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20th C. Performance Reclaims the Classics

ENGL 271.602
TR 5-6:30

This course will examine world theatre in the 20th Century as it has attempted to reinvestigate, interrogate, and reclaim "classic" dramatic texts. We will focus on Greek texts, specifically "The Oresteia," by Aeschylus, and "The Bacchae," by Euripides; Shakespeare, specifically "Midsummer Night's Dream," "The Tempest," and "Hamlet;" and Henrik Ibsen's "Peer Gynt." We will also closely examine productions of these texts staged by directors such as Peter Brook, Peter Stein, Ariane Mnouchkine, Andrei Serban, Richard Schechner, and Max Reinhardt. We will discuss the value--theatrical, political, intellectual--that classic texts still hold for our contemporary theatre, and explore the production methods used by directors to create, ironically, a modern classic tradition of performance using these provocative and deeply challenging classic works. Some interest or background in modern theatre performance is helpful but not required.