Theatre Arts 100
INTRODUCTION TO THEATRE ARTS
Bennett Hall 305, x7382; email@example.com
Office Hours: Tu 11:00-Noon, 1:30-3:00; Th 1:30-3:00, and by
September 10: Introduction: What is Theatre?
September 15: Theatre and Representation
September 17: Theatre and Representation (cont.)
- Reading: Susanne K. Langer, "The Dynamic Image" and
"Creation," from Problems of Art (bulkpack).
[REQUIRED THEATREGOING: The Lady in Question, by Charles
Busch, Theatre Arts Program, Studio Theatre, Annenberg Center,
- Reading: Bernard Beckerman, "Imitation and
Presentation," from Theatrical Presentation:
Performer, Audience and Act (bulkpack).
September 22: [no class]
September 24: Theatre in Performance I: The Lady in
September 28: Acting and Behavior
October 1: Acting and Action
- Guest Lecturer: Jim Schlatter, Theatre Arts
- Reading: Robert Cohen, "Playing the Situation: Out of
the Self," from Acting Power: An Introduction to
October 6: Action and Character I
- Reading: Bernard Beckerman, "The Theatrical Segment" and
"The Dramatic Segment," pp. 44-64, from Dynamics of
Drama: Theory and Method of Analysis (bulkpack).
October 8: Action and Character I (cont.)
- Reading: Arthur Schnitzler, La Ronde; Beckerman,
Dynamics of Drama, pp. 64-77 (bulkpack).
October 13: Action and Character II
- Reading: La Ronde (cont.)
[APPROXIMATE DUE DATE: FIRST TAKE-HOME ASSIGNMENT]
- Reading: Anton Chekhov, The Cherry Orchard
October 15: Action and Character II (cont.)
- Reading: Chekhov, The Cherry Orchard (cont.)
October 20: Action and Character III
October 22: Character, Action, and Place
- Reading: Aristotle, The Poetics.
[REQUIRED THEATREGOING: Samuel's Major Problems, by
Richard Foreman, Theatre Arts Program, Studio Theatre, Annenberg
Center, Oct. 22-24]
- Reading: Chekhov, The Cherry Orchard; Bert O.
States, "The Scenic Illusion: Shakespeare and
Naturalism," from Great Reckonings in Little Rooms:
On the Phenomenology of Theater (bulkpack).
October 27: Theatre in Performance II: Samuel's Major
October 29: Character, Action, and Place
[REQUIRED THEATREGOING: Venus, by Suzan-Lori Parks,
Theatre Arts Program, Studio Theatre, Annenberg Center, Oct. 29-
- Guest Lecturer: Peter Whinnery, Theatre Arts.
- Reading: Chekhov, The Cherry Orchard.
November 3: Theatre in Performance III: Venus.
November 5: Language, Action, and the Actor
November 10: Representation and Place
- Reading: William Shakespeare, The Two Gentlemen of
Verona; John Barton, "The Two Traditions" and
"Using the Verse," Playing Shakespeare
[APPROXIMATE DUE DATE: SECOND TAKE-HOME ASSIGNMENT]
- Reading: Shakespeare, The Two Gentlemen of Verona;
Alan C. Dessen, "Shakespeare and the Theatrical
Conventions of his Time" (bulkpack).
November 12: Acting Alternatives I: Presentation and Ideology
[REQUIRED THEATREGOING: The Cherry Orchard, by Anton
Chekhov, Theatre Arts Program, Studio Theatre, Annenberg Center,
Nov. 12-14, 19-21]
- Guest Lecturer: Jim Schlatter, Theatre Arts
- Reading: Essays by Bertolt Brecht: "The Modern Theatre
is the Epic Theatre," "Theatre for Pleasure or Theatre
for Instruction," "Alienation Effects in Chinese
Acting," "The Street Scene," and "A Short Organum for
November 17: Presentation and Ideology
November 19: IN-CLASS ASSIGNMENT
- Reading: Brecht, The Caucasian Chalk Circle.
November 24: Acting Alternatives II: Representing Others
- Guest Lecturer: Rose Malague, Theatre Arts
- Reading: Bert O. States, "The Actor's Presence: Three
Phenomenal Modes" (bulkpack); "Anna Deavere Smith: the
Word Becomes You," an interview by Carol Martin
- Video Screening (to be arranged): Anna Deavere
Smith, Fires in the Mirror.
December 1: Theatre in Performance IV: The Cherry
December 3: Acting Alternatives III: Performance, Ideology, and
Guest Lecturer: Rose Malague, Theatre Arts
Reading: Gay Gibson Cima, "Strategies for Subverting the
Canon," and Rhonda Blair, "'Not...but'/'Not-Not-Me':
Musing on Cross-Gender Performance," from Upstaging
Big Daddy (bulkpack)
December 8, 10: Putting it Together: Script to Performance (an
intensive look at a script and/or performance from
earlier in the semester, or one in preparation for next
semester; readings and guest lecturer to be
In addition to the two take-home essays and the in-class
exercise, there is a choice of EITHER a final examination, at the
date scheduled by the registrar, OR a 12-15 page final term
paper, on an open topic, due TUESDAY, DECEMBER 15. ALL
TERM PAPER TOPICS MUST BE APPROVED BY ME BY TUESDAY, DECEMBER
1. Late term papers will not be accepted; if you cannot
complete your paper by the deadline, you must take the exam.
Books (including La Ronde, The Cherry Orchard,
The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Aristotle's Poetics,
and The Caucasian Chalk Circle) can be purchased at the
Penn Book Center (either at their 3700 block of Walnut St.
location, or their new 34th St. location, to be announced); the
Bulkpack can be purchased at the Campus Copy Center, 39th and
YOU ARE REQUIRED to see (and you will almost certainly
be asked to write about) productions and performances around
the Philadelphia area over the course of the semester, including
productions in the Studio Theatre of the Annenberg Center
sponsored by the Theatre Arts Program, as noted on the syllabus.
Additional required productions may be added over the course of
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