Department of Dramatic Art
MCKAY COBLE, Chair
McKay Coble, Raymond E. Dooley, Roberta A. (Bobbi) Owen (Michael R. McVaugh Distinguished Professor in Dramatic Art), Kathy A. Perkins, Craig W. Turner, Adam N. Versényi (Milly Barranger Distinguished Professor).
Michael J. Rolleri.
Janet A. Chambers, David B. Navalinsky, Karen O’Brien, John Patrick, Jiayun Zhuang.
Professor of the Practice
Judith L. Adamson.
Jeffrey Blair Cornell, Julie Fishell, Gregory Kable.
David A. Adamson, Hannah Grannemann, Kimball King (Professor Emeritus of English), Mark Perry, Rachel Pollock, Kathryn Williams.
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Jade R. Bettin.
Milly S. Barranger (Alumni Distinguished Professor), Russell B. Graves, David A. Hammond, Leon Katz, Bonnie N. Raphael.
The study of dramatic art focuses upon the great dramatic texts of the classical and modern periods and introduces the student to the variety of artistic endeavors necessary to realize the text in theatrical performance. Majors concentrate on the literature and history of the theatre while investigating the processes involved in acting, directing, design, costume, and technical production.
Courses focus on the connections between theatre and society, between theatrical performance and the visual arts, and between dramatic literature and philosophy, history, and other literary forms. The study of theatre embraces a range of subjects in the humanities and fine arts, including literature, language, aesthetics, culture, and performance.
Programs of Study
The degree offered is the bachelor of arts with a major in dramatic art. Minors are offered in dramaturgy, theatrical design, and theatrical production. Students majoring in dramatic art cannot pursue a minor in dramaturgy, theatrical design, or theatrical production. The department also contributes courses to the minor in writing for the stage and screen (see the Department of Communication Studies in this bulletin).
Majoring in Dramatic Art: Bachelor of Arts
• DRAM 120 Play Analysis
• Three courses in dramatic literature/theatre history/criticism. Two courses must be chosen from DRAM 281, 282, and 283. The remaining course can be chosen from DRAM 281, 282, 283, 284, 285, 286, 287, 289, 291, 292, 297, 298, 450, 486, 487, 488 or 489.
• Two courses in acting (DRAM 150), directing (DRAM 300), and design (DRAM 465, 466, 467, 468, 477). Only one course from each area may be counted toward the major.
• One course in costume production or technical production: DRAM 191 or 192
• Production Practicum: DRAM 193 Production Practicum with PlayMakers Repertory Company (transfer credit not allowed). This course fulfills the General Education experiential education requirement.
The dramatic art major has eight required courses, with DRAM 120 Play Analysis the first course for majors. Students planning to major in dramatic art should complete DRAM 120 preferably during their first year. The major provides a broad basis for understanding and appreciating theatre as a cultural entity and as an artistic process. The program also provides opportunities for students to learn and develop basic skills in the various areas of theatre practice. All General Education requirements apply.
Because the College of Arts and Sciences allows a total of 45 credit hours (15 three-hour courses) in a student’s major to count toward graduation, as many as seven electives can be selected from the broad range of offerings in the department. Students may choose to concentrate on an area (or areas) of special interest within the major: acting, directing, voice, movement, technical production, design (scenic, costume, sound, and lighting), costume history, costume construction, dramatic literature and criticism, dramaturgy, stage management, theatre management, and playwriting.
Minoring in Dramaturgy
The minor in dramaturgy consists of four courses.
• DRAM 120 Play Analysis
• Three courses chosen from DRAM 281, 282, 283, 284, 285, 286, 287, 289, 291, 292, 297, 298, 450, 486, 487, 488, 489
Minoring in Theatrical Design
The minor in theatrical design consists of four courses.
• DRAM 120 Play Analysis
• Three courses chosen from DRAM 280, 465, 466, 467, 468, 470, 475, 477, 480, 566, 567
Minoring in Theatrical Production
The minor in theatrical production consists of four courses.
• DRAM 191 or 192 related to area of concentration
• Three courses selected from DRAM 193, 460, 465, 466, 467, 468, 473, 474, 477, 567, 650
Minoring in Writing for the Stage and Screen
The minor in writing for the stage and screen is an interdisciplinary program drawing upon the faculties and resources of the Department of Dramatic Art, Department of Communication Studies, and the Creative Writing Program of the Department of English and Comparative Literature. For additional information, please see the Department of Communication Studies in this bulletin.
Honors in Dramatic Art
In order to receive departmental honors, students must have a 3.5 grade point average at the end of the junior year, enroll in DRAM 691H (three hours credit) and 692H (three hours credit) during their senior year, and complete a special project (essay or creative endeavor) approved by the department. A student may then be designated as a candidate for undergraduate honors or highest honors based on department review of the special project or performance. For more information contact the honors program, Department of Dramatic Art, CB# 3230, Center for Dramatic Art, (919) 962-1132.
All majors and minors have a primary academic advisor in Steele Building. Students are strongly encouraged to meet regularly with their advisor and review their Tar Heel Tracker each semester. Every student whose primary major is dramatic art will also be assigned a departmental advisor, beginning in the junior year. The department’s director of undergraduate studies and undergraduate advisor work with current and prospective majors by appointment. Please contact the department at CB# 3230, (919) 962-1132. Further information on courses, undergraduate research opportunities, the honors program, careers, and graduate schools may be obtained from the department’s Web site: drama.unc.edu.
Special Opportunities in Dramatic Art
Two undergraduate students are elected each year from among the majors to serve as representatives to the faculty. They attend faculty meetings and host events that bring students and faculty together.
The Department of Dramatic Art Undergraduate Production offers many opportunities for interested students—majors and nonmajors alike—to participate in performance and production. Each year the Department of Dramatic Art supports six to eight full productions in the Elizabeth Price Kenan Theatre. Seasons may include classic plays, contemporary plays, musicals, and original works. A faculty and peer-elected board of five undergraduate students selects a season of shows submitted by faculty and student proposal under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Productions are directed by faculty and guest artists as well as by students. As part of the Department of Dramatic Art Lab! Theatre, undergraduates direct, design, act in, and produce free mainstage and second stage productions.
PlayMakers Repertory Company
Several types of student involvement with PlayMakers Repertory Company (PRC, a professional LORT/AEA theatre on campus) are possibilities. Technical assistance, running crews, internships in administration, and assistant stage management positions are open to undergraduates. Auditions are held during the year for appropriate supporting and understudy roles. PRC engages resident and guest professionals active in regional and commercial theatres as guest actors, directors, and designers. Students have opportunities to associate with and learn from these professionals throughout the year.
With more than 300 programs available in 70 countries, there are many international experiences structured to enhance the student’s undergraduate career. Major and minor credit is available as well as General Education credit. Departmental approval for theatre courses is arranged with the director of undergraduate studies and is coordinated by the Study Abroad Office.
Each spring the Department of Dramatic Art awards several monetary prizes to its undergraduate majors (and graduate students) who are continuing into the next academic year. The prizes have been endowed by generous alumni and friends, including Andy Griffith and George Grizzard. In addition, the Sam Selden Prize in Playwriting, the Wes Egan Award in Design, and the Lillian Chason Scholarship are awarded competitively each year.
Faculty and departmental advisors are available to help students define areas of interest, understand the existing knowledge base in a particular area, and develop a plan for meaningful undergraduate research. These goals can be realized through departmental independent study and honors research. See the director of undergraduate studies and the honors advisor for more information. Additional resources are available through the Office of Undergraduate Research at unc.edu/depts/our.
The Department of Dramatic Art offices, classrooms, studios, rehearsal hall, and construction shops are located in the Center for Dramatic Art. The department also operates in two theatres: The Elizabeth Price Kenan Theatre, a 280-seat flexible facility, and the Paul Green Theatre, a 499-seat thrust stage, which is the home of PlayMakers Repertory Company. Majors have opportunities to work and learn in various capacities in these performance spaces.
Graduate School and Career Opportunities
The dramatic art major is associated with a variety of career opportunities, including graduate study, public relations, communications, arts management, public service, teaching, and theatre-related careers, including literary management, stage management, acting, design, publicity, marketing, fund-raising, technical production, sound and lighting technology, box office management, costuming, electrics, and stage craft.
Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Dramatic Art, CB# 3230, Center for Dramatic Art, (919) 962-1132, firstname.lastname@example.org. Web site: drama.unc.edu.
For additional information about the application process for the minor in writing for the screen and stage, contact Dr. Dana Coen in the Department of Communications Studies.
80 First-Year Seminar: Psychology of Clothes: Motivations for Dressing Up and Dressing Down (3). The course seeks to help students find ways to articulate their own motivations for dress and then apply the ideas they have discovered to the ways in which individuality as well as group attitudes are expressed through clothing.
81 First-Year Seminar: Staging America: The American Drama (3). This seminar examines American drama from its colonial origins to the present as both a literary and commercial art form. The focus throughout will be on the forces that shaped American drama as well as drama’s ability to shed light on the national experience.
82 First-Year Seminar: All the World’s a Stage: Drama as a Mirror of Society (3). This seminar examines how theatre evolves from and reflects the society that generates it, and how understanding that society can enrich our responses to plays.
83 First-Year Seminar: Spectacle in the Theatre (3). This course examines how the theatrical designer uses scenery, costumes, and lighting to help create a production. Students will apply these techniques in creating their own design projects.
84 First-Year Seminar: The Inherent Qualities of Theatrical Space (3). This course examines what elements contribute to the theatricality of space. Through research and creative projects, students will gauge how a space informs what goes on inside it.
85 First-Year Seminar: Documentary Theatre (3). This course explores the political and social ramifications of documentary theatre in the United States. Students will investigate a local community of their choosing and create an interview-based performance.
86 First-Year Seminar: Rediscovering the Mind–Body Connection (3). This seminar will focus on developing our unique mind–body connection. By encouraging small and large changes in behavior students will learn how their body is used to create their world.
87 First-Year Seminar: Style: A Mode of Expression (3). This seminar studies the elements of design in their pure form, surveys a history of period styles and theatre, and identifies their causes.
88 First-Year Seminar: Ecology and Performance (3). This seminar will guide students through researching, developing, and producing new performance works inspired by socio-ecological issues. This task involves student-directed research and experiential learning. Students will integrate an understanding of performance techniques, “green theatre,” and notions of sustainability into an ecologically-driven work for performance.
89 First-Year Seminar: Special Topics (3). This is a special topics course. Content will vary.
115 Perspectives in Drama (3). A survey of plays from the Greeks to the present, analyzed through such elements of the dramatic text as action, character, structure, and language.
116 Perspectives in the Theatre (3). A survey of the interrelationships of acting, directing, designing, and playwriting through the study of major periods of theatrical expression and representative plays.
117 Perspectives in World Drama (3). A survey of non-Western drama and theatre with emphasis on the historical and aesthetic development of those regions.
120 Play Analysis (3). DRAM 120 is the first course in the major and the minor in dramatic art. Development of the skill to analyze plays for academic and production purposes through the intensive study of representative plays.
131 Writing for the Stage and Screen (COMM 131) (3). Prerequisite, ENGL 130. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. Required for the interdisciplinary minor in screen and stage writing. Introduction to writing screen and stage plays.
134 Theatrical Auditions (1). Permission of the instructor. Practice in the techniques necessary for successful auditions for the theatre.
135 Acting for Nonmajors (3). Introduction to basic processes and techniques of acting for the stage.
140 Voice Training I (3). Fundamental principles underlying the effective use of voice and speech in performance.
145 Acting for the Screen and Stage (3). The course focuses on developing acting techniques for use in front of the camera and the way they are differentiated from those used on stage.
150 Beginning Acting for the Major (3). Prerequisite, DRAM 120. Introduction to acting tools, emphasizing playing actions and pursuing an objective within personalized given circumstances. Performance work drawn from short scripted, improvised, and contemporary scenes.
155 Movement for the Actor (3). Introduction to physical training. Individual/group exercises explore relaxation, breath, concentration, flexibility, and imaginative response that become physical tools for acting. May include stage combat, juggling, mime, improvisation, games, and yoga.
160 Stagecraft (3). General survey of materials, equipment, and processes used in technical theatre.
164 Introduction to Stage Makeup (1). May be repeated for a maximum of three credits. Students receiving credit for DRAM 164 receive no credit for 165. Introductory course exploring principles and applications of stage makeup for stage, film, television.
165 Stage Makeup (1–3). Students cannot receive credit for both DRAM 164 and 165. A study of principles and techniques for stage, film, and television makeup, including corrective makeup, old age, 3-D, casting for prosthetic pieces, and methods for creating fantasy forms. Also applicable to film and television.
191 Technical Methods: Scenery (3). DRAM 191 or 192 required for dramatic art majors. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Introduction to equipment, procedures, and personnel in the design and execution of plans for scenery, lighting, properties, and sound for theatrical productions.
192 Technical Methods: Costume (3). DRAM 191 or 192 required for dramatic art majors. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Introduction to equipment, procedures, and personnel in the design and execution of costumes for theatrical productions.
193 Production Practicum (3). Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Required for the dramatic art major. Practicum in production with PlayMakers Repertory Company in costuming, scenery, lighting, or sound.
196 Dramatic Art Projects (1–3). Permission of the department. May be repeated for credit. Restricted to juniors and seniors majoring in dramatic art. Intensive individual work in major areas of theatrical production: design, technical, directing, acting, playwriting, management.
215 Studies in Western Drama (3). A study of the thematic and formal developments of Western drama, tracing legacies from classical Greece to the contemporary stage.
231 Playwriting I (3). Permission of the department. A practical course in writing for the stage with studio productions of selected works.
235 Acting for Nonmajors II (3). Prerequisite, DRAM 135. A further exploration of basic processes and techniques of acting for the stage.
240 Voice Training II (3). Prerequisite, DRAM 140. A continuation of DRAM 140.
245 Acting for the Camera (3). Prerequisite, DRAM 135 or 150. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. The process of acting and its relationship to the technical and artistic demands of television/film production. Problems of continuity and out-of-sequence filming. Concentration and thinking on camera.
250 Intermediate Acting for the Major (3). Prerequisite, DRAM 150. A deeper exploration of fulfilled actions prompted by an objective, with emphasis on developing techniques required by more formally structured texts such as Sophocles, Molière, Ibsen, Shaw, and Chekhov.
252 Audition Seminar (3). Permission of the instructor. Audition process in relation to the business and artistic demands of a potential acting career. Covers theatre, musical theatre, regional theatre, on-camera, graduate school auditions, and résumé building. Faculty and guest artists of PlayMakers Repertory Company participate.
255 Movement for the Actor II (3). Prerequisite, DRAM 155. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. Development of balance, flexibility, strength, focus, grace, and precision through martial art of T’ai Chi Ch’uan. Emphasis on applying T’ai Chi principles to acting. Chinese philosophical bases for T’ai Chi explored.
260 Advanced Stagecraft (3). Prerequisite, DRAM 160. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. The course provides practical applications of principles and techniques used in technical theatre. Lectures are supported by individually scheduled workshop sessions where techniques are applied to a theatrical production.
280 Period Styles for the Theatre (3). Students may not receive credit for both DRAM 280 and 480. A study of visual, cultural, and social styles through history as the forms developed, and as they relate to stylistic production for the theatre.
281 Theatre History and Literature I (3). Prerequisite, DRAM 120. Survey of theatre practice and writing from the Greeks to 1700.
282 Theatre History and Literature II (3). Prerequisite, DRAM 120. Survey of theatre practice and writing from 1700 to 1920.
283 Theatre History and Literature III (3). Prerequisite, DRAM 120. Survey of theatre practice and writing from 1930 to the present.
284 Studies in Dramatic Theory and Criticism (3). May be repeated for credit. Seminar in dramatic theory and criticism with emphasis on the modern period.
285 Modern British Drama (3). Evolution of modern British drama from 1956 through the present.
286 Modern Irish Drama (3). This course surveys Irish drama from the 1890s to the 1980s, investigating a broad range of plays in relationship to the sociopolitical and theatrical conditions of their emergence and reception.
287 African American Theatre (3). This course investigates the history and legacy of African American drama through the study of its literary texts, performance styles, and cultural history.
288 Theatre for Social Change: Latina/o Performance Traditions (3). This course assesses different models of theatre for social change as historically employed by United States Latina/o and Latina American theatre practitioners. Students will be guided through creating new works.
289 Contemporary Irish Drama (3). This course investigates Irish drama from the 1990s to the present, exploring how issues and themes of globalization, gender, race, nation, and identity, among others, translate from text to performance.
290 Special Topics in Dramatic Art (0.5–3). The study of a topic in dramaturgy, theatrical design, or theatrical production. Content and instructor will vary. May be repeated for credit.
291 Re-Playing Shakespeare in East Asia (3). This course investigates how Shakespeare is retold and relived in the Asian theatre vocabulary through examining aesthetic value, cultural and political identity, postcolonial modernity, and spectatorship in theatrical and cinematic interpretations of Shakespeare.
292 “Corner of the Sky”: The American Musical (3). This course considers the anatomy and diversity of the American musical, exploring its history and aesthetics and employing an interdisciplinary approach to examining and celebrating its shows, sounds, stars, structures, styles, and sensibilities, within the genre’s dominant contexts of Broadway, Hollywood, and Utopia.
297 African American Women in Theatre (3). This course examines the lives of African American women through theatre, heightening awareness, understanding, and appreciation of theatre as a tool for social change and eradicating stereotypes. Themes and production aesthetics will be explored in their social and historical contexts.
298 African Women in Theatre (3). This course will examine the lives and the theatrical contributions of African women through published and unpublished materials, production recordings, and interviews. Through understanding the diverse cultures of the continent, theatre is seen as entertainment and as a tool for effecting social change and healing.
300 Directing (3). Prerequisite, DRAM 120. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. Generally limited to majors. An introductory course in the principles of stage directing; analysis for concept, organization of production, and methodology of staging.
331 Playwriting II (3). Prerequisite, DRAM 231. A practical course in writing for the theatre, taught at an advanced level.
350 Advanced Acting for the Major (3). Prerequisite, DRAM 250. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. Development of the actor’s technique in verse drama with emphasis on scansion and textual analysis as guidelines for actions, characterization, and given circumstances. Scene and monologue work drawn from the works of Shakespeare.
393 Professional Theatre Laboratory (1–12). Permission of the department. Individual programs or internship in acting, directing, design, management, and playwriting under the guidance of professional practitioners in conjunction with PlayMakers Repertory Company or other professional theatre organizations.
450 Shakespeare in the Theatre (3). Prerequisite, DRAM 120. A study of the literary, stage history, and production problems of representative plays.
460 Stage Management (3). Permission of the department. A study of the basic principles and practices of modern stage management.
465 Sound Design (3). The study of general principles of sound design for the theatre. Theory and application of sound design techniques for the stage, including script analysis, staging concepts, special effects, sound plots, and technology.
466 Scene Design (3). Permission of the instructor. General principles of visual design as applied to scenery for the theatre. Instruction in standard techniques of planning and rendering scene design.
467 Costume Design I (3). Permission of the instructor. Studies and practicum in play analysis and costume design for the theatre. Instruction in techniques of planning and rendering costume design.
468 Lighting Design I (3). Permission of the instructor. General principles of lighting design as applied to the performing arts. Theory and instruction in standard techniques of lighting for the stage.
470 Survey of Costume History (3). A survey of historic costume forms from ancient Egypt to the present time.
473 Costume Construction I (1–3). Permission of the instructor. Beginning instruction in pattern making through flat pattern for theatrical costume.
474 Costume Construction II (1–3). Prerequisite, DRAM 473. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. Beginning instruction in pattern making through draping on a dress form for theatrical costume.
475 Costume History: Africa, Asia, and Arabia (3). A survey of the traditional costume forms on the African Continent, in Asia (China, Japan, India), and on the Arabian Peninsula.
477 Theatrical Design (3). General principles of scenic, costume, and lighting design for the theatre.
480 Period Styles for Production (3). Students may not receive credit for both DRAM 280 and 480. A study of the historical development of Western minor arts and the ramifications of reproducing them for the theatre.
484 Studies in Dramaturgy and Criticism (3). This seminar seeks to introduce students to the principles of arts criticism through study of the work of a variety of different critics, by distinguishing between the nature of criticism and reviewing the arts, and through the students’ own practice of critical writing.
486 Latin American Theatre (3). This course explores the historical and aesthetic development of Latin American theatre, focusing on particular factors that distinguish this theatre from the Western European tradition.
487 Chicana/o Drama (3). This course surveys Chicana/o history and culture from 1965 to the present through the examination of plays by and about Chicana/os. It also interrogates Chicana/o performance practices as political acts.
488 United States Latino/a Theatre (3). Investigation of United States Latino/a theatre texts and performance practices as a discreet genre. United States Latino/a theatre will be distinguished from the dominant culture, and diversity of forms and styles discussed.
489 Carnivals and Festivals of the African Diaspora (3). This course will examine the role of Carnival in the African Diaspora, exploring its history, its many theatrical forms and its fusion with European and indigenous American cultures. Through examining published and unpublished texts the development of the Carnival will be understood as an expression of freedom and cultural survival.
491 Issues in Arts Management (3). Arts management issues taught through analysis of case studies. Course includes management theories, organizational structures, and current issues.
493 Theatre Management (3). Practicum in theatre management procedures and business of the theatre involving box office, audience development, research, publicity, operational, and contract procedures in regard to artists, technicians, managers, and producers. Students actively engage in management areas of the PlayMakers Repertory Company and productions of the Department of Dramatic Art.
566 Advanced Scene Design (3). Prerequisite, DRAM 466. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. Advanced study of the principles and practice of designing scenery for the theatre.
567 Costume Design II (3). Prerequisite, DRAM 467. Permission of the instructor. Practicum in costume design for the theatre, focusing on the requirements of professional theatre production and alternative costume design solutions.
586 Costume Seminars I: Dyeing and Painting (1–3). Prerequisite, DRAM 192. Permission of the instructor. Taught in a four-semester rotation. May be repeated for credit for a total of six hours for undergraduates and 12 hours for graduate students. Series of topics in costume for use in design and production for the stage.
587 Costume Seminars II: Millinery and Hair (1–3). Permission of the instructor. Advanced costume production techniques with an emphasis on millinery and hair design.
588 Costume Seminars III: Masks and Armor (1–3). Permission of the instructor. Advanced costume production techniques with an emphasis on creating masks and armor.
589 Costume Seminars IV: Decorative Arts (1–3). Permission of the instructor. Advanced costume production techniques with an emphasis on decorative arts.
590 Advanced Special Topics in Dramatic Art (0.5–3). The study of a topic in dramaturgy, theatrical design, or theatrical production for advanced undergraduates and graduate students. Content and instructor will vary. May be repeated for credit.
650 Costume Production I: Couture Methods (0.5–3). Prerequisite, DRAM 192. Advanced construction techniques in theatrical costuming with an emphasis on couture methods.
667 Advanced Costume Design I (1–3). Permission of the instructor. Study of costume design for students concentrating in costume production.
691H Honors Project in Dramatic Art (3). Required preparation, 3.5 cumulative grade point average and permission of the department. The commencement of a special project (essay or creative endeavor), approved by the department, by a student who has been designated a candidate for undergraduate honors.
692H Honors Project in Dramatic Art (3). Prerequisite, DRAM 691H. Permission of the department. The completion of a special project by a student who has been designated a candidate for undergraduate honors.
697 Senior Seminar (3). Close study of the interrelationships between theory and practice in contemporary world theatre, placing developments in their cultural contexts, and exploring current theatrical trends in an international framework.