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DRAMA103: Theatre Appreciation
Welcome to DRAMA103: Theatre Appreciation. This course will familiarize you with the art of theater through a survey of the key components of the live theatrical experience.
Throughout the course, you will develop the critical thinking skills and the vocabulary you need to appreciate the live event. The course begins by building theatrical vocabulary, then moves on to explain the various components of creating theater and the processes of manifesting ideas on stage.
We will employ a textbook appropriately entitled The Art of Theatre, a series of narrated PowerPoint presentations, a number of streaming films, and several online workshops associated with your textbook. Since no theater appreciation course is complete without an experience of the live theatrical event, you will see two professional productions as part of this course.
The only non-academic pre-requisites for this course will be your life experience, your desire to witness live performance, and your innate impulse to perform.
The goals of this course are that you will
Note that "theater" is generally the American spelling, while "theatre" is used in Great Britain and Canada. Your textbook uses "theatre." You may use either.
When you have finished this course, you will be able to
Course Prerequisites and Requirements
There are no prerequisites for this course. It will help, however, to have college level reading, writing, and analytical skills.
The current technology requirements are found in the Online Student Handbook. You'll find a link on your My Course home page.
To successfully complete this course, you must
A note about Late Work
You will lose 10 percent of your grade for each day each assignment is late. I will not accept your work if it is more than five days late.
Your course materials will include the online course companion and two streaming videos (available through the course Web site): Chicago: the Musical and Show Boat.
Downs, Wright and Ramsey. The Art of Theater: A Concise Introduction, 3rd Edition. Wadsworth Publishing: 2012. ISBN-10: 1133394655, ISBN-13: 9781133396455
This book MUST be purchased through the Cengage website along with the CourseMate. CourseMate is necessary as it allows you to fully engage with the lectures and prepare for the midterm and the final exams. Purchasing this book through another site or bookstore will not allow you to access the CourseMate. The price of CourseMate outside of the bundle is extremely expensive. Please take this into consideration before purchasing the textbook.
About the Online Environment
Your online course offers several advantages to the traditional classroom, including a comprehensive Online Student Handbook, the ability to communicate electronically with students and with your instructor, and links to a rich array of online resources.
Online Student Handbook
This handbook answers questions about your online learning course, such as how to purchase your text, schedule an exam, arrange for a proctor, obtain a transcript, and get technical help if you need it. The handbook also provides additional resources, such as how to order books or journals from the library and how to study for an online course.
In addition to e-mail, your course may offer the following tools for communicating with your instructor or peers:
About This Course
The course is organized to give you hands-on experience right from the start. It includes eight lessons in which you acquire the skills to appreciate and experience the theatrical event. The course also includes discussion forums, artistic vocabulary, attendance of theatrical events, home viewing of theater-based films, online workshops, and a performance assignment.
Lessons include terms that are important to the concepts you will learn and are intended to serve as guides to your study. You will be held responsible for key term definitions, and you will be expected to use the terms in your written work and presentation material whenever possible. You will find the terms defined either in the lesson commentary, the assigned readings, or both.
Forums enable us to simulate one of the features of a classroom setting; we'll be able to share our questions and ideas through threaded online discussion forums.
Each lesson includes a posted question or comment from the online discussion that you will respond to. These are for your benefit; they also help your instructor evaluate your understanding and adjust his or her teaching accordingly. These online discussions allow you and your classmates to share knowledge and help each other learn.
You will be required to participate in all the discussion forums (8 forums X 10 points = 80 points)
You will use the textbook's online CourseMate site throughout the course. All lessons include quizzes and workshops from this site, providing an opportunity to apply what you are learning by following along on your computer and performing tasks or by answering questions based on lesson materials.
The instructor will not verify your work on the CourseMate site. You will not turn in any of these quizzes and workshop results. There is no requirement to complete these exercises, but they are included to allow you to test your understanding of the subject. Answers to these exercises are included within the site. You are encouraged to do these exercises and check your answers. If you are having trouble with them, contact your instructor for further help.
Although you are not directly graded on these quizzes and workshops, not doing them will substantially affect your grade on the final exam.
About the Lessons
The eight lessons in this course concentrate on building theater literacy, appreciation, critical tools, and vocabulary
Lesson 1: Theater, Art, and Entertainment
Lesson 2: Stage Versus Screen
Lesson 3: Theater and Cultural Diversity
Lesson 4: Experiencing and Analyzing Plays
Lesson 5: A day in the life of a Theatre
Lesson 6: The Playwright and the Script
Lesson 7: The Art of Acting
Lesson 8: The Art of Directing and Design
Lesson 9: The Creative Life and Final Exam
Lesson 10: Final Exam Review
About the Assignments
This course includes three major assignments,
Assignment Submission Guidelines
You will submit your assignments by using the "Upload a file" link in each assignment. See individual assignments for more details. You will receive an assessment of your work in the form of a rubric score (see Criteria for Grading) together with detailed individual feedback and a grade from your instructor.
For the monologue assignment, you will post your recording to YouTube.com, following the instructions in "Posting Videos to YouTube" on the course Web page. Then use the Monologue Forum to share the URL of your recording with your instructor and classmates..
The midterm is worth 70 points and will be completed ONLINE (you do not have to come to campus for this exam). See the course calendar for specific due dates and times.
About The Final Exam
The final examination in this course will take place on the University of Washington's Seattle campus during finals week. The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions worth 1 point each. The instructor will provide further details about the time and place of the exam.
If you are unable to come to the UW's Seattle campus on the exam date, you must arrange for a proctored examination. Follow the instructions in the "Examinations" section in your Online Learning Student Handbook.
Remember, the exams will give you a chance to show how well you have integrated the covered material. See Lesson 10, "Preparing for Your Final Exam," for exam details. The final examination will be cumulative, covering the entire course.
Assessment and Grading
Assignments apply concepts and skills covered in each lesson to the creation of your own scenes and the critique of professional productions. To evaluate your work, a number of clear grading standards have been put in place for each written and performed assignment, as well as on the discussion forums.
Your final exam will reflect your knowledge of the online lesson content (the PowerPoint lectures), the companion website, the textbook, and your experience of play performances.
Your course grade will be based on the components and points shown in the following table.
About the Lecturer
Samer Al-Saber is a Palestinian/Canadian theater historian, critic, and practitioner. His work has been seen in multiple regions including North America and the Middle East. At the University of Washington, he lectured DRAMA101: Introduction to Theater and taught DRAMA201: Play Analysis. He obtained his masters (MFA) in directing at the University of Calgary and his B.A. at the University of Ottawa. Most recently, as a Huckabay fellow at the University of Washington's Center of Teaching and Learning, Samer developed an original course entitled Theatrical Reflections on the Palestine/Israel Conflict. During his PhD studies in Theater History and Criticism at the University of Washington, he has received a fellowship of the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada, the Chester Fritz Award and the Michael Quinn Award. His research centers on the cultural dimension of the Palestine/Israel Conflict, Middle Eastern theater, and theater in Jerusalem. In developing this course, he draws on his experience of contemporary theater as a scholar and an artist.
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