Plays for Performance
06/29/2009 - 07/31/2009
Tuesday & Thursday 01:00 PM - 04:00 PM
This course is designed to introduce students to a spectrum of plays that are representative of different theatrical genres and styles. Rather than examining these texts as literature - an important task to be sure - we will be looking at these plays as scripts for performance and the artistic and social contexts in which they were written.
In addition to thinking critically and contextually about these plays, students will also be developing their ability to engage others in the exploration of theatrical texts. The course will examine how the four modes of literacy - speaking, reading, writing, and listening - can be engaged in the study of dramatic literature. We will cover the use of appropriate style and disciplinary conventions in writing and speaking; interpretation, as we examine the contexts in which each play was written; inter-cultural literacy, as we will look at a number of plays by minority and foreign authors; and imaginative and creative response to text and theme.
The course is structured as a series of discussions and analyses followed by play readings. Our goal is to cover 12 - 15 plays over the course of the term, ranging from the Ancient Greeks to contemporary plays of the "00"s. Selected scenes from the assigned texts will be rehearsed in class and presented as active readings.
This course will have a Blackboard on the Wesleyan ePortfolio system. Information such as the course syllabus, office hours, special articles, and internet links will be posted on our Course Blackboard. In addition, you will be responsible for posting responses to the assigned readings and any special events that we may attend. The issues or questions to be addressed will accompany the specific reading assignment. Each assignment will have a deadline, and all postings must be up by that day and time.
In addition to the blogging, a final paper of more depth and formality (7 - 10 pages) will be due on the last day of classes. A choice of topics will be offered, all of which will require familiarity with the course reading list and plays from beyond the list.
Course tuition: $2022
This course is not open to auditors.
A syllabus for this course is available at:
David Jaffe (BA Connecticut College, MFA Yale University) is Frank B. Weeks Visiting Professor of Theater at Wesleyan. For eight years he served as Director of the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center. Jaffe taught advanced acting classes, audition technique, improvisation, ensemble process, and mentored the directing lab. As a professional actor he has worked in regional theater and in New York City in such venues as the Long Wharf Theater, American Shakespeare Theater, Yale Repertory Theater, the New York City Ballet, and was a member of the O'Neill Playwrights Conference acting company for three summers. Jaffe is also a professional observer at the Actors Studio in New York City. Click here for more information about David Jaffe.
Consent of Instructor Required: No
|Level: GLSP||Credits: 3||Enrollment Limit: 18|
Texts to purchase for this course:
David Ball, BACKWARDS AND FORWARDS
Samuel Beckett, WAITING FOR GODOT
Anton Chekhov, UNCLE VANYA (Paul Schmidt translation)
Henrik Ibsen, A DOLL HOUSE
Sarah Kane, SARAH KANE: COMPLETE PLAYS
Tony Kushner, ANGELS IN AMERICA
Eugene O'Neill, LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT
Suzan-Lori Parks, THE RED LETTER PLAYS
William Shakespeare, HAMLET (any edition, preferably Penguin)
Sophocles, ANTIGONE (Timberlake Wertenbaker translation)
Sophie Treadwell, MACHINAL
Jose Rivera, REFERENCES TO SALVADOR DALI MAKE ME HOT
Paula Vogel, HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE
Tennessee Williams, A STREET CAR NAMED DESIRE
Doug Wright, I AM MY OWN WIFE
Gao Xingjian, THE OTHER SHORE
READING MATERIALS ARE AVAILABLE AT BROAD STREET BOOKS, 45 BROAD STREET, MIDDLETOWN, 860-685-7323 Order your books online
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