Theatre Arts 100


Professor Mazer

Fall 2002


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

Office Hours:  Tu, Th 3:00-4:15, and by appointment

Grader:  Ray Ricketts:; Office Hours by appointment



September 5:   Introduction:  What is Theatre?


September 10:   Theatre and Representation

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


September 12:   Theatre and Representation (cont.)

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


September 17:  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 19  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).


[[REQUIRED THEATRE GOING:  Theatre Arts Program: The Tiny Closet and The Rainy Afternoon, by William Inge, September 19-21, Studio Theatre, Annenberg Center.]


September 24:  Theatre in Performance I: The Tiny Closet and The Rainy Afternoon, by William Inge.


September 26:  Action and Character I

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


October 1:  Action and Character I (cont.)

Reading:  La Ronde (cont.)


October 3:  Action and Character I (cont.)

Reading:  La Ronde (cont.)




October 8:  Action and Character II

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


[REQUIRED THEATREGOING (October 4-November 17):  Othello, by William Shakespeare, The Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival, 2111 Sansom St.  (Dates and theatregoing arrangements to be determined.)]


October 10:  Action and Character II (cont.)

Reading: Strindberg, Miss Julie (cont.)


October 15:  Action and Character III

Reading:  Aristotle, The Poetics.


October 17:  Character, Action, and Place

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


October 22:  Character, Action, and Place

Guest Lecturer:  Peter Whinnery, Theatre Arts.

Reading:  Strindberg, Miss Julie (cont.).


October 24:  Representation and Place

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


October 29:  Language, Action, and the Actor

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


October 31:  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 5:  Presentation and Ideology (cont.)


November 7:   Presentation and Ideology (cont.)

Reading:  Bertolt Brecht, The Caucasian Chalk Circle.


[REQUIRED THEATREGOING:  Theatre Arts Program:  The Collection and The Lover, by Harold Pinter, November 7-9, Studio Theatre, Annenberg Center.]


November 12 :  Theatre in Performance II:  The Collection and The Lover, by Harold Pinter.


November 14:  Music, Action, and the Actor

Guest Lecturer:  David Fox, Theatre Arts.


[POSSIBLE THEATREGOING:  Stones in His Pockets, by Marie Jones, November 19-24, Zellerbach Theatre, Annenberg Center. (To be arranged.)]


November 19:  Theatre in Performance III:   Othello, by William Shakespeare.


November 21:  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). 


[REQUIRED THEATREGOING:  Theatre Arts Program: Laughing Wild, by Christopher Durang, November 20-23, Studio Theatre, Annenberg Center.]


November 26:   Theatre in Performance IV:  Laughing Wild, by Christopher Durang.




December 3:  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 5:  Summary and Conclusions.



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 13.  ALL TERM PAPER TOPICS MUST BE APPROVED BY ME BY TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 26.  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, Othello, Aristotle’s Poetics, and The Caucasian Chalk Circle) 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.


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