Dunham
School:University of Virginia
Department: Biology
Location:Charlottesville, VA
Overall Rating
rated by 9 students
Helpfulness
Clarity
Easiness
Rating Comment
Overall
Helpfulness
Clarity
Easiness
Pros: -He speaks english
-can also read english
-has some experience in his field
-might be a nice guy if he knew how to teach
Cons: -stupidly hard grader. He treats this class like an engineering course.
-doesn't post his lectures
-rambles like crazy
-this class will obliterate any hope you had of keeping a good GPA
-Tests stupidly hard. At one point he had us memorize different painting utensils. So useful.
You will think this class is an easy fun class. It is amazingly boring and you will dread going to it. Also, if you cannot draw like a boss, you will fail the final project and then fail the class because there are like a total of three grades.
PLEASE DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS.
Richard Dunham is a lighting designer. Not a teacher. Not anywhere NEAR a teacher.
FOR YOUR OWN SAKE, FLEE. FLEE THE CLASS.
source: someone who is about to lose his perfect 4.0 and who thought he was hella smart
Overall
Helpfulness
Clarity
Easiness
Pros: Knows what he's talking about
Lots of experience
Uses his past work as examples
Cons: Rambles some
Tests aren't exactly like lectures
Overall, I enjoyed this class. As an actor, I liked getting to learn about the behind the scenes and technical stuff I never really learned about before. In this class you cover theatre history, design basics (color, types of paper, types of medium), lights, costumes, sets, and sound.
A lot of people thought his tests were hard, but I made an A on all of them after studying my notes and what he had on his study guide. Plus, he tells you a lot what will be on the test. It can be difficult when he gets off topic in class or even forgets to discuss something, but I thought it wasn't bad.
His final project was a lot of work, but not necessarily hard. Basically you have to design a set, lighting , or 3 costumes for a play with a model, storyboard, or renderings, respectively. I spent most of my Thanksgiving break working on it, but he didn't really take off too much because of my lack of artistic ability.
Overall, it's an intro class that has some easy aspects and some bad parts.
Overall
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Easiness
Pros: Some fun material, knows what he's talking about
Cons: hard for him to communicate to others what he already knows. exam questions can be somewhat ambiguous. sometimes hard to understand and unclear
he's a nice guy, but very non forgiving when it comes to your project. take ingermann if possible
Overall
Helpfulness
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Easiness
Pros: He's nice and understanding when you speak to him. You do learn something in the class. The day to day workload is basically nothing.
Cons: Boring. Unnecessarily hard grader. His tests were difficult for no reason.
If you haven't had theatre basics from high school, you need to study harder than you think because the tests are not are not as easy as you think they'd be considering the material.
And you probably won't make an A on the final project if you're not close to a professional level in artistic ability. (Even though he'll say he doesn't grade on how artistic you are.)
Even on the critiques, he graded hard. Most thea teachers I've had basically graded on the fact that you spent two hours and $15 on a show you didn't actually want to see in the first place and then wrote about it. Dunham took points off randomly. Most people get B's on these. Some get A's. I don't think anyone does really badly and he takes them late and is understanding about it.
He teaches from a PowerPoints he doesn't post. The book will be a waste of your money. Take extensive notes of everything he says because just the powerpoints themselves are often vague bullet points.
I hated this class and struggled to go to it everyday. It was a requirement for me and I'm glad its over. That being said, I rarely found the subject matter interesting so it was hard to care. I didn't do thea in any way in high school. True theatre lovers may have a better time with this classt.
Also, he is a nice guy I guess, I just didn't like his class at all; and you do learn stuff that can be relevant information sometimes.
I ended up with some kind of B with moderate effort. If I totally slacked I would have either failed or made a low to mid C. People who actually dedicate themselves to the class usually get about a B/B+/A-. I don't know of anyone who's made an A.
Overall
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Easiness
Most work of THEA 3300 classes. 2 projects. Teaches off of powerpoint and does not post.
Overall
Helpfulness
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Easiness
Dunham is an extremely nice guy, but he makes his exams unnecessarily hard for a theatre design class. However, he does offer two projects that help to offset the tests. Overall, it's a pretty good class to take for both theatre majors and minors. I ended up with a B+, but I could have most definately gotten an A- if I worked a little harder.
Overall
Helpfulness
Clarity
Easiness
Pros: You learn theater basics
Cons: Boring, Hard grader,
I do not recommend taking this class if you want to keep a high gpa
Overall
Helpfulness
Clarity
Easiness
Pros: Presents all information in class. Very knowledgeable and has real world experience in the field.
Cons: Doesn't swallow when he speaks so you may want to sit a few rows back. Also has assigned seating for attendance purposes.
Don't need the book and barely need to study to do well, especially if you know anything about theater.
Overall
Helpfulness
Clarity
Easiness
Pros: There's no busy work in the class but the floorplan and final projects are worth enough to make up for a bad test grade. He is very helpful with questions about the floorplan and final project.
Cons: Dunham's lectures tend to be very boring. Tests are based more off of lectures than textbook.
He tends to go through topics very slowly, even if they're rudimentary. He also has several questions on the exams where there are answers in the book but he considers those incorrect and will only take ones given in the class. So, even if the lectures seem very basic and boring, take EXTENSIVE notes. Especially of his diagrams.

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