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Tufts University: Downing Cless - Drama - Professor ratings, reviews and much more | JumboAccess
Downing Cless | DR155 - Directing I | Drama2007-01-20

Review:
It's hard to get around doing this course if you want to direct at Tufts, but I don't mean that as a negative. The class isn't revelatory, but Downing's a nice and accessible guy, and the work pays off.

Workload:
Not too much work. A fair amount of writing, but this is one of the less time-intensive courses I've taken.


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Tufts University: Downing Cless - Drama - Professor ratings, reviews and much more | JumboAccess
Downing Cless | DR001 - Comedy and Tragedy | Drama2005-01-18

Review:
I commend him for the effort he put into being funny. That being said, I found his lectures rather boring, and he never had anything especially smart to say about the plays we were reading. Granted this was a survey class, and we only had so much time to spend on each play, the questions he raised during discussions were usually very mundane, and we barely touched on the theoretical aspects of the plays (absurdist, brechtian, etc). I feel we mostly did literary analysis. This is not just because this was a survey class. I've seen survey classes taught better.

I did like the guest speakers, however. They had interesting things to say. As did the TAs. Watch out for the TAs, though. They were tough graders.

Workload:
A play a week, 2-3 reviews, a midterm, a final project, and a final exam. Very manageable.


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Tufts University: Downing Cless - Drama - Professor ratings, reviews and much more | JumboAccess
Downing Cless | DR155 - Directing I | Drama2005-01-16

Review:
Downing is occasionally difficult to understand, or can ramble a bit. However, he is always available for students to talk through a problem, and really wants to see his students succeed, both in and out of his class. Though his views on theatre are fairly rigid, he does allow students their own opinions, especially when he sees them brought to fruition successfully. I not only would take another class with this professor--I am!

Workload:
This class is for people seriously interested in directing for the stage. During the first half of the course, papers ranging from 8-15 pages were due weekly, analyzing a play of the student's choice in depth. In the second half of the course, students work on blocking two different scenes, which requires finding actors and rehearsing with them both inside and outside of the class period. Several more, but shorter papers are due during the second half of the class as well.


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Tufts University: Downing Cless - Drama - Professor ratings, reviews and much more | JumboAccess
Downing Cless | DR001 - Comedy and Tragedy | Drama2004-12-09

Review:
Although Downing often gets sidetracked, he is clearly very knowledgeable and I like how he encourages classroom discussion, which we did for at least half of the class every day. The class is focused on interpreting plays and talking about key decisions that would need to be made in the actual acting (although there is never any acting required, though you can opt to for your creative project). The plays we read were actually very good. If you're not big into English or Drama, it's a good introduction to everything without being crazy. His midterm was horrible unless you took amazing class notes that you memorized front to back - just very obscure things.

Workload:
If you're like me and wait until the night before to read a play, it becomes a lot of work. Generally, there is a play a week, although sometimes there are 2 or you have to watch a movie also or something. There were 3 written reviews (2pg) due for plays we had to see (2 here at tufts and 1 in Boston) and the creative project definitely took time. So, it's very doable but you really have to plan your time.


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Tufts University: Downing Cless - Drama - Professor ratings, reviews and much more | JumboAccess
Downing Cless | DR155 - Directing I | Drama2004-04-25

Review:
These classes are designed strictly for students seriously interested in directing. They should not be used to fill the arts requirement or taken just for fun. The classes are difficult and a lot of work but incredibly rewarding. Downing can be a little frustrating, but always means well.

(Prof. also teaches DR0156 - Directing II)

Workload:
A lot of paper work and at least 3 or more hours of rehearsal time outside of class.


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review a class you took with Downing Cless - help your classmates make informed decisions!
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