Theatre Arts 140



Professor Mazer

Spring 2006


519 Annenberg Center, 3-2659;

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


January 10:  Introduction


January 12:  First principles:

Reading:  Laurence Senelick, The Changing Room:  Sex, Drag, and Theatre, Introduction, pp. 1-12..


January 17:  Ancient Greece:

Reading:  Senelick, Chapter 2:  “The Greek for it is ‘Gynaikiseos,’” pp. 39-52.


January 19:  Ancient Greece (continued):

Reading:  Eurpides, The Bacchae; Froma I. Zeitlin, “Playing the Other:  Theater, Theatricality and the Feminine in Greek Drama” (bulkpack)

Prepared Staging: __________.


January 24:  Early Modern England:

Reading:  Senelick, Chapter 6:  “Playboys and Boy Players” (partial), pp. 127-147, Chapter 7:  “Arms and the Woman” (partial), pp. 159-162; Lisa Jardine “Boy Actors, Female Roles, and Elizabethan Eroticism” (bulkpack); Stephen Orgel, “Nobody’s Perfect: Or, Why Did the English Stage Take Boys for Men?” (bulkpack)


January 26:  Early Modern England (cont.):

Reading:  William Shakespeare, As You Like It.

Prepared Staging: __________


January 31:  Early Modern England (cont.):

Reading:  Ben Jonson, Epicoene (bulkpack).

Prepared Staging: __________


[APPROXIMATE DATE:  first take-home assignment due]


February 2:  Japanese Theatre I:  No:

Reading:  Senelick, Chapter 4:  “Orientations,” pp. 79-100; Zeami, Kinuta (The Fulling Block) (bulkpack); Motomasa, Sumidagawa (The Sumida River) (bulkpack)


February 7:     Japanese Theatre II:  Kabuki:

Reading:  Sukeroku:  Flower of Edo (bulkpack)


February 9:  English Restoration Theatre:  Enter the Actress:

Reading:  Katharine Eisaman Maus, “‘Playhouse Flesh and Blood’:  Sexual Ideology and the Restoration Actress” (bulkpack); Thomas A. King,  “‘As if (she) were made on purpose to put the whole world into good Humour’:  Reconstructing the First English Actresses” (bulkpack); Beth H. Friedman-Romell, “Breaking the Code:  Toward a Reception Theory of Theatrical Cross-Dressing in Eighteenth-Century London” (bulkpack).


February 14:  English Restoration Theatre (cont.):

Reading:  William Wycherly, The Country Wife (bulkpack).

Prepared Staging: __________.


February 16:  The Baroque:

Reading:  Senelick, Chapter 8:  “Monstrous Pleasures of the Baroque,” pp. 179-200; Henry  Pleasants, “The Castrati” (bulkpack)


February 21:  The Breeches Convention:

Reading:  Senelick, Chapter 9:  “Breeches Birth,” pp. 206-223; Beaumarchais, The Marriage of Figaro (bulkpack)

Prepared Staging: __________


February 23:  Opera and the Breeches Convention:

Listening Assignment (and/or video viewing), Ormandy Listening Room, Van Pelt Library:  W.A. Mozart and Lorenzo Da Ponte, Le Nozze di Figaro.


Feburary 28:  Nineteenth-Century England and America:

Reading:  Senelick, Chapter 10:  “Beldames Sans Merci,” pp. 228-257;  David Mayer, “The Sexuality of Pantomime” (bulkpack)


March 2:  Nineteenth-Century England and America (cont.):

Reading:  Chapter 11:  “Prince, Pauper, and the Pan” (partial), pp. 258- 280; W.S. Gilbert, The Princess (bulkpack)

Listening Assignment, Ormandy Listening Room, Van Pelt Library:  Gilbert and Sullivan, Princess Ida.

Prepared Staging (The Princess): __________




March 14:  Nineteenth-Century England and America (cont.):

Reading:  Chapter 11:  “Prince, Pauper, and the Pan” (cont.), pp. 280-285; J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan.

Prepared Staging: __________.


March 16:  Nineteenth-Century England and America:  Male and Female Impersonation:

Reading:  Senelick, Chapter 12:  “Putting on the Drag,” pp. 295-318, and Chapter13 (partial), “Impersonators of the Perverse,” pp. 326-340.


[APPROXIMATE DATE:  second take-home assignment due]


March 21:  Modern Japan:

Reading:  Ayako Kano, “Visuality and Gender in Modern Japanese Theater: Looking at Salome.”


March 23:  Contemporary Japan:  Takarazuka:

In-class Video showing.


March 28:  Contemporary Japan:  Takarazuka (cont.):

Reading:  Senelick, Chapter13 (cont.):  “Impersonators of the Perverse,” pp. 340-345, 348-349; Jennifer  Robertson, “The ‘Magic If’: Conflicting Performances of Gender in the Takarazuka Revue of Japan” (bulkpack)


March 30:  Drag:

Reading:  Senelick, Chapter 15:  “Queens of Clubs,”  pp. 377-408.

Video Viewing (times TBA, on resnet):  Jennie Livingston, Paris is Burning. 


April 4:  Camp:

Reading:  Susan Sontag “Notes on ‘Camp’”; Jack Babuscio, “Camp and the Gay Sensibility” (bulkpack); Senelick, Chapter 16:  “Alternatives,” pp. 409-443. 


April 6:  Camp (cont.):

Reading:  Charles Busch, The Lady in Question.

Prepared Staging:  __________.


April 11:  Satire, Politics, and Drag:

Reading:  Senelick, Chapter 18:  “Glad-Ragging the Establishment” (partial), pp. 471-478; John Lahr “Playing Possum”; Daniel Lieberfeld, “Pieter-Dirk Uys: Crossing Apartheid Lines.”


April 13:  TBA


April 18:  Transformations:  Old Conventions, New Scripts; Old Scripts, New Conventions:

Reading:  Rhonda Blair, “‘Not … but’/’Not-not-me’: Musings on Cross-Gender Performance”; James Bulman, “Bringing Cheek by Jowl’s As You Like It out of the Closet:  The Politics of Gay Theatre” (bulkpack); Senelick, Chapter 6 (cont.), pp. 147-156.


April 20:  Catch-up and Conclusions


You are responsible for participation in ONE prepared scene, to be presented during the classes noted.  BRING YOUR SCRIPTS TO CLASS THAT DAY, even if you are not participating in the prepared in-class staging; if no one has signed up in advance to stage a scene, we might work through a scene and put it on its feet during the class hour.  There will be TWO take-home essay assignments, plus ONE final research project, due at a date to be announced, on a topic that must MUST BE APPROVED IN ADVANCE.  Attendance in class is crucial; CHRONIC ABSENCE OR LATENESS WILL BE COUNTED AGAINST YOU.


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


Laurence Senelick, The Changing Room:  Sex, Drag, and Theatre

Euripides, The Bakkhai

William Shakespeare, As You Like It

J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan & Other Plays

Charles Busch, The Tale of the Alergist’s Wife and Other Plays


The bulkpack can be purchased at the Campus Copy Center, 39th and Walnut.


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