Making Theatre, Making Dance

Fall 2018
Winter 2019
Class Size: 50
Credits per quarter

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This program supports intermediate and advanced performing arts students, linking separate work in dance and theater with integrated work exploring intersections.

In Making Dance, coursework includes progressive study in the anatomical and kinesiological foundations of dance, rigorous daily practice in Nikolais/Louis-based technique, experimental theory/improvisation, dance composition, and performance. Fall quarter focuses on somatic awareness, technique, theory/improvisation, and methods of conceptualizing, generating, developing, and refining movement into dance compositions suitable for presentation on the proscenium stage. Intensive studio work is augmented with texts, films, and lecture-demonstrations on aesthetics and the sociocultural dimensions of dance and its relation to other arts. Each week emphasizes a clearly stated artistic premise explored technically, theoretically, and through student-centered problem-solving assignments in composition. Seminars include regular peer and faculty critique of work-in-progress, including strategies for presenting hybrid dance and theater works. We will culminates in fall and spring quarter dance theater concerts.

In Making Theater, students will experience training in acting, directing, movement, and vocal techniques in order to utilize these skills in a final performance. These productions will take place in fall and winter quarters, and may come from the realistic or experimental theater. The first seven to eight weeks of each quarter will be spent in rehearsal for the productions. Drawing upon the interdisciplinary nature of theater, this program involves primarily acting, but may also include dramaturgical work, dance, assistant directing, stage management, set and costume construction, publicity, and all the other areas related to successful play production. For example, a student will spend three quarters of program time in rehearsal, and the rest of the time working in the shop building the set or on some other aspect of the production. In short, every student will participate in more than one area of the production process.

In addition to focused study in theater and dance skills respectively, we will experiment with alternating, overlapping, and integrating the two forms into hybrid dance-theater works. Using the dynamics of movement and the content themes of theater, how do verbal and nonverbal communications support each other? Are some literary themes more amenable to the dance, and others more suitable for theater? How do we abstract aspects of reality into poetic movement and theater? What are the differences and similarities of the two art forms? How can they be used effectively and presented on stage using sets, props, costumes, and lighting?

Please note that there will also be four position in technical theatre, two in set construction and lighting, two in costuming.  Students with a strong interest in set design and construction, lighting, and costuming should apply got these positions.

This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:

dance and theater.


Credits per quarter

Fields of study: 

intermediate and advanced experience in the performing arts. 

Online learning:
  • No Required Online Learning - No access to web tools required. Any web tools provided are optional.

$100 for supplies and entrance fees in Fall. $100 for supplies and entrance fees in Winter.

Class Standing: Sophomore–Senior
Class Size: 50

Scheduled for: Day

Final schedule and room assignments:

First meeting:

Monday, January 7, 2019 - 9:00 am
Com 209 - Dance Studio

Located in: Olympia