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MIT Theater Arts and Dance Events
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course catalog

Complete Course Catelogue

Introductory Subjects

21m.600 Introduction to Acting
Prereq: None
U (Fall, Spring)
4-0-5 HASS-A (HASS-E)

Explores the actor's  tools: body, voice, mind, imagination, and the essential self. Through studio exercises, students address issues of honesty and creativity in the theatrical moment, and begin to have a sense of their strengths and limitations as communicating theatrical artists. Provides an opportunity for students to discover their relationship to "the other" in the acting partner, the group, the environment, and the audience. Limited to 20 per section.
Theater Arts Staff

21m.603 Introduction to Design for the Theater
Prereq: None
Acad Year 2012–2013: Not offered
Acad Year 2013–2014: U (Fall)
3-0-6 HASS-A (HASS-E)

Focuses on the process of designing for the theater. Projects center on awakening  the imagination in response to an object, and finding the visual way to represent that response. Explores ways designers approach a script or take a piece of music to create something visual, or to ar- range and move a series  of objects to tell a story. Students work individually and collaboratively to create drawings, paintings, sculptures, models, collages,  and live tableaux.
S. L. Brown

21m.604J Playwriting 1 (Same subject as 21W.754J) Prereq: None
U (Spring)
3-0-9 HASS-A (HASS-E)

Introduces  the craft of writing for the theater, with special attention to the "play" in playwriting. Through weekly assignments and in-class exercises, students explore scene structure, action, events, voice, and dialogue. In workshop format, students present individual work for feedback and are encouraged to bring a sense of fun, joy and playfulness to their writing. Readings include published plays, which provide exposure to a variety of styles, voices, and structures. Emphasizes  process, risk taking, and finding one's own voice and vision.
L. Harrington

21m.605 Voice and Speech  for the Actor
Prereq: None
U (Fall, Spring)
4-0-5 HASS-A (HASS-E) Can be repeated for credit

Concentrates upon freeing the natural voice through awareness of physical, vocal and, at times, emotional habits  and the willingness and desire to experience  change.  Teaches progression of Linklater's approach to voice through in-class vocal exercises. Students use sonnets or poems as vehicles to explore the components of language and the need to communicate and reveal oneself through the voice. Designed for students interested in theater or developing their voices for presentations and professional speaking.
K. Eastley

21m.606 Introduction to Stagecraft
Prereq: None
U (Fall, Spring)
4-3-2 HASS-A (HASS-E)

Introduces  the essential technical and engineer- ing knowledge necessary to realize the design of a theatrical production and provides experience with the variety and scope of stagecraft. Students develop a working vocabulary; learn basic shop and handwork skills, including drafting, cutting patterns; and the safe use of all shop machines. Provides a theoretical overview of, and hands-on experience  with, the various activities that occur in each shop, including sets,  costumes, and lighting. Students complete projects that use all basic skills learned in these three technical and design domains. Students design and build an individual final project of their choosing that employs the stagecraft skills acquired over the term. Limited to 12.
Staff

21m.611 Foundations of Theater Practice
Prereq: None
Acad Year 2012–2013: Not offered
Acad Year 2013–2014: U (Fall)
3-3-6 HASS-A (HASS-D 3)

Introduces  the ideas,  skills, and aesthetic issues which comprise the creation of the theatrical event. Guest artists and faculty members intro- duce the work of different disciplines such as di- recting, stagecraft, design,  acting, dramaturgy, and criticism. Readings and in-class exercises help students understand and experience  the basic creative impulse in each area.
J. Sonenberg

21m.618 Making Theater About Science
Prereq: None
Acad Year 2012–2013: Not offered
Acad Year 2013–2014: U (Spring)
3-5-4 HASS-A (HASS-E); CI-H Can be repeated for credit

Explores a scientific research issue integral to MIT through the medium of theater. Includes lectures by faculty from Theater Arts and the sciences and notable  Boston theater artists. Students develop a theater piece in collabora- tion with a professional playwright and an MIT scientist whose work focuses on the issue at hand. Students also develop short theater pieces dealing with the subject and present a workshop production for the campus com- munity through Playwrights in Performance. Examples of research issues include the science of memory, aspects of evolutionary theory, and bioengineering. Limited to 18.
A. Brody

21m.624 Acting with the Camera
Prereq: 21M.600 or permission of instructor
U (Fall)
4-0-5 HASS-A (HASS-E)

Explores the complex discipline of acting for the camera through exploration of the discipline in the context of the history of cinema, television, and multimedia stage performance. In-class exercises, with students both filming and being filmed, provide a platform for experimentation with the theory and practice of performing for and with the camera, culminating in the making of a student-written, edited, and most impor- tantly, acted short film. Limited to 20.
A. Kohler

21m.645 Motion Theater
Prereq: None
U (Fall)
3-0-6 HASS-A (HASS-E)

Examines the theatrical event from the perspec- tive of composition in a performance workshop. Studio exercises address the process of develop- ing a theatrical work through an internalized understanding of compositional principles in theater. Examines physical action in time and space. Includes outside readings, videos, short essays, and in-class discussions. Provides the performer, director, choreographer, designer or writer opportunities to engage with large and small group ensembles in creation of theatrical events. Topics include image, motion, shape, repetition, gesture, and spatial relationship.
J. Scheib

 

Intermediate Subjects

21m.703J Media and Methods: Performing
(Same subject as CMS.403J)
Prereq: CMS.100, 21L.011, or permission of instructor
Acad Year 2012–2013: Not offered
Acad Year 2013–2014: U (Fall)
3-3-6 HASS-H (HASS-E)

See description under subject CMS.403J.
J. Scheib

21m.704 Musical Theater Workshop
Prereq: 21M.600 or permission of instructor
U (Spring)
3-0-6 HASS-A (HASS-E)

Introduces  students to the art and technique of musical theater performance. Movement, singing, and acting are explored during the term, with a focus on the use of the body as an expressive tool. Students develop an understanding of how musicals are composed and the nature of the actor's contribution to this dynamic form. Previous experience  in musical theater preferred.
Staff

21m.705 The Actor and the Text
Prereq: 21M.600 or permission of instructor
U (Fall, Spring)
4-0-5 HASS-A (HASS-E) Can be repeated for credit

Gives students who have begun the process of bringing themselves to a dramatic moment the opportunity to apply their skills to scripted  mate- rial. Studio work in this class further develops
the completeness, spontaneity, and honesty of expression of the actor's  body, imagination, and voice; and introduces written material and the problems  of synthesizing the self, the moment, and the scripted  word. Weekly rehearsals with a scene partner.
A. Brody

21m.710 Script Analysis
Prereq: None
U (Fall)
3-0-9 HASS-A (HASS-E); CI-H

Focuses on reading a script theatrically with a view to mounting a coherent production. Through careful, intensive reading of a variety of plays from different periods and different aesthetics, a pattern emerges for discerning what options exist for interpretating a script. Students discuss the consequences of those options for production. Enrollment limited.
A. Brody

21m.711 Production Seminar
Prereq: None
Acad Year 2012–2013: Not offered
Acad Year 2013–2014: U (Fall)
3-0-6 HASS-A (HASS-E)

Pursues  detailed study of a particular playtext or theme and is related to some planned  production activity during the following IAP. Seminar activities may include guest speakers from various disciplines who approach some aspect of the playtext or theme from the perspective of their fields; various theatrical practitioners; and critical and scholarly presentations by seminar members. Participation  in the IAP production is not required.
J. Scheib

21m.715 Topics in Theater Arts
Prereq: Permission  of instructor U (Fall, IAP, Spring)
3-0-6
Can be repeated for credit if content differs

Multidisciplinary studio seminar provides op- portunity for study in performance theory and practice. Topics vary from term to term; may be taught by visiting faculty.
Staff

21m.732 Costume Design for the Theater
Prereq: Permission  of instructor Acad Year 2012–2013: U (Fall) Acad Year 2013–2014: Not offered
3-3-6 HASS-A (HASS-E)

Provides an intermediate workshop designed for students who have a basic understanding of the principles of theatrical design and who want a more intensive study of costume design and the psychology of clothing. Students develop de- signs that emerge through a process of character analysis, based on the script and directorial concept.  Period research, design, and rendering skills are fostered through practical exercises. Instruction in basic costume construction, including drafting and draping, provide tools for students to produce final projects.
L. Held

21m.733 Scenic Design
Prereq: 21M.603 or permission of instructor
Acad Year 2012–2013: U (Fall) Acad Year 2013–2014: Not offered
3-3-6 HASS-A (HASS-E)

Through a series  of 4 to 5 design projects, students develop scenic designs for various types of live performance. Focuses on develop- ing one's own process for approaching design as well as on learning basic communication skills utilized by scenic designers, including research, drawing, model building, painting,  computer drafting, and use of Photoshop. Instruction and practice in oral and written communication provided.
S. Brown

21m.734 Lighting Design for the Theater
Prereq: Permission  of instructor
U (Spring)
3-3-3 HASS-A (HASS-E)

Explores artistry of lighting design. Students gain overall technical working knowledge of tools and apply it to final design. Stresses artistic, conceptual, and collaborative  side of the craft utilizing a "hands on" format. Students take advantage of greater Boston venues with backstage tours of various theaters to see how architecture affects lighting design choices. Small projects assigned during term. Final proj- ect involves execution of fully realized production. Limited to 10.
K. Perlow

21m.735 Technical Design: Scenery, Mechanisms, and Special Effects
Prereq: 21M.606 or permission of instructor
Acad Year 2012–2013: Not offered
Acad Year 2013–2014: U (Spring)
3-3-6 HASS-A (HASS-E)

Looks at special structural and artistic challenges of theatrical scenery, effects, and construction needs. Explores the technical design process and emphasizes safety, budgeting, and problem solving. Work includes actual production assignments and paper design projects. Final project required to explore each student's specific interests.
Staff

21m.736 The Craft of Costume
Prereq: None
Acad Year 2012–2013: Not offered
Acad Year 2013–2014: U (Fall)
3-3-3 HASS-A (HASS-E)

Explores techniques and materials used to craft costume  pieces that are not sewn, such as ar- mor, masks,  millinery, wigs, jewelry, and kinetic costume  pieces. Students work with traditional materials in innovative ways, as well as with the latest techniques and materials, including thermoplastics, hardware  and found objects. Involves research, designing, engineering and creating both character-specific and abstract pieces.
L. Held

21m.785J Playwrights' Workshop
(Same subject as 21W.769J) (Subject meets with 21M.789)
Prereq: 21M.604, 21W.754, or permission of instructor
U (Spring)
3-2-7 HASS-A (HASS-E) Can be repeated for credit

Continued work in the development of play scripts for the theater. Writers work on sustained pieces in weekly workshop meetings, individual consultation with the instructor, and in collaboration with student actors, directors, and designers. Fully developed scripts are eligible for inclusion in the Playwrights' Workshop production. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
A. Brody

21m.789 Playwrights' Workshop
(Subject meets with 21M.785J, 21W.769J) Prereq: 21M.604, 21W.754, or permission of instructor
G (Spring)
3-2-7
Can be repeated for credit

Continued work in the development of play scripts for the theater. Writers work on sustained pieces in weekly workshop meetings, individual consultation with the instructor, and in col- laboration with student actors, directors, and designers. Fully developed scripts eligible for inclusion in the Playwrights' Workshop produc- tion. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
A. Brody

21m.790 Directing
(Subject meets with 21M.791)
Prereq: 21M.600; 21M.710 or permission of instructor
Acad Year 2012–2013: U (Spring)
Acad Year 2013–2014: Not offered 4-0-5 HASS-A (HASS-E)

21m.791 Directing
(Subject meets with 21M.790)
Prereq: 21M.600; 21M.710 or permission of instructor
Acad Year 2012–2013: G (Spring)
Acad Year 2013–2014: Not offered
4-0-5

Explores several models of directing, each with its unique structures, philosophy, terminology, and techniques. Exploration is intended to lead to the development of an individual voice for each student and clarity in his/her directorial point of view. Class sessions concentrate on how a point of view is arrived at through analysis of material and the way the results  are rendered with the basic tools of theater. All points of view are honored  as long as they can be actively sup- ported by the work. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
J. Scheib

Advanced Topics and Practica

21m.805 Performance  and design Practicum
Prereq: Permission  of instructor
U (Fall, Spring; second half of term)
0-3-3
Can be repeated for credit

Provides directed practice in the artistic disciplines of performance, including stage  design, projection and new media design,  acting, direct- ing, lighting design,  costume  design,  and other creative fields. Students test and refine their skills in the presentation of plays, dance, film, music theater, opera, and other performing arts events by participating in research, rehearsal and the performance process. Students seeking to design an individual project with a particular faculty member must obtain the approval of the Director of Theater Arts.
Staff

21m.815 Technical Theater Practicum
Prereq: Permission  of instructor
U (Fall, IAP, Spring; second half of term)
0-3-3
Can be repeated for credit

Provides directed practice in the disciplines of stage  management, technical direction, and technical production for performance. Students test and refine their skills in the presentation
of plays, dance, films, music theater, opera, concerts, and other performing arts events by participating in research and the rehearsal/ production process. Students seeking to design an individual project with a particular faculty member must obtain the approval of the Director of Theater Arts.
Consult Rinaldi Staff

21m.830 Acting: Techniques and Style
(Subject meets with 21M.835) Prereq: 21M.600, 21M.705
Acad Year 2012–2013: Not offered
Acad Year 2013–2014: U (Fall, Spring)
4-0-8 HASS-A (HASS-E) Can be repeated for credit

Refines the student actor's  use of the language of the stage  with work on text and physical pre- sentation. Explores issues of style, including the understanding and honoring, in performance,
of the specific requirements of texts from sev- eral different historical periods of the Western theatrical tradition.  Periods may differ from term to term. Students taking graduate versions complete additional assignments. Staff

21m.835 Acting: Techniques and Style
(Subject meets with 21M.830) Prereq: 21M.600, 21M.705
Acad Year 2012–2013: Not offered
Acad Year 2013–2014: G (Fall, Spring)
4-0-8
Can be repeated for credit

Refines the student actor's  use of the language of the stage  with work on text and physical pre- sentation. Explores issues of style, including the understanding and honoring, in performance,
of the specific requirements of texts from several different historical periods of the Western theatrical tradition.  Periods may differ from term to term. Students taking graduate versions complete additional assignments. Staff

21m.840 Performance  Media
(Subject meets with 21M.841) Prereq: None
Acad Year 2012–2013: Not offered
Acad Year 2013–2014: U (Spring)
4-2-6 HASS-A (HASS-E)

Integrates media and communication technolo- gies in performing arts. Studio exercises provide a forum for experimentation. Contemporary and historical techniques for media integration examined through readings, viewing videos and short written essays. Technologies examined include digital imaging, composite and live feed digital video, and web-based performance. Engages the designer, director, choreographer, performer, visual artist or programmer  in the practice of integrating media into live art events. Equipment, where necessary, is provided. J. Scheib

21m.841 Performance  Media
(Subject meets with 21M.840) Prereq: None
Acad Year 2012–2013: Not offered
Acad Year 2013–2014: G (Spring)
4-2-6

Meets with 21M.840 but assignments differ. Graduate students are expected to complete additional assignments. See description under 21M.840.
J. Scheib

21m.846 Topics in Performance Studies
(Subject meets with 21M.847) Prereq: None
U (Spring)
3-2-7 HASS-A (HASS-E) Can be repeated for credit

Multidisciplinary lecture/workshop engages students in a variety of approaches to the study and practice of performance as an area of aes- thetic and social interaction. Special attention paid to the use of diverse media in performance. Interdisciplinary  approaches to study encourage students to seek out material histories of perfor- mance and practice. New topics are discussed each year. Staff

21m.847 Topics in Performance Studies
(Subject meets with 21M.846) Prereq: None
G (Spring)
3-2-7
Can be repeated for credit

See description under 21M.846. Assignments differ.
Staff

21m.851 independent Study in Production and Performance
Prereq: Permission  of instructor
U (Fall, IAP, Spring; second half of term) Units arranged
Can be repeated for credit

21m.863 Advanced Topics in Theater Arts
Prereq: Permission  of instructor
U (Fall, IAP, Spring)
4-2-6
Can be repeated for credit if content differs

Advanced multidisciplinary studio workshop provides opportunity for advanced study in the performing arts. Topics vary from term to term; may be taught by visiting faculty. Staff

21m.865 Research in Theater
Prereq: Permission  of instructor G (Fall, Spring)
Units arranged
Can be repeated for credit with permission

Offers directed research of advanced theatrical subjects occurring in either the performance or theoretical spheres. Consult Theater Arts office

21m.THT Music Pre-thesis Tutorial
Prereq: Music major status
U (Fall, Spring)
1-0-5
Can be repeated for credit

Definition of and early-stage work on thesis project leading to 21M.ThU Undergraduate Thesis in Music. Taken during the first term of the student's two-term commitment to the thesis project. Student works closely with an individual faculty tutor.
Consult Music Headquarters

21m.THU Undergraduate Thesis in Music
Prereq: 21M.ThT U (Fall, Spring) Units arranged
Can be repeated for credit

Completion of work on senior major thesis under supervision of a faculty tutor. Includes oral presentation of thesis progress early in the term, assembling and revising final text, and meeting at the close with a committee  of faculty evaluators to discuss successes and limitations of the project.
Consult Music Headquarters

21m.ur Undergraduate Research in Music
U (Fall, Spring)
Units arranged [P/D/F] Can be repeated for credit
21m.urg undergraduate research in music
U (Fall, Spring) Units arranged
Can be repeated for credit

Individual participation in an ongoing music re- search  project. For students in the Undergradu- ate Research Opportunities Progam. Staff

Theater Arts students are required to produce a thesis.  Since their programs are major departures in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences they should register for 21.ThT and 21.ThU. They should also register for 21.UR or 21.URG when doing UROP projects.