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Summer 2020

Welcome to DRA 207 Introduction to Theatre

bree valle

Phone 805 710 2502 (cell)

Email Address:bvalle@cuesta.edu


Distance Education

Office: Virtual




I look forward to working with you!

Feel free to contact me with any questions.

(Please typeSTUDENTin the subject line.)

You can contact me at this location:


remember to type STUDENTin the subject line


Isan 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.

What books do you need?

My goal is to ensure you spend NO money on textbooks

To that end all of your reading materials except will be available FREEonline or at your local public library.  

The only expense will be attending two play productions.



Does your computer meet the minimum requirements, and do you have regular/easy access to it?



Where do you find our class?

This online course is on CANVAS.  

You CANNOT enter the Introduction to Theatrecourse until the first day of classes JUNE 11, 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

Instructor Contact Expectations: 

The best and fastest way to contact me is via text (805.710.2502).  I will generally respond to your emails within 24 hours during weekdays only.  During busy times of the semester, the response time may increase to 48 hours via email.  On weekends, I will do my best to get back to you ASAP but I cannot guarantee an expeditious response. 

Course Environment:

This online course will be using a Web-based Learning Management System Canvas as the method to disseminate information. Canvas provides the framework for the course including PowerPoint presentations, student data files, the tools to receive and send course materials, and a grade book. Using the communication tools, you can communicate using e-mail, and you can share materials and ideas with other course participants via the discussion forums and groups.

Class opens / Accessing Canvas:

Prior to our classes start on May 20, 2020 you will receive an email to your my.Cuesta.edu address providing you with a reminder that class will be starting and log in procedures for Canvas, the learning management system (LMS) used to deliver course content. You can access Canvas by logging into MyCuesta, then clicking on the Resources Tab, then clicking on Canvas in the Online Learning Channel, or by typing the Canvas address (https://cuesta.instructure.com/) into your browser address bar. Do not bookmark / favorite the canvas site after your login, or you will get an error message next time you try to log in. You must access the canvas log in directly.

If you are not familiar with logging into canvas, please refer to the Canvas Quick Reference Guide.Once logged into Canvas you will be directed on where to get started. Be sure to read all the direction on the course home page.  

If you are having difficulty logging into Canvas after [May 20, 2020] and need assistance please email me or technical support at this email address: support@my.cuesta.edu

Online Learning: 

If you have never taken an online class or this is your first experience with Canvas, please be patient with yourself. Online classes are not inherently easier, although they may be much more convenient for many students. You should expect to spend at least as much time, if not more on this course as you would on a course that meets face to face. Since there is no lecture component, much of this time will be self-directed and there will be a substantial amount of reading, viewing, studying, and writing required. This course is completely online using Canvas; all coursework (discussions, assignments, quizzes) is submitted online. There are no face-to-face meetings.  Please be prepared to spend 20 -30 hours per week on coursework for this class


  • First, go to the Online Readiness Resourcesto take a "self-assessment”. There are many resources that were designed to help you understand the basis for an online class and the skills necessary for success. (If the tutorials do NOTdescribe you, then taking this class online is NOTfor you and I strongly suggest that you drop the online class and enroll in a traditional classroom section.)

Regular Effective Contact policy:

Regular and Effective Instructor Contact will be met through weekly instructor initiated threaded discussion forums; weekly announcements to students; timely and effective feedback on student assignments; email, phone or messaging to individuals; and virtual office hours.




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.HTMas soon as possible to make necessary arrangements for all needed accommodations. 

What is the Course Description for this course?

This course focuses on the relationship of theatre to various cultures throughout history, and on the contributions of significant individual artists. This course introduces students to elements of the production process including playwriting, acting, directing, design, and criticism. Students will also survey different periods, styles and genres of theatre through play reading, discussion, viewing and critiquing recordings of live theatre. (due to Covid-19 we will not be attending any live performances .


What student learning outcomeswill be accomplished to demonstrate the course objective?


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


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


  1. Critically analyze dramatic literature and performances.


  1. Identify and examine theatrical components in production.


  1. Propose alternative solutions to theatrical production situations.


  1. Appreciate viewing theatre as an art form.


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

  1. Utilize basic theatre terminology
  2. Critique a performance text
  3. Critique a performance
  4. 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. Normally in this class you are required to see 3 Live Performancesand write responses for part of your grade. Due to the Global Pandemic you will be required to watch 3 filmed productions and write responses.


What is graded?

Discussion Board Posts, Quizzes and Critiques

Every week you will be reading, and/or viewing  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 NOTparticularly valid and you’ll lose points). Remember each post must be at least 300words and you MUST respond to at least 2 other students’ posts. Responses to other students’ posts need only be a few solidsentences. You must post your response to the discussion post before 10pm on Fridays.  You must respond to at least 2 of your classmates’ posts prior to 10pm on Sundays.



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

You will be taking quizzes on the content of the syllabus and all four  plays. These quizzes will test for a basicunderstanding of the text and will help you to think more deeply.

Each Quiz is worth 50 points for a total of 250 points.


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

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

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. 


If you have any questions, please email me.  I look forward to our theatrical journey together!









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