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Theatre, History, Culture: Classical Athens to Elizabethan London

ENGL 087.401

    This course will explore the forms of public performance, most specifically theatre, as they emerge from, enact, and ultimately help to arbitrate the dynamic life of communal, civic and social bodies, from their anthropological origins in ritual and religious ceremonies, to the rise of great urban centers, to the closing of the theaters in London in 1642.  This course will focus on the development of theatre practice in both Western and non-Western cultures as it intersects with the history of cities, including Athens, Rome, and London; the rise of market economies; and the emerging forces of national identity.  In addition to examining the history of performance practices, theatre architecture, scenic conventions and acting methods, this course will investigate, where appropriate, social and political history, the arts, civic ceremonies and the dramaturgic structures of urban living.