THEA 10: SOLO
Astronomical Calamities (and other reasons I can’t sleep) by Robert Leverett '16
For their final projects in a 10-week course of study, participants were ssigned to create an 18-20 minute original solo performance work-in-progress. Class members were encouraged to yield final projects that were adventurous in their creativity and theatricality. Participants were also encouraged to experiment virgorously with the form and style of solo perfermance.
Projects were required to be “low-tech,” but this request did not encourage simplicity. On the contrary, participants were encouraged to incorporate simple media of many kinds (recorded and live music, projections, images, subtitles) and engage in highly imaginative, non-naturalistic staging.
To facilitate creativity, the projects were created in a highly structured manner in terms of development, progress goalposts, and advisement:
Participants met with me in 2-3 one-on-one meetings during the course of the term to discuss and hone ideas as their projects progressed;
Participants began the project by writing up a narrative description of their leading idea for their project to help them focus their storytelling;
Participants submitted several drafts of a work-in-progress script for my dramaturgical review and assistance;
Participants presented 3 project-in-progress “moments” in class meetings for review and critique as performance exercises;
In addition to their own projects, participants were assigned to serve as tech team members for one other class member’s project to help facilitate the technical needs of each work;
Participants rehearsed their projects both on their own and through structured, one-on-one development rehearsals with me.
For each participant’s project I served as both dramaturge and co-director and worked intensely both in and out of class meetings in these capacities..
Grading for final projects reflected the intensive work required to mount a solo performance work, that is, each development component of the project received a separate grade, divided as follows:
14% - Preparation work: script development, meetings with professor for development, in class workshop presentations, rehearsals with instructor and outside of class alone
14% - Presentation work: presentation of work-in-progress, technical rehearsals with instructor, participation as a tech member on one other student’s project
2% - Post-presentation work: a 2 ½ page (min.) - 4 page (max.) self-evaluation where participants could reflect on the developmental progress of their creative work
Final projects constituted 30% of each participant’s total grade for the course. Participants presented their projects in the Dartmouth College Rehearsal Room theater space (a black box space with minimal technical apparatus) before an invited audience of peers and professors during the final exam meetings of the course.
SAMPLE PROJECT GALLERY
ASTRONOMICAL CALAMITIES (AND OTHER REASONS I CAN’T SLEEP) BY ROBERT LEVERETT '16
BOXES BY NICOLLE ALLEN '16
BLACKER CHERRIES BY ZAHRA RUFFIN '17