The Theater concentration explores the interaction of word, action, and symbol as essential ingredients in the collaborative process of making theater, and emphasizes creativity, imagination, and a personal aesthetic in the development of the whole person. The goal for our work is to stimulate dialog - dialog between teacher and student, between student and student, and dialog with the material that makes up our theater curriculum. Many of our students choose to pursue a career in professional theater upon graduation, but many do not. For all, it is hoped that the student of theater at Wheaton will find a way to practice alternative thinking and creative problem solving; that each student will gain an appreciation for theater as an essential ingredient of the local and global community and their own lives. Required course offerings include COMM 271; elective choices are 272, 273, 373, 374, 376, 473, 474, 495, and 496. The core courses are COMM 302 and 312.
Requirements for a theater minor are 20 hours in Theater courses. A theater minor would complete a 16-hour core, consisting of COMM 271, 272, 273, and 374. The student may select the additional four hours from the remaining theater courses.
200 Level Classes
COMM 271. Theater Survey. An exploration of the history of theater, nature of theater as an art, and the roles of playwright, director, designer, actor, audience, and critic. $75 fee for Chicago theater.
COMM 272. Scenography. A skills-based course in the process of stage design from dramatic concept to production, including scene design, stage lighting, and costuming. Prerequisite: COMM 271 or permission of instructor.
COMM 273. Acting I. An investigation of the fundamentals of acting technique through foundational exercise and scene work, including observation, physical awareness, stage discipline, and text analysis. Prerequisite: COMM 271.
COMM 275x. Musical Theater London. See MUCS275.
300 Level Classes
COMM 370. European Theater Studies. The course explores the European model of theater making as experienced in some of the prime theater capitals of the world: London, Paris, Berlin and Prague. The course is offered on alternate years. Prerequisite: COMM 271 or permission of instructor.
COMM 373. Theater Workout. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. One hour credit per year. Register for credit in Spring semester. (0 or 1)
COMM 374. Directing. An investigation of the stage director's art and craft: play selection, casting, mounting the play, rhythm, characterization, and actor-director relationships. Prerequisites: COMM 271 and 273. $75 fee for Chicago theater
COMM 376. Church and Theater. An investigation of the theological and aesthetic relationships of the church to the dramatic arts. Lab experiences facilitate practical application of these discoveries. Not offered 2009-10.
400 Level Classes
COMM 473. Acting II. An application of developing acting skills to a series of exercises, monologues and scenes. Prerequisites: COMM 271, 273, 374, or permission of instructor. May be repeated as Acting II: Shakespeare.
COMM 474. Theatre and Culture. Prerequisites: COMM 271 or permission of instructor. An exploration of the essential role theater has played in culture throughout history and its role as a vehicle of change in the local and global community. It questions the responsibility of the theater artist as an agent of that change. Prerequisite: COMM 271 or permission of instructor.
COMM 495. Independent Study. An investigation of current issues and developments in a specialized area of communication. Prerequisites: two appropriate Communication courses and permission of a professor. (1-4)
COMM 496. Internship. An application of course work that engages the student in a responsible role as a worker in an organization or other practical experiences. Prerequisites: 16 hours in Communication; junior or senior standing with Communication major or minor. Graded pass/fail. (2-4; may be repeated for a maximum of eight credits, but only four hours count toward the major)