This course explores the concepts and techniques of sound design for live performance. Although we focus our attention on sound design for the theater, much of the material covered is applicable to audio production for film, electronic music, concert dance, and radio. The course is structured around the sound designer’s typical workflow during a theatrical production. The course will help you synthesize creative and critical thinking about sound design aesthetics with the knowledge of technological systems necessary to bring concepts to life. Topics of discussion will include initial research and script analysis, conceptualizing and presenting a design aesthetic, collaborating with the design team, basic acoustics, understanding audio hardware in the space (speakers, microphones, mixers, amplifiers, cables, routing), creating sound plots (speaker placement and equipment routing diagrams), programming playback devices (Qlab), and using digital multi-track audio editing software to record, mix, and master music and sound for performance. Course assignments will build towards a mock show and will contribute to your final design portfolio. Course work will involve readings, performance critiques, script analysis, sound collecting, recording, editing, sound synthesis, cue building and programming assignments, and hands on experience using equipment in the theater.
This course explores Audio Drama, a unique form of acoustic performance broadcast on the radio or disseminated through recording media. Central to our investigation will be the ways in which text, voice, sound, music, and the imagination interact to produce a completely aural and yet visually suggestive theatrical experience. Discussions will be based on readings of original radio plays (including those written by Antonin Artaud, Samuel Beckett, and Tom Stoppard), texts about the theory and creation of audio drama, and articles on sound theory and criticism. The course will culminate in a collaborative assignment in which students create their own works of theater for the ear. No experience with sound production is necessary.
This course is a graduate seminar exploring the theory and practice of collaboration in the context of theatre with some consideration of collaboration in the arts more broadly. By reading and discussing the political, philosophical, and creative ramifications of a variety of collaborative models we work to broaden and enrich our knowledge of both contemporary and historical trends in theatrical collaboration. The course develops communication, cooperation, leadership, directing, and design skills. Students participate in mock production meetings and design presentations that allow ample time for feedback from both professors and peers.
This course provides an overview of the various aspects of establishing and managing a career in the performing arts. It focuses on the development of digital media skills and the creation of an effective online presence as well issues of performance documentation and portfolio design. It is designed to expose you to current trends in the ever-changing media environment of the performing arts, offer help on ways to navigate that environment, and guide you towards effective modes of self-promotion. The main focus of the class is building a personal website that highlights student's artistic accomplishments.
The relationship between music and dance is one of undeniable interdependence. The techniques and concepts for both art forms, however, are generally taught separately and in very different ways. This course is designed to deepen dancers’ understanding of both the mechanics and the aesthetics of music. It will underscore our kinesthetic connections to sound and help dancers to develop skills in analyzing, articulating, and finally physicalizing a variety of connective pathways between music and movement. By broadening your awareness of different musical forms, learning relevant musical terminology and concepts, gaining a basic understanding of rhythmic notation, and creating your own sound and movement studies, you will be better equipped to understand and embody what Robert Kaplan has described as the “musicality inherent in movement and the movement inherent in music.”

This course is designed to introduce choreographers, musicians, theater practitioners, and other media artists to some of the fundamental concepts and techniques of sound design, especially as it applies to contemporary dance forms.  The course is appropriate for all levels of experience and is intended to augment technical skills as pertaining to audio technology as well as encourage critical thinking in regards to the aesthetics of music and sound for dance. Topics covered will include basic audio editing, signal processing (effects), multi-track mixing, and mastering, with attention to the playback systems typical of most performance spaces.  Through demonstrations, discussion, and work on creative projects we will explore the dynamic world of sound design and digital audio.

*I have taught this course face-to-face and online.

This class will take a theoretical and experiential approach to the use of sound for art making. We will examine sound art as an experimental, inter-disciplinary aesthetic that challenges and expands upon more traditional notions of concert and popular music, film scores, and visual art. The class will begin with a discussion of some of the seminal figures and movements that have shaped the still emerging genre of sound art, illuminating its unstable identity at the intersection of music, radio art, sculpture, multi-media installation, and network art. The course will emphasize the crucial role that new technologies play in influencing the form and content of the artwork discussed. We will explore the evolution of early film scoring to its more contemporary incarnation as sound design, trends in musical form that have moved away from traditional instrumentation and towards sound environments, and the way in which sound art complicates the realm of time-based media. We will engage in hands-on projects consistently throughout the semester, including building our own contact microphones, recording sounds, learning to generate and edit sound in the freeware program Audacity, and building our own transducers (speakers) using household found objects. Each hands-on project will have its own specific goals but will also be instrumental in building towards a final group sound installation and show.
Digital Media Portfolio is a class designed to aid Dance majors in the creation and enhancement of new and preexisting portfolio materials. The primary aim of the course is to ensure that dance majors graduate with an online presence and more confidence working with a variety of digital tools relevant to self promotion. Skills learned include basic video editing, file conversion and management, still image adjustment, social media tactics, and simple website building.