Theatre Arts 275
Shakespeare Performance History
519 Annenberg Center, 3-2659; firstname.lastname@example.org
Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:30-2:30, and by appointment
All readings are downloadable from, or linked to, the Canvas site.
August 27: Introduction
September 1: What is a text, what is a performance, what is a production, what is performance history?
Reading: Hamlet; Zachary Lesser, “Playbooks”; Margaret Jane Kidnie, “Where is Hamlet? Text, Performance, and Adaptation.”
September 3: Multiple texts
Reading: King Lear; Hamlet (Q1), link on Canvas; Michael J. Warren, “Quarto and Folio King Lear and the Interpretation of Albany and Edgar”; Steve Urokowitz, “‘Well-sayd Old Mole’: Burying Three Hamlet's in Modern Editions.”
September 8: Early Modern Scenic Conventions
Reading: Romeo and Juliet; Alan C. Dessen, “Shakespeare and the Theatrical Conventions of his Time”; Allan C. Dessen, “‘Romeo opens the tomb.’”
September 10: Early Modern Acting
Reading: Joseph R. Roach, “Changeling Proteus”; Anthony B. Dawson, “Performance and Participation: Desdemona, Foucault, and the Actor’s Body”; Tiffany Stern, “Rehearsal, Performance, and Plays.”
September 15: Character and Subjectivity
Reading: Catherine Belsey, “Unity”; Alan Sinfield, “When is a Character Not a Character: Desdemona, Olivia, Lady Macbeth, and Subjectivity.”
September 17: Shakespeare “Improved”
Reading: Nahum Tate, King Lear (link on Canvas)
September 22: Eighteenth-Century Acting
Reading: Henry Fielding, a chapter from Tom Jones; excerpt from Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, excerpts from Visits to England; Joseph R. Roach, “Garrick, the Ghost, and the Machine.”
September 24: Romanticism, Acting, and Character
Reading: Macbeth; John Philip Kemble, “Macbeth Reconsidered”; H.C. Fleeming Jenkin, “Mrs. Siddons as Lady Macbeth and as Queen Katharine”; Joseph W. Donohue, Jr., “Shakespearean Character on the Early Romantic Stage.”
September 29: Romanticism, Melodrama, and Spectacle
Reading: William Henry Ireland, Vortigern (link on Canvas)
[APPROXIMATE DUE DATE: FIRST TAKE-HOME ASSIGNMENT]
October 1: Nineteenth-Century Pictorialism
Reading: Martin Meisel, “Preamble to the Picture Play” and “Irving and the Artists”; Michael R. Booth, “Shakespeare,” and “Beerbohm Tree’s Henry VIII, Her Majesty’s Theatre, 1910”; Richard W. Schoch, “Pictorial Shakespeare.”
October 6: Nineteenth-Century Pictorialism II
Reading: The Merchant of Venice; Richard W. Schoch, “The Homestead of History’: Medievalism on the Mid-Victorian Stage”; Alan Hughes, “The Merchant of Venice”; Michael R. Booth, “Pictorial Acting and Ellen Terry”; Ralph Berry, “The Imperial Theme.”
October 13: Acting and Character I
Reading: Mary Cowden Clarke, “Katharina and Bianca: The Shrew and the Demure”; Helena Faucit, “Juliet.”
October 15: Acting and Character II
Reading: George Henry Lewes, “Edmund Kean,” and “On Natural Acting,” from On Actors and the Art of Acting; William Archer, “Introductory,” “Sunt Lacrymae Rerum,” “‘Autosuggestion’ and ‘Innervation,’” and “The Brownies of the Brain” from Masks or Faces?; G. Bernard Shaw, two theatre reviews from The Saturday Review ; Edward Gordon Craig, “The Actor—His Voice” and “The Actor—His Movement and His Face”; John Gillies, “Stanislavski, Othello, and the Motives of Eloquence”
October 20: The Shakespeare “Revolution” I: Elizabethanism
Reading: Robert Shaughnessy, “The Last of the Pre-Raphaelites”; Joe Falocco, “William Poel.”
October 22: The Shakespeare “Revolution” II: Modernism
Reading: J.L. Styan, “Barker at the Savoy”; essays by H. Granville Barker; Laurence Senelick, “Moscow and Monodrama: The Meaning of the Craig-Stanislavsky Hamlet.”
October 27: Director’s Theatre
Reading: A Midsummer Night’s Dream; J. L. Styan, “Shakespeare, Peter Brook, and Non-Illusion”; Documents about A Midsummer Night’s Dream from Peter Brook: A Theatrical Casebook; John Russell Brown, “Directors and Scholars: The Intellectual Response” and “Performance: Directors, Designers and Actors”; W.B. Worthen, “Shakespeare’s Auteurs: Directing Authority.”
October 29: Rediscovering Shakespeare’s Stagecraft
Reading: James C. Bulman, “Shakespeare and Performance Theory”; Stanley Wells, “John Barton’s Richard II, 1973-4; Cary M. Mazer, “Historicizing Alan Dessen: Scholarship, Stagecraft, and the ‘Shakespeare Revolution”.
November 3: Politics and Performance
Reading: Barbara Hodgdon, “Looking for Mr. Shakespeare after ‘The Revolution’: Robert Lepage’s Intercultural Dream Machine”; Ric Knowles, “Theory: Towards a Materialist Semiotics,” “The Stratford Festival,” and “The English Shakespeare Company”; Alan Sinfield, “Royal Shakespeare: Theatre and the Making of Ideology.”
November 5: [TO BE ANNOUNCED]
[APPROXIMATE DUE DATE: SECOND TAKE-HOME ASSIGNMENT]
November 10: Against Character
Reading: W.B. Worthen, “Shakespeare’s Body: Acting and the Designs of Authority”; Bridget Escolme, “Actors, Academics, Selves.”
November 12: Rediscovering Character
Reading: Roberta Barker, “Inner Monologues: Realist Acting and/as Shakespearian Performance Text;” Joe Falocco, “‘Shakespeare Has It Both Ways’: Character andForm in Performance; Paul Prescott, “‘The eternal glory of Mr W., the United States, and the Method’: Sam Wanamaker, Stanislavskian”
November 17: “Original Practices”
Reading: Dennis Kennedy, “Shakespeare and Cultural Tourism”; W.B. Worthen, “Reconstructing the Globe, Constructing Ourselves”; Don Weingust, “First Folio Techniques to Performance: The Original Shakespeare Company at the International Shakespeare’s Globe Center”; Cary M. Mazer, “Historicizing Spontaneity: The Illusion of the First Time of ‘The Illusion of the First Time’”; Tiffany Stern, “(Re:)Historicizing Spontaneity: Original Practices, Stanislavski, and Characterisation”; Cary M. Mazer, response to Stern’s “(Re:)Historicizing Spontaneity.”
November 19: Foreign-Language Shakespeare
Reading: Dennis Kennedy, “Shakespeare Without His Language”; Edward Reiss, “Globe to Globe: 37 Plays, 37 Languages”; other possible essays TBA.
November 24: Playing with Gender
Reading: As You Like It; James C. Bulman, “Bringing Cheek by Jowl’s As You Like It Out of the Closet: The Politics of Queer Theatre”; Cary M. Mazer, “Rosalind’s Breast”; Elizabeth Klett, “Redressing the Balance: All-Female Shakespeare at the Globe Theatre.”
November 26: [THANKSGIVING]
December 1: Playing with Race
Reading: Ayanna Thompson, “Practicing a Theory/Theorizing a Practice: An Introduction to Shakespearean Colorblind Casting,” and Peter Erickson, “Afterword: the Blind Site of Colorblind Casting.”
December 3: Post Modernism
Reading: W. B. Worthen, “Hamlet at Ground Zero: The Wooster Group and the Archive of Performance”; W. B. Worthen, “The Written Troubles of the Brain’: Sleep No More and the Space of Character.”
December 8: Catch-up and conclusions.
There will be TWO take-home essay assignments (approximately 5 pages), plus a final term paper (approximately 10-12 pages). The topic for the final term paper must MUST BE APPROVED IN ADVANCE.
Attendance in class is crucial; CHRONIC ABSENCE OR LATENESS WILL BE COUNTED AGAINST YOU.
Potential theatregoing/film viewing: HD screenings of The Merchant of Venice, Othello, and Henry V (Royal Shakespeare Company) at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute; HD screening of Hamlet from the Barbican Theatre, London, via NTLive; television airing of The Hollow Crown II (Henry VI and Richard III); Donmar Theatre, Henry IV, Saint Anne’s Warehouse, Brooklyn. Other possibilities TBA.
Please familiarize yourself with the rules of academic intergrity, at http://www.vpul.upenn.edu/osl/acadint.html. I will rigorously pursue violations of the code.
The listserv for this course is THAR275-401-15C@lists.upenn.edu. The syllabus for this course is available at http://www.english.upenn.edu/~mazer/275f15.htm.