MFA Theatre Education Course Descriptions

Description of TH Courses

TH 507-Creative Dramatics

Prerequisite-None
This course provides an overview of, and a foundation in, the use of Theatre/Drama in the K-12 academic curriculum. It incorporates the fundamental principles of the artform, the pedagogical techniques, and the necessary materials for utilizing drama techniques in a theatre classroom and in regular classroom instruction. Foremost, it is a course designed to introduce the student to the appropriate use of theatrical tools (movement, imagination, improvisation, acting, directing, and writing), using the Mississippi College-and-Career-Readiness Arts Learning Standards for Theatre.

TH 516-Playscript Analysis

Prerequisite-None
Playscript Analysis is the study of the theatrical script as the necessary foundation for a three- dimensional theatre experience. The course examines the techniques for deriving from the script information for a performance, which realizes as fully as possible the playwright’s expressive intention, and addresses the pedagogical application towards production. The course is geared toward persons currently teaching students, or pursuing theatre as a profession. Students will develop two lesson plans for Playscript Analysis, using the Mississippi College-and-Career-Readiness Arts Learning Standards for Theatre.

TH 517-Design & Production I

Prerequisite: None
An online course that will familiarize students with the current standards and practices in the field of Theatre Design and Production, particularly Scenery, Costume, and Lights. Students will develop lesson plans based on the Mississippi College-and-Career-Readiness Arts Learning Standards for Theatre.

TH 519-Acting & Directing I

Prerequisite: None
An online seminar exploring the theories and practices of Acting and Directing. Current theories in performing and teaching will be explored and analyzed. Attention will also be focused on preparing High School and College students for auditions at theatre festivals and conventions and preparing sample lessons based on the Mississippi College-and-Career-Readiness Arts Learning Standards for Theatre.

TH 588-Design & Production II

Prerequisite: TH 517
A seminar in a two-week residence, onsite at the MUW campus, this course is a continuation of TH 517-Design & Production I. Students will apply the skills learned in that course to real, hands-on projects in communicating design, sewing, scenery work and lighting. Sample lessons and assignments will be created using the Mississippi College-and-Career-Readiness Arts Learning Standards for Theatre.

TH 589- Acting & Directing II

Prerequisite: TH 519-Acting & Directing I
A seminar in a two-week residence, onsite at the MUW campus, this course is a continuation of TH 517-Acting & Directing I. Acting & Directing II is a course designed to take the techniques learned and lesson plans created during Acting and Directing I, and implement pedagogical practice by delivering lessons to their peers based on the Mississippi College-and-Career-Readiness Arts Learning Standards for Theatre.

TH 598-Thesis I: Production Practicum

Prerequisites: TH 517-Design & Production I, TH 519-Acting & Directing I, TH 588-Design & Production II, TH 589- Acting & Directing II
This course is the first part of a two-part capstone course that is required for the completion of the MFA program in Theatre Education. The course presupposes that the student will be significantly involved in a current or upcoming production, ideally in an educational institution or community theatre. Being significantly involved includes, but is not limited to, directing a play, being the lead actor in a play, designing the play in one field of technical theatre or acting as dramaturg for a specific play.

TH 610-Special Topics in Theatre Production

Prerequisites: TH 517-Design & Production I, TH 588-Design & Production II
This is an elective course addresses a specific topic in the field of Theatrical Design & Production. The course presupposes that the student is prominently involved in a current or upcoming theatrical production, ideally at a K-12 Educational Institution or at a Community Theatre. The student will choose one technical aspect of the show and create a workable, realized design for that area. The student will then create a presentation documenting the creative process that went into the design and execution of the project.

TH 620-Theatre Management

Prerequisite: None
Theatre Management is a course designed to provide an introduction to the economic and managerial aspects of American Theatre, especially as they apply to nonprofit professional theatre. The course aims to relate principles of business management to the theatre, to evaluate theatre management to date, and to suggestion new directions for the future. It is assumed the student has an interest and background in theatre studies. The student will create two lesson plans over potential arts management careers, using the Mississippi College-and-Career-Readiness Arts Learning Standards for Theatre and build a semester long management project/Viable Non-Profit Theatre Organization.

TH 657-Theatre History I

Prerequisite: None
This course will be an in-depth examination of theatre from the beginning of human society to the European Renaissance from a pedagogical context. Students will create period-specific lesson plans based on the Mississippi College-and-Career-Readiness Arts Learning Standards for Theatre.

TH 658-Theatre History II

Prerequisite: TH 657-Theatre History I
This course will be an in-depth examination of theatre from the English Restoration to the 20th Century from a pedagogical context. We will focus on the history of the theatre of the Western Hemisphere. The course will primarily consist of student lectures and presentations. In each era of history, student recorded lectures will focus on four theses: social and political context of the period, major plays and playwrights, critics and dramatic theory of the period, and production conventions of the period.

Students will develop two lesson plans the History of Theatre II, using the Mississippi College-and- Career-Readiness Arts Learning Standards for Theatre.

TH 659-Musical Theatre

Prerequisites: None
This course will be an in-depth examination of musical theatre from its beginnings as Italian Intermezzi, to the development of opera, and how many other genres inspired the birth of the American Musical Theatre. It will be more than just a recitation of facts and dates, but rather a study of the underlying forces that shape the art of the stage throughout history. Furthermore, we look at the various facets that make up musical theatre. The course will primarily consist of reading text, video of live theatre, group discussions, and online video meetings. Students will develop two lesson plans the History of Musical Theatre, using the Mississippi College-and-Career-Readiness Arts Learning Standards for Theatre.

TH 664-Costume History & Construction

Prerequisite: TH 517-Design & Production
The primary goal of this course is to introduce students to the history of fashion and costuming in the Western world and to teach skills in costume rendering and visual recreations. Classes will be divided into two different methods of instruction. The first part will be presentations of costume components in specific periods of history. The second part will be comprised of drawing projects and hands-on exercises in the construction of historic costume pieces. In addition, students will develop two lesson plans, using the Mississippi College-and-Career-Readiness Arts Learning Standards for Theatre.

TH 688-Design & Production III: Special Topics

Prerequisites: TH 517-Design & Production I, TH 588-Design & Production II
A seminar in a two-week residence, onsite at the MUW campus, this course is a continuation of topics covered in TH 588-Design & Production II. Students will apply lessons learned in the previous course to actual hands-on projects in scenery, lighting, sound, makeup and/or costumes. The student will design, plan and execute a realized project in one or more aspects of theatre design and production, taking into account practical considerations of time management, budget and skill level in executing the project. The student will then plan a curriculum around this project and include sample lesson plans and a presentation appropriate for a conference or seminar.

TH 689-Acting & Directing III: Special Topics

Prerequisites: TH 519-Acting & Directing I, TH 589-Acting & Directing II
A seminar in a two-week residence, onsite at the MUW campus, Acting & Directing III is a course designed to provide focused pedagogical perspective on an acting & directing topic(s). Faculty will arrive at the selected topic(s) through conversations with students. Through their studies, students develop two lesson plans on acting & directing, using the Mississippi College-and-Career-Readiness Arts Learning Standards for Theatre. One example might be teaching vocal techniques for the stage.

Th 698-Thesis II: Written Thesis & Oral Defense

Prerequisite: TH 598-Thesis I: Production Practicum
This course is the second part of a two-part capstone course that is required for the completion of the MFA program in Theatre Education. The student will prepare a written thesis based on the production that he or she was involved in related to TH 598-Thesis I. Students will be expected to defend their thesis before a faculty committee.


Description of EN Courses

EN 518-Playwrighting Workshop

Prerequisite: None
A graduate-level study of playwriting, the course will focus on the development of a portfolio of short play scripts and/or a full-length play and involve workshop discussion of student writing, along with collateral reading on the craft of playwriting and recently published plays.

EN 538-Forms in Drama

Prerequisite: None
A study of drama, focusing on the development of the form from classical antiquity to the present. Collateral readings about theater by practicing playwrights and scholars or literary theorists will also be included.

EN 546-Early European Drama

An examination of drama from the Medieval to the Early Modern period. Readings may include medieval Mystery and Morality plays and plays by William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlow, Ben Johnson, Pierre Corneille, Jean Racine, Moliere, Congreve, Behn, and others. The emphasis will be on literary scholarship and interpretation.

EN 580-Modern European Drama

Prerequisite: None An examination of European drama, focusing on the early 20th Century from Naturalism and Symbolism to experiments with abstract theater. Playwrights and directors covered may include Henrik Ibsen, Anton Chekov, Constantin Stanislavski, Maurice Maeterlinck, August Strindberg, Berthold Brecht, Antonin Artaud, Luigi Pirandello, Jerzy Grotowski, Samuel Becket, and others. The emphasis will be on literary scholarship and interpretation.

EN 581-20th Century American Drama

An examination of American drama in the 20th Century. Playwrights covered may include Susan Glaspell, Alice Gerstenberg, Eugene O'Neill, Lillian Hellman, Thornton Wilder, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Edward Albee, Neil Simon, David Mamet, Sam Shepherd, Beth Henley, Terrence McNally, Tina Howe, and others. The emphasis will be on literary scholarship and interpretation.

EN 582-Southern Drama

Prerequisite: None
This course will be used to offer literary topics that aren't currently taught in a regularly offered course. It may be taken as an independent study or as a seminar. The emphasis will be on literary scholarship and interpretation.