Theater (THEAT-UH)

THEAT-UH 1010  Making Theater  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
This class develops a practical and conceptual work process for making theater that is assembled through investigation of researched models of practice, consideration of the elements involved, and the student's own intuition, interests and drive. We will explore: why make theater? For whom? With whom? How? When? About what? In this class, "Theater" is defined as a story told in the third dimension to a live audience. This course is extremely rigorous and hands-on. It involves independent creative work, a readiness to collaborate and profound curiosity. All students are expected to engage actively in class discussions and projects.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater Major: Required
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater
  
THEAT-UH 1011  Thinking Theater  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
This course offers a survey of theater in the modern and contemporary era exploring its aesthetic, social and cultural dimensions. Thinking theater from an intercultural and interdisciplinary perspective allows for the critical exploration of a plurality of practices and discourses while questioning the role of the artist, the place of the spectator as well as the very nature of the theatrical event and the ethics of representation. The aim of this course is to give students a solid knowledge of theater, performance practices and major theoretical frameworks, while focusing on the distinct geopolitical conditions in which these practices and theories are situated. Students engage with the work of artists such as Ariane Mnouchkine, William Kentridge, Werewere Liking, Faustin Linyekula, Lola Arias, Bruce Gladwin, Laila Soliman, Omar Abusaada and Mohammad Al Attar. Through screenings, readings of plays, artists' talks, live performances and critical texts in theater, art history, literature and postcolonial theory, this course aspires to create an analytical and critical platform for thinking theater as a collaborative process of creation within and beyond the limits of the stage.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: Must be a declared Theater major or minor, or freshman/sophomore standing.  
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater Major: Required
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater
  
THEAT-UH 1110  Fundamentals of Acting  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
Students begin to build a performance vocabulary by using a range of techniques for translating the actor's imagination into stage action. Students are introduced to the internal and external demands of turning creative impulse into behavior, and explore acting fundamentals such as exploring text by connecting it to physical action; responding fully to one's acting partner; personalizing fictional material; and exploring the role of actor-as-creator via games, improvisations, and exercises; scene work; ensemble techniques; and solo performance.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Film New Media: Practice Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater: Arts Practice Electives
  • Crosslisted with: Film New Media Major: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Film New Media
  • Crosslisted with: Theater Major: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Theater
  
THEAT-UH 1111  Creating Original Work  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
This class explores devising as a means of innovating both process and form. Students will research and experiment with historical approaches to the devised process, while also building their own short-form performance projects in order to: gain insight into the nature of a process journey; develop a more intimate understanding of their own identities as creative problem-solvers; learn how to constructively engage critical conversations about work that is still in process; gain experience in the use of creative process as a form of research.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater: Arts Practice Electives
  
THEAT-UH 1112  Fundamentals of Playwriting  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
This course introduces students to the art and craft of playwriting by drawing from Eastern, Western, Middle Eastern and African traditions. The course engages students in a rigorous study of form, content, structure and philosophy in order to arrive at a methodology that each writer can adapt and develop in order to write plays that are ambitious in terms of the ideas and forms they deal with. The main objectives are: to develop one's voice as a playwright; to develop tools and techniques to realize that voice; to write a one act play.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: LITCW: Creative Writing Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Literature: Creative Writing Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater: Arts Practice Electives
  • Crosslisted with: LITCW: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Literature Creative Writing
  • Crosslisted with: Theater Major: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Theater
  
THEAT-UH 1114J  "Under the Radar" at The Public Theater  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered January term  
Under the Radar (UTR), one of the most important international experimental festivals for contemporary artists, is the focus of this course. Taking place in Greenwich Village, the heart of international NYC, the festival has presented some 229 theater companies from 42 countries since its first season in 2005. Performances at Under the Radar challenge conventional theater and performance by aiming to present the most significant aesthetic and political work of the moment. UTR furthers Greenwich Village's intellectual and artistic vibrancy by being in conversation with ideas and experimentation originating in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Americas. At UTR, students are introduced to the ideas, content and aesthetic innovations circulating on international stages. Themes may include: Adaptation of classic performance and texts. Immigration. Analogue, digital and live performance. Intelligence systems. Individualism/Identity. Festival Culture. Death. Memory. We attend performances, meet Festival staff and learn about the challenges of creating the Festival. Students will post fully edited and final versions of a select number of "think pieces" of different word counts.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater: Arts Practice Electives
  
THEAT-UH 1115  Scenic Design  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
This class engages in an active exploration into design for performance by investigating the characteristics of stage designs that render them a unique built form. On its most simplistic level a set design is the creation of a temporal space for the actions of a performative event to unfold in over time. What constitutes the "event" is broad: set designs can be created for dance performances; narrative plays; nonlinear plays; performance art; exhibition design, fashion and opera and other music events, etc. Focusses throughout the semester will be on the consideration of theatrical time, composition, and the process of manifesting conceptual or theatrical ideas visually and spatially. How do spaces progress in time with the performative and textual demands of the piece? How does composition express visual and conceptual ideas? What are the relationships between an originating text or prompt and its visual/spatial manifestation? How does a scenic design manifest the core ideas of a production while still offering space for the multiple layers of the actors and work of other creative design disciplines? What is the basis for these choices?
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Art Art History: Visual Arts/Practice Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Art History Elective for Visual Arts Track
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater: Arts Practice Electives
  • Crosslisted with: Art Art History
  
THEAT-UH 1116  Starting With Self  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
This course will explore the spectrum of theater, performance and performative installation making while taking autobiography and the self as a starting point. It will explore the self not only in its current state as a human being but also as an animal, object, and imagined superhero. In doing that, the context will always be a reference to start since no one and nothing stands alone in real and imagined life. In this practice-based course, the students will think, research, write, conceptualize, try, rehearse and perform.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Core: Arts, Design Technology
  • Bulletin Categories: LITCW: Creative Writing Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Literature: Creative Writing Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater: Arts Practice Electives
  • Crosslisted with: Core: Arts, Design Technology
  • Crosslisted with: LITCW: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Literature Creative Writing
  • Crosslisted with: Theater Major: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Theater
  
THEAT-UH 1120  Body at Work: Movement for the Artist  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
A voice and movement course for actors, musicians, and visual artists. Students will engage the body as an expressive tool in support of artistic craft and technique and build confidence in the ability to translate creative impulses through physical action. The course guides the student through awareness of and release from habitual tensions and into body alignment, breathing, resonators, sound and movement, group interaction, and the exploration of individual and group creativity. Class will focus on the kinetic application of movement in the art-making process, using core energy, dynamics, breath connection, strength, flexibility, range of motion, stamina, and relaxation techniques in order to strengthen our creative output. The goal is a free voice in a free body and the ability to express thought and emotion with openness and truth.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater: Arts Practice Electives
  
THEAT-UH 1121  Design for Performance  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
In this course students learn to create visceral, theatrical experiences that tell clear stories through deep investigation of what comprises aesthetic experience and the fundamental tenants of design and stage composition. Students will acquire tools to: identify, externalize, and develop aesthetic impulses; actualize the world of a text through simple, powerful choices; facilitate collaborations with a design team; synthesize script analysis and point of view with rich, textured design worlds; develop an empathetic imagination; and build work with generosity toward the audience's experience.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Design Minor Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Design Minor Visual Communication Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater: Arts Practice Electives
  • Crosslisted with: Design
  • Crosslisted with: Theater Major: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Theater
  
THEAT-UH 1122  Voice, Speech, and Text  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
Students learn the fundamentals of voice, vocal production, and vocal expression. The course is designed to help students discover their vocal potential, to reduce obstructive physical habits and tensions and to move towards free, full-range voices. This course is built to cultivate vocal-physical development and sensorial acuteness. Students will begin to understand, in themselves, the connection between thought/impulse/idea, voice, communication and audience.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater: Arts Practice Electives
  
THEAT-UH 1123  Unmasking the Actor  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
Unmasking the Actor is a course based on the performance philosophy and practice of Jacques Lecoq, in which an investigation of the mechanics of the body is applied to dramatic creation on different acting traditions. Students analyze their body and movement with four different kinds of mask: Neutral mask, Larval mask, Commedia dell'Arte mask and the smallest mask in the world, the red nose of the clown. In this process, the disguise drives the students to discover emotions, movements and thoughts far from their habitual and comfortable modes; by gradually removing the disguise, they reach self-awareness and learn how to enjoy their presence on stage. Combining the methodologies of Jacques Lecoq, Carlo Boso and Philippe Gaulier the course guides students through analysis of stage performance and its effects.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater: Arts Practice Electives
  
THEAT-UH 1125J  Dramaturgy of Disruption  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered January term  
Engaging Theater as an inherently physical and interdisciplinary art form, this course disrupts traditional modes of storytelling, image making, collaboration, and theater making. Framing dramaturgy as the consideration of structures and their impacts, the course investigates a range of dramaturgical approaches for collaboration, architecture, space, and performance. In doing so, we will look at dramaturgies across art forms and geographies and land them in theater practice. Furthermore, this course engages students in a detailed approach of Theater Mitu's training methodology of Whole Theater. This demanding physical training will lay the foundational discipline to garner successful models of artistic, explorative, and creative dramaturgies. Ultimately this class proposes disruption as a means towards innovation, leadership, and a richer understanding of what it is to be an artist and a human. Note: Pending feasible international travel conditions, this course will include a seminar Thailand.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater: Arts Practice Electives
  • Crosslisted with: Theater Major: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Theater
  
THEAT-UH 1126  Costuming Performance  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
The curriculum focuses on the creation and consideration of costumes in live theatrical performance. Anchored in dialogue with contemporary arts philosophies in visual arts, design and fashion, an investigatory approach is taken to consider what it means to clothe, dress and adorn the body for performance. Sociological investigations: how clothes 'perform' on bodies in the present and past; why people wear what they wear; correlations to larger global phenomena (the fashion system, social media, history of regional and vernacular communities) will be key in designing costumes for real and fictionalized characters. Through theoretical projects, students will begin a design process, going through a sequence of steps: dramaturgical analysis, gathering pictorial and relevant research; engaging creative imagination, and visualizing designs through sketching and collage to create a concrete presentation of designs, ideas, transformations. Projects will include text-based drama, opera, dance and performance art. Emphasis is on experimentation, creativity and collaborative process within a creative team. Lab and workshop sessions in conjunction with the NYUAD costume shop accompany class.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Art Art History: Visual Arts/Practice Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Art History Elective for Visual Arts Track
  • Bulletin Categories: Design Minor Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater: Arts Practice Electives
  • Crosslisted with: Art Art History
  • Crosslisted with: Design
  • Crosslisted with: Theater Major: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Theater
  
THEAT-UH 1127  Ugly  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
UGLY is an investigative studio practice course where students from a wide array of arts disciplines are encouraged to generate new explorations and creative work exploring UGLINESS as a prompt and radical aesthetic impulse. How do we understand ugliness? Is the concept recognized only in negation or comparison (opposed to beauty)? Is it culturally and historically specific? Might it shift historically with a new generation's gaze? Is ugliness always manifest via form? Does ugliness 'happen' unintentionally or can we willfully employ ugliness as a viable strategy? Organized around a series of themes: The Discarded; The Monstrous and Grotesque; Repulsive Body; Haunted; Brutalism; Mundane and Overabundance; the class will combine historic and theoretical readings, peering into select moments of 20th century avant-garde arts practice and visits by living artists from an array of disciplines (visual arts, performance, choreography, music). Key texts are: "Ugliness, The Non-beautiful in Art and Theory", ed. Andrei Pop, Mechtild Widrich; "On Ugliness" Umberto Eco; "On Beauty and Being Just" by Elaine Scary; Selections from Artaud, Bataille, Kristeva and Freud.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Art Art History: Visual Arts/Practice Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Art History Elective for Visual Arts Track
  • Bulletin Categories: Design Minor Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Design Minor Visual Communication Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater: Arts Practice Electives
  • Crosslisted with: Art Art History
  • Crosslisted with: Design
  • Crosslisted with: Theater Major: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Theater
  
THEAT-UH 1128  Specific Performance  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
This course will address the making of performance that is non-theatre and that aims to engage with meaning and histories derived from site-specific investigations in order to understand how artists have used site-specific methodologies to reach audiences who might otherwise not come to the theater. In this sense, site- specific performance tends to engage deeply with its chosen site and often will be drawn into engagement with the political, social and often religious issues that stem from place. We will discuss the works of major artists such as Mike Pearson and his company Brith Gof theater company, Richard Long's Circle of Silence and explore the works of Jelil Atiku and his performance activism through site. We will look at different sites relating to the land, domestic spaces such as kitchens and living rooms, found spaces such as cupboards and wardrobes and we will end by exploring the campus as a site for performance. Students will develop skills in originating and executing site specific performance by engaging in the planning and development of their own mini site-specific performance projects.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater: Arts Practice Electives
  
THEAT-UH 1129  Faith, Ideology and Power: Writing a play as an examination of contemporary times  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
In 'Faith, Ideology and Power,' students create theatrical texts which foreground the ideological complexities of faith, capitalism and other structures of power within which contemporary societies operate across the world. Conversations, readings and exercises will guide students to examine their own ideological conditions and question the presence of power in modern times. Research will be student-driven and focus on the different scenarios that students and professors bring to class. A central theme for the writing will be the rise of religious bigotry, the use of such bigotry and other discrimination to control populations, and the ways in which common people deal with such ideologies. The course serves as a studio program for new theatrical writing on these and other critical political and social issues.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Film New Media: Practice Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: LITCW: Creative Writing Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Literature: Creative Writing Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater: Arts Practice Electives
  • Crosslisted with: Film New Media Major: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Film New Media
  • Crosslisted with: LITCW: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Literature Creative Writing
  • Crosslisted with: Theater Major: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Theater
  
THEAT-UH 1130J  Dancing Words: Scripting Movement  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered January term  
Cross-art ventures are the flavor of the day. Think Beyoncé with Warsan Shire, or Annie Proulx & Ang Lee. Some links are clear, like those of poem to song. But what of writing and dance? How might dance produce writing - or writing produce dance? There is, of course, dancing about writing (Romeo and Juliet!) and there's writing about dancing (any dance review). But what if we remove that crucial word "about"? What transmutations occur when we move from one medium to another? What imprint is left? And how do practitioners who move across these atolls of artistic disciplines make work together? In this module, the class will explore a gamut of idioms used to create narrative in contemporary dance (while also looking at highly expressive classical forms like kathak). Students will create ekphrastic work in the medium of their choice (dance, performance, writing…), drawing from existing recommended pieces of dance or text. Associate artistes - those in residence from the Mehek project, but also others (choreographers, designers, producers…) - will be invited to accompany the class through diverse facets and phases of creating a dance piece, sharing the challenges they face and the wonder that fuels their journey(s).
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater: Arts Practice Electives
  • Crosslisted with: Theater Major: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Theater
  
THEAT-UH 1510X  Theater in the Arab World  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
This class examines recent trends in contemporary Arab theater, contextualizing these within a broader history of Arab performance including film. Particular attention is given to how experimental practitioners have explored issues of human rights and the control of territories under the modern state. Strategies addressed include: the conflation of past and present as a means of exploring the persistence of the colonial power structure in the modern Arab world (Wannus' Historical Miniatures, 'Udwan's The Trial of the Man Who Didn't Fight); the use of parable to speak truth to power (Wannus' The Elephant, Diyab's Strangers Don't Drink the Coffee); the incorporation of populist entertainment forms that directly engage the audience (a-Sadiki's use of the halqa and Wannus' inclusion of hekoatee); and the use of familiar tales to explore new political realities (Wannus' and Farag's use of the Arabian Nights tales, Al-Hakim's use of pharaonic myth, Al-Hakim and Salim's use of Greek myth).
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Arab Crossroads Studies: Arts Literature
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater: History, Theory, Criticism Electives
  • Crosslisted with: Arab Crossroads Studies Major: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Arab Crossroads Studies
  • Crosslisted with: Theater Major: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Theater
  
THEAT-UH 1512  Representing the Real  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
The most provocative theatre today reflects upon its own representational strategies in relation to complex and challenging subjects. In our post-truth era, theatre-makers are creating work about theatre’s ability to represent and interpret events. Included in this international body of work are telling stories untold, challenging political convictions and legal determinations, and examining the relationships between information and truth, and aesthetic preferences and ethical choices. Plays, performances, and essays about some of the most important issues of our time: apartheid, terrorism, the Holocaust, racial clashes, and corruption. Authors include Thembi Mitshali, Yael Farber, Vivi Tellas, Richard Norton-Taylor, Milo Rau, Sophie Treadwell, Griselda Gambaro, Rabih Mroué, Back to Back Theatre, and Peter Weiss among others. Questions include: Can theatre effectively critique social life? What is the boundary between "fiction" and "nonfiction?" What is the interface between real events and representational realities? How do the aesthetic demands of theatre shape stories about real events? Can theatre’s representation of real events help us understand “fake news” and the collapse of the distinctions between the real, the simulated, and the virtual? Student work will include developing short works that critically engage real stories, class presentations, and essays.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater: History, Theory, Criticism Electives
  
THEAT-UH 1514  African Women Playwrights  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall of even numbered years  
This 7-week (or 14-week) reading, writing intensive course focuses on the structural and narrative diversification of dramatic texts, intended for production, written by African women. Across the 54 sovereign nations, the women's writings unabashedly confront a range of pressing cultural, political, and personal issues: from agency, identity, tradition, education, faith, modernism, racism, and class, to sex, marriage, and the intersectionality of blackness, African-ness (and/or Arab-ness), and womanhood. The course will address these various foci through works by such dramatists as Andiah Kisia, Sitawa Muragori, Meaza Worku, Nathalie Etoke, Werewere Liking, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Dania Gurira, Fatima Gallaire, Penina Mlama, Ama Ata Aidoo, Efua Sutherland, Osonye Tess Onwueme, Julie Okoh, Sindiwe Magona, Malika Ndlovu, Gcina Mhlope, Violet Barungi, Asiimwe GKashugi, and Dalia Basiouny. The foundational critical theories are in post-colonialism and feminism, critical race theory, and diasporic studies.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: African Studies Minor: Arts Humanities Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Literature: Geographies Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Literature: Topics Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater: History, Theory, Criticism Electives
  • Crosslisted with: African Studies
  • Crosslisted with: LITCW: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Literature Creative Writing
  • Crosslisted with: Theater Major: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Theater
  
THEAT-UH 1515  History of Community Based Performances  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
As cultural practices and public arts, community based performances are forged by intense collaborations between artists and specific residents and localities. Together they combine performance traditions, artistic production and reception with broad ideas of the cultural, political and social engagements within which communities seek representation and agency. This course offers a global historical overview of case studies that integrate performance aesthetics and traditions with various ideas of community and citizenship. Case studies such as Bread and Puppet, Negro Ensemble and El Teatro Campesino in the US, The Arena Theater of Sao Paulo in Brazil, Theater for Development initiatives in Africa and Asia, as well as directors Augusto Boal, Luis Valdez, Uttpal Dutta, Gloria Anzaldua, Ngugi wa Thiongo illustrate the study of community building, performance ethnography and performance of culture this course offers.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater: History, Theory, Criticism Electives
  
THEAT-UH 1516J  Experimental/Avantgarde Performance: Paris Now, New York 1960s-70s  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered January term  
What are the similarities and differences in experimental performances in Paris and New York? What are the theories underlying these performances? To answer these questions we will examine both historical and contemporary performances and theories. New York: happenings, postmodern dance, environmental theater, Richard Foreman, Robert Wilson, The Performance Group, etc. Paris: roots of the avantgarde: Alfred Jarry, Antonin Artaud, dada, surrealism, theater of the absurd. Contemporary Paris performances: Ariane Mnouchkine/Théâtre du Soleil, Jerome Bel, Ivo van Hove, Philippe Quesne/Vivarium Studio, etc. Students will attend performances, view media, go to the Théâtre du Soleil, Centre Pompidou, and the Palais de Tokyo. Several French scholars and artists will visit the class. Schechner will point out other key Parisian cultural venues: Maison des Arts Cretail, Louvre, Musée D'Orsay, etc.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater: History, Theory, Criticism Electives
  
THEAT-UH 1518  Spectacle and Surveillance  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
Spectacle and surveillance have emerged as key concepts articulating the relationship between power and performance in contemporary societies. This course will interrogate these two phenomena from the perspective of theater as one of the earliest technologies for watching and being watched. We will begin with examples of spectacle and surveillance prior to the advent of electronic media, such as courtly theater in 17th century Europe and the role of eavesdropping in dramatic literature. We will then consider how the advancement of capitalism and technology further institutionalized spectacle and surveillance as modes of managing colonialism, race, gender, security, consumption, and automation. Critical literature will include works by Michel Foucault, Guy Debord, Karl Marx, Siegrief Kracauer, Konstantin Stanislavski, Susan Glenn and Amy Louise Wood, among others. The course will also examine artists that incorporate questions of surveillance and spectacle as material for their own work including the Situationists, Surveillance Camera Players, Julia Scher, Mel Chin, and Trevor Paglen, among many others.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater: History, Theory, Criticism Electives
  • Crosslisted with: Theater Major: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Theater
  
THEAT-UH 1519  Installation Art  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
Installation is a hybrid genre which escapes traditional categorizations. This course approaches Installation Art as a methodological framework across cultural, social and geopolitical discourses in order to analyze new models of spectatorship that expand the limits of what could be identified or recognized as art: installations can be participatory or not, can involve performers or lack human presence, can be site-specific or nomadic, can intervene in urban context or taking place in nature, can be durational or limited in time. Instead of following a genealogy of installation art, the course is structured around focal points such as theatricality, site-specificity, immersion, publicness. Through artist and curator talks and field trips in the UAE, students engage with the work of leading artists such as Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Blane De St. Crois, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Yinka Shonibare. Drawing on a wide range of theoretical texts in theater, art history, political theory and urban studies, this course explores the artistic, social and cultural effects of Installation Art.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Art Art History: Visual Arts/Practice Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Art History Elective for Visual Arts Track
  • Bulletin Categories: Film New Media: Breadth Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media:Media Design Thinking Elective
  • Bulletin Categories: Museum Curatorial Studies
  • Bulletin Categories: Pre-Professional: Museum Curatorial Studies
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater: History, Theory, Criticism Electives
  • Crosslisted with: Art Art History
  • Crosslisted with: Film New Media Major: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Film New Media
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media Minor: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media
  • Crosslisted with: Museum Curatorial Studies
  • Crosslisted with: Pre-Professional: Museum Curatorial Studies
  • Crosslisted with: Theater Major: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Theater
  
THEAT-UH 1520  Dramaturgy  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
The German playwright, Gotthold Lessing, coined the word “dramaturgy” in the 18th century to describe the practice of creating historical and theoretical meanings in theatre. Now dramaturgy also plays a part in making dance, live art, staging spectators, and gallery and museum curation. Doing dramaturgy is the subject of the course. Students will engage in visiting galleries and museums, reading plays, and seeing performances, keeping in mind the staging of experience and spectators, context, aesthetic style, authorship, diversity, decolonization, and the ghosts of place. Questions of the course include: What aesthetic assumptions are operating? Who is the anticipated spectator and what is their anticipated response? What is the structure of the experience offered? How might a dramaturg intervene in the production of meaning? Student work includes: developing a dramaturgical method, creating a personal archive, researching specific works, writing dramaturgical analyses of visual scenes and program notes, short essays, and group reports.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater: History, Theory, Criticism Electives
  
THEAT-UH 1521  Women Who Kill  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
Who, how, and why do women kill? What are the circumstances, motives, and explanations for their murder? Are there recurring reasons that women kill? The subject of women who kill is uniquely situated in different cultures. Colonialism, spirit possession, revenge, sexual deviance, freedom, insanity, self-defense, and cultural tradition all play a part in how female murderers are understood and represented. Theater, literature, and film have developed diverse representational strategies and forms of theatricality when portraying women who kill. Looking at plays and films from different cultures and time periods and accompanying theoretical articles, students will examine the portrayal of women who kill in relation to the historical moment of authorship, the legal circumstances of the protagonists, and the motives that inform their “aberrant” acts. How do plays about women who kill relate with real murders by women? Are there common plot structures, characters, and styles? Case studies include infamous female murderers such as Pan Jinlian (The Papin sisters, Ruth Snyder, Komachi, Medea, and Clytemnestra, among others.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Core: Cultural Exploration Analysis
  • Bulletin Categories: LITCW: Introductory Literature Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Literature: Topics Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater: History, Theory, Criticism Electives
  • Crosslisted with: Core: Cultural Exploration Analysis
  • Crosslisted with: LITCW: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Literature Creative Writing
  • Crosslisted with: Theater Major: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Theater
  
THEAT-UH 2110  Character and Action  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
Students develop advanced performance skills by using techniques associated with Patsy Rodenburg, Shin'ichi Suzuki, Stanislavski, Anne Bogart, and Yoshi Oida, among others. Training exercises are used to develop kinesthetic awareness, focus, listening, character, action, creativity, imagination, and collaboration. Through a holistic approach connected to recent findings in cognitive science, students build technical craft as well as begin to remove obstructive physical, vocal and mental habits, so as to release the full potential of the responsiveness, expressivity, and presence of their actor/performer instruments: the body-mind.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater: Arts Practice Electives
  
THEAT-UH 2111  Making Documentary Theatre  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
This course introduces the students to Documentary Theater and explores the different ways to make it. Students will learn to identify their personal sense of urgency in relation to the world. Students will learn exercises to help them to utilize research as a way to create a performance. They will create three projects during the semester exploring the different possible starting points as well as different relationships between form and content.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater: Arts Practice Electives
  
THEAT-UH 2115  Directing  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
What brings a play to life? What story do you most want to tell? Who is your audience, and why? What is the collaborative environment you seek? This course explores conceptual and practical approaches to directing a play. In addition to script discovery and analysis, emphasis is placed on the development of each student's unique and subjective point of view on the material at hand. Students will journal regularly, share work in-progress with the class, create image banks, and engage in vigorous experimentation and conversation centered around the nature and art of directing theater.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Film New Media: Practice Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater: Arts Practice Electives
  • Crosslisted with: Film New Media Major: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Film New Media
  • Crosslisted with: Theater Major: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Theater
  
THEAT-UH 3090  Capstone Seminar  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
In the spring semester of their third year, theater majors participate in this formal capstone seminar intended to guide rising seniors through the conceptualization of a capstone, a year-long independent artistic project of the senior's own design, and to express that concept in the form of a polished written proposal. This seminar is an interdisciplinary arts forum where students are expected to reflect upon and articulate their projects as expressions of aesthetic theory and practice, and where they can draw upon their own scholarly and artistic experience to constructively support the work of their peers. This class will support students in acquiring the methodological tools in theater and performance necessary for the realization of their vision, and will offer strategies designed to support speaking, reflecting, writing and archiving these projects.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: THEAT-UH 1010 and THEAT-UH 1011.  
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater: Capstone
  
THEAT-UH 3110  Director's Lab  (2 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
This course continues the work begin in Directing in a Lab setting. Students will work with material from Susan-Lori Parks 365 Plays/Days, Samuel Beckett's short plays or bring in material of their own choosing. Our weekly sessions will include sharing work in process, discussion of major issues both ethical and practical in the field of Directing, and the building of comradery as we explore the form.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: Yes  
Prerequisites: THEAT-UH 2115, THEAT-UH 3110 or instructor permission.  
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater: Arts Practice Electives
  
THEAT-UH 4001  Capstone Project A  (2 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
These two mandatory and sequential 2-point courses provide seniors with a clearly articulated, year-long work process and support structure within which to bring their theater capstone projects to fruition. The course sequence includes regular meetings and group discussions of topics such as process, research, and collaboration in art practice and scholarship. The Capstone Project Supervisor who oversees the course sequence works in tandem with capstone advisors and (as applicable) theater program production staff. Students are further supported in the development of their capstone writing, presentation, and digital archiving skills.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: THEAT-UH 3090.  
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater: Capstone
  
THEAT-UH 4002  Capstone Project B  (2 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
These two mandatory and sequential 2-point courses provide seniors with a clearly articulated, year-long work process and support structure within which to bring their theater capstone projects to fruition. The course sequence includes regular meetings and group discussions of topics such as process, research, and collaboration in art practice and scholarship. The Capstone Project Supervisor who oversees the course sequence works in tandem with capstone advisors and (as applicable) theater program production staff. Students are further supported in the development of their capstone writing, presentation, and digital archiving skills.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: THEAT-UH 4001.  
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater: Capstone