Musical Theatre Syllabus (Tentative)

SCHOOL YEAR 2013 – 2014

INSTRUCTOR: DR. BORDEN -- ROOM: Alexander Hall Room 010

I.                     Course Description: Musical Theatre students will explore various types and styles of theater, theater terminology, basic stagecraft and basic acting skills, basic singing skills and basic dance skills. Students will also be involved in producing and presenting at least two major productions during the school year.

II.                  Prerequisites:  None.

III.                 Course Requirements:

A.                 Students, alone and together, will be required to participate actively in class. This will include acting, speaking, singing, dance and other theater exercises and projects.

B.                  Students will actively participate in the various duties in producing at least two productions during the school year. Additional rehearsals may occur during non-school hours and off campus.  The extra time and hours during a production will be extensive at times. Please be prepared to meet the demands of theater. Students and parents/guardians will sign a contract for each production so that all involved will know the requirements and consequences of failure to fulfill its demands.  An unexcused absence or an excused absence that is not made up from a major performance will result in a failing grade in theater for that nine weeks.

C.                  Please note that excused does not mean exempt.

D.                  Theater students are required to have a usable pencil at all times during class or other rehearsals. 

E.                   Theater students will keep a theater notebook. Dr. Borden will give the specifics during class.

F.                   Theater students are responsible for notifying parents or guardians of performance dates and other requirements.

G.                  Theater students are also responsible for maintaining the scripts, music, books, costumes, props and other equipment assigned to them during the year.  The student will be responsible for replacing or paying for lost or damaged materials.

IV.                 GRADING:

A.                 The nine weeks grade will be based on the following categories

1.                    Daily work: 30%

2.                    Tests, quizzes, papers, projects: 30%

3.                    Theater notebooks: 10%

4.                    Performances if applicable: 30%

5.             Unexcused tardy = minus two off of the final grade

6.             Unexcused absence from class = minus five off of the final grade

B.                  The semester grade will be an average, 50/50 of the two nine week's grades.

C.                  The yearly grade will be an average, 50/50 of the two semester grades.                              

D.            Daily grade:  Students are expected to give significant effort in class each day.  Grades will be reduced if students do not comply.

F.             Performances:       The Musical Theater Class is a performance organization. Therefore, each member is expected and required to participate in all performances.  Contracts will specify requirements and consequences for each specific production. We plan to present two major productions during the year. Dates, place and times will be announced as soon as possible.

                                The Musical Theatre Class is scheduled for seventh period so that the class may continue rehearsals after school without stopping. Dr. Borden will discuss this with the class as to details of when this would take place and what will be excused as to absences from after school rehearsal.

G.            Inappropriate or disruptive behavior will not be tolerated.  If a student continues with inappropriate or disruptive behavior or demonstrates new but still inappropriate behavior, the instructor may, depending upon the situation and the severity of the disruption do one or more of the following.  He may ask the student to desist, reduce the student's grade, or send the student to the office for administrative assistance.  Continued or significant misbehavior can result in the suspension or expulsion of the student from the Musical Theater class.  An F will be given to students suspended or expelled from theater arts. 

H.            Classroom policies include but are not limited to:

1.             No food, gum, candy, or non-water drinks will be permitted in the classroom or during rehearsals and performances elsewhere. 

2.             No hats or other head coverings are to be worn in class except in costume.

3.                    An unexcused absence is minus one on the final grade.

4.                    Three unexcused tardy marks equal one unexcused absence and minus one on the final grade.

5.                    Each excused absence is minus one on the final grade unless made up.

6.                    Students will not use or otherwise tamper with equipment, material, or other items located in the choral room.

7.                    Students will treat one another with the utmost respect.  This is a team effort.

I               Performances:

1.           Performances are a significant part of the theater arts experience.  The number of performances during a nine-week grading period and the importance of each performance will determine the grade for each performance.  Students can count on two major productions during the year. There may be several smaller productions as well.  Students will be notified as soon as possible of performance dates to allow for adequate planning and personal arrangements to be made.

a.           Excused misses for extra rehearsals and out of school performances will include personal illness, death in the immediate family, or regularly scheduled religious services. 

b.           Non-excused events include but are not limited to birthdays, work, parties, vacations, sporting events, packing and so on.  If you are in doubt, consult with Dr. Borden at least two weeks prior to the performance.

                                                        c.             A note about athletics: Scheduled performances take priority over athletic                                                                           practices and games. Extra rehearsals take precedence over athletic                                                                                       practices. A final dress rehearsal will also take priority over practices and                                                                       games (Dr. Borden may make an exception in special circumstances). Every                                                                        effort will be made to avoid conflicts.


                2.                    There is a $20.00 music/drama participation fee due by the end of the first nine weeks.  Dr. Borden will collect this fee. Please make checks out to University School. No student will be denied participation due to inability to pay this fee. See Dr. Borden if you have a question concerning this fee.

V.                   Schedule

1.           The musical theater students may also participate in a number of plays, trips and festivals. Students are expected to participate in all of these events if possible.

2.            Students will need to raise money to pay for many of these events.  Details and dates will be forth coming. Some events will not be advertised until fall when most schools are beginning their school year.  However, we will announce these events as soon as possible.

VI.                 Community:

A.          Students are encouraged to continue to participate in community productions to gain more experience in the theater.

B.           Students are encouraged to take theater arts in subsequent years, schedules permitting.

VII.               Scope: This document does not contain every detail of the course.  It is subject to change to adapt to situations that may arise. We will notify you of any changes that may occur. Specific questions and problems will be handled on a case-by-case basis as fairly as possible.