Performance and Devised Theatre
Students work with faculty advisors to devise self-designed majors. Coursework in the major builds upon students’ experiences in the general education curriculum while providing students with pathways to deepen their knowledge or further develop their passion in a particular area of study.
Why study performance and devised theatre at Antioch?
Performance and Devised Theatre at Antioch College starts with the notion of the self as source and resource. Courses feature an interdisciplinary approach that emphasizes the presence of the performer and the responsibility of the artist to the audience. Students are encouraged to develop physical, vocal, and narrative skills through courses in voice and speech, improvisation, storytelling, rehearsal and production, and autobiographical performance among others.
Through the investigation of voice, body, story, text, and space, students come to understand the connection between their own experience as performers and their responsibility to communicate to others. Students engage with generative and interpretive strategies, develop original works, and stage texts of all kinds in order to reflect their learning as makers and scholars of performance.
As students progress they become familiar with history, contemporary practices, and theory through studies of interdisciplinary avant-garde performance, documentary theater and media, production classes, and site-specific collaborations with guest artists and community members. They come to understand the responsibility of the artist to take their art into the community as a transformative tool for themselves and others.
Sample of courses that could be taken to comprise a degree in Performance and Devised Theatre
Intro and Intermediate
- PERF 103 Voice and Speech
- PERF 150 Improvisation in Art and Life
- PERF 250 Rehearsal and Production
- PERF 330 Writing and Performing the Self 4 credits
- PERF 350 Rehearsal and Production II 4 credits
- PERF 370 Documentary-based Performance
- CAP 394 Capstone Preparation 4 credits
- CAP 495 Capstone Project
Methods In Performance and Devised Theatre
- PERF 330 Writing & Performing the Self II
- PERF 350 Rehearsal and Production II
- PERF 360 Advanced Special Topics in Production II
- MEDA 102 – Basic Media Production
- ARTS 240 – Interdisciplinary Studio
- VISA 400 – Contemporary Collaborative Practice
Cooperative Education Field Placements
In the past, students in Performance and Devised Theater have participated in co-ops around the country and abroad. Here are a sampling:
Faculty in this area
Michael Casselli has been interested in the hybridization of forms and media since he received his undergraduate degree in visual arts/performance theory from Antioch College in 1987. While at the college, he staged large-scale outdoor mixed media performance installations, whose primary focus was an attempt to clarify issues of sense-based perception and the physicality inherent in performative work. After Antioch, he was accepted into the Masters Program in Sculpture at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).
While at RISD his worked started to move away from the performative context, while maintaining a vested interest in sense of physicality, choosing to focus on the role that the spectator plays as a necessary figurative element of a completed work. It was at RISD that he started to define the contextual framework through which his work was to be experienced. By eliminating physical boundaries between the viewer and the work, he provided the spectator with a choice as to how they would interact with it.
While these concerns still remain active in the work he produces today, his vocabulary has expanded to include more subtle ways of asking the same questions, and has allowed him to consider a broader palate of contemporary media in the creation of his work, utilizing video, robotics, and home-grown technologies. Michael spent twenty years in New York City within the underground art and performance scene, fully integrating his early concerns with performance and the visual arts. While continuing to create large-scale installations, he found himself able to apply many of the same concerns within the performance arena, creating scenic and video design for dance and theater, earning him a Bessie Award for Scenic Design in 1987. Michael relocated to Yellow Springs in 2009 to establish the Manic Design Studio, a place for hybrid experimentation in all media.
- MFA, Visual Arts, Rhode Island School of Design
- Concentration: Sculpture
- Thesis: Hybrid Form and the Question of Traditional Arts Practice
- BA, Self-Designed Major, Antioch College
- Concentration: Visual Arts/Performance Theory
- MEDA 101: Media, Internet, and Society
- MEDA 130: Practical New Media
- MEDA 160: Sound Art
- MEDA 230: Reactive Systems
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Luisa joined Antioch’s Cooperative Education faculty in 2015, and has a background in performance, women’s and gender studies, international education, and community engagement through the arts. Luisa has designed new co-op coursework engaging art as social practice, community action research, and place-based learning. Her primary focus areas within co-op include the arts and therapeutic practices as well as opportunities in Latin America. In Argentina, Luisa has developed co-op partnerships with organizations engaged in community action and social change, including: Mujeres de Artes Tomar, a feminist performance activist troupe; Fundación Hampatu, engaged in arts, sustainability and skills-based classes; and Club de Reparadores, a "repair club" that recycles and repairs items for reuse.
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Luisa's work as a writer, director and performer explores intersections of human rights, feminist thought, counter-memory, migration, ritual, and place-making. As an Open Society Institute Baltimore Community Fellow with Creative Alliance, Luisa developed an award-winning community arts program in southeast Baltimore. A member of Sol Rising healing arts troupe, Luisa was a founding member of Baltimore’s Theater Action Group and trained at The Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory with Agosto and Julian Boal, among others. As a teaching artist, Luisa aspires towards embodied, experiential and liberatory pedagogies and practices.
- M.A., Comparative Women’s Studies, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
- B.A., Latin American Literature, Theater, Smith College
Louise Smith ’77 is an alumna of Antioch College. She is a writer, performer, educator and therapist. She worked for eleven years in Ping Chong and Company, touring nationally and internationally with collaborative productions that incorporated media and movement. She also appeared in works by artists Meredith Monk, Julie Taymor, and Ann Bogart. Her solo works have been seen at P.S. 122, Dixon Place, Dance Theater Workshop and La Mama in NYC, as well as the Illusion Theater in Minneapolis. Milwaukee’s Theater X, and Actor’s Theater Louisville. Since 1984, she’s written and performed sixteen solo pieces. She is the recipient of a Jerome Fellowship in Playwriting from the Playwright’s Center in Minneapolis, a Bessie Award for her work with Ping Chong and an Obie for Painted Snake in a Painted Chair by The Talking Band. Smith was also awarded an NEA Collaborative Fellowship for Interfacing Joan, her solo with Ping Chong. In 2016 she had a writing residency at the Vermont Studio Center and was granted an Ohio Arts Council Artist’s Excellence Awards in playwriting, her second from the OAC. She’s written five plays for Yellow Springs Kids Playhouse, and in 2017 created a new work with Talking Band/Ellen Maddow entitled Fat Skirt and Big Nozzle, based on the paintings of James Ensor. She holds an IMA from Antioch University in Playwriting and an M.S.Ed from University of Dayton in Community Counseling.
- M.S.Ed., Community Counseling (with Licensure), University of Dayton
- I.M.A., Playwriting, Antioch University
- B.A., Theater, Antioch College
- PERF 103: Voice and Speech
- PERF 250: Rehearsal and Production
The Herndon Gallery at Antioch College is pleased to welcome the public to the opening reception of the WORKS Biennial 2019, a group exhibition featuring the creative vocations and avocations of the staff and faculty of Antioch College. The...