Spring 2014 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Redman, Tim
Discipline and Number
DRAM 1310 Section HN1
F Time 2:00 PM - 4:45 PM
Course Title
Understanding Theater

Description of Course:

A hands-on approach to understanding theater. We will see two contemporary plays, one a world premiere and the other a revision of Sophocles's Oedipus the King.

We will read and see film versions of important plays. Students will work in groups with Chekhov's The Sea Gull.

The guiding philosophy of the course will be Vico's idea that you can only understand something by doing it. Vico was an Italian philosopher who opposed Descartes notion that we understand things by taking a distance on them and approaching them analytically.

Required Texts:

The Enjoyment of Theatre, 9th edition, Jim Patterson and Tim Donahue (pb) 978-0-205-85615-2.

Poetics, Aristotle, Dover pb 978-0-486-29577-0.

The Sea Gull, Anton Chekhov, translated by Fred Eiseman, pb 0-8283-1454-3

Equus, Peter Shaffer.

Othello, Shakespeare -- original text, not the dumbed-down version.

Hamlet, Shakespeare -- original text, not the dumbed-down version.

Oedipus Rex, Sophocles. I prefer David Grene's translation.

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

There will be a weekly five-question quiz on the reading and discussion. Each question will be worth up to two points. There will also be two additional questions, always the same, that will be required. Those are: 6) What one idea did you take away from class today and 7) What one question do you still have? The highest ten scores will be added and curved to make up 40% of the final course grade.

Students will break into groups to do scenes from The Sea Gull. The groups will do a final project, a performance of a scene, broken down into three components, each worth 20%: scene study, rehearsal, and video-taped performance.

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