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Faculty of Arts
UNB Fredericton

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Course descriptions

Drama program core courses

Drama/English 1173: Introduction to Acting and Performance (3 ch)
This drama/English course is a half-year course in the fundamentals of acting suitable for actors of all skill levels, from beginners to experienced performers. The course is also designed to be of value to non-actors who wish to become more poised at public speaking and in presentations. Instruction will cover the basics of voice, movement, improvisation, script analysis and monologue and scene work. Students will complete a number of performance assignments individually and in groups, culminating in a final performance project. The emphasis throughout the course will be on fun, participatory and active learning designed to make students better and more confident stage performers.

Written work for the class will consist of journal assignments. In lieu of written exams, students will be graded primarily on their performance pieces. Because of the participation-centred nature of the course, attendance at all classes is mandatory and some rehearsal time will be required outside of regular class hours.

Drama/English 2173 Acting: Body and Text (3 ch)
ENGL/DRAM 2173 is a course suitable for both beginner and experienced actors that builds and expands on work done in ENGL/DRAM 1173 (although students need not have taken 1173 to take 2173). This course focuses on voice, movement and script analysis, with students learning how to make the most of their bodies and voices to communicate and tell stories on stage. Students will participate in scene work with class partners and the course will culminate in a final performance consisting of a scene study or one-act play, with rehearsal time additional to regular class hours required. Students will be evaluated based on participation in classes, rehearsals and performances and written work in the form of journals and play reviews. There is no final exam for the course.

Drama/English 2174 Technical Production and Design for the Theatre (3 ch)
An introduction to set, lighting, sound and stage management concepts and practices for the theatre. Work will focus on the process of interpreting and executing design ideas to create stage-ready set, lighting and sound elements and designs. Students will learn how to read and create technical drawings and design material, set up and operate audio-visual (lighting, sound, projection) equipment and document/communicate information regarding production and rehearsal processes. Students will also receive an introduction to set, lighting and sound design for the stage.

In addition to theoretical applications, students will assist with set, sound and lighting work and show operation for one or more productions in the Theatre UNB season. Evaluation will be based on students’ work for these productions, class participation and results on regular assignments. There is no final exam for the course. Workshop and performance time additional to regular class hours is required.

Drama/English 2175 Mainstage Production I (3 ch)
Entry into ENGL/DRAM 2175 is restricted to students who have taken or are currently registered in ENGL/DRAM 2173 or ENGL/DRAM 1173. Participants in this course will form a theatre company and produce, rehearse and perform a mainstage production for the Theatre UNB season, under the direction of the instructor. Students will research the production, contribute design ideas towards it and will in most cases also assist behind the scenes with props, costumes and/or set construction for the show in addition to acting in it. Students may also work exclusively backstage on the production as stage managers or in technical roles. Rehearsal time additional to class hours will be required on a regular basis and the production will receive four performances for the public near the end of term. Students will be evaluated based on participation in classes, rehearsals and performances and written work in the form of journals and play reviews. There is no final exam for the course.

Drama/English 3170: Advanced Drama Production* (6 ch)
This course builds on the work completed in DRAM/ENGL 1173, 2173, 2174, 2175 and entry into it is normally restricted to students who have credit for one or more of these courses, an equivalent course at another institution, or other advanced drama production experience. ENGL 3170 is a project-based course that offers students advanced instruction and practice in acting and technical theatre, along with an introduction to the fundamentals of directing for the stage. Students will participate in the staging of one or two mainstage productions for the Theatre UNB season and one smaller, self-directed, collectively created production; they will also complete two or three technical theatre projects that will enhance their skills in areas such as lighting and sound design, costume design, props rendering, carpentry and set construction and scenic painting.

This course demands the full and enthusiastic participation of all students. Time demands are heavy at times and attendance at all class sessions and rehearsals is mandatory. Students will be evaluated based on class participation and written work in the form of play reviews, journals and technical projects. There is no final exam for this course. Required textbooks will be announced on the first day of class.

Drama/English 3175 Mainstage Production II (3 ch)
Entry into ENGL/DRAM 2175 is restricted to students who have previously earned course credit for DRAMA 2170 or 2175. Participants in this course will form a theatre company and produce, rehearse and perform a mainstage production for the Theatre UNB season, under the direction of the instructor. Students will research the production, contribute design ideas towards it and will in most cases also assist behind the scenes with props, costumes and/or set construction for the show in addition to acting in it. Students may also work exclusively backstage on the production as stage managers or in technical roles. Rehearsal time additional to class hours will be required on a regular basis and the production will receive four performances for the public near the end of term. Students will be evaluated based on participation in classes, rehearsals and performances and written work in the form of journals and play reviews. There is no final exam for the course.

Drama/English 4170: Thesis Production and Independent Project* (6 ch)
Open to students completing the final year of a double major or minor in drama. In one term, students, working in groups, produce a full-scale production for Theatre UNB. In the other term, students complete an independent project designed to further their knowledge of a theatre discipline of their choice. Both halves of the course are completed under the supervision of the director of drama. Prerequisite: DRAM/ENGL 2173, 2174 and 2175 and/or DRAM/ENGL 3170 and permission of the Director of Drama.

Note: the equivalent of Drama 4170 can be taken over two different academic years in the form of two 3 cr. courses as follows:

Drama/English 4173: Thesis Production (3 ch)
Open to students completing the final year of a minor in drama. Working in groups, students produce a full-scale production for Theatre UNB, under the supervision of the director of drama. Prerequisite: DRAM/ENGL 2173, 2174 and 2175 and/or DRAM/ENGL 3170 and permission of the director of drama.

Drama/English 4174: Independent Drama Project (3 ch)
Open to students completing the final year of a minor in Drama. Under the supervision of the Director of Drama, students complete an independent project designed to further their knowledge of a theatre discipline of their choice. Prerequisite: DRAM/ENGL 2173, 2174 and 2175 and/or DRAM/ENGL 3170 and permission of the Director of Drama.

Selected English electives for the drama program

English 3877: Modern Drama (3 ch)
This course offers a survey of major developments in late nineteenth-and twentieth-century theatre. Plays will be studied with attention to their often controversial engagements with social and political issues, moral debates and theatrical conventions, as well as their connections to movements such as realism, modernism, expressionism and absurdism. Students will engage with a range of plays from a variety of perspectives.

English 2263: Shakespeare and Film (3 ch)
This course will study a handful of Shakespeare’s plays in modern film or video versions. Recent film successes such as Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet, Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V and Julie Taymor’s Titus, remind us that Shakespeare continues to be vastly appealing to a huge range of actors and audiences around the world. His work has in fact been the subject of films from the earliest days of cinema in the 1890s. We shall consider the ways in which the more visually oriented medium of film transforms writing for the theatre and how it re-creates these plays’ interpretive and performance possibilities as new expressions of contemporary art and culture. The final grade for this course will be based on two essays and a final examination.

English 3260: Shakespeare (6 ch)
After 400 years, Shakespeare’s ability to thrill audiences, inspire writers and challenge actors is undiminished and in this course we shall learn why by studying a selection of his comedies, histories and tragedies. We shall consider the current range of critical and theoretical approaches of textual interpretation as well as notable performances in the history of Shakespeare on stage and in film.

English 2195: Introduction to Creative Writing: Poetry and Drama (3 ch)
Introduction to the writing of poetry and drama, with a focus on basic technique, style and form. Combines writing exercises and lectures on the elements of writing, but also introduces the workshop method, by which students provide critiques of each other’s work and develop editorial skills. May include assigned readings.

English 3163: Creative Writing: Drama (3 ch)
This course is an advanced class in writing for the stage, designed to refine students’ skills in voice, pacing, visual description, dialogue and editing/revision. Taught in a workshop format, the course will require students regularly to submit work for discussion and constructive critique by other class members and the instructor. Students will complete a variety of exercises along with one short play (10 minutes) and one longer play (one act to full length). They will also be required to read and offer short presentations on the work of accomplished playwrights and to attend plays performed in Fredericton. The final grade will be based on a portfolio of students’ final, revised creative work for the course, their performance in class discussion and presentations and their written critiques of other students’ writing, when assigned. There is no final examination for the course.