Theatre Arts 236


Professor Mazer

Fall 2016


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).


II.  Shakespeare’s Stage and Stagecraft:  Romeo and Juliet and Richard II..

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:  Richard II.


V.  The Director:  Conceiving a Production:

            Richard II..




There will be two take-home assignments, at dates to be announced, and a final term paper/project on The Merchant of Venice.  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.


Potential theatregoing/film viewing:  HD screenings of Richard III (Almedia Theatre, with Ralph Fiennes), Sept.8 and 11, Bryn Mawr Film Institute; Cymbeline (Royal Shakespeare Company), BMFI, Oct. 27, 30, Ritz, Nov. 6; King Lear (RSC, with Antony Sher), BMFI, Nov. 6, 10, Ritz, Dec. 5;  Hamlet (Barbican, with Benedict Cumberbatch), Riverview, Nov. 15; Ambler, Dec. 4; AND POSSIBLY a trip to the Brooklyn Academy of Music for The Winter’s Tale (Cheek by Jowl), Dec. 6-11.  Other possibilities TBA.


Books:   find your own modern single-volume editions of the sonnets and Richard II.

All other readings are available for download on Canvas.  An electronic version of this syllabus is at  The listserv for this course is