Course Descriptions

A list of all Undergraduate courses in Theatre.


1 Perceiving the Performing Arts
Professional artists in the fields of dance, music and theatre introduce students to the fundamental concepts of their respective disciplines. Students go to Bay Area performances in each art form studied. Team taught.

142 Performing Arts in Production (.5 or 1.0)
Either half or full course credit is available for participation in the technical aspects of a Performing Arts departmental production: elements of stagecraft, costuming, marketing, front of house, etc. Required for Technical Theatre and Design majors, and Theatre minors, but open to all interested students. 
*Does not satisfy an Area requirement.

160 Special Topics in Performing Arts
Offered every other year, this course covers in-depth a specific aspect of the performing arts only touched on in other courses.  Rotating topics include: African-American Dance, Great Composers, American Musicals, Dance and Film, Theatre and Social Justice, and Directing for the Stage, among others. Although this upper-division course is open to all interested students without prerequisites, prior completion of Performing Arts 1 is strongly recommended.

197 Special Study
An independent study, internship or research course for students whose needs are not met by the regular course offerings of the department. Permission of the chair and instructor required.

198 Senior Project
During their senior year, majors in dance, music or theatre, under the supervision of a faculty member, are required to develop a project that demonstrates their expertise and creativity. The project may take the form of a solo performance, involvement with a performing arts group off campus, a substantive essay, or directing / designing / choreographing a student production. Written proposal must be approved by the appropriate program director prior to registration for the academic year in which the project will occur. Prerequisite: Completion of all lower-division major courses.


30 Foundations of Theatre I
A survey of major historical developments in theatre, from its ritual origins to the rise of the modern era.

33 Acting I: Principles of Performance
An introduction to the theory, history, and styles of realistic acting with emphasis on personalization, script analysis and the dynamics of performance.

36-01 Theatre Masterpieces: World Drama (.5)
36-02  Theatre Masterpieces: Modern Drama (.5 )
Discussion and analysis of masterworks of dramatic literature. A global perspective showcases playwrights working in diverse styles, eras and traditions. May be repeated for credit as play selection varies.

37 Performance Lab (.25)
Introductory hands-on training in specific performance skills: for example, audition techniques, stage combat, Suzuki physical theatre or voice for the actor. May be repeated for credit as topic varies.
*Does not satisfy an Area requirement.

47 Technical Theatre/Design Lab (.25)
Introductory hands-on training in specific technical theatre/design skills: for example, computers and technical theatre, lighting techniques and ¬drafting. May be repeated for credit as topic varies.
*Does not satisfy an Area requirement.

48 Stagecraft (.5)
The fundamentals of stagecraft from the first design meetings to the closing of a show, with emphasis on the responsibilities of each member of the production staff. Instruction is given in the use of theatrical equipment, and both hand and power tools, as lab hours are spent building sets and props for a mainstage production.
*Does not satisfy an Area requirement.
50 Interactive Theatre
Interactive Theatre offers creative tools to effectively engage in difficult dialogues about the intersections of race, gender, sexual orientation, and class in dynamic and innovative ways. Students learn to build non-threatening environments and promote community-centered problem-solving. Open to actors and non-actors.  Satisfies Diversity and Ethnic Studies requirements

130 Foundations of Theatre II
A continuation of the survey of major developments in theatre begun in Foundations I. This course pays special attention to the rise of modern theatre, contemporary forms of theatre and various performance theories. Prerequisite: Foundations I [Perfa 30] or consent of instructor.

132 Play in Production (.25, .5 or 1.0)
Credit is available for actors cast in the theatre program's mainstage or workshop productions. Required for majors and minors, but open to all interested students. 
*Does not satisfy an Area requirement.

133 Acting II: Characterization and Scene Study
A continuing exploration of the tools and techniques used to bring a character to life onstage. Emphasis is given to the development of the actor’s instrument — body, voice, emotion and imagination — while partner and ensemble exercises build toward the performance of scripted scenes. Prerequisite: Acting I [Perfa 33] or consent of instructor.

135 Interdisciplinary Studies: Theatre
A critical engagement with current theatre production and practices. Students attend performances throughout the Bay Area, while studying the contributions made to each production by the playwright, director, designers and actors. Prerequisite: Perceiving the Performing Arts [Perfa 1] or Acting I [Perfa 33] or Foundations I [Perfa 30].

136 Theatre: Special Studies
An intensive study of a selected era, genre or movement particularly rich in theatrical significance. Analysis, research and concentrated writing practice are key components of the course. Recent topics have included American Musical Theatre, Contemporary Women Playwrights and Multicultural Performance. May be repeated as content changes. Prerequisite: Foundations II [Perfa 130] or consent of instructor.

137 Acting III (.5)
Students learn advanced performance skills through specially focused work such as Shakespearean scene study, comic and dramatic monologues, and the challenges of period style. May be repeated for credit as topic varies. Prerequisites: Acting I and II [Perfa 33 and 133] or consent of instructor.

137-02 Acting III Lab (.5) Acting III students co-enroll in this required lab. 

140 Stage Management (.5)
A course in the responsibilities and functions of a stage manager, from the first rehearsal through opening night and beyond. Students develop the skills to run a show in an efficient and positive manner. Prerequisite: Stagecraft [Perfa 48]

148 Stage Lighting Design (.5)
A concentrated advanced study of lighting for the theatre — from learning the technology and providing basic visibility, to understanding how to “paint” with light while enhancing a production’s emotional and artistic impact. Students participate in the semester’s mainstage production and develop design projects of their own. Prerequisite: Stagecraft [Perfa 48]

149-01 Design for the Stage: Set Design (.5)
A concentrated study of scenic and props design for the theatre. Students follow the process of designing for the mainstage production while working on design projects of their own. Special focus is placed on drawing skills, research, mixing colors and stage terminology. Prerequisite: Stagecraft [Perfa 48]

149-02 Design for the Stage: Costume Design (.5)
A concentrated study of costume design for the theatre. Students follow the process of designing for the mainstage production while working on design projects of their own. Special focus is placed on rendering skills, research and design presentations. Prerequisite: Stagecraft [Perfa 48]