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Course Materials
Final Project

Course Outcomes

Course Materials

You will need these textbooks:

  1. Oedipus Rex by Sophocles
  2. Primis Online/McGraw Hill Ebook “TMA 101: Theater” compiled by George Nelson available through BYU Bookstore and online.
    • (Note: The text for this class is a standard introductory theatre text. We have selected it both for its in-depth look at the field and for its conservative presentation of the material. As is the case with any text that deals with artistic representation, especially contemporary art, the text may discuss potentially difficult material. The text presents this work in order to help us understand how that art both constructs the world around us and functions in that world. However, you are never required to read or view materials that you feel are spiritually damaging. If you have concerns about any of the reading and/or viewing materials, please contact your instructor. You will work together to create an alternate assignment that will both fulfill the requirement for the class and will meet your personal standards.)
  3. The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov
  4. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
    1. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
    2. Medea by Euripides
    3. Miss Julie by August Strindberg
    4. The Tempest by William Shakespeare
    5. Tartuffe by Molière

To purchase the Ebook online:

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Lesson Assignments

Throughout the course, you will have 9 lesson assignments. These are computer-graded, not instructor-graded. It will be your responsibility to complete these in a timely manner after finishing the required reading. Keep in mind that these assignments are not open-book. You must carefully read the material before taking each assignment. Also note that you will not be able to re-take these assignments.

Original Play Scripts

Each class member must write and submit an original 7 ½ minute play. These plays can be on any subject suitable to be performed on a BYU stage and must have a cast of at least 2 but no more than 6 characters. Please note that a 7 ½ minute play is approximately 8–9 pages. I don’t expect you to be expert playwrights at this stage of your career, so your plays will be given full credit as long as we feel you have given the assignment your best effort. (Note to the wise: Use as few characters as possible and keep the action of your play in one place. In other words, don’t do multiple locations.)

Critical Thought Journal

You will be required to keep a Critical Thought Journal throughout the course. It will be due at the end of the course. The purpose of this journal is for you to record your thoughts and feelings as an audience member after listening to or viewing an artistic or dramatic event. The television shows, movies, plays, and art exhibits you see are all eligible, as well as the music you listen to or even something less traditional like a political debate. All are valid mediums to discuss in these journals. These entries need to be 1 page each and you need a total of 6. The tone of these entries does not need to be scholarly, but the depth of thought does. Use the tools we talk about in this class to help you think critically about the subject.

Critical Response to The Cherry Orchard (2–3 pages)

Write a textual response to the play. Demonstrate your mastery of the Aristotelian elements you have read about to analyze this play. Draw from specific quotations/examples in the text to support your selected theme. Be sure to carefully identify and weigh the use of the theatrical elements of plot, character, conflict, context, and/or language in your paper.

Visual Language Analysis (2–3 pages)

Using the PowerPoint in Lesson 9 by Rory Scanlon, write an analysis of the chosen film clip that demonstrates your working knowledge of the principles of visual language. You are required to be specific in your analysis and thoroughly compare and contrast the visual elements that are used in the piece. Make sure we can tell from your writing that you have a mastery of all the principles and elements of visual language.

Directors’ Concepts—Hamlet Comparison (2–3 pages)

After reading William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and viewing a film version of the play, write a 2-3 page paper that explains in detail the directors’ concept. Use specific examples from the text and the film to support your opinions, preferences and analysis. Be sure to identify exactly what specific choices were made by the director to support his or her concept.

Production Analysis of a play of your choice (2–3 pages)

View and analyze a theatrical production. Write a 2–3-page paper that fully analyzes a theatrical production you have seen. Support your thesis statement by analyzing elements of the production including acting and directing choices, design choice, and the overall shape and strength of the production. Be thorough and thoughtful.

Formatting Your Written Work

You will submit written assignments electronically. To make sure I can open and read your papers, please save them as Word .DOC or .DOCX files.

Submitting Your Written Assignments

Here’s how to submit your completed written assignments:

  1. Click the corresponding Assignment Submission link in your course.
  2. Click Open.
  3. Attach the assignment files by clicking the Choose File button, then locating the file(s) you wish to submit.  It is possible to submit multiple files at once. 
  4. When you are finished, click Submit.
  5. You will be asked if you are sure you want to submit this assignment. Click Yes.
  6. You will receive a message that tells you that you have successfully submitted your assignment. Click OK.

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Final Project

This assignment requires you to participate in the preproduction work for the imaginary mounting of the play you have selected to read. Once you have thoroughly read the assigned play (from the list) and picked the job that you are most interested in you are ready to use your creative talents to shape the production. The jobs you can choose from are: costume designer, set designer, director, and dramaturg. If you choose to be one of the designers you must create detailed, color drawings of your chosen design area and write a 2–3-page justification for your choices. If you choose the job of director you need to create a detailed directors concept and write a 5–7-page justification for your concept. If you choose the job of dramaturg you will be required to write 5–7-pages of historical, social, literary and other information that will be helpful to a director. Each project will need to demonstrate your knowledge of the required production elements of your selected play as well as your understanding of the nature of the job you have selected. All papers should be supported by citing specific examples from the script.

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Assignment % Points
Lesson Assignments 9% 90
Original Play Script 15% 150
Critical Thought Journal 10% 100
Critical Response Paper 10% 100
Visual Language Paper 10% 100
Director’s Concept Paper 11% 110
Production Analysis 10% 100
Final Project 25% 250
Total 100% 1000

Grade Scale

A 100–94%
A- 93–90%
B+ 89–87%
B 86–83%
B- 82–80%
C+ 79–77%
C 76–73%
C- 72–70%
D+ 69–67%
D 66–63%
D- 62–60%
E 59–0%

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Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is defined as the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work. This may also include when a student copies and pastes directly from another source and passes it off as his or her own, copies computer-generated text from a translation tool and uses it as his or her own, or fails to cite a source after loosely summarizing its content in his or her own words.

As determined by your instructor or the BYU Independent Study administration, if evidence of academic misconduct on assignments or exams is established, one of the two following consequences will apply to each incidence:

First Offense of Plagiarism

Second Offense of Plagiarism

Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

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University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at the BYU Title IX Website or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at the BYU title IX Website or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.

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Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

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Course Policies

These policies are specific to this course. For additional information about general policies, please refer to Independent Study Course Policies page.


Nine computer-graded assignments, no resubmissions, and six written assignments, may be resubmitted once for a fee.

Resubmit an assignment for a fee.

Final Project

1 final project, may resubmit once for a fee, must pass the final project to earn credit for the course.

Resubmit the final project for a fee.

Getting Help

Please use the help menu in this course to contact Independent Study or your instructor. You can find a list of free tutors available to BYU Independent Study students on the Free Tutoring Services website.

Note: The Harold B. Lee Library website provides a number of online resources and librarians are available via phone, chat, and email to answer questions about library-related issues.

Inappropriate Use of Course Content

All course materials (e.g., outlines, handouts, syllabi, exams, quizzes, media, lecture content, audio and video recordings, etc.) are proprietary. Students are prohibited from posting or selling any such course materials without the express written permission of BYU Independent Study. To do so is a violation of the Brigham Young University Honor Code.

© 2016 Brigham Young University. All rights reserved.

Published by the
Department of Independent Study
Division of Continuing Education
Brigham Young University
120 MORC
Provo, Utah 84602-1514