Theatre Arts 274


(The Edinburgh Project)

Professor Mazer

Spring 2011


519 Annenberg Center, 3-2659;

Office Hours:  Tuesdays and Thursdays 1:30-2:30, and by appointment


THERE IS NO SYLLABUS, PER SE, FOR THIS COURSE; the course is not organized on a tight schedule of weekly readings and occasional writing assignments.  Rather, there will be regular in-class exercises, discussions, and scene-work through the semester.  Scripts, videos, theatregoing excursions, short stories and novels, etc., will be assigned as the occasions arise.




1) To study the specific genre of theatre:  adaptations of non-dramatic material (particularly prose fiction) that retains the narrative voice; and


2)  To select a text, to adapt it into a one-hour theatre piece for six actors, to devise a language of staging, and to begin to stage it.  All members of the class—including members of the class who are not among the six who have been selected to perform the play at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August—will participate in the creation of the theatre piece over the course of the semester.  If you able to stay in Philadelphia for a few weeks after the semester is over, you are welcome to participate in rehearsals for the production; and if you will be in Philadelphia in September, you are welcome to participate in the remounting of the production at Penn, where it will be performed as part of the Philadelphia Fringe Festival.


The tentative subject of the theatre piece is “Games:  Mind and Body,” broadly defined.


There are likely to be TWO take-home writing assignments over the course of the semester, and a final, longer, piece of writing.  Your grade will be based on these writing assignments, as well, as your participation in class discussions, and your intellectual and analytical input into the creation of the theatre piece.


Attendance and participation are mandatory.  Persistent unexcused absences, especially an absence on a day of an individual or team presentation, will be reflected in your semester grade.  If your absences of unpreparedness jeopardize another student’s work, you will be asked to drop the class.


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  You should be automatically subscribed to a Blackboard website for this course.