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作業

This course requires submission of analytic response papers (2-3 pages each) on four of the plays read or attended; a theatrical scene, with dialogue (3-5 pages); and a major paper (PDF). There is also a final exam. In addition, during the latter half of the course, students are required to lead the discussion of one play, and to perform in a scene from it as part of that process. They must also give a brief (5-minute) presentation based on the research paper, sharing their most interesting insights with the class.

Student Questions

Student questions regarding Death and the King's Horseman were collected anonymously during the term and are summarized in the following document.

Student-generated Questions and Theses - (PDF)

LEC # 課程單元 作業
1 Introductory Discussion.

Objective

To think hard about "drama": meanings, assumptions, prejudices. To understand why this class matters and how it is designed, and recognizing the skills to be learned.
Read The Bacchae.

"Read" means:
Read through the entire play quickly, as if you were an audience member watching it take place before you (i.e., read sequentially and don't worry about every detail or go back over a scene studiously-though try to attend to as many clues and dimensions of the script as you can). Consider the play's sequence and impact.

Re-read slowly and analytically, looking for meanings, patterns, poetry, characterization and themes, and studying the sections that confused you. Consider the play's artistry and ideas.

Reflect upon some particular aspect or angle, a character or scene or dimension of thought, language, or staging, that particularly interests you. Consider why it does.
Intensive Drama
2 Discussion of Euripides' The Bacchae.

Objective

To understand the assumptions and structure of Greek drama, the scene as unit. Drama as change over time, v. intensive structure. Initial self-appraisal: consciousness of what you know, the skills base you bring, and what you want to learn.
Write a short (2-3 page) analytical response to one scene we haven't yet discussed in detail, in a focused way that allows you to address a topic of interest to you.
3 Discussion of The Bacchae.

Objective

To interpret drama as a complex set of perspectives on values. To think historically, symbolically and poetically. To share responses orally.
Individual Meetings with Prof. Henderson. Read Oedipus quickly (style 1) if you haven't before. Read the selection from Aristotle and think about his analysis as a means of describing and defending the two Greek plays you've read.
4 Discussion of The Bacchae, Oedipus and Aristotelian Dramatic Criticism.

Objective

To consider the philosophical bases for drama: what one learns, what is real, what one feels. Discuss the nature of tragedy and its effects on an audience.
Read "Master Harold"...and the boys (steps 1-3). Write a focused response to some dimension of the play, using step 3.
5 Discussion of Athol Fugard's "Master Harold"...and the Boys.

Objective

To analyze modern drama, considering the "small" event and the scene as unit. To think about identification with character and the political effects of drama. To discuss potentially divisive topics reasonably and persuasively.
6 Video Screening of "Master Harold." Read the selections from Stanislavsky and Arthur Miller, and consider how they could be applied to "Master Harold." Read your partner's response essay, preparing useful comments to share with its author.
7 Discussion of "Master Harold"...and the boys, Stanislavski's "Direction and Acting," and Arthur Miller's "Tragedy and the Common Man."

Objective

To understand the Stanislavskian sense of art capturing life, and the place of emotional truth in acting. To reflect upon the relationships and distinctions between drama and 'real" life, and between film/video and theater as media. Continued work on group discussion.
Read The Second Shepherds Play (1-3). If you choose, write a response essay.
Ritual and Drama
8 Enact and Discuss The Second Shepherds Play.

Objective

To consider the communal purposes of ritual and drama in religious contexts. To reflect upon the relationships between scripture and drama, and between belief/holiness/reverence and representation. To experience the pleasure of performing.
Read the Noh drama handout. Strongly suggested: write a response essay on Translations.
9 Discuss and Watch Scenes from the Noh Drama. Performance Groups Assigned.

Objective

To reflect further upon drama as ritual in a different cultural context, and upon the role of performance in shaping interpretation. To discuss the role of translation (poetic, cultural, contextual) in dramatic performance.
Read Everyman (steps 1-3). Decide what your assigned "character" specifically contributes to the play. If you choose, write a response essay.
10 Discuss and Enact Portions of Everyman.

Objective

To understand the functions of allegory, and to think about character schematically. To consider drama as a form for addressing the question: What is the essence of human experience? Further attention to drama as historical document and as performance.
11 Watch Scenes from Nigerian Dramatic Performance and Discuss Wole Soyinka's Death and the King's Horseman.

Objective

To consider drama as a representation of "culture(s)." To understand the meanings and function of "postcolonial" thinking in interpretation.
Individual Meetings with Prof. Henderson: Discussion of Your Almost-midterm Self-assessment. Read Baraka selection. Revise your response essays, if you haven't already done so. Read your group's performance text, if you haven't yet.
12 Discussion of Death and the King's Horseman, with Reference to Amiri Baraka's "What is Black Theater?" Performance Group Meetings.

Objective

To reconsider tragedy and the roles of race and gender in a different cultural context. To move the rehearsal process forward.
Read Doctor Faustus (steps 1-3). If you haven't written your fourth response, do so now.
Extensive Drama
13 Discuss Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus.

Objective

To understand the role of poetry in drama. To read Elizabethan drama historically, comprehending what is "early modern" about this protagonist and his story.
Read the selection from Sidney's Apology for Poetry. Analyze your assigned passage/scene, and be ready to present it.
14 Discussion of Doctor Faustus, with reference to Sir Philip Sidney's "On Time and Place, On Comedy and Tragedy" and film scenes.

Objective

To discern meaning through juxtaposition, as well as other dimensions of extensive structure. To hear verse drama. To work on the ability to present close analysis and to lead discussion.
Prepare for your group meetings, as appropriate.
15 Discussion of Doctor Faustus. Performance Group Meetings.

Objective

Last class's objectives, continued. To understand the cultural and artistic significance of this play. To make further progress in the rehearsal process.
Read The Rover (steps 1-3). Rehearsals, as appropriate.
16 Discussion of Aphra Behn's The Rover.

Objective

To locate Restoration comedy within its post-war culture. Further practice in analyzing extensive dramatic structure, including patterns of repetition-with-a-difference and foils.
Read Goldsmith selection. Work on revising response essays, if not finished.
17 Discussion of The Rover with Reference to Oliver Goldsmith's "A Comparison Between Sentimental and Laughing Comedy."

Objective

To analyze the components and varieties of comedy, and to understand the logic behind some classic comic tropes.
Read Six Characters in Search of an Author, if you are a Brechtian. Prepare for class leadership and performance, if you are a Pirandellan.
Modern Experiments
18 Discussion and Performance of Luigi Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author.

Objective

Pirandellans: To perform vividly and lead the discussion and analysis effectively, educating your audience. Brechtians: To attend carefully, critically and generously as an audience member and contributor to discussion.
Read Artaud selection. If necessary, complete response essay revisions. Rehearsals, scene composition, or research, as appropriate.
19 Discussion of Six Characters in Search of an Author, with Reference to Antonin Artaud's "No More Masterpieces."

Objective

To supplement the education and enjoyment provided by the Pirandellans on Monday.

Read Galileo and the selection by Brecht, if you are a Pirandellan. Prepare for class leadership and performance, if you are a Brechtian.
20 Discussion and Performance of Bertolt Brecht's Galileo.

Objective

Brechtians: To perform vividly and lead the discussion and analysis effectively, educating your audience. Pirandellans: To attend carefully, critically and generously as an audience member and contributor to discussion.
Work on your scene composition. Decide on your research essay topic, if have not done already.
21 Discussion of Galileo, with Reference to Brecht's "Theatre for Pleasure, Theatre for Instruction."

Objective

To supplement the education and enjoyment provided by the Brechtians on Monday.
Individual Meetings with Prof. Henderson: Discussion of Your Group Work and Research Essay Ideas. Read Top Girls (steps 1-3). Further work on scene and/or research essay.
22 Discussion of Caryl Churchill's Top Girls.

Objective

Discuss gender and performance. Analyze the use of non-realist techniques and orchestrated speaking.
23 Video Screening of Top Girls. Read selections by Norman and Parks. Finish scene and/or work on research essay.
24 Discussion of the Scene and Research Assignments (tentative).
25 Caryl Churchill, Top Girls, with Reference to Marsha Norman's "Ten Golden Rules for Playwrights" and Suzan-Lori Parks' "Tradition and the Individual Talent."

Objective

To reconsider "realist" and "non-realist" distinctions and effects. To discuss modern "self" creation and its limits: economics and social possibilities.
Read Arcadia (1-3). Continue work on research essay and reports on them.
26 Discussion of Tom Stoppard's Arcadia. Reports.

Objective

To remember the pleasure of comedy. Analyzing history, science and art as topics and methods. To reap the benefits of one another's research.
27 Discussion of Arcadia. Reports.

Objective

To contemplate what we believe in or need to keep going, and how we connect or don't. To consider which bigger frameworks matter, and why. To celebrate drama's pleasure, the class's pleasure, learning's pleasure. To reap the benefits of one another's research.
Reflect on where you've arrived, what you've learned, where your strengths lie and which areas require more work.
28 Reflections. Reports. Evaluations.

Objective

To reflect, to evaluate. To reap the benefits of one another's research. To celebrate achievement and community.

 
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