Course Descriptions

Dramatic Arts Courses


Associate Professors: Guy E. Hare, Jr., Michael L. Mauldin (Director); Assistant Professor: Holly Holsinger; Term Assistant Professor: Donald McBride.; Adjunct Faculty: Lisa Bernd, Ph.D., Allan Byrne,  Michael Gatto,  Marvin McAllister, Scott Spence, . Professors Emeriti: Joseph J. Garry, Jr., Reuben Silver.

Course Descriptions

DRA 101 Production Practicum (0-6-2). This course is a laboratory experience through work on university theatre productions in performance, technical work, or business participation. It may be taken four times for credit; and may be repeated thereafter without credit. Return to top

DRA 111 Theatre Appreciation (4-0-4). This is a survey of the elements of dramatic/theatric communication.  It is intended to develop understanding and enjoyment of the theatre in all of its forms.  It includes lectures, readings, and demonstrations.Return to top

DRA 200 Introduction to Technical Theatre (4-0-4). This is a survey of the basic techniques and practices in technical theatre and production, including stage management, pre-production, the rehearsal period, technical rehearsals, load-ins, and calling the show. Building a prompt script with all detailed paperwork will be emphasized. It is a prerequisite to all other technical theatre courses. Return to top

DRA 201 Script Analysis (3-0-3). This course familiarizes the student with traditional and contemporary approaches to analyzing dramatic texts from performance, directorial, and design perspectives. Classic and contemporary texts are analyzed using traditional Aristotelian approaches, as well as Feminist, Marxist, Deconstructionist, and post-Modern frames. Emphasis is placed on creating a personalized and artistically grounded interpretation for theatrical production. Return to top

DRA 211 History of the Theatre I (3-0-3). This is a survey of dramatic and theatrical developments from their ritual beginning through the theatres of the Greek, Roman, Medieval, and Italian and Spanish Renaissances, French Neoclassic and Elizabethan periods.  It focuses on the physical theatres, production techniques, and dramatic literature and conventions.Return to top

DRA 212 History of the Theatre II (3-0-3).   A Survey of dramatic and theatrical development from Elizabethan and Jacobea, Italian and French Neoclassicism, Restoration and 18th Century Comedy.Return to top

DRA 213 History of the Theatre III (3-0-3). This course traces the rise of Realism and Naturalism, "Modern" theatre, Symbolism, Expressionism, Dada, Futurism, and Epic to the beginnings of contemporary theatre.Return to top

DRA 216 African American Theatre (3-0-3). This course concentrates on canonical historical and contemporary African American playwrights (August Wilson, Lorraine Hansberry, Amiri Baraka) and their impact on American theater and culture. . Return to top

DRA 225 Principles of Acting for Television, Film, and the Stage (4-0-4). This is the study of the actor's vocal, physical, and psychological resources, including an introduction to the mechanics of stage movement; exercises in sensory, imaginative, emotional, and pantomimic responsiveness; fundamentals of characterization; and attendance at productions.Return to top

DRA 300 Stage Management (3-0-3). This is the study of the special problems and considerations of stage management in and out of rehearsal. Special emphasis is placed on prompt-books, scheduling and coordination functions of a working stage manager as well as performance functions such as calling a show. Return to top

DRA 301 Lighting Design (3-0-3). Prerequisite: DRA 200. This is an introductory course in the basic elements of stage lighting design. Study includes principles, theories, equipment and use of lighting as applied to today's modern professional theatre. Return to top

DRA 311 Drama and Film (4-0-4). Prerequisite: DRA 111, COM 221, or permission of instructor. This is a detailed study of ten major plays which have been adapted into major films, including the study of differences in stage and film presentations with emphasis on structure, acting styles, and directing techniques. Return to top

DRA 314 Plays in Performance I (3-0-3). This course is designed to acquaint the student with the major trends in literature and the authors writing for the stage from the earliest pre-literary oral traditions in the Middle East through the Greek Golden Age, Medieval European Drama, and the Spanish Renaissance to and including 17th-Century France. A brief look at major classical Far Eastern (Sanskrit, Noh, Kabuki, and Kyogen) dramatic literature will be included. Emphasis will be placed on the conventions, structures, and themes unique and common to each of the plays considered.Return to top

DRA 315 Plays in Performance II (3-0-3). The course, consisting of lectures and guided class discussions, is designed to acquaint the student with the major trends in literature and the authors writing for the stage from the earliest pre-Elizabethan England to modern-day America. Topics  include Elizabethan, Jacobean, and Restoration England; 18th-Century England, France and Germany; 19th-Century England, France, Germany, Russia and America; French Neo-Classicism, and Romanticism to 1850. Emphasis will be placed on the conventions, structures, and themes unique and common to each of the plays considered. Return to top

DRA 316 Plays in Performance III (3-0-3). The course, consisting of lectures and guided class discussions, is designed to acquaint the student with the major trends in literature and the authors writing for the stage from the mid-19th-century Europe to modern-day America. Topics include the rise of Realism and Naturalism, Symbolism, Expressionism, Futurism, Dadaism and The Anti-Literary Movement. Playwrights  include Shaw, Wilde, Pinero, Strindberg, and Pirandello. Emphasis  is   placed on the conventions, structures, and themes unique and common to each of the plays considered.Return to top

DRA 317 Society and Minority Theatre (3-0-3). "Society & Minority Theatre" is predicated on the notion that the American melting pot has failed in its original intent: E Pluribus Unum ("Out of Many, One"). Instead, the U.S. may be described in reverse: "In One, Many"- so visible and vocal are the nation's sub-groups. Their rise to prominence has been so vigorous and occasionally so strident that it is often described as a revolution. Blacks, Gays, Women, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asians, Handicapped, Aged, et al., theatre artists have chronicled these social eruptions, and their works illuminate these historical and social developments with insight and passion. Through the playwright's lens, we can gain insight and understanding into both the arts of the theatre and significant contemporary social manifestations. Return to top

DRA 318 African American Theatre II (3-0-3). This course examines the innovative contributions of historical and contemporary African American playwrights, choreographers, and performance artists to American drama, theater, and performance.  . .Return to top

DRA 319 Nonwestern Culture: Theatre of the East (3-0-3). This is a survey of non-Western theatre forms, exploring the classic theatre of India, Japan, China, and Indonesia. The course  includes lectures on and films of Kabuki, Chinese Opera and other Asian productions as well as hands-on experience with Indian, Indonesian, Japanese and Chinese puppets. Return to top

DRA 321 Contemporary Drama (4-0-4). Prerequisite: DRA 111 or permission of instructor. This is a survey of dramatic literature post- World War II to the present with emphasis on new trends in the theatre; lectures, readings, and demonstrations; and where possible, attendance at productions.Return to top

DRA 325 Intermediate Acting (4-0-4). Prerequisite: DRA 225. This is the study of and experimentation with theories of characterization and role preparation, including the study of voice and movement.Return to top

DRA 326 Voice and Movement (4-0-4). This is the study of conventional, period, and abstract stage movement in association with a study of voice improvement and standards used in various styles of theatre. Return to top

DRA 331 Principles of Directing (4-0-4). Prerequisite: DRA 225. This is the study of various conceptualizations of the director's role; fundamental consideration of play analysis, rehearsal and production procedures, and essentials of directing techniques. Return to top

DRA 332 Advanced Directing (4-0-4). Prerequisite: DRA 331. This course includes a detailed study of directing theories and techniques, applications to scenes directed in class, and in-class analysis and criticism. Return to top

DRA 351 Theatre Makeup (3-0-3). This is the study and practice in the art and science of the use of theatrical makeup for the legitimate stage, film, and television. . Return to top

DRA 352 Creative Dramatics (3-0-3). This course covers the theories and methods of developing the creative capacities through original dramatization, freeing the imagination to create plays spontaneously or from literature; it involves practice in workshop. It is a valuable course for majors in Elementary Education. Return to top

DRA 353 Children's Theatre (3-0-3). This course is the study of theory and methods of producing plays for children, scriptwriting analysis and adaptation, and rehearsal and production procedures. Return to top

DRA 354 Puppet Production (3-0-3). This course is a study of various types of puppetry, construction, and design methods, including manipulation, scripting and producing.Return to top

DRA 371 Scene Design I (4-0-4). This course is a study of research methods for theatre design, including the compilation of a reference file, the drafting techniques used to produce working drawings for scenic construction, and perspective drawing and rendering techniques used in set design. Return to top

DRA 372 Scene Design II (4-0-4). This is a study of the design of the single-set play and the design of the multiset play.Return to top

DRA 381 Theatre Organization and Management (4-0-4). Prerequisite: DRA 111. This is the study of organizational patterns and management theories and practices in educational, community, and professional theatre; including organization of personnel; publicity/promotion; fiscal operations; and familiarization with theatre unions and contracts. Return to top

DRA 391 Costume History and Design (3-0-3).This is the study of period, fashions, research, presentation, and design techniques. Return to top

DRA 425 Advanced Acting (4-0-4).Prerequisite: DRA 325. This is the study of acting styles and the performance characteristics of serious drama, comedy, melodrama, and farce; including the experimental approaches to contemporary acting theories and techniques; and emphasis on performance and audition. Return to top

DRA 451 Theatre Criticism (4-0-4).Prerequisite: DRA 111. This study involves the examination of major historical theories in the criticism and evaluation of drama and theatre; and study of contemporary approaches to criticism. Return to top

DRA 452 3-D Makeup (4-0-4).Prerequisite: DRA 351. This is a study of the modeling, casting, and application of three-dimensional material in makeup. Return to top

DRA 461 Playwriting (4-0-4).Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. This is the study of materials and forms pertinent to the creation of play scripts; methods of encoding dramatic information; and exposure to theoretical writings of playwrights.   It involves lectures, discussions, and practice in writing scenes and short plays for class analysis and criticism.Return to top

DRA 490 Professional Theatre Internship (4-16 credits). Prerequisite: Senior standing or permission of instructor. Majors are assigned to an internship at a professional theatre in tech, design, performance, or administrative areas. Approval of Cleveland State University Dramatic Arts faculty and professional theatre staff required. Syllabi will be created to meet specific demands.Return to top

DRA 491 Comprehensive Exam (4-0-4). This is required of all graduating senior Drama majors, this course is a term long final preparation for the career centered on comprehensive oral examination by the faculty.Return to top

DRA 494 Studio Production Lab (1-4 credits). Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Participant will produce an original script at the Theatre Arts facility with the support of the Theatre Arts Area. Credit will be given for playwriting, directing, stage management, acting, design, and technical work. Credit hours will be assigned by instructor for each production according to the need. (It may be repeated for a maximum of 8 credit hours.)Return to top

DRA 495 Drama Seminar (4-0-4).Prerequisite: Senior standing or permission of instructor.  This is an in-depth study of selected topics in drama and theatre; it may involve either group work or individual research. Return to top

DRA 496 Independent Study (1-12 variable credits).Prerequisite: Senior standing or permission of instructor and director. This course involves the individual study and research of a topic of interest to the student. Return to top

Return to top


engaged learning

Mailing Address
Office of Undergraduate Studies
Cleveland State University
2121 Euclid Avenue, MC 107A
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
This site contains files that require the free Adobe Reader to view.