Theatre Arts/English 236: ACTING SHAKESPEARE

Professor Mazer

Fall 2005

519 Annenberg Center, 3-2659;

Office Hours: Tuesdays: 3:00-4:30; Thursdays: Noon-1:30; and by appointment


I. Language, objectives, action: Sonnets; Chorus and scenes from Romeo and Juliet.

John Barton, Playing Shakespeare (videotape), Cicely Berry, The Actor and the Text, (chapters TBA).

II. Shakespeare’s Stage and Stagecraft: Twelfth Night.

Essays and chapters by Alan C. Dessen:

“ Linking Analogue” (from Elizabethan Drama and the Viewer’s Eye); “Elizabethan Darkness and Modern Lighting,” and “Theatrical Metaphor: Seeing and Not-Seeing” (from Elizabethan Stage Conventions and Modern Interpreters); “Much virtue in As,” and “The Vocabulary of ‘Place,’” (from Recovering Shakespeare’s Theatrical Vocabulary). (bulkpack)

III. Text and Performance.

Examples from Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet.

IV. Playing the Scene/Building a Play: Twelfth Night.

V. The Actor: Creating a Role.

Philip Brockbank, ed., Players of Shakespeare 1; Russell Jackson and Robert Smallwood, eds., Players of Shakespeare 2, Players of Shakespeare 3, and Players of Shakespeare 4 (chapters TBA).

VI. Speaking the Verse, Creating the Character.

Richard Paul Knowles, “Shakespeare, Voice, and Ideology: Interrogating the Natural Voice”; Sarah Werner, “Performing Shakespeare: Voice Training and the Feminist Actor,” with responses from Cicely Berry, Patsy Rodenburg, and Kristin Linklater, and follow up response from Sarah Werner (bulkpack)

VII. The Director: Conceiving a Production:

Twelfth Night, As You Like It, Measure for Measure.


There will be TWO take-home assignments, at dates to be announced, and A FINAL TERM PAPER/PROJECT on Twelfth Night. ATTENDANCE IS REQUIRED AT ALL CLASSES, as is scene-work as assigned. ABSENCE FROM ANY CLASS AT WHICH YOU ARE SCHEDULED TO PRESENT A SCENE, ESPECIALLY IF IT IS WITH A PARTNER WILL AUTOMATICALLY BE REFLECTED IN YOUR GRADE. You are responsible for scheduling your own rehearsal time for assignments that require it. Lateness to class impedes our collective work, and is a discourtesy to your fellow students, and will be reflected in your grade.

Theatre Productions to be seen (dates and group rates to be arranged):

Aquila Theatre Company, Hamlet, at Rutgers Camden, Saturday, Sept. 24 (pending schedule and transportation).

Penn Theatre Arts program, As You Like It: Nov. 16-19.

Shakespeare’s Globe, at the Annenberg Center, Measure for Measure: Nov. 30-Dec. 4.

(Other productions and/or videos TBA)

Books to be purchased, Pennsylvania Book Center (34th and Sansom Sts.):

Cicely Berry, The Actor and The Text, Applause.

William Shakespeare, The Sonnets, Pelican Shakespeare.

William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, Pelican Shakespeare.

Bulk-Pack to be purchased, Campus Copy Center (3907 Walnut Street):

An electronic version of this syllabus ( cmazer/236f05.html). Make a bookmark for this site on your web browser. 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.

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