Special Topics Course Descriptions 2020-2021
Central to the actor’s work is the notion of play. This is a highly practical course exploring what it means "to play" in theatre, often embodying the playful play of Clown!
We’ll embody the principles of clown and play, including vulnerability, availability, rhythm, pleasure and more. We’ll explore the effects of tempo, space, size, dynamic and more. We will primarily work in solo and duo exercises, sometimes using the smallest mask in the world… the Red Nose. This work introduces students to a performance style that is deeply personal. It encourages improvisation, inventiveness, complicity and a heightened sense of play.
Co or Pre-requisite:
F term: Tuesdays, 5–8pm
What do digital technologies offer the performance and theatre artist? How can virtual and screen-based tools, often designed for use by other aesthetic genres, be repurposed for a form that begins from the live body? And what are we, as performing artists, uniquely positioned to offer debates about digital technologies and their role in contemporary society?
This studio course tasks students to produce a series of devised performance pieces that both employ and analyze computational technologies. We will begin with tools frequently used by live artists – lighting, sound, video – and progress towards newer formats such as VR, Arduino control, motion capture, and algorithmic generation. Each week will involve a crash-course introduction to using each tool, and to major artists who currently explore them. Students will develop their performances for a final public exhibition.
Co or Pre-requisite:
S term: Tuesdays, 6–9pm
Through a combination of theory and studio practice, this course will explore the use of non-dramatic text in performance. Looking at examples from avant-garde theatre, performance art, sound poetry and experimental music, we will critically examine different ways in which artists have produced work based on textual and visual scores, poetry, prose, found text, manifestos, etc. Through a series of exercises and workshops, we will experiment with different ways of generating and performing a variety of non-dramatic texts. By working outside the conventions of narrative and character, the students will develop skills of aural and visual composition that they will be able to apply to non-dramatic and dramatic work alike.
Co or Pre-requisite:
S term: Thursdays, 2–5pm
Please read the following carefully:
- Students who are eligible for DRM300Y1 can sign up for any TWO of the following Special Topics courses: DRM375H1, DRM376H1and DRM377H1.
- Space is currently limited to 18 spots per class, so register yourself early on Acorn.
- Students applying for DRM403Y1 will need 0.5 FCE of these Studio Topics courses and DRM300Y1 and DRM220Y; Minimum grades of 70% in each to qualify for an audition.
On July 31 2020, the general enrollment period opens up allowing:
- Students in their 4th or 5th year, who have already completed DRM300Y1, will also be eligible to sign up if there is still space available.
Previous Special Topics Course Descriptions 2019-2020
Devising a performance is a fundamental skill required of the contemporary theatre artist. Devising has no codified set of rules, yet many unwritten expectations. As a member of this class, you have joined an ensemble, inhabiting the roles of actor, director, designer, writer, and dramaturg.
During the course, you will: improve your ability to mine your imagination; learn to generate material based on non-theatrical texts; work in an ensemble; explore autobiography; study recent practices in site-specific, immersive and cross-disciplinary theatre; and apply these practices to your work. Students will create short performance studies during the term, and at the end of the year, will culminate with a site-specific presentation.
This practical course explores how to learn a dialect and how to do “character voices”. It will focus on how to listen to the key elements in a dialect, how to practice effectively and how to master a dialect, so that you can get on with acting. In addition, the term “character voices” refers to any character’s vocal traits that are significantly different from your own. In this course, we will explore what these traits (pitch, tone, speed of speaking, complexity of syntax, use of idiom, etc.) reveal about a character and how actors can use this knowledge to enrich their portrayal of the character.
Somatics is defined as the study of the body as perceived from within. Somatics and Movement invites students to expand that view, exploring inner, embodied experience as the basis of knowing, thinking and learning. Combining theory and practice, experience and reflection, students will evaluate somatic modalities, which are currently available, situate somatic practices historically, and take ownership of their own somatic work.
Students will explore the history of Somatics as it is now practiced in Europe and North America, originating in European performance and gymnastics traditions. The readings will include fiction and poetry to provide insights on embodied experience across cultures. The practical component of the course will consist of lessons based on the Feldenkrais Method, which promotes awareness of relationships between parts of the body and their functions (such as head/pelvis, or breathing/balance), and provides the foundation for healthy, empowered and sustainable performance in movement, voice, athletics and dance.