Second Year BA Drama Theatre and Performance

COURSE LAYOUT, SECOND YEAR

In each semester, students take TWO course modules in drama, and choose one additional module from a list of options.

 

In the first semester, the course layout is as follows:

  • DT205 Traditional Arts, Festival and Celebration Thursday 9-11
  • DT203 Shakespeare in Theory and Practice  (lecture)  and Thursday 1-3 (practical class)

The optional modules are as follows:

  • DT201a: Engaging with the Play Tuesday 2-4
  • DT 201b – Introduction to Devising B Friday 2-5
  • DT204 – Introduction to Playwriting – Tuesday 11-1

In the second semester, the core modules are:

  • DT202 Global Theatre Histories Thursday 9-11
  • DT207 Intermediate Performance: Beyond Realism Thursday 1-3

 

The optional modules are:

 

  • DT206 Introduction to Film Studies (optional) Time to be confirmed
  • DT208 Introduction to Directing for Theatre (optional) Time to be confirmed
  • In addition students may participate in Yerma or Electra for credit (subject to successfully auditioning for roles).

 

ABOUT CHOOSING OPTIONAL COURSES

In the first week, students should attend all of the optional modules (assuming that their timetables allow them to do so). On Friday 6 September, all students must email patrick.lonergan@nuigalway.ie, listing their chosen courses in order of preference (1, 2, 3). If students cannot attend any of the three courses due to subject choices, they must say so.

 

We will then allocate places based on students’ preferences and their obligations to other subjects.

 

In the event that a course is over-subscribed, places on it will be allocated randomly. We will commit, however, to making sure that students who do not receive their first preference in Semester 1 will receive their first preference in Semester 2.

 

Please note that, as is common practice in all university departments, optional courses run at times that may clash with your other subjects. You must therefore check your availability against any other subjects. You may NOT sign up for a module if it clashes with a core module in your chosen degree subject.

 

STUDENT PRODUCTIONS

This year there will be two student productions. Yerma will be directed by Max Hafler in Druid Theatre in February 2013, and Sophocles’ Electra, translated by Frank McGuinness,will be directed by Charlotte McIvor as part of the university theatre festival in March.

 

Students will be entitled to audition for these productions in October/November. If they are chosen to participate they will be able to do the production for credit in lieu of one of their second semester modules.

 

Students who are not successful in audition may, if they wish, choose to be involved in the production in some other creative capacity such as stage management, assistant direction, etc.

 

Students who participate in these productions will be able to gain credit for doing so, in place of one of their second semester modules.

 

We will have more details about this in due course.

 

CALENDAR

 

  • 2 September – 2BA, Week 1. Classes begin.
  • Tuesday 3 September, 11-12 – Playwriting Module (optional)
  • Tuesday 3 September, 12-1pm E212. Introductory Session for second year drama. All students must attend.
  • Tuesday 3 September, 2-4 BOI. Introductory Session for EN201a (optional)
  • Thursday 5 September, 9-11 . Traditional Arts, Festival and Celebration Introductory Class (required)
  • Thursday 5 September 1-3 BOI Shakespeare in Theory and Practice  (required)
  • Friday 6 September,  2-5 BOI, Introductory Session for EN201b. (optional)

 

October

  • 12 October, Dublin Theatre Festival Visit.
  • 28 October – bank holiday – no classes

 

November

  • Friday 22 November - end of teaching for 2BA.
  • Friday 29 November –Deadline for submission of all 2BA continuous assessment work.

 

December

  • 2 December – 2BA Exams start.
  • 17 December – All Exams end.

 

January

  • 13 January – semester 2 teaching begins for all years

 

February

o      13, 14, 15- Yerma, Druid Theatre

 

March

  • 10, 11, 12- Electra, Bailey Allen Hall
  • 17 March – Monday bank holiday – no classes

 

April

  • 4 April – semester ends for all years
  • 11 April – deadline for submission of all undergraduate work.
  • 15 April – exams begin for all years
  • 17-23 April – Easter vacation – university closed (Easter Sunday is 20 April).
  • 24 April – exams resume for all years

 

May

  • 14 May – exams end for all years

 

Other dates will be announced during the year.

 

 

 


COURSE OUTLINES

 

DT203: Shakespeare in Theory and Practice. Lecture (Tuesday 4-5 BOI). Workshop: Thursday 1-3 (BOI)

Prof. Patrick Lonergan

 

This module provides students with the practical skills needed to perform, read and stage Shakespeare's plays. Students form an understanding of historical approaches to Shakespeare and also consider contemporary staging techniques. Special emphasis is placed on Irish approaches to staging Shakespeare.

The course begins with an investigation of two of Shakespeare’s best-loved plays, The Merchant of Venice and Othello. We will focus on the use of ensemble to perform Shakespeare, and there will be a special class on voice provided by Max Hafler. In the second half of the semester, we will work together towards the staging of key scenes from some of Shakespeare’s plays. This work will be carried out in practical workshops in the BOI Theatre. In addition, we will have a weekly class that will be used to discuss Shakespeare’s life and times – a process that will be aided by our reading of Stephen Greenblatt’s Will in the World.

 

Required Reading

Stephen Greenblatt, Will in the World

William Shakespeare, The Norton Shakespeare Tragedies (ISBN: 0393931404) and the Norton Shakespeare Comedies (0393931412)

 

Assessment

  • Participation: 10%
  • Mid-term monologue: 10%
  • Final performance: 30%
  • Final Essay: 50%

 

 

COURSE LAYOUT


Week 1

Lecture 3 September: Introduction to second-year

Workshop 5 September: Introducing The Merchant of Venice

 

Week 2:

Lecture: Reading: Will in the World (chapter one)  

Workshop: Building a story (Merchant)

 

Week 3

Lecture:  Will in the World chapters 2 and 3

Workshop: Voice (Merchant) with Max Hafler

 

Week 4

Lecture: Will in the World chapter 4

Workshop: Verse and movement in Merchant and Othello

Students to be given short piece of monologue to prepare for week 6.

 

 

 

Week 5:

Lecture: Will in the World Chapter 5

Workshop: Monologue preparation  

 

Week 6

Lecture: Will in the World Chapter 6

Workshop: Student monologues

 

Week 7

Lecture: Will in the World Chapter 7

Workshop: Preparing for scene work

 

Week 8

Lecture: Will in the World Chapter 8

Workshop: Allocation of students to groups for scene work

 

Week 9

Lecture Will in the World Chapter 9

Workshop: Scene work

 

 

Week 10

Lecture Will in the World Chapter 10

Workshop: Scene work

 

Week 11

Lecture Will in the World Chapter 11

Workshop: Scene work

 

Week 12

Lecture: Conclusion and distribution of essay topics.

Workshop: Final preparation for scene work

 

FINAL PERFORMANCES – Thursday 28 November (during study week).

 

 

 

 

DT205 Irish traditional arts: Festival, ritual and commemoration

AM 108, Thursdays 9-11

Verena Commins

 

This module explores festival, ritual and commemoration in traditional arts practice located primarily in the west of Ireland.  Conceptualising the traditional arts and oral culture as a key inspirational impulse for all forms of contemporary Irish performance (from theatre to stand-up comedy), it engages in a critical way with festival, performance and commemoration and the traditional arts. It seeks to demonstrate linkages between historical and contemporary performance practice by an exploration of the development of practice through the lens of modern day engagement. This is examined by means of both practical and critical literary engagement. Recent and historic stagings of Irishness which rely upon the traditional arts as conduits of culture will be discussed.  The particularity of the West of Ireland as a repository of traditional arts informs much of the deliberations throughout the module. Locating the course in festivities of the West creates an opportunity to examine an integral way in which Ireland defines and redefines itself through performance. Key arenas of exploration include the Galway Arts Festival, the Galway Theatre Festival, Baboró, Culture Night and the NUI Galway Arts in Action Programme. We will investigate contemporary performances such as those in Galway Culture Night 2013, Riverdance and more.

 

A further aim of the course will be to provide students with skills that will be of value for their studies generally, including performance reviewing, oral presentation, and essay writing. The course also involves students attending performance in a variety of areas, including theatre and traditional performance.

 

Week 1: Course Introduction: Critical perspectives of festival examined through the Galway Arts Festival.

 

Week 2: From An Tostal to the Volvo: performing Galway:  Theories of festivity and festival

 

Week 3: Culture Night – whose culture?

 

Week 4: Traditional Irish music and festivity, from Belfast to Lisdoonvarna

 

Week 5: Performing informal rituals - the Session and ethnography

 

Week 6: Performing the West: Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy

 

Week 7: Traditional arts and commemoration 1: Waking the dead and the living.

 

Week 8: Traditional arts and commemoration 2: Representational art and traditional practice

 

Week 9: Staging Irishness 1: From Riverdance to Prodajig

 

Week 10: Performing St Patrick’s Day

 

Week 11: Culture Economy: Performing community/the economics of performance. Macnas and the Galway Arts Festival

 

Week 12: Student presentations and review

 

 

 

Learning outcomes:

Students will

  • Demonstrate critical engagement with the critical concepts of festival, festivity and ritual
  • Have an understanding of how these concepts may be applied to Irish traditional arts practice and performance
  • Have an understanding of how these concepts may be applied to performance practice generally
  • Have a comprehensive knowledge of traditional arts festival and commemorative practice both historically and contemporaneously
  • Develop advanced oral presentation skills through individual and group tasks
  • Develop transferable skills through practical and critical engagement with the traditional arts

 

Module requirements and assessment:

  • Attendance at all classes is required. 
  • Students will prepare and discuss essential readings/performances each week at class.

Assessment is as follows:

o      Event review 1              

In-class group presentation         10%

300 words               10%

o      Event review 2               10%

In-class group presentation          10%

300 words

o      Final assignment           

o      In class group presentation         10%

2,000 words               50%

due Thursday 28th November 2013, 4.00pm

 

Assessment event reviews will be drawn from attendance at a Culture Night event, Arts in Action events and Babaró and the Galway Theatre Festival. These dates will be finalised in class and tickets will be provided where necessary.

 

 

Helpful links:

Galway Festival listings: http://www.galwaytourism.ie/pgalway-events-calendar.html

English Department style sheet http://www.nuigalway.ie/english/documents/pg_stylesheet.pdf

Irish Traditional Music Archive http://www.itma.ie/

Academic Writing Centre at NUIG http://www.library.nuigalway.ie/support/academicwritingcentre/

 

Key Dates and events for this module

Galway Culture Night: Friday, 20th September 2013

Baboró: 14-20th October 2013

Galway Theatre Festival: October 2013

Arts in Action Programme: http://www.nuigalway.ie/artsinaction/

Contact details and office hours:

verena.commins@nuigalway.ie

091 495046

Wednesday, 10am-12pm (or by appointment)

Room 201, Centre for Irish Studies

Distillery Road

 

Course Readings

All readings will be available on Blackboard

 

OPTIONAL COURSE DT201A: Engaging with the Play: Spring Awakening [trans Ted Hughes]       Max Hafler

 

The course will look at how we engage with the text and work on character. We will explore questions like  ‘where do I begin when presented with a role in this play?’ ‘How do I discover the character?’ ‘How do I find the world of the play with the director and other members of the team to create a powerful believable world?’

 

The group is going to look at one play, Spring Awakening by Frank Wedekind [trans Ted Hughes] , to build skills and confidence towards a workshop presentation of scenes at the end of the course.

 

Primarily this is an acting class, but it is also useful if you are interested in directing. It will be almost totally practical. In addition to using Chekhov Technique, we will be looking at  some basic exercises in Hagen Technique , a forensic exploration of reality. Students are advised to read both theory books.

 

Students must read Spring Awakening and be familiar with it. Know the story. As you read start to imagine the characters and maybe make notes about them. By week 6, I would like you to make a  written response to the play , perhaps focusing on a particular element of research . If you take one of the more factual titles, please spend at least half of the essay on how what you discovered affects the play . 1900 in a provincial German town./Frank Wedekind’s life./ Other plays by Frank Wedekind and comparing them to Spring Awakening./ The German Cabaret movement / Expressionisim in the Theatre / Stage History. / How I might direct this play and why / . How I might play a particular character  in this play and why  /. This will have a 2000 – 2300 word limit  and will be submitted by week 6 . The most effective essays will be shared and put up on Blackboard. Pictures can be included when appropriate.

 

The workshop performance of scenes in the last class will need some rehearsal/preparation outside of class. There is no journal for this class. YOU NEED TO HAVE READ SPRING AWAKENING  BEFORE YOU START AND BRING THE SCRIPT TO EACH CLASS.

 

It is not acceptable to miss sessions without a doctor’s certificate or to be late. Working in theatre is experiential and attendance is vital. If there is an emergency and you cannot attend you must the course director know by email (patrick.lonergan@nuigalway.ie or phone 091 49 2631).

 

For this reason, Punctuality and development/commitment in class is going to carry 35% of the mark.

The  written piece handed up in week 6  will carry 30% of the mark.  The performance of 2 contrasting  6 minute scenes in groups of the final week  using different character building techniques is worth  35%

 

READING LIST:

SPRING AWAKENING by FRANK WEDEKIND TRANSLATED BY TED HUGHES. Faber and Faber.

ON THE TECHNIQUE OF ACTING BY Michael Chekhov. Harper Collins

RESPECT FOR ACTING by Uta Hagen. Wiley Publishing Inc.

 

 

 

OPTIONAL COURSE: DT201B Devising Theatre

Kate Costello

 

Devised theatre is a recent phenomenon and current preoccupation. Improvisation is part of the process of devising. All rehearsals are a process of discovery and devising. Improvisation and devising skills are essential tools to as a theatre practitioner and artist. This module will focus on international companies that are well known devisers and creators of their own work. By studying the different companies, it will become clear what methods they use and what tactics they employ when devising.

 

The aim of the module is to build an understanding of devising. Different devising techniques shall be explored throughout the module. Students will have a knowledge and understanding of different rehearsal processes and techniques. Students also have the opportunity to create and devise their own work, and present it in a showcase performance at the end of the module.

 

Reading List

Graham, Scott &Hogget, Steven – Frantic Assemble Book of Devising Theatre (Oberon 2009)

Alison Oddey- Devising Theatre (Routledge, 1996)

 

 

WEEKLY OUTCOMES-

Exercises

All classes commence with warm up exercises. Towards the end of the module the students themselves will devise and lead the exercises. It is important for the students to warm up their bodies and voices as the module is physical and requires the students to think on their feet all the time.

 

Dream Diary

This is contributed to weekly by tudents, and shared in class towards the end of each week. Every week the student will share a story that is inspired by a dream they have had during the week. The dream diary is used as a starting point for devising. The dream diary can also help when devising character. The invention of the characters dream can help discover unexpressed subtext.

 

The groups can try to imagine:

-the theme of the dream

-what kind of a character could have such a dream

-what kind of a genre would the dream require

-where could we locate these specific dreams in the play, at the beginning, in the middle or in the end.

 

Text

The students must read a play that interests them. They have to find a scene that is the crux of the play. This will be used later on in the module as a means of devising. We will discuss this in the first week and decide on the plays to be chosen. I will recommend plays with large crowd scenes – e.g.  Top Girls, Governor Inspector, Festen, Seagull. Thesescenes allow for the whole class to get involved in the process and learn from the different means of devising and improvising. Certain exercises that are explored in the class will allow the student to engage with the text on a new level.

 

Logbook

Each student will document his/her work each week, what they discover through research, what they learn in class, and what inspires them throughout the module e.g. articles, images, sounds. This will be not be assessed at the end of the module. This is merely a record for the student to help them remember everything and write down what they learn in class each week. The students will be asked to document the devising process. Every week the performance piece will be developed, this process must be tracked by each student.

 

Essay

The Essay will be the main piece of written text for the Module. This final essay, along with the student’s contribution to the course throughout the module, will determine the final result the student will receive.

 

 

Our play

Towards the beginning of the module the group will be asked to think about what inspires them, motivates them and encourages them in theatre. I will ask them to think about what type of work they would like to make. As a group we will discuss what issue we would like the piece to focus on and why they would like to explore this. Each week, the class will employ different devising methods to develop the performance piece.

 

The topic discussed in the class will be directly referred back to and applied to the piece of theatre we are making.

 

A date will be set for the final performance in the first week. The theatre will be booked and all students made aware of the busy rehearsal period that will occur before the performance.

 

Character

Each student will be asked to write the biographies of different characters developed in class. We will then share these biographies, combine them and create new plot lines. We will look into relationships to begin with, then themes and events. This continues and a story/plot develops.

 

Theatre Companies

Each class member is given a Theatre Company to research. Every week a different student must share his/her research and educate the class on the particular company. The student will present the material they have researched. The presentation will not be about the biography of the company; it must deal with the devising processes used by the companies. The student will then be expected to lead the class in one of the company’s methods. 

 

The International companies that devise and will be researched independently are-

-Knee-high

-Filter

-Complicite

-Mike Leigh

-Gecko

-The Wooster Group

-Forced Entertainment

-Frantic Assembly

-Joint Stock

-Theatre du Soleil

-Pina Bausch

 

The students will also be asked to look into companies in Ireland that Devise. They will investigate who is devising and making their own work e.g.

 

-Anu Productions,

-Pan Pan Theatre,

-WillFredd Theatre,

-Moonfish Theatre ,

-THEATREclub

-The Company

-Thisispopbaby

 

 

GALWAY THEATRE FESTIVAL

There will be a number of companies in the Festival this year that will be presenting devised work. Students will be encouraged to attend work by smaller fringe companies that are making, creating and devising their own work.

 

On Sat 5th of October there shall be a workshop day as part of the Festival. A number of workshops will be held by local artists that deal with theatrical concept such as live gaming, performance art, bilingual performances. Students who wish to attend this workshop will be enabled to do so.

 

 

DT204: Introduction to Playwriting. E212, Tuesday 11-1

This twelve-week module will provide undergraduate students with a comprehensive introduction to the craft of playwriting. With guided writing exercises as well as detailed analysis of play scripts, this practical course will assist students in understanding and applying essential dramatic concepts.

 

Students are not required to be actors, but will be required to share their writing, their voices and their critical faculties to bring scripts to completion. Each two-hour session will include drama and writing exercises as well as textual analysis and group discussions.

 

Course Outline

Week 1: (note that in week one, this class only runs from 11-12).

What makes a play a play? The relationship between dialogue and action

 

Week 2:

Conjuring Up A World: Writing from the set or the space

Pentecost by Stewart Parker

 

Week 3:

Characters & Actors: Creating strong, believable characters

Trade by Mark O’Halloran

 

Week 4:

Objectives & Back Stories: Allowing characters to develop on stage

Howie The Rookie by Mark O’Rowe

 

Week 5:

Writing Workshop: Each student asked to present a 5-minute dialogue for class discussion and feedback.

 

Week 6:

The Third Man: Overhearing and the presence of the other: Moving from monologues/dialogues to a full cast

The Walworth Farce by Enda Walsh

 

Week 7:

A Time & Place for Everything: Exposition: How to place, hide and reveal information

Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee

 

Week 8:

Writing Workshop: Students asked to prepare ten minutes of dialogue for feedback and discussion.

 

Week 9:

Earning the Moment: Structuring the scene and the play for full dramatic effect

Victory by Athol Fugard

 

Week 10:

Adaptation & Translation: Drawing on the work of other playwrights

Dunsinane by David Greig

 

Week 11:

Breaking The Rules: The Playwright in Contemporary Theatre Practice

Heroin by Grace Dyas

 

Week 12:

Final Draft: Polishing and Preparing Your Work

This may be a ‘showcase’ for students to read their work for other students, if of an appropriate standard.

 

Assessment:

Students will be required to produce twenty minutes of original dialogue – either an extract from a longer work or a one act play. Students will be encouraged to work towards completing a one act play to submit to the Jerome Hynes Competition in Semester 2. The module will include two writing workshops to assist in drafting, revising and presenting work in an appropriate format.

 

Students will also submit a 1,000-word essay analysing a play (of their choice) as a playwright seeking to emulate this work. They will be required to answer questions such as the following: What were the objectives of this playwright? What effects did he/she seek to create? How does his/her technique achieve this?

 

 

Suggested Reading

Negotiating With The Dead by Margaret Atwood

Adventures in the Screentrade byWilliam Goldman

Playwriting: A Practical Guide by Noel Greig

How Plays Work by David Edgar

 

All other play texts will be made available to students during the term.

 

 

SECOND SEMESTER – CORE MODULES

 

DT202 Global Theatre Histories Thursday 9-11

Maired Ni Chronin

 

INTRODUCTION:

This course will give students an introduction to the development of theatre in cultures across the globe.  The course will examine theatre both in terms of its form and its function, and ask the following questions:

a)     how did/does the relationship between the constituent elements of theatre (e.g. sound, text, image, movement, etc.) change and develop in response to changes in societies and cultures?

b)    how did/does the purpose and content of theatre (e.g. ritual, commemoration, revolution, etc.) change and develop in response to changes in societies and cultures?

Students will be encouraged to interrogate their own cultural and historical specificity as theatre-makers by exploring the links between theatre expression and political, social and cultural structures.

            The course will comprise both research and practice-based work.  The research component will draw on Theatre Histories: an introduction by Zarrilli et. all.  Students will be required to read relevant chapters from the book prior to class, discuss these in their research diary, and to engage in a discussion on the relevant topic in class.  They will also be required to work on the development of two timelines over the course of the module.  The first timeline will focus on the development of theatre in a particular region of the world (see sample list below).  Each student will be assigned a particular region.  The second timeline will focus on the fortunes of a particular element in theatre.  Each student will be assigned a particular element (see sample list below).  Finally, each student will be required to complete two essays (max. 2,000 words each) that address topics covered in the module.

            The practice-based component is intended to give students an experiential understanding of the topics covered; each topic will be complimented by a workshop in which theatrical concepts will be applied in a 'scratch' way to a particular text/story, e.g. The Playboy of the Western World (see course outline, below).  The intention is not to create a formal production but to explore the form and function of theatre, as highlighted in their research, in a practical and playful way.  As well as contributing to the students' understanding of the topic, the practice-based component is also intended to build skills the students can use in their own theatre-making: the practical application of research, the use of 'scratch' methods to explore specific theatre elements and ideas, and the incorporation of practices of interrogation and reflection.

 

ASSIGNMENTS AND ASSESSMENT:

 

The assignments students are expected to complete are:

 

Research diary:            Students are asked to read relevant chapters and to make notes for discussion in class in their research diary.  They are also asked to take notes during the discussion in class.

 

Essays:            Students are asked to write one essay over the course of the module

 

Timeline (regional):            Students are asked to work on a regional timeline over the course of the module.  This timeline will trace the developments in theatre in a particular region.  Depending on the number of students in class, the list of regions may include:

a)   Europe (the continent, including Russia)

b)   Ireland & Britain

c)   Japan

d)   China

e)   India

f)   Africa

h)   North America

i)   South America

j)            Middle East

k)            Australia & South-East Asia

 

Timeline (elements):            Students are asked to work on a timeline that charts the use of a particular element in theatre over the course of the module (drawing on Theatre Histories).  Depending on the number of students in class the list of elements may include:

a)     Sound (including speech, chant, music, noise, etc.)

b)    Text (including dialogic forms, print, found documents, etc.)

c)     Body (including movement, dance, gesture, costume, etc.)

d)    Space (including staging, relationship between performers & audience, etc.)

e)     Time (including celebrations, processions, festivals, durational performances, etc.)

f)     Vision (including light, set, costume, etc.)

 

 

COURSE OUTLINE:

 

Week 0            Introductions

                        Student introductions and general discussion on theatre

                        Explanation of course outline, assignments & grading

                        Choice of text for practice-based activities

                        Discussion of tools for assignments

 

Week 1            Oral & Ritual Performance:           

Research:            how did ideas and beliefs around human existence shape theatre in primary oral                                     cultures?

Practice:            applying ideas of oral performance

 

Week 2            Context and Early Performance:

Research:            how did social contexts shape the development of drama/theatre in primary oral                                     cultures?

Practice:            applying ideas of celebration/commemoration

 

Week 3            Aesthetics and Criticism in Early Theatre:

Research:            what was theatre's relationship with its 'interpretive communities' in primary oral cultures?

Practice:            applying ideas of meta-theatre 

 

Week 4            Printing and the Professionalization of Theatre in the West

Research:            how did printing affect the social status of actors and playwrights?

Practice:            applying ideas of gesture and visual representations of performance

 

Week 5            Theatre and National Identities

Research:            what was the relationship of theatre to its audiences 1900s?

Practice:            applying ideas of audience involvement and control (Playboy riots)

 

Week 6            Theatre and Photography

Research:            how did theatre respond to the effects technological developments had on societies and cultures?

Practice:            applying ideas of scenic realism

 

Week 7            Theatre and Industrial Capitalism

Research:            how was theatre used to critique the bourgeoise societies in the West?

Practice:            applying ideas of sound and lighting (avant-garde)

 

Week 8            Theatre and Revolution

Research:            how was theatre used to challenge or consolidate political power in the early 20th-century?

Practice:            applying ideas of documentary and distancing

 

Week 9            Theatre and the Crisis of Language

Research:            how did theatre respond to the the post-structuralist critique of Western culture?

Practice:            applying ideas of textual deconstruction

 

Week 10            Theatre and Community

Research:            how has theatre responded to the changing nature of community in an era of globalization?

Practice:            applying ideas of intercultural theatre

 

Week 11            Overview and Discussion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CORE COURSE: Performance II: Beyond Realism

Lecturer: Dr. Charlotte McIvor

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION

 

Moving beyond the realistic and naturalistic acting techniques developed in “DT 101: Introduction to Performance,” this course provides an expanded engagement with physical experimentation and characterization techniques as part of an actor’s working process through a deeper engagement with scene study via work on non-realistic and avant-garde texts.  You will be exposed to a broader range of modern and contemporary authors, approaches and training styles within the context of Western theatre (primarily Irish, English and American texts with selected European works in translation) who push at the limits of “realism” as the cornerstone of a theatrical dramaturgy.  By engaging with these dramatic texts and ideas via class exercises drawing on Viewpoints, contact improvisation, and other physical theatre techniques, you will discover alternative approaches to creating character and approaching the craft of performance more broadly beyond text-based models.  Please note that this class will require high levels of physical exertion.    

 

REQUIRED TEXTS

  • Stephen Wangh, An Acrobat of the Heart: A Physical Approach to Acting Inspired by the Work of Jerzy Grotowski.
  • Anne Bogart and Tina Landau, The Viewpoint Book: A Practical Guide to Viewpoints and Composition.
  • Phillip Zarilli, ed. Acting (Re)considered: A Theoretical and Practical Guide.
  • Various plays to be assigned. 

 

COURSE OBJECTIVES

 

This course aims to provide students with the opportunity to:

  • Engage with physical theatre approaches to characterization and staging;
  • Experiment with working beyond realism in the actor’s approach to engaging with modern and contemporary dramatic texts;
  • Contextualize theories of the actor’s craft in relationship to historical, political and social events;
  • Explore the ethics, challenges and rewards of collaborative creative work. 

 

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

 

You must dress in clothes in which you can move freely. You will be notified in advance if any particular class will involve strenuous physical exercise.  Please notify me if you have any physical limitations/special issues that I should be aware of.  Only water will be permitted in class.  Please always bring a notebook and writing implement to class.   

 

Each student will contribute:

  • (2) Group Scene Presentations
  • (6) Bi-weekly responses which engage reading and/or classroom exercises
  • (1) Research Paper tracing the work of one prominent acting theorist, performer, playwright, director or school of training which challenges realism and naturalism as dominant theatrical forms
  • Consistent and Fully Engaged Class Participation

 

GRADE BREAKDOWN

 

A.  Attendance and Class Participation                                    10%

Your engaged and active presence is vital to the success of this class.  Theatre is an intensely collaborative art form that insists on total emotional and physical involvement at all times from all of its participants.  This class will require you to work on several assignments in our and class in small groups with your peers, as well as be completely engaged in all group activities in class.  Your work does not begin and end with your time on stage.  Your cooperation will ensure your growth as an artist as well as a better experience for your peers, energy suffers when even one person “checks out.”  Engagement and maturity are absolutely expected at all times. 

 

Please note especially that this class makes use of exercises and materials that may contain bad language, sexual themes and other mature material.  If at any point during this class, you are uncomfortable with the material, please see me immediately.  Nevertheless, an environment of decorum and safety will be maintained to the best of my ability at all times.        

 

B.  Scene One and Scene Two                        20% and 20%

 

Scene One will be taken from the work of modern playwrights such as Samuel Beckett, Jean Genet, Eugene Ionesco and Harold Pinter among others.

 

Scene Two will engage the work of more contemporary playwrights such as Sarah Ruhl, Enda Walsh, Carol Churchill, Martin Crimp, Naomi Wallace and Caridad Svitch among others.

 

You must arrange access to the entire play from which your scene is taken and you will be responsible for reading it.

 

In addition to your two scene showings in class, you will sign up for a 30-minute office hour session to work on notes from your scene. 

 

C. Bi-weekly Responses                        20%

 

These bi-weekly responses will ask you to respond to in-class exercises and readings, as well as provide two reports of the plays from which your scenes will be taken.

 

D. Research Paper                                    30%

 

  • This final 2000 word research paper will require you to trace the genealogy of one prominent acting theorist, performer, playwright, director or school of training which challenges realism and naturalism as dominant theatrical forms (ex. Jerzy Grotowski, Jacques Lecoq, Anne Bogart and the SITI Company).   You will not only analyse the aims and techniques of these artists in relationship to your broader knowledge of theatrical trends such as realism and naturalism, but situate how their work responds to specific political, social, and cultural circumstances that impact their unique careers.  Further directions on this assignment will be given in class. 

 

 

OPTIONAL CLASSES:

 

  • Introduction to Directing
  • Film Studies
  • Performance Project: Yerma
  • Performance Project: Electra

 

Further details about these classes will be provided later in the year, as two of them are going to be taught by people who have not yet been appointed