The Theater and Dance Program offers students an interrelated series of courses and performance activities designed to provide a sound liberal arts grounding in the theory and practice of the arts of theater and dance. The program is designed to foster a sense of community among faculty, staff, and students. Because the performing arts are collaborative by nature, students involved in the program are expected to participate in all aspects of production, both artistic and technical. The major objectives of the program are:
- To provide a critical understanding and enhanced appreciation for theater and dance arts and their relationships to other areas of liberal arts learning.
- To encourage interdisciplinary artistic collaboration and studies with such related disciplines as Film, English, Art, Creative Writing, and others.
- To provide concentrated preparation in dance and theater for students wishing to pursue advanced studies or professional careers.
- To provide practical experiences in all aspects of production, both on and back stage.
The introductory level courses are open to all students interested in broadening the scope of their education or who are majoring in a related field and wish to use theater or dance as a resource. Students wishing to pursue more intensive involvement in the arts are encouraged to enroll in intermediate and advanced-level courses in technique along with courses in production, history, and the aesthetics of theater and dance. Students also have the opportunity to work closely with a number of artists-in-residence each year. Choreographers, guest directors, playwrights, and specialists offer workshops lasting from a few days to one month.
In the second semester of the junior year qualified students may be admitted to the Honors Program in theater or dance. The Honors project may be either, 1) an advanced-level creative project in acting, directing, design, dance performance, or choreography, or 2) a research topic in theater or dance history, criticism, and theory resulting in a substantial written thesis. Advanced-level creative projects in acting, dance performance, choreography, directing, and design also include a significant written component. At the completion of the senior Honors Project, the student is examined orally by a panel consisting of the Honors student’s faculty advisor and at least two other faculty members. Applications and further information concerning Honors work in either theater or dance are available in the Theater and Dance Program office, Warner Center.
Students interested in studying playwriting will find these courses listed under Creative Writing and English.
Major and Non-Major Off-Campus Study
Before credit is awarded for off-campus study, students must obtain tentative prior approval from a member of the Theater and Dance faculty and the Associate Dean of Studies. After the study is completed, the student must supply evidence of satisfactory participation. A maximum of 16 hours of off-campus study may be applied to the majors in Theater and Dance.
GLCA Arts Program in New York
This consists of a semester of work, ordinarily in the junior year, in the areas of technique, performance, production, and related studies. In the past, the GLCA Program has placed students with various theater companies, film and video studios, major dance studios, dance-presenting organizations, dance critics, and stage designers. Students who successfully complete the GLCA Program earn credits upon payment of the transfer of credit fee. All arrangements for transferring credit must be made with a member of the theater or dance faculty and approval for an academic leave of absence must be granted by the Associate Dean of Studies before a student begins the GLCA Program.
National Theater Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center
This one-semester program at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Connecticut is designed to acquaint the serious student of the theater with the demands and expectations of the theater profession. The program combines the liberal arts philosophy of studies in a wide range of disciplines with exposure to professional production standards. Students participate in classes in acting, directing, design, movement/improvisation, and playwriting, as well as adjunct courses and special workshops led 320 Theater and Dance (HU, Art and Humanities; SS, Social and Behavioral Sciences; NS, Natural Sciences and Mathematics; EX, Extra Divisional) (CD, Cultural Diversity; QPf/QPh, Quantitative Proficiency Certification full or half; WR, Writing Certification; WRi, Writing Intensive) by guest artists. The remainder of each semester is devoted to workshops focusing on one or more specific theatrical exercises. The National Theater Institute also runs the NTI/Moscow Art Theater Program (MXAT)—an intensive one-semester training program in Moscow at the Moscow Art Theater School. Oberlin students wishing to attend the National Theater Institute must first be nominated by the Theater faculty. Final admission decisions are made by the National Theater Institute staff.
Trinity/LaMaMa Performing Arts Program in New York
An intensive, one-semester Oberlin College Affiliated Program emphasizing interdisciplinary work in theater and dance that includes internships, seminars, studio classes and attendance at 45+ performances and events. Full semester’s credits through Trinity College, Hartford, CT.
Spring Semester at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts
An affiliated program designed to offer Oberlin students a concentrated semester of study in film production, film studies or musical theater. The program is offered in the spring semester only. Interested students should contact the Office of the Dean of Studies for application forms and detailed information about the program.
The Laban Centre in London, England
A year long affiliated program, administered through Butler University, offering a unique combination of study abroad in a vibrant artistic community along with rigorous dance training in technique, theory, and technical production. Students interested in this performance based intensive should contact Elesa Rosasco, Associate Professor of Dance, for additional information.
Winter Term provides an opportunity for students to engage in projects sponsored by the faculty in dance, film, acting, directing, design, and dance or theater research. Normally, several on-campus Winter Term theater productions are in rehearsal during the month. Guest artists are brought in from time to time to work with students in areas such as dance, fencing, voice, and acting. In addition, students use the time to become active in various alumni and offcampus theater, dance, film, and video internships.
The following faculty are willing to sponsor Winter Term projects as indicated. Mr. Copeland: history and criticism in dance and theater; playwriting; performance. Mr. Flaharty: costume design; makeup; design research. Ms. Groseth: lighting and sound design; sound recording. Mr. Grube: scene design; painting; graphics. Ms. Jackson Smith: acting; directing; writing/dramatic literature other performance projects. Ms. Jobe: stage management. Ms. Martynuk: dance; choreography; performance. Mr. McAdams: dance with video and/or computers; kinesiology; massage. Mr. Moser: acting; directing. Mr. Mroczek: set design. Ms. Rosasco: dance; choreography; performance. Mr. Wright: acting and directing.