Wednesday, December 10, 2014


 course description here.

Thursday, January 25: Introductions and Orientations
Click on the title of each class day for more assignments/information.
Read this list of questions to ask of a play -- and add to it! _____________________________________
Part One:  The Play's the Thing? and other conscience catching devices
This section does not move historically, but nevertheless is about performance in relationship to the work of history and memory. This section puts key 20th-21st century issues before us across performance-based projects.  We move into more historical formation after Winter Break.  

Tuesday, January 30: The Play's the Thing, But is it Art?
Read: William Shakespeare, Hamlet*
Read Heiner Muller, Hamletmachine  (1977)
Read:  articles on Doggie Hamlet : 1. Free Beacon article; and 2. NY Times, "But Is It Art?" NY Times; and 3, Free Beacon retort.
Thursday, February 1: Something Rotten in the State -- American Hamlet?
Read Ralph Ellison, "Tell it Like it Is, Baby" The Nation, 1965
Read Suzan-Lori Parks, The America Play*
Watch:TURF FEINZ RIP RichD, Dancing in the Rain Oakland Street, YAK films.
Recommended for context on RIP RichD: read Naomi Bragin, "Shot and Captured"(OCRA).

Tuesday, Feb. 6:  Work and Performance 1: The Weavers and Other Work
Read Hauptmann, The Weavers, in Houghton collection*
Read short essay about Merle Ukeles from Hyperallergic
Watch Teching Hsieh, One Year Performance 1980-81
Watch Suzan Lori Parks, Watch Me Work, 2017
Recommended: Shannon Jackson, "Staged Management," Social Works, 104-143.
Thursday, Feb. 8: Performance Work 2
• Charles Ludlum, Stage Blood
• Annie Baker, The Flick*
Tuesday, Feb. 13: Cross-Media Theatre
The 20th century saw the blossoming of photography, film, and digital media. In some ways, 20th century theatre is very much about the mediatic condition. But it is also possible to say that 20th-century photography-film-digital arts are entangled with the theatrical condition.
Read:  Samuel Beckett Play
Watch: Samuel Beckett Film (selection)
Read Adrienne Kennedy, A Movie Star Likes to Star in Black and White in One Acts*
Watch: Spiderwoman Theatre Sun, Moon, Feather (30 minute video)
Read: Annie Dorsen, "On Algorithmic Theatre"  and interview in Bomb Magazine here.
Advice: Read ahead on the weekend as there are two plays for Thursday! 
Thursday, Feb. 15: Cross-Temporal Re-dos
•Read: Dion Boucicault, The Octoroon
•Read: Brandon Jacob-Jenkins, An Octoroon*
Listen to this demo version of the final song played during the end/blackout of An Octoroon
Tues., February 20: NO CLASS, Winter Weekend. But read ahead for two plays on Thursday.
Part Two: History of European Isms and American Schisms
This section moves historically. Please remain attentive to what you might call the "concepts" at the base of the works while always looking to how those concepts are realized materially as performance. In lectures, we will often try and track "modernism" in theatre in relationship to broader global developments.

This section will also contain your scene work. Please see the page describing your group projects and be prepared for your date! 

Thursday, Feb. 22: Ghosts
• Read: Ibsen, Ghosts *
• Read: Strindberg, The Ghost Sonata*
  Tuesday, February 27:  Birth of Naturalism
• Read: Edward Braun, The Director and the Stage, selections*
• Read: Zola, "Naturalism in the Theatre" selections
• Read: Antoine, Andr√©. Excerpt from "The Free Theatre" 
• Read: Strindberg,  Miss Julie* 
Read: Strindberg,  excerpt from the “Preface” to Miss Julie 
• Read:  Review of Miss Julie at Antoine’s theatre in Paris, NY Times.

Thursday, March 1:  New Acting

• Edward Braun, The Director and the Stage, selections*
• Chekhov, The Seagull*
• Chekhov,  Letters to Maria Kiseleva and Alexei Suvorin
• Stanislavsky, Constantin. An Actor Prepares, selection
• Briusov, Valery, “Against Naturalism in the Theater” 
Group 1, scene from The Seagull
Tuesday, March 6:  The Symbolist Theatre and Its Stagings
• Braun, Director and the Stage, “The Symbolist Theatre”* 
• Paul Margueritte, Pierrot: Assassin of His Wife
• Maurice Maeterlinck,  Interior*
• Maeterlinck, "The Tragical in Daily Life"
•Wagner, Richard, excerpt from "The Art-Work of the Future" (1849), 786-791.
• Richard Beacham, “Prologue” from Adolphe Appia, 1-7.
• Appia, Adolph, excerpt from Music and the Art of Theatre (1899), 10-28
• Appia, Adolph, excerpt from Appia "How to Reform our Staging Practices" (1904)
• Appia, Adolph, excerpt from "Actor, Space, Light, Painting" (1919) 21-24.

Group 2: scene in the style of the symbolists
 Thursday, March 8: Birth of the Avant-Garde  (and more on the colonial relation)
 •Alfred Jarry, Ubu Roi *  
• Braun, Director and the Stage, chapter 4*
• Jarry, selections from Selected Works of Alfred Jarry
• Jarry, “Theatre Questions” in Cardullo.
• Roger Shattuck, The Banquet Years: Birth of the Avant-Garde, selections*
Group 3: scene in the style of Jarry
Thursday, March 15: Futurism and Dada
• Roselee Goldberg, “Futurism.” From Performance Art, selections
• F. T. Marinetti, "The Variety Theatre" excerpt
• Enrico Prampolini, "Futurist Scenography" excerpt
• Futurist Plays and Manifestos, in Cardullo
• Marinetti, “Marinetti’s Short Plays.” TDR
• Hans Richter,  Dada: Art and Anti-Art, pp. 11-64.*
• Tristan Tzara, The Gas Heart  and "Dada Manifesto"in Cardullo
Group 4, avant-garde scene
 Tuesday,  March 20: Constructivist Theatre and the Labor Relation

•  Braun, Director and the Stage, chapter 8 and 9*
• Vsevlod Meyerhold, selections from Meyerhold on Theatre*
• Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Blok, The Puppet Show
• Nick Worrall,  “Meyerhold’s Production of The Magnificent Cuckold.” TDR
• “Meyerhold's Bio-Mechanic Exercises (A Photographic Series).”
•View original film of Meyerhold's "etudes" for actor training:

Watch  Chaplin's 1936 Modern Times clip again after reading/viewing these materials!
Group 5: Biomechanical scene

 Thursday, March 22: Piscator and Early Brecht 
• Edward Braun, The Director and the Stage, chapter on Piscator*
• Piscator, Erwin,  The Political Theatre, excerpts
Edward Braun, The Director and the Stage, chapter on Brecht*
• Brecht, Bertolt, Brecht on Theatre, selections*
 Group 6: Piscator scene




SPRING BREAK-- recommended over break read on American Theatre (which we will pick up again later in April) Read: J. L. Styan,   Modern Drama, Vol 1, pp. 109-147.
Read:J. L. Styan, Modern Drama, Vol. 3, pp. 97-121.

Tuesday, April 3: Brecht’s Epic Theatre (and Brecht's beyond)
• Brecht, Bertolt, Brecht on Theatre, selections*
• Brecht, Bertolt, Mother Courage in Caputi
Daphne Brooks Afro-Alienation, Eccentritcity and the Opaque World of Transatlantic Performance, a short selection from Bodies in Dissent
Highly Recommended: 
•. Elin Diamond, "Brechtian Theory/ Feminist Theory: Toward a Gestic Feminist Criticism."
Thursday, April 5:  Surrealism and Theatre of Cruelty-- Troubles with Representation, Romance of "The Other" 
• Artaud, The Theatre and its Double*
Group 7: Artaud scene

Tuesday, April 10:  Modernity Diffracting the Colonial Relation
• George Bernard Shaw, Preface to "Back to Methuselah"
Luigi Pirandello,  Henry IV 
Tawfiq Al-Hakimm,  People of the Cave
Thursday, April 12: Multiple Muslim Modernities on Stage
• Read: Imtiaz Ali Taj,  Anarkali.
• Read: G. V. Desani,  "Hali"
• Read: Akhtar, Ayad. Disgraced: A Play*
Tuesday, April 17: Meanwhile in America
Read:  James V. Hatch, "Introduction" Lost Plays of the Harlem Renaissance
• Read: W.E.B DuBois,"Program Note for Krigwa Players: A Little Negro Theatre"
• Eugene O’Neill, The Emperor Jones in Three Great Plays*  
• Langston Hughes, The Em-Fuehrer Jones
• Read: Langston Hughes, Limitations of Life
 Read: Tina Post, "Williams, Walker, and Shine" in TDR
 August Wilson, “National Black Theater Festival, 1997 and “The Ground on Which I Stand,”
•  “A Forum on Black Theatre: The Questions: What is a Black Play? and/or What is Playing Black?”
Thursday, April 19: Geographies:  Gertrude Stein and Ralph Lemon  Gertrude Stein -- an American inspired by American jazz, living and working in Paris in the early to mid-20th century, conceives of "geography plays." Ralph Lemon -- an American choreographer making work about rural life while living in New York in the late 20th and early 21st century, choreographs a "Geography Trilogy" and other "geographical" theatre.
• Arnold Aronson, American Avant-Garde Theatre, selection.
• Gertrude Stein, What Happened and Miss Fur and Miss Skeene
• Stein, “Plays” in Cardullo*
• Stein reading “If I Told Him: A Complete Portrait of Picasso.”
• Recommended, Listen to a rendition of “Miss Furr and Miss Skeene
Watch Ralph Lemon's  How Can you Stay in the House All Day And Not Go Anywhere?
Group 8: scene in the style of Stein
 Tuesday, April 24:  Site-Specific Performance and Neo-Naturalism 
• Arnold Aronson The History and Theory of Environmental Scenography, selections
Lesley Ferris, "Site Specific Theatre and the Slippage of Place" in Performing Site Specific Theatre
• Jessica Abbe. “Anne Bogart's Journeys.” 
Adrienne Piper, from Uri McMillan Embodied Avatars
• Linda Montano, Art in Everyday Life, excerpts
• Tompkins, "Theatre Heterotopia and the Site-Specific Production of Suitcase"
Interview with 600 Highwaymen, Death of a Salesman in a cafeteria, etc.
Group 9:  Site-specific scene
 Thursday April 26: Women and Performance

"The Sexism in our Non-Sexist Industry" from Bitter Gertrude, blog by artistic director of Impact Theatre, Melissa Hillman (2016)
Susan Glaspell's play Trifles (1916)
•  Audre Lorde, "The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House" in This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, edited by Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua
Marybeth Edelson: Seven Cycles; Public Rituals 
Karen Finley, Constant State of Desire [explicit]

Lynne Nottage, Ruined
Group 10: Feminist performance group to perform
Tuesday, May 1: The Wooster Group
• David Savran, Breaking the Rules, selections*
• Gerald Rabkin, “Is there a Text on this Stage?"
• Watch: Wooster Group, Hamlet (streaming on OCRA, brief clip below)

Read NYTimes review of Hamlet  here.
Read description of Annie Dorsen's A Piece of Work, and watch clips here.

Group 11:  Wooster Group group to perform scene
 ADDITIONAL IF DESIRED:  Invisible Theatre, Intercultural Theatre
Read: Augusto Boal, selections from Theatre of the Oppressed, 119-156.*
Read: Augusto Boal, "Invisible Theatre," TDR 34, 3 (1990), pp 24-34.
Watch: Coco Fusco and Guillermo Gomez-Pena, Couple in the Cage streaming through OCRA
Read: Coco Fusco, "The Other History of Intercultural Performance," TDR