Senior Project

Guidelines for Senior Project Theatre 491 & 492 Overview The Senior Project is an opportunity for students to demonstrate what they have learned during their years as theatre majors as well as to have a focused experience in their field. The project is completed over the course of two quarters. The first quarter (Theatre 491) is the research and project preparation phase, and the second quarter (Theatre 492) is the production phase. Getting Started Before beginning the research phase in Theatre 491, the student must arrange for one of the resident theatre faculty to serve as faculty advisor.

Together, the student and advisor will concur on a suitable project. Selecting a Project Each student should select a project that represents the focus of his/her work as a theatre major. For instance, if a student has not taken a class in directing, selecting a directing project is unacceptable. Ideally, a student will have had both classes and experiences in the area they select. Someone interested in designing lights will have completed several classes in design and sought experience in this area (working as a master electrician or assistant designer on a main stage show, designing a student project or children’s show, etc. Sample Project Options The following are examples of project possibilities. There are many other examples and this is not intended to be a complete list. Please see individual guidelines for each section to assist in the selection process. Acting Perform a one-person show Perform a selection of scenes and/or monologues centered around a theme Perform a one-act play (Performances are limited to 25 minutes. The full faculty must approve any exceptions) Directing Direct a one-act play Direct the children’s show

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Direct a series of scenes centered around a theme (Performances are limited to 25 minutes. The full faculty must approve any exceptions) Playwriting Write a one-act play to be presented in a staged reading (Readings are limited to 25 minutes. The full faculty must approve any exceptions) Write a children’s show Research Write a research paper in the area of Theatre History or Dramatic Literature/Criticism Serve as dramaturg for a main stage show Design (scenery, lighting, costumes, sound or props of a significant nature)

Design for the children’s show Design for a senior project Design a main stage show (only students with extensive experience will be approved for this project) Getting the Project Approved Each student must write a proposal outlining the project he/she wishes to undertake. The faculty advisor will distribute the proposal to resident theatre faculty for approval. The full resident faculty must approve each project proposal before work is continued. Please see discipline-specific guidelines for proposal outline requirements. Budget

Performance projects needing funding will be given a small budget that students must work within. Students are not allowed to spend their own money on senior projects. The department will also pay any required royalties and arrange for the copying of posters and programs that students provide for their projects. Students must keep projects simple and work within budget demands. For instance, acting and directing projects must not require complicated technical or design support. Working within a prescribed budget is part of the project experience. The Process

The two-quarter structure of the senior project is specifically designed to emphasize the process of developing a piece of theatre, whether that project involves performing, designing, writing, directing or researching. The process is as important as the final result. Those artists who are self-disciplined and able to work independently, who are well prepared and who apply energy to every stage of a project are the artists who will have the most success in their chosen profession. Therefore, each student will be evaluated on how well he/she completes each stage of the project as well as on the quality of the final product.

A student who works day and night for two weeks before a show opens but has not rehearsed for the first seven weeks of the quarter will not have fulfilled the expectations of the senior project, regardless of the brilliance of his/her performance. During the research phase, students will arrange to meet regularly with their faculty advisor and will work together to set deadlines for each phase of research and production. The faculty advisor will develop a schedule for meeting times and due dates for required research and will keep a record of deadlines consistently and adequately met by student throughout both quarters of the project.

A student’s overall grade will suffer due to missed deadlines and/or inadequate preparation. At the start of the production phase, there will be a meeting for all involved seniors, their advisors and the technical director to coordinate the presentation of projects, poster/program and printing concerns and budgeting. In addition, each senior will be required to participate in senior interviews. Details are available in the Theatre Student Handbook. A date for senior interviews will be announced at the start of Fall Quarter. Mid-Quarter Review

To ensure students stay on track during the production phase, each project will undergo a review by the full resident faculty. Students will be informed of the review date at the beginning of their production quarter. The faculty may decide to postpone or cancel outright any project not demonstrating adequate and suitable progress during the review. Senior Project Directing Requirements The student director, in consultation with his/her faculty advisor, will select a suitable directing project which may include a one-act play, a cutting from a longer play, or a selection of scenes centered around a primary theme.

Actual playing time must be 15-25 minutes. Directing Proposal Each student must write a proposal outlining the project he/she wishes to undertake. The faculty advisor will distribute the proposal to resident theatre faculty for approval. The full resident faculty must approve each project proposal before work is continued. The directing proposal must include the following: • A clear description of the project as envisioned by the director • A proposed completion date (in consultation with faculty advisor) • Technical components and requirements for the envisioned project • Number of people involved in the project

Directing Preparation Phase (Theatre 491) The student director must schedule regular meetings with his/her faculty advisor to ensure that the project stays on track. The faculty advisor will assign deadlines for completion of various research phases. All research and analysis should be presented for final grading at the completion of Theatre 491. In preparation for the presentation of the piece, the student director must compile the following information which will be presented in a binder at the end of the preparation quarter: • Concept statement Request letter and rights-granted letter for the proposed piece as envisioned by student director • A bibliography of the playwright(s) other significant works • Applicable biographical information as it pertains to the selected piece(s) • Critical commentary for the selected piece(s) as well as production reviews and commentary • An analysis of the play being staged (or the play that the scene(s) are coming from); consider given circumstances, dialogue, dramatic action, characters, ideas, moods, tempos and tone. A prompt script for the play, with clearly marked beats • A ground plan for the piece • Technical requirements (use of lighting, costumes, set and sound elements). Please remember that technical support is LIMITED. As the director you must decide how best to utilize what is available to you. • Additional readings, assignments or activities as directed by faculty advisor Directing Production Phase (Theatre 492) For the second quarter of rehearsal and presentation: • Prepare a rehearsal schedule Schedule regular meetings with faculty advisor to ensure that the project stays on track. Faculty advisor may also request to attend selected rehearsals. • Hold open auditions to cast the project • Be prepared to present piece mid-way through the quarter (specific date to be announced at the beginning of the quarter. ); the piece will be presented to the theatre faculty; if sufficient preparation isn’t demonstrated, the student director will not be allowed to present the project at the end of the quarter. Work with faculty designer/technical director regarding the requirements of the presentation; cooperate with other seniors who will be presenting on the same evening • Acquire all props and set pieces • Stage project on scheduled presentation date for the general public. Senior Project Acting Requirements The student actor, in consultation with his/her faculty advisor, will select appropriate material that is no more than 25 minutes in playing time. Options include performing a one-person show, two person one-act, or selected scenes from one or more playwrights, linked by a relevant theme and so on.

Acting Project Proposal Each student must write a proposal outlining the project he/she wishes to undertake. The faculty advisor will distribute the proposal to resident theatre faculty for approval. The full resident faculty must approve each project proposal before work is continued. The acting proposal must include the following: • A clear description of the project as envisioned by the actor • A proposed completion date (in consultation with faculty advisor) • Technical components and requirements for the envisioned roject • Number of people involved in the project Acting Preparation Phase (Theatre 491) The student actor must schedule regular meetings with his/her faculty advisor to ensure that the project stays on track. The faculty advisor will assign deadlines for completion of various research phases. All research and analysis should be presented for final grading at the completion of Theatre 491. In preparation for the presentation of the piece the student actor must compile the following information which will be presented in a binder at the end of the preparation quarter. Concept statement (as applicable) • Request letter and rights granted letter for the proposed piece as envisioned by student actor • A bibliography of the playwright(s) other significant works as well as production reviews, etc. • Applicable biographical information as it pertains to the selected piece(s) • A thorough character analysis for all characters to be portrayed • A prompt script for the material, with beats, actions and objectives marked • A ground plan for the piece A description of necessary technical requirements (use of lighting, costumes, set and sound elements). Please remember that technical support is LIMITED. As the actor you must decide how best to utilize what is available to you. • An analysis of the play being staged (or the play that the scene(s) are coming from); consider given circumstances, dialogue, dramatic action, characters, ideas, moods, tempos and tone. • Additional readings, assignments or activities as directed by faculty advisor. Acting Production Phase (Theatre 492) For the second quarter of rehearsal and presentation: Prepare a rehearsal schedule • Schedule regular meetings with faculty advisor to ensure that the project stays on track. The faculty advisor may also request to attend selected rehearsals. • Be prepared to present piece mid-way through the quarter for the theatre faculty (specific date to be announced at the beginning of the quarter); if sufficient preparation isn’t demonstrated, the student actor will not be allowed to present the project at the end of the quarter. • Stage project on scheduled presentation date for the general public.

Senior Project Design The student designer, in consultation with his/her faculty advisor, will select a suitable design project which may include designing costumes, lighting, scenery, sound or props for the children’s production, another senior’s acting or directing project, or possibly for a main stage production. Student designers will work closely with faculty advisor to determine an appropriate design project. Design Project Proposal Each student designer must write a proposal outlining the project he/she wishes to undertake.

The faculty advisor will distribute the proposal to resident theatre faculty for approval. The full resident faculty must approve each project proposal before work is continued. The design project proposal must include the following: • A clear description of the project as envisioned by the designer including venue, performance dates and title of production • A proposed completion date (in consultation with faculty advisor) • A description of technical components and requirements for the envisioned project Design Preparation Phase (Theatre 491)

The student designer must schedule regular meetings with his/her faculty advisor to ensure that the project stays on track. The faculty advisor will assign deadlines for completion of various research phases. All research and analysis should be presented for final grading at the completion of Theatre 491. In preparation for the realization of the chosen design, the student designer must compile the following information which will be presented in a binder at the end of the preparation quarter. • A critical analysis of the script/material A brief overview of the production history of the piece • If applicable, the director’s or producer’s concept statement • A clear and concise written statement of the designer’s concept • A written description of specific techniques the designer intends to employ to make the final project reflect the ideas in the concept statement • Appropriate pre-production graphic presentations, schedules and paper work as described below • Research materials including artwork or photographs • Additional readings, assignments or activities as directed by your faculty advisor.

See below breakdown for each discipline. Scene Design • Thumbnail sketches • Preliminary ground plan sketches Lighting Design • Color rendering of at least two moments from the production • Gel samples Costume Design • Color renderings of each major costume (at least 11 inches high) Properties Design • Thumbnail sketches of all built props • Prop list Design Production Phase (Theatre 492) For the second quarter of rehearsal and presentation: • Prepare a work schedule • Schedule regular meetings with faculty advisor to ensure that the project stays on track.

Faculty advisor may also request to attend selected rehearsals. • Be prepared to present your work mid-way through the quarter for the theatre faculty (specific date to be announced at the beginning of the quarter); if sufficient preparation isn’t demonstrated, the student designer will not be allowed to present project at the end of the quarter. • Complete project on scheduled due date • Additional readings, assignments or activities as directed by your faculty advisor. See below breakdown for each discipline.

Scene Design • Ground plan • Section • Drop point perspective • Color rendering • Working plates • Shift schedule Lighting Design • Light plot • Hanging plot • Instrument schedule • Dimmer schedule • Magic sheet • Color list Costume Design • Swatches of fabric to be used • Costume Plot • Quick change schedule (if applicable) • At least one hand drawn or draped pattern Properties Design • Working drawings of all built props • Shift schedule (broken down by scenes) • Budget itemization. Senior Project Playwriting

The student playwright, in consultation with his/her faculty advisor, will write an original play and present the play in staged reading form for an audience. The project’s scope will be determined by the playwright and faculty advisor, and may be a long one-act or a number of short plays organized around a unifying theme or concept. The playwright will organize a reading of his/her work that will be no longer than 25 minutes, regardless of the final play’s length. Playwriting Project Proposal Each student playwright must write a proposal outlining the project he/she wishes to undertake.

The faculty advisor will distribute the proposal to resident theatre faculty for approval. The full resident faculty must approve each project proposal before work is continued. The playwriting proposal must include the following: • A clear description of the project as envisioned by the playwright • A proposed completion date (in consultation with faculty advisor) Playwriting Preparation Phase (Theatre 491) The student playwright must schedule regular meetings with his/her faculty advisor to ensure that the project stays on track.

The faculty advisor will assign deadlines for completion of various research phases. All research and analysis should be presented for final grading at the completion of Theatre 491. In preparation for the playwriting project, the student playwright must compile the following to be presented in a binder at the end of the quarter: • Research as designated by faculty advisor • Preparatory writing exercises (including an outline of the entire project and initial drafts of some scenes) • Complete outside readings as assigned by faculty advisor

Playwriting Production Phase (Theatre 492) The production phase of the playwriting production will include: • Developmental readings of the script with actors • Final polishing and revision of the script • Regular meetings with faculty advisor to ensure that the project stays on track. Faculty advisor may also request to attend selected rehearsals. • Rehearsal of the script in collaboration with director and actors • Staged reading performance of script, no more than 25 minutes in length Senior Project Scholarly Research

The scholarly research project would consist of the development of an original thesis and research plan, in-depth scholarly research and the writing, revision and presentation of a final academic paper of at least 20 pages. The topic of the paper, developed in consultation with the faculty advisor, may be in the area of Theatre History or Dramatic Literature/Criticism, depending on the student’s primary academic interest and strengths. Research Project Proposal Each student must write a proposal outlining the project he/she wishes to undertake.

The faculty advisor will distribute the proposal to resident theatre faculty for approval. The full resident faculty must approve each project proposal before work is continued. The research proposal must include the following: • A clear description of the research project as envisioned by the student • Brief statement of preliminary research findings providing evidence of sufficient research material availability. • Tentative reading list • A proposed completion date (in consultation with faculty advisor)

Research Preparation Phase (Theatre 491) The student researcher must schedule regular meetings with his/her faculty advisor to ensure that the project stays on track. The faculty advisor will assign deadlines for completion of various research phases. Preliminary research and analysis, as designated by the faculty advisor, should be presented for grading at the completion of Theatre 491. The student researcher is expected to compile the following information: • Original thesis statement • Compiled research and bibliography Outline and preliminary organization of research material • Rough draft of introduction and thesis statement • Additional readings, assignments or activities as directed by your faculty advisor Research Production Phase (Theatre 492) The production phase of the research project will include: • Writing research paper • Revision of research paper • Regularly schedule meetings with faculty advisor to ensure that the project stays on track. • A ten to fifteen minute oral summary of research findings presented to theatre faculty and Theatre Company students on scheduled presentation date.

Senior Project Production Dramaturgy Students can undertake dramaturgical research for a hypothetical production, or, in certain cases, for a faculty-directed CSUB production. The dramaturgical work will include detailed work on the proposed play as well as extensive research. The project will culminate in the creation of a well-organized, informative and comprehensive research binder of potential use to producers of the chosen play and would be supported with material suitable for a pre-show lobby display. Dramaturgy Project Proposal

Each student must write a proposal outlining the project he/she wishes to undertake. The faculty advisor will distribute the proposal to resident theatre faculty for approval. The full resident faculty must approve each project proposal before work is continued. The dramaturgy proposal must include the following: • A clear description of the research project as envisioned by the student • Brief statement of preliminary research findings providing evidence of sufficient research material availability. • Tentative reading list A proposed completion date (in consultation with faculty advisor) Research Phase (Theatre 491) The student dramaturg must schedule regular meetings with his/her faculty advisor to ensure that the project stays on track. The faculty advisor will assign deadlines for completion of various research phases. All research and analysis should be presented for final grading at the completion of Theatre 491. In preparation for the realization of the project, the student dramaturg must compile the following information that will be presented in a binder at the end of the preparation quarter. Detailed script analysis • Compiled research and bibliography • Outline and preliminary organization of researched material • Additional readings, assignments or activities as directed by your faculty advisor Production Phase (Theatre 492) The production phase of the dramaturgy project will include: • Compiling research material into comprehensive, well-organized binder • Scheduling regular meetings with your faculty advisor to ensure that the project stays on track. • Developing and presenting material suitable for a pre-show lobby display

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