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Thank you for choosing this semester to delve into the world of Theatre.  

Spring 2019

Drama 207

Introduction to Theatre

bree valle

Phone 805 710 2502 (cell)

Distance Education Office: Virtual


 I look forward to working with you!

Feel free to contact me with any questions.

(Please type student in the subject line.)

You can contact me at this location:



Week 1Theatre & Etiquette  January 22 - 27

Buy your tickets for Ghost Ship – limited seating

Week 2Greeks January 28 – Feb 3

PLAY 1 - Aristophanes–Lysistrata

Week 3 Censorship Feb 4 - 10

Week 4  Critique #1 Due  Feb 17 on Ghost Ship at Cuesta College

Week 5 Economics of Theatre Feb 18 – Feb 24

PLAY 2 – Shakespeare – The Tempest http://drama.eserver.org/plays/classical/aristophanes/lysistrata.txt

Week 6 Costumes Feb 25 – March 3

Week 7 Set Design March 4 – 10

Week 8Critique #2 Due March 17 on The Tempest at CalPoly

Week 9Acting March 18 – 24

PLAY 3  Sarah DeLappeThe Wolves

Week 10Directing – March 25 - 31

Week 11  - Sound Design April 1 - 7

Week 12Lighting Design – April 8 – April 14

Week 13 –– Chicano Theatre – April 15 – April 21

PLAY 4 – Luis Valdez – Los Vendidos


Week 14Street Theatre – April 22 - 28

Week 15Make up Design – April 29 – May 5

Week 16Adaptations May 6 - 12

PLAY 5 – Behind the Ides

Week 17Critique #3 Due–May 17 (short week) on Behind the Ides at Cuesta College





The Grading Scale to be used in this class is as follows:

100% - 92.5%                       A

89.4% -79.5%                      B

79.4% - 69.5%                     C

69.4% - 59.5%                     D

59.4% - 0%                           F


This course is entirely online. However, you will be required to attend 3 theatrical productions. The class website is the closest you will come to a traditional classroom. This means that you can attend class at any time during the day or night that fits your schedule. The world is filled with stages and performances that you can attend which will be part of this virtual classroom.

However, it does not mean that you can work on the assignments on your own schedule. You will be required to discipline yourself, and to let me know if you're having problems.

Is an online class for you?

Are you self-motivated, self-directed, able to follow written instructions, and have the computer and writing skills necessary? There are always inherent technical difficulties when working with computers. This particular class is completely online. There is no on-campus orientation, and all assignments are submitted, and quizzes taken online. Visit the following link and take the self-assessment survey:


It is very likely that you have enough understanding about computers to be successful in this class. If you can access your email, download attachments, use a word processing application such as Microsoft Word and you have access to a fairly new computer and the internet then you have all of the tools needed to be successful in this class. But that is just the technical part of an online class. Online classes also demand dedication in time to reading posted materials and writing independently and in discussion forums. In many ways it is more than an online class. You will be a part of a community and you need to participate and be a part of the community to be successful. The nice thing about online classes is that they can be accessed from anywhere at any time, but you have to put in the time. The minimum amount of time per week is around 6 hours for a 18 week course.

What books do you need?My goal is to ensure you spend a minimum amount of money on books.
To that end all of your reading materialswill be available FREE online.

Does your computer meet the minimum requirements and do you have regular/easy access to it? https://www.cuesta.edu/academics/documents/distance-docs/distance_ed_students/Canvas_System_MinReq.pdf

Where do you find our class?This online course is on CANVAS.
You CANNOT enter the
Introduction to Theatre course until the first day of classes January 16, 2018 at 8am.

How do you log into the class?Go to https://cuesta.instructure.com/
Sign in
You will see a Dashboard and click on our course


We all have different ways of learning. Some of us need a little help finding ways of learning. If you need additional assistance please contact me. I’m here to help in that regard. Additionally, you can contact the Cuesta College DSPS office at 805-546-3148 or you can go to their website at http://academic.cuesta.edu/acasupp/dsps/0INFO.HTM as soon as possible to make necessary arrangements for all needed accommodations.

What is the objective for this course?

This course will be an introduction to theatre and its related crafts such as costuming, lighting, and theatre architecture. This semester, we will be investigating the working practices and approaches to this art form. We will focus on what makes this peculiar art form a vibrant, and constantly transforming, means of cultural expression. Emphasis will be on components constituting an artistic entity and the ability to objectively evaluate a professional or non-professional live performance.

What student learning outcomes will be accomplished to demonstrate the course objective?


  • Analyze and evaluate the nature of theatre and its role in society. 

  • Assess the historical, artistic, social, and philosophical context in which theatre exists. 

  • Critically analyze dramatic literature and performances. 

  • Identify and examine theatrical components in production. 

  • Propose alternative solutions to theatrical production situations. 

  • Appreciate viewing theatre as an art form. 


What will you be able to do when you complete this course?


  • Utilize basic theatre terminology 

  • Critique a performance text 

  • Critique a performance 

  • Compare and contrast theatrical elements 




In a web-course, this is obviously more ephemeral than in a physical classroom.
However, there are several writing assignments and discussion board questions designed to break down the barriers between virtual and actual; in short, attendance will be based on reciprocity: the more you put into this course, the more you get back.
Because I have designed this as if we were meeting weekly, it is possible to go through the lessons on a weekly basis. This is recommended. It is also possible to work ahead, and do some of the reading ahead of time. This is to allow students to be able to keep up when they are taking the class from a remote location. But to repeat: It is strongly recommended that you go chronologically, and take time to reflect on the readings and performances you see to get more from your experience.



First and foremost, participation is largely up to you; how much time you decide to put into the work, how much reflection and attention you place on the materials. There are two measures, though, for determining your participation in the course: quizzes and discussion board questions. These will be graded on-line and will serve as an ongoing measure of your participation. These are discussed below. You are also required to see 3 Live Performances during the course, and write responses for part of your grade.
If you are not living in San Luis Obispo County you must let me know the first week of classes so we can find alternative productions for you to critique. Your first critique must be based on the Cuesta College production of Ghost Ship.  The show only plays 3 weekends and has limited seating.  Please reserve your tickets today at cpactickets.cuesta.edu. Your second critique must be based on the Tempest at CalPoly – San Luis Obispo. Your final critique must be based on Behind the Ides at Cuesta College.

What is graded?


Discussion Board Posts, Quizzes and Critiques
Every week you will be reading, and/or viewing the youtube/journal/vimeo links and writing your discussion post and/or quiz. All quizzes, discussion posts, and critiques will be submitted online.

Discussion board posts - 10 posts – 30 points each 30% of your grade

These MUST be at least 300 words and personal. The prompts are designed to maximize your own personal engagement with the material, and to inform your learning about theatre. It’s an art form, not rocket science, so personal response is invited. However, any responses that obviously don’t demonstrate actual engagement with the material (i.e., ‘This concept sucked, It was weird, I hate weird, weird sucks,’ or,’I liked it because it wasn’t about dogs, and I think dogs suck,’ are NOT particularly valid and you’ll lose points). Remember each post must be at least 300 words,  unless otherwise notated, and you MUST respond to at least 2 other students’ posts. Responses to other students’ posts need only be a few solid sentences.

Quizzes – 5 quizzes – 50 points each 25% of your grade

You will be taking quizzes on all five plays. These quizzes will test for a basic understanding of the text and will help you to think more deeply.
Each Quiz is worth 50 points for a total of 250 points. 25% of your grade.

Critiques – 3 critiques – 150 points each 45% of your grade


A major emphasis of this class is to attend Three (3) live performances and then to write a well-reasoned, thoughtful critique.

ALL CRITIQUES MUST BE EMAILED WITHIN A WEEK (7 DAYS) OF ATTENDANCE OF THE PERFORMANCE - the deadline for each critique is available on the syllabus or calendar.


A selfie with a cast member of the show, or a selfie with you holding your ticket so that it is readable in the theatre, must be included with each critique.

Let’s be clear that the live performances (a film/movie is not live) must be live performances that you attend within the time frame of the spring semester. For these, you will also be required to write a minimum 3 page (using a 10 point - font double spaced) critical response to each event. Responses are highly subjective and I encourage your opinion—that’s why I want you to write a response. There is no right or wrong answer, simply think about your opinions of the performance and answer all the questions in Key Questions for a Theater Critique as specifically as possible.

Here’s a rough guide on how I grade these:

If you attempt to answer the questions, but don’t really look very deeply at the production (and if there are multiple grammatical and spelling errors), you’re in the D or below range.
Answering the questions using some examples puts you in the C range.
Answering the questions using some thought and reflection, as well as organizing your critique in a thoughtful way, puts you in the B range. A ‘B’ is a good grade.

Engaging in the work, as well as reflecting on the performance using your own notions of theater and performance, as well as utilizing the information in the readings and course resources, puts you in the A range. This isn’t easy and all grades must be earned.

Each Critique is worth 150 points (3 for a total of 450 points) 45% of your grade.

Academic Dishonesty

Plagiarism is the highest academic crime, and will result in a failure of this course, and appropriate college disciplinary action. Please note that it is also very easy to detect plagiarism, especially in an on-line setting.
This syllabus is subject to change if necessary. The changes will usually be to the students’ advantage.


You are expected to respect other people's opinions even if you don't agree with them. Please respect my efforts to run a thought-provoking class by holding up your end of the bargain and participating in a positive manner. Refrain from sending "flame email" - email that rudely criticizes or ridicules someone's ideas or identity. Remember that we are in an academic environment and messages should be appropriate for that audience. Individuals who behave inappropriately or unprofessionally will be warned, if the behavior continues a code of conduct incident report will be filed. Communicating in cyberspace (the web) requires good manners as in any speaking situation.


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