to all majors.

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Brewer-Wallin

THTR 234 (CA) Dance Composition (1)

An introduction to principles of composition in dance. Students are introduced to methods of structuring movement in order to create original dances. Principles of choreography and composition are applied to practical tasks in dance making. Closed to freshmen.

Prerequisite: A minimum of three courses in ballet, jazz, modern or ethnic dance, one of which must have been THTR 282 or THTR 283, or consent of the instructor

Mode of Inquiry: Creating in the Arts

  • Offering: Alternate years in spring
  • Instructor: Belt

THTR 240 Stage Makeup (.5)

This course will investigate techniques used in applying corrective and character makeup for the stage. The course is intended for students interested in theatre, although it is also of interest to those wanting to learn more about makeup in relation to fashion and facial anatomy. Purchase of makeup kit is required for practical application of the techniques studied.

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Brewer-Wallin

THTR 282 (*CA) Modern Dance II (.5)

Course work utilizes principles and techniques learned in THTR 182 Fundamentals of Modern Dance. Emphasizes further refinement of skills and expressiveness.

Prerequisite: Previous modern dance training or consent of instructor

Mode of Inquiry: Creating in the Arts (To complete the Creating in the Arts Mode of Inquiry requirement in the Dance classes, students must satisfactorily complete two of THTR 175, THTR 180, THTR 181, THTR 182, THTR 282, THTR 283, THTR 284, and THTR 384 or a student may repeat any one of these classes in order to fulfill the CA requirement)

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Belt, Lu

THTR 283 (*CA) Intermediate Jazz Dance (.5)

Class participation in an intensive study of basic and intermediate jazz dance techniques. Emphasizes refinement of skills and expressiveness.

Prerequisite: Previous jazz dance training or consent of instructor

Mode of Inquiry: Creating in the Arts (To complete the Creating in the Arts Mode of Inquiry requirement in the Dance classes, students must satisfactorily complete two of THTR 175, THTR 180, THTR 181, THTR 182, THTR 282, THTR 283, THTR 284, and THTR 384 or a student may repeat any one of these classes in order to fulfill the CA requirement)

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Belt, Lu

THTR 284 (*CA) Intermediate Ballet (.5)

This course utilizes the concepts studied in beginning ballet and furthers the student's study of line placement and musicality. Intermediate ballet emphasizes style, speed and refinement of the student's techniques.

Prerequisite: Previous ballet training or consent of instructor

Mode of Inquiry: Creating in the Arts (To complete the Creating in the Arts Mode of Inquiry requirement in the Dance classes, students must satisfactorily complete two of THTR 175, THTR 180, THTR 181, THTR 182, THTR 282, THTR 283, THTR 284, and THTR 384 or a student may repeat any one of these classes in order to fulfill the CA requirement)

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Belt, Lu

THTR 318 (W) Performance in the 20th Century (1)

Study of major movements in the 20th century as they embody significant new approaches to the writing and staging of plays and performance events, and express change in social values and intellectual discourse.

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing centered

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Cole

THTR 340 Acting Studio I (1)

Advanced actor training designed to allow individual in-depth exploration of the realistic acting process, play and character analysis and ensemble work, through the study of the works of Shaw, Ibsen, Chekhov, Miller, Williams and contemporary playwrights. Intended for upper-division theatre majors. May be repeated once for credit.

Prerequisite: THTR 140, THTR 141 and consent of instructor

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Coromel

THTR 341 Acting Studio II (1)

Advanced actor training designed to allow individual in-depth exploration of style through the study of the works of Shakespeare and other Elizabethan/Jacobean dramatists. Intended for upper-division theatre majors. May be repeated once for credit.

Prerequisite: THTR 140, THTR 141, THTR 340 and consent of instructor

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Coromel

THTR 345 Advanced Stage Makeup (.5)

Theory and practice in makeup for the stage, television and cinema; further development of skills in pigment, character analysis, selection and use of makeup supplies. Exploration and development of new techniques in mold and mask making, plastics, foams, hairpiece and wig construction, nonrealistic makeup and makeup design.

Prerequisite: THTR 240

  • Offering: On demand
  • Instructor: Brewer-Wallin

THTR 355 Fundamentals of Scene Design (1)

A course to promote an understanding of the process of creating scenic designs. Through project assignments, class work will focus upon the reading and analysis of texts, the discovery and selection of dramatic images and their translation into a three-dimensional scenic form.

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Harris

THTR 356 Fundamentals of Stage Lighting (1)

The study of lighting design theory and its application to performance and performance spaces. The course will cover electricity, uses of instruments and control equipment, the principles and theory of light and color, textual analysis, enhancement of dramatic atmosphere and image.

Prerequisite: THTR 155 or consent of instructor

  • Offering: Alternate years in spring
  • Instructor: Staff

THTR 357 Scene Design/Production Studio I (1)

Advanced course allowing individual in-depth exploration of various aspects of the theatrical design process. Incorporates through both theoretical and practical projects: text and performance analysis, development of scenic, costume and/or lighting concepts, problems of technical execution.

Prerequisite: THTR 355 and consent of instructor

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Harris

THTR 358 Scene Design/Production Studio II (1)

Advanced design projects incorporating the skills developed in Design Studio I, with special emphasis on production period and style. The class will include production design work and assignments geared toward portfolio presentation.

Prerequisite: THTR 357 and permission of instructor

  • Offering: On demand
  • Instructor: Harris

THTR 360 (CA) Stage Combat (1)

Stage Combat is a course designed to introduce students to the fundamentals of stage combat. Students will explore basic principles of movement, safety practices, and will learn the history and application of three Western stage combat forms: unarmed combat and two others drawn from the following list: rapier and dagger, single sword, broadsword, or quarterstaff.

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor

  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Cole

THTR 384 (*CA) Advanced Ballet (.5)

Class participation in advanced Ballet technique. Utilizes principles, techniques and concepts learned in THTR 181 and 284. Emphasizes further Ballet vocabulary, speed, style, expressiveness, and refinement of technique.

Prerequisite: THTR 284 or consent of instructor

Mode of Inquiry: Creating in the Arts (To complete the Creating in the Arts Mode of Inquiry requirement in the Dance classes, students must satisfactorily complete two of THTR 175, THTR 180, THTR 181, THTR 182, THTR 282, THTR 283, THTR 284, and THTR 384 or a student may repeat any one of these classes in order to fulfill the CA requirement)

  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Lu, Belt

THTR 430 Special Topics in Performance Studies (1)

This course provides the flexibility to offer topics of special interest in the various areas of theatre studies. Among the courses that will be offered are: Cultural Diversity in the American Theatre; The History, Function and Role of the Dramaturg; Metatheatre — Its Social, Political and Cultural Implications; Theatre Design in the 20th Century. May be repeated once for credit.

  • Offering: On demand
  • Instructor: Staff

THTR 444 Arts Management (1)

Study of the business and legal aspects of arts activity in America's establishment and nonestablishment art areas. Special attention to such subjects as general funding, touring, government grants and alternative careers.

  • Offering: On demand
  • Instructor: Staff

THTR 479 Directing I (1)

Fundamental historical, theoretical and practical aspects of play direction. Analysis of directorial approaches, scripts and conditions of presentation in various performance circumstances. Practical application of script analysis and rehearsal techniques.

Prerequisite: Theatre Core, THTR 217, THTR 219, or consent of instructor

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Cole

THTR 480 Directing II (1)

Advanced study in history, theory and practice of staging plays. Preparation and presentation of a one-act play.

Prerequisite: THTR 479

  • Offering: Alternate years in spring
  • Instructor: Cole

THTR 491 Special Studies in Theatre (1)

Special Studies in Theatre is designed to allow advanced students an opportunity to undertake a study of specific topics in theatre which are not offered in the regular curriculum.

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor

  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Staff

THTR 499 (W) Senior Thesis (.5 to 1)

Individual projects in performance study, theatre design or acting. Satisfactory completion of the project constitutes the Senior Year Experience.

  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Staff