First-Year Studies in Theatre: A Contemporary Performance Lab

This is a course from a previous year. View the current courses

In Contemporary Performance Lab—a survey of contemporary theatre-building techniques and methodologies from Dada to Judson Church and beyond—we will look at examples of experimental theatre and performance art from the early part of the 20th century to now, focusing mostly on where current dance and theatre combinations find inspiration. A multidisciplinary historical survey will give us a context in which to place the work we make together in class. This course will primarily be a hands-on experience, with creative and critical writing assignments and a reading list that includes plays, criticism, and artists’ manifestos. The majority of time will be devoted to lab work, where students create their own short performance pieces. By the end of the year, students will eventually make group pieces together, utilizing theatrical and nontheatrical sources in an attempt to speak to our cultural moment. In addition to meeting twice a week, there will be opportunities to visit rehearsals and performances of professional theatre and dance in New York City. In choosing this class, you are choosing to be a Theatre Third. This means that, in addition to these classes, you are required to take Theatre Techniques, which introduces you to theatre history and technology, and attend theatre colloquiums, as well as complete 25 hours of technical work each semester.