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Appreciation of Theatre

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Spring 2015
Fain Fine Arts Center
Elizabeth James Lewandowski (view Profile)

Course Attachments


Course Objectives

Welcome to THEA 1503 Appreciation of Theatre. Let me introduce myself. I’m Elizabeth Lewandowski, Professor of Theatre, Costume Designer and Interim Theatre Department Chair and I will be your professor.

One of the most important things to know is that I will send e-mail to your MSU e-mail account. Each of you has an account and it is your responsibility to frequently check e-mail sent to that account. You can check your e-mail by clicking on the mail icon in the gold bar at the top of the course homepage You can also request that your email be forwarded to another account. However you do it, you must read and respond to your email. The MSU account is the only email I will use to communicate with you.

Class Focus
Let's look at what this class is, and is NOT. We will be focused on the art and industry of the live theatre. My goal is for you to understand and enjoy going to see plays in your community. I am dedicated to this course being a fun, interesting and engaging opportunity for you to get a look at “the big picture” of theatre. That being said, you have to do your part and keep up with assignments, dates, tests etc.

You will need to purchase The Enjoyment of Theatre, Ninth Edition by Jim Patterson & Tim Donahue. You will need enough gas to see  two shows this term and, when you attend shows other than In the Next Room at MSU, money for tickets to productions.

Online Quizzes
You will take 5 quizzes online; one is the online Orientation and one in each of the four Lessons. The quizzes are open book and open notes. Read that information carefully. When you are ready, go to the "Tests/Quizzes" link to take the actual quizzes. A new Lesson will become available as indicated on the syllabus, and any quizzes in a lesson become available the day that lesson opens.

There will be four major exams, worth 100 points each. These exams will be taken online with a time limit. All of the information you need to take the tests can be found in the instructions for each test. Should you have concerns about specific questions or aspects of the test (after completing the exam), please contact me and make an appointment. NOTE: you will have one opportunity to take an exam. Make sure you are prepared.

Event Critiques
You are required to see two shows this term. You will also write and submit a paper about your experience attending the show. These papers are called Event Critique 1 and Event Critique 2. Even though they are both listed in Lesson 2, they are due later in the semester to give you time to find and attend two shows. Don't let the early assignment number confuse you. If you are in Wichita Falls, you can see the two shows presented on campus at MSU (In the Next Room for free and a weekend of one acts for $5). The campus calendar has show dates and times. If you are outside the Wichita Falls area, you can see shows anywhere for a variety of prices, but I must approve your choice of show before you attend the production.

Discussion Board
The Discussion Board is a forum we will use during the course. Click on the discussion assignment in the left column and find the introductions forum. Hint: There is a question in the Online Orientation about this forum, so explore the discussion board as soon as possible!

Grades are automatically and manually recorded in the online gradebook and will be visible to students after the assignment is completed. Assignments that are graded manually will be entered in a reasonable time frame. You can view the gradebook by clicking the 'gradebook' tab at the top of the course home page. Keep in mind that these are your grades and I am human. Track your own grades and check them against the grade-book periodically. Also keep in mind that if you find a discrepancy, you are responsible for providing proof of the error.

If you decide not to continue in the course, it is your responsibility to withdraw. You may withdraw from any course on or before the date specified by the university. Contact the registrar if you need to withdraw from a course or have questions regarding drop dates. Check the syllabus for further information regarding attendance.

Course Objective:
To create theatre-goers who:
•   enjoy attending live theatre as entertainment,
•   evaluate a live, theatrical performance in a clear and educated manner - in writing and in discussion,
•   compare and contrast modern styles based on historical precedent and development, and
•   recognize and evaluate the personnel, techniques and collaborative efforts involved in the production of theatrical events.

Grading Standards

Grading/Evaluation Methods:
90% or more............ A
59% or less.............. F

10%: Reading assignment quizzes.
40%: Four exams covering the assigned text readings, class notes, and discussion.
20%: Two written critiques of approved live community or professional theatrical performances.
20%: Discussion Board participation
10%: Design project

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.
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.

Other Policies


  • The student is responsible for checking their campus email account and on-line course announcements AT LEAST once every day. Emails sent to the instructor will be returned within 24 hours, Monday through Friday. Emails sent over the weekend will be returned the following Monday. All emails must be sent to ALWAYS include THEA 1503-X10 in the subject line and ALWAYS make the subject line relevant to the content of the email. Emails without a subject line are automatically deleted as SPAM.
  • Plagiarism is taken very seriously. DO NOT attempt to pass other people’s work as your own.
  • It is the responsibility of the student to keep all graded assignments if a grade is questioned.
  • Correct English and grammar are necessary for all written and discussion board assignments. Additional help is available on campus for any spoken or written assignments in the Appreciation of Theatre.
  • As a current student at MSU, you are expected to know and abide by the MSU Student Handbook. Adult, professional conduct is expected at all times. The Student Handbook can be found on the MSU website.
  • Discussion Board:  You are required to answer each weekly question on the Discussion Board.  Additionally, you are expected to a)respond in a substantive way (more than "I agree") to the posts of at least two class members each week and b) read at least 80% of each week's postings.  Initial responses are to be posted no later than 1100 CST the Friday of each week and responses and reading must be completed by 2400 CST Sunday evening each week.
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