Term: Semester 1
Start Date: September 13, 2021
Class Meets: Mondays at 2:00 pm - 2:55 pm
Duration: 16 Weeks
Grade Range: 9th - 12th
Imagine the dapper detective, Hercule Poirot resting aboard an elegant transcontinental train when the locomotive screeches to a stop in a snowdrift, and it is discovered that another passenger was murdered overnight. Picture a colorful cast of characters- a doctor, a governess, a matron and her maid, a businessman, a salesman, a valet, and others...all who have a motive in the murder. How would you tell this story on stage?
Have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes to bring a production to stage? It takes a team of people to put on a show: stage managers, specialized designers for costumes, sets, props, lighting, music, and sound. There are also choreographers, fight directors, a dramaturge, a technical director, casting director, publicist, producer, and stage director to guide them all.
This class will explore the different roles of the production team, designers, and crew responsibilities as students analyze a script and make decisions as if they were the Director. Under the guidance of a theater professional, students will learn how the pre-production and design teams develop the director's vision to bring a production to life!
Students will begin with reading and analyzing a script without stage directions or notes. The group will make technical and artistic decisions to formulate a vision for the production. Students will learn to notate stage directions (such as 'stumble in from downstage right') and how to block scenes. They will make aesthetic decisions on set design and props, costuming, and technical effects such as lighting, sound effects, or music. The class will consider casting requirements and discuss the audition process. Example class projects include sketching costume concepts, creating a miniature set, and preparing audition notices.
This class is recommended for beginners as well as experienced theatre and production students. Every script is different and offers new sets of challenges. The emphasis in this course is on the vision, design decisions, and the teamwork required to bring a performance to stage, but the class will not be putting on an actual production. Students who want to further their study of theatrical production might wish to co-register for the 2021-22 courses on costume fabrication, Sewing for Cosplay, Stage Combat, or one of several acting/improvisation classes.
Workload: Students should expect to spend 1-2 hours per week outside of class.
Assignments: Will be reviewed in class and summarized in the weekly e-mail.
Assessments: Qualitative feedback will be given throughout the semester. A quantitative score/grade will not be provided.
Textbook/Materials: Furnished by instructor.
Lab/Supply Fee: A class fee of $25.00 is due payable to the instructor on the first day of class for a copy of the licensed script and project materials.
What to Bring: Script and notes.
Credit: Homeschool families may wish to count this course as a component (partial) credit in Fine Arts or Career Exploration for purposes of a high school transcript.
Topics in this Series: Director's Chair: Murder on the Orient Express (Semester 1), Bram Stoker's Dracula (Semester 2). Students continuing from first semester receive priority pre-registration for second semester.