Drama studies courses and programs | Mount Allison

Courses

A full list of courses in drama studies and screen studies can be found in the Academic Calendar.

A list of courses currently being offered can be found in the course timetables.

All students are strongly encouraged to review their course choices each year with the program advisor, Dr. Sarah Fanning (drama@mta.ca).  


Programs

Major in drama studies

Students wishing to pursue a major in drama begin their studies with Drama 1701: Introduction to Drama.

This is followed up with courses at the 2000 level in acting (Drama 2151) and production (Drama 2161), and at the 3000 level in directing (Drama 3151) and design (Drama 3161).

A course in dramatic theory (Drama 3001) encourages students to reflect on their practice and on the nature and possibilities of the medium.

Students finish their drama studies by completing one or two independent projects in areas of special interest. DRAM 4011: Advanced Theatrical Interpretation allows students to work with a mentor from the faculty or staff to design and execute a major theatrical project related to the Motyer-Fancy Theatre season in writing, design, directing, management, or acting. Complementing this is the DRAM 4951: Independent Study option where a student can work with a faculty advisor in tackling a subject not covered in any of our regular academic courses.

Finally, a special topics course, Drama x991, is offered when resources permit, for students to approach a topic identified for special study (typically a writer or writers, a movement, a practitioner or practitioners, theoretical issues, or political issues, for example).

Minor in drama studies

For the minor, students complete several of the "core" courses above: Drama 1701, the 2000-level and 3000-level acting and directing and production courses (Drama 2151, 2161, 3151, 3161), and the theory course (3001), plus six credits from among the courses in dramatic literature offered by other departments, or from the Drama 4000 series.

 For more specific details about degree requirements, see the Academic Calendar.

Minor in screen studies

Screen Studies and Popular Culture is the study of film, television, and popular culture from critical and technical perspectives.

By understanding how screen media works in terms of genre, style, and mode, students can interpret the different ways in which films, shows, series, documentaries, and social media can inform, entertain, manipulate, or captivate the viewer.

Student project highlight

Students from the winter 2022 class produced a short film entitled, The Egg — A Short Story by Andy Weir.

 

For more specific details about degree requirements, see the Academic Calendar.


Student handbooks


x669 Production Practicum Log


Drama 4011 projects

As a way of deepening the drama studies curriculum and encouraging students to develop knowledge and skills in specific areas, the major and minor in drama offer DRAM 4011: Advanced Theatre Interpretation courses, which are independent studies linked to the Motyer-Fancy Theatre season.

Each winter, students in second and third propose projects for the following academic year, and the theatre season is built around creating opportunities to enable as many of these projects to go forward as possible.

In the term of the course, each student works one-on-one with a faculty or staff mentor, meeting regularly individually and as group with other 4011 students, while completing the practical and academic work associated with the project.

Examples of projects students have completed in the past include acting, directing, assistant directing, stage management, set design, lighting design, costume design, theatre photography, and playwriting.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to e-mail Dr. Fanning, the 4011 co-ordinator/director of drama at sfanning@mta.ca.

Please note: the deadline for applications for 2023–24 projects is March 13, 2023.

Course description, preparation, priority

Course description

This course involves projects in areas such as acting, directing, stage management, and design as assigned within the Motyer-Fancy Theatre season by the director of drama. Practical results are supported by written and/or visual materials as appropriate.

The purpose of Drama 4011 is to allow students majoring or minoring in drama to achieve individualized learning objectives, while advancing their experiential skills in and knowledge of a specific dimension of theatre craft under the guidance of a faculty or staff mentor.

In the winter term, students propose projects to be completed the following academic year in conjunction with the theatre season offered by the Drama Studies program.

Minimum recommended preparation

By the time of proposing their first 4011 project, students should have successfully completed at least 9 credits in DRAM courses and, by the time the project is undertaken, students should have successfully completed at least one course relevant to the area they wish to pursue in the 4011 project (e.g. if wishing to assistant direct, the student should have taken DRAM 3151; if wishing to stage manage, they should have taken at least DRAM 2161, etc.).

It is also strongly advised that students be able to demonstrate some relevant theatre experience in the area of their project. It is important to remember that the Drama 4011 projects are not designed as introductions to a production department, but rather as opportunities to enhance and develop areas of interest students have experienced in courses or practical work.

Please note that completion of preparatory courses alone does not in itself guarantee admission to Drama 4011.

Priority to drama majors/minors

Due to the limited availability of time, personnel, and facilities to accommodate individual projects, proposals will be evaluated and selected on the basis of their scholarly and artistic merit, and the academic performance and profile of the proposers.

If not all proposals can be accommodated in a particular year, preference will be given, in order, to:

  1. Drama majors:
    • a) those with fourth-year status and/or
    • b) those with a stronger academic record
  2. Drama minors:
    • a) those with fourth-year status and/or
    • b) those with a stronger academic record
  3. other students who have demonstrated interest in, and commitment to, theatre practice.
Application process

1. Students considering a 4011 project for the following year are strongly encouraged to discuss their ideas with prospective mentors and/or with the 4011 co-ordinator, early in the previous winter term (January or February).

2. Students submit a project proposal (deadline is first week of March) which clearly outlines:

a. a detailed description of specific learning outcomes written in the vocabulary of the discipline

b. a plan to develop skills or knowledge previously encountered in drama courses or practice

c. the student’s background and preparation to succeed at the stated objectives

d. a rationale for successful achievement of learning outcomes based on

  • the value of the experience to the proposer, linking learning outcomes to the specific project components
  • the feasibility of the project within the Drama Studies program
  • the student’s experience and other justifying factors

e. the preferred term

f. any other relevant information

3. The director of drama and other faculty and staff will review the proposals and consider the following criteria:

a. The clarity and significance of the learning objectives

b. The relationship of the learning objectives to the proposed project

c. The suitability and feasibility of the proposed learning objectives and project to the student’s particular abilities, experience, and aspirations

d. The academic performance and profile of the proposer

e. The scholarly and artistic merits of the project

f. The contribution of the proposed project to the overall enrichment of the Drama Studies program and the Motyer-Fancy Theatre season

g. The availability of appropriate mentorship and adequate facilities

4. Successful proposals will usually be announced by mid-March.

Students (especially those taking on a 4011 project in the fall term) are strongly encouraged to meet with their mentors at that time to begin the process of developing a clear course plan before leaving for the summer.

Student directors and designers who will collaborate on a studio production during the fall term are especially strongly encouraged to meet in the spring to take preliminary steps toward planning their artistic collaboration.

To submit a DRAM 4011 project proposal

  • Review the information on this page carefully.
  • Consult potential mentors and/or the 4011 co-ordinator for further information and advice.
  • Choose the appropriate option/topic for your DRAM 4011 project.
  • Complete the Advanced Theatrical Interpretation project proposal form.
  • Submit your proposal by Monday, March 6, 2023.
4011 project options
  • Technical areas (lighting, sound, carpentry, etc.)
  • Assistant directing or directing (depending on experience)
  • Assistant design or design (depending on experience)
    • (costumes, lighting, sets, sound etc.)
  • Stage management or assistant stage management (depending on experience)
  • Production management or technical direction
  • Other
    • Students may propose other types of creative project that will complement their university education, the Motyer-Fancy Theatre season, and the Drama Studies program
    • In addition, one-person shows, non-text-based performances or student-written plays, etc. may be considered for performance in workshop or other venues outside the regular Motyer-Fancy Theatre season

Please note that approval of more advanced projects (such as directing or design) pre-supposes students have already successfully completed at least one 4011 project or have equivalent advanced experience in the area of interest.

Directing

  • Students will propose to direct a play of not more than 40 minutes in length (minimum length: 30 minutes). Your prospective mentor must have read your play selection before the application can be considered for a 4011 project.
  • As part of the proposal, students will identify the play they want to direct and, ideally, an alternative second choice. If the plays are not well known, a copy of the script must be submitted for purposes of evaluation.
  • Students are expected to have completed DRAM 3151 and gained experience assistant directing (or stage managing) with a faculty or staff member before undertaking their project.
  • Students who have demonstrated directing potential in other ways may also be considered.
  • Non-text-based performances, including devised productions, may be considered for performance in workshop or other venues outside the regular Motyer-Fancy Theatre season on the condition that the proposer has already demonstrated significant directing potential.

Design

  • Students will contribute to the design (and its execution) in one or more design areas for a production directed in the Motyer-Fancy Theatre by a faculty or staff member.

Advanced Acting Project

These projects may, but not necessarily, be completed in association with a faculty- or staff-directed production.

Please note that DRAM 4011 proposals in the area of acting will be evaluated independently from other proposals. Students must audition in open calls for faculty and/or staff-directed productions, with no preferential status. Therefore, it is advised that students have an alternative plan in place should they not happen to get cast.

Students are very strongly encouraged to consider formulating their acting course proposal based on a variety of alternative learning projects and experiences (workshops, scene studies, etc.)