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Theatre History I

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Fall 2017
Fain Fine Arts Center
Classroom Number
Days & Times

MWF 9:00-9:50 am

Elizabeth James Lewandowski (view Profile)

Course Attachments


Course Objectives

Course Objectives

To understand some possible origins of theatre. [SLO: Knowledge of Development of Theatre]   

To explore and understand the development of the playwright from the classical age through the Renaissance period.  [SLO: Knowledge of Development of Theatre]      

To explore and understand the development of the actor from the classical age through the Renaissance period.  [SLO: Knowledge of Development of Theatre]      

To explore and understand the development of scene/costume/lighting design from the classical age through the Renaissance period.  [SLO: Knowledge of Development of Theatre]    

To understand the development of the director from the classical age through the Renaissance period.  [SLO: Knowledge of Development of Theatre]       

To explore and discover the cultural, social and political aspects of a particular period and their influence on the theatre.  [SLO: Knowledge of Development of Theatre]


Course Expectations

How to Succeed in this Course

·         Do your reading assignments on or before the in-class discussion.  This means that some days you will have to read as many as 20 pages for the next class period, so don’t put it off!

·         Download the vocabulary lists for each chapter and be sure that you have appropriate information for each term by the time the chapter has been completed in class.

·         Study for and complete the quizzes on time.

·         Log in to D2L and make your discussion posts!

·         Meet with your group at least twice outside of class to prepare your group presentation of a scene from your assigned play.

·         Set aside adequate time to prepare for each test.  The tests will, in part, be cumulative (major points) so it is imperative to keep up with your studying.  The professor suggests the use of flashcards to learn the vocabulary for each test.

·         Start planning your paper early in the semester.  Make all the deadlines and you will not become overwhelmed while trying to complete the paper on time.

·         Be realistic about how long it takes you to read and comprehend material.  Some of you will do this quickly, others will have to reread the material several times.  Be honest with yourself and do the readings.  If the professor suspects that the assigned readings are not being completed, pop quizzes will be given in class.

Grading Standards


            Quizzes (20 points each)                                             220 points

            Tests    (1 & 2 - 100 points each, 3 - 150 points)        350 points

            Attendance & Participation                                        100 points

            D2L Discussions (10 points each)                              130 points

            Group presentation                                                       50 points

            Research paper                                                            150 points

                                                                                                            1000 points


Final Exam 12/11/2017 *:00-10:00 am
Submission Format Policy Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.
Late Paper Policy

You are expected to do the assignments when they are assigned.  Failure to do so will result in an inability to keep pace.  All graded assignments should be submitted on or before the deadline.  Late assignments will not be accepted.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

You are expected to attend all classes.  Since lectures expand on assignments, missing class means missing important information.  This class is, by its nature, participatory.   Missing class means missing the chance to participate in your own education and the education of others in the class. The college policy allows for five and you die.  You are allowed five fifty minute absences beyond which you will be dropped from the class by the professor.  Attendance is taken at the beginning of the class.  The professor reserves the right to disallow counting a student present who is extremely late.   If you need to miss class due to a religious holiday, please see the professor as far in advance as possible.  If you need to miss class due to university-sponsored events such as field trips and sports, please see the professor as far in advance as possible.  You will be required to complete the assigned work on or before the due date, and you will be required to submit an official form from the university before your absence.  Please note that work, non-emergency medical and dental appointments, hangovers, intramural games, visitors from out of town, fixing your roommate’s computer, fraternity/sorority events, arguments with boyfriends/girlfriends and studying for other classes do NOT constitute excused absences. 

Other Policies



            There will be a quiz most weeks of the class.  The quizzes will be available on D2L and will have a start time of 5:00pm on Friday and an end time of 5:00 pm on Saturday (24 hours).  You will have 10 minutes to take each quiz after you open the quiz.  The quizzes will auto-grade.


D2L Discussion

            Each week of the course, beginning the second week, there will be a discussion prompt on D2L.  The discussions will open at 12:01 am Sunday morning.  You are required to post a 100-150 word response by 5:00 pm on Wednesday.  Beginning at 5:01 pm on Wednesday, you will have until 11:59 pm Saturday night to respond with 50-100 words to at least two of your colleagues’ comments.


Group presentation

            In small groups assigned by the professor, you will give staged readings from significant scenes from the plays discussed in class.  The cutting will be assigned by the professor as will the roles in the scenes.  Each group will be expected to spend adequate time outside of class preparing the staged reading to ensure a clear understanding of the script by both the performers and the audience.  One member of the group will be assigned the role of dramaturg and will present a brief description of the play and an overview of the script up to the point of the cutting.


Research paper

            Each student will be responsible for writing a research paper on a theatre artist(s) or play from one of the periods studied in class.    A suggested list of theatre artist(s) and plays will be provided by the professor. 

            Due dates:       topic due                     September 11

                                    Outline due                 October 13

                                    Optional draft due      November 3

                                    Finished paper due      December 1


·         MLA format

·         8-11 pages PLUS bibliography (Citations do NOT count in the page count).

·         Fully footnoted and include full citations.

Academic Dishonesty

            Those of you who have had me for class before know that I have zero tolerance for plagiarism.  Plagiarism, the presentation of another’s thoughts as one’s own, is one of the most serious offenses possible in higher education.  Don’t do it!  Cases of plagiarism will be dealt with as explained in the MSU Student Handbook.  Expect there to be serious repercussions to plagiarism.




Dishonest work on homework or on examinations is a serious offense, as is plagiarism.  The university and the professor will not tolerate either one.  If either occurs, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.  The 2002-2003 Student Senate wrote and adopted the MSU Student Honor Creed.  The highlight of the creed is “As an MSU student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else to do so.”  Enough said.

Students with disabilities or who are in need of special arrangements should see the professor as early as possible in the semester.   Please note that in order to qualify for consideration of special accommodations, the student must be registered with the MSU Office of Disability Services, and the professor must receive a memo on file from that office, along with the Special Accommodations Request form.

Social justice is one of MSU’s stated core values, and the professor considers the classroom to be a place where students will be treated with respect as human beings, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age or ability.  It is the professor’s expectation that ALL students be able to consider the classroom a safe environment.  Be civil at all times and focus on understanding the material being discussed.

            Cell phone use in class is prohibited.  If your cell phone goes off during a class you may be asked to leave the classroom and receive an absence for the day.  No texting. Again, you may be asked to leave the classroom.  Please don’t make this an issue, just turn off the phone during our class.  If other commitments are so pressing that they cannot wait until the end of the class session, it may be in the student’s best interests to reconsider the priority placed on being this class.  In any case, the professor reserves the right to ask you to leave immediately or to embarrass you mercilessly if your phone/pager/beeper/ etc. makes noise during class.

            Federal privacy law prohibits the professor from releasing information about students to certain parties outside of the university without the signed consent of the student.  Thus, in almost all cases the professor will not discuss students’ academic progress or other matters with their parents.  Please do not have them call.  Regardless of these important legal considerations, the professor’s general policy is to communicate with the students, not their parents, even when a student has signed a consent form.  College students are adults and are expected to behave accordingly.


            In short:  Be on time.  Be awake.  Be prepared.  Be engaged.  Ask questions.  Study.  Come ready to become a theatrician or stay home!




Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at