Fall 2014 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Curchack, Fred
Discipline and Number
DRAM 3342 Section 501
T Time 7:00 PM - 9:45 PM
Course Title
Masterpieces in Performance

Description of Course:

This class is appropriate for artists, writers, literature students, aspiring teachers, and for anyone who enjoys theater and film. No acting experience is required and performing is optional.

We will read and watch video scenes from of some of the world�s most beloved theater masterpieces. The class will explore methods of analyzing and interpreting plays for theatrical production and for deeper understanding and enjoyment as readers and spectators.

Classes will include lectures, discussions, presentations, readings and videos. Simple exercises will examine the challenges of staging and acting plays. The instructor is a playwright/director/actor whose works have received international recognition.

Creative projects and/or papers will be periodically presented in class. Final projects may be either creative projects (i.e. acting, creative writing, music, dance, video, visual art) or research papers.

Plays studied may include:
Sophocles - Oedipus Rex
Shakespeare - Hamlet
Chekhov - The Seagull
Yeats - Purgatory, The Cat and the Moon, At the Hawk's Well, The Only Jealousy of Emer, The Death of Cuchulain
Japanese Noh Plays - Kantan, Sotoba Komachi, Shunkan, Hagoromo
Japanese Kyogen - The Birdcatcher in Hell
Brecht - Mother Courage and Her Children
Beckett - Waiting for Godot
Ionesco - Exit the King
Stoppard - Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
Shepard - True West

Extra Credit Plays may include:
Euripides - Bakkhai
Shakespeare - King Lear
Chekhov - Uncle Vanya
Brecht - The Threepenny Opera
Becket - Endgame
Ionesco - Rhinoceros

Required Texts:

Texts may include (subject to change):

Sophocles - The Three Theban Plays �
translated by Robert Fagles (Penguin Classics)

William Shakespeare - Hamlet

Anton Chekhov - Chekhov: Four Plays - translated by Carol Rocamora

Arthur Waley - The Noh Plays of Japan

Bertolt Brecht - Mother Courage and Her Children � trans. by John Willett

Sam Shepard - Sam Shepard: Seven Plays (True West)

Harold Clurman (Editor) - Nine Plays of the Modern Theater (Grove Press)
(Including: Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett; Rhinoceros by Eugene Ionesco; Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard. Note: These three plays can also be purchased separately)

Extra Credit Texts May Include:
Euripides - Bakkhai � translated by Reginald Gibbons (Oxford Press)
Shakespeare - King Lear
Brecht - The Threepenny Opera � translation by John Willett

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Readings; class participation; short papers and/or creative projects; final project or paper; attendance.
Note: The prerequisite will be waived for this class by Arts and Humanities advisors.

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