The Theater Arts program at AIC offers a Bachelor of Arts degree, giving students the opportunity to study and work in the areas of performance, directing, criticism, technical theater, theory, and theater history.
The program is focused on developing well-rounded artists that can work in a variety of areas in the competitive business of theater. AIC’s student theater organization is called The Garret Players, and they are focused on supporting and producing theater productions on campus, in conjunction with the Department of Theater Arts.
The mission of The Garret Players is to broaden the dialogue about theater on campus and in the surrounding community by volunteering with community-based arts organizations and by fundraising for theatrical productions and events on campus.
Check out the following video to learn more about the program and its importance to the AIC community.
Career options for Theater Arts graduates span the discipline and are surprisingly varied. Some of those capacities include:
• Design (set, light, costume, makeup, etc.)
• Directing and production
The Theater Arts Program at AIC has been a life-changing experience for me. There are so many learning opportunities available. This program is the best part of attending AIC.
The program gives students the opportunity to work in the areas of Performance, Technical Theater, Theory and History of Theater.
After graduation from the program, you’ll have the opportunity to further your studies in areas such as theater operations, production and development, theatrical research and education.
Graduates of this program will have the knowledge, opportunities and credentials to compete in the highly competitive world of theater as artists and scholars.
Plus a minimum of 12 credits from the following:
The Theater minor consists of 21 hours:
Choose one from the following courses:
Choose two from the following courses:
This course introduces students to theater as an interdisciplinary, collaborative art. Students will read and analyze plays from varied periods of theater history. The course content includes study of the art, craft, business, and historical roots of drama, as well as theaters relationship to the fine arts. Students will attend the Fall or Spring play and write a formal theatrical critique and whenever possible will attend outside theatrical productions. Over the course of the semester students can expect to engage in a number of group projects including re-writing a scene from a classical play in their own contemporary vernacular and writing a short play using only three words.
This course introduces students to the study and practice of acting for the theater. They will acquaint themselves with physical and vocal warm up activities to harness and understand of the actors body. Students will read plays and will develop one monologue and one scene over the course of the semester from one of the plays read. Students will engage in acting exercises to enhance focus, clarity of thought, a better understanding text, a better understanding of objective driven action and vocal and physical transformation and character development. For each character played students will create a character biography and character journal prior to final performance of scene and monologue. This course also provides a space in which students can harness skills in public speaking, development of confidence and poise, and focus in any given situation.
Theater Workshop I is the first of three courses under the theater workshop designation. This course is an introduction to the play development process. Students can assume the duties of an actor, crew technician, crew costumer and crew props master. Students will be encouraged to work out of their areas of interest to work instead in the areas they know little about. As this section of Theater Workshop is meant for the student who is newly engaging theater each student will be working as an assistant and or supporting player in the process. This course is structured like a crew and company at a professional theater in that hierarchy is of great importance. There will be a lead in each area of study and the students in Theater Workshop I will assist and or apprentice under the more experienced theater students. In addition to other assigned work each student will write a formal evaluation of their work at the end of the semester. Students can take this course for 1, 2, or 3 credits depending on their credit load that semester. Each students work hours in the course will correlate with the credit(s) they are taking. Students can take this course for up to three credits.
This course is the second course in the acting curriculum. The focus of this course will be on the identification and study of the varied styles of acting. We learn in Fundamentals of Acting the importance of focus, center, objective driven action, understanding of text, the relationship between the voice and the body, improvisation, and transformative tools for character development. In this course we will study the varied styles of acting including but not limited to, Kabuki, Commedia, Poetic Realism, Realism, Absurdist etc. We will dive into world theater styles and acting for the theater by watching video of actors training in such areas and engaging in some of the same exercises and assignments they do. We will write about such styles and debate the relevance or lack of relevance and how an actor can adapt to changing styles of performance. One major project will be assigned at the end of the semester and will culminate with the performance of a monologue or scene from one of the plays we have read in class in one of the styles studied in the course. The performance will be accompanied by a written explanation of the student process in developing the performance and a self-evaluation of their work.
Theater Workshop II is the second of three courses under the theater workshop designation. This course is an intermediate course and is meant for students who have taken Theater Workshop I. Students can assume a larger role in the production in terms of the hierarchy of theatrical production. Students can work as an actor, technician, asst. stage manager, publicity director, asst. costumer, asst. lighting designer or light board operator, props master, or dramaturg (theatrical researcher). Students will be expected to lead by example for the students involved in Theater Workshop I and will develop work that is reflective of their level of understanding of the subject and their professional title. In addition to other assigned work each student will write a formal evaluation of their work at the end of the semester. Students can take this course for 1, 2, or 3 credits depending on their credit load that semester. Each students work hours in the course will correlate with the credit(s) they are taking. This course can be taken multiple times up to 3 credits.
This course is the study of scene development and text analysis for the actor. Students read six plays over the course of the semester and chose a scene to work on from each play assigned. Students will engage in conventional and non-conventional scene development and analysis while intensely studying subtext, hidden meanings, and character background. There will be many written and research based assignments related to each character developed. Students will harness a deep understanding of how a scene is conceived of, written and performed with a scholarly knowledge of the text and its origination.
This course focuses on the development of each students understanding of their own body as performers. This course can be taken by actors, dancers, students interested in physically harnessing their center and athletes looking to improve upon their ability to exhibit focused and graceful action on the field. Students will learn how to harness energy and sustainability while engaging in physical theater exercises that focus on the brain body connection. Students will read texts and articles focused on specific movement styles and will engage in physical exploration of these styles furthering their understanding of each styles purpose. Students will develop movement topographies and an understanding of stage combat and will journal about their experiences. An attempt is made to bring in a movement based theater company for workshop training.
In this course, comprised of both lecture and laboratory, students will learn the fundamentals of costume, hair and make up design for the stage. Students will learn techniques for stage make up and wig design, how to design costume sketches, and the techniques necessary to design and build a garment. Students will also learn costume history, the importance of costumes and make up, and how they serve contemporary productions. Students will learn all aspects of caring for and storing costumes, and how to organize the dressing room for productions. Final projects will include make up plots, styling wigs, and building a garment for the department production. Students will also learn how to develop a portfolio of their work.
This course is the fundamental technical theater course in the theater arts curriculum. There is a lecture and lab component to this course and students should be prepared to work hard as both scholars and crew members. During lab time student will learn how to correctly use tools and saws, develop a theatrical flat, paint sets using various techniques, recognize the basic parts of a lighting instrument, rig lighting, gel lighting, design a set and create a set model. Students will be introduced to the basics of set, light, and sound design while learning about the history of technical theater and how spectacle can be used most effectively. Students in play production will use their skills to develop the set, lights, and sound for the theatrical production that semester. In conjunction with students in the theater workshop courses Play Production students will lead the development of spectacle for the play.
This basic voice and articulation course and accompanying lab is designed to help students improve their speaking voice both onstage and in professions such as teaching, management, marketing, public relations, and law just to name a few. In this course, students will gain an understanding of vocal health and the physical demands placed on the vocal apparatus. Content covered will include the Linklater Vocal Warm Up, study of The International Phonetic Alphabet, and basic dialect (accent training). Students will develop the tools needed to recognize and start to deal with their own individual vocal challenges including sustainability, and moving beyond impediments of all kinds.
This course is a history of theater course and will focus on the time periods of Ancient Greece through to 1750. Students will read plays from each era of theater history studied and will research the life of work of each playwright read. There is a strong lecture component to this course coupled with a written assignment for each play assigned. There will be an exam for each section of the course material divided by period and will culminate with a major research based project at the end of the course.
Theater Workshop III is the third of three courses under the theater workshop designation. This course is an advanced course and is meant for students who have taken Theater Workshop I and II. Students can assume roles in the leadership in the production including working as the Set designer, Costume designer, Stage Manager, Publicity Director, Lighting Designer, Make Up designer and upper level acting student. Students will be expected to lead by example for the students working with them making up their crews and apprentice groups. Students in Theater Workshop III must be prepared to take on leadership roles that give them the opportunity to experience the level of work and commitment needed to perform such duties in the real world of the professional theater. Students in this course must also have a focus in terms of their area of study within the course and it must correlate with something they have worked with in the past in the other theater workshop courses.
This course is a history of theater course and will focus on the time periods of 1750 through to the present time. Students will read plays from each era of theater history studied and will research the life and work of each playwright read. There is a string lecture component to this course coupled with a written assignment for each play assigned. There will be an exam for each section of the course material divided by period and will culminate with a major research based project at the end of the course.
This course is based on theatrical research of dramaturgy. If a student has an interest in theatrical research and would like to serve as the dramaturg for a production on campus they will be instructed to take this course in theatrical research. Students will learn the basic approach to theatrical research and why it is integral to ensure a scholarly theater production. The course will focus on the development of the dramaturg’s writing skills and formation of a dramaturgical notebook.
This directed study course is based on the development of Stage Management skills. If a student has interest in working as a stage manager they will be instructed to take this one credit course. Students will learn to develop a stage managers box of tools as well as a stage managers prompt book including any and all information about the production being worked on. Students will learn to develop necessary forms for auditions, actor biography, and production meeting minutes as well as rehearsal report notices. Sections focusing on how to work with challenging actors and crew members will be offered as well as how to work with directors and designers of varied style.
This course is a theory based course and will focus on the relationship theater shares with the society. As theater reflects the world we live in, we must as theater artists take an interest in our communities. We will study the work of Augusto Boal, The Living Theater, The GLBT, Women’s and Black Theater Movements. Students will be assigned readings and will research a theater and society movement. There will be a major final research project assigned that will be presented to the class. The course will culminate with the class volunteering at a local school and will offer ensemble and community building workshops to students. There is an attempt made to bring in a guest theater artists to engage students in discussion of their work as a socially conscious theater artist.
This course is focused on the fundamentals of directing for the theater. This culminating experience should be taken during a student’s senior year. The basic fundamentals of directing will be covered including staging, styles of directing, history of directing, text analysis, scene study, directing theory, working with actors and development of a prompt book. Students will choose one scene to direct for the mid-term exam and a one act play that they must direct as part of a one act play festival that will culminate at the end of each semester in which this course is offered for a final exam. Students will be given examples of each major fundamental and will be given multiple writing and reading assignments. There will also be a series of workshops during class time that will engage students in physical development of stage pictures and will allow them time to rehearse their approach to actors in the formal rehearsal process. Student actors can be used from the Fundamentals of Acting and Styles of Acting courses.
One of the assets of the theater program is our close relationship with area arts organizations and professional theaters that provide internship opportunities to our students. These internships will be production based and will include work in the following areas: acting, directing, stage management, costume, light, sound and set design, theater administration, and casting. Theater arts majors will be required to take 6 credits of professional learning experience in theater. Students will take this course one as a junior and once as a senior. Students will document their professional learning experience though daily journals and three written self-evaluations. This course can only be taken with the pre-permission of the department chair and approval of the dean of the school of BAS.
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