Course Listings

The following courses are offered by the Speech, Communications, & Theatre Arts Department:

Communication Studies (COM)

Introduction to Communication Studies is a survey course that examines major research areas, perspectives, and theories within the field of communication studies. The course will introduce and review key approaches to the study of human interaction, rhetoric, language, persuasion, and cultural processes across diverse contexts. Specifically, the course provides an interdisciplinary framework from which students will think seriously about how culture and society are constructed in our communicative practices, explore how language and meaning structure our reality, as well as examine the social, cultural, and political impacts of human communication as it unfolds in varied fields including interpersonal communication and conflict resolution, intercultural communication, rhetoric, media studies, as well as organizational and small-group communication.
The course introduces the basic concepts and theories of interpersonal communication in personal, educational and business settings. This includes a study of self as communicator, the effect of language on others, verbal and nonverbal expression of thoughts and feelings, and factors which contribute to effective communication.
Prerequisite: SPE 100 or permission of department
The focus of this course is to provide an understanding of the influence and impact on our lives and society by the mass media. The course examines the history, law, technology, economics and politics of the mass media through independent study, field trips, etc. Students are encouraged to be aware of techniques of influence used by the mass media to influence and determine social and political values. In addition, students learn to develop tools for critical analysis of and standards for discriminating consumption of the mass media.
Prerequisite: SPE 100 or permission of department
The emphasis of this course is on developing communication behaviors that productively manage conflict; it is structured to integrate communication theory with practical application. Through readings, lectures, sample conflict cases, and interviews, as well as through in-class discussion and exercises,this course will address both intra-personaland inter-personal conflicts that occur indiverse settings, examine the sources of these conflicts, and analyze the factors that influence how we identify, define, manage, and defuse these conflicts.
Prerequisite: SPE 100 or SPE 102
This course is designed to provide an understanding of intercultural principles and perspectives when communicating with people from diverse cultures. Consideration will be given to both verbal and nonverbal communication processes in the "American" culture, co-cultures, contact cultures, and popular culture. Through readings, lectures, response papers, and interviews, as well as through in-class discussion and exercises, this course will explore how culture shapes communication, how situations are framed through cultural lenses, and how histories, perceptions, values, contexts, aspects of stereotypes, and ethnocentrism all contribute to the complexity of intercultural communication.
Prerequisite: SPE 100 or SPE 102
This is a class in small group communication. It covers communication dynamics such as group development, decision-making, discussion, leadership, roles, norms, and conflict. Text and lectures focus on small group communication theory, concepts, and processes. A significant part of the class consists of learning the material through class exercises, participation in a variety of small groups, and reflecting on those experiences.
The purpose of this course is to raise students’ awareness regarding the ways in which gender is created, maintained, and/or changed through cultural expectations and interaction. Students will gain theoretical insights and develop analytical skills to identify gendered expectations, and to learn how such expectations serve to limit behavior for people of all genders. The course will enhance understanding of how predominant social assumptions and communication norms can devalue and silence women and other non-dominant groups, and how students can become change agents to enhance our collective lives.
Prerequisite:SPE 100
The objective of the internship is to allow the student to put classroom theory in his/her major into practice in order to gain work experience. Each student-intern will work 15 hours a week for the length of the semester. Each student-intern is assigned to an internship professor (a faculty member who is knowledgeable about the student's field. The internship professor helps the student secure internship placement in a worksite related to the student'™s major, or assists the student to "reconstruct" his/her present position as an internship; or develop-by special arrangement- an internship with his/her present employer, and serves as the student's instructor and advisor during the field experience. Student interns are expected to work 15 hours a week, complete a term project assigned by the internship professor, and be evaluated by the worksite supervisor. Students to be placed are expected to arrange their schedules so that they are free mornings or afternoons, Monday-Friday or two to three full days per week.
Prerequisites: Completion of all remedial requirements and an overall GPA of 3.0 or 3.0 in major classes; a œB or better in ENG 201 and SPE 100 or permission of the instructor; completion of CED 201; completion of at least 36 credits of coursework, including prerequisites listed below: COM students must have completed: COM 240, COM 245, COM 250, VAT 152

Gender and Women’s Studies (GWS)

This introductory level, interdisciplinary course explores the basic concepts and perspectives of Gender & Women's Studies from an intersectional angle; that is, examining the ways in which gender intersects with race, ethnicity, nationality, class, sexuality, sexual identity, disability, and other categories. The concepts of gender - the roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a society considers appropriate for men and women - privilege and oppression, intersectionality, and feminist praxis will be at the core of this course. After a background in the history and significance of Gender & Women's Studies as a field of study, you will learn to critically examine how institutionalized privilege and oppression shape individual lives and intersecting identity categories.
The Gender and Women’s Studies Capstone course will be a culmination and synthesis of students’ work in the GWS program. Over the course of the semester, students will explore a topic in GWS in-depth; they will sharpen their analytic abilities and critical thinking skills while engaging in an independent research and/or experiential learning project. Through course readings and individual and/or group work, students will apply interdisciplinary concepts, theories and methods to real life experiences, resulting in a research paper or project and a presentation to the class.
Prerequisite: GWS 100 and two GWS electives

Speech (SPE)

The aim of this course is to develop effective skills in speech communication. The student examines how to generate topics and organized ideas, masters elements of audience psychology and practices techniques of speech presentation in a public forum. All elements of speech production and presentation are considered.
This course is recommended for those whose native language is not English. It addresses fundamentals of speech communication, as does SPE 100, but provides special emphasis in vocabulary building, pronunciation, and enunciation. Classwork is implemented through the use of recordings, individual and group drills, interpersonal exercises, oral readings, and impromptu and prepared group discussions and speeches. Weekly speech tutoring is required. This course satisfies the equivalent for, and may be taken instead of, SPE 100. Credit is given for SPE 102 or SPE 100, but not for both classes.
This course is designed for those students who wish to improve their speech communication in the business and professional environment. Study of voice and articulation, development of auditory discrimination, utilization of individual and group exercises, and application of speech in group discussions and interviews are covered. This class is particularly recommended for those whose native language is not English as well as those desiring additional improvement in speech and language.
Prerequisite: SPE 100 or SPE 102
This course introduces the key concepts of preparing a media project with the development of a needs analysis and a treatment for client proposals. The basics of scripting, graphics, and audio and video elements are covered. These elements are then illustrated in detailed discussions of contemporary media, including film and video production. Students progress to discussion of satellite and Internet technologies that include teleconferencing, business, television and video news releases. Multimedia implementation is then covered by analyzing case studies in electronic press kits and website design.
This course is devoted to the reading aloud of various works of literature, such as poetry, prose or drama, in order to develop an awareness of the voice and body as an instrument of communication, and to instill an appreciation of the beauty and sensitivity of the English language.
The aim of the course is to provide the student with advanced experiences in the preparation and analysis of oral presentations for professional, nonprofessional, and academic situations. A detailed study of the principles and theories of public speaking is made. The course includes the presentation of student speeches. Prerequisite: SPE 100 or permission of department

Theatre (THE)

The collaborative nature of the theatrical event will be explored in readings, presentations, play attendance, papers and creative projects. Contributions of the playwright, actor, director, designer, architect, critic, producer and audience will be investigated through selected periods, genres, theatre spaces and styles of production. The student's potential roles and responsibilities in creating theatre will be emphasized.
Basic acting skills, a method of approaching a role, a working vocabulary, and the responsibilities of the actor will be studied through improvisations, theatre games, and performance of scenes or monologues from plays and other dramatic material studied in class.
An introduction to voice and body work. Students will participate in warm-ups and exercises that promote concentration, relaxation, trust, vocal resonance, physical flexibility, and strength.
This course is designed to give the student a comprehensive overview of the fundamentals of professional theatre production, including the basic skills and technical theories involved in scene design, stagecraft, stage properties, costuming, lighting, and sound. Physical theatre layout, crew organization and responsibilities, safety requirements, and practical experience in building and running a production will be taught. Students will serve on a crew for a BMCC theatre event. Prerequisite: THE 100
This survey course will look at major trends and directions in Latin American theatre by drawing on plays and performance ensembles of the mid-twentieth century to the present. We will look at the work of some of the most influential playwrights, directors, and ensembles as they grapple with their political, national, and cultural contexts, and discuss these artists’ dual commitment to social conscience and artistic expression. We will read manifestoes and plays by many of Latin America’s major playwrights and performing artists, as well as critical writing by scholars and historians. We will also engage with documentary films and videos of performances.
Prerequisite: SPE 100 or THE 100 or LAT 100
This course provides practical training, working side-by- side with designers and technicians to build and run the current production. Focus is on scenic and prop creation, including an introduction to common tools and basic construction techniques with an emphasis on safety. The areas in which students gain experience are determined by their interest and availability.
Prerequisite: THE 121
This course provides practical training, working side-by- side with designers and technicians to build and run the current production. Focus is on costume technology and wardrobe crew. The areas a student gains experience are determined by their interest and availability.
Prerequisite: THE 121
This variable topics course provides practical training in rehearsal, performance and production practices, including acting, stage management, and running crew. The play to be produced will be announced at registration. Enrollment is by audition only. Course may be taken up to three times for credit.
This variable topics course provides practical training in an aspect of theatre production, such as lighting, scenic painting, or sound. The student will be introduced to the specialized tools and techniques of the topic, with an emphasis on safety. The major content of the course will focus on the needs of the current production, and the topic for each section announced at registration. May be taken for credit up to three times in three different topic areas.
Prerequisite: THE 121
This course is designed to help students develop the skills and knowledge essential to execute stage management duties in preproduction work, rehearsal and performance of theatrical productions. Students will examine dramatic texts from the perspective of the stage manager. The stage management skills gained will also provide practical insights into many fields, including film, television, special events, and any business where timely, effective communication and coordination between groups is essential.
Prerequisite: THE 100
Drawing from examples and occasional guest speakers from the New York theatre world, this course provides an introduction to the theory, principles and practices of theatre management. Students will create their own fictional theatre company, applying the principles of mission structure, and financial planning. Practical experience in management is gained through crew assignments. Oral and written presentations, resulting in a casework, aim to sharpen communication skills and prepare students for further study in theatre management.
Prerequisite: THE 100
This course continues the study of methods and exercises introduced in Acting I to develop the actor's skills, and moves on to an in-depth study of scene analysis and characterization. Creating an ensemble and exposure to different historical periods will be emphasized. Prerequisite: THE 110
This course is designed to give the student experience in all the aspects of bringing a play to production. As the play is cast, rehearsed, designed, built, advertised, and performed for an audience, students will learn about the responsibilities and collaboration between the different participants involved in theatre production. Students will have the opportunity to hone their acting skills, and must also contribute to at least one other aspect of the production.
Prerequisites: THE 125 or THE 126 or THE 127 or THE 128
This course is the first level of a two-semester sequence in musical theatre singing performance skills. Students will be introduced to acting through song, correct vocal techniques and sound production. The interpretation of lyrics as well as the understanding of character, time period and musical style will be emphasized.
Prerequisite: THE 210 and MUS 170, or permission of the instructor and admission is by audition held in Music and Art Department
The aim of this course is to develop students’ understanding of the history and practice of North American solo performance in the 20th and 21st centuries. Students will booth encounter various artists’ performance work via readings and archival video, and make their own performances throughout the course of the semester. The course will expand students’ knowledge of historical solo performances and both character driven and autobiographical performance. The course will also introduce students to the history of performance. The course will also introduce students to the history of performance art and ask them to contemplate its role in the history of solo performance.
Prerequisite: THE 210 or Audition
Students serve as interns for a production company in the entertainment industry. The work of the internship can include technical skills, front-of-house, marketing, performance, directing, choreography or other aspects of production, including publications and other media.
Prerequisite: THE 125 and departmental approval
This course will train the advanced acting student in natural, proficient acting for the camera. Techniques and acting methods will be taught in BMCC's state-of-the-art studio; students will work in front of the camera and will be able to view their own performances on tape. Prerequisite: THE 210 and audition
A survey of theatre of the world from its ritual origins to Jacobean England. Major periods explored through reading and viewing significant plays, studying the sociological forces that led to different theatrical forms, theatre architecture, methods of production, playwrights and the relevance of these plays and theatrical forms today.
Prerequisite: THE 100 and ENG 201 or ENG 121
This course explores, analyzes, and examines women’s contribution to US-American theater, beginning with Colonial women up to contemporary women. The course will investigate how omen have contributed and continue to contribute as playwrights, actors, directors, managers, producers, and through women’s collectives to the evolution of US-American theater. Most materials are available to students without costs, through open source material, e-resources, or on reserve in the BMCC library.
Prerequisite: ENG 201
This studio course is designed to provide students with advanced creative techniques to deepen their skills as performers. Topics are presented by visiting theatre practitioners in a workshop series. Focus is on creating original work in the following areas: devised work, dance and movement for actors, and solo work. Exercises and improvisation are designed to enhance concentration, imagination, resonance, movement and will culminate into performances after each section. Students will create and workshop performances with a focus on learning new approaches to language, structure and movement. The course emphasizes the collaborative nature of theatre. Appropriate research and reading will be required in addition to artistic assignments.
Prerequisite: THE 110, THE 121 and audition or departmental permission
The objective of THE 315: Playwriting is to sharpen students' creative writing skills and to teach them the elements of playwriting and character development. Through the reading of one-act plays and practice writing exercises each week, students will learn the craft of playwriting. They will write scenes and create their own one-act plays.
Prerequisite: ENG 101 and ENG 201, or ENG 121

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