theatre by xuyuzhu


									                               Syllabus: The Theatre Experience
                                             Theatre 3770, Spring 2012

Instructor: Dr. Cat Gleason                      Meeting Time:            10-10:50 a.m. MWF
Email:              Meeting Places:          Middlebush Hall 206 & Group Lectures
Office:       Fine Arts Building 131                                              in FAB 145, see calendar
Office Hours: By appointment                     Office Phone:            573-882-8254 (email is preferred)

Course Goal
To stimulate thinking about the theatre, its relationship to the society of which it is a part, as well as its past and
present significance as an art form, a cultural resource, a social institution, and a commercial enterprise.
 By developing the skills to think, talk and write about theatrical productions through considering formal,
    aesthetic and ideological characteristics of live performances.
 By developing an understanding of and appreciation for the practical and aesthetic aspects of
    contemporary theatrical production, including acting, directing, playwriting, and design.
 By considering how a particular piece of theatre is communicating within the context of current cultural
    practice as well as within the context of the history of theatrical practice.
 By developing an understanding of how theatre professionals and journalists talk and write about theatre
    when they communicate to their community(s).
Blackboard (Check often)
Class blog (
Laptop (you will be notified when you should bring it to class)
Required Readings
        American Theatre Reader, Theatre Communication Group (at bookstore)
        Sweat, Zora Neal Hurston, in The Complete Stories (at bookstore)
        Talley’s Folly, Lanford Wilson (at bookstore)
        Top Girls, Caryl Churchill (at bookstore)
        Tartuffe, Moliére (available free through Project Gutenberg)
        Hamlet, William Shakespeare (available free through Project Gutenberg)
        Trifles, Susan Glaspell (available on Blackboard)
        Additional Readings: Play reviews, essays, articles, film/play clips etc. (available on Blackboard)
Required Performances:
We will attend seven (7) performances this semester. See the “Performance Calendar” document
posted on Blackboard for curtain times and ticket information.
   1. * Monty Python’s Spamalot, University Concert Series, Jesse Hall (January 29)
   2. Monsieur Baptiste, Rhynsburger Theatre, MU Theatre (February 23-March 4) Student tickets $8
   3. *In the Heights, University Concert Series, Jesse Hall (March 7)
   4. *Justice Served, Corner Playhouse, MU Theatre (March 15-22)
   5. *Top Girls, Warehouse Theatre Company, Stephen’s College (April 11-14)
   6. Hamlet, Rhynsburger Theatre, MU Theatre (April 19-29) Student tickets $8
   7. Talley’s Folly, Independent Actor’s Theatre, location TBA (April 26-28) Tickets $8
   Tickets provided by course are marked with an *.
   Students are required to reserve and buy tickets for all other productions.
   Students are encouraged to usher at MU Theatre Dept productions for free admission.
Theatre 3770 – Syllabus, Sp12                                                                         page - 2

Extra credit or Make-up Options:
Students may make up a missed performance ONLY if they have a documented excuse. Makeup work
for shows will follow the same timeline, guidelines and grading rubric of the missed performance.
They may also see additional shows (2 max) for extra credit. See the “Performance Calendar”
document on Blackboard for possible shows and instructions for the extra credit assignment.
Students must reserve/buy tickets on their own.
Required Coursework
A. Written Assignments
   1. Performance Assignments: For each play, you will have three tasks. Each play will have a specific
      assignment based on the individual play. You will collate the three parts of the assignment into one
      document and bring it to class (6@50 pts.).
          a. A discussion board post – A two-sentence post to Blackboard comparing the play to
              something from popular culture and explaining why.
          b. A blog response that specifically describes and analyzes the performance linked to
              classroom discussion (400 word min.).
          c. Task-based writing – A short writing assignment that demonstrates a specific writing task
              performed by either a critic or communications staff person.
   2. Short writes: Responses to group/guest lecturers or to assigned readings, and/or summary
      assignments about published reviews and theatre company copy (10 @ 10 points each)
   3. Complete review of Hamlet (150 pts.).
B. Group play presentations
      (teams of 4) on plays from our reading list: The group will report on information that would aid a
      theatre company in selecting this play or a critic in reviewing the play (100 points).
          a. Monsieur Baptiste
          b. Justice Served
          c. Top Girls
          d. Hamlet
          e. Talley’s Folly
D. Quiz – about terminology, concepts and reading material (50 pts).
C. Final project
      Group project in producing theatre - groups will create a theatre company complete with mission
      statement/manifesto, 6 show season, and specific roles. 25-minute presentation on the company,
      including trailer/scene from inaugural production. More information will be provided when assigned
      (200 pts).
D. Participation (100 pts)
      Theatre is a discipline of DOING, therefore we will have in-class activities as well as discussions. I
      expect active, willing participation from each of you, and I will assign participation grades
      accordingly. Being prepared for class includes:
       completing the reading as assigned
       completing the homework as assigned,
       actively responding to classmates’ contributions to discussion
       actively participating in classroom activities
       a willingness to think critically, speak enthusiastically and take intellectual risks.
       You must meet all of the above criteria to achieve an ‘A’ in this area. Remember there are no
          right answers when interpreting plays. Developing your critical thinking skills is a major part of
          this course so – BE BRAVE – TAKE RISKS!
Theatre 3770 – Syllabus, Sp12                                                                            page - 3

   Assignments (other than short writes, which are discussed below) will include a complete rubric outlining
    how each assignment will be evaluated and how points will be assigned. Each assignment will be discussed
    in class.
   Guidelines for responses, reviews, and summary assignments will be posted on the TH3770 blog
    ( and available on Blackboard.
   Grades are an accumulation of points throughout the semester and final grades will be a percentage based on
    points divided by total number of possible points.
Short writes will be graded using the minus/check/plus system:
    (-) a minus indicates unsatisfactory performance - 6 pts         Grading:
           o Doesn't relate to the assignment-weak in content         Participation =                   100
           o Not well organized                                       Quiz =                             50
           o Contains errors in usage, grammar, spelling, or          Short writes – 10@10 =            100
               punctuation                                            Performance Assn. 6@50 pts =      300
    (√) a check indicates work that meets the expectations of        Group Play Presentations =        100
       the assignment - 8pts                                          Complete Review =                 150
           o Good content                                             Final Project =                   200
           o Well organized-but may be difficult to follow in                                   TOTAL = 1000
           o A few distracting errors in diction, grammar, spelling, or punctuation
    (+) a plus indicates work that is strongly engaging and shows high-quality thinking - 10 pts
           o Excellent in content
           o Well organized
           o Engaging and insightful content
           o No distracting errors in diction, grammar, spelling, or punctuation
Grades will be assigned following a standard A-F scale using the following percentages
               100-94% = A           83-80% = B-           69-67% = D+
                93-90% = A-          79-77% = C+           66-64% = D
                89-87% = B+          76-74% = C            63-60% = D-
                86-84% = B           73-70% = C-           < 60% = F
Course Policies
      Attendance is required. You may miss three (3) classes without penalty. Missing more than three classes
      – with or without an excuse - will be grounds for lowering the final grade. Any student receiving six (6)
      or more absences will receive an ‘F’ for the course.
       Three (3) instances of lateness count as one (1) absence. Students are responsible for any missed work or
Late Work:
       It is the student’s responsibility to make-up any missed written material or assignments. Any late work
       will be lowered 10% (the grade for written work more than a week late will be lowered in proportion to
       the amount of time that it is late). In-class projects CANNOT be made up.
       Clear and effective communication is the key to resolving most issues. Feel free to email me at any time
       – I may not respond immediately, but I will within 48 hours. Feel free to stop by my office (131 FAB).
       You are expected to use and maintain your MU email account. You will be held responsible for
       information distributed via email and posted on the Blackboard site for this course.
Religious Holidays
       Students may miss class for recognized religious holidays. Let your instructor know at least two weeks in
       advance if you have a conflict.
Theatre 3770 – Syllabus, Sp12                                                                                 page - 4

Students with Disabilities
      If you anticipate barriers related to the format or requirements of this course, if you have emergency
      medical information to share with me, or if you need to make arrangements in case the building must be
      evacuated, please let me know as soon as possible.
       If disability related accommodations are necessary (for example, a note taker, extended time on exams,
       captioning), please register with the Office of Disability Services (,
       S5 Memorial Union, 882-4696, and then notify me of your eligibility for reasonable accommodations.
       For other MU resources for students with disabilities, click on "Disability Resources" on the MU
Classroom Misconduct
       Classroom misconduct includes forgery of class attendance; obstruction or disruption of teaching,
       including late arrival or early departure; failure to turn off cellular telephones leading to disruption of
       teaching; playing games or surfing the Internet on laptop computers unless instructed to do so; physical
       abuse or safety threats; theft; property damage; disruptive, lewd or obscene conduct; abuse of computer
       time; repeated failure to attend class when attendance is required; and repeated failure to participate or
       respond in class when class participation is required.
        Under MU policy, your instructor has the right to ask for your removal from the course for misconduct,
       disruptive behavior or excessive absences. The instructor then has the right to issue a grade of withdraw,
       withdraw failing or F. The instructor alone is responsible for assigning the grade in such circumstances.
Academic Honesty
       Academic integrity is fundamental to the activities and principles of a university. All members of the
       academic community must be confident that each person's work has been responsibly and honorably
       acquired, developed, and presented. Any effort to gain an advantage not given to all students is dishonest
       whether or not the effort is successful. The academic community regards breaches of the academic
       integrity rules as extremely serious matters. Sanctions for such a breach may include academic sanctions
       from the instructor, including failing the course for any violation, to disciplinary sanctions ranging from
       probation to expulsion. When in doubt about plagiarism, paraphrasing, quoting, collaboration, or any
       other form of cheating, consult the course instructor.
Professional Standards and Ethics
       The School of Journalism is committed to the highest standards of academic and professional ethics and
       expects its students to adhere to those standards. Students should be familiar with the Code of Ethics of
       the Society of Professional Journalists and adhere to its restrictions. Students are expected to observe
       strict honesty in academic programs and as representatives of school-related media. Should any student
       be guilty of plagiarism, falsification, misrepresentation or other forms of dishonesty in any assigned
       work, that student may be subject to a failing grade from the instructor and such disciplinary action as
       may be necessary under University regulations.
Intellectual Pluralism
       The University community welcomes intellectual diversity and respects student rights. Students who
       have questions or concerns regarding the atmosphere in this class (including respect for diverse opinions)
       may contact the Departmental Chair or Divisional Director; the Director of the Office of Students Rights
       and Responsibilities (; or the MU Equity Office (, or
       by email at All students will have the opportunity to submit an anonymous
       evaluation of the instructor(s) at the end of the course.
Academic Inquiry, Course Discussion and Privacy
       MU System Executive Order No. 38 lays out principles regarding the sanctity of classroom discussions
       at the university. No student should record (audio or video) the class unless they have received express
       permission from their profressor and fellow students. Students should refrain from sharing classroom
       discussion with others outside the class. Further, students have the right to expect that their grades will be
       based upon their perfomance in class and not their oppinions, beliefs or values. The policy is described
       fully in Section 200.015 of the Collected Rules and Regulations.

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