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THEA 104 Spring Syllabus

by: Cody Notetaker

THEA 104 Spring Syllabus THEA 104

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Syllabus for Dr. Michael O'Hara's Spring 2016 Aesthetics 2 class.
Aesthetics 2
Dr. Michael O'Hara
Class Notes
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Cody Notetaker on Friday January 8, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to THEA 104 at Ball State University taught by Dr. Michael O'Hara in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 37 views. For similar materials see Aesthetics 2 in Theatre at Ball State University.


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Date Created: 01/08/16
THEAT 104 - Spring 2016 p. 1 THEAT 104 – Aesthetics of Theatre II Spring 2016 Sec. 001 MWF 3:00 - 3:50 PM Room: AC-114 Dr. Michael M. O'Hara Office: AC - 200 Hours MW @ 4, and by appointment. Student TA's (email addresses found on Blackboard): Breneman, Nate Girard, Laura Riordan, Mary Kate Bryan, Kristina Hudson, Ale Skomer, Kelsey Crosier, Megan Martin, Courtney Slagle, Sarah Denman, River Morgan, Maggie Stangarone, Aaron Fritz, Baily Pender, Shea Wellhausen, Ike Frye, Amy Rickman, Emma Stealth TA’s (helping with grading & Library) Boldt, Amanda Kmiecik, Sarah Zabilka, Frank Foldvari, Sophie Korbisch, Connor Johnson, Kelley M Stewart, Shay COURSE RATIONALE: This course assumes that creating and understanding theatre requires a blend of scholarship and inspiration, of academic pursuit and artistic endeavor, of rationality and imagination. Research and analysis is no less a creative act than a memorable stage character or a deft lighting design. Therefore, we will seek to stretch all aspects of intelligent creation in this course. We will accomplish this goal by building on the knowledge and skills you have acquired in THEAT 103 and then systematically adding new tools and techniques throughout the semester. All subsequent courses in theatre (and in your professional life) will assume that you have mastered the tools and techniques we will practice here. You will have an opportunity to master aspects of teamwork, theatre history, play analysis, dramatic theory, research and bibliography, and public speaking. Although you may not fully understand or appreciate the vital connection among scholarship, collaboration, and artistry, achieving such an understanding and appreciation is the foundation for all work in this class. Because the expectations are high and the assignments are numerous, your regular attendance and active participation in class discussions and projects are essential to your success. Because this course is about process and pursuit of answers, our need to leave topics and some ideas undeveloped should not cause you undue frustration. Once you have mastered how to find reliable and authentic information and how to use such information to attack creative problems, you can return to any area of interest and satisfy your curiosity. Our focus will be on developing your skills rather than on covering content. We have four specific goals for this course that we will earnestly and energetically pursue (see Course Goals and Learning Outcomes, below)! If any student needs course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if an emergency medical situation should be shared, or if special arrangements must be made in case of the building being evacuated, please make an appointment with either of us as soon as possible. COURSE DESCRIPTION: THEAT 104: Aesthetics of Theatre II, the second part of a yearlong course, introduces students to the art and practice of theatre, using a variety of analytical tools to analyze and derive meaning from any dramatic text. THEAT 104 covers the period following the Restoration to the postmodern theatre of today, exploring significant works as both written scripts and potential performances. (3 hours credit) This course is worth three credit hours. Each hour of credit requires 150 minutes of in-class work per week (three 50 minute classes per week) as well as an expected 360 minutes (6 hours) of out-of-class work per THEAT 104 - Spring 2016 p. 2 week—reading, quizzes, research, group projects, and individual work—by students. Individual strengths in reading speed, comprehension, and the ability to reach consensus in a group setting will affect the total amount of out-of-class work each student undertakes. COURSE GOALS: 1) To acquaint you with several plays that represent a variety of genres, styles, and historic and geographic contexts, to which later reference can be confidently made. 2) To practice and develop a range of intellectual, emotional, and interpersonal skills that lead to effective collaboration and creative development. 3) To practice and develop the tools and techniques of script analysis and dramaturgical research. 4) To reinforce (or correct) your basic writing skills, including acceptable usage of punctuation and grammar, and to introduce you to one proper style of scholarly citation. LEARNING OUTCOMES: By the end of this course, the successful student will be able to: ● Collaborate with others in a theatrical setting to accomplish complex tasks. ● Use appropriate vocabulary when discussing dramatic literature. ● Recognize the major periods of theatre history, and be able to identify factors that explain how and why plays from these periods rose to prominence. ● Identify the basic elements of a script, including plot, character, idea, language, music and spectacle. ● Identify the style and structure of a play and use theoretical/analytical tools for analysis to determine a play’s meaning and significance. ● Negotiate the shifting boundaries between text and performance and identify artistic choices that signify an artistic contribution to the original text. ● Clearly communicate his or her analysis of a play in both written and verbal form. ● Discuss race, gender, and worldview in relationship to understanding and creating theatrical works of art. ● Identify and improve intellectual and disciplinary skills that can enhance his or her contributions to works of theatrical art. REQUIRED TEXTS: Jacobus, Lee A. (ed). The Bedford Introduction to Drama, Seventh Edition (accommodation will be made for th those with the 6 edition). Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2009. ISBN: 978-1-4576-0632-8 Supplemental materials will be available on electronic reserve on the course Blackboard site. i>clicker: You are required to purchase an i>clicker for this class. Clickers are available at the bookstore. Students are also required to see ALL spring semester plays in the University Theatre and Strother Studio Theatre. Students are also highly encouraged to see all of the Cave shows, Reflex performances, and senior capstone projects. COURSE REQUIREMENTS: Attendance and Participation: The Department of Theatre Arts & Dance has an official attendance policy to which this course subscribes. Regular attendance is required and you are responsible for any information THEAT 104 - Spring 2016 p. 3 discussed during class. You may miss up to THREE classes with no penalty. More than three unexcused absences will result in automatic failure of the course. Absences are excused for official university business (accompanied by an official letter from the sponsoring agency), extreme illness (accompanied by copy of your admission into a hospital) and family emergency (documented by a conversation with a significant family member via the phone). Family emergencies need to be discussed with me in a private meeting before the necessary absence. Should extended illness or other personal crises compel you to have excessive absences, please see one of us immediately (before the problem becomes a problem). Arrangements can then be made accordingly. Please note that minor illnesses that do not require your admission to a hospital are not excused, but you should "bank" your absences accordingly so that you can use them if you must. As per Ball State University policy, an incomplete will only be granted in extreme circumstances of illness or personal crises. Participation is essential in any theatre class, especially one where meanings can shift, and analysis is based on aesthetic interpretation. While this is indeed a large class, the i>clicker allows us to ask discussion questions in a meaningful way, and poll the class as a way to kick off discussion questions – you will earn participation points for each one of these questions that you answer. There will also be questions that address the major points from previous lectures and the assigned readings, and for those iClicker questions that have "correct answers," only correct answers will receive points. In addition, we expect each student to contribute to class discussions in an informed, thoughtful manner. Please note that we’re not looking for “canned” or “brilliant” thoughts – we want to know what YOU think! Theatre is about communicating meaning; meanings may clash, but that makes for some great class discussions. It’s better to contribute something; even a half-formed idea can serve as inspiration for further analysis. Also, know that our classroom is a safe space for you to “go out on a limb”—in other words, we encourage you to speak up and speak out! Classroom decorum: In order to facilitate a positive learning environment for all students, a minimum level of mutual respect and decorum will be required. Hate speech and other forms of disrespect will not be tolerated. Arrive on time, be ready for work, and do not leave until you are dismissed. Raise your hand to speak, and treat yourself, your peers, your TA's, and your instructors with respect. Any behavior that disrupts or violates this respect is grounds for immediate dismissal from the course with an automatic failure. You may use computers or handheld devices to take notes, look up facts, and participate in class discussion. You may not use computers or handheld devices to text message, check email, surf the web, Facebook, Tweet, or any non-class related activity. TA's will perform regular checks of the room, and any failure to follow this instruction will result in the loss of that device for the remainder of the class period. A second violation will result in your dismissal from the course with an automatic failure. You may not use cell phones during class for any reason. If you answer your cell phone or return a text message during class time, you will be asked to leave and counted as absent for that day. A second violation will result in your dismissal from the course with an automatic failure. Website and Email: This class, as you obviously now see by virtue of reading this syllabus, employs a web site to facilitate learning. All material posted to this site is part of the class, and everyone is expected to know this material. You are responsible for any information on Blackboard. Thus, you must do two things: (1) check the site regularly for any announcements or postings. (2) check your BSU email account regularly (at least once per day). If you choose NOT to use your BSU account, then you MUST arrange to forward all BSU messages to your account of choice. (There is a link on the student services webpage that shows you how to do this.) Making sure that your email is working is your individual responsibility. Not receiving email because your account is not forwarded is not a valid excuse for missing assignments, etc. We will try to stay on THEAT 104 - Spring 2016 p. 4 top of our communication with you, but you should not expect instantaneous responses to your questions (even though you may occasionally get them). You are expected to use proper grammar, complete sentence constructions and proper syntax in all communications. Please include your full name and the name of this class in all email correspondence. Finally, your relationship with your instructor and TAs, whether in person or electronically, should be academically professional and respectful. We will endeavor to treat you with great respect as befits your status as a future-fellow-artist-scholar-citizen, and we expect no less from you. Academic Dishonesty: Because honesty, trust and personal responsibility are the fundamental attributes of both our University and civic communities, every effort will be made to uphold these qualities in this class. Academic dishonesty threatens the foundations of an institution dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge and the creation of art. Academic dishonesty includes all forms cheating (on assignments as well as on attendance and participation), plagiarism (claiming someone else’s work as your own), violation of a fellow student’s work and collusion. Any form of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated and will result in automatic failure of the course, in addition to other disciplinary action by the University. Definitions of academic dishonesty also apply to the usage of the i>clicker – at no time may any student bring more than one i>clicker to class. If you are caught using more than one remote unit in class, you will be immediately dismissed from class, and you and the owner of the other remote will fail THEAT 104. There is zero tolerance, no exceptions, on this policy! Plagiarism: All students are expected to do their own work at all times. Plagiarism is the taking of someone else's ideas, design, choreography, art, sentences, and/or words and using them as one's own. Students will be dismissed from class and receive a failing grade for any act of plagiarism. Formal Writing Assignments: All people need to effectively communicate. Theatre, in particular, is about the creation, transmission, and apprehension of meaning. Communication includes, but is not limited to, speaking, writing, acting, drawing, and waving one's hand. While we cannot focus on all aspects of effective communication, we can focus on speaking and writing clearly and correctly in this class. THINK before you engage in either activity, and revise your written work at least once. The assignments, though short, will require careful organization, clear expository writing, and acceptable scholarly citation. Sloppy writing often results from—and is a sign of—sloppy thinking. Therefore, great care will be taken in the evaluation of all written work. Everyone must complete a critique on ONE of the productions that this class requires you to attend. (Other critiques may be written for extra credit, see below.) Specific criteria and rubrics will be handed out later in the class. Written work will be assigned a point value based on the following criteria: ● 100 - 90 points (A): A reasonable critical judgment on the production abundantly and excellently supported by a wealth of specific details. Distinctly superior organization, analysis, and language mechanics. ● 89 - 80 points (B): A reasonable critical judgment on the production adequately supported by specific details. Command of organization, analysis, and language mechanics. ● 79 - 70 points (C): A reasonable critical judgment on the production minimally but convincingly supported by specific details. Adequate command of organizational, analysis, and language skills but flawed by misspellings, sentence fragments, etc. ● 69 - 60 points (D): A fair try at a reasonable critical judgment flawed by poor organization, lack of effective or specific support materials, and/or gross errors in language skills. ● 59 - 0 points (F): A clearly superficial piece of work which displays a lack of thought, little or no effective specific support materials, and such poor organizational, analytical, and/or language skills that communication breaks down. THEAT 104 - Spring 2016 p. 5 Research assignments, Groups, and TAs: A major feature of this class is the collaborative approaches to creating theatrical art. Collaboration is an on-going, regular feature of all theatrical work. In an effort to practice collaboration skills to prepare you for participation in theatrical work in and out of the department, each student will be assigned a collaborative learning group. This group of students will be tasked with completing 5 complex and thoughtful group assignments throughout the semester. Students must learn flexibility, how to work together effectively, and how to manage their time. Each group will be assigned at least one TA who will serve as a guide. They will share best practices with the group, serve as a resource in the library and online, and assist with the business of running a class of this size. The TA is not a replacement for the professor! Collaboration cannot happen successfully at 3 AM in the morning. Groups are expected to meet regularly for short periods of time to share work they have already accomplished individually. No group should need to "pull an all-nighter" in order to complete their work for this class. All dates are listed in the course calendar, and no one--and no group--can have a reasonable excuse for staying up late all the time. If we discover that your group has regularly wasted time, failed to plan ahead, and forced group members to meet past 2 AM on a regular basis, we will subtract 30% of your points from that assignment. No one should allow this class to be the reason why students miss other classes or activities. You and your group will complete 5 research assignments that focus on the theatrical rather than the literary aspects of drama. Quizzes: Quizzes will be given both in class via i>clicker and outside of class via Blackboard. These quizzes will require a close reading of each play and the supporting materials to answer adequately, so do not skim. No make up will be given for any quiz unless a documented medical emergency exists. No quiz is unannounced, so you have little excuse for being ill prepared. In class/i>clicker quizzes will be recorded under your participation grade, and out-of-class/Blackboard quizzes will be recorded under your quiz grade (see below). Most "out-of- class" quizzes can be taken collaboratively. Final Project: Groups will complete a research-based (critical/historical) analysis/production concept on an assigned play. We will give specific instructions later. This paper is a formal research paper, and your group will be presenting your particular analysis/concept for your play's possible production. Scholarly apparatus will be expected. The final project will result in a 4 to 6 page paper with footnotes and bibliography and a presentation before class. Everyone will present their analysis/concept to the rest of the class for discussion. The class will vote for the "winning" project, and those individuals will be awarded an "A" for the project regardless of any other considerations. Exams: Two exams will be given during the semester as noted on the Class Calendar. Each exam will have both objective and qualitative questions (True/False, multiple choice, matching, essay, short answer, etc.) covering the assigned reading, the productions viewed, and material presented in class. The second exam will be comprehensive. Grading: All grading will be based on the number of points you earn. There is no curve on your final score: period. Points can be earned as follows: Extra Credit ??? Participation/i>clicker 100 Critique 100 Quizzes 100 Research Assignments 100 Exam I 100 Exam II 135 THEAT 104 - Spring 2016 p. 6 Final Project 165 Total Possible points 800 Your final grade will be determined by dividing the total number of points earned by eight. Your percentage scores will yield letter grades as follows: Grade Low End A 93 A- 90 B+ 87 B 83 B- 80 C+ 77 C 73 C- 70 D+ 67 D 63 D- 60 F 0 Grading policy: All work is due at the beginning of class on the day noted. All late work will be lowered a full letter grade. Incompletes are given only in the most extreme circumstances, which does not include the sudden discovery in the 14th week that you are failing this class. N.B. Please note that over 70% of your final grade is determined by your individual efforts; e.g., 535 points out of 800 = 66% of all possible points, when you add a possible 45 points of extra credit (see below), then 71% of your possible score is directly attributable to your individual efforts. If you are earning A's in your own work, you can easily absorb an occasional C or even a D earned by your group. Other Extra Credit: You may also earn extra credit if you are cast in or work in a major capacity for a University Theatre or Muncie Civic Theatre production, but only if such work is in addition to your required practicum credit. We must approve all extra credit prior to your undertaking of it. You will be asked to keep a journal of your contributions and write a final report before the end of the semester. Free "Right" Answers: Your instructors will, of course, make occasional mistakes (typos, errors in spelling, etc.). More rarely (hopefully), we may make more substantive errors. If you find an error, write it down, note the time you saw the error, and hand the paper to one of us at the end of class. We will occasionally make small errors quite on purpose. We will give certificates good for one "free right answer" to the first few people who hand in notes, or if many people catch the error, by random drawing. These certificates may be redeemed at any time in the semester. Final Note: Folks, this is a tough class, but it is one that can be fun too. We'll do our part to provide a positive learning environment, supportive advice and encouragement, and opportunities for fun. If you don't want to (or can't) work hard, collaborate, think, and learn something new, then there is little we can do for you. If you do work hard and think, if you take responsibility for your own behavior and your own learning, we believe that you will find it difficult NOT to earn a C or better. Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 Michael M. O’Hara as to this syllabus, all lectures, and any written material provided in this course (except where noted). Students are prohibited from copying and selling course materials, from selling lecture notes, and from being paid to take lecture notes without the express written permission of the professor/s teaching this course.


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