Theatre Arts 236


Professor Mazer

Fall 2014


519 Annenberg Center, 3-2659;

Office Hours:  Tu, Th 1:30-2:30, and by appointment



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

John Barton, Playing Shakespeare (links to Youtube clips on Canvas), Cicely Berry, The Actor and the Text (chapters TBA).


II.  Shakespeare’s Stage and Stagecraft:  Romeo and Juliet and Measure for Measure.

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,” “The Vocabulary of ‘Place,’” and “‘Romeo opens the tomb’” (from Recovering Shakespeare’s Theatrical Vocabulary).  (Canvas)


III.  Text and Performance.

            Examples from Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet.


IV.  Playing the Scene/Building a Play:  Measure for Measure.


V.  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 (Canvas)


VI.  The Director:  Conceiving a Production:

            Measure for Measure.




There will be TWO take-home assignments, at dates to be announced, and A FINAL TERM PAPER/PROJECT on Measure for Measure.  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:  King Lear, Shakespeare’s Globe, Annenberg Center, Sept. 24-27.  Other possibilities include the video relay of The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Royal Shakespeare Company (Bryn Mawr Film Institute, Sunday Sept. 21 and Thursday Sept. 25), Christopher Marlowe, Tamburlaine, Parts I and II (Theatre for  New Audience, Brooklyn, Nov, 1-Dec 21).


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


Cicely Berry:  The Actor and the Text.

William Shakespeare, The Sonnets, Pelican Shakespeare.

William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Pelican Shakespeare.


All other readings are available for download on Canvas.  An electronic version of this syllabus (  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