Drama

Undergraduate Diploma

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The
Curriculum

Drama, DiplomaDiploma

  •  

    • 1 credit
      JUILL 101 — Juilliard Colloquium
      1 credit Fall Faculty

      Juilliard Colloquium is a one-semester course taught by an interdisciplinary team of faculty, staff, and advanced students. The curriculum is designed to promote an awareness of the skills and tools necessary for building a fulfilling career, not only as performing artists, but also as global citizens and advocates for the arts. This course introduces students to the values and diversity of the Juilliard community, and is intended to provide a foundation that will serve them well beyond their years at the School. Small group discussions and large group activities. Mandatory attendance at designated performances. Required of all first-time college students in Dance, Drama, and Music.

  • Major Studies

     

    • 14 credits
      DRAMA 101-2 — Dramatic Interpretation I
      14 credits Full Year Faculty

      Approaching the Play (Text Analysis): A first-semester course detailing examination and explanation of a play. Students identify a play’s theme, its structure, and its character relationships. By discovering how to analyze a text and to appreciate a whole play, the student will be better able to approach a specific role in it and to do useful research and homework for rehearsal. (Combined studies)

      Ballroom Dancing: Ballroom dancing engages the actor to explore another side of storytelling (solo/monologue, dance partner/scene partner, team/company). Each dance explores the ways in which people move through their lives physically and psychologically and how each dance has a different point of view and tells a different story. This first semester class focuses on increasing muscle memory as well as physical and mental presence. The work practices ceremony, grace, body-mind connection, sportsmanship and the equal importance of leading and following. The work culminates in a formal ballroom competition including well-known and highly respected judges and master-of-ceremonies from the professional ballroom world. (Combined studies)

      Improvisation: Aims to free students from self-consciousness, fear and pretense, and to enhance their powers for concentration; to foster a full awareness and control of their inner resources; through a broad spectrum of improvisation, to expand the imagination and to encourage expression, interaction and temperament. (Undergraduates only)

      Masks: Second-semester improvisation on large themes, including mythology and poetic texts, incorporating the wearing of simple masks. The work is designed to free the student from self-consciousness and to release imaginative impulses leading to uninhibited physical expression together with economy of gesture. (Combined studies)

      Play: A first-semester introduction to exploring the actor’s imagination and engaging the important and essential instinct “to play.” Emphasis on improvisation, games, risk-taking, listening and observation through partnering and group exercise work. Students strive to employ these skills in their other class and rehearsal work. (Undergraduates only)

      Point of View I: POV (Point of View) is a year- long course of study that carries through all four years of the training. The aim of the course is to help the students see their training and their art in a larger context — historical, political, and artistic. On a regular basis, interwoven with their training in voice, movement, and acting, they see, meet, work with other artists from theater and other art forms (dance, music, architecture) and encounter scientists, politicians, and activists. In these encounters with multiple points of view, students develop their own sense as actors, artists, and citizens. (Combined studies)

      Rehearsal Projects I: Throughout the year, students are cast in plays and rehearse them under the guidance of professional directors. Plays are selected to challenge the students in a variety of progressively demanding ways. The rehearsal projects are laboratory exercises for exploring an actor’s process and are not aimed toward performance results. Casting is determined by the needs of the training rather than the demands of the play. While the projects are developed to a point at which they are shared with an audience of fellow students and faculty, they are not “produced” but are shown in a room with only basic rehearsal clothes, props, and furniture. These projects are also yardsticks for measuring the degree to which the student is able to apply and integrate what has been learned in the various classes. (Combined studies)

      Scene Study I: This second semester course builds upon the work explored in the Improvisation classes and aims to free students from self-consciousness in order to emphasize the requisite sense of process needed to explore the initial stages of work on scenes. (Combined studies)

      Seminar in Improvisational Techniques: Aims to free students from self-consciousness, fear and pretense, and to enhance their powers for concentration; to foster a full awareness and control of their inner resources; through a broad spectrum of improvisation, to expand the imagination and to encourage expression, interaction and temperament. This class meets as a whole group once a week. Feedback is constant and evaluation is based on work on assignments and daily exercises. (Combined studies)

    • 10 credits
      DRAMA 103-4 — Dramatic Techniques I
      10 credits Full Year Faculty

      Alexander Technique: A mind-body method for becoming aware of and changing movement habits. Focus is on the development of awareness of oneself in movement — to recognize and learn how to release excess tension and to change those habits of movement which interfere with the free and centered use of the body. (Undergraduates only)

      Fundamentals of Movement: First semester — Development of creative and effective relationships to space, time, gravity, behavior, energy, imagery, music, breath, text, and relationship communication. The work is impulse driven, dynamic, and grounded in full use of the imagination. Second semester--Laboratory of work focused on introduction of Laban effort shaping and the practical exploration of all aspects of gesture, including graphic, emotional, unconscious, and theatrical. Partial emphasis on eradicating gestural habits and providing a process of expanding gestural vocabulary. Working in all magnitudes, staying grounded in emotional truth. (Combined studies)

      Individual Voice Instruction: In the first semester, students work with teachers in individual sessions to identify vocal challenges and target these areas immediately to focus and enhance the training. (Undergraduates only)

      Movement I: A class designed to increase the physical range of the student through stretching, flexibility, and strengthening exercises. Emphasis is placed on rhythm, phrasing, dynamic, intent, and moving in space. The class integrates the process of the Alexander Technique. (Combined studies)

      Music Studies I: An introduction to the basic elements of musical composition, including melody, harmony, rhythm, counterpoint, and orchestral color. Featured are two continuous threads of special interest: live performance in class by Juilliard singers and pianists, and a concentration on music written for the theater from the Middle Ages to Wagner. (Combined studies)

      Speech: Concentration on the formation of the individual sounds of spoken English and the development of an ability to speak clearly, expressively, and without impediments. (Undergraduates only)

      Stage Combat: In the second semester, students engage in practical study of the essential ingredients of safe, effective, well-acted stage fights: partnering, attacks, defense, falls, chokes, rolls, and the contributions of the actor to the process of creating and managing comic or dramatic stage fights. Although predominantly focused on unarmed work, swordplay will be briefly introduced and integrated into the overall experience. (Combined studies)

      Voice: Devoted to the examination and practice of the basic principles of breathing, resonance, placement, and diction. This work continues throughout the four years with a view to developing vocal stamina, resonance, range, and flexibility which can then be fused with the student's imaginative, creative process. (Undergraduates only)

    • 6 credits
      DRAMA 111-2 — Theater History
      6 credits Full Year Faculty

      A series of lectures/seminars about major dramatists and dramatic forms in their historical contexts, ranging from the ancient Greeks through the 20th century. The survey includes works from outside the European tradition. (Undergraduates only)

    • 2 credits
      DRAMA 121-2 — Prose and Poetry
      2 credits Full Year Faculty

      This course introduces the process of transforming written language into spoken language. Material covered includes a variety of historical styles in prose and verse, as well as fundamental issues of storytelling, rhetoric, and syntax. (Undergraduates only)

Total Credits 1st Year: 33

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  • Major Studies

     

    • 14 credits
      DRAMA 201-2 — Dramatic Interpretation II
      14 credits Full Year Faculty

      Character/Animal Masks: The challenge is to create, through the use of a given mask, the body, mind, and heart of an eccentric — often comedic — character. The change of physical identity involved breaks down inhibitions and serves not only to release the student’s imaginative capacity for transformation, but to prepare the way for equally courageous characterization without a mask. (Undergraduates only)

      Point of View II: In the second year of study, the material covered in POV is structured around a production being done in the 4th year of training. For instance, A Raisin in the Sun Curriculum: The course constitutes an in-depth, semester-long exploration of the social, cultural, and political context surrounding the factors leading into and beyond the creation of A Raisin in the Sun and is meant to capture the interest surrounding the fourth-year students’ full production of the play. Sessions include a visit to the International Center of Photography’s exhibition of images related to the Civil Rights movement; readings from works by Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., Langston Hughes, et al; viewing and discussion of documentaries related to the Civil Rights movement (e.g., Free at Last: Civil Rights Heroes; Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin; four CBS Sunday Morning segments — Paul Robeson, the Montgomery to Selma march, Maya Lin’s design of the Civil Rights memorial; Harlem Renaissance: Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Nat King Cole; Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns: Inning 6 — Jackie Robinson; Nightfighters: The Story of the 332nd Fighter Group, Tuskegee Airmen; Small Steps–Big Strides: The Black Experience in Hollywood; Amos and Andy; Nine from Little Rock; Been to the Mountaintop; The Songs Are Free: Bernice Johnson Reagon with Bill Moyers; Chisholm ’72: Unbought and Unbossed); discussion with African-American actors who worked with Lloyd Richards; presentation from, and discussion with, the outreach director of the Southern Poverty Law Center; a division-wide community meeting with Congressman John Lewis; and a discussion with a CDC representative of the Tuskegee experiments. (Combined studies)

      Rehearsal Projects II: Rehearsal projects are laboratory exercises for developing the actors’ process and a yardstick for measuring their ability to apply and integrate what they’ve learned in their classes. These projects also challenge the students to practice putting all that work on themselves into something larger than themselves: the creation together of the world of the play and bringing other peoples’ stories to life. (Combined studies)

      Traditionally, the first project of the Second Year has been a project that the whole group participates in, with an emphasis on asking the students to characterize and find truth in extended transformations.

      Scene Study II: The discovery and development of imaginative and technical skills which, together with the skills acquired in the first year, will enable the student to discern the inner world of a play and to learn to transform into a living character within it. (Combined studies)

      Seminar in Masks Work: The challenge is to create, through the use of a given mask, the body, mind and heart of an eccentric — often comedic — character. The change of physical identity involved breaks down inhibitions and serves not only to release the student’s imaginative capacity for transformation, but to prepare the way for equally courageous characterization without a mask. This class meets once a week as a whole group to explore the power of transformation in utilizing the wide variety of character and animal masks. (Combined studies)

      Seminar in Physical Comedy: A workshop designed to help students overcome the anxiety that comes from a sense of obligation to be funny and to develop a comedic point of view. Improvisation in a variety of styles is developed with the class as an audience. Emphasis is on the need to approach comedic material with the same process and commitment appropriate to any other acting challenge. (Combined studies)

    • 10 credits
      DRAMA 203-4 — Dramatic Techniques II
      10 credits Full Year Faculty

      Alexander Technique: A continuation of the first year’s exploration into self-awareness with increasing emphasis on application of the technique to the actor’s creative process, character transformation, and performance skills. (Undergraduates only)

      Movement II: A rigorous drill to increase stamina and the capacity for endurance; to develop physical coordination and naturalness; to coordinate movement with breath; to attain uninhibited physical expression through connection with inner rhythms, instincts, and emotions; to explore physical character transformations. (Combined studies)

      Music Studies II: This first-semester class picks up where the Music Studies I course ends, and continues with an exploration of music from Wagner to the present. In addition, there is an in-depth study of the history of songs with an emphasis on American songs: folk, theater, protest, and popular. (Combined studies)

      Singing: Emphasis on basic singing techniques of breath, extending vocal range through group singing, madrigals, chorales, and duets as well as individual songs. (Undergraduates only)

      Singing Practicum: Emphasis on basic singing techniques of breath, extending vocal range through group singing, madrigals, chorales, and duets as well as individual songs. (Combined studies)

      Spectrum of Movement: A first-semester course involving study aimed at linking physical vocabulary to music, objects, culture, historical periods, gender, and theatrical styles. The learning incorporates the study of the full spectrum of movement from natural to un-natural, minimal to epic, controlled to full abandon, rustic to royal, low stakes to high stakes, etc. There will be occasional use of text. (Combined studies)

      Speech: A continuation of the first year work, which now becomes integrated into the rehearsals of the second-year rehearsal projects. The end-of-the-year goal is for the actor to be able to speak without impediments and affectations while in rehearsal and showings of the play projects. There is classwork application of these skills in verse texts. (Undergraduates only)

      Voice: See First Year. (Undergraduates only)

    • 2 credits
      DRAMA 230 — Shakespeare Text I
      2 credits Fall Faculty

      Building on the skills developed in Prose and Poetry, this course introduces students to Shakespeare's text and the particular demands of understanding and speaking it. Topics include the active and imaginative uses of rhythm, meter, rhyme, and metaphor. (Undergraduates only)

Total Credits 2nd Year: 26

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  • Major Studies

     

    • 12 credits
      DRAMA 301-2 — Dramatic Interpretation III
      12 credits Full Year Faculty

      Point of View III: Physical Style and Wit: The course introduces students to some of their artistic ancestors, with special emphasis on exponents of physical theater. During the semester, students are given introductory information on Commedia Dell’Arte and its stock characters as a scaffold-format for discussing comic tradition, scenarios, and improvisation. Sessions consist of screenings followed by discussion. Texts are used as necessary. Screenings include the Marx Brothers (A Night at the Opera), Mikhail Baryshnikov (A Little Ballet, Sinatra Suites, and Push Comes to Shove), Fred Astaire (and his influence on Michael Jackson), Eleanor Powell, Savion Glover, skanky leg, a PBS American Masters segment on Buster Keaton, and a 1954 (i.e., before the Cultural Revolution) documentary on the Peking Opera. (Combined studies)

      Scene Study III: An integration of the technical, imaginative, and personal discoveries of the preceding two years through scene and exercise work, leading to meeting the demands of heightened characterization and style. (Combined studies)

    • 8 credits
      DRAMA 303-4 — Dramatic Techniques III
      8 credits Full Year Faculty

      Alexander Technique: Individual and/or group sessions to refine the use of tools learned in the first and second years and their application both on and off the stage. (Undergraduates only)

      Character in Motion: This second-semester class involves a series of assignments in character exploration and development. Etudes include "memorable character," "invented character," "observed character," "opposite character," "archetypes," "culturally bound," etc. All character studies are aimed at development of strong point of view in solo and relational forms of expression. (Combined studies)

      Jazz Dance: A second-semester course to help achieve complete physical freedom, enhance enjoyment of the body in motion, and find a fuller expression of sensuality. (Combined studies)

      Individual Voice Instruction: Actors work in individual sessions with teachers to target challenges that might include dialect, transformation, production demands, and audition material. (Undergraduates only)

      Makeup: Through the first semester, students learn basic makeup (including street makeup for women), correcting makeup, and character makeup, including the use of wigs (and facial hair for men), as well as prosthetics. The class is largely a practical workshop and includes the assembling of personal makeup kits suited to individual requirements. (Undergraduates only)

      Movement III: A physical acting lab focusing on the development and enrichment of a physically expressive vocabulary using texts and individual imaginative resources. Using exercises and skills learned during the first and second years, students will structure a warm-up routine and continue with exercises that enable a strong connection with both a partner and the group. (Combined studies)

      Singing for Performance I: Focus on individual and group coaching geared to an actor based on performance, audition or personal need. (Combined studies)

      Speech: Work specifically geared to roles in current productions. (Undergraduates only)

      Suzuki Method: Developed by internationally-acclaimed director Tadashi Suzuki, the Suzuki Training Method is a rigorous physical discipline drawn from such diverse influences as ballet, traditional Greek and Japanese theater, and martial arts. The training seeks to heighten the actor’s emotional and physical power and commitment to each moment on stage. Attention is on the lower body and a vocabulary of footwork, sharpening an actor’s breath control and concentration. This course meets in the first semester. (Combined Studies)

      Voice: See First Year. (Undergraduates only)

    • 2 credits
      DRAMA 330 — Shakespeare Text II
      2 credits Spring Faculty

      This course provides students with techniques for uniting the technical demands of speaking Shakespeare's language with the imaginative and emotional demands of acting. (Undergraduates only)

    • 4 credits
      DRAMA 335-6 — Performance Projects I
      4 credits Full Year Faculty and Guest Directors

      Undergraduates and graduates in their third year work together in a variety of performance projects:

      Modern Naturalism Performance Project (Fall)
      Play projects continue to be an integral part of the student's training, but emphasis in the third year shifts from the laboratory to the theater, with the addition of costume, make up, lighting, music, and some scenery. Four to five productions are mounted including one designed for two weeks of performances for intermediate and high-school student audiences, produced in association with Lincoln Center Theater Open Stages program. Other plays range from classical to contemporary and are open to an invited public.

      After having worked for the first two years on plays in rehearsal studios with the emphasis on exploration and integrating skills, students in their 3rd Year of training move into the theater, begin to work with limited elements of production, and learn how process culminates in performance.

      Heightened World Performance Project (Fall)
      In the second project of the Third Year students work on theatrical pieces that demand of the actor's heightened physical and vocal expression and extreme characterization. Plays are selected which will ask the actor to explore these new performance elements, stretch their instruments to their fullest capacity and expand their notion of truth on stage beyond the bounds of naturalism.

      The Cabaret (Spring)
      As part of their actor training, the students study singing and song performance beginning in their second year. In singing, the actor is forced to confront him/herself in a heightened and personal way. The demands of singing call on the actor to integrate all the techniques (voice, speech, movement, Alexander and acting) he/she learns in the school. This project is an opportunity to take what the actor learns in the classroom and put it on the stage.

      Shakespeare Repertory (Spring)
      As a culmination to their third year of training, students move from the black box studio 301 to work for the first time in the Drama Theater, traditionally performing two classical plays of Shakespeare presented in repertory.

      The Shakespearean Rep immerses the student in the work of this great author; his plays call upon all aspects of their training and all their resources, technical and personal.
      Award-winning set designer Christine Jones' modern Shakespearean Globe set creates a completely flexible space, allowing Shakespeare to be presented in any period for this annual event.
       

Total Credits 3rd Year: 26

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  • Major Studies

     

    • 14 credits
      DRAMA 401-2 — Dramatic Interpretation IV
      14 credits Full Year Faculty

      Actor Presentations: In preparation for graduation, the students meet on a weekly basis with a faculty member to prepare scenes, monologues, and songs which will be combined to create an hour long showcase which will be presented to industry members in both Los Angeles and New York. The goal of the showcase event is to give industry members a 4 – 5 minute introduction to each of the students through the presentation of these materials. Through this event, students are able to make connections with industry members and often land auditions for theater, film and television as well as gaining representation from an agent or manager. The Drama Division has enjoyed a 100 percent placement rate for students with agents and managers upon graduation every year. (Combined studies)

      Audition Workshops: The fourth year of study culminates in a professional studio experience where students will be immersed in performance and professional classes. These opportunities provide a bridge to the profession as students study with working professionals who provide them with the knowledge and skills necessary to transition into the industry. (Combined studies)

      Point of View IV: POV in the fourth year focuses on Audition Techniques in order to prepare the actors for their move into the professional world. Advice and techniques for effective selection and presentation of audition material for the stage and for the camera are given, and mock auditions with members of the profession are done throughout the year. (Combined studies)

    • 8 credits
      DRAMA 403-4 — Dramatic Techniques IV
      8 credits Full Year Faculty

      Alexander Technique: Individual lessons throughout the year to support the actor personally and professionally. Individual coaching for specific productions. (Undergraduates only)

      Individual Voice Instruction: Actors work in individual sessions with teachers to target challenges that might include dialect, transformation, production demands, and audition material. (Undergraduates only)

      Movement IV: Stretching, relaxation, focus, and energizing through breathing exercises. Physical improvisations are utilized, addressing the needs of the specific play being worked on, and carrying the creativity into rehearsal. (Combined studies)

      Singing for Performance II: Individual lessons as required for specific productions and solo coaching leading toward audition material. (Combined studies)

    • 4 credits
      DRAMA 445-6 — Performance Projects II
      4 credits Full Year Faculty and Guest Directors

      Undergraduates and graduates in their fourth year work together in a variety of performance projects:

      Playwrights Festival (Fall)
      The Juilliard School Drama Division, as an essential part of its training program, brings together young actors and writers in class, play labs, workshops and productions. Working together, both playwright and actor learn what their roles are in creating new work.

      We believe that in addition to performing the classics in a contemporary spirit Juilliard actors should be prepared to work on new plays as a major part of his or her artistic growth. The Juilliard Playwrights Festival of workshop productions is an annual event for the graduating class, giving them a further opportunity to develop new work and advance collaborations and connections that will expand beyond their time here in school.

      Stephanie P. McClelland Season (Fall)
      The fourth year is a performance year in which plays are given full-scale productions. In the fall semester, three plays are produced and mounted for six performances before an invited audience of the general public and members of the theatrical profession.

      Fourth-Year Repertory (Spring)
      The culmination of the student’s performance training is the Spring Repertory. During this time three productions are performed in rotation so a different production is on stage each night throughout the performance period. This rigorous schedule and structure immerses the students in performance allowing them to utilize all the skills and knowledge obtained during their education in the Drama Division.
       

    • 6 credits
      DRAMA 447-8 — Bridging the Profession
      6 credits Full Year Guest Artists

      Undergraduates and graduates in their fourth year prepare for their launch into the profession through a series of classes/workshops that explore a variety of practical aspects of the business – casting, auditioning, on-camera work, producing reels, etc. In addition, students learn practical skills for career development, from writing resumes and cover letters, to understanding actor contracts and gaining information on different types of support available to them as artists. (Combined studies)

Total Credits 4th Year: 32

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