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Shakespeare Performance History

ENGL 256.401
instructor(s):
fulfills requirements:
Sector 1: Theory and Poetics of the Standard Major
Pre-1900 Seminar Requirement of the Standard Major

This course surveys major movements in the performance of Shakespeare's plays over 350 years since the reopening of the theatres in 1660, examining how the scripts take on new aesthetic forms, acquire different cultural status, and generate different meanings for each period and artist.  Topics include the transformation of the plays' original stagecraft when performed on proscenium stages, within romantic decor, using pictorial narrative devices, and after the naturalist revolution; heroic, romantic, and "emotional realistic" acting (particularly since the advent of Stanislavsky); performance and politics; editing, adaptation, and censorship; the rise of the director; the reintroduction of the "open" stage; the "original practices" movement; international and foreign language performance; and post-modernism.