Spring 2020 - CA 457 D100
Context of Theatre III (4)
Class Number: 9025
Delivery Method: In Person
Course Times + Location:
Fr 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM
GCA 4390, GOLDCORP
1 778 782-9912
Office: GCA 3510
Office Hours: By appointment
Prerequisites:Prior approval from the instructor.
An analytical approach to a selected body of dramatic work and/or performances. Includes an intensive consideration of practical dramatic techniques such as story structure and dramaturgy. Students with credit for FPA 457 may not take this course for further credit.
This course focuses on the intersections of theatre and history, both the representation of historical events on stage and the historiography of theatre as a form. While our discussions will not proceed chronologically, we will nevertheless remain focused throughout on how performance intersects with the work of historical memory.
We begin by considering histories of place, resituating a Western dramatic tradition within the context of our occupation of unceded Indigenous territories. Next, we look at a closet drama from seventeenth-century England to ask why there are apparently so few women in theatre history. We then examine Brechtian techniques of historicization in the German playwright’s most famous text, as well as two contemporary feminist responses to his work.
After the mid-term break, we turn our attention to ghosted performance histories via a discussion of two postdramatic updates of Hamlet and also the hauntings of local Vancouver theatre buildings. The ghosts of theatre history will continue to preoccupy us when next we look at how two contemporary playwrights from the Americas (one Indigenous, the other African-American) re-appropriate the denigrated nineteenth-century form of minstrelsy. Finally, we will conclude by focusing more closely on how a single playwright has formally responded to staging the complexities of the historical present, contextualizing our discussions in terms of the arc of her professional career.
- Attendance and participation 15%
- Quizzes 20%
- Three short group presentations 30%
- Paper 20%
- Final Test 15%
MATERIALS + SUPPLIES:
Additional critical articles will be posted as pdfs to Canvas.
Bertolt Brecht, Mother Courage and Her Children (London: Bloomsbury Methuen, 2012 
Margaret Cavendish, The Convent of Pleasure (1668; pdf posted to Canvas)
Caryl Churchill, Vinegar Tom (1976; pdf posted to Canvas)
Caryl Churchill, Plays 4 (London: Nick Hern Books, 2009)
Caryl Churchill, Love and Information (New York: Theatre Communications Group, 2013)
Marie Clements, Age of Iron (1993; pdf posted to Canvas)
Daniel David Moses, Almighty Voice and His Voice, 2nd ed. (Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 2009 )
Heiner Müller, Hamletmachine (1977; pdf posted to Canvas)
Lynn Nottage, Ruined (New York: Theatre Communications Group, 2009)
Suzan-Lori Parks, The America Play and other works (New York: Theatre Communications Group, 1994)
Rebecca Schneider, Theatre & History (London: Palgrave, 2014)
Wooster Group Hamlet (2007; to be viewed outside of class)
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