DRAMA 201-2 — Dramatic Interpretation II
Character/Animal Masks: The challenge is to create, through the use of a given mask, the body, mind, and heart of an eccentric — often comedic — character. The change of physical identity involved breaks down inhibitions and serves not only to release the student’s imaginative capacity for transformation, but to prepare the way for equally courageous characterization without a mask. (Undergraduates only)
Point of View II: In the second year of study, the material covered in POV is structured around a production being done in the 4th year of training. For instance, A Raisin in the Sun Curriculum: The course constitutes an in-depth, semester-long exploration of the social, cultural, and political context surrounding the factors leading into and beyond the creation of A Raisin in the Sun and is meant to capture the interest surrounding the fourth-year students’ full production of the play. Sessions include a visit to the International Center of Photography’s exhibition of images related to the Civil Rights movement; readings from works by Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., Langston Hughes, et al; viewing and discussion of documentaries related to the Civil Rights movement (e.g., Free at Last: Civil Rights Heroes; Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin; four CBS Sunday Morning segments — Paul Robeson, the Montgomery to Selma march, Maya Lin’s design of the Civil Rights memorial; Harlem Renaissance: Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Nat King Cole; Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns: Inning 6 — Jackie Robinson; Nightfighters: The Story of the 332nd Fighter Group, Tuskegee Airmen; Small Steps–Big Strides: The Black Experience in Hollywood; Amos and Andy; Nine from Little Rock; Been to the Mountaintop; The Songs Are Free: Bernice Johnson Reagon with Bill Moyers; Chisholm ’72: Unbought and Unbossed); discussion with African-American actors who worked with Lloyd Richards; presentation from, and discussion with, the outreach director of the Southern Poverty Law Center; a division-wide community meeting with Congressman John Lewis; and a discussion with a CDC representative of the Tuskegee experiments. (Combined studies)
Rehearsal Projects II: Rehearsal projects are laboratory exercises for developing the actors’ process and a yardstick for measuring their ability to apply and integrate what they’ve learned in their classes. These projects also challenge the students to practice putting all that work on themselves into something larger than themselves: the creation together of the world of the play and bringing other peoples’ stories to life. (Combined studies)
Traditionally, the first project of the Second Year has been a project that the whole group participates in, with an emphasis on asking the students to characterize and find truth in extended transformations.
Scene Study II: The discovery and development of imaginative and technical skills which, together with the skills acquired in the first year, will enable the student to discern the inner world of a play and to learn to transform into a living character within it. (Combined studies)
Seminar in Masks Work: The challenge is to create, through the use of a given mask, the body, mind and heart of an eccentric — often comedic — character. The change of physical identity involved breaks down inhibitions and serves not only to release the student’s imaginative capacity for transformation, but to prepare the way for equally courageous characterization without a mask. This class meets once a week as a whole group to explore the power of transformation in utilizing the wide variety of character and animal masks. (Combined studies)
Seminar in Physical Comedy: A workshop designed to help students overcome the anxiety that comes from a sense of obligation to be funny and to develop a comedic point of view. Improvisation in a variety of styles is developed with the class as an audience. Emphasis is on the need to approach comedic material with the same process and commitment appropriate to any other acting challenge. (Combined studies)