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Victorian Theatre

ENGL 078.401
instructor(s):
TR 10:30-12

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the basic materials and methods of theatre history and historiography, as applied to a particular topic, organized around a specific period, national group, or aesthetic issue. The topic this year is "Victorian Theatre." We will concentrate on 19th century Britain, although we will take an occasional look at the continent and America. Topics will include dramatic genres such as melodrama, "cup-and-saucer realism," extravaganza, and operetta; spectacular "pictorial" theatre; changes in theatre management and technology; imperialism and the theatre; the rise of "realism"; new acting theories and techniques, with the rise of "emotionalist" paradigms of acting; the social status of the actor; theatre and pornography; popular entertainment (Christmas Pantomime, Music Hall); and the rise of the director.