Theatre Arts 112/English 98
Theatre, History, Culture III:
Modernism to Post-Modernism
519 Annenberg Center, 3-2659; firstname.lastname@example.org
Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:30-3:00, and by appointment
January 15: Introduction
I. Against/Beneath/Beyond Realism
January 20: Anton Chekhov, The Seagull.
January 22: The Seagull (cont.); Maurice Maeterlinck, “The Tragic in Everyday Life,” and The Intruder (bulkpack).
January 27: Edward Gordon Craig, “The Actor and the Über-Marionette” from On the Art of the Theatre (bulkpack); Adolphe Appia, “Ideas on a Reform of our Mise en Scène (bulkpack)”; William ButlerYeats, At the Hawk’s Well and Purgatory (bulkpack).
II. Dada and Surrealism
January 29: Alfred Jarry, Ubu Roi (bulkpack); Guillaume Apollinaire, The Breasts of Tiresias (bulkpack).
III. The Theatre of Cruelty
February 3: Robert Leach, “Antonin Artaud,” in Makers of Modern Theatre; Antonin Artaud, “Metaphysics and the Mise en Scène,” “On the Balinese Theater,” “No More Masterpieces,” “The Theater and Cruelty,” and “Theater of Cruelty (first manifesto)” from The Theater and its Double (bulkpack).
Feburary 5: Kenneth Macgowan and Robert Edmond Jones, “Beyond Realism,” “The Living Stage,” and “Masse-Mensch—Mob-Man,”from Continental Stagecraft (bulkpack); Ernst Toller, Man and the Masses (bulkpack).
V. Constructivism and Bio-Mechanics
February 10: Robert Leach, “Vsevolod Emilievich Meyerhold,” in Makers of Modern Theatre; Mel Gordon, “Meyerhold’s Biomechanics” (bulkpack); Vsevolod Meyerhold, “Observations on the Play” and “Meyerhold at Rehearsal” (bulkpack).
VI. The Epic Theatre
February 12: 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” (bulkpack).
February 17: Readings: Brecht, The Caucasian Chalk Circle.
[Approximate date: FIRST TAKE-HOME ASSIGNMENT]
VII. American Expressionism
February 19: Eugene O’Neill, “A Manifesto on Masks” (bulkpack); Sophie Treadwell, Machinal.
VIII. American Political Theatre, American Realism and Beyond
February 24: Clifford Odets, Waiting for Lefty and Awake and Sing!
February 26: Awake and Sing! (cont.); Lee Strasberg, “The Voyage Continues II: The Actors Studio and My Classes,” A Dream of Passion (bulkpack).
IX. Theatre of the Absurd
March 3: Samuel Beckett, Endgame.
March 5: Peter Brook, The Empty Space.
March 17: Film viewing, on reserve in Rosengarten: Peter Weiss, Marat/Sade, directed by Peter Brook.
XI. The actor and the Body
March 19: Jerzy Grotowski, “Towards a Poor Theatre,” “The Theatre’s New Testament,” and “He Wasn’t Entirely Himself,” from Towards a Poor Theatre (bulkpack).
XII. Post-Colonial Theatre
March 24: Brian Crow and Chris Banfield, “Introduction,” from An Introduction to Post-Colonial Theatre (bulkpack); Aimé Césaire, A Tempest.
XIII. Performance Anthropology and the New Inter-Culturalism
March 26: Interviews and articles on The Mahabharata, from Peter Brook: A Theatrical Casebook, ed. David Williams, pp. 353-390 (bulkpack); Gautam Dasgupta, “Peter Brook’s ‘Orientalism’” (Performing Arts Journal, Vol. 10, No. 3. , pp. 9-16)(downloadable for the Blackboard website); slides, and video clips about Peter Brook’s Mahabharata and Ariane Mnouchkine’s Shakespeare and Aeschylus.
[Approximate date: SECOND TAKE-HOME ASSIGNMENT]
XIV. Feminist Theory and Performance
March 31: Jill Dolan, “The Discourse of Feminism: The Spectator and Representation,” from The Feminist Spectator as Critic (bulkpack).
April 2: Caryl Churchill, Cloud Nine; Rhonda Blair, “‘Not … but’/’Not-not-me’: Musings on Cross-Gender Performance” (bulkpack).
XV. Performance and Performance Art
April 7: Marvin Carlson, “Performance and Identity,” from Performance: A Critical Introduction (bulkpack).
[April 9: TBA]
XVI. Performance and Performance Art
April 14: Deb Margolin, “To Speak Is to Suffer and Vice Versa;” Jill Dolan, “Seeing Deb Margolin: Ontological Vandalism and Radical Amazement”; Gwendolyn Alker, “Why Language Fails: Deb Margolin's Reclamation of Silence”; Constance Zaytoun, “Smoke Signals: Witnessing the Burning Art of Deb Margolin and Hannah Wilke,” TDR 52:3 (T199), Fall 2008 (downloadable from the Blackboard site).
XVII. Post-Modern Drama, Post-Dramatic Theatre, and The Theatre of Images
April 17: Suzan-Lori Parks, The America Play; Sarah Kane, 4.48 Psychosis.
April 21: Richard Foreman, “Foundations for a Theater,” “Directing the Actors, Mostly,” “Visual Composition, Mostly,” from Unbalancing Acts (bulkpack); slides and video-tapes of productions by Robert Wilson, Richard Foreman.
April 23: Philip Auslander, “Live Performance in a Mediatized Culture,” from Liveness: Performance in a Mediatized Culture (); William B. Worthen, “Hamlet at Ground Zero: The Wooster Group and the Archive of Performance,” Shakespeare Quarterly 59 (2008) 303-322 (downloadable from the Blackboard site).
April 28: Catch-up and Conclusions
There will be TWO take-home essay assignments (approximately 5 pages), plus a choice of A FINAL TERM PAPER (approximately 10-12 pages), due on MONDAY, MAY 4, the first day of the exam period, OR A FINAL EXAM, to be scheduled by the registrar. The topic for the final term paper must MUST BE APPROVED IN ADVANCE, in person, by THURSDAY, APRIL 23; if you have not received approval for the topic by the date, YOU HAVE JUST CHOSEN TO TAKE THE EXAM. Late term papers will not be accepted; if you do not turn in your paper by 5PM on Monday, May 4, YOU HAVE JUST CHOSEN TO TAKE THE EXAM.
Attendance in class is crucial; CHRONIC ABSENCE OR LATENESS WILL BE COUNTED AGAINST YOU.
Please familiarlize yourself with the rules of academic intergrity, at http://www.vpul.upenn.edu/osl/acadint.html. I will (and have) rigorously pursued violations of the code.
The following books can be purchased at the Penn Book Center, 34th and Sansom Sts.:
Anton Chekhov, The Major Plays
Robert Leach, Makers of Modern Theatre
Sophia Treadwell, Machinal
Clifford Odets, Waiting for Lefty and Other Plays
Bertolt Brecht, The Caucasian Chalk Circle
Samuel Beckett, Engame
Peter Brook, The Empty Space
Aimé Césaire, A Tempest
Caryl Churchill, Cloud Nine
Suzan-Lori Parks, The America Play
Sarah Kane, 4.48 Psychosis
The bulkpack can be purchased at the Campus Copy Center, 39th and Walnut.
The listserv for this course is THAR112-401-09A@lists.upenn.edu. 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 at http://www.english.upenn.edu/~mazer/112sp09.htm. Make a bookmark on your web browser for this site. There is a “Blackboard” web site for this course, to which you are automatically subscribed, which includes an electronic copy of the syllabus, and (under “Course Documents”) downloadable PDF files of several of the course readings. We may discover other uses for this web site over the course of the semester.