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Current Courses

Pa040 Theater Arts

3 units (2-0-1); first, second, third terms
Instruction in all phases of theatrical production, culminating in multiple performances for the public. A hands-on, practical approach includes workshops in stage combat, costume construction, scenic arts, occasional informal encounters with professional actors, designers, and directors. Understanding of dramatic structure, respect for production values, and problem solving are stressed. Material of academic value is drawn from 3,000 years of worldwide dramatic literature.

First Term

PA040A - Directing/Acting/Writing (D/A/W) will be offered fall term 2017 Wednesday nights 7:30-9:30 in Ramo Auditorium for ten weeks. Director of Theater Arts Caltech, Brian Brophy (Star Trek TNG, Shawshank Redemption, The PhD Movie 2) helps guide you through the fundamentals of Directing/Acting/Writing with a workshop production of original work crafted by the class. This class is offered to undergrads, grad students, postdocs, JPL employees, Caltech staff, and faculty. D/A/W is a low-pressure opportunity to explore movement, voice, the creative process through written word, directing principles through improvisation in a friendly, intimate, and safe environment. 

Second Term

Wednesday nights, 7:30-9:30
TA 3 Units

Third Term

PA040C - Storytelling for Scientists
Wednesday nights, 7:30-9:30
TA 3 Units
First class for Storytelling for Scientists will be April 4 and final class June 6, 2018
Ramo Auditorium
Instructor: Brian Brophy and Guest Professors/Artists

To be effective leaders and communicators, scientists need to explain/perform their science. Through a series of writing exercises, improvisation, and performance/vocal techniques with new media, students will explore/discover/write new narratives for the ever-changing 21st century landscape. The final class culminates in two (5-7 minute) talks recorded in front of a live audience on June 8, 2017. [View the 2014 performances]


    • To cultivate a community of creativity and expand a unique social network.
    • To strengthen writing skills and practice public speaking.
    • To enhance your personality and explain your science-self in fun new ways.