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COURSE SYLLABUS FOR THEATRE FOR YOUTH 478B
SECTION 63182
LOCATION: UVI E-124
INSTRUCTOR: B.J. DODGE
OFFICE HOURS: FRIDAY 12-1:00; BY APPT.
562 260 8243 (cellular)
[email protected]
[email protected]
COURSE OBJECTIVES: To provide the student with an understanding and the skills to make
theatrical work that is suitable and resonant to a youthful audience. The methods of
theatrical game-playing; writing exercises, collaborative composition, property & maskconstruction and adaptation of stories, myths and poetry will comprise the in-class work.
The practical final will be a performance for an audience of children and youth from local
schools.
REQUIRED: Attendance at all class sessions is important. 2 absences are acceptable. Because
of the performance-oriented nature of the group, and because of the small class size, all will
need to be present in order for the performance work to develop and move forward. A 42hour window for informing the instructor of an absence is encouraged.
GRADING: There will be 4 graded assignments: an adaptation, an original piece, a
collaborative project and the rehearsals and performance. Each student is encouraged to set
aside at least one to two hours of the week for assignments. Each assignment will be worth
20 points, which will equal 80 points.
20 points will reflect a rigorous effort to complete the assignment on time, to synthesize any
adjustments, and return the document to the group with revisions.
20 points for the final project will reflect an energetic and committed approach to the
collective and to the vision of individual effort.
ASSIGNMENT #1 – Adaptation
Take an existing text – either a fairy tale, a myth, a fable or a piece of poetry, and write an
adaptation for half of the group to perform for the other half. First draft will be due on
Friday, January 28th. Revisions will be due on the next showing.
ASSIGNMENT #2 – Composition
Make a performance composition based on a list of ingredients. Research a topic in order to
find the text and images. Subjects might include any area of interest for the individual
student, and may be presented and discussed with the group and/or instructor prior to the
final choice. This assignment will be an ongoing activity in the class.
ASSIGNMENT #3 - A final choice of work for presentation: it might be a single play, or
scenes of individual efforts with a common theme for performance. Sounds, costumes,
masks, music – all are part of the choices one will make during the final weeks of class, and
will be included as part of the script.
ASSIGNMENT #4 – The final stages of process and performance and reflection.
This assignment will take part during the month of March, and will require at least one
outside rehearsal period. The times for rehearsal are often hard to schedule; yet, should be
very helpful in giving the group a feeling of confidence going into the performance event.
The performance is scheduled for Friday, April 1st, in the Bing Theatre, times of
performances TBD.
A reflection and student course evaluations will take place during the final exam period on
Friday, May 6th from 8 – 10:00am.
Students are not required, but certainly encouraged to make visitations to B.J.’s Community
Arts Partnership workshop in Lincoln Park, or the Foshay Learning Center to observe and
volunteer with the Middle School Playwrighting Program, which is being offered by the
Center Theatre Group Education Program. These visitations may be counted as extra-credit
points, or serve merely as a way of expanding the knowledge and experience of the
participant.
If possible, the class will take a small field trip to an area school to do exercises and games
with a classroom of students in an area school. These visits can be helpful in teasing out
themes and subject matter for play-making. All students are encouraged to see theater that
is created for a youthful audience at any time it may be possible, and B.J. is willing and able
to support and provide transportation to and from any field trip outside of class.