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Theatrical Science/Scientific Theatre

ENGL 256.401

This course will provide an overview of the evolving interface between science and theatre.  We will examine this connection from multiple perspectives and approaches, including historical, dramaturgical, and theoretical ways into the subject.   Developments in theatre deriving from discoveries spanning science and art (such as innovations in Renaissance scenic technology prompted by advances in perspective, dramatic forms inspired by psychoanalysis, and crossovers in the theory and criticism of theatre with advances in the social sciences) will be examined alongside plays about scientific figures or discoveries (such as Brecht’s Galileo, Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People, Heinar Kipphardt's In the Matter J. Robert Oppenheimer, Moss Hart’s Lady in the Dark, or Durrenmatt’s The Physicists).  We will also become acquainted with contemporary research on theatre and cognition, through recent scholarship that explores relationships between brain functioning, creativity, acting/directing/design, audience reception, and various medical and psychotherapeutic models for drama.