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


The course will focus on the history of Western clothing and how its intersection with trade, politics, technology and art created what we eventually have come to define as Fashion. Beginning with the changes and instabilities of the European Renaissance, surveying the Dutch Golden Age, Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution, the Surrealists and the fashion photography and couture of the early 1930s, and finishing with the anti-fashions of the 1970s, we will survey the various ways the human body has been used to signal ideas of status, morality, fertility and potency, and access to membership within social, religious and political classes. Each investigation will draw on research rooted in the art-making and cultural style of each era being discussed. Trips to local exhibitions and museums will be arranged on occasion. Pieces from the extensive costume collection within the Department of Theatre, Dance and Performance studies will be made available for study.

Session A | MTWTF 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Zellerbach Room 8 | Instructor Annie Smart | 3 units



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 | Location TBA | Instructor TBA | 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 | Location TBA | Instruction TBA | 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 | Room 7, Zellerbach | Michael Mansfield | 3 units


This class will guide students through a study, research, experimentation and creation process that results in the development of your own new performance works. This class is led by artist-in-residence Sean San José, performance maker and co-founder of the award winning San Francisco company Campo Santo – a performance company that has developed and premiered over 50 new performance pieces since 1996.  In this class, students will engage in outreach and research activities  and then respond and generate new creations that reflect the world and issues that surround them. The class will be a laboratory in developing and generating new performance works through the Campo Santo “Open Process” model that is rooted in writing exercises that lead into new performance creations employing theatre, music, movement and other skills of interest and desire.  Learn tools to create your own new works that reflect your world and your interests.

Session D | MTWTF 1:00PM-4:00PM | Room 7, Zellerbach | Sean San José | 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 | Location TBA | Jessica Berman | 3 units
Session 3: Session D | MTWTF  1:00PM-4:00PM | Location TBA | 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 | Location TBA | Instructor Ben Estabrook | 3 units


This intensive practical course combines two theater arts topics: 1) Stage Combat and 2) Movement for the Actor. Each three-hour daily session will teach students how to increase proprioception, flexibility, stamina, core strength, and awareness of the body. The morning will focus on movement exercises drawn from a broad spectrum of methodologies to increase physical awareness and enhance the external expression of the actor. Utilizing techniques and concepts applicable to textual and non-textual performance, students will explore movement as a starting point for theatrical composition, creating and inhabiting characters, conveying meaning, developing relationships, and effective storytelling.

In the afternoon sessions, students will utilize the increased body awareness developed in the morning sessions to learn skills for stage combat, exploring the technical and aesthetic aspects of physical engagement on the stage. This portion of the course will teach students the ability to safely portray fighting onstage with specificity and dramatic power, as well as understand how stage combat fits into the practice of theater as a whole. Other aspects of the afternoon sessions will include the development of strength and flexibility, eye/hand coordination, application of principles of safety in working with a partner, and learning how to advance one’s character within various assigned stage combat scenes. Students enrolled in the course will be asked to draw on previous training in acting, voice, and/or movement. It is expected that students enrolling in this course will be prepared for vigorous physical training over the entire three-week term.

Session E | MTWTF 9:00-12:00PM and 1:00PM – 4:00PM | Location TBA | Instruction TBA | 3 units