Fall 2021 Undergraduate Classes

DANC and DRAM courses are open to all students, whether or not you are majoring or minoring in Drama or Dance. If there are specific prerequisites, they are stated in the course descriptions. If you have questions regarding particular courses, please contact the instructors.


DANC 1400 – The Art of Dance (3cr)
Kathryn Schetlick
This course is an introduction to dance as an art form and examines the different roles of primarily Western dance forms from the birth of the proscenium arch to the emergence of TikTok. By blending keen observation, practical dance experiences, personal reflection, and critical analysis, we will investigate how dance is shaped by and affects socio-political environments. Over the course of the semester, each student will work to script a podcast episode about a dancemaker that has visited UVA during the first fifteen years of the UVA dance program (2006-2021). The script will include detailed descriptions of their artistic work, interviews, informal conversations with peers, and an analysis of the dancemaker's influences and contributions to the art form.  

DANC 2220 – Modern/Contemporary I (1cr)
Kim Brooks Mata
This course is designed as an introduction to western modern/contemporary concert dance as a technical and expressive art form. Through movement exercises, improvisation, and mini composition studies we will work to deepen embodiment and increase kinesthetic awareness through western somatic and modern/contemporary movement practices. We will focus on increasing strength and flexibility, finding our dynamic alignment, and making efficient use of our weight, momentum, within a given space. We will work to identify individual strengths and habits in order to develop individual goals and expand upon existing body knowledge. This work will be supported by a somatic approach to the study of the moving body, integrating elements from Bartenieff Fundamentals, western postmodern improvisational methods, and Release techniques. Working with efficient, dynamic alignment and energetic intention, we will work towards becoming proficient in practices drawn from western modern/contemporary concert dance while simultaneously increasing our strength, flexibility, body awareness, and expressivity.

This is not a beginning level dance class and does require some movement or dance background. We will hold a placement class on the first day of classes to determine fit for those interested in enrolling. If you do not have a dance or movement background, but are looking for a dance class, please consider Dance Improvisation, the Art of Dance or Dance for the Camera this fall.

DANC 2300 – Dance Improvisation (2cr)
Kathryn Schetlick
This course examines the praxis of western dance improvisation for beginning to intermediate students. Through movement explorations, readings, and discussions, we will become familiar with the process of spontaneous creation and the practice necessary to develop a feeling/thinking body. While we will explore various tools and approaches drawn mainly from the lineage of postmodern dance, we will trouble a reductive understanding and invite and honor all movement histories into the space. In working towards the creation of innovative movement, we will strive for nuanced embodiment, awareness, and care, in order to hone our personal kinesthetic “listening” skills in relation to others. By the end of the semester, we will begin to appreciate not only the role of improvisation in the creative, choreographic/compositional process, but also improvisation as an interactive device, a practice of ethical relationality and response-ability.

DANC 2430 – Production Laboratory: Dance (1cr)
Kim Brooks Mata
This course provides students with firsthand experience in the creative practice of choreography and performance while providing exposure to basic production skills. In addition to gaining insight into choreography and performance as modes of critical inquiry, students will also be involved in various aspects of the production and will gain an appreciation of the skills that are required to produce a dance concert. In order to enroll in this course, you need to audition for and be cast in a student, faculty or guest artist piece for our Fall Dance Concert. For information on auditions, please contact Kim Brooks Mata (kbm2n@virginia.edu) directly.

DANC 3210 – Ballet II (1cr)
Kathryn Schetlick
This course is designed to expand our capacities for movements within the idiom of ballet and to deepen our understanding of the form’s terminology and our personal physical relation to its fundamental movement concepts. Together we will explore the symbiotic relation between technical and creative development to work towards increasing our coordination, balance, mobility, musicality, and expressivity. Through sensory-rich and imaginative movement investigations, individual problem solving, and thoughtful observation we will also broaden our approach of what it means to “take” class.

DANC 3640 – Dance for the Camera (3cr)
Kim Brooks Mata
In this course, we welcome a radical view of dance and there is no need to be a trained dancer or choreographer to participate. During the semester, we will explore the relationship between the moving and/or dancing body, cinematography, and video editing. By exploring innovative ways to film dance and movement we will examine the relationship between the moving body and the moving camera. Through readings, discussions, and film viewings you will gain exposure to methodologies and practices in this emergent field as you actively apply introductory techniques to your own original screendance projects. Through individual and group projects, you will gain an understanding of the multiple elements involved in creating a screendance and begin to discover and develop your own personal style within this medium.

By the end of the semester you will have produced multiple short screendances and as a result will possess a deeper understanding of cinematography for movement, demonstrate a developing sense for editing dance/movement, and be able to describe and analyze a screendance work with more confidence.


DRAM 1010 – How Theatre Works (3cr)
Cady Garey
Investigates theatre arts and their relation to contemporary culture through the practical and experiential study of plays, production style and the role of theatre artists in creative interpretation.

DRAM 1020 – Speaking in Public (3cr)
Tovah Close, Cady Garey, Jennifer Wales
For non-majors. Acquire and practice voice and speech techniques to build oral communication skills, confidence and enjoyment in public speaking, presentation or performance.

DRAM 1220 – Art of the Creature (3cr)
Steven Warner
Art of the Creature fosters creative and critical thinking by requiring students to imagine, research, and build environments and creatures. Students will study the history and methods of creating environments and creatures in theatre, film, and other performance art forms; research and develop their own individual and group creations; and reflect orally and in writing on their work.

DRAM 2020 – Acting I (3cr)
Colleen Kelly
This course offers the study and practice of basic theories and techniques of acting through technical and creative exercises in voice, movement, and character development. Students will explore and perform monologues and scenes from contemporary dramatic literature. Course goals include:

  • Grow in self-expression through individual work and collaboration.
  • Enliven the imagination through spontaneous and specific storytelling.
  • Embrace ideas and feelings outside of your own experience.
  • Learn and apply theatre terminology and basic theatrical techniques.
  • Develop and embody technical skills in voice, movement, and acting.
  • Employ script analysis to understand a text, interpret a role, and create a believable character.
  • Learn and practice a respectful, creative theatrical process.
  • Perform in public: bravely share your work with others.
  • Engage in constructive feedback about your own work and the work of your peers.
  • Respond critically to a dramatic performance.

DRAM 2050 – Performance and/as Theory (3cr)
Katelyn Hale Wood
This course surveys a broad range of theories and methodologies pertinent to the fields of Performance Studies. Each unit addresses important concepts and frameworks that help you write about, think about, and make performance art. Lecture, close reading, application exercises, and writing assignments will strengthen your theoretical vocabularies, hone your analytical writing skills and apply various tests to your own work as scholars/artists.

DRAM 2110 – Lighting Technology (3cr)
Lee Kennedy
Studies the basic techniques for moving the lighting design from drafted plot through finished design, including equipment, dimming and control systems, and color theory. Co-requisite: DRAM 2130, Production Laboratory: Lighting

DRAM 2130 – Production Laboratory: Lighting (1cr)
Lee Kennedy
Application of lighting and sound technology in laboratory production projects. May be repeated up to four credits. Prerequisite: DRAM 2010 and 2020, or instructor permission; corequisite: DRAM 2110.

DRAM 2210 – Scenic Technology (3cr)
Steven Warner
Studies the technology and practices used in the theatre and entertainment industry. Covers set construction techniques, materials, and hardware. Students will learn the skills and techniques required for using hand and power tools.

DRAM 2230 – Production Studio: Scenery (1cr)
Steven Warner
Application of scenery technology in producing theatrical productions while maintaining and organized safe work environment.

DRAM 2231 – Production Lab: Run Crew (1cr)
Caitlin McLeod
Application of scenery and properties technology in laboratory production projects.

DRAM 2620 – Sound Design (3cr)
Michael Rasbury
For sample syllabus and other information visit: https://michaelrasbury.org/uva/index.html
DRAM 2620 is an introductory course designed to stimulate understanding of both the aesthetic and technical aspects of sound and sound design.  Students will be introduced to the properties of sound, sound-reproducing equipment, and a series of projects designed to reveal the fundamental process of Sound Design for the Theatre, using the computer as a primary tool for creating and editing sound.  Although several class periods are reserved for lecture, most scheduled class periods are reserved for completion of the design projects.  Source material for each exercise will be provided, but students may also record sounds. Prerequisite: none.

DRAM 2630 – Production Laboratory: Sound (1cr)
Michael Rasbury
For sample syllabus and other information visit: https://michaelrasbury.org/uva/index.html
DRAM 2630 is a lab course in which students apply sound design principles, methods, and information in correlation with the current Drama sound design courses and activity. May be repeated up to four credits.  Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

DRAM 2830 – Production Lab: Digital Media (1-3cr)
Mona Kasra
DRAM 2830 is a hands-on, experiential course in which students apply digital media design principles, methods, and techniques in correlation with the current Drama production schedule. Students learn the application of media technology to actual theatrical production projects. May be repeated up to four credits. DRAM 2830 requires participation as Video/Media Operator or Assistant for a main stage production.

DRAM 2840 – Design Studio Lab (1-3cr)
Mona Kasra
This is a hands-on course in which students work closely with the instructor to research and develop creative design solutions for performing arts and theatrical productions. It provides students a working forum to collaboratively and independently experiment with and apply principles, methods, and elements of design and design process to specific projects. May be repeated up to four credits.

DRAM 3410 – Acting II (3cr)
Dave Dalton
Exercises and scene work emphasizing the development of the actor’s vocal and physical resources as a means of creating and communicating character, emotion, and relationships. Prerequisite: DRAM 2020 and instructor permission

DRAM 3651 – Directing I (3cr)
Dave Dalton
Encourages the development of the director’s analytical and rehearsal skills in translating text, actors, and space into valid and effective scenes; drawn from plays in the mode of psychological realism. Prerequisite: DRAM 2020 required, and DRAM 2010 preferred; Instructor permission

DRAM 3652 – Production Management (3cr)
Caitlin McLeod
This hands-on course explores live theater management from the first idea in the producer’s office to backstage on opening night.  Students will learn real-life personnel and arts management theory through practical application of stage management techniques, production stewardship, and fundamentals of producing theater.

DRAM 3653 – Production Laboratory: Stage Management (1-3cr)
Caitlin McLeod
One credit is required; may be repeated up to four credits. Application of stage management skills to production and performance. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

DRAM 3710 – Playwriting I (3cr)
Doug Grissom
Introduces the art and craft of playwriting, focusing on short exercises and in-class writing assignments. Prerequisite: Instructor permission.

DRAM 3730 – Screenwriting (3cr)
Doug Grissom
An introduction to the art and craft of screenwriting through the writing and discussion of short scripts. Will involve study of screenplays and films, and focus on the basic elements of screenwriting, including story structure, creation of character, and formatting.

DRAM 3820 – Video Design I (3cr)
Mona Kasra
Combining creative practice and critical discourse, this hands-on course grants students an opportunity to learn and utilize the crafts of digital video design in the context of contemporary installation, projection and performance arts. Students experiment with the many ways of designing time-based media and explore the role of video storytelling in the topography of 21st-century theater and live performance.

DRAM 3825 – Media Design Studio (3cr)
Mona Kasra
This course provides a practical forum to employ and integrate a diverse array of existing and emerging media technologies into live performance and performative storytelling. Students will explore and experiment with new media-infused design approaches to enhance the narrative and to actively engage, communicate, and interact with the audience.

DRAM 4651 – Directing II (3cr)
Dave Dalton
Continues the work of DRAM 3651 with special attention to the director’s organization, scheduling, and efficient use of resources. Students direct a one-act play. Prerequisite: DRAM 3651 and instructor permission.