TAPS 10100. Drama: Embodiment & Transformation
Section 01 Pamela Pascoe TR 9:30-10:50am BARS
Section 02 Pamela Pascoe TR 11:00-12:20pm BARS
Section 03 Shade Murray TR 2:00-3:20pm BARS
Section 04 Drew Dir W 9:30-12:20pm BARS
This course meets the general education requirement in the dramatic, musical, and visual arts. Students examine the performance and the aesthetics of two dramatic works in contrasting styles but with unifying themes. The goal of the course is to develop in the students an appreciation and understanding of a variety of techniques and of the processes by which they are theatrically realized. Rather than focus on the dramatic text itself, this course concentrates on the piece in performance, including the impact of cultural context on interpretation. To achieve this, students are required to act, direct, and design during the course. ATTENDANCE AT THE FIRST CLASS SESSION IS MANDATORY.
TAPS 10200. Acting Fundamentals
Section 01 Thom Pasculli M 9:30-12:20pm BARS
Section 02 Devon de Mayo TR 12:30-1:50pm BARS
Section 03 David New W 12:30-3:20pm BARS
Course meets the General Education Requirement in the Dramatic, Musical, and Visual Arts. Prior theater or acting training not required. This course introduces fundamental concepts of performance in the theater with emphasis on the development of creative faculties and techniques of observation, as well as vocal and physical interpretation. Concepts are introduced through directed reading, improvisation, and scene study. ATTENDANCE AT THE FIRST CLASS SESSION IS MANDATORY.
TAPS 10300. Text and Performance
Section 01 Loren Kruger TR 9:30-10:50am LC-802
Section 02 Seth Bockley TR 2:00-3:30pm LC-701
Section 03 Shade Murray W 12:30-3:20pm LC-701
Course meets the General Education Requirement in the Dramatic, Musical, and Visual Arts. This course offers an introduction to a number of significant dramatic works and seminal figures in the theorization of theater and performance. But the course's aspirations go much further: we will be concentrating upon the intersection of interpretation and enactment, asking how these pieces appear on stage and why. This will not be merely descriptive work, but crucially it will be interpretive and physical work. Students will prepare and present applied interpretations—that is, interpretations that enable conceptual insights to take artistic form. Throughout, we will be searching for that elusive combination of philological rigor, theoretical sophistication, and creative inspiration—probing the theoretical stakes of creativity and testing the creative implications of analytic insights. ATTENDANCE AT THE FIRST CLASS SESSION IS MANDATORY.
TAPS 10500. Text & Performance: Staging Terror
Section 01 Heidi Coleman TR 12:30-1:50pm LC-501
This course meets the general education requirement in the dramatic, musical, and visual arts. This course explores the interplay between horror, terror, and pleasure through in-class discussions of theoretical works and the possibilities of practical creative application. The paradox of the attraction to repulsion will be considered as well as the values of shock, suspense, and subtlety. Texts will include Grand Guignol, Shakespeare, Gothic novels, and horror films.
TAPS 10700. Introduction to Stage Design
Section 01 Kurtis Boetcher TR 11:00-12:20pm LC-501
Course meets the General Education Requirement in the Dramatic, Musical, and Visual Arts. This course explores the application of the visual and aural arts to the varied forms of design for the stage (i.e., scenic, lighting, costume, sound). We pay particular attention to the development of a cogent and well-reasoned analysis of text and an articulate use of the elements of design through a set of guided practical projects. ATTENDANCE AT FIRST CLASS SESSION IS MANDATORY.
TAPS 20150. Tall Tales / Adapting Americana
Section 01 Seth Bockley T 3:30 - 6:20pm LC-701
How can American legends, ghost stories and tall tales be adapted for the twenty-first century stage? This hands-on course challenges students to consider American mythology and lore from multiple regional, historical and cultural vantage points. Starting with Washington Irving’s ‘Sleepy Hollow’ and ‘Rip van Winkle’, students will explore story theater staging techniques alongside writing and individual projects inspired by their own research. The class will also delve into field recordings, folk music, tabloids, and popular lore, and examine contemporary plays that find inspiration in urban legends and folk tales. ATTENDANCE AT FIRST CLASS SESSION IS MANDATORY.
TAPS 21730 Movement for Actors
Section 01 Devon de Mayo M 12:30-3:20pm BARS
This course will explore how an actor uses movement as a tool to communicate character, psychological perspective and style. The foundation of our movement work will center on the skills of balance, coordination, strength, flexibility, breath control and focus. Building on the skills of the actor both in terms of naturalistic character work and stylized theatrical text. Students will put the work into practice utilizing scene work and abstract gesture sequences through studying the techniques of Michael Chekov, Vsevolod Meyerhold, Anne Bogart, Complicite and Frantic Assembly. ATTENDANCE AT FIRST CLASS SESSION IS MANDATORY.
TAPS 22110/32110, GRMN 23110/32110, CMST 28310/38310. Kafka & Performance
Section 01 David Levin W 3:30-6:20pm LC-501
This laboratory seminar is devoted to exploring the texts of Franz Kafka through the lens of performance. In addition to weekly scenic experiments and extensive critical readings (on Kafka as well as performance theory) we will explore the rich history of adapting Kafka in film, theater, puppetry, opera, and performance. Attendance at first class session is mandatory.
TAPS 23305, CMPL 23305. Directors and Directing: Theory, Stage, Text
Section 01 Michal Peles-Almagor T/R 2:00-3:20pm CL 113
Theater has always needed the concept of directing when staging a play. However, the role of the director as we know it has emerged only with the beginning of modern drama. This course will investigate the role of the director as an intersection between text, theory, and performance. The course explores the impact of the director in shaping modern drama, as well as critical approaches of literary and theatrical theory. We will deal not only with the historical development of the director’s role and textual interpretation, but also with the dynamics between theory and practice, and the changes in the concepts of space, acting, and performing. We will focus on approaches and writings by André Antoine, Vsevolod Meyerhold, Yevgeny Vakhtangov, Konstantin Stanislavski, Gordon Craig, Max Reinhardt, Jacques Copeau, Leopold Jessner, Erwin Piscator, Bertolt Brecht, and Samuel Beckett. We will examine these approaches in relation to literary theories of performativity (John Austin, John Searle, Judith Butler, Mikhail Bakhtin). We will also be interested in testing whether these theories match the practice, and discuss the potential of constructing a theory of acting, performing, and directing today.
TAPS 22318/32318, MUSC 22318/32318. Music and Disability Studies
Section 01 Jennifer Iverson
This course studies the ways that attitudes toward disability are constructed within a cultural sphere. From the perspective of disability studies, bodies and minds have many kinds of differences, but what is considered “disability” is determined by culture, not given by nature. Music, as well as film, literature, visual art, theatre, and so on, participate in the complex process of constructing and modulating attitudes toward disability. In this course, we will examine the interaction of disability and music in several ways: composers and performers whose creative production is shaped by bodily difference and disability; opera and film characters who embody and stage disability for our consumption; and more abstractly, music whose formal, sonic unfolding seems to engage issues of disability, even in purely instrumental art-pour-l’art works. We will read from the disability studies literature that critiques and theorizes disability themes in literature, film, and visual art, as well as musicology, music theory, and ethnomusicology literature that shows how disability themes are crucial in music. In this interdisciplinary class, students will gain a much more intimate understanding of the ways that attitudes toward abilities and bodies are constructed in art works, as well as be able to think, analyze, critique, write, and create with this understanding in mind. It is not necessary to read music notation for this course; for guidance, inquire with the instructor.
TAPS 23110/33110. Directing Study
Section 01 Heidi Coleman ARR
This seminar results from the production work of the quarter, with text analysis, dramaturgical reading, and discussions based on the participating MainStage directors. Typically initiating in weekly sessions the quarter prior to production, academic credit is given the quarter of production following a final written exam. Instructor Consent Required.
TAPS 23610. Fundamentals of Musical Improv
Section 01 Julie Nichols, Matthew Van Colton TH 3:30-6:20pm LC-701
Learn story and song structure and game-in-song techniques using real theatre-driven emotional response preparation with working industry professionals Julie Nichols & Matthew Van Colton. This course explores the fundamental concepts of improvisation, comedic games and theatre-based techniques for on-the-spot musical improvisation. Students of all experiences and backgrounds are encouraged to enroll. ATTENDANCE AT FIRST CLASS SESSION IS MANDATORY.
TAPS 23810/33810. Playwriting: Crafting Meaning through Action and Image
Section 01 Aaron Carter M 3:30-6:20pm LC-603
In this course students will explore writing techniques that use plot, character conflict and heightened theatrical image to transform theme and subject into dynamic dramatic action. Students will read, analyze and discuss selected plays in order to identify the specific ways in which those texts make meaning. Selected texts will include Mr. Burns by Anne Washburn, We are Proud to Present… by Jackie Sibblies Drury, Good People by David Lindsay Abaire and A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry. Students will be given weekly writing assignments in which to explore these techniques through carefully constructed prompts. Each session will include reading and discussing these assignments. Through the course students will identify a theme or subject matter that interests them and develop that impulse into an outline for a full-length play. ATTENDANCE AT FIRST CLASS SESSION IS MANDATORY.
TAPS 24610/34610. Research and Performance: Mapping the Effect of Love
Section 01 Will Davis M 3:30-6:20pm LC-501
This course will function as a lab for a new performance currently titled: Country Line Dance Grandma. We will build a container for the world of this piece through a series of experiments involving country line dance and the two step waltz. The primary goal of this development phase is to investigate the ritual of moving together in these forms and explore what it means to build a geometry of love and desire. ATTENDANCE AT FIRST CLASS SESSION IS MANDATORY.
TAPS 24410/34410 Transmedia Puzzle Design & Performance
Section 01 Sandor Weisz M 9:30-12:20am LC - 603
This course will introduce students to the burgeoning field of immersive puzzle design. Students will develop, implement and playtest puzzles that are suited for a range of experiences: from the tabletop to the immersive, from online puzzle hunts to broad-scoped alternate reality games (ARG). Students in this course will work directly with master puzzler, Sandor Wiesz, the commissioner of The Mystery League. ATTENDANCE AT FIRST CLASS SESSION IS MANDATORY.
TAPS 25200 “Neo-Futurist” Performance Workshop
Section 01 Greg Allen W 3:30- 6:20pm LC-701
This course is a hands-on introduction to Neo-Futurism - a method of transforming your own thoughts, feelings, and experiences into creative, task-oriented, audience-participatory, non-illusory, unique theatrical events. Students will be encouraged to find their own voice as fully rounded theater artists by writing, directing and performing their own short performances using their own lives as source material. By pursuing the goal of absolute truth on stage, the class will focus on an alternative to narrative Realism by embracing such elements as deconstruction, found-text, collage, abstraction, synthesis, and chaos. Classes will consist of original group exercises as well as presentations of weekly performance assignments. ATTENDANCE AT FIRST CLASS SESSION IS MANDATORY.
TAPS 25500. Advanced Screenwriting
Section 01 John Petrakis T 3:30-6:20pm LC-603
This course requires students to complete the first draft of a feature-length screenplay (at least ninety pages in length), based on an original idea brought to the first or second class. No adaptations or partially completed scripts are allowed. Weekly class sessions include reading of script pages and critique by classmates and instructor. PQ: TAPS 15500/ CRWR 27102, and consent of instructor based on twelve-page writing sample in screenplay format due in hard copy form to Instructor mailbox located Logan Center, 2nd floor on Friday March 9 at 4pm. Limited class size. ATTENDANCE AT FIRST CLASS SESSION IS MANDATORY.
TAPS 25910 Short Form Digital Storytelling: Creating a Web Series
Section 01 Terrance Brown W 9:30-12:20pm LC-603
This course examines the short form storytelling of the digital web series. Through lectures, viewings and discussions in weekly meetings students will determine what makes a strong web series and apply the findings to writing and polishing the pilot episode of their own web series. Students will write weekly 4-5 page assignments building toward the creation of a 5-6 episode series. ATTENDANCE AT FIRST CLASS SESSION IS MANDATORY.
TAPS 26217/36217, FREN 26217/36217. History of the French Theater from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment
Section 01 Julien Perrier-Chartrand
Between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, the French theater experienced a period of remarkable effervescence. The tragedy is renewed by Étienne Jodelle’s Cléopâtre captive (1553), pastoral and tragicomedy enjoy unprecedented popularity, comedy is forever transformed by the representation of L’école des femmes (1663), the lyric theater and comic-opera acquire their respective specificities and the bourgeois drama meets its first successes. This course of History of the French Theater from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment proposes to examine the poetics of each of these genres in the context of the great aesthetic currents of the period (humanism, baroque and classicism). While emphasizing that the plays produced during the three centuries studied are still dependent on ancient and medieval sources, this panorama will show how the genius of certain authors—as well as the quarrels aroused by the moral and intellectual opposition to the dramatic art—contributes to the development of one of the most brilliant and acclaimed theater in Europe.
TAPS 26310/36310. Dramaturgical Investigations of Antigone: Violence and Resistance
Section 01 Freddie Rokem (with Amy Stebbins, pending) TH 3:30-6:20p LC-501
This course aims at re-imagining the procedural role of 'research' in the creation of a new work of theater. We will focus on the multifaceted historical, philosophical and performative traditions of Sophocles' Antigone and its depiction of a confrontational ideological and political situation where a young woman opposes an oppressive political leader over the legal right to bury and mourn her dead brother who has been killed in a meaningless war. Besides studying previous productions (Bertolt Brecht and Ulrich Rasche), adaptations (Jean Anouilh), films (Liliana Cavani and Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub) and interpretations (Jacques Lacan and Judith Butler), as well as texts on violence (Walter Benjamin and Hanna Arendt) and resistance (Frantz Fanon)—investigating the possibilities for making this drama meaningful on the stages of our own time—Antigone will also serve as a point of departure for exploring some of the basic workings of a theatre performance, its 'dispositive', as expressed by individual and choral acting and the uses of theatrical space.
The final aim of the course is to provide the tools for a self-reflective dramaturgical process where academic research methodologies, philosophical thinking and artistic creativity are combined and where the contexts within which these investigations are developed can be come meaningfully integrated in theoretical/academic as well as in creative contexts.
TAPS 26515/36515, EALC 26515/36515. Literature of the Fantastic and Operatic Adaptation
Section 01 Judith Zeitlin
This co-taught interdisciplinary course, offered through the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry, explores literature of the fantastic (here including ghost stories and fairy tales) and the adaptation of such materials into opera, primary “Western-style” opera but also including some examples from Chinese opera. We will read some theoretical essays on adaptation, trans- or re-mediality, and the uncanny, but our focus will be on concrete examples and the historical arc of their transformation (which often entailed at least one intermediary step from story to play on the way to opera). This history, as in the famous case of Turandot, often involves an interesting chain of East-West crossings, misappropriations, and reappropriations; Chinoiserie has been a potent force in the history of Western opera and in a new form, is currently in vogue again (at least judging from the recent proliferation of Chinese-themed Western style or fusion operas being created and staged). We will select several specific operas or excerpts from opera as cases, reading their libretti, studying their music, and watching select productions on recorded media.
For their final project, students will have several options: 1) for musicians: composition of a short piece of text set to music, either working with the composer’s own original text or a preexisting text or collaborating with another student in the class to write the libretto and dramaturgical outline; 2) for creative writers: option of independently creating a libretto and dramaturgical outline; 3) for students in TAPS: option of designing a (hypothetical) stage production, either of an existing opera, or in collaboration with composers and or/ librettist; or 4) for students in any discipline: an academic paper on some aspect related to the subjects of the class.
TAPS 26330/36330. The Appearance of Gods, Angels and Ghosts in Modern Drama and Theater and on the Screen
Section 01 Freddie Rokem TR 11:00-12:20pm LC-603
Beginning with Aristotle there has always been a strong resistance to the appearance of gods (deus ex machina) as well as other supernatural figures on the stage. In spite of this, a wide range of supernatural figures both in drama and theatre, as well as on the movie screen, have always thrived. After studying the historical roots of the appearance of such supernatural figures the focus will be directed toward modern drama and theatre, as well as the movie screen. We will study selections from the work of playwrights like Ibsen, Strindberg, Pirandello, Brecht and Kushner and contemporary productions of classical plays like Medea and Hamlet. Examples of this phenomenon on the screen, focusing on directors like Ingmar Bergman and Wim Wenders will also be discussed. And we will begin by raising a question that will literally haunt us throughout the course: In which sense do we have to 'believe' in ghosts in order to enjoy or even understand a (good) performance of Shakespeare's Hamlet or even be able to read it? Attendance at first class session is MANDATORY.
TAPS 27500 Costume Design for the Stage
Section 01 Carolyn Ratke T 3:30-6:20pm LC-501
In this course, students will learn the basics of designing costumes for theatrical productions, encompassing the skills of text and character analysis, theatrical rendering and sketching, and developing a strong point of view for storytelling through clothing. Students will explore the vocabulary and visual impact of the elements and principles of design, and dive into the relationship between physical expression and visual expression on stage. Through various physical and creative exercises, students will come to understand and experience the process intrinsic to producing costumes for the theater, analyze the production needs related to costumes, and prepare a finalized costume design for a theatrical production. Attendance at first class session is MANDATORY.
TAPS 28100. Lighting Design for the Stage
Section 01 Mike Durst M 12:30-3:20pm LC-501
This course places equal emphasis on the theory and practice of modern stage lighting. Students learn the mechanical properties of lighting equipment; how to create, read, and execute a lighting plot; the functions of lighting in a theatrical context; color and design theory; and how to read a text as a lighting designer. Attendance at first class session is MANDATORY.
TAPS 28320/38320. The Mind as Stage: Podcasting
Section 01 Sarah Geis W 12:30-3:20pm LC-603
Audio storytelling insinuates itself into the day-to-day unlike other narrative forms. People listen to podcasts while they do the dishes, drive to work, or walk the dog. This hands-on course will explore the unique opportunities that this intimate relationship with an audience affords the storyteller. Documentary techniques and practices will form the basis of the course, with assignments from audio fiction and non-fiction, oral history, documentary theater, and comedy. Students will complete several short audio exercises and one larger podcast project. Attendance at first class session is MANDATORY.
TAPS 28431, ENGL 24412, SIGN 26020. Theater about Theater
Section 01 John Muse
This course is a transhistorical study of changing ideas about representation, explored through the lens of early modern and twentieth-century plays that foreground theatrical form. Every play frames time and space and in the process singles out a portion of life for consideration. The plays we will consider this term call conspicuous attention to the frame itself, to the materials and capacities of theater. What happens when plays comment on their own activity? Why might they do so? Why has theatrical self-consciousness emerged more strongly in particular historical periods? What might such plays teach us about the nature of art, and about the nature of life? To what extent can we distinguish between art and life? We’ll explore these and other questions through plays by Marlowe, Kyd, Shakespeare, Maeterlinck, Pirandello, Brecht, Beckett, Genet, Peter Weiss, Handke, Levine, and Baker; and through theoretical work by Abel, Puchner, Hornby, Sofer, Fuchs, and others.
TAPS 28467, MUSI 24417. Making and Meaning in the American Musical
Section 01 Thomas Christensen TR 9:30-10:50am LC-901
The history of the American Musical in the 20th century is paradoxical. While the genre is one often denigrated as staging lyrical utopias of Romance and adventure allowing audiences to escape depressing quotidian realities, many musicals did seek to engage some of the most pressing social issues of their day. In this course, we will look—and listen—closely to four differing musicals from the 20th century, studying their creative origins, while also analyzing their complex social meanings revealed through the story, music, lyrics, staging, and dance.
TAPS 28479/34879. Theater and Performance in Latin America
Section 01 Danielle Roper
What is performance? How has it been used in Latin America and the Caribbean? This course is an introduction to theatre and performance in Latin America and the Caribbean that will examine the intersection of performance and social life. While we will place particular emphasis on performance art, we will examine some theatrical works. We ask: how have embodied practice, theatre and visual art been used to negotiate ideologies of race, gender and sexuality? What is the role of performance in relation to systems of power? How has it negotiated dictatorship, military rule, and social memory? Ultimately, the aim of this course is to give students an overview of Latin American performance including blackface performance, indigenous performance, as well as performance and activism. This course will be taught in English. Also listed as SPAN 39117, LACS 29117, LACS 39117, GNSE 29117, GNSE 39117, CRES 29117, CRES 39117.
TAPS 28702/38702, ITAL 28702/38702. Italian Comic Theater
Section 01 Rocco Rubini
A survey of the history of Italian theatre from the Erudite Renaissance Comedy to Goldoni’s reform. We will pay particular attention to the tradition of commedia dell’arte (scenarios, stock characters, and plot formation), ancient and medieval influences, evolution and emancipation of female characters, and the question of language. Readings include works by Plautus, Ariosto, Machiavelli, Angelo Beolco (Ruzante), Flaminio Scala, and Goldoni. Toward the end of the course we will consider the legacy of Italian Comedy in relation to the birth of grotesque and realist drama in Pirandello.
TAPS 32312, ENGL 32312. Virtual Theaters
Section 01 John Muse
This course probes the nature and limits of theater by exploring a range of theatrical texts whose relation to performances are either partially or fully virtual. Like the works we will read, the course transgresses disciplinary, generic, and temporal boundaries, bringing together from various centuries philosophical dialogues (Plato), closet dramas, novel chapters in dramatic form (Melville’s Moby-Dick, Joyce’s Ulysses), radio drama, nonsense drama, and new media forms that test conventional definitions of theatrical performance: twitter theater, digital theater, algorithmic theater, and transmedia games. ADVANCED UNDERGRADS ADMITTED WITH CONSENT OF THE INSTRUCTOR.
TAPS 40305, GRMN 40305. Oedipus & Hamlet: Philosophy of Tragedy
Section 01 David Wellbery
In this class we will consider closely attempts to understand tragedy philosophically. Sophocles’ Oedipus the King and Shakespeare’s Hamlet, two texts that have particularly attracted philosophical attention will serve as constant reference points, but other paradigmatic tragedies (Euripides Bacchae, Goethe’s Faust, Beckett’s Endgame) will also be considered. Among the philosophical contributions to be considered are works by Aristotle, Schiller, Schelling, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Scheler, Schmitt, Benjamin, Murdoch, and Menke. Major issues to be dealt with: the structure of tragic plot; the tragic affects; catharsis; ancient and modern tragedy; tragedy and the tragic; the aesthetics of tragedy; tragedy and society; tragedy and the sacred.
TAPS 41451, EALC 41451. Palace of Lasting Life: History, Drama, Fantasy
Section 01 Judith Zeitlin
This course covers the history of Chinese theater from its emergence as a full-fledged art form in the 10th-11th centuries (the Northern Song) up through its incorporation into modern urban life and nationalist discourse in the first decades of the 20th century (the Republican period). In addition to reading selections from masterpieces of Chinese dramatic literature such as Orphan of Zhao, Romance of the Western Chamber, The Peony Pavilion, we will pay particular attention to the different types of venues, occasions, and performance practices associated with different genres of opera at different moments in time. A central theme will be the changing status of the entertainer and the cultural meanings assigned to acting. All texts to be read in English translation, but students are also encouraged to read Chinese texts in the original if feasible.
TAPS 44500, ENGL 44500, CMST 36200, CMPL 40500. Brechtian Representations: Theatre, Theory, Cinema
Section 01 Loren Kruger
Brecht is indisputably the most influential playwright in the 20th century, but his influence on film theory and practice and on cultural theory generally is also considerable. In this course we will explore the range and variety of Brecht's own theatre, from the anarchic plays of the 1920's to the agitprop Lehrstück and film esp Kühle Wampe) to the classical parable plays, as well as the work of his heirs in German theatre (Heiner Müller, Peter Weiss) and film (RW Fassbinder, Alexander Kluge), in French film (Jean-Luc Godard, Chris Marker)), film and theatre in Britain (Mike Leigh), theatre and film in Africa, from South Africa to Senegal, and a rare US Brechtian response to the 2008 crisis, The Big Short. Crucially for graduate critical work: we will also give due attention to the often unacknowledged impact of Brecht’s theorizing on a range of genres and media on his better known contemporaries Adorno, Benjamin, Lukács as well as on cultural theory elsewhere from the Situationists to the digital labor.
Requirements: oral presentations; short midterm and final research paper
Designed for: MAPH or HUM PhD; MFA with prior permission of instructor