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Welcome to "Cool Classes," a regular feature that highlights the interesting, intriguing and unexpected in Bucknell University's course catalog.
What class? THEA 342: Devising Performance
"Devised performance is a process of creating theatre that doesn't start with a script. Instead, students begin with a hunch. This hunch (an interesting idea or topic to explore) could be about a social problem, an ethical dilemma or any burning question that examines what it means to be human. Students then begin to explore that hunch through performance.
"This year we have 17 different guest professors from a variety of disciplines — including management, philosophy, dance, engineering, education, animal behavior, lighting and sound design, English, projection, music and many more — lecturing and workshopping on our central question, 'What is knowledge?'
"It might not seem obvious at first, but this course could help students get and keep a job in the future. Devising Performance is one of the few classes at Bucknell that is graded mostly on group or, as we call it, ensemble-based work.
"One of the goals of working in this way is to actively examine the process of collaboration while we create. The skills this class teaches prepare students for careers that require the ability to work together to achieve innovation. These kinds of skills are just the kind that companies will be actively recruiting for long after these students have graduated from Bucknell.
"In effect, the course seeks to embody the liberal arts manifesto of consilience (the principle that ideas from many distinct sources can converge to create something new) through the art of performance."