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Twin Cities Campus

Theatre Arts Minor

Theatre Arts & Dance Dept
College of Liberal Arts
  • Program Type: Undergraduate minor related to major
  • Requirements for this program are current for Spring 2024
  • Required credits in this minor: 16
The minor offers study of the art form in both theoretical historical context and the practice of live dramatic performance. Course offerings include theatre history and dramatic literature; acting, movement, and voice; directing; design and technology for scenery, costume, lighting, makeup, and sound; and stage and arts management.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Minor Requirements
Students may earn a BA or a minor in theatre arts, but not both.
Foundation Course
Take exactly 1 course(s) totaling exactly 3 credit(s) from the following:
TH 1101W - Introduction to the Theatre [AH, WI] (3.0 cr)
or TH 1101V - Honors Section: Introduction to the Theater [AH, WI] (3.0 cr)
Core Course
Take exactly 1 course(s) totaling exactly 3 credit(s) from the following:
· TH 1321 - Fundamentals of Acting & Performance (3.0 cr)
· TH 1501 - Introduction to Design for the Theatre (3.0 cr)
History/Literature
Take exactly 1 course(s) totaling exactly 3 credit(s) from the following:
· TH 3171 - Western Theatre & Performance Historiography: Part I (3.0 cr)
· TH 3172 - Western Theatre & Performance Historiography: Part II [HIS] (3.0 cr)
Practicum Requirement
Take exactly 1 course(s) totaling exactly 1 credit(s) from the following:
· TH 3100 - Theatre Lab Practicum (1.0 cr)
Area-Specific Requirement
Select one area and take exactly two courses for a total of six credits.
Take exactly 2 course(s) totaling exactly 6 credit(s) from the following:
Performance Creation
Prerequisite course: TH 1321
Take 0 or more credit(s) from the following:
· TH 3321 - Acting I (3.0 cr)
· TH 3330 - Physical Approaches to Acting (3.0 cr)
· TH 3361 - Introductory Musical Theater (3.0 cr)
· TH 3381 - Theater Storytelling and Solo Performance (3.0 cr)
· TH 3711 - Beginning Directing (3.0 cr)
· TH 4322 - Acting for the Camera (3.0 cr)
· TH 5117 - Performance and Social Change (3.0 cr)
· Design/Technology
Prerequisite course: TH 1501
Take 0 or more credit(s) from the following:
· TH 3521 - Introduction to Scenic Design for Theatre and Performance (3.0 cr)
· TH 3531 - Introduction to Theatrical Costume Design (3.0 cr)
· TH 3541 - Introduction to Lighting Design for the Theatre (3.0 cr)
· TH 3559 - Introduction to Sound Design for the Theatre (3.0 cr)
· TH 3571 - Introduction to Technology for the Theatre (2.0 cr)
· TH 3716 - Stage Management (4.0 cr)
· Dramaturgy/Literature/Criticism
Prerequisite course: TH 1321
Take 0 or more credit(s) from the following:
· ENGL 3007 - Shakespeare [LITR] (3.0 cr)
· TH 3115 - Introduction to Playwriting (3.0 cr)
· TH 3120 - Theatre: Theory and Practice (3.0 cr)
· TH 4115 - Intermediate Playwriting (3.0 cr)
· TH 4177W - Analysis of Dramatic Literature [WI] (3.0 cr)
· TH 5103 - The Theatre Dramaturg (3.0 cr)
· TH 5179W - Text and Performance [WI] (3.0 cr)
· TH 5182W - Contemporary Black Drama and Dramaturgies [WI] (3.0 cr)
· TH 5183 - Critical Literacy, Storytelling, and Creative Drama (3.0 cr)
 
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TH 1101W - Introduction to the Theatre (AH, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Th 1101W/Th 1101V
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
What is theatre? And what can it be? In this introductory course, we investigate the idea that while theatre is art, it also has consequences. Theatrical performance reflects, resists, and rewrites culture; it can (and does) perform the political by reimagining and transforming society. Through exciting examples of plays and productions from around the world, we investigate the history, politics, and aesthetics of theatre. We explore how the different components of theatre (from directing to acting, costume, and lighting design) come together to create powerful impact on stage. We read and discuss plays in class, see performances on stage, and hear from some of the Twin Cities?s most dynamic and committed artists. And we work on valuable writing skills that help us to deepen our understanding of theatre and communicate our insights to others. At the end of the class, we bring together everything we have been learning to make theatre in small groups. No previous theatre experience is needed.
TH 1101V - Honors Section: Introduction to the Theater (AH, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Th 1101W/Th 1101V
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
What is theatre? And what can it be? In this introductory course, we investigate the idea that while theatre is art, it also has consequences. Theatrical performance reflects, resists, and rewrites culture; it can (and does) perform the political by reimagining and transforming society. Through exciting examples of plays and productions from around the world, we investigate the history, politics, and aesthetics of theatre. We explore how the different components of theatre (from directing to acting, costume, and lighting design) come together to create powerful impact on stage. We read and discuss plays in class, see performances on stage, and hear from some of the Twin Cities?s most dynamic and committed artists. And we work on valuable writing skills that help us to deepen our understanding of theatre and communicate our insights to others. At the end of the class, we bring together everything we have been learning to make theatre in small groups. No previous theatre experience is needed. Prereq: Honors student
TH 1321 - Fundamentals of Acting & Performance
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
A fundamental overview of acting that focuses on strengthening the vital connection between physical and vocal expression and uniting instinct and intellectual analysis. Classes focus on ensemble awareness, situation and script analysis, character development and dramaturgical skills. In this course students develop their ?acting instrument:? body, voice and imagination; they learn to make bold, specific choices in scripted and improvisational circumstances, they explore a range of physical and vocal expression, they develop the ability to respond and adapt to other performers onstage, and intensify their focus and presence in performance. Technique, theory and structured improvisation are incorporated with scene work and collaborative performance projects, offering an opportunity to assimilate the principles covered. The course explores scripted scenes and monologues as well as original-student generated work.
TH 1501 - Introduction to Design for the Theatre
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Introduction to Design for the Theatre explores the collaborative process of theatre making with a focus on theatrical design. Students will investigate scenic, costume, lighting, and sound design in an active environment through lectures, discussions, reading assignments, writing exercises, workshops, and experiential projects. This course aims to challenge students as creative thinkers and problem solvers along with preparing them for a future as collaborative theatre makers.
TH 3171 - Western Theatre & Performance Historiography: Part I
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
What does it mean to represent? By focusing on a critical examination of this and similar questions, this course will investigate how performance events from the Ancient Greece to the French Revolution are brought to our attention, how they are made worthy of notice, and how they are rationalized as significant for theatre and performance history. By studying the theories of the Western origins of theatre and drama, the censoring of creative activities in the Ancient Rome or in the Renaissance England, the appearance of female actors and playwrights in Restoration, and the fashioning of a new economic type the eighteenth century, this course will ask: what are the consequences today of using or promoting these and not other representational practices?
TH 3172 - Western Theatre & Performance Historiography: Part II (HIS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
?Dare to Think? is the motto for a critical examination of representational practices from the Age of Enlightenment until the Postmodern Condition today. We will discuss how theatre makers and thinkers responded to this call by offering playtexts and performance practices which challenged mainstream theatre in the era of the revolutions in time and space?Naturalism, Symbolism, Futurism, Dada, Surrealism; Agit-Prop, Theatre of the Oppressed, Theatre for Social Change; Black, Feminist, Queer Theatres; and Pixelated Revolutions. We will investigate histories, politics, and aesthetics of theatre and performance in a variety of cultural and ideological contexts. While reviewing these representational practices, which materialize as play-texts, performances, theatre architecture, theatre rebellions and regulations, theoretical writings, etc., we will discuss how they were produced, given intelligibility, and disseminated. One may ask: what are the consequences of using or promoting these and not other representational practices? How are performance events brought to our attention by the past and present imaginations? How are they made worthy of notice are rationalized as significant for theatre history.
TH 3100 - Theatre Lab Practicum
Credits: 1.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: S-N or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
This course is for the student to gain more experience, develop new skills, or possibly hone current ones through practical application in the Theatre Arts Shops. Students will complete hours in the Scenery/Properties shop, Costume Shop, Sound/Media Lab, or Light Lab throughout the semester. Registration in TH 3100 is also available for students using show hours to serve in a production capacity on a main stage show, such as technical direction or master electrician.
TH 3321 - Acting I
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Acting I explores the acting process using the canon of 20th century realism. The class will cover the basics of embodiment for the actor, observation as the root of character creation, analysis of text from an actors perspective, and rehearsal techniques. The core of the course is the preparation of scenes and monologues in class. Students will also complete a variety of class compositions, readings, and will see and analyze live performances.
TH 3330 - Physical Approaches to Acting
Credits: 3.0 [max 6.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Dynamic physical approach to acting. Expanding expressiveness/creativity. Strengthening connections between physical/vocal expression. Uniting instinct and intellectual analysis. Techniques as advanced by Delsarte, Meyerhold, Grotowski, Kantor, Suzuki, Barba, etc., and structured improvisation, are incorporated in solo/collaborative performance projects. prereq: 1322, [3314 or concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in 3314], audition, instr consent
TH 3361 - Introductory Musical Theater
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
History of American musical theater. Videos/discussions, basic music theory, voice, dance, acting, audition techniques. Solo/ensemble presentations for public class performance.
TH 3381 - Theater Storytelling and Solo Performance
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Live storytelling and solo performance as theatrical art form. How to turn personal experiences into stage stories. Guests perform, discuss their work, and critique student work. Students develop short monologues/performances and conclude with original solo theater performance/story.
TH 3711 - Beginning Directing
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
The goal of this class is to introduce you to the basic work and process of the stage director. We will emphasize the practical tasks of analysis, casting, rehearsing, and staging. Our stylistic focus will be on contemporary realistic/naturalistic theater (rather than experimental forms or verse plays). The classwork will invite you to explore many aspects of the craft of directing, including the following: Defining the role of the director: responsibility & relationships to playwright/actors/audience. How to think and conceptualize like a director. What is blocking? How does it work? Who creates it? Staging actions and events. Understanding the building blocks of life on stage through composition & scene work. Analysis of dramatic text from the director?s point of view (and expressing it in writing). Preparation in the role of the director ? historical/textual/visual research. Rehearsing and working with actors - What makes a good rehearsal? What is the relationship between actors and director?
TH 4322 - Acting for the Camera
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Differences between stage acting and acting for camera. Hands-on experience with film equipment. Scenes/monologues rehearsed/performed for camera. Videotape playback for class critique. prereq: 1301 or 3321
TH 5117 - Performance and Social Change
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Reading, writing, research, presentations and workshops explore activist performance projects. Theories of social formation and ideology provide framework to discuss/animate theater's potential for social change. prereq: Jr or sr or grad student
TH 3521 - Introduction to Scenic Design for Theatre and Performance
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
This course explores the role of the scenic designer in imagining theatre in space and time. We will shape the arena of dialogue between performer and audience. We will propel action through spatial composition. We will make concrete the tensions and conflicts of the play. We will investigate the composition of emotional and visual space of the theatre. We will communicate ideas by honing skills of drawing, drafting, rendering, modeling, and presentation.
TH 3531 - Introduction to Theatrical Costume Design
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Costume design process, including, researching, script analysis, the costume designer's role throughout the production process, and design problems. prereq: TH 3571
TH 3541 - Introduction to Lighting Design for the Theatre
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Principles and processes in lighting design and lighting technology. Collaborative process of the lighting designer through individual and group projects in a theater, including script analysis and visual literacy through sketching, drafting, and light lab projects. Individual and group projects in composition, color theory, instrumentation, control (dimming), and programming as they apply to theater, opera, and dance.
TH 3559 - Introduction to Sound Design for the Theatre
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Basics of audio design for theatre. Script analysis, audio editing, music research, basic system design, paperwork, cue building. Basic components of audio design. Final project will involve applying skills to partially realized design. prereq: 1501
TH 3571 - Introduction to Technology for the Theatre
Credits: 2.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
This course is constructed to help each student experience the processes of theater production by working hands-on with production technologies & methodologies. Students will be divided into three teams for the entire semester which will move through several production disciplines & instructors; Scenic, Costumes, & Lighting in rotations of eight class sessions each, and Audio for two class sessions. These classroom projects are reinforced with 4 hours per week of Lab [ practical application and practice ] in one of the shops. We will explore the interrelationship of Production Practice through three key elements; Production Processes & Modes of Communication - [ Visual, Narrative, Data Sets ]. Production Space Systems & Equipment - [ Large Tools, Permanent Infrastructure, Auxiliary/ Temporary Infrastructure ]. Production Skills & Techniques - [ Small Tools, Proprietary Theater Equipment, Construction/ Installation Techniques ].
TH 3716 - Stage Management
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Production process, pre-production to maintaining/closing. Managing rehearsals, communication, conflict resolution. Individual/group projects: promptbook building, blocking notation, Cue placement/execution, scene breakdowns, creating/maintaining checklist, building a form library. prereq: 1501 or instr consent
ENGL 3007 - Shakespeare (LITR)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: EngL 3007/EngL 3007H
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
For over four hundred years, William Shakespeare has remained the most quoted poet and the most regularly produced playwright in the world. From Nelson Mandela to Toni Morrison, from South African playwright Welcome Msomi to Kuwaiti playwright Sulayman Al-Bassam, Shakespeare's works have continued to influence and inspire authors and audiences everywhere. This course examines representative works of Shakespeare from a variety of critical perspectives, as cultural artifacts of their day, but also as texts that have had a long and enduring vitality. This is a required course for English majors and minors, but it should also interest any student who wants to understand why and how Shakespeare continues to be one of the most important literary figures in the English language. English majors/minors must take this course A-F only grading basis.
TH 3115 - Introduction to Playwriting
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Study of traditional play structure, characterization, dialogue, dramatic action, and theme. Final project is a one-act play.
TH 3120 - Theatre: Theory and Practice
Credits: 3.0 [max 6.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Introdution to diverse ways of thinking about theatre and its representational practices. Students explore traditional/non-traditional modes of performance through readings, discussions, and hands-on performance projects. Seminar-style course. prereq: 1101
TH 4115 - Intermediate Playwriting
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
New methods of play construction. How characteristic plays from particular contemporary styles create original theatrical effects by using/breaking dramatic conventions. Writing exercises, workshoping of student plays. prereq: 3115 or [writing sample, instr consent]
TH 4177W - Analysis of Dramatic Literature (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course trains students in the analysis of dramatic literature and develops their research skills in theatre studies, helping them understand plays within their contexts of origin and production. Taking a single theme (ex. madness, or death and mourning) the class brings together contemporary and historical plays from around the world, exploring how theatre offers a unique site to stage differences, understand marginalized experiences, and imagine alternative visions of the world. Assignments break down the writing process into its component parts, and guide students in developing a sustained interpretation of a play of their choice.
TH 5103 - The Theatre Dramaturg
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Theoretical/practical aspects of dramaturgy in American theater. Historical perspectives. Research/production history of classics. Development of new scripts. Dramaturgical structure and interpretive choices. Dramaturgy as it relates to playwrights/directors. Preparing/editing the rehearsal script. Production dramaturgy.
TH 5179W - Text and Performance (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
How to read texts toward performance in various dramatic/nondramatic material. Method of unlocking metaphoric energy of texts. Vocabulary/techniques of analysis that transform text from page to stage. prereq: [1322, [3171 or 3172]] or grad student
TH 5182W - Contemporary Black Drama and Dramaturgies (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Afro 5182W/Th 5182W
Typically offered: Every Spring
This course is an exploration of the impact and evolution of Black Theatre in America, covering the period rising from the Black Arts Movement to the present. The exploration will entail an understanding of cultural and socio-political issues as they are reflected in key and significant plays written and produced from the late 1950?s to the present. The plays and essays will be read against the background of significant cultural, social and literary movements - the Civil Rights Movement, Cold War politics, the Women?s Movement, Gay Liberation, the Culture Wars, post-modernism, deconstruction, multiculturalism, afro-futurism, etc. as well as the evolution of identity nomenclature and racial classification from Colored to Negro to Black to African American. In addition to play analysis and criticism, students will garner a knowledge of significant Black cultural institutions and their impact on the ever-changing American theatre landscape.
TH 5183 - Critical Literacy, Storytelling, and Creative Drama
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: CI 5483/ TH 5183
Typically offered: Every Summer
This course examines and embodies how storytelling and creative drama can be used as tools to help develop students? critical literacy and to assist them in becoming more fluent readers and writers. Critical literacy is the focus; theater and storytelling are the vehicles. Key topics to be covered include: 1) A historical background on fairy and folk tales, legends, fables, myths, and the different oral traditions; 2) Tools for developing a critical view of diverse tales; 3) Practical instruction on how to use storytelling and story genres in the classroom to develop critical literacy; 4) Assessing storytelling work in the classroom. Students will meet in the first week at the University to learn tools of the Neighborhood Bridges program and in the second week will practice and observe each other?s teaching with local school classrooms. In the past we have worked with 4th graders and 6th graders, though we will also discuss how course content applies to high school students. The class meets for two intensive weeks in person, however, we additionally assign pre-readings and post-class reflections and papers.