Jonathan Dent

Assistant Professor of Theatre
Jonathan Dent
Contact Jonathan

Mail Code HA
Jonathan Dent
Emily Dickinson Hall 28

Jonathan Louis Dent, Assistant Professor of Theatre, received his M.F.A. from the New York University Tisch School of the Arts in Graduate Acting and his B.A. from Brown University in Africana Studies and Theatre Arts.

He is an actor, writer, and director of the stage interested in using the medium of story-telling as a vehicle for liberation.  He’s a current ensemble member of Society, a NYC-based theatre group creating research-driven, radically collaborative theatre pieces.  Jonathan’s play The Broken Record - which he wrote, acted in, and co-produced- was the recipient of the “Overall Excellence Award” at the New York City International Fringe Festival. Jonathan has taught numerous creative workshops alongside the tour of his original one man show called Mr. Glass.  In his free time, Jonathan works as a Professional Astrologer and Numerologist and is an aborisa within the Ifa Isese spiritual tradition.  


Recent and Upcoming Courses

  • This course will give you the opportunity to learn how to write stories for the stage through both practice and discussion. We will explore the major elements of playwriting, including conflict, character, dialogue and action and we will deepen our understanding of these various elements by completing and workshopping writing assignments, and giving and receiving feedback with our ensemble members. We will also be reading the work of some of the most exciting contemporary playwrights who are using their voices to tell stories about people and groups often underrepresented by the traditional canon. Over the course of the semester, we'll write pieces of varying lengths and by the completion of the course you will have written and revised at least one ten-minute play. We all have stories to tell, and this class will help you unearth the stories that you may not have previously known were living within you. keywords: The content of this course deals with issues of race and power.

  • In this course we'll develop the skills in crafting story as both actors and directors. Through intensive scene work, you'll either be working as an actor within the scene with partner(s) or you'll be serving as the director of the scene, helping to shape and sculpt it. We'll read the work of contemporary directors in which they describe their own directing process and we'll also read about various acting methodologies that can help assist actors in stepping into and embodying characters with care, authenticity, and nuance. This course will require substantial rehearsal time outside of the classroom with your groups, and will also require the professor's permission. If you would like to pre-register for the course, email the professor and say why you think you would be a good candidate for this course. Keywords:

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  • Building off of the foundations of Introduction to Acting, students will strengthen their performance skills by doing partner-scenes selected from both classical and contemporary plays. Like any good scene-study course, this class will require students to memorize and rehearse their scenes outside of the classroom. This will be a deeply collaborative class, and students will be engaging in various acting exercises meant to deepen and widen their scope of imagination, physical movement, and vocal range. We'll also be doing reading throughout the semester about the craft of acting, and students will also be asked to do short writing responses that document their journey and progress throughout the semester.

  • The theater has long been used as a vehicle for social change. In this course, we will be using Brazilian activist Augusto Boal's book "Theater of the Oppressed" as the foundational text for the course. We'll also be reading plays from playwrights spanning the breadth of time to think about the ways their work has often emerged out of a specific need and desire within that moment in history. Beyond reading and analyzing plays, we'll also be playing theater games, participating in theatrical exercises that foster ensemble-building, and watching videos and documentaries that will help awaken and inspire a desire to use the theater as a forum that can initiate positive and healing changes within the community. KEYWORDS:Theater, games, improvisation, devising, acting, playwriting

  • This course will give students the opportunity to create original theatrical work. The class structure will function as a creative incubator for students to be able to express the stories that are living within them. We will read the work of some of the most exciting contemporary playwrights whose work is primarily focused on illuminating experiences from groups often under-represented within the traditional canon. We'll spend time doing various writing exercises both in-class and out of class that will help students get in touch with their own unique voices. We all have stories to tell. This class will help you unearth those stories using both practical and ethereal methods. Keywords:Writing, Plays, Poems, Theater, Creative

  • In this course, you'll explore what it means to create original theatrical pieces with your ensemble members.This exploration will be through various methods: interviews, recordings, observations, engagement with communities, traditional research methods, improvisations, physical explorations, and discussion. The topics that you'll be exploring will be derived directly from the desires of you and your ensemble members: if climate change is something you're passionate about, we'll explore it. If it's social justice or social change that motivates you, then we'll explore that. What we will create will come from what the ensemble is most curious about.

  • This studio course provides a foundation in acting for the stage, giving the student basic techniques in freeing the imagination, body, and voice. Techniques include relaxation, focus, sense memory, physical awareness, vocalization, improvisation, and character analysis. Using acting principles drawn from Stanislavski and movement exercises from Viewpoints students will interpret classic and contemporary scenes from underrepresented playwrights of color not typically found in the traditional canon. Keywords: acting, studio, stage.

  • This studio course introduces and examines principles of directing for the stage. We explore the world of a play, conflicts, staging, and learning the language of designers. We also explore different modes of communicating with actors. We will look at the work of current directors. How do they approach a script? What is their rehearsal process? How do they collaborate with designers in producing the work on stage? Students will keep a directing journal, analyze plays, and review productions throughout the semester. Keywords: directing, plays, actors, staging.

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