New Theatre & Film Courses

The Children’s Literature Certificate Program is delighted to announce the creation of several new Theatre and Film courses that will serve as approved “Category 1” elective for the Certificate.

Thea 1120: Drama & Performance in the Classroom: This course is designed to introduce creative drama techniques used in educational settings and to provide students with hands-on experience creating and facilitating various theatre outreach activities. Specific creative drama practices to be explored include: activity-based methods such as theatre games & improvisational exercises as well as some Theatre of the Oppressed techniques, literature-based methods such as story dramatization and textual adaptation, situation-based work such as role drama, and devised performance strategies often associated with play-building and Theatre-in-Education. Students will hear from members of leading arts organizations in Pittsburgh to gain a sense of the broad range of techniques and applications of outreach work. Through readings, in-class activities, discussions, and practice teaching sessions you will develop a strong understanding of and ability to facilitate and utilize creative drama.

Also, a NEW LAB EXPERIENCE is now part of Thea 1120: students will have the opportunity to design and implement an 8-week afterschool drama program for 5th and 6th grade students at a Pittsburgh Public School in Homewood. Students will need to obtain necessary clearances. Student will need to arrange for transportation to and from Faison on afterschool program days. (The 71D bus runs directly from Pitt to within one block from Faison.)

EngFlm 1481 Youth Film: This course will look at a type of film that has been prominent in Hollywood cinema since 1955:  the youth film or teen film or teenpic.  The teenpic has been variously defined as films targeted at a teenage market and as films about teenagers (and sometimes both). The course will concentrate on two major periods during which teenpics thrived: the 1950s and 1980-1999. The major question we will ask in the course is: is the teenpic a film genre?  If so, how can we describe and classify it? In considering the teenpic as a genre we will attempt to break it down into subgenres such as the juvenile delinquent film, the teen musical, the teen horror film, nostalgic teen films, postmodern youthcult films, African-American teen films and “girl” teenpics, gay and lesbian teenpics. The class will concentrate on American films, both mainstream and independent. However, it will also include international films and television texts that fit the theme of the course. It will also study the evolving conceptualizations of “youth” and “teenager.”

EngFlm 1680 Animation: This course is designed to survey the history of animation, both American and international, providing you with an understanding of animation’s history, technologies, and stylistic possibilities across national and international boundaries. It is also meant to give you a different way to think about basic concepts in film theory, moving away from the assumption of an essentially photographic medium to consider different ways in which we appreciate, enjoy, and make sense of moving images. The course will proceed roughly historically, moving from the earliest animators in the decade after the invention of cinema to contemporary uses of digital technologies to create fully realized characters that inhabit three-dimensional space. It will also have a thematic organization, focusing at times on specific techniques (e.g., cel animation) and styles (e.g., abstract) and elsewhere on broader topics like propaganda, racism, and political subversion.