Spring 2021 Practicum
Acting/Directing for Camera
Faculty: Lorrel Manning
The Acting & Directing for the Camera class focuses on developing the skills and tools that the young actor needs in order to work in the fast-paced world of film and television, while also learning how to write, direct, edit, and produce their own work for the screen.
The focus of the Fall semester was on-screen acting and on-camera auditions (in person and self-taped). During the Spring semester, students learned the basics of filmmaking, allowing them to create their own work without the restraints of a large budget and crew. The basic fundamentals of screenwriting (structure, dialogue, and formatting), cinematography (shot size & composition), directing, and editing were covered, along with weekly writing, reading, viewing, and filming assignments.
Here are the final projects - 12 original short films written, directed, edited, and (in many cases) starring the students of Acting & Directing for the Camera. Enjoy!
Costume Design I & II & Advanced Costumes
Faculty: Liz Prince
Costumes I is an introduction to the basics of designing costumes and will cover various concepts and ideas: the language of clothes, script analysis, the elements of design, color theory, fashion history, and figure drawing. We will work on various theoretical design projects while exploring how to develop a design concept. This course also covers various design-room sewing techniques, as well as the basics of wardrobe technician duties. Students will become familiar with all of the various tools and equipment in the costume shop and wardrobe areas. Students will also have the opportunity to assist a Costume Design ll student on a departmental production to further their understanding of the design process when creating costumes. No previous experience is necessary; actors, directors, choreographers, dancers, and theatre-makers of all kinds are welcome.
Costumes II expands upon the ideas and concepts set forth in Costume Design l in order to hone in on and advance the student’s existing skill sets. Students will further develop their design and construction abilities as they research and realize design concepts for a variety of theoretical design projects, as well as develop their communication skills through class discussions and presentations. Students will also have the likely opportunity to design costumes for a departmental production, assisted by a Costume Design l student. This design opportunity allows for a unique learning experience, as the student collaborates with a director and creative team to produce a fully realized theatrical production.
Advanced Costumes is designed for students who have completed Costume Design l and Costume Design ll and would like to further explore any aspect of designing costumes by researching and realizing a special costume design project of their own choosing.
Faculty: Graeme Gillis
link DownStage Gallery: https://downstagegigabytegallery.com/
Come one, come all! Downstage's Gigabyte Gallery is officially open! We are proudly displaying a wide array of art made by Sarah Lawrence students. Poems, photos, videos, a virtual world, plus encore presentations of Downstage productions from this year. Follow the link and take a look around!
DownStage is an intensive, hands-on conference in creative theatrical production. As part of the DownStage component, student producers administrate and run an autonomous theatre company, based on the nonprofit theatre model, within the SLC theatre curriculum. Together, students craft a mission statement, then curate and produce a season in support of that mission. Students are responsible for all aspects of production, determining the budget, and marketing a full season of events and productions, both in-person and online. Students fill technical and artistic positions and sit as the board of directors of a functioning theatre organization. In addition to their obligations to class and designated productions, DownStage producers are expected to hold regular office hours. Prior producing experience is not required.
Songwriting for a New Musical Theatre
Faculty: Stew Stewart
Songwriting for a New Musical Theatre This course grew out of the final months of last semester’s New Musical Theatre Lab during its transition to remote learning and has been designed to work as well in person as it has remotely. The course teaches a unique approach to musical theatre making forged during the making of the Obie- and Tony-award winning musical, Passing Strange. Stew’s method treats the song, not the story, as the seed for all that follows in a show. Students are taught to conjure stories that will emerge out of their songs rather than tacking songs onto a preexisting story. The significance of personal biography as source material vs. invented fictions is also emphasized, along with the incorporation of solo performance and the use of video. Emphasis on in-the-moment creating via a demystification of the songwriting process keeps students inspired and motivated, with more time spent creating than staring at a screen. Students are regularly given songwriting prompts and invited to take time away from the screen to compose anything from one verse to a full-blown song, along with solo-performance fragments or video. Students will work toward building, at semester’s end, a final show from all of the songs that they’ve written. Students will learn techniques that transform the “magic” of songwriting into a reflexive act of communication, available to anyone, with or without songwriting experience. The fundamentals of songwriting are taught, along with an introduction to various music software apps, video editing, and DIY methods of turning bedrooms and basements into performance spaces.
Featuring new music performances by:
Faculty: Sterling Swan
Students learn the basics of armed and unarmed stage fighting, with an emphasis on safety. Actors are taught to create effective stage violence, from hair pulling and choking to sword fighting, with a minimum of risk. Basic techniques are incorporated into short scenes to give students experience performing fights in classic and modern contexts. Each semester culminates in a skills proficiency test aimed at certification in one of eight weapon forms.
Featuring: Will Tway, Grace LeSueur, Kaia Parnell, Max Lerman, Ray Schleimer, Katrina Isidore, Kathleen Warner, Kyrie Ellison, Eli Johnson, Anne Cavanagh, Ciara McCarthy, Casey Miller, Nick Molinaro, Sophia Harber, Leo Ritterhoff, Bridget Anne Cashman, Michelle Cowles, Andrew Del Vecchio, Samantha Raskin, Rose Faccone-Stockwell, Cayden Leary, Lola Votruba, Trevor Swann, Emma Lipschutz
Shake on the Block
Faculty: Flako Modesto Jiminez
This Shakespeare class re-creates the Bard with pop-up performances of original Romeo and Juliet adaptations as part of a ten day gallery presentation. Sonnets and monologue performances can be viewed through the link below, also part of the interactive gallery showing in the Performing Arts Center lobby.
Featuring: Maria Schreiner, Avery Cushmore, Rohan Padmakumar, Caroline Karsner, Neil Woods, Ricky Brown, Aidan Chalfonte
Creating Your Own Comedy
Faculty: Christine Farrell
Comedy Night is back with hilarious new student comics from Christine Farrell’s Creating Your Own Comedy class.
Creating Your Own Comedy will begin with an exploration of the classic structures of stand-up comedy. The concepts of set-up and punch, acting out, and heightened wordplay will be employed. Techniques for creating and becoming comic characters from your own past, the news, and the current social environment will be used to craft a comic routine. Discovering what is recognizably funny to an audience is the labor of the comic artist. The athletics of the creative comedic mind and your own individual perspective on the world that surrounds you is the primary objective of the first semester. We will also study theories of comedy through the writings of Henri Bergson (philosopher), John Wright (director), and Christopher Fry (playwright). The second semester will be designed for collaboration through improvisational techniques; long-form improvisational games (Harold), and performance techniques for comic sketch writing and group work; and exercises to develop the artist’s freedom and confidence in a collaborative group setting. The ensemble will learn to trust the spontaneous response and their own comic madness as they write, perform, and create scenarios together. At the end of the second semester, there will be a formal presentation of the comedy devised during the year.
Featuring: Aaron Conover, Amanda Cooper, Maggie Campbell, Malcolm Wise, Reagan Burows, Molly McQuillan, Maisy Moss, Reuben Egan,
Taylor Brothers, and Richard Kraus
Content Warning: profanity, dark humour, death. talk of racism and slavery, abortion, language, sexual content