Theatre, History, Culture II:

Romantics, Realists, and Revolutionaries

Theatre Arts 102


Rose Malague and Cary Mazer

Spring 2015


Malague:  521 Annenberg Center, 8-2546,

Office Hours:  Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:30 - 2:30, and by appointment


Mazer:  519 Annenberg Center, 3-2659;

Office Hours:  Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:30-2:30, and by appointment



January 15:  Introduction


January 20:  Romanticism:

Friedrich Schiller, “The Pathetic” (Canvas), Victor Hugo, “Preface to Cromwell” (Canvas).


January 22:  Romanticism (cont.):

Victor Hugo, The King Amuses Himself (Canvas).


January 27:  Pictorial Realism:

 Martin Meisel, “Preamble to the Picture Play,” from Realizations (Canvas), Georg II, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, “Pictorial Motion” (Canvas), Richard Wagner, “The Art-Work of the Future” (Canvas).


January 29:   Domestic Realism:

T.W. Robertson, Caste (Canvas).


[Theatre Arts Program, reading of Normal Heart reading, January 30, 7PM, Montgomery Theatre.]


February 3:  Realism:

Henrik Ibsen, A Doll House; Gay Gibson Cima, “Discovering Signs:  the Emergence of the Critical Actor in Ibsen” (Canvas).


February 5:  Realist Acting:

Robert Leach, “Constantine Stanislavsky,” in Makers of Modern Theatre, Konstantin Stanislavski, “Action, ‘If,’ ‘Given Circumstances’” in An Actor’s Work (Canvas).


February 10:  Realism (cont.):

Anton Chekhov, The Cherry Orchard.


February 12:  The Reaction Against Realism:

Edward Gordon Craig, “The Actor and the Über-Marionette” from On the Art of the Theatre (Canvas); Maurice Maeterlinck, “The Tragic in Everyday Life” (Canvas); Jean Cocteau, “Preface to The Eiffel Tower Wedding Party” (Canvas), Robert Leach, excerpts from “Vsevolod Emilievich Meyerhold,” in Makers of Modern Theatre, pp. 69-92.


February 17:  Theatre of Cruelty:

Robert Leach, “Antonin Artaud,” in Makers of Modern Theatre; Antonin Artaud, “Metaphysics and the Mise en ScŹne,” “On the Balinese Theater,” “No More Masterpieces,” “The Theater and Cruelty,” and “Theater of Cruelty (first manifesto)” from The Theater and its Double (Canvas).


February 19:  Bertolt Brecht:

Robert Leach, “Bertolt Brecht,” in Makers of Modern Theatre; Bertolt Brecht, “The Modern Theatre is the Epic Theatre,” “Theatre for Pleasure or Theatre for Instruction,” “Alienation Effects in Chinese Acting,” “The Street Scene” (Canvas).


[REQUIRED THEATREGOING:  Theatre Arts Program, The Heidi Chronicles: February 19-21 at 7 pm, Prince Theatre at the Annenberg Center]


February 24:  Brecht, The Caucasian Chalk Circle.


February 26:  American Expressionism:

Eugene O’Neill, “A Manifesto on Masks” (Canvas); Sophie Treadwell, Machinal.


[REQUIRED THEATREGOING:  People’s Light and Theatre, The Cherry Orchard, Sunday,

 Mar. 1, 2PM.  Note: If you cannot join group, see production by Thursday, March 5th.]


March 3:  American Political Theory (and realism):

Helen Krich Chinoy, “The Poetics of Politics:  Some Notes on Style and Craft in the Theatre of the Thirties” (Canvas); Clifford Odets, Waiting for Lefty (Canvas).



[March 5:  First take-home assignment due.]


March 5:  Discussion of The Cherry Orchard, People’s Light and Theatre.


[spring break]


March 17:  American Stanislavskianism:

Lee Strasberg, “The Voyage Continues II:  The Actors Studio and My Classes,” A Dream of Passion (Canvas), David Krasner, “Strasberg, Adler and Meisner:  Method acting” (Canvas).


March 19:  Theatre of the Absurd.

Samuel Beckett:  Endgame, Martin Esslin, “The Theatre of the Absurd” (Canvas).


March 24:  Poor Theatre/Holy Theatre:

Jerzy Grotowski, “Towards a Poor Theatre,” “The Theatre’s New Testament,” and “He Wasn’t Entirely Himself,” from Towards a Poor Theatre (Canvas).


March 26:  60s/70s:

Julian Beck, “Meditations” and “Questions” from The Life of the Theatre (Canvas), Richard Schechner, “On Environmental Design” (Canvas), Joseph Chaikin, Chapter I from The Presence of the Actor (Canvas).


[Theatre Arts Program/Writer’s House:  Penn Plays Project:  reading of But We’re Happy by Joanna Glum]


March 31:  Gender and Theatre:

Dolan, Jill, “The Discourse of Feminisms: The Spectator and Representation” (Canvas), “Personal, Political, Polemical: Feminist Approaches to Politics and Theater” (Canvas), “Feminist Performance and the Popular: Reviewing Wendy Wasserstein” (Canvas).


[REQUIRED THEATREGOING:  EgoPo, The Hairy Ape, starting April 1; SEE BEFORE APRIL 21.]


April 2:  Gender and Drama:

Caryl Churchill, Cloud Nine, Rhonda Blair, “‘Not … but’/‘Not-not-me’: Musings on Cross-Gender Performance” (Canvas).


April 7:  Solo Performance:

Marvin Carlson, “Performance and Identity” in Performance: A Critical Introduction (Canvas).


April 9:  Post-Dramatic Theatre:

Suzan-Lori Parks, The America Play; Sarah Kane, 4.48 Psychosis.


April 14:  New Acting Theory:

Phillip B. Zarrilli, “Introduction” in Acting (Re)considered (Canvas), “4:48 Psychosis by Sarah Kane” in Psychophysical Acting: An Intercultural Approach after Stanislavsky (Canvas), Royd Climenhaga, Simon Murrah, “Jacques Lecoq, Monika Pagneaux and Philippe Gaulier: Training for Play, Lightness, and Disobedience” in Actor Training (Canvas), and “Anne Bogart and Siti Company: Creating the Moment” in Actor Training (Canvas).


April 16:  Theatre of Images:

Elizabeth LeCompte, “An Introduction” (Canvas), and Spalding Gray, Rumstick Road (Canvas).


[Theatre Arts Program:  Robert Smythe residency presentation, April 16, time TBA.]


[April 21:  Second take-home assignment due]


April 21:  Discussion of The Hairy Ape, EgoPo.


April 23:  Devised Theatre:

Dierdre Heddon and Jane Milling, “Introduction” in Devising Performance” (Canvas), Pig Iron Theatre Company, Chekhov Lizardbrain (reading and viewing, Canvas).


April 28:  catch-up and conclusions


There will be TWO take-home essay assignments (approximately 5 pages), plus a final term paper (approximately 10-12 pages), due by NOON on Monday, May 4.  The topic for the final term paper must MUST BE APPROVED IN ADVANCE, in person, by April 24.


Grading Breakdown:

Preparation and Participation:  20%

First take-home assignment:  20%

Second take-home assignment:  20%

Final Paper:  40%




Please familiarize yourself with the rules of academic intergrity, at  We will rigorously pursue violations of the code.


The following books can be purchased at the Penn Book Center, 34th and Sansom Sts.:


Ibsen, Four Plays

Anton Chekhov,  Four Plays and Three Jokes

Robert Leach, Makers of Modern Theatre

Sophie Treadwell, Machinal

Bertolt Brecht, The Caucasian Chalk Circle

Samuel Beckett, Endgame

Caryl Churchill, Cloud Nine

Suzan-Lori Parks, The America Play

Sarah Kane, 4.48 Psychosis


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