Theatre Arts 140



Professor Mazer

Spring 2001


519 Annenberg Center, 3-2659;

Office Hours: Tu Noon-1:15; Th 11:00-Noon; and by appointment


January 16: Introduction


January 18: First principles:

Reading: Laurence Senelick, The Changing Room: Sex, Drag, and Theatre, Introduction, pp. 1-14.


January 23: Ancient Greece:

Reading: Senelick, Chapter 2: “The Greek for it is ‘Gynaikiseos,’” pp. 39-55.


January 25: Ancient Greece (continued):

Reading: Eurpides, The Bacchae; Froma I. Zeitlin, “Playing the Other: Theater, Theatricality and the Feminine in Greek Drama” (bulkpack)

Prepared Staging: __________.


January 30: Early Modern England:

Reading: Senelick, Chapter 6: “Playboys and Boy Players,” pp. 127-156; Lisa Jardine “Boy Actors, Female Roles, and Elizabethan Eroticism” (bulkpack); Stephen Orgel, “Nobody's Perfect: Or, Why Did the English Stage Take Boys for Men?” (bulkpack)


February 1: Early Modern England (cont.):

Reading: William Shakespeare, As You Like It.

Prepared Staging: __________(cross-dressed); __________ (not).


February 6: Early Modern England (cont.):

Reading: Senelick, Chapter 7: “Arms and the Woman,” pp. 159-178; Jean E. Howard, “Crossdressing, The Theatre, and Gender Struggle in Early Modern England” (bulkpack)


February 8: Early Modern England (cont.):

Reading: Ben Jonson, Epicoene (bulkpack).

Prepared Staging: __________(cross-dressed); __________ (not).


February 13: Early Modern England (cont.):

Reading: Thomas Middleton and Thomas Dekker, The Roaring Girl (bulkpack)

Prepared Staging: __________(cross-dressed); __________ (not).


[APPROXIMATE DATE: first take-home assignment due]


February 15: Japanese Theatre I: No:

Reading: Senelick, Chapter 4: “Orientations,” pp. 79-105; Zeami, Kinuta (The Fulling Block) (bulkpack); Motomasa, Sumidagawa (The Sumida River) (bulkpack)


February 20: Japanese Theatre II: Kabuki:

Reading: Sakura Hime Azuma Bunsho (The Scarlet Princess of Edo) (bulkpack)


February 22: English Restoration Theatre: Enter the Actress:

Reading: Katharine Eisaman Maus, “‘Playhouse Flesh and Blood’: Sexual Ideology and the Restoration Actress” (bulkpack); Thomas A. King, “‘As if (she) were made on purpose to put the whole world into good Humour’: Reconstructing the First English Actresses” (bulkpack); Beth H. Friedman-Romell, “Breaking the Code: Toward a Reception Theory of Theatrical Cross-Dressing in Eighteenth-Century London” (bulkpack).


February 27: English Restoration Theatre (cont.):

Reading: William Wycherly, The Country Wife (bulkpack).

Prepared Staging: __________.


March 1: The Baroque:

Reading: Senelick, Chapter 8: “Monstrous Pleasures of the Baroque,” pp. 179-20; Henry Pleasants, “The Castrati” (bulkpack)


March 6: The Breeches Convention:

Reading: Senelick, Chapter 9: “Breeches Birth,” pp. 206-227; Beaumarchais, The Marriage of Figaro (bulkpack)

Prepared Staging: __________(cross-dressed); __________ (not).


March 8: Opera and the Breeches Convention:

Listening Assignment (and/or video viewing), Ormandy Listening Room, Van Pelt Library: W.A. Mozart and Lorenzo Da Ponte, Le Nozze di Figaro.




March 20: Nineteenth-Century England and America:

Reading: Senelick, Chapter 10: “Beldames Sans Merci,” pp. 228-257, and Chapter 11: Prince, Pauper, and the Pan,” pp. 258- 291; David Mayer, “The Sexuality of Pantomime” (bulkpack)


March 22: Nineteenth-Century England and America (cont.):

Reading: W.S. Gilbert, The Princess (bulkpack)

Listening Assignment, Ormandy Listening Room, Van Pelt Library: Gilbert and Sullivan, Princess Ida.

Prepared Staging (The Princess): __________(cross-dressed); __________ (not).


[REQUIRED THEATRE-GOING: Caryl Churchill, Cloud Nine, Theatre Arts Program, Studio Theatre, Annenberg Center, March 22-24, 30,31].


March 27: Nineteenth-Century England and America (cont.):

Reading: J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan.

Prepared Staging: __________(cross-dressed); __________ (not).


[APPROXIMATE DATE: second take-home assignment due]


March 29: Nineteenth-Century England and America: Male and Female Impersonation:

Reading: Senelick, Chapter 12: “Putting on the Drag,” pp. 295-325, and Chapter13 (partial): “Impersonators of the Perverse,” pp. 326-340, 345-348.


April 3: Contemporary Japan: Takarazuka:

In-class Video showing.


April 5: Contemporary Japan: Takarazuka (cont.):

Reading: Senelick, Chapter13 (cont.): “Impersonators of the Perverse,” pp. 340-345, 348-349; Jennifer Robertson, “The ‘Magic If’: Conflicting Performances of Gender in the Takarazuka Revue of Japan” (bulkpack)


April 10: Drag:

Reading: Senelick, Chapter 15: “Queens of Clubs,” pp. 377-408.

Video Viewing (times TBA, on resnet): Jennie Livingston, Paris is Burning.




April 17: Camp:

Reading: Susan Sontag “Notes on ‘Camp’”(bulkpack); Senelick, “Chapter 16: “Alternatives,” pp. 409-443.


April 19: Camp (cont.):

Reading: Charles Ludlam, Camille (bulkpack).

Prepared Staging: (Alexandre Dumas, fils, The Lady of the Camelias (handout)__________; (Ludlam, Camille)__________.


April 24: Transformations: Old Conventions, New Scripts; Old Scripts, New Conventions.


April 26: Catch-up and Conclusions.


You are responsible for participation in ONE prepared scene, to be presented during the classes noted. BRING YOUR SCRIPTS TO CLASS THAT DAY, even if you are not participating in the prepared in-class staging; if no one has signed up in advance to stage a scene, we might work through a scene and put it on its feet during the class hour. There will be TWO take-home essay assignments, plus ONE final research project, due at a date to be announced, on a topic that must MUST BE APPROVED IN ADVANCE. Attendance in class is crucial; CHRONIC ABSENCE OR LATENESS WILL BE COUNTED AGAINST YOU.


The following books can be purchased at the Penn Book Center, 34th and Sansom Sts.:


Laurence Senelick, The Changing Room: Sex, Drag, and Theatre

Euripides, The Bakkhai

William Shakespeare, As You Like It

J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan & Other Plays


The bulkpack can be purchased at the Campus Copy Center, 39th and Walnut.


The listserv for this course is You have been subscribed automatically. If you do not seem to be on it, or if you drop the course and wish to be unsubscribed, please send a note to cmazer@english.


The syllabus for this course is available in electronic form through the world wide web, at Make a bookmark on your web browser for this site. In addition, we will be using an experimental web site for this course. Make a bookmark on your browser for, click on Theatre Arts, and click on our course. If you are registered, you are automatically subscribed: your login will be your PennNet ID and your password is your PennNet password. CHECK THIS SITE DAILY. The web site will include daily announcements (including information about theatregoing assignments), and an electronic copy of the syllabus. The site also includes a discussion group, with access restricted to members of the course.