English 236


Professor Mazer

Spring 2002


519 Annenberg Center, 3-2659; cmazer@english.upenn.edu

Office Hours:  Tuesdays: 1:30-3:00; Thursdays: 10:30-11:45; and by appointment

e-mail:  cmazer@dept.english.upenn.edu


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

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


II.  Shakespeare's Stage and Stagecraft:  King John.

Essays and chapters by Alan C. Dessen:

"Linking Analogues" (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.


IV.  Playing the Scene/Building a Play:  King John.


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:  King John.




There will be TWO take-home assignments, at dates to be announced, and A FINAL TERM PAPER/PROJECT on King John.  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; consequently, if you arrive in class after warmups have begun, you must ask permission of your fellow students to be readmitted into the classroom by singing the "the Late Song" (to the tune of"Please Release Me"):


Please forgive me, I was late,

I'm so sorry to make you wait.

Won't you let me come back in?

Please forgive me, and let me act again.


If you cannot persuade your classmates to admit you into that day's class, it will be counted as an unexcused absence.


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


Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival, King Lear:  February 15-March 17.

People's Light & Theatre Company, The Merchant of Venice:  February 20-April 7.

Arden Theatre Company, As You Like It:  March 7-April 7


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


John Barton, Playing Shakespeare, Anchor.

Cicely Berry, The Actor and The Text, Applause.

William Shakespeare, The Sonnets, Pelican Shakespeare.

William Shakespeare, King John, Pelican Shakespeare.


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


The complete texts of Shakespeare's plays and poems, in a modern-spelling edition are available on the internet, along with other interesting electronic editions of the plays and Shakespeare web sites, through my home page (http://www.english.upenn.edu/~cmazer/home.html), and through the electronic version of this syllabus (http://www.english.upenn.edu/~cmazer/236sp02.html).  Make a bookmark for this site on your web browser.  In addition, we will be using an experimental web site for this course.  Make a bookmark on your browser for http://courseweb.upenn.edu, click on Theatre Arts, and click on our course.  If you are registered, you are automatically subscribed:  your login will be your PennNet ID and your password is your PennNet password.  CHECK THIS SITE DAILY.  The web site will include daily announcements (including information about theatregoing assignments), and an electronic copy of the syllabus.  The site also includes a discussion group, with access restricted to members of the course.


The listserv for this course is THAR236-401-02A@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.