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Ritual, Theatre, Performance

This course surveys the history of theatre in the context of Western artistic and literary traditions. Students will read and watch plays as well as examine how theatre relates to philosophy, poetry, politics, and religion. The course includes screenings, field trips to attend performances, and interactive workshops led by department faculty on creative aspects of the discipline. The first block of the course begins by studying sacred rituals that influenced the origins of theatre in ancient Greece. It then examines forms of drama developed in succeeding eras, including medieval pageants, Renaissance masques, Shakespearian plays, and Restoration comedy. In the second block, we look at a combination of contemporary and historical plays that address changes in the 18th and 19th centuries that led to the development of realism in modern theatre. It pays special attention to how subsequent playwrights and choreographers use or subvert realism in order to challenge ideas about gender, race, and nationality. (Not offered 2021-22).

1 to 2 units

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