THTRFLM 3S03 Major Production Workshop
Academic Year: Fall 2016
Instructor: Dr. Peter Cockett
Office: Togo Salmon Hall 404
Phone: 905-525-9140 x 27662
Office Hours: by Appointment
- Course Objectives
- Textbooks, Materials & Fees
- Method of Assessment
- Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties
- Additional Policies and Statements
- Topics and Readings
- Other Course Information
The students in the course have the opportunity to participate in all aspect of the production process, applying the skills learned in the program’s level 2 courses, under the supervision and artistic leadership of the instructor and guest designers. The course will foster the dialectical connections between research, analysis and creation that are central to the practice of devised theatre and the Theatre and Film Studies program. Students will learn to engage with important social issues and develop strategies to communicate ideas to a local audience. The work will strengthen their understanding of the production processes behind creative work and the social significance of the decision-making involved. Students will learn to work collaboratively towards a common goal, defining shared ideas and production protocols. Over the course of the production students will specialise as assistant designers in a chosen design department, or as stage managers, in order to develop a deeper expertise in one aspect of theatrical production. By the end of the course, they will be equipped to take control of their own complex creative projects in the future. They will be expected to complete any technical training necessary in order to succeed in their speciality, either independently or under supervision of the SOTA technician, the instructor, or guest artists working on the show.
Textbooks, Materials & Fees:
Specific texts will be assigned to students according to their chosen specialty.
Method of Assessment:
- Health and Safety Test (5%): The students will complete a short Health and Safety test to ensure they are able to work safely in the production spaces. Only those students achieving 80% or more will be allowed to have full access to the equipment in the theatre.
- Initial Design Presentation (20%): Each production team will present their initial ideas for the design to the group. This initial presentation will involve research into past productions and should demonstrate a strong understanding of the course readings and the objectives of our productions. It should present the director (me) with a series of design options intended to satisfy the production protocols established at the start of class. The presentation might be a workshop experiment demonstrating particular options in design, or a formal presentation of potential design choices that fit with the production’s central design concept. The exact nature of the presentation will be negotiated with the instructor. The presentation should reveal how the production options would create an affect that would serve the social and artistic objectives of the production.
- Final Design Presentation (20%): Each production team will develop and present a final design for the production, building from the group's reaction to the Initial Design Presentation. This presentation should also demonstrate a strong understanding of the course readings and the objectives of our productions. It should present the director (me) with a final design for the show that will satisfy the production protocols established at the start of class. The presentation might involve a workshop experiment demonstrating particular options in design, or a formal presentation of potential design choices that fit with the production’s central design concept. The exact nature of the presentation will be negotiated with the instructor. The presentation should reveal how the affect of the production options would serve the objectives of the production – making the important connection between design and meaning.
- Contribution to Production (25%): The student will be evaluated based on their contribution to the production. The student will be assessed on the basis of the quality of their work, its impact on the production as a whole, the student’s professionalism and the student’s application to the cultural and creative objectives of the production. The effectiveness of the students' work as assistant directors will contribute to this assessment.
- Final Report (15%): The student will submit a final report as a reflection of the entire term and production, offering insight on the entire experience. Its primary focus should be how the production choices made served, or did not serve, the objectives of our production. How did the artistic choices work to make meanings new and old?
- Collaboration (15%): Students will be assessed on their ability to collaborate effectively and will be given a mid-term grade that assesses their performance in this capacity. Important collaborative skills include: punctuality, reliability, preparation before meetings, fulfilment of assigned tasks, bringing ideas to the group, facilitating the ideas of others, keeping the project moving, negotiating creative road-blocks and finding syntheses. On-line discussion forums will be a key factor in my assessment. If you do not engage with your groups online, then I will presume you are not engaging with the work outside of the classroom. If you do not speak during class discussions, then you cannot begin to collaborate effectively in the class process. The grade will be split in two with one 5% assessment delivered following the first design presentation and the second 10% at the end of the course.
- Health and Safety Test: Thursday 10th, September (Graded prior to Nov 4)
- Initial Design Presentation: Thursday 30th, September (Graded prior to Nov 4)
- Final Design Presentations: Tuesday 8th and Thursday 10th October
- Contribution to Production: As determined by production schedule. Feedback provided by November 21st
- Final Report: Due on Wed, Nov 27, in assigned Dropbox
- Collaboration: 5% by October 4th, 10% at end of term
Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:
Late penalty for written assignments is 2% per day or 10% per week. Assignments will not be accepted more than one week after the due date. In exceptional circumstances, a medical certificate, or the equivalent for a nonâ€‘medical problem, must be submitted to the Dean's office (CNH 112) in explanation for late assignments. Assignments submitted late will not receive written commentary.
Deadlines for Practicum Work
Performance and presentation dates, once scheduled, are final deadlines and are not subject to renegotiation. “The show must go on,” except in case of University closure, immediate threat to safety, or the direction of the Instructor, Technical Director (or a designate of either).
Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:
You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.
Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.
It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity
The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:
- Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
- Improper collaboration in group work.
- Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.
Email correspondence policy
It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student. Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.
Modification of course outlines
The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.
McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)
In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at mcmaster.ca/msaf/. If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.
Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities
Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail email@example.com. For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.
Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances
Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.
Topics and Readings:
As indicated on Avenue to Learn
Other Course Information:
All written work MUST be submitted on the course website via Avenue to Learn. Wherever possible, papers should be attached as a MICROSOFT WORD, PAGES or OPEN OFFICE file, not a pdf!! The FILENAME should begin with your surname followed by the name of the assignment, eg. cockett_1pres.doc, would be my analysis of the first presentation. When developing your written work, students should clearly identify ideas and information that were generated in group discussion or contributed by another group member and distinguish these from material they themselves have generated for the individual essay. Assignments submitted as PDFs will not receive written commentary.
The success of any production depends on the reliability of its production team. Our classes will largely be used as production meetings and attendance in class therefore is compulsory. If you miss more than two classes, you will receive zero for participation and may be deemed to have not completed elements of the course. Students who are absent for their group presentation or the tutorial they have signed up to report on will receive a grade of 0 unless they present documentation to the Faculty office justifying their absence on that day.