Theater, History, Culture: Classical to the Middle Class
This course investigates the history of theatre practice in Europe and Asia from Fifth-Century Athens to roughly the end of the Eighteenth Century. In addition to analyzing major dramatic works, this course examines the evolution of production methods—scenography, acting, costuming, theatre architecture--across cultures and at key socio-historical moments. Readings will be drawn from historical research, theoretical writings, and contemporary social documents. A particular focus will be on the integral role that the theatre plays as a cultural institution in the ongoing civic life of major cities, including Athens, Rome, London, Paris, and Heian-kyo (Kyoto). The course approaches theatre as broadly interdisciplinary and examines its intersection with religious practice, political developments, national identity, the visual arts and civic life.