Theatre Arts 101

Introduction to the Theatrical Arts


SYLLABUS                                                                                                                                          PROFESSOR: Michael J. Arndt
THEATRE ARTS 101, 4 credits                                                                                                                      Office:  TA 131
Introduction to the Theatrical Arts                                                                                         Telephone: ext. 3416

                                                                                                                                                                         Office Hours: M, W—2:45-4 p.m.                              Th: 1-4  p.m.
                                                                                                                                                                                           Other times by appointment


"Theatrical representation is finite and leaves behind it, behind its actual presence, no trace, no object to carry off. It is neither a book nor a work, but an energy, and in this sense it is the only art of life."
                                                                                                                                          --Jacques Derrida


This course will allow students to gain experience in the following CLU Core Educational Skills:

A.       Critical thinking and information literacy

B.        Ability to comprehend issues from disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives

C.        Understanding of cultural and global diversity

D.       Appreciation of diversity

This course will also address the following Theatre Arts disciplinary objectives (noted in bold):

A.       To develop an appreciation of the theatre experience and the total process by which that experience is created. (Theatre as an Art Form)

B.        To understand the principles of traditional play structure through reading assignments, through lectures, through writing and through participative activity. (The Creative Process)

C.        To have a basic understanding of the importance and significance of the contributions of women and ethnic minorities to the history of theatre and especially contemporary American theatre.

D.       To understand the roles and functions of playwrights, directors, actors, and designers in relation to contemporary theatrical production. (The Creative Process)

E.        To be aware of the importance of the audience for specific genres of contemporary theatre. (Theatre as an Art Form)

F.         To develop an appreciation of the theatre as a social voice for under-represented peoples.

G.       To develop skills reflecting an appreciation and evaluation of the art and craft of theatre. (Theatre as an Art Form)



The Creative Spirit: An Introduction to Theatre (Fifth Edition)

Selected readings
Selected plays, to be determined
Selected research documents



Students in this class will:

1.          Attend class meetings and actively participate in discussions and activities.

2.          Read and respond to assigned readings.

3.          Attend all CLU Theatre productions and one outside theatre production to be announced later.

4.          Complete all written assignments and exercises as assigned. Written work should be filed as assignments on the date it is due to receive full credit.

5.          Students are responsible for checking Blackboard daily.




California Lutheran University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations in compliance with ADA of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to students with documented disabilities.  If you are a student requesting accommodations for this course, please contact your professor at the beginning of the semester and register with the Accessibility Resource Coordinator, Wendy Perkins, for the facilitation and verification of need.  The Accessibility Resource Coordinator is located in the Center for Academic and Accessibility Resources (CAAR) Office in the Pederson Administration building, and can be contacted by calling 805.493.3878 or emailing



The educational programs of California Lutheran University are designed and dedicated to achieve academic excellence, honesty and integrity at every level of student life. Part of CLU’s dedication to academic excellence is our commitment to academic honesty. Students, faculty, staff and administration share the responsibility for maintaining high levels of scholarship on campus. Any behavior or act which might be defined as “deceitful” or “dishonest” will meet with appropriate disciplinary sanctions, including dismissal from the University, suspension, grade F in a course or various forms of academic probation. Policies and procedures regarding academic honesty are contained in the faculty and student handbooks.


Plagiarism, cheating, unethical computer use and facilitation of academic dishonest are examples of behavior which will result in disciplinary sanctions. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to:

Š             word for word copying without using quotation marks or presenting the work as yours

Š             using the ideas or work of others without acknowledgement

Š             not citing quoted material. Students must cite sources for any information that is not either the result of original research or common knowledge. 



            The evaluation for this class will be based on the completion of the requirements outlined in the schedule below and any additional assignments given during the course of the class. Quality and care of the work will affect the grade each student will be given. There will be a midsemester and final exam based on readings and in-class activities.

Play Reading Responses


Performance Attendance and Response


Midsemester Exam

20 %

Final Exam




Attendance and Participation