Sep 16, 2021  
College Catalog 2017-2018 
College Catalog 2017-2018 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

DRAMA 623-4 — Dramatic Techniques II

8 credits
Full Year

Dramatic Vocal Technique II: Advanced study of dramatic vocal technique through exploration of breath, tone, articulation, physiology, and sensation, which can sustain an efficient, healthy, and characterized use of voice over a long professional run of a play. A variety of techniques are used to develop the student’s vocal prowess to meet the expanded practical and aesthetic demands of classes, rehearsals, and performances. The work develops a sensitivity to rhythm and melody which allows for the expressive exploration of a variety of prose, verse, and musical styles. In this advanced work there is particular emphasis on the specificity of American diphthongs; length of sounds; balance of resonance; the use of strong and weak forms of articles, pronouns, conjunctions, prepositions, and auxiliary verbs; specific use of vowels to aid in the flow of American English; skills in analysis and effective, efficient use of Shakespeare’s verse and prose, and cultivating a process whereby an actor works in a foreign dialect. (Graduates only)

Graduate Alexander Technique II: Second-year Alexander Technique emphasizes (1) an increasing attention to discerning and changing the mental, behavioral, emotional, and psychological patterns that underlie and reinforce the physical habits; and (2) the ability to use the Alexander Technique for character transformation. The deepening exploration of oneself moves from a review of the Alexander work of first year to an enhanced and increasingly specific thought process that links verbal direction (left brain) and image generation (right brain) to the desired physical response. The application of the Alexander Technique to different movement styles from contemporary to period is explored in relation to various rehearsal projects. Actors learn to create physicalities from simple to extreme that are artistically effective yet safe and free from tensions that might cause pain or physical injury. Selected readings and some research are required. In the second semester, actors are introduced to the Energy Work developed by Judith Leibowitz, which helps them deepen their sense of being present in the moment, and to the Character Energy Work, a way of taking the Alexander process into the realm of imagination to explore and embody inner rhythms, impulses, energies, and thought processes different from their own. Evaluation and feedback occur in the moment through hands-on work and observation by the teacher and are based on the student’s understanding of the process, use of self, and application in activity. Second-year Alexander Technique is taught in sections, with one or two individual sessions per semester. (Graduates only)

Graduate Singing: This course is designed to help the actor release his/her voice and find deeper expressivity and truth through singing. To that end, we work on building a sense of physical and vocal awareness. We focus on elements of singing such as vocal placement, resonance, breath, relaxation, and posture. The actor also learns how to function and be expressive within the form of a song. To that extent, we work on the vocal, textual, and musical elements that go into a fully realized song performance. Each class includes a vocal warm-up and individual work on a song. (Graduates only)

Movement II: A rigorous drill to increase stamina and the capacity for endurance; to develop physical coordination and naturalness; to coordinate movement with breath; to attain uninhibited physical expression through connection with inner rhythms, instincts, and emotions; to explore physical character transformations. (Combined studies)

Music Studies II: This first-semester class picks up where the Music Studies I course ends, and continues with an exploration of music from Wagner to the present. In addition, there is an in-depth study of the history of songs with an emphasis on American songs: folk, theater, protest, and popular. (Combined studies)

Singing Practicum: Emphasis on basic singing techniques of breath, extending vocal range through group singing, madrigals, chorales, and duets as well as individual songs. (Combined studies)

Spectrum of Movement: A first-semester course involving study aimed at linking physical vocabulary to music, objects, culture, historical periods, gender, and theatrical styles. The learning incorporates the study of the full spectrum of movement from natural to un-natural, minimal to epic, controlled to full abandon, rustic to royal, low stakes to high stakes, etc. There will be occasional use of text. (Combined studies)