Drama 303.3 Advanced Studies in Theatre History I
Intended for students who have acquired some background in the theatre from 600 BCE to 1850 CE. The course will involve more intensive study of the aesthetic, literary and production/performance aspects of the past, integrating theoretical and practical approaches to the material.
Rm. 187, John Mitchell
Office Hours: TT 11:30-1:30
Brockett, Oscar. History of the Theatre (9th edition). 2003
Theatre History Notes Package. Bookstore
Response Paper (2 x 10%)20%
I will be in class five minutes ahead of time for consultation, and begin and end lectures on time. I will also return quizzes within TWO class periods after giving them. Exams, quizzes and papers not picked up at that class time may be picked up during office hours.
Class participation requires regular attendance. A student who misses for more than three unexcused absences a term will be docked 50% of the participation grade for that term. If you miss more than 1/3 of the classes in any term for any reason other than certifiable illness you will, at minimum, lose the full participation grade for that term. (Please review the Attendance Requirement in All Drama Courses.) Please phone or e-mail if you are unable to attend, preferably in advance of the absence.
Attendance at student class seminars is compulsory because these are graded "live" performances that can be negatively affected by poor audience attendance and participation. For this reason, 1% OF YOUR PARTICIPATION GRADE WILL BE DOCKED FOR EVERY UNEXCUSED ABSENCE FROM A STUDENT SEMINAR. IF YOU ARE ACTUALLY IN THE SEMINAR, YOU WILL LOSE 25% OF YOUR GROUP GRADE FOR AN UNEXCUSED NO-SHOW.
Students are expected to be punctual and to submit all classwork on time. Any requests for an extension must be submitted one week in advance of the formal deadline. Late assignments, except in the case of certifiable illness or death in the family, will be heavily penalized (10% per day deducted). NO CLASS WORK WILL BE ACCEPTED BEYOND THE FINAL EXAM EXCEPT IN THE CASE OF AN OFFICIAL INCOMPLETE GRANTED BECAUSE OF ILLNESS OR DEATH IN THE FAMILY.
Students should be aware that there is a $3.00 photocopy fee per term to be paid to the instructor by the end of January.
Instructors are NOT permitted to reschedule final exams at their own discretion. Please take heed of the final exam dates (April 12-30) and do not schedule other activities at that time.
If you find yourself in difficulties and are considering dropping the course late in the term, please come and talk to me first. If you decide to drop the course, please come and notify me so I can take your name off my record book. (Jan 16. Last day to withdraw without financial penalty. March 15 Last day to withdraw without academic penalty.)
If there is a time conflict with my office hours, then feel free to make an appointment or leave me a number where I can reach you. I can't give you heavy-duty, on-going counselling, but I'd be delighted to help you with any immediate problem I feel is within my power to handle, and if I feel it isn't, I'll try to refer you to people or places that can help you with it.
Welcome on board!
Antiquity – the Greek and Roman period
9Plato and Aristotle
11Women as figures and realities on the classical stage
The Medieval Period
16Women and the rise of the great religions
The Eastern tradition –women as performers
18Sanskrit, Chinese, Japanese, Theodora of Byzantium (c. 500-c.548 C.E.)
The Western Tradition – women as writers
23Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim (930-1002), Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)
25The Conversion of Thais(Hrotsvitha - 10th c. C.E.)
30The Play of the Virtues(Hildegard - 1150)
Feb 1Catherine of Siena (1347-80), Margaret of Navarre (1492-1549) Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1648-95)
The Renaissance – women and the rise of the professional theatre
6Isabella Andreini (1562-1604) and the continental tradition
8La Mirtilla (1588)
*** Reading Week Feb 12-16 ***
The Restoration and early 18th Century – “Making a living through their pens”
20 Aphra Behn (1640?-1689)
22The Rover (1677)
27“The Female Wits” Catharine Trotter (1679-1749), Mary Pix (1666-1709), Mary delariviere Manley (1663-1724), Susannah Centlivre (1669?-1723)
Mar 1A Bold Stroke for a Wife - Centlivre (1718)
The later 18th Century – “Walking towards Enlightenment”
6Mary Robinson (1757-1800), Elizabeth Inchbald (1753-1821), Hannah More (1745-1833)
8The Search After Happiness (More -1773), Sacred Dramas: Moses (More – 1783)
Romanticism – “Revalidating the uniquely intuitive and emotional”
13Joanna Baillie (1762-1851) and her contemporaries
20Group 1: Men re-imagining “new woman” in Enlightenment and Romantic drama
The 19th century – Closing doors and opening horizons
22The Industrial Revolution, and the actress as working woman
27Group 2: Enter the star actress and female actor-manager: A tale of two continents
29 Group 3: Uncle Tom’s Cabin: From novel to melodrama. Compromising the female vision
Apr 31850 – On the threshold of the modern age
Response Papers (2 in total. 1 from each set)
Jan 25The Conversion of Thais (also called Paphnutius)
30The Play of the Virtues
Feb 1La Mirtilla
Feb 22The Rover
Mar 8A Bold Stroke for a Wife
Group Seminars and Group Seminar-related Essays and Interviews
Group 1: Men re-imagining the “new woman” in Enlightenment and Romantic drama
March 131 week meeting. Initial bibliography due. AV requests due
March 20Seminar. Seminar materials and bibliographies due.
March 27Essay due
Group 2: Enter the star actress and female actor-manager: A tale of two continents
Mar 201 week meeting. Initial bibliography due. AV requests due
Mar 27Seminar. Seminar materials and bibliographies due
April 3Essay due
Group 3: Uncle Tom’s Cabin: From novel to melodrama. Compromising the female vision
Mar 221 week meeting. Initial bibliography due. AV requests due
Mar 29Seminar. Seminar materials and bibliographies due
Apr 5Essay due
All interviews April 10-13
The Response Paper
The response paper should serve as a considered response to the assigned play being studied and the focus on topic questions associated with it. It should
clarify and focus your own thinking about the material you have read
help initiate class discussion
give the instructor feedback on areas of information you would like to know more about or feel require further explanation and clarification before you are ready to be examined on them and
give the instructor feedback on what issues and areas of information you would like to be tested on since you view them as key to understanding the period and the theatre that comes out of it.
It should be about 600-800 words and 3 to 4 pages in length. It can expand on one point at length or deal with two or three smaller ones (much more than that and you may be spreading yourself too thin.) It should be orally delivered at during the class when it is due, and the finished copy submitted at the end of the class. It will be returned at the time of the next class. If you are unable to attend the class in person, please arrange for the response paper to be submitted and read by another class member.
Things you may want to comment on:
(1) how the readings illuminate or clarify for you certain historical, literary or social themes and concerns we have raised in class.
(2) where you find interesting comparisons, contrasts or parallels between what you see in the readings and what you have
discovered in your own area of study or experience.
(3) something about the reading that particularly excited, intrigued, disturbed or puzzled you and you would like to share
(4) something about the reading that raised more questions than it answered and you would like to discuss at greater length
At its best, the response paper should read as an informal but thoughtful short essay that develops your insight, thesis, argument, query or quibble in a clear, articulate and concise fashion. Humor, and poetic or metaphoric personal touches are fine - it is a personal essay after all - but only as long as they support and advance the ideas you are trying to express and do not become a substitute for them.
I do expect the response paper to be clear, neat and legibly written (especially if it is single-spaced to save paper) and will be paying close attention to how well you express, develop and argue your thoughts in writing as based on a close, reflective reading of the assigned material. Secondary materials should be properly quoted, footnoted and cited in a bibliography. Copies will be distributed to other class members to retain as part of their notes.
Guidelines for Group Presentations
Outlines for Group Projects
The purpose of this project is to help students apply the general knowledge of theatre history they have acquired in the lectures and readings to a more focused in-depth study of one aspect of theatre history.
This project will involve
(I) A group presentation of the group’s research into the subject.
Each speaker will talk 10-15 minutes on an area of the topic they have individually researched.
(II) A practical application and demonstration and demonstration of that research.
This should occupy 5-10 minutes of the period. It can involve (1) a live reading or staging of a scene or part of a scene or (2) the use of audio or visual materials to demonstrate elements of the lecture or (3) any combination of the same. It can be placed at the start or the end of the seminar or dispersed throughout it.
(III) An annotated bibliography of the research sources consulted in the project
This should include all primary and secondary sources – in terms of plays, books, articles, websites, audio-visual materials consulted in the researching the topic – organized into proper MLA format.
By doing this exercise you will:
(1) deepen your own knowledge of an important aspect of theatre history by finding and accessing a wide variety of library, archival and electronic sources on the subject
(2) sharpen your ability to recognize, analyse and understand the relationship between theatre and the larger technical, social, political, economic and cultural forces shaping and being shaped by it
(3) sharpen your ability to communicate that knowledge to others by:
- working effectively with others within the context of a research/production team to divide up the topic, share information as you find it, then organize and present it effectively in an oral situation
- effectively share your research and insights with your fellow students in an interesting, engaging fashion that both teaches them about the subject and intrigues them to want to know even more about it.
- creating an annotated bibliography on the subject so that others can pursue the topic further on their own
3 weeksEstablish overall schedule. Exchange phone numbers and e-addresses. General areas of research for group members established
2 weeksResearch your individual areas. Keep track of overall research. Adjust people’s assignments or areas of research as needed. If you have any questions or concerns be sure to raise them with the instructor. She is more than willing to give you help or guidance with the topic.
1 weekGroup meeting with the instructor. Everyone should be present, and you should be able to outline for me how the whole presentation is going to work and what sources you are using to research it. A preliminary bibliography (worth 2% of the seminar mark) should be submitted to me to check over for completeness and stylistic accuracy. This is the time to voice any needs or concerns you have going into the home stretch, double-check with me that my lecture materials won’t overlap with yours, and that you’re aware of all the materials at your disposal. This is also the time to tell me about any a-v needs you may have
2 daysArrange to have any handouts given to the instructor if you need them run off for the seminar. Finalize any changes to a-v arrangements
SeminarPreliminary bibliography returned. All seminar and research materials should be submitted at end of seminar
1 weekFinished version of essay with completed bibliography should be submitted.
2 weekWritten group critique with letter grade. Oral interview with every group member for wrap-up and assessment. Research materials returned
Selection of Students
Students will work in groups of four or five (six maximum) While students will be allowed to choose their own group, it is suggested that they try to strike a balance between production and academically-oriented members in their group, since skills in both areas will be needed. It is also wise to try to co-ordinate schedules with other group members well in advance.
Teamwork marks are usually distributed evenly to each member of the group according to the effectiveness and quality of the entire project. However, some consideration will be given to individual contribution as judged by the quality of research notes, individual section of bibliography, regular attendance at group meetings as documented by other members and the interview
All students are expected to contribute and take part in the group seminar. 50% of the grade will be assigned to content (accuracy, depth and comprehensiveness of material presented) and 40% to presentation (effective organization and structuring of the material, pacing of the presentation, and clarity, variety and expressiveness of delivery). 10% will be assigned to how well the practical synthesizes and illustrates the research covered in the seminar.
It is expected that students will ordinarily be responsible for handling a particular area of research in the bibliography, though there may be some overlap with other students’ bibliographies if sources have been shared. Students will ordinarily be graded individually on their bibliographies, though it is possible to have the entire project bibliography graded as a group mark, if requested by the whole group.
30% will be assigned to quality of the annotations, 30% to the overall content (thoroughness, variety and comprehensiveness of the research.
Project bibliographies based solely on websites or containing less than seven separate items will not be accepted, and
Style and format 40%
In this context, correctness and consistency of style and format are very important. Significant irregularities or inconsistencies in both will be heavily penalized
1. Practice reading your material OUT LOUD (preferably before a sympathetic audience) and projecting from the diaphragm. Nerves often cause us to "speed up" or become a bit "breathy" and familiarity with your material will help you to be a more relaxed, confident speaker capable of making effective eye contact with your audience. Also time your talk before you give it. Inexperienced presenters often surprised either at how much time is left over at the end of their material - or more commonly - how much material is left at the end of their time.
2. Time your talk both individually and as a group – as spoken out loud – before you give it. Inexperienced presenters are often surprised either at how much time is left over at the end of their material – or, more commonly – how much material is left at the end of their time. Avoid putting your team members “on the spot” by giving them too much time to fill – or not enough time to present their own material.
3. Organize well, making your key points or thesis clear early on in the talk, and don't be afraid to highlight or reinforce them as you go on. A "live" audience often has to be "cued" more clearly and more often as to where the presentation is going, than a reading audience. A reader can return to puzzle out obscure or difficult passages he/she missed on the first read-through, or was too hurried to absorb properly; a "live" audience has to "get it" the first time or it's gone.
4. Return to your key points or thesis right at the end of the talk, and restate the main points or issues you want your audience to remember. If you’ve done a good job, you’ve probably covered a lot of material. Help your listeners prioritize the information before they go. Stop and remind your audience again of the main things they should remember, and why they are worthy of extra thought or consideration.
5. Humor is fine, but avoid flippancy; if you don't appear to take your subject and yourself seriously and with some enthusiasm, your audience won't take it and you seriously either. At the same time, be careful of being overly dry and emotionally " distanced" from your material. What registers as a desirable state of "objectivity" in the written medium can register on a live audience as disinterest, flatness or lack of engagement with them and/or your subject.
6. Review all your notes before you go in to the presentation and have them close at hand when you go in. If people get interested in what you've said in the talk they will probably want to ask larger, more general questions about the subject or ask you to elaborate on specifics or details. Also, let people know if questions are welcome during the talk, or if you would prefer them to wait until afterwards.
7. The same plethora of facts, figures, statistics, dates and names that may delight a reader, may leave a listener numb and reeling. These are often better included in the handout for quick reference, or chalked up on the board.
8. Be considerate of your fellow-presenters and remember to function as a team. Schedule as much and as far as you can in advance, and be careful to honour your commitments and deadlines especially when you are down to the one-week mark. Share research materials with others in your group and give “tips” to where they can find things relevant to their work if not your own. “Brainstorm” and communicate with each other regularly.
9. Review and be familiar with each other's material so you can eliminate unnecessary repetition of information and draw larger connections and links between each other's individual research sections. Listen attentively while your fellow-presenters are talking and be considerate of time limits.
10 Acquaint yourself with all the other group topics and be aware of how your own project fits into “the big picture.” If you are not sure of what your focus should be, or how to avoid needless repetition of research material that you could potentially see being covered by the lecturer or by other groups, seek guidance from the instructor. The topics are designed to build on and complement each other: not duplicate, conflict or compete with the other