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Theatre: Principles, Plays and Performance


Fall Semester Seminar, GenEd area 1

An overview of the principles of drama from the ancient Greeks to contemporary society. The class draws on theatre history and social context, the reading of great literature, critical analyses, and artistic exploration to culminate in the experience which is the essential element of the art itself – performance. 

In this course, students will investigate the principles and practice of theatre over 2500 years, from contemporary theatre to Ancient Greece. Three units will scaffold the course: Contemporary/Modern Theatre, The Renaissance Imagination and The Greek Experience. Students will attend performances in Washington, DC theatres that will anchor each unit. Dramatic literature and basic elements of theatre practice/performance will be investigated as a source of insight, a reflection of society, and as provocateur for change.

Through class discussions, play readings, lectures, writing assignments and exercises, as well as interaction with guest presenters, students will gain an appreciation for theatre and an ability to think receptively, aesthetically, communicatively, and creatively.

From the Professor- Caleen Sinnette Jennings

How does your University College section of this course differ from a non-University College section?

This course will be more hands-on and have projects in addition to papers. We will take field trips to theatre, write and perform pieces, act, direct and get a taste of design.

How do your Wednesday labs tie into the academic content of your course?

These will be used for matinees at professional theatres, work on group projects, rehearsals, invited guest lectures. The lab will be a place to experiment with theatre in many forms..

Meet the Professor!

Caleen Sinnette Jennings

Get to know Professor Jennings' teaching style and learn more about her goals for the class!

Learn more