Summer Courses

General Info

Register at beginning in February 2017.

Courses will be offered during the following sessions in 2017:

A – Six-Week Session: May 22 – June 30
B – Ten-Week Session: June 5 – August 11
C – Eight-Week Session: June 19 – August 11
D – Six-Week Session: July 3 – August 11
E – Three-Week Session: July 17 – August 4

*Please note that if you do not attend the first day of class you will be dropped from that course.

Summer Sessions 2017 Course Offerings

SESSION A – Six Week Session: May 22 – June 30 


This course fulfills the University American Cultures requirement, a breadth requirement that ensures all UC Berkeley students are introduced to the diverse cultures of the United States through a comparative framework. In this course we view diversity through the cultural practice of dance, and explore dance as a meaning-making expressive form. Over the term we will develop the tools necessary for looking at dance, analyzing it, writing about it, and understanding its place in larger social, cultural, and political structures. We will look at a variety of US American dance genres, understanding them through their historical and cultural contexts in order to explore how issues of race, gender, sexuality and class affect the practice and the reception of different dance forms, and, in turn, how dance might help shape representations of these identities. Ethnic groups that the course studies cover include African Americans, indigenous peoples of the United States, Asian Americans, Chicanos/Latinos, and European Americans. This course is designed to be accessible to students with no prior experience in dance. This is a not a studio-based dance class.

Session A | MTW*T 1:00PM-3:30PM | MT&TH 88 Dwinelle, W 215 Dwinelle| Michelle Summers | 4 units

*Wednesday class is discussion


SESSION C – Eight-Week Session: June 19 – August 11


We often hear people say that actions speak louder than words. We express ourselves, who we are, through our actions, our performances, our lived experiences amidst the contexts within which we operate. Performances involve communities; we connect with our immediate socio-political circumstances, and these relations, in turn, determine our performances. Our lives themselves—including our daily rituals, religious and secular practices, entertainment events, political involvements—involve layers of theatricality and performance which reveal facets of our identities. Personal identity is also not a concrete unchangeable idea, but its performance is constantly in flux depending on the context.

It takes skillful writing to capture the meaning of performances due to their fleeting nature, and effective writing and critical thinking are interdependent. This will be a reading- and writing-intensive course where we will examine essays, plays, and live performances exploring how we are always already caught up in performances. We will devote plenty of time to developing critical thinking and writing skills, paying particular attention to argumentation, close reading, analysis, and the fundamentals of writing at the college level.

R1A satisfies the first half of the Reading and Composition requirement, and R1B satisfies the second half.

Session C | MWF 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM | Dwinelle 262 | Srijani Ghosh | 4 units


Although a television commercial, political protest, sporting event, film, theater production, and dance concert are very different from one another, they share various qualities and dynamics. What are some of these qualities and how can they help us understand both the individual performances and the broad spectrum of which they are part?  In this course we will analyze and write about a range of local performances off and on-campus We will emphasize writing that develops through conversation with other writers, artists, and spectators and use in-class discussions to hone our critical thinking, achieve greater ownership of what we read and watch, formulate productive questions and arguments, and write in a clear and engaging manner.  Students will also learn about different kinds of research projects, evaluate sources, and work with various campus resources.  The semester will culminate with a research paper. R1A satisfies the first half of the Reading and Composition requirement, and R1B satisfies the second half.

Session C | MWF 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Dwinelle 235| Scott Wallin |4 units


This course examines the intersections of performance and media – specifically the media forms of television and social media in the U.S. – with a focus on how various types of difference (race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and socioeconomic class) are enacted, articulated, represented, and played on TV and social media platforms. This course fulfills the requirement for TDPS majors and minors for an upper-division Performance Studies course (“Performance and Theory” category).

Session C | Online | Abigail De Kosnik | 4 units

This course has no class meetings. It takes place entirely over the Internet. The deadline to register/add this course is midnight (PST) on Sunday, June 11, 2017.

SESSION D – Six-Week Session: July 3 – August 11


This is the entry level course for the acting sequence and focuses on releasing and cultivating the actor’s inherent creativity. Through exercises, improvisation, scenes, and monologues, the actor begins to develop basic techniques designed to stimulate the imagination, develop vocal and physical ability, increase awareness of self and others, introduce effective ways to analyze texts, think critically about the craft of acting, and enhance self-confidence and communication skills. This class is the essential beginning of the actor’s studies, which will ultimately allow her or him to effectively engage and explore work from a rich diversity of genres, styles, and backgrounds.

Session D | MTWTF 9:00AM-12::00PM | D23 Hearst Field Annex | Margo Hall | 3 units

THEATER 5 (sections 1 and 2) – PUBLIC SPEAKING

In this highly interactive class, students will study the fundamentals of presentation in order to minimize the anxiety associated with public speaking and foster the skills necessary for clear, persuasive oral communication in professional settings. Instruction will include effective use of vocal intonation, body language and eye contact as well as techniques for organizing material for maximum impact. The techniques discussed are applicable to a host of situations – from small meeting presentations to keynote speeches and convention addresses. Small class size will allow individual attention and offer participants ample opportunity to “rehearse” the techniques in a safe and nurturing environment.

Session D | MTWTF 9:00AM-12:00PM or 1:00PM – 4:00PM | 7 Zellerbach | Lisa Porter | 3 units


Engage for 6 weeks in creating a social justice summer theater company. Each day we deepen our practice by developing full-bodied and whole-hearted skills: the technical needs of an actor (voice, speech, physical movement, and character development) and the personal cultural awareness and communication habits of an activist. We will activate our imaginations, give voice to stories of injustice, and move the classroom community from page to stage, from company membership to civic leadership. Grounded in the work of Augusto Boal, we will experience the role of theater in education, justice-making, and societal transformation, and strengthen our practice as writers, actors, directors, witnesses, and makers of theater and social change. Interactive theater training and performance mixed with multicultural and communication skills prepare us for deeper artistic, academic, and activist work in our personal and professional worlds. No previous acting training or experience necessary.

Session D | MTWTF 9:00AM-12:00PM | 170 Zellerbach | Michael Mansfield | 3 units



This course is designed specifically for ESL learners (students for whom English is a second language) who would like to improve their clarity, expressivity, and confidence in spoken English. Utilizing the International Phonetic Alphabet (the IPA), students will intensively study spoken English pronunciation, word stress, intonation, inflection, and rhythm.  Students will then be given the opportunity to embody the new sounds and principles learned through vocal and physical exploration, improvisation exercises, and scripted presentations. Additional topics include strong and weak forms, word linking, and challenging consonant combinations.

Section 2: Session D | MTWTF 9:00AM-12:00PM | B4 Dwinelle | Jessica Berman | 3 units

SESSION E – Three-Week Session: July 17 – August 4


The goal of the course is to provide an overview of filmmaking techniques that can be applied to a variety of artistic projects involving the body in motion. The course will begin with historical contextualization of screen dance and video editing basics. It will then build to video production and post-production techniques ranging from the basics to more complex concepts investigating the relationship of the body to the camera, composition, and sound design. The class will study films that represent a range of styles that reject or embrace conventions of Hollywood continuity filmmaking, as well as formal experiments that reimagine what’s possible with the medium of film.

Location and context for the class projects will be explored as well as developing content, narrative, and/or conceptual ideas. Everyday camera technology such as web cameras and smartphones will be utilized along with camcorders, DSLRs, and gimbals provided specifically for the class. Students will not only share their projects on the large screen in formal viewing sessions, but they will also be asked to create studies for the small screen: Instagram, Periscope, etc. Students who are comfortable moving/performing in front of the camera are encouraged to take this course. Previous video production experience is not required.  There is a mandatory lab component. Equipment and Lab fee: $30.00.

Session E | MTWTF 9:00-12:00PM and 1:00PM – 4:00PM | 285 & 295 Kroeber | Instructor Ben Estabrook | 3 units