CTAC offers courses in three departments at Binghamton University: Theatre, Music, and Asian and Asian American Studies (AAAS). Current AAAS and Theater course offerings include four mini-courses: Beijing Opera Face Painting, Beijing Opera Stage Combat I & II, and Beijing Opera Character Types, while courses offered through the Music Department include Chinese Music Ensemble. All courses are college credit-bearing and open to all students on campus.
Beijing Opera Courses
- Beijing Opera Face Painting
One of the most distinctive aspects of Beijing Opera is its unique make-up style, which disguises actors with astonishing masks painted directly onto their skin. This class teaches the significance of symbolic patterns and colors used and techniques of pigment application. This class is taught by professionals from the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts in Beijing, China. There are no prerequisites. The class is 2 credits.
- Beijing Opera Stage Combat
This course concentrates on the symbolic fighting style of Beijing Opera, using special swords and spears. It is athletic and gymnastic and is clearly influenced by techniques of martial arts. Despite that, no previous training in any of the above is necessary for enrollment. Traditional weapons are provided. Taught by professionals from the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts in Beijing, China. There are no prerequisites, and the class is 2 credits. Open to students from any major.
- Beijing Opera Character Types
This is a hands-on class that involves some speech and or song, not a lecture class. Both male and female students will learn the unique attributes and/or performing techniques of each role category in performance. Characters in Beijing Opera are divided into four categories: Sheng (males), Dan (females), Jing (painted face males), and Chou (clowns). The final project includes a demonstration of each character type with face painting, water sleeve costumes, and folding fans. The course is taught by a guest artist from the National Academy of Chinese Theater Arts. There are no prerequisites.
- Chinese Music Ensemble
This course provides beginning instruction on various Chinese traditional instruments. The course will be taught by a guest artist from the National Academy of Chinese Theater Arts (NACTA). Specific instruments taught will vary each semester depending on the abilities of the guest artist. Students will work on proper sound production, technique, and ensemble performance. There are no prerequisites, and the course is suitable for freshmen; ability to read music is recommended.
The CTAC looks forward to holding in-person and online lectures very soon!