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Provocative Performance

ENGL 356.401
fulfills requirements:
Sector 2: Difference and Diaspora of the Standard Major

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What is “feminist theatre?” This course will examine a wide array of performance pieces by and about women, designed to provoke social, political, and personal change. Ranging from the “serious” to the hilarious—and outrageous—our readings will center on plays and “performance art.” We will study live and filmed performances, and incorporate contextual material on feminist theatre theory and history. In the spring semester of 2011, we are fortunate that the work of several prominent women will be presented on Philadelphia stages. Among the performances we will attend are Sarah Ruhl’sIn the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play, directed by Blanka Zizka at the Wilma Theater; Let Me Down Easy, written and performed by Anna Deavere Smith at the Philadelphia Theatre Company; Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, to be performed by students on Penn’s campus; and Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Ruined, directed by Maria Mileaf at the PTC. The class will include conversations with women working in the professional theatre.