GUIDELINES Jessica Lane ’15 Acting in Lady Windermere’s Fan
Table of Contents
Guidelines, Process, & Evaluation THEA 482: Senior Project 1 Calendar & Process 2 Prerequisites 3-8 Acting 3 Costume/Scenic/Properties Design & Construction 4 Scene Design 4 Lighting Design 5 Costume Design 5 Directing 6 Dramaturgy 6 Stage Management 7 Playwriting 7 Theatre Management 7 Research 8 Other Topics 8 Documentation 9 Criteria for Evaluation and Grading 9 Oral Defense 10 Senior Project Proposal 10 Additional Requirements 10 Departmental Honors in Theatre 11
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Ac Kat Zeringue ’15
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GUIDELINES, PROCESS, & EVALUATION THEA 482: SENIOR PROJECT Senior Projects are as diverse as the interests of the students pursuing the theatre major. Intended to be the culminating experience of a student’s course of study, Senior Projects should reflect the student’s actual activities and experience in the department, rather than be a license to explore uncharted territory. In order to plan the Senior Project experience, students will petition the faculty in advance of their final year of study for consideration of a proposed project. The Senior Project Proposal process: •
Requires students to consider the parameters and direction of their projects well in advance of their implementation
Allows students time to begin research and background work months before projects are implemented
Allows students time to revise proposals for projects that are not approved by faculty
Allows faculty time to consider carefully all proposals without the stress of impending graduation, which may affect their voicing of reservations about a proposal
Allows the department chair to assign directing and design responsibilities with a complete picture of which directors and student designers are available for the ensuing season
Gives each project the elevated status it deserves as an important milestone in the major program
Students enrolled in THEA 482: Senior Project benefit from the mentoring of a faculty member who supervises the endeavor and of a faculty jury, which offers feedback at the end of the process during the student’s oral defense. Senior Project offers students the opportunity to strengthen skills, enhance a developing base of knowledge, and successfully accomplish a significant individual undertaking.
Nicholas McGovern ’14 (center) Acting in Spring Awakening
CALENDAR & PROCESS Senior Project Proposals must be submitted to the department chair and faculty for consideration during the second semester, junior year, no later than one week before the March department meeting. Compliance with this deadline is essential for permission to enroll in THEA 482: Senior Project and for on-time graduation. Failure to comply with this deadline will result in postponement of permission to register for THEA 482 as well as delay graduation for one year. • Students pursuing the Senior Project must complete the Department of Theatre & Dance Library Resources Workshop prior to enrollment in THEA 482. • The department will host a Senior Project Proposal workshop in advance of the announced deadline. • Students seeking approval of senior projects are required to be available to answer any faculty questions at the department meeting in which the faculty is reviewing proposals, usually in March. • The department chair will notify the student if the proposal is approved, if the proposal needs to be resubmitted for consideration, or if the proposal is not approved. • Students will not be able to register for THEA 482 until the proposal is approved. • Once approved, the student must complete paperwork with the department chair in order to enroll in THEA 482 with the registrar. • The department chair will notify the student of the composition of the student’s senior project jury. The Felysia Havens ’14 (not pictured) student is responsible for ensuring – Costume Crafts for Lysistrata that the members of the jury are apprised of all of the necessary details pertaining to the project. • On the completion of the project, the student submits all required documentation to the faculty advisor. • The faculty advisor schedules the oral defense with the student and the jury. • The student may be invited to meet with the faculty advisor following the juried oral defense.
PREREQUISITES The following are the most common projects with recommendations regarding the qualifications/prerequisites required for each theatrical discipline. NOTE: While the University defines “successful completion” of a course as receiving a grade of “D” or better, the faculty might be concerned about a student’s potential to succeed in a project if he or she received a “D” on any prerequisite course. Acting A student wishing to complete a Senior Project by acting in a facultydirected production must demonstrate the following: • Successful completion of at least three of the six performance courses offered by the Department: THEA 218: Voice and Body Movement; THEA 321, 322: Acting; THEA 335/336 : Musical Theatre Performance or THEA 411: Acting Styles • Participation as an actor in Studio 115 productions and/or directing scenes • Participation as an actor in at least one faculty-directed production Students must propose the production(s) and role(s) that they would like to perform as their Senior Project, along with an explanation of why the role is a suitable project (see Senior Project Proposal). Once the faculty accepts the proposal, students seeking a Senior Project in acting must audition for every faculty-directed production. Unless a compelling argument otherwise exists, Senior Projects in acting must emanate from faculty-directed productions. All acting proposals for faculty-directed productions must have an alternate project proposal in case the student is not cast in the proposed role, i.e., the alternate may be in the form of a one-person play, a significant role in a Studio 115 production, a role in a different facultydirected production, and so on. In the event that a student is not cast in a faculty-directed production, alternative projects in Studio 115 are encouraged. If planning a Studio 115 production, students must adhere to all procedures and guidelines governing Studio 115, including faculty designated proposal deadlines and prerequisites.
Christopher Stull ’15 (not pictured) – Lighting Design for The Drunken City
Costume/Scenic/Properties Design & Construction A student wishing to complete a Senior Project in costume, scenic construction, or properties (design or construction) for a faculty-directed production must demonstrate the following: • Depending on the nature of the project, successful completion of either a) THEA 242: Costume Construction and THEA 291: Fabric Modification or THEA 345: Patterning, or b) THEA 131,132: Technical Production and THEA 290: Scene Painting or THEA 355: Theatre Crafts • Continued proficiency and responsibility in the costume or set construction areas since the student declared a major, as evidenced by assignments undertaken in THEA 390: Theatre Practicum Students must propose the specific production and significant costumes, set pieces, backdrops, or properties that they wish to construct/paint, along with an explanation of why the proposed project is suitable (see Senior Project Proposal). Scene Design A student wishing to complete a Senior Project in scene design for a faculty-directed production must demonstrate the following: • Successful completion of THEA 434: Scene Design and either THEA 436: Costume Design or THEA 433: Lighting Design, along with THEA 131 & 132: Technical Production. Successful completion of THEA 290: Scene Painting and THEA 355: Theatre Crafts is strongly recommended. • Acceptable service as an Assistant to the Scene Designer for a faculty-directed production • Completion of a scene design project for a student-directed production Students must propose the specific production for which they wish to design scenery, along with an explanation of why the proposed project is suitable (see Senior Project Proposal).
Kieran Shaw ’15 –Acting in Sunday in the Park with George
Lighting Design A student wishing to complete a Senior Project in lighting design for a faculty-directed production must demonstrate the following: • Successful completion of THEA 433: Stage Lighting and either THEA 434: Scene Design or THEA 436: Costume Design • Acceptable service as an assistant to the Lighting Designer for a faculty-directed production • Acceptable service as an electrician serving the Lighting Designer for a faculty-directed production or evidence of skills and experience in this area • Completion of a lighting design project for a student-directed production Students must propose the specific production for which they wish to design lighting and an explanation of why the proposed project is suitable (see Senior Project Proposal). Costume Design A student wishing to complete a Senior Project in costume design for a faculty-directed production must demonstrate the following: • Successful completion of THEA 436: Costume Design, THEA 240: Stage Makeup, THEA 242: Costume Construction, THEA 310: Fashion History, and THEA 355: Patterning or THEA 291: Fabric Modification • Acceptable service as an Assistant to the Costume Designer for a faculty-directed production • Completion of a costume design project for a student-directed production Students must propose the specific production for which they wish to design and an explanation of why the proposed project is suitable (see Senior Project Proposal).
Athena Golden ’15 (not pictured) – Hair and Makeup Design for Sunday in the Park with George
Directing A student wishing to complete a Senior Project in directing must demonstrate the following: • Successful completion of THEA 431: Directing, THEA 321: Acting, and THEA 211, 212: Dramatic Literature • Acceptable service as an Assistant to the Director on a faculty-directed production • Direction of at least one significant project in Studio 115 Students must propose the specific production that they wish to direct and submit a script (see Senior Project Proposal). If planning a Studio 115 production, students must adhere to all procedures and guidelines governing Studio 115, including proposal deadlines and prerequisites. Dramaturgy A student wishing to complete a Senior Project in dramaturgy for a faculty-directed production must demonstrate the following: • Successful completion of THEA 361, 362: Theatre History & Literature and THEA 211, 212: Dramatic Literature • Familiarity with research tools available through library and Internet sources for primary and secondary research; completion of library training • Ability to communicate effectively and knowledgeably with directors, designers, and actors as demonstrated through service as an Actor, Assistant Director, Assistant Stage Manager, Production Assistant, or Stage Manager Any student serving in the role of dramaturg should be fully prepared to begin work as early as two semesters prior to the production opening. In addition to the written documentation required of all Senior Projects, the dramaturg may be asked to develop resources for the artistic staff and actors, and a study guide for targeted audiences. Students must propose the specific production for which they wish to serve as dramaturg and an explanation of why the proposed production is suitable (see Senior Project Proposal).
Ebony Dixon ’15 (not pictured) – House Management for The Drunken City and Lady Windermere’s Fan
Stage Management A student wishing to complete a Senior Project in stage management for a faculty-directed production must demonstrate the following: • Successful completion of THEA 280: Stage Management (when the course has been offered within two years of the student’s proposal) • Acceptable service as an Assistant Stage Manager for at least one faculty-directed production • Acceptable service as a Stage Manager for at least one faculty-directed production • Service as Stage Manager for a student-directed production Students must propose the specific production they wish to stage manage and an explanation of why the proposed project is suitable (see Senior Project Proposal). Playwriting A student wishing to complete a Senior Project in playwriting must demonstrate the following: • Successful completion of THEA 211, 212: Dramatic Literature; THEA 331: Playwriting; and THEA 431: Directing • Successful presentation of staged readings of original work such as monologues, dramatic scenes, or plays in progress in Studio 115 or another venue Proposed scripts must undergo the following: • A staged reading in Studio 115 or other venue where the playwright receives feedback from the actors, audience, and faculty • At least one revision based on comments received after the staged reading • A second staged reading of the revised play in Studio 115 or other venue with additional feedback on this revision from actors, audience, and faculty • A final script developed from this process The playwright must adhere to all procedures and guidelines governing Studio 115 productions, including proposal deadlines and prerequisites. Theatre Management A student wishing to complete a Senior Project in theatre management must have demonstrated the following: • Successful completion of THEA 281: Theatre Management • Acceptable service in the management or box office for at least two semesters
Research A student wishing to complete a Senior Project in theatre research must demonstrate the following: • Successful completion of THEA 211, 212: Dramatic Literature and THEA 361, 362: Theatre History & Literature • Familiarity with research tools available through library and Internet sources for primary and secondary research; completion of library training • Competency in writing, which will be determined through a writing portfolio that must be submitted with the Senior Project Proposal Students must propose as their research topic a question of significance to the field of theatre or their own continuing education in the discipline (see Senior Project Proposal). Other Topics Additional areas of theatrical interest are available for Senior Projects including puppetry, masks, make-up design, and countless others. The faculty will determine criteria for such projects on a case-by-case basis as they are proposed. Criteria may necessitate specialized course work through individual study and practical experience in both faculty-directed and student-directed productions. Students interested in projects for which fewer guidelines exist should consult with their major advisors as early as possible to determine the appropriate coursework and experience that might be required. Students wishing to pursue a Senior Project in design or technology that focuses on a theoretical title may propose the project without fulfilling all of the design prerequisites for a faculty-directed production. The faculty will evaluate the proposal and the student must demonstrate that there is coursework and practica that support the project’s feasibility. Any student proposing a project that corresponds with a specific facultydirected production must have successfully completed a full production process (including production meetings, work calls, and technical rehearsals) in order to build a strong case for the proposal. Students who have not had these requisite production experiences cannot fully understand the complexity of the production process and will be unprepared to assume the significant responsibilities associated with these projects. Jamie Wilson ’14 (not pictured) – Stage Management for Always...Patsy Cline
DOCUMENTATION The scope and content of Senior Projects may vary. Every Senior Project requires the development of a written record that includes, at the very minimum, the following components: • Research, including an exploration of the historical, critical, theoretical, and theatrical nature of the project’s subject in order to create and develop a more fully realized product • Journal, including a daily response to the ongoing nature of the project, examining the project’s progress, obstacles encountered, solutions proposed, and personal reactions to these events • Visual documents for those projects that require them, including renderings, working drawings, models, lighting plots, etc. Inclusion of visuals will be determined at the onset of the project • Evaluation, including a critical and realistic assessment of both the process and the final result, including an examination of what worked, what could have been changed, what was learned, how theory was translated into practice, and a self-assessment The nature of the project will determine what specific documentation is appropriate for the project. Additional documents may be added as deemed necessary based on the project itself. The project‘s faculty advisor will make this determination, providing guidance and criteria for any additional documents required. Unless otherwise agreed upon, Senior Project documentation is due to the faculty advisor no later than 48 hours after the final performance (for performance and production projects) or the Friday before the last week of classes (for all other projects). The faculty advisor will schedule the jury soon thereafter.
Reid Moffatt ’15 – Sound Design for Sunday in the Park with George
CRITERIA FOR EVALUATION AND GRADING All Senior Projects will be evaluated based on the following criteria with point values for each category assigned by the project advisor: 1. Excellence of the finished product 2. Process of the project as demonstrated by the student’s: • research documents • journal • visual documents • self-evaluation • communication skills • collaboration skills • adherence to schedules/deadlines • additional written documentation 3. Oral defense, during which the student will appear before the project advisor and the senior project jury. 4. Final evaluation meeting with project advisor, if requested by the advisor, following the defense As the capstone experience in the major, the Senior Project is intended to be an opportunity for students to engage fully in the processes of theatre that have been central to the academic journey. Ultimately, the project advisor will look for evidence that the student is conversant in the vocabulary and practice of theatre as it relates specifically to the student’s specialty. A successful project is one that demonstrates fully its development and results so that the student understands the process and can engage in its practice with confidence. ORAL DEFENSE Upon the completion of the Senior Project, the project advisor will schedule an oral defense to include the student and members of the faculty who are serving on the jury, as appointed by the department chair. This is an opportunity for the student to speak about the strength of the project, answer questions, and receive critical feedback on the project. The oral defense is a critical component of the Senior Project; students must successfully complete the defense as a prerequisite to passing THEA 482. The defense must be completed prior to the last day of classes. SENIOR PROJECT PROPOSAL Senior Project Proposals must include: • A clear and precise explanation of the project • An academically-grounded and concise statement of the specific reason(s) the student wishes to pursue this project, including why this project is appropriate for him/her
• An explanation of how this project qualifies as the student’s culminating experience based on his or her course of study within the department Proposals must be accompanied by a Senior Project Proposal form available on the UMW Theatre website. ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS Students proposing a Senior Project must be available to clarify their project proposals to the faculty if necessary. The faculty will determine a specific meeting time, usually the March department meeting, which all students proposing projects will be required to attend. The process of explaining proposals will give students the opportunity to hone their speaking skills, focus on issues of concern, and give faculty and students alike a vested interest in each project. Only students with proposals for whom faculty members have questions or need clarification or more information regarding the project will be asked to speak at this meeting; others may not be asked to speak. Failure to attend this meeting will result in non-approval of the student’s Senior Project Proposal. Upon approval of the project proposals, students will be assigned project advisors. Students should meet with their project advisors well in advance of beginning the project. This discussion should include expectations, deadlines, deliverables, and the establishment of meetings specific to that project that must be met in order for the student to fulfill the requirements of THEA 482. A final evaluation meeting should take place if requested by the project advisor. A student may wish to invite additional faculty to this meeting. This final meeting should verbally address the student’s assessment of the project and its documentation, the advisor’s assessment, and bring the project to a close. DEPARTMENTAL HONORS IN THEATRE Graduating seniors who have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, as well as a 3.50 or higher GPA in the major program, may indicate to the faculty that they wish to be considered for departmental honors. The faculty will award honors based on the excellence of the student’s Senior Project. Departmental honors is a distinction that is awarded to the very few students whose Senior Projects are of the highest caliber and who also meet general University honors qualifications. Students wishing to pursue honors must vouch for their eligibility and ask for consideration on the Senior Project Proposal form. The faculty will award departmental honors no later than the last day of classes of the spring semester. Students who achieve honors must agree to provide copies of their Senior Projects (or appropriate documentation of creative projects) in acceptable forms to UMW Libraries by the announced deadline.
adopted 5/12/10 revised 6/4/15
Judi Jackson â€™15 Acting in Sunday in the Park with George