Bachelor of Arts In Comedic Arts

Course Description

The Comedic Arts program at California Baptist University prepares students to enter the fields of comedy, performance, technical artistry and writing for film, television, live performance or the internet. This program emphasizes the history and principles of comedy as it relates to our lives, as well as multiple cultures and peoples worldwide. Students will discover and develop their individual and unique comic voice.

Course Requirements

CMD 101 Introduction to Stand-Up Performance (3) 

Students will get an introductory overview of how to construct a performance from beginning to end. They will gain an understanding of concept/idea development, learn about writing jokes, sketches, complete routines, audience analysis, getting material, creating your own style, utilizing your talents and various tried-and-true comedy formulas. They will also learn how to develop an audition set, interview, book a show, get an audition and learn how to deal with difficult performance situations.

CMD 301 History of Comedy Performance (3)

Students will get an overview of the history of comedy from the time of the ancient Greeks to the present day. They will gain an understanding of the context of modern comedy (including their own), and of the universal elements in comedy. Special emphasis will be given to stand-up & sketch comedy. Subjects covered will include some or all of the following: Greek comedy, Shakespearean comedy, burlesque, vaudeville, music hall, silent film comedy, Picaresque narrative, stand-up, the satiric mask, farce, improvisation, film and TV comedy.         

CMD 311 Pantomime, Commedia and Physical Comedy (3)

This course will focus on the importance of a free and expressive whole-body approach to the creation and performance of broad physical comedy through a study of the historic comedic forms of Pantomime, Comedia Dell'arte and Clowning.                       

CMD 314 Clown Design: Costumes and Makeup (3)

This course provides students with an historic framework of clowning from Greek and Roman comedic characters, Shakespeare's clowns and fools, to the modern circus clown. Practical methods of costume fabrication and design and makeup application techniques are explored and mastered through a hands-on project oriented approach.

CMD 331 Comedy in Christian Ministries (3)

This course introduces the student to the development of drama-based ministries through the use of humor to convey such materials as scripture, children's ministries, sermon notes, evangelism, missions, etc. to illustrate themes for Christian & non-Christian audiences alike. The use of comic techniques such as: surprise, exaggeration, incongruity, repetition, misunderstanding, comedy of errors, irony, satire, and more to convey the Christian message will be explored and developed to evaluate our lives as we progress toward Christ-likeness. Particular emphasis will be placed on creation, development, & performance of applicable materials.

CMD 411 Comedy Sketch Writing for Entertainment (3)

From storyboarding and sketch-writing, to exploration of genres and literary devices, this course introduces you to everything that goes into a comedy sketch in order for it to resonate with today's audiences, including, literary techniques & sketch development, meaning and direction of plot lines, character creation and development, running gags, payoffs, punchlines, while demonstrating an understanding of the evolution of the comedy industry.

CMD 451 Comedy Production Internship (1-3)

Under faculty supervision, the student will be assigned to a position in a comedic field, within the broader entertainment industry. This internship provides an opportunity for investigating and participating in field experience with a practitioner of the trade of comedy writing, performance, producing or directing within the film, television, internet or live performance industries. 

CMD 482 Improvisation and Sketch Comedy (3)

Techniques in games, short and long form improvisation and the "Harold  approach to pattern recognition and the subversion of audience expectations are explored in this course through active participation by class members and critical debriefing after each exercise. The class also employs an improvisational approach to developing sketch comedy, which is then refined through outside writing exercises.

CMD 499 Senior Comedy Showcase (1)

Senior students prepare and perform representative comedic material developed by them through their course of study, culminating in a public performance. The public showcase will feature the work of all graduating seniors combined into one evening's performance, under faculty direction.