Thr 389 Creative Drama
SYLLABUS theatre 389/589
Thr 389 Creative Drama
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Professor Richard Kalinoski
Arts and Communication north 231 11:30 to 1 PM Tuesday and Thursday
(Class will move to Experimental theatre tba)
Richard Kalinoski office: 218 acw 920 424 0937
“The Educated differ from the Uneducated as much as the living from the dead.”
Theatre as a part of the Liberal Arts
The liberal arts engage students in the study of the human condition by exploring the disciplines broadly defined by the sciences, the arts, culture, literature and history. THEATRE is a small component of these human endeavors but its reach is ambitious. Theatre has been historically dedicated to the act of imitating, replicating and representing our lives. In many ways it is the ultimate “liberal” art if one understands the word “liberal” to mean generous or broadly encompassing. In the Western world theatre evolved from religious practice and story telling….and was afforded a place of reverence and respect by early civilizations: The Greeks, the Romans, the Egyptians.
Theatre’s mandate is to explore any and all facets of our lives. It demands intellectual rigor and multifarious artistic inspiration because theatre is primarily interested in uncovering the truth about how we live. It is this search for truth that puts theatre into the very core of liberal pursuits. Theatre is a genuine liberal art.
About Creative Drama
This is a course which emphasizes play—in the form of theatre games. The course is designed for the would-be teacher, or actor or person interested in the theatre as an art form. The history of theatre is really a history of pretend, of fantasy—and of the act of playing. Actors PLAY parts. This is not an acting class but you will be “acting”. You will not be graded on your talent. You are expected to be an avid learner and an enthusiastic participant. Class attendance and participation is the single most important component of this class—this is a studio class.
Your presence in the class is vital to its success---you will all be working together to create a play---and to perform it.
Students will be learning how to “play” a number of theatre games in preparation for taking part actively in creating and performing their own play. The play created in this class will have a public or a semi-public performance (there may be more than one.)
A lot has to be accomplished by the performance date (s). Class participation is fundamental to this class; in fact it is most of what this class is.
1. No formal text: Students will be required to attend and respond to two main stage university
plays; students will write a play; students will write and maintain a log.
2.Two main stage plays: The Thousand Pound Marriage by Richard Kalinoski, September 28,
29, 30, October 1 at 7:30 PM and Oct. 2 at 2PM in the Fredric March Theatre
The Children’s Hour by Lillian Hellman directed by Richard Kalinoski November 9 thru 13, 2011.
Tuesday and Thursday 1:30 to 3 00 PM 218 ACW (arts communication west) and by appointment: Phone: 920 424 0937
Students are encouraged to speak to me during office hours to discuss their progress in the course. The office hours are for you…you should make use of them.
Objectives of the Class:
A. Students will demonstrate effective organization skills by cooperating in class activities.
B. Students will learn by participating in group projects as those groups invent,
explore, discuss, write, devise, emote and play.
C. Students will build confidence in using kinesthetic learning strategies by practicing them.
D. Students will develop a collection of theatre games to be used in classroom settings by playing, recording and teaching those games.
GRADING AND GRADES:
The several components which make up your grade follow:
a. attendance (if you miss more than one class (unexcused) your grade will drop by one whole increment (a to b, b to c, etc.) 20%
b. responses to the two plays---graded essays in response to the performances. Guidelines will be distributed 15%
c. class participation—your contribution to the class. Of course this is a subjective judgement---so you will have a chance to describe your contribution in a written statement….at mid-term and near the end of the class. Your contribution to the scripted play the class will create is included in this component. 40
d. theatre game logs—from the start students in the class will use a notebook to record the theatre games they learn and teach. The notebook will be checked twice. 15%
e. quizzes –on reading and notes from class 10%
93 to 100 = A
90 to 92= A-
87-89 = B+
83-86 = B
80-82 = B-
77-79 = C+
73-76 = C
70-72 = C-
65-69 = D+
59-64 = D
Below 59 = F
Definition of creative drama:
“an improvisational, non-exhibitional, process-centered form of drama in which participants are guided by a leader to imagine, enact, and reflect upon human experience” . From the American Alliance for Theatre and Education.
Special note: As a participant in this class you will be expected to experiment and participate as a would-be elementary school student---at least some of the time. The definition above uses the phrase “non-exhibitional”….this class, however, will be at least partly “exhibitional”. One of the main reasons for this “exhibitional” aspect is the reality that there are those of you in this class who are expecting to be teachers---teachers are expected to be exhibitional---it’s part of the job.
CREATING A PLAY:
One of the few major requirements for this class is the PLAY you will create as a group. You will be asked to write (somewhat improvisationally), rehearse and perform a play. The play will be meant for students in the upper grades of elementary school---and one or more of you will be expected to contact a local elementary school to establish the POSSIBILITY of performing for students at that school or for having students come to us. (Boys and Girls Club is a possibility). Having an audience enhances the process of creating a play but it is not absolutely necessary in a creative drama class—you are all, as students, your own audience.
September 8 Intro to the class—the challenges of Creative Drama including the group project of writing a play. Syllabus discussion. Profiles of students. Show and tell assignment for next class. Introduction of Logs.
September 13 Lecture and discussion of the uses of Fantasy. Children, adults, play and fear. First in class exercise. 3 groups created. Students make log entries for the first time. Elements of drama discussed and presented.
September 15 Lecture on learning by living—acting is doing, playing is doing. Second in class exercise, machine making. Log entries (in class) Small groups meet—discussion of child protagonist, fantasy, imagination, how to use everyone in the class. Story with begin/middle/end.
September 20 (Tuesday) Quiz on lecture notes. Exercises in class. Group meetings to devise a scenario. Log entries.
September 22 Lecture on form and format of a play. Formal assignment of play. Exercises/games. Log entries. Guidelines distributed for responding to main stage play.
September 27 Quiz on material to date. Log entries. The Thousand Pound Marriage opens on September 28. Exercises/games.
September 29 (Thursday) Group meetings. Exercises/games.
October 4 Responses to Thousand due. Discussion of the play. Exercises/games. Synopses
of each group due. Self-evaluations due.
October 6 First logs DUE. First set of teachers teach. Synopses returned and strongest one chosen.
October 11 (Tuesday) Playwright(s) determined. Logs returned. Playwright (s) meet—to strategize. Theatre games/exercises.
October 13 Theatre games/exercises. Log entries. Last set of teachers teach.
October 18. First draft due. Copies for everyone. Theatre games/exercises. Log entries
October 20 Copies for all. Play to be read in class. Discussion of first draft. Log entries
October 25 Exercises/ discussion of audience possibilities; logs due
October 27 Second draft due. Copies brought. Read in class..
November 1 (Tuesday) Rehearsal begins. Table work. Reading of play. Discussion. Logs due.
November 3 Warm ups and exercises….using the script (rehearsal) Logs returned
November 8 The Children’s Hour opens on the 9th. . Notes on. (rehearsal)
November 10 (Thursday) Rehearsal. Discussion of potential audience.
November 15 Discussion of The Children’s Hour (responses due) Rehearsal.
November 17 Rehearsal
November 22 Rehearsal
November 24 (off—Thanksgiving) NO CLASS
November 29 ( Tuesday) Rehearsal
December 1 Rehearsal (off-book)
December 6 Rehearsal Discussion of costume.
December 8 Dress Rehearsal; self evaluations due.
December 13 Performance (invited audience)
December 15 Performance (invited audience).