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Courses

THDA-210, Acting I
Four class periods. Open to all classes, this course is designed for students with little or no acting experience. By doing exercises in movement and voice production, reading, improvisation, and scenes, a student who is curious about the theatre may determine whether he or she has ability or interest in acting while learning something of the process of characterization, the major responsibility of the actor. The emphasis is on the variety of acting experiences rather than on a polished final product.

THDA-320, Lighting
Four class periods. The course will introduce the student to the art of lighting design while also providing an opportunity to observe light in nature, art, stage, screen, and created environments. The course will allow the individual to gain applied practical understanding regarding the color theory of light, the psychology of color and light, and controllable qualities of light. The design process will be utilized as a method of dramatic interpretation. Artistic expression will be achieved through practical use of lighting instruments, laboratory projects, experiments, and school productions when applicable. (Mr. Murray)

THDA-321, Costuming
Four class periods. An introductory exploration into the areas of costume design and costume construction, this course will highlight primary design elements utilized in costume design for the stage and screen (i.e., line, color, tone, texture, movement, mood composition, balance, and focus). The course will examine historical period silhouette and the art and craft of the stage costume. Practical experience will be given in areas including construction, flat patterning, draping, and fabric manipulation. (Mr. Murray)

THDA-325, Scene Design
Four class periods. This course will introduce the student to the elements that inform the scenic designer's choices (the theme and mood of a script, lines of action, focus, constraints, whimsy) and discuss methods of formulating cohesive, functional, and effective design for a show. The student will be introduced to many materials and techniques available to a designer for realizing his or her ideas as a physical product. Special attention will be spent on the process of the design concept: collaboration, formulation, presentation, discussion, evaluation, and reworking. Students will be graded on both design projects and classroom participation. This is a seminar class that relies upon the open and frank exchange of ideas to stimulate creativity. (Mr. Jacob)

THDA-330, Theatre Theory and History
Four class periods. Not open to Juniors. We will focus on the concepts and conventions of theater in relation to issues of identity: race, class, gender and religion. Students will examine plays from a political, cultural and artistic perspective, illuminating a constantly evolving viewpoint, regarding the aesthetics of live performance and highlighting the intersection of contemporary theatre and popular culture. This course will focus on one discrete topic each term. Fall 2015 - Hip-Hop Theatre. Students will engage with music, plays, and other source material in a way that illuminates how these art forms have influenced each other. As they learn about the birth and foundational elements of Hip-Hop, the class will explore the societal issues that inspired the creation of Hip-Hop culture and focus on the connections between the roles of MC as actor/playwright, DJ as director/choreographer and sound designer, graphic artist, set designer, and others. Through close reading, students will examine the language embedded in music and plays, examining lyrics and lines to further consider the societal forces presented in the text and corresponding historical sources and videos. In the process, students will discover the "elasticity" of theatre and analyze a breadth of Hip-Hop theatre artists, varying from solo playwright/performers to large ensemble plays. Students will be encouraged to think of live performance as a launch pad for social activism, popular culture, and political discourse. (Mr. Grimm)

THDA-360, Directing
Four class periods. Since directing plays is the most complex of theatrical tasks, this course will focus on methods to unlock the life of a script in the realization of production. Studies will include historic styles and productions, emphasizing their staging. Students will learn the dynamics of floor plans and their effect on blocking, the potentials for lighting and its effect on mood, the importance of rhythm and spectacle, and strategies to harness them. While no class on directing can function without including discussion of the actor's craft, this class will only touch on this area, which will be further developed in THDA-510. (Mr. Heelan and Mr. Grimm) Prerequisite: THDA-210 or permission of the instructor.

THDA-365, Choreographic Elements
Four class periods. This course examines the aesthetic elements of movement through various dance styles. Students will be led through explorations and formal exercises to learn how to generate and manipulate movement in clear and innovative fashions. Course work will culminate in final presentation of original compositions. This class will provide an in-depth study of dance elements and choreographic tools, drawing upon models set forth by Laban, Balanchine, Doris Humphrey, Judson Church, Mark Morris, and Rennie Harris, among others. Ultimately, students will deepen their understanding of movement as a form of communication and expression. This course will require students to rehearse on their own outside of class, as part of the standard four to five hours of homework per week. Prerequisite: Previous dance experience or permission of the instructor.

THDA-380, Stage Craft
Five class periods. This is a practicum course in which students work on the technical elements of theatre and dance productions. Students will be introduced to the elements and styles of stage design, including basic skills related to building and painting sets, stage lighting, costuming and projection design. Some lab hours to be arranged outside of class time. (Mr. Josef, Mr. Murray and Ms. Wombwell)

THDA-390, Musical Theatre
Four class periods. Open to any student (no prerequisites). One credit assigned to either Music or Theatre. Musical Theatre is an interdisciplinary and experiential class that will explore both the history and performance elements of American Musical Theatre. Beginning with the 1920s and culminating with present day, students will explore the historical context of a significant musical in a particular decade each week. Students also will perform a number from that musical each week, challenging themselves in the discipline of performance. Over the course of the term, students will gain knowledge of American history through the lens of the performing arts and gain experience in performing in the three elements of musical theatre (song, dance, and spoken word). Public performance opportunities will occur throughout the term, including a final project.

THDA-420, Public Speaking
Four class periods. Not open to Juniors. The course has a dual objective: to learn how to speak easily in front of others, and to learn how to construct a speech and perform the speech in English. Students give prepared speeches on a variety of topics.

THDA-900H, Andover Dance Group for Credit
The Andover Dance Group (ADG) is an auditioned performance group consisting of the most highly trained and dedicated dancers at Phillips Academy. Students in ADG make a commitment to dance for at least two terms a year, rehearsing for faculty-directed shows as an extra-curricular. Students dance five to six days a week. Serious dancers may be in the ADG each of their years at the Academy. After one year of performing with the ADG, students may choose to take a year for credit. In addition to rehearsals, students taking ADG for credit will be required to take a weekly dance history seminar that relates the current ADG project to a specific time period, movement, choreographer, or style in dance history. This seminar is a one-term commitment. Students may take this option only once, and it will serve to fulfill a term of their arts requirement. The total time commitment for this group (classes, rehearsals, and seminar) may exceed the standard nine hours per week. Co-requisite: Students in Andover Dance Group are required to take dance as a sport.

THDA-901, Advanced Practical Theatre Application
Enrollment is limited and by approval of the department. Students will apply methodologies learned in previous theater courses to a term-contained project. The focus of this project will be developed by the student(s) with faculty input and approved by the theater department as part of our performance season. The total time required for this course may exceed the standard nine hours per week. Each member of the class will assume a specific role: lead actor, director (only students who have taken the Directing THDA-360 course will be eligible to direct a THDA-901 project), stage manager, and playwright. All students are expected to work collaboratively through the creative process. Rehearsal schedules will be determined on a case-by-case basis. This course will culminate in a performance scheduled in conjunction with the department.

THDA-902, Advanced Studies in Dance Performance
Enrollment is limited and by approval of the department. Students will apply methodologies learned in previous theater courses to a term-contained project. The focus of this project will be developed by the student(s) with faculty input and approved by the theater department as part of our performance season. The total time required for this course may exceed the standard nine hours per week. This course, if failed, cannot be made up by examination. Students will assume a specific role as choreographer or dancer. Rehearsal schedules will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Students will actively engage in the creative process through identifying a creative problem, researching supportive material, and assessing and revising their work. Students will collaborate with lighting designers as well as other designers/performers as determined. The course will culminate in a performance scheduled in conjunction with the department. Prerequisites: THDA-365 and -370, and project approval from the department.

THDA-903, Advanced Studies in Technical Theatre Production
Enrollment is limited and by approval of the department. Students will apply methodologies learned in previous theater courses to a term-contained project. The focus of this project will be developed by the student(s) with faculty input and approved by the theater department as part of our performance season. The total time required for this course may exceed the standard nine hours per week. This course, if failed, cannot be made up by examination. The exact focus of the project will be developed by the student with faculty input and approved by the theater department. Examples include designing and creating a set of costumes for a dance show or creating a sound design for a THDA-920 production. Students will be expected to work collaboratively with the director and other designers of the show. The course will culminate in execution of their design in a performance scheduled by the department. Prerequisites: THDA-320, THDA-321 or THDA-326, and project approval from the department.

THDA-920/1, Play Production
Five class periods. By audition only. This course is composed of the performance of a faculty-directed play or musical. Recent choices include Little Shop of Horrors, Twelfth Night, Brighton Beach Memoirs, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Next. The department's season will likely include a classical work, a contemporary work and a musical. The total time required for this course (class time plus homework) may exceed the standard nine hours per week; students will receive both academic and athletic credit. Rehearsals will take place during the sports period.

THDA-920/2, Play Production
Five class periods. By audition only. This course is composed of the performance of a faculty-directed play or musical. Recent choices include Little Shop of Horrors, Twelfth Night, Brighton Beach Memoirs, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Next. The department's season will likely include a classical work, a contemporary work and a musical. The total time required for this course (class time plus homework) may exceed the standard nine hours per week; students will receive both academic and athletic credit. Rehearsals will take place during the sports period.

THDA-920/3, Play Production
Five class periods. By audition only. This course is composed of the performance of a faculty-directed play or musical. Recent choices include Little Shop of Horrors, Twelfth Night, Brighton Beach Memoirs, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Next. The department's season will likely include a classical work, a contemporary work and a musical. The total time required for this course (class time plus homework) may exceed the standard nine hours per week; students will receive both academic and athletic credit. Rehearsals will take place during the sports period.