Theatre Arts 100


Professor Mazer

Fall 2001


519 Annenberg Center, 8-7382 and 3-2659;

Office Hours:  Tu 1:00-2:45; Th 10:30-11:45; and by appointment


September 6:   Introduction:  What is Theatre?


September 11:   Theatre and Representation

            Reading:  Susanne K. Langer, “The Dynamic Image” and “Creation,” from Problems of Art (bulkpack).


September 13:   Theatre and Representation (cont.)

            Reading:  Bernard Beckerman, “Imitation and Presentation,” from Theatrical Presentation:  Performer, Audience and Act (bulkpack).


[[REQUIRED THEATRE GOING:  Theatre Arts Program:  The Elektra Cabaret, September 13-15, Studio Theatre, Annenberg Center.]


[September 18:  No Class]


September 20:  Theatre in Performance I:  The Elektra Cabaret


September 25:  Acting and Behavior

            Guest Lecturer:  Jim Schlatter, Theatre Arts.

            Reading:  Robert Cohen, “Playing the Situation:  Out of the Self,” from Acting Power:  An Introduction to Acting (bulkpack).


[September 27:  No Class]


October 2:  Acting and Action

            Reading:  Bernard Beckerman, “The Theatrical Segment” and “The Dramatic Segment,” pp. 44-64, from Dynamics of Drama:  Theory and Method of Analysis (bulkpack).


October 4:  Action and Character I

            Reading:  Arthur Schnitzler, La Ronde; Beckerman, Dynamics of Drama, pp. 64-77 (bulkpack).


October 9:  Action and Character I (cont.)

            Reading:  La Ronde (cont.)




October 11:  Action and Character II

            Reading:  August Strindberg, Miss Julie (with preface) (bulkpack);  Bert O. States. “The Anatomy of Dramatic Character” (bulkpack)


October 16:  Action and Character II (cont.)

            Reading:  Strindberg, Miss Julie (cont.)


October 18:  Action and Character III

            Reading:  Aristotle, The Poetics.


October 23:  Character, Action, and Place

            Reading:  Strindberg, Miss Julie (cont.);  Una Chaudhuri, “Private Parts:  Sex, Class, and Stage Space in Miss Julie” (bulkpack).


October 25:  Character, Action, and Place

            Guest Lecturer:  Peter Whinnery, Theatre Arts.

            Reading:  Strindberg, Miss Julie (cont.).


October 30:  Representation and Place

            Reading:  William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice; Alan C. Dessen, “Shakespeare and the Theatrical Conventions of his Time” (bulkpack).


November 1:  Defining the Audience:

            Guest Lecturer:  Marcia Ferguson, Theatre Arts.

            Reading:  Oscar Brockett,  Chapter 6, “Redefining Theatre,” from Perspectives on Contemporary Theatre (bulkpack); Washington Irving, “The Audience of the First Park Theatre” (bulkpack).


November 6:  Language, Action, and the Actor

            Reading:  Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice (cont.); John Barton, “The Two Traditions” and “Using the Verse,” Playing Shakespeare (bulkpack).


November 8:  Music, Action, and the Actor

            Guest Lecturer:  David Fox, Theatre Arts.


November 13:  Acting Alternatives I:  Presentation and Ideology

            Guest Lecturer:  Jim Schlatter, Theatre Arts

            Reading:  Essays by Bertolt Brecht:  “The Modern Theatre is the Epic Theatre,” “Theatre for Pleasure or Theatre for Instruction,” “Alienation Effects in Chinese Acting,” “The Street Scene” and “A Short Organum for Theatre” (bulkpack).




November 15:  Re-Defining the Audience:

            Guest Lecturer:  Marcia Ferguson, Theatre Arts.

            Reading: Susan Bennett, Chapter 2, “Theories of Reading and Viewing,” from Theatre Audiences: A Theory of Production and Reception (bulkpack)


[REQUIRED THEATRE GOING:  Theatre Arts Program:  The Women, by Claire Booth, November 8-10, 15-17, Studio Theatre, Annenberg Center.]


November 20:  Theatre in Performance II:  The Women.




November 27:  Presentation and Ideology

            Reading:  Bertolt Brecht, Life of Galileo.


November 29:  Acting Alternatives II:  Performance, Ideology, and Gender

            Guest Lecturer:  Rose Malague, Theatre Arts.

            Reading:  Gay Gibson Cima, “Strategies for Subverting the Canon,” and Rhonda Blair, “‘Not...but’/‘Not-Not-Me’:  Musings on Cross-Gender Performance,” from Upstaging Big Daddy (bulkpack).


December 4:  Acting Alternatives III:  Representing Others

            Guest Lecturer:  Rose Malague, Theatre Arts

            Reading:  Bert O. States, “The Actor's Presence:  Three Phenomenal Modes” (bulkpack); “Anna Deavere Smith:  the Word Becomes You,” an interview by Carol Martin (bulkpack).


December 6:  Conclusions:  Script to Performance:

            Reading:  Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice (cont.).



In addition to the two take-home essays and the in-class exercise, there is a choice of EITHER a final examination, at the date scheduled by the registrar, OR a 12-15 page final term paper, on an open topic, due FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14.  ALL TERM PAPER TOPICS MUST BE APPROVED BY ME BY TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 27.  Late term papers will not be accepted; if you cannot complete your paper by the deadline, you must take the exam.


Books (including La Ronde, The Merchant of Venice, Aristotle's Poetics, and Life of Galileo) can be purchased at the Penn Book Center (at 34th and Sansom Sts.); the Bulkpack can be purchased at the Campus Copy Center, 39th and Walnut.


YOU ARE REQUIRED to see (and you will almost certainly be asked to write about) productions and performances around the Philadelphia area over the course of the semester, including productions in the Studio Theatre of the Annenberg Center sponsored by the Theatre Arts Program, as noted on the syllabus.  Additional required productions may be added over the course of the semester.


The listserv for this course is  You have been subscribed automatically.  If you do not seem to be on it, or if you drop the course and wish to be unsubscribed, please send a note to cmazer@english.


The syllabus for this course is available in electronic form at  Make a bookmark on your web browser for this site.   In addition, we will be using a web site for this course.  Make a bookmark on your browser for, and click on our course.  If you are registered, you are automatically subscribed:  your login will be your PennNet ID and your password is your PennNet password.  CHECK THIS SITE DAILY.  The web site will include daily announcements (including information about theatregoing assignments), and an electronic copy of the syllabus.  The site also includes a discussion group, with access restricted to members of the course.