For more information on courses and major requirements, please see the academic catalog.

Jump to: Dance | Theater


Dance Courses

  • DANC 107: Ballet I

    A beginning course in ballet technique, including basic positions, beginning patterns and exercises. Students develop an awareness of the many ways their body can move, an appreciation of dance as an artistic expression and a recognition of the dancer as an athlete. 1 credit; S/CR/NC; Arts Practice; offered Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021 · Jennifer Bader
  • DANC 115: Cultures of Dance

    The study of dance is the study of culture. We will look at dance as culturally-coded, embodied knowledge and investigate dance forms and contexts across the globe. We will examine, cross-culturally, the function of dance in the lives of individuals and societies through various lenses including feminist, africanist and ethnological perspectives. We will read, write, view videos and performances, discuss and move. This course in dance theory and practice will include a weekly movement lab. No previous dance experience necessary.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2020–2021
  • DANC 147: Moving Anatomy

    This course seeks to provide an underlying awareness of body structure and function. Using movement to expand knowledge of our anatomy will encourage participants to integrate information with experience. Heightened body awareness and class studies are designed to activate the general learning process. 1 credit; S/CR/NC; Arts Practice; offered Spring 2021 · Jane Shockley
  • DANC 148: Modern Dance I: Technique and Theory

    A physical exploration at the introductory level of the elements of dance: time, motion, space, shape and energy. Students are challenged physically as they increase their bodily awareness, balance, control, strength and flexibility and get a glimpse of the art of dance. 1 credit; S/CR/NC; Arts Practice; offered Winter 2021, Spring 2021 · Daphne McCoy
  • DANC 150: Contact Improvisation

    This is a course in techniques of spontaneous dancing shared by two or more people through a common point of physical contact. Basic skills such as support, counterbalance, rolling, falling and flying will be taught and developed in an environment of mutual creativity. 1 credit; S/CR/NC; Arts Practice; offered Fall 2020, Winter 2021 · Jane Shockley
  • DANC 158: Contemporary Dance Forms I

    This course provides an introduction to a variety of movement approaches that develop an awareness of the body in space and moving through space. Students will learn approaches designed to strengthen muscles, support joint mobility, find breath support, enhance coordination, and encourage embodied learning.

    1 credit; S/CR/NC; Arts Practice; offered Fall 2020, Winter 2021 · Jane Shockley
  • DANC 190: Fields of Performance

    This introductory course in choreography explores games, structures, systems and sports as sources and locations of movement composition and performance. Readings, viewings and discussion of postmodernist structures and choreographers as well as attendance and analysis of dance performances and sports events will be jumping off point for creative process and will pave the way for small individual compositions and one larger project. In an atmosphere of play, spontaneity and research participants will discover new ways of defining dance, pushing limits and bending the rules. Guest choreographers and coaches will be invited as part of the class. Open to all movers. No previous experience necessary. 6 credits; Arts Practice; offered Spring 2021 · Judith Howard
  • DANC 200: Modern Dance II: Technique and Theory

    A continuation of Level I with more emphasis on the development of technique and expressive qualities. 1 credit; S/CR/NC; Arts Practice; offered Fall 2020, Spring 2021 · Daphne McCoy
  • DANC 205: Winter Dance

    Intensive rehearsal and performance of a work commissioned from professional guest choreographer. Learning and training the basics of Krump. The process of the growth development in this intensive will be approached with LUAEE (Learn, Understand, Apply, Investigate and Execute). The end result will be for each individual to know more about the style’s foundation and become able to improvise within the style. The class will culminate in a performance in the Spring Term, so students taking this course should plan to register for DANC 206 in Spring. Open to all levels.

    1 credit; S/CR/NC; Arts Practice; offered Winter 2021 · Judith Howard
  • DANC 206: Spring Dance

    Rehearsal and full concert performance of student dance works created during the year and completed in the spring term. Open to all levels.

    Prerequisites: Dance 205 or 215 1 credit; S/CR/NC; Arts Practice; offered Spring 2021 · Judith Howard, Jane Shockley
  • DANC 208: Ballet II

    For the student with previous ballet experience. This course emphasizes articulation of technique and development of ballet vocabulary. 1 credit; S/CR/NC; Arts Practice; offered Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021 · Jennifer Bader
  • DANC 210: Contemporary Dance Forms II

    This course is intended for students seeking to refine and deepen their awareness of embodied movement approaches. Through these approaches, students will work to develop an alert and articulate body. In both standing and floor work, momentum, dynamic shifts and spatial challenges are introduced.

    1 credit; S/CR/NC; Arts Practice; offered Fall 2020, Winter 2021 · Jane Shockley
  • DANC 215: Winter Dance, Student Choreography

    For students enrolled in Dance 205, supervised student choreography with two public showings. Prerequisites: Dance 205 1 credit; S/CR/NC; Arts Practice; offered Winter 2021 · Judith Howard
  • DANC 253: Movement for the Performer

    This course investigates the structure and function of the body through movement. Applying a variety of somatic techniques (feldenkrais, yoga, improvisation, body-mind centering). The emphasis will be to discover effortless movement, balance in the body and an integration of self in moving. 3 credits; Arts Practice; offered Winter 2021 · Jane Shockley
  • DANC 266: Reading The Dancing Body

    Dance is a field in which bodies articulate a history of sexuality, nation, gender, and race. In this course, the investigation of the body as a “text” will be anchored by intersectional and feminist perspectives. We will re-center American concert dance history, emphasizing the Africanist base of American Dance performance, contemporary black choreographers, and Native American concert dance. Through reading, writing, discussing, moving, viewing videos and performances the class will “read” the gender, race, and politics of the dancing body in the cultural/historical context of Modern, Post Modern and Contemporary Dance.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Winter 2021 · Judith Howard
  • DANC 268: The Body as Choreographer

     “The pleasure of the text is that moment when my body pursues its own ideas-for my body does not have the same ideas I do.” -Roland Barthes. Through guided movement sessions we will explore the body as a source for ideas. Using “Authentic Movement,” experiential anatomy practices and compositional strategies, students will generate several small compositions and one larger gallery project exploring alternative spaces and the influx of various media (movement, text, images, technology, objects, sites, fabric). This choreography “lab” will help answer the question: How do you make a dance? For both beginning and advanced dance students.  6 credits; Arts Practice; not offered 2020–2021
  • DANC 295: Dance Lab

    DANCE LAB will provide an adventurous and practical space where students of various levels can explore body-based performance with an emphasis on the solo form. Students will examine the choreographic elements of space, time, energy, action, framing, and environment as they discover personal aesthetics and investigate how to organize physical ideas in both immediate and virtual spaces. A community of deep listening will support creative acts that can effect change – socio-political-personal. Performance solos will be developed through discussion, peer feedback, and regular meetings with the faculty mentor. Work for the class will include your own rehearsals and, outside readings and viewings. The ability to record your work is required and access to a camera is recommended (phones are fine).  

    6 credits; Arts Practice; offered Fall 2020 · Judith Howard
  • DANC 300: Modern Dance III: Technique and Theory

    Intensive work on technical, theoretical, and expressive problems for the experienced dancer. 1 credit; S/CR/NC; Arts Practice; offered Fall 2020, Winter 2021 · Daphne McCoy
  • DANC 301: West African Dance

    In this class you will be introduced to traditional West African dance movement accompanied by live drumming. A variety of dynamics such as grounding, centeredness, and footwork will be addressed. Each class will cover the cultural background of the rhythm as well as the conversation between drummer and dancer. All levels are welcome to join in this vigorous experience of West African dance forms.

    2 credits; S/CR/NC; Arts Practice; offered Fall 2020, Spring 2021 · Whitney McClusky
  • DANC 309: Ballet III

    This is an advanced class for students who have some capabilities and proficiency in ballet technique. Content is sophisticated and demanding in its use of ballet vocabulary and musical phrasing. 1 credit; S/CR/NC; Arts Practice; offered Spring 2021 · Jennifer Bader
  • DANC 310: Contemporary Dance Forms III

    This advanced course will continue to focus on a variety of embodied movement approaches to refine the awareness of the moving body and prepare for the rigors of performance and physical research. The aim will be on finding a personal connection to movement through subtlety, speed and effort.

    1 credit; S/CR/NC; Arts Practice; offered Spring 2021 · Jane Shockley
  • DANC 350: Semaphore Repertory Dance Company

    Provides advanced dance students with an intensive opportunity to develop as performers in professional level dances. Skills to be honed are: the dancer as contributor to the process of art-making; defining individual technical and expressive gifts; working in a variety of new technical and philosophical dance frameworks. In addition to regular training during the academic terms, participation in a “preseason” rehearsal period before fall term is required. A few pieces of student choreography will be accepted for repertory. The group produces an annual concert, performs in the Twin Cities and makes dance exchanges with other college groups.

    Prerequisites: Audition required 1 credit; S/CR/NC; Arts Practice; offered Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021 · Judith Howard, Jane Shockley

Theater Courses

  • THEA 110: Beginning Acting

    Introduces students to fundamental acting skills, including preliminary physical training, improvisational techniques, and basic scene work. The course includes analysis of plays as bases for performance, with a strong emphasis on characterization.

    6 credits; Arts Practice; offered Fall 2020, Winter 2021 · David Wiles, Andrew Carlson
  • THEA 115: Principles of Design

    Explores the process of communicating ideas and experience through visual means. Whether that process begins with a written text, choreographed movement or abstract idea, such elements as color, shape, space, value and balance inevitably come into play in its visual representation. This course teaches these fundamental principles and how to apply them in practice. Principles of Design is an essential course for students interested in any aspect of theater, dance, or performance. 6 credits; Arts Practice; offered Fall 2020 · Mary Ann Kelling
  • THEA 185: The Speaking Voice

    This course seeks to provide a practical understanding of the human voice, its anatomy, functioning and the underlying support mechanisms of body and breath. Using techniques rooted in the work of Berry, Linklater and Rodenburg, the course will explore the development of physical balance and ease and the awareness of the connection between thinking and breathing that will lead to the effortless, powerful and healthy use of the voice in public presentations and in dramatic performance. 6 credits; Arts Practice; offered Fall 2020, Spring 2021 · David Wiles
  • THEA 190: Carleton Players Production

    Each term students may participate in one Players production, a hands-on, faculty-supervised process of conceptualization, construction, rehearsal, and performance. Credit is awarded for a predetermined minimum of time on the production, to be arranged with faculty. Productions explore our theatre heritage from Greek drama to new works. Students may participate through audition or through volunteering for production work. 1 credit; S/CR/NC; Arts Practice; offered Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021 · Andrew Carlson
  • THEA 195: Acting Shakespeare

    Though widely read, Shakespeare’s plays were written to be performed. This acting class, designed for students with no prior experience with Shakespeare, will explore approaches to performance with an emphasis on the use of the First Folio. Students will create performances using Shakespeare’s approaches to rhetoric, imagery and structure while examining some of the plays’ principle themes. Video and audio recordings will be used to develop a critical perspective on acting Shakespeare with an emphasis on the differing demands of live and recorded performance.

    6 credits; Arts Practice; not offered 2020–2021
  • THEA 199: Theater Practicum

    This course is designed for students who have major responsibilities in Carleton Players productions as Stage Managers, Actors and Designers. Students enrolled in this class will have more responsibility and be expected to commit to more time than the students registered in Theater 190, including additional time for research, design and role preparation. Students in this course will get in-depth learning experiences in the processes most central to the discipline; the creation of performances. Students will waitlist for the course; enrollment in the course will be by instructor’s permission depending on the responsibilities students have.

    Prerequisites: Waitlist only, instructors permission required 3 credits; S/CR/NC; Arts Practice; offered Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021 · David Wiles, Andrew Carlson
  • THEA 225: Theater History and Theory

    Throughout history, theatrical performance has been both a reflection of cultural values and a platform for envisioning social change. In this course, students will examine many of the traditions that inform contemporary understandings of theatre, including Greek tragedy, commedia dell’arte, Japanese Noh, Sanskrit drama, Realism, Brechtian theatre, and the Theatre of the Oppressed. Students will also study the history of theatre in the United States by examining blackface minstrel performance, African American drama, and the role of theatre in the social movements of the twentieth century. Class sessions will combine lecture, discussion, embodied exercises, and performance of historical texts.

    6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, Writing Requirement; offered Fall 2020 · Andrew Carlson
  • THEA 226: Avant-garde Theater and Performance

    “Make it new!” was the rallying cry of the modernists, and ever since, the theater has never ceased its efforts to break both aesthetic and social conventions, boundaries, and taboos. Beginning with some of the important precursors of the twentieth century–Artaud, Brecht, and Meyerhold–this course will explore the history and theory of the contemporary avant-garde, charting the rise of interdisciplinary “performance” and exploring such topics as politics and aesthetics, site-specificity, body art, solo performance, and multimedia. Students will also spend significant time creating their own performance works.

    6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis; not offered 2020–2021
  • THEA 229: Makeup Design

    Theory and practice of two and three dimensional makeup design for the performer. This course explores corrective, character and specialized makeup techniques as well as rendering techniques. 3 credits; Arts Practice; offered Spring 2021 · Mary Ann Kelling
  • THEA 234: Lighting Design for the Performing Arts

    An introduction to and practice in stage lighting for the performing arts. Coursework will cover the function of light in design; lighting equipment and technology; communication graphics through practical laboratory explorations. Application of principles for performance events and contemporary lighting problems will be studied through hands-on application.

    6 credits; Arts Practice; offered Winter 2021 · Anthony Stoeri
  • THEA 237: Scenic Design for the Performing Arts

    This course will focus on the art and practice of creating scenic designs for the performing arts. It will introduce basic design techniques while exploring the collaborative process involved in bringing scenery from concept to the stage. The course will include individual and group projects utilizing collage, sketching, and model-making.

    6 credits; Arts Practice; not offered 2020–2021
  • THEA 238: Costume Design for Theater

    An introductory course in costume design. This course will examine the basic concepts of design and how they apply to costumes. In depth analysis of the script and characters will lead to an exploration of how costume design can be used to enhance the production. Basic rendering techniques and clothing history will also be studied. 3 credits; Arts Practice; not offered 2020–2021
  • THEA 239: Topics in Theater: Costume Design

    A series of specialized courses in costume design and technical theater. The topic of this course is determined according to the opportunities offered by the departmental production of the term and the needs of the students, with consideration to the rotation of the topics. Topic for Spring 2020 is Costume Construction. Basic sewing techniques are introduced to the beginner, more advanced techniques for the experienced. This course will include some participation in the creation of the costumes for the departmental production of Moliere’s The Learned Ladies.

    3 credits; Arts Practice; not offered 2020–2021
  • THEA 242: Modern American Drama

    A study of a selection of significant American plays from Eugene O’Neill’s Hairy Ape (1920) to August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean (2003) in the context of larger American themes and cultural preoccupations. The premise of this course is that these plays define the modern American theatre. By studying them we will gain a deeper understanding of American theater and the links that connect it to the larger culture and to some of the transformative events of American history.

    6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, Writing Requirement, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Winter 2021 · David Wiles
  • THEA 245: Directing

    Although many directors begin their artistic careers in some other discipline (usually acting), there is a set of skills particular to the director’s art that is essential to creating life on stage. Central is the ability to translate dramatic action and narrative into the dimensions of theatrical time and space: the always-present challenge of “page to stage.” In this course, students will learn methods of text analysis strategic to this process as well as the rudiments of using that analysis to generate effective staging and powerful acting. Having mastered the fundamentals, students will then explore and enhance their theatrical imagination, that creative mode unique to the medium of live performance. Class time will be devoted to work on three major projects and almost daily exercises.

    6 credits; Arts Practice; offered Spring 2021 · Andrew Carlson
  • THEA 246: Playwriting

    A laboratory to explore the craft of playwriting, concentrating on structure, action and character. The class uses games, exercises, scenes, with the goal of producing a short play by the end of the term. 6 credits; Arts Practice; not offered 2020–2021
  • THEA 248: We Can’t Go On, We’ll Go On: Existential Themes in Drama, Ancient to Modern

    Many twentieth century playwrights focused their plays on the existentialist belief that we are absurd beings in a universe empty of meaning. Those writers responded in part to questions raised by the World Wars, the Great Depression, genocides and the Cold War. But those ideas are examined from antiquity onward and from many cultures in response to catastrophic events from earlier times to the threats posed by pandemics, war and environmental challenges in the current century. This course compares existential plays across time and cultures. It includes works by Beckett, Mishima, Sophocles, Soyinka, Wallace, Williams, Xingjian, and others. 

    6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, Writing Requirement; offered Spring 2021 · David Wiles
  • THEA 251: Top Girls: Women Playwrights

    A study of women playwrights, performance-makers, and performers and the representations of women they create on stage. Playwrights addressed will range from historical figures like Lillian Hellman to their more recent descendants, such as Caryl Churchill, Suzan Lori-Parks, and Young Jean Lee. More broadly, the course will look at women who have figured prominently as directors or creators of non-traditional performance, such as Hallie Flanagan, founder of the Federal Theater Project, or more recently, Elizabeth LeCompte, artistic director of the experimental Wooster Group.

    6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis; not offered 2020–2021
  • THEA 256: Costume Construction

    The first four weeks of this course will use a Zen-like approach to sewing. We will focus on hand sewing techniques, including the Japanese technique of Sahsiko, that can be used to repair, reuse and reinvent clothing. Section one will focus on basic stitches and closures, while section two will practice couture hand sewing techniques and practices. The last half of the term we will work on sewing machines.Section one will learn how to use the machine, covering basic stitches and techniques.Section two will expand on the their sewing machine skills and explore a variety of advanced techniques.

    3 credits; Arts Practice; not offered 2020–2021
  • THEA 260: Space, Time, Body, Minds

    What is a body? What can bodies do? These questions guide our journey into the elements of space/time/body/mind as anchor points to explore contemporary performance art. We will engage feminist technoscience studies, geographies of space and place, trauma-informed care practices, intersectional women of color feminisms, and art as activism to deepen our evolving understandings of spacetimebodyminds. Students will develop performance solos in their chosen artistic mediums that take up and respond to bodies as theoretical, material, concrete, and abstract. The course is open to all students, regardless of experience level, with an interest in: movement, performance, art, community building, feminist theory, and collective creation. Assignments will include a mix of viewings, creative response sheets, journal prompts, embodied exercises, and a research-based photo essay.

    6 credits; Arts Practice; offered Winter 2021 · Lizbett Benge
  • THEA 270: Art and (Un)Freedom

    Underpinned by women of color feminisms, abolitionism, and socially engaged performance practices, this course unpacks how art is a vehicle for social change in spaces of unfreedom such as: jails, prisons, ICE facilities, detention centers, and group home facilities. Work for the class will include readings and creative reading responses, researching case studies, and reflective assignments. As a culminating project, students will create individual performance-based works informed by critical understandings of punishment, crime, enslavement, surveillance, and/or state violence.  

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Fall 2020, Winter 2021 · Lizbett Benge
  • THEA 312: Topics in Theater

    Topics in Theater Acting will encompass a series of specialized courses in acting at the advanced level. Topics offered may include non-Western performance forms, Restoration comedy, Theater of the Absurd, Chekhov, and other period- or genre-based modes.

    Prerequisites: Theater 110 6 credits; Arts Practice; offered Winter 2021, Spring 2021
  • THEA 320: Live Performance and Digital Media

    We live in a world where the presence of digital technology is ubiquitous. Our reality is augmented by portals that open up universes of undiscovered possibilities for expanding, creating, archiving and documenting art. Yet these media have a physical presence that demands the artist find new ways of negotiating space and time on a stage. This class explores the ways in which digital media shape the everyday and ways in which they relate to performing and performance art in a historical, cultural and technological sense. Students will experiment with processes for incorporating digital technologies into their performances, while engaging in conversations around embodiment, identity and space.

    Prerequisites: Any course in Theater Arts, Dance, Cinema and Media Studies, Studio Art, creative writing or musical composition. 6 credits; Arts Practice; not offered 2020–2021
  • THEA 345: Devised Theater and Collective Creation

    A usual evening in the theater consists of seeing a text–the play–staged by a director and performed by actors. While this is certainly a collaborative endeavor, recent decades have seen a marked increase in “devised theater,” a mode intended to upset the traditional hierarchies of theatrical production. In practical terms, this means the abandonment of the extant text in favor of a performance “score”–sometimes textual, often physical–developed improvisationally in rehearsal by the performers. This course will explore the methods and approaches used to work in this collective and highly creative manner, and will culminate in a public performance. We will also discuss the history and cultural politics that inform devised practice. Prerequisites: Theater 110 or Dance 150 or 190 or instructor permission 6 credits; Arts Practice; not offered 2020–2021
  • THEA 400: Integrative Exercise

    1 credit; S/NC; offered Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021 · David Wiles