Approaching Modern Theatre: Acting and Directing


Winter 2015 and Spring 2015 quarters

Taught by

China studies, theater

This program is focused on the study of modern theatre, primarily the twentieth-century theatre in the West, through both theoretical explorations and practical exercises. We will examine the history and theory of modern theatre, from the turn of the twentieth century to the early phase of postmodernity later in the century, with a special emphasis on the development of acting and directing. Major movements, pivotal happenings, influential artists, plays and playwrights from around the world, with their indelible marks on the modern stage, will inform the program inquiry and drive our own creative work at the same time. Workshop exercises, training regimen, and production work in acting and directing will be built on the foundation of serious historical and theoretical analyses. Students will constantly navigate between theory and practice: they will have ample opportunities to apply conceptual learning to actual work with acting and directing.

In the winter quarter, the whole program will work with a faculty-directed production of The Visit by Friedrich Dürrenmatt, scheduled to be performed at the quarter’s end. Students do not need acting and directing credentials to join the program, but they have to participate in a two-part audition for the faculty to get to know them. The first audition will take place prior to the start of winter quarter (date and details to be announced), and another on the first week of winter. Focused on acting experiments, the production will have the essentials of a college production with less emphasis on the technical effects.

Spring quarter will start with serious reviews and reflections on the collective experience in The Visit . Students will then transfer their experiential knowledge gained from the winter production into a multitude of exercises and projects lasting through spring. These hands-on exercises and projects will allow them to directly attack the intricate arts of acting and directing. They will experiment with different acting styles and techniques in modern and postmodern theories; they will also exercise the sophisticated craft of directing through stages. At the end of the quarter, students will showcase their exemplary work in acting and directing within a series of small pieces for public viewing. The low-tech final presentation will give a clear indication of the extent of the students’ artistic command and intellectual understanding of acting and directing in modern theatre.

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

theatre, modern theatre, twentieth-century theatre, postmodern theatre, acting, and directing.

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Day


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Online Learning

No Required Online Learning

More information about online learning.

Required Fees

$30 per quarter for theatre performances.


Date Revision
March 5th, 2014 New opportunity added.

Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Winter); 16 (Spring)

Class standing: Sophomore–Senior

Maximum enrollment: 25


Course Reference Numbers

So (16 credits): 20152
Jr (16 credits): 20153
Sr (16 credits): 20154

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Accepting New Students

Course Reference Numbers

So - Sr (16 credits): 30111

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