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Course Planning by Program


Essential Objectives

Course Syllabus

Revision Date: 18-Jul-24

Fall 2024 | THA-1041-VO01 - Introduction to Theater

Online Class

Online courses take place 100% online via Canvas, without required in-person or Zoom meetings.

Location: Online
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Day/Times: Meets online
Semester Dates: 09-03-2024 to 12-16-2024
Last day to drop without a grade: 09-16-2024 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 11-04-2024 - Refund Policy
Open Seats: 15 (as of 07-21-24 4:05 PM)
To check live space availability, Search for Courses.


Margo Whitcomb
View Faculty Credentials
View Faculty Statement
Hiring Coordinator for this course: Cindy Swanson

General Education Requirements

This section meets the following CCV General Education Requirement(s) for the current catalog year:
VSCS Arts & Aesthetics
  1. Many degree programs have specific general education recommendations. In order to avoid taking unnecessary classes, please consult with additional resources like your program evaluation, your academic program catalog year page, and your academic advisor.
  2. Courses may only be used to meet one General Education Requirement.

Course Description

This course is designed as an introduction to the collaborative nature of theater in addition to the analysis and criticism of dramatic literature. Students consider theater from a variety of historical periods and ethnic cultures, from the ancient world to the present and learn to appreciate theater both as literature and performance that deepen their understanding of the human experience.

Essential Objectives

1. Analyze plays as texts and as live or recorded performances.
2. Demonstrate a knowledge of theater history.
3. Identify and describe theatrical productions from a variety of global cultures, historical periods, and styles which may include drama, comedy, musicals, tragedy, burlesque, opera, operetta, Noh, pantomime, vaudeville, farce, passion plays, and more.
4. Define the function of the elements of theatrical production, including stage, setting, scene design, costuming, props, lighting, sound, choreography, blocking, character, dialogue, monologue, and soliloquy.
5. Describe the collaborative nature of theater arts production.
6. Explain the impact of theatrical arts on the life of a community and how this can change in different social, cultural, and historical contexts.
7. Explore the relationship between performers and the audience.

Required Technology

More information on general computer and internet recommendations is available on the CCV IT Support page. https://support.ccv.edu/general/computer-recommendations/

Please see CCV's Digital Equity Statement (pg. 45) to learn more about CCV's commitment to supporting all students access the technology they need to successfully finish their courses.

Required Textbooks and Resources

*** This is a no cost textbook or resource class. ***

THA-1041-VO01 Link to Textbooks/Resources Information for this course in eCampus.

The last day to use a Financial Aid Advance to purchase textbooks/books is the 3rd Tuesday of the semester. See your financial aid counselor at your academic center if you have any questions.


Methods and Requirements

Greetings Students!

I am Margo Whitcomb (BFA, MA, MFA) and I am a long time theatre maker and educator. My approach centers the experience of theatre - what is theatre - how, why, and where it is made. My goal is to tackle this big subject in a lively and surprising approach. Whether you are already a theatre fan (or practitioner) or are just "theatre curious" - this course is for you. Content will be delivered in a variety of platforms: readings, videos, podcasts, digital performances, power points, interviews, and films.

Students will learn the anatomy of making theatre, (who does what and how does it happen), develop skills in interpretation and analysis, as well as grasp a historical overview of theatre's evolution and future. Supplemented with films and actors known (and unknown) to you - we will rely very heavily on the medium of videos and images in the absence of the "live" experience. The thrust of the course is on WHAT is theatre across cultures and purposes, HOW the theatre experience is made, WHY this "storytelling" persists and WHERE it is headed in the technologically innovative 21st century.

Even better, there is no cost for the text we are using. I hope you will join me in Fall 2024!

  • Interactive class/discussion posts and responses
  • Bi-weekly quizzes and/or assessments
  • Viewing short informative and entertaining videos
  • Viewing excerpts from theatrical productions, films, and television
  • Short written response papers
  • Mid term exam
  • A final project (tbd to align with students' interest/preferences) following a one on one zoom with instructor.

Grading Criteria

CCV Letter Grades as outlined in the Evaluation System Policy are assigned according to the following chart:

A Less than 9893
A-Less than 9390
B+Less than 9088
B Less than 8883
B-Less than 8380
C+Less than 8078
C Less than 7873
C-Less than 7370
D+Less than 7068
D Less than 6863
D-Less than 6360
FLess than 60 
NPLess than 600

Weekly Schedule

Week/ModuleTopic  Readings  Assignments


The Basics

What is Theatre?

  • Online Introductions
  • Vocabulary from text - UNIT 1, page 2 to 13 of Theatre Appreciation- online Open Source Textbook
  • Discussion entry (post and respond)


Theatrical Space

Where does theatre happen?

  • Vocabulary from text-pages 14 to 33 of Theatre Appreciation- online Open Source Textbook
  • Read a short one act play (as assigned for reference throughout the course)
  • view short video(including Crash Course Theatre/PBS)


Critical Response

How to watch and review a production

Who are the "critics"

  • Vocabulary from text-pages 34-43 of Theatre Appreciation- online Open Source Textbook
  • view short videos of production
  • Discussion entry (post and respond)
  • Online assessment quiz


Genres and Styles

Tragedy, comedy, improv or other?

  • Vocabulary from text-pages 44 to 57 ofTheatre Appreciation- online Open Source Textbook
  • view short videos of examples ( Crash course Theatre/PBS )
  • short written response paper ( 2 pages )

Attendance Policy

Regular attendance and participation in classes are essential for success in and are completion requirements for courses at CCV. A student's failure to meet attendance requirements as specified in course descriptions will normally result in a non-satisfactory grade.

  • In general, missing more than 20% of a course due to absences, lateness or early departures may jeopardize a student's ability to earn a satisfactory final grade.
  • Attending an on-ground or synchronous course means a student appeared in the live classroom for at least a meaningful portion of a given class meeting. Attending an online course means a student posted a discussion forum response, completed a quiz or attempted some other academically required activity. Simply viewing a course item or module does not count as attendance.
  • Meeting the minimum attendance requirement for a course does not mean a student has satisfied the academic requirements for participation, which require students to go above and beyond simply attending a portion of the class. Faculty members will individually determine what constitutes participation in each course they teach and explain in their course descriptions how participation factors into a student's final grade.

Accessibility Services for Students with Disabilities:

CCV strives to mitigate barriers to course access for students with documented disabilities. To request accommodations, please
  1. Provide disability documentation to the Accessibility Coordinator at your academic center. https://ccv.edu/discover-resources/students-with-disabilities/
  2. Request an appointment to meet with accessibility coordinator to discuss your request and create an accommodation plan.
  3. Once created, students will share the accommodation plan with faculty. Please note, faculty cannot make disability accommodations outside of this process.

Academic Integrity

CCV has a commitment to honesty and excellence in academic work and expects the same from all students. Academic dishonesty, or cheating, can occur whenever you present -as your own work- something that you did not do. You can also be guilty of cheating if you help someone else cheat. Being unaware of what constitutes academic dishonesty (such as knowing what plagiarism is) does not absolve a student of the responsibility to be honest in his/her academic work. Academic dishonesty is taken very seriously and may lead to dismissal from the College.