Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Units: 4
Hours: 4 lecture per week (48 total per quarter)
Advisory: Not open to students with credit in DRAM 1.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area I: Humanities
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • A successful student will analyze and integrate his/her own artistic standards as they relate to theatrical performance and criticism.
  • A successful student can use examples from theatrical performances to illustrate his/her own artistic standards.
  • A successful student will be able to recognize different theatrical genres and assess the style of current theatrical presentations.


Live performance in an electronic age - an overview of the status of live theatre, including its historical, cultural and spiritual roots. Focuses on the relationship of theatre to various cultures throughout history and on the contributions of significant individual artists. Introduces the elements of the production process, including play writing, acting, directing, design, and criticism. A survey of different periods, styles and genres of theatre through play reading, discussion, films and critiquing live theatre. Required attendance at live theatre performances.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. relate theatre to the various historical, cultural, ethnic and spiritual contexts from which it has sprung.
B. measure and value the role of drama in relationship to culture and society, emphasizing theatre in a multi-cultural context.
C. compare the role of theatre and its significance to the arts of sculpture and painting as they developed through history.
D. construct, analyze and integrate the student's own artistic standards as they relate to theatrical performance.
E. recognize and differentiate a variety of theatre performance spaces as their effect on the audience-actor relationship.
F. recognize and appraise the present status of live theatre as a result of the historical development of theatre forms in a variety of cultures.
G. analyze the relationship of theatre to current entertainment media: radio, television, motion pictures, etc.
H. differentiate various styles of stagecraft: setting, costuming, lighting, and their effect on the audience reaction to performance.
I. identify specific acting skills and capabilities and analyze the ability of actors to communicate emotions and ideas to an audience using a variety of skills.
J. observe and analyze current theatrical productions focusing on specific aspects of theatre production; dramatic structure, performance, and design.

Course Content

Through lectures, demonstrations, live theatre performances, panel discussions, and utilization of various electronic media, students are introduced to:
A. Fundamental components of theatre:
1. The play
2. The actor
3. The audience
4. The acting space
B. Kinds of plays:
1. Realism
2. Romanticism
3. Classicism
4. Avant Garde drama
5. Musical theatre and opera
6. Multi-cultural/multi-ethnic theatre
C. The play in production:
1. The actor
2. The director
3. The designers: setting, lighting, costume, properties, sound
4. The producer and commercial theatre
D. Historical, cultural, ethnic, social, spiritual roots of drama in all times
E. Relationship of live theatre to the electronic media: radio, television, film
F. Formulation, definition of and application of a personal and systematic set of evaluative criteria to apply to live theatre

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

A. Opportunities to attend live theatre.
B. Video playback equipment.
C. Adequate, practical performance space for demonstration of theatre activities.
D. When taught via Foothill Global Access using Etudes, ongoing access to a computer with email address, software and hardware, and internet access.

Method(s) of Evaluation

A. Weekly quizzes
B. Exams
C. Written analysis of plays seen, with expected application of concepts introduced in the classroom
D. Participation in class discussions, exercises and demonstrations
E. Papers on theatre topics related to plays read and seen
F. Final term paper

Method(s) of Instruction

A. Lecture
B. Discussion
C. Self-paced
D. Field work
E. Oral presentations
F. Electronic discussions/chat
G. Independent study
H. Field trips

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Cohen, Robert. Theatre; Brief Version. 11th ed. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2017.

When taught via Foothill Global Access, students will utilize Etudes technology for online classroom lessons, assignments, tests, forum for discussion groups, and the message center for private communication with instructor.


Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

Example of first writing assignment:

See a live theatre performance and answer the following questions (minimum of 300 words in length):

A. Indicate the name of the play you saw, the playwright's name, the director's name, the name of the theatre/theatre company who produced it, and the specific date on which you saw it. If it is a musical, be sure to list the composer and lyricist in addition to the playwright.

B. What did you observe about the actor/audience relationship in the play you attended? Try to be specific about what you observed. What did you see, hear, observe? Did anything surprise you? Did you learn anything?

C. How might this play have been less effective, more effective or different, if you had not seen it performed live (if it had been a film or video) and if it had not had a live audience?

D. Identify one metaphor or symbol in the play and explain its importance or significance to the play, as a whole. (Be sure you understand the meanings of these terms from the classroom and textbook readings, before you answer this question.)

E. How did this play ask you to willingly "suspend your disbelief?" (Be sure you understand the meaning of this expression from the classroom and textbook readings, before you answer this question.)



Theater Arts