Catalog Version

Summer/Autumn 2013
Catalog update:
May 15, 2013

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Course Requirements

First Year 

Second Year

Third Year 

Terminal Requirements for the Master of Fine Arts Degree

In addition to completing the graduate requirements of the major program, each student must complete two or three terminal requirements: 

  • All graduate students must complete the three-quarter Graduate Seminar sequence with a grade of B- or better in each quarter.
  • Three analytical/reflective papers, each a minimum of 10 pages in length, that in total comprise the graduate thesis.

 

PRF 511

GRADUATE ACTING I

Beginning with a series of exercised and improvisations, the class introduces the acting student to the basic components of the acting process. Scene work forms the backbone of this class.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 512

GRADUATE ACTING I

Beginning with a series of exercised and improvisations, the class introduces the acting student to the basic components of the acting process. Scene work forms the backbone of this class.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 513

GRADUATE ACTING I

Beginning with a series of exercised and improvisations, the class introduces the acting student to the basic components of the acting process. Scene work forms the backbone of this class.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 531

GRADUATE VOICE AND SPEECH I

Foundation work consists of breathwork, skeletal alignment, and the development of free voice flow. Classes include a regime of intensive group exercises, and attention is paid to the expansion of each actor's individual expressiveness. The fundamental work is inspired by the Feldenkrais(r) and the Lessac System and is further influenced by the writings of Cicely Berry and Patsy Rodenburg.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 532

GRADUATE VOICE AND SPEECH I

Foundation work consists of breathwork, skeletal alignment, and the development of free voice flow. Classes include a regime of intensive group exercises, and attention is paid to the expansion of each actor's individual expressiveness. The fundamental work is inspired by the Feldenkrais(r) and the Lessac System and is further influenced by the writings of Cicely Berry and Patsy Rodenburg.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 533

GRADUATE VOICE AND SPEECH I

Actors will continue to explore fundamental skills acquired during Fall and Winter Quarters. The actors learn the first half of the progression of exercises in Kristin Linklater's Freeing the Natural Voice. The focus is on connecting acting impulses to the voice.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 530

MFA I SPEECH

This course is designed to open awareness regarding the placement of vocal resonance and the shaping of vowels and consonants.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 540

GRAD SPEECH I: ADVANCED NOTATION

Objectives are to extend the use of phonetic symbols to describe the speech of self and others, to explore an ever-widening range and flexibility of choice in pronunciation, to develop a more acute "ear" for the music of vowels and consonants and to apply the work to texts.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 521

GRADUATE MOVEMENT I

Movement based on the technique of yoga as a means for the discovery of body mechanics, physical alignment, self-use and over-all self-awareness. This class will also meet two extra hours with a different instructor to concentrated on the imaginative use of self, to explore physical improvisation and to explore movement techniques that will aid the student to use themselves more freely and expand their range of expression.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 522

GRADUATE MOVEMENT I

Movement based on the technique of yoga as a means for the discovery of body mechanics, physical alignment, self-use and over-all self-awareness. This class will also meet two extra hours with a different instructor to concentrated on the imaginative use of self, to explore physical improvisation and to explore movement techniques that will aid the student to use themselves more freely and expand their range of expression.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 523

GRADUATE MOVEMENT I

Work focuses on full body awareness through Feldenkrais (R) movement lessons and through the study of anatomy. The emphasis will be place on deepening the actor's kinesthetic awareness and on developing a more articulate physical instrument, understanding the restrictions of habit, exploring dynamics and increasing the ability to make dynamic choices.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 524

GRADUATE MOVEMENT I: FELDENKRAIS

An experiential and demonstration course in better self-use and physical organization. Approaches include Feldenkrais, "Awareness Through Movement" lessons and the study of anatomy.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 525

GRAD MOVEMENT I: FELDENKRAIS

An experiential and demonstration course in better self-use and physical organization. Approaches include Feldenkrais, "Awareness Through Movement" lessons and the study of anatomy.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 551

MFA I IMPROVISATION

Intensive work in Spolin-based improvisation in which the issues of creating theatrical reality are addressed through the medium of theatre games.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 552

MFA I MEISNER

Sanford Meisner said, "Acting is the ability to live truthfully under imaginary circumstances." In this first of a two quarter sequence, actors will participate in a sequence of structured improvisational exercises focused on the first half of that sentence: living truthfully. The foundational exercise is called Repetition. Using Repetition as a base, students will explore exercises specifically designed to improve their listening and answering skills and increase their ability to respond to their partner moment to moment.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 553

MFA I MEISNER

Building on the work of the winter quarter, students will use their enhanced partner attention skills in order to focus on the second half of Meisner's definition of acting: "living truthfully under imaginary circumstances." Each exercise in the progression is designed to expand the actor's ability to imagine and personalize circumstances that are meaningful to them. We will also explore what the student needs to do to be ready for the first moment of a scene or play: Emotional Preparation. Finally, actors will learn how to carry over what they have learned into a scripted scene.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 563

REHEARSAL AND PERFORMANCE I

Graduate acting and direction students are continually involved in rehearsal and performance of plays in the Showcase, the Playworks series and workshop productions. Acting students constitute the casting pool for the school.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 571

MFA WORKSHOP I: ACTOR AS ENTREPRENEUR

MFA Workshop I (2) is a flexible laboratory time period designed to accommodate a number of possibilities of workshops, lectures, and demonstrations with guest artists mainly from the Chicago theatre community and beyond. MFA Workshop also accommodates a number of projects generated by the MFA Acting students themselves. As MFA Workshop is a process class, projects and workshops may or may not result in a showing. (Some activities in the class will combine MFA I and MFA II students and some will be specific to each class.)
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 572

MFA WORKSHOP I: ACTOR AS ENTREPRENEUR

MFA Workshop (2) is a flexible laboratory time period designed to accommodate a number of possibilities of workshops, lectures, and demonstrations with guest artists mainly from the Chicago theatre community and beyond. MFA Workshop also accommodates a number of projects generated by the MFA Acting students themselves. As MFA Workshop is a process class, projects and workshops may or may not result in a showing. (Some activities in the class will combine MFA I and MFA II students and some will be specific to each class.)
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 573

MFA WOKRSHOP I: ACTOR AS ENTREPRENEUR

MFA Workshop I (2) is a flexible laboratory time period designed to accommodate a number of possibilities of workshops, lectures, and demonstrations with guest artists mainly from the Chicago theatre community and beyond. MFA Workshop also accommodates a number of projects generated by the MFA Acting students themselves. As MFA Workshop is a process class, projects and workshops may or may not result in a showing. (Some activities in the class will combine MFA I and MFA II students and some will be specific to each class.)
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

THE 601

GRADUATE SEMINAR

The course familiarizes the student with the requisites of the thesis project and prepares the student to successfully complete this graduate requirement. Additionally, students review material in preparation for the comprehensive exam in the history of theatre and dramatic literature.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

THE 602

GRADUATE SEMINAR

The course familiarizes the student with the requisites of the thesis project and prepares the student to successfully complete this graduate requirement. Additionally, students review material in preparation for the comprehensive exam in the history of theatre and dramatic literature.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

THE 603

GRADUATE SEMINAR

The course familiarizes the student with the requisites of the thesis project and prepares the student to successfully complete this graduate requirement. Additionally, students review material in preparation for the comprehensive exam in the history of theatre and dramatic literature.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 580

STAGE COMBAT

One quarter hour. Students learn the fundamental of hand-to hand combat and weaponry with a focus on developing skills safely and effectively for the stage.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 611

GRADUATE ACTING II: CLASSICAL

The goal of this year-long course in Heightened Text/Classical Acting is to join the emotional, physical and imaginative life of a role with the technical skills needed to express that character to its fullest. This is achieved through rigorous foundation work and applying the basic tenets of acting to the acting of plays in verse; making strong choices that are grounded in the text, establishing a connection to the scene partner, listening and responding to what is happening in the scene, and integrating the work done in other voice, speech and movement classes.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 612

GRADUATE ACTING II: CLASSICAL

In winter quarter, students work with dramatic monologues, explore and study Shakespeare's prose and scenes from the Jacobean playwrights John Webster, John Ford and Thomas Middleton. Though prose lacks meter, it has its own rhythm, in part defined by punctuation and rhetorical shape. Finding that rhythm of thought is essential to the clarity and life of the prose. With prose, as with meter, rhetoric, and imagery, we approach the work through both brain and body: balancing analytical and physical techniques for understanding and harnessing the dynamics of Shakespeare's language.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 613

GRADUATE ACTING II: CLASSICAL

The spring quarter will focus on comedies by Shakespeare, Moliere, Sheridan, Wilde and Coward. Students will call upon all of the truth-seeking, risk-taking and relish-making that comedy and heightened language requires. Only farce and commedia are larger. The resulting agility with text provides a firm foundation for confident performance of all classical and modern roles. Exploration of Shakespeare's comedies will include collaboration with M.F.A. Directors with scenes to be presented as an invited-audience showing.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 621

GRADUATE MOVEMENT II

Movement work focused on the exploration of effort/shape and how to function within the boundaries of form. Period dances, manners, and clothing will be explored and the creation of specific worlds (styles) will be emphasized.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 622

GRADUATE MOVEMENT II

Movement work focused on the exploration of effort/shape and how to function within the boundaries of form. Period dances, manners, and clothing will be explored and the creation of specific worlds (styles) will be emphasized.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 623

GRADUATE MOVEMENT II

Movement work designed to further the work in period dances, manners, and the creation of specific worlds (styles) with an emphasis on the student taking greater control of this research and its implementation into actin. Full Body awareness through movement lessons is continued. Imaginative use of self is also channeled through character mask work.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 631

GRADUATE VOICE AND SPEECH II

Intensive, individualized work on the development of the full range of the actor's voice. The second half of the Linklater progression is explored in depth. Texts are chosen that place greater demands on the actor's growing emotional and vocal capabilities.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 632

GRADUATE VOICE AND SPEECH II

Intensive, individualized work on the development of the full range of the actor's voice. The second half of the Linklater progression is explored in depth. Texts are chosen that place greater demands on the actor's growing emotional and vocal capabilities.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 633

GRADUATE VOICE AND SPEECH II

Intensive, individualized work on the development of the full range of the actor's voice. The second half of the Linklater progression is explored in depth. Texts are chosen that place greater demands on the actor's growing emotional and vocal capabilities.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 641

GRADUATE ACTING II: MYTH, FABLE, & FOLKLORE IN DRAMA

This course explores the world of archetype, performance and magic in drama across boundaries of time and tradition. Inspired by folktales, myths, oral poetry and rituals from many traditions, the students develop original and play-based theatrical work both solo and ensemble. Resources include the traditional stories of African, Asian, South American, European and American literature, as well as plays from modernity that explore a mythic or folkloric basis.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 642

GRADUATE ACTING II: TRAGIC FOCUS FROM 1700 TO 1950

This course explores a broad swath of tragic-focused dramatic material from Restoration through 1950. The students select scenes from plays that follow tragic shape and perform them in scene study form.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 643

GRADUATE ACTING II: COMIC FOCUS FROM 1700 TO 1950

This course explores a broad swath of comic-focused dramatic material from Restoration through 1950. The students select scenes from plays that follow comic shape and perform them in scene study form.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 661

REHEARSAL AND PERFORMANCE II

Graduate acting and directing students are continually involved in rehearsal and performance of plays in the showcase, the Playworks series, and workshop productions. Acting students constitute the casting pool for the school.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 662

REHEARSAL AND PERFORMANCE II

Graduate acting and directing students are continually involved in rehearsal and performance of plays in the showcase, the Playworks series, and workshop productions. Acting students constitute the casting pool for the school.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 663

REHEARSAL AND PERFORMANCE II

Graduate acting and directing students are continually involved in rehearsal and performance of plays in the showcase, the Playworks series, and workshop productions. Acting students constitute the casting pool for the school.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 671

MFA WORKSHOP II: ACTOR AS ENTREPRENEUR

MFA Workshop is a flexible laboratory time period designed to accommodate a number of possibilities of workshops, lectures, and demonstrations with guest artists mainly from the Chicago theatre community and beyond. MFA Workshop also accommodates a number of projects generated by the MFA Acting students themselves. As MFA Workshop is a process class, projects and workshops may or may not result in a showing. (Some activities in the class will combine MFA I and MFA II students and some will be specific to each class.)
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 672

MFA WORKSHOP II: ACTOR AS ENTREPRENEUR

MFA Workshop is a flexible laboratory time period designed to accommodate a number of possibilities of workshops, lectures, and demonstrations with guest artists mainly from the Chicago theatre community and beyond. MFA Workshop also accommodates a number of projects generated by the MFA Acting students themselves. As MFA Workshop is a process class, projects and workshops may or may not result in a showing. (Some activities in the class will combine MFA I and MFA II students and some will be specific to each class.)
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 673

MFA WORKSHOP II: ACTOR AS ENTREPRENEUR

MFA Workshop is a flexible laboratory time period designed to accommodate a number of possibilities of workshops, lectures, and demonstrations with guest artists mainly from the Chicago theatre community and beyond. MFA Workshop also accommodates a number of projects generated by the MFA Acting students themselves. As MFA Workshop is a process class, projects and workshops may or may not result in a showing. (Some activities in the class will combine MFA I and MFA II students and some will be specific to each class.)
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 711

GRADUATE ACTING III: COMPANY CREATION

This course is a journey with toolbox through creating and producing ensemble-based theater. Students follow two pathways: creating theater and producing theater. The path of creating follows on the self-generated work of MFA I and II Workshops, empowering the class to imagine and rehearse an original piece of theater through an invented process. Weekly rehearsal meetings build the piece into a "producer's rehearsal" at the end of the quarter. The path of producing introduces the class to tools necessary for mounting theater in Chicago or elsewhere. Using the piece under construction as their example, the students delegate and coordinate work on mission statement, company structure/contracts, by-laws, board formation, not-for-profit/tax-exempt status, grant writing, fundraising, space rental, rehearsal process, press relations, advertising, audience development, festivals, transfers, documentation, and touring.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 712

GRADUATE ACTING III: PROFESSIONAL PREPARATION

This course follows on the Audition class from fall quarter bringing the students into simulated auditions for weekly guests including professional casting directors, casting agents, talent managers, artistic directors, and filmmakers from Chicago and beyond. Feedback will focus on empowering the actors to strengthen their approach, courage, effectiveness and flexibility in the casting process as felt in the "real world."
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 713

GRADUATE ACTING III: ADVANCED IMPROVISATION

This intensive course capstones the impulse work and Spolin-based work from MFA I Improvisation by updating the class to improvisational forms that extend beyond scenic and sketch. Mining the rich and still-unfolding history of Chicago improvisation, students flex their creative muscles by exploring long-form improvisational models and unique multi-scenic structures.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 714

AUDITION

This studio-based class introduces the student to multiple forms of audition practiced in professional theater as well as those forms practiced in film, television, and commercials. Students train rigorously with monologues, cold readings, callback scenes, copy reading, and reader-style auditions in weekly class simulations. The course will cover methods for researching and attending auditions, finding and preparing suitable material, as well as handling the audition process professionally and successfully. Discussions of "type," "color-blind casting," manager/agent relationships, and ethical concerns of auditions will be included.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 716

GRADUATE SHOWCASE

Through the rehearsal process, graduate acting majors prepare monologues and scenes, culminating ultimately in a showcase for an invited audience of casting directors, agents, and directors.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 721

GRADUATE MOVEMENT III

The technique of movement to music will be used to: stimulate the actor's imagination, experiment with the identification, translation, and articulation of creative impulses, intensify ensemble work, expand the range of expression and strengthen and condition the body.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 722

GRADUATE MOVEMENT III

An independent study of movement for the actor.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 723

GRADUATE MOVEMENT III: PILATES

This is a finishing level movement class that is taught by certified instructors at a nearby studio. Working on Pilates equipment ("reformers", etc.), this class offers the student a chance to further learn about efficient patterns of motion while creating an evenly conditioned body. Pilates helps the student develop strong core muscles and build strength without "bulking up". This class will draw upon the student's previous movement classes by challenging their awareness, levels of inquiry and physical decisions in a non-theatrical movement class.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 731

GRADUATE VOICE AND SPEECH III

Students continue to develop professional skills through singing.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 720

ACTING FOR THE CAMERA

"Film acting" prepares the student for the professional world in front of the camera. Working in front of the camera(s), the student learns the different techniques between stage and film techniques and the differences, between soaps, sitcoms, commercials, and features. The student is also exposed to life on the set, contracts, agents, managers and steps to finding work. This class is a bridge for the student for the student from the classroom to the professional world.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

DC 450

DIRECTING ACTORS FOR THE CAMERA

This course will consist of scene studies emphasizing the actor/director relationship, the relationship between the camera and performer, casting, blocking for the camera, and scene analysis. Each week students will shoot and edit short dialogue scenes. The scenes will be analyzed for the quality of the performance and effectiveness of direction. Students will work toward the creation of a final, polished short film. Digital Cinema students are expected to enter the class with a shoot-able five to ten minute script they can use as their final project. Prerequisites: DC 460, DC 461, DC 462
Prerequisites:
CDM graduate students in the Preqrequisite Phase are restricted from registering for this class.

PRF 599

INDEPENDENT STUDY

Independent Study
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 317

TOPICS IN SCENE STUDY

Working with MFA II Directing students, this course will focus on scene study from plays by a particular seminal dramatist. Actors will benefit from in-depth analysis and rehearsal of scenes, exploring the playwright's style and dramatic influence. Course restricted to upper-level Theatre Performance Students only.
Prerequisites:
Status as an Undergraduate or Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 381

ADVANCED STAGE COMBAT

In this course students will continue their study of unarmed and rapier-&-dagger techniques, as well as adding a third weapon discipline as taught by The Society of American Fight Directors (past options have included knife, broadsword, quarterstaff, small sword) for use in stage and film performance. The students will perform choreography in all three disciplines, in scenes which they themselves select but which are choreographed by the instructor. The students are then given the opportunity to take the SAFD's Skills Proficiency Test for all three weapons, with an outside adjudicator, in the hope of reaching "Actor Combatant" status within the SAFD.
Prerequisites:
Status as an Undergraduate or Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 431

VOICE AND SPEECH IV

Continued development of skills designed to assist the student with a comfortable transition to the professional world through an approach to singing.
Prerequisites:
Status as an Undergraduate or Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 432

VOICE AND SPEECH IV

Continued development of skills designed to assist the student with a comfortable transition to the professional world through and approach to singing.
Prerequisites:
Status as an Undergraduate or Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 761

REHEARSAL AND PERFORMANCE III

Graduate acting and directing students are continually involved in rehearsal and performance of plays in the Showcase, the Playworks series, and workshop productions. Acting students constitute the casting pool for the school.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.

PRF 763

REHEARSAL AND PERFORMANCE III

Graduate acting and directing students are continually involved in rehearsal and performance of plays in the Showcase, the Playworks series, and workshop productions. Acting students constitute the casting pool for the school.
Prerequisites:
Status as Graduate Theatre student is a prerequisite for this class.