Course Information

UW General Catalog has brief descriptions of all Drama courses.

More complete descriptions for certain courses are below. Click on the underlined course title to see more.

Undergraduate classes

Drama 210 - Theatre Scenic Design

This course provides students with a "taste" of a variety of areas relating to the design and execution of a scenic design for the theatre. Students receive experience in and instruction on collaborating on a creative team, types of theatre architecture and spaces, methods of collecting visual research, drawing on a variety visual sources, designing within the limitations of available space, and introductions to scenic construction and painting. Please note that this class is highly collaborative with fellow classmates and, therefore, attendance is of great importance.

Drama 211 - Theatre Costume Design

Drama 211 is an introduction towards understanding the artistic intentions and technical needs of costume design in the performance arts. We will see professional shows and explore the thought processes and tools of the costume designer and costume technician. In the laboratory section students will engage in hands on exercises that explore character, color, fabric, and clothing. This class will give students who wish to pursue a life in the performing arts a starting place from which to plan the needs of clothing in a production. There will be no sewing in this class.

Drama 316 - Introduction to Theatrical Make Up

Introduction the Theatrical Make Up: Drama 316

What is a face, really? Its own photo? Its make-up? Or is it a face as painted by such or such painter? That which is in front? Inside? Behind? And the rest? Doesn't everyone look at himself in his own particular way? Deformations simply do not exist.
Pablo Picasso

Introduction to Theatrical Make Up is an entry level technical make up workshop based class. Most of the work is completed within the time limitations of the class. This course offers the student a practical guide to the theory and practice of different levels of stage make up. By the end of the course students should have a general understand of techniques, skill, research, and preparation. Students are encourage to observe people and other artists, paying particular attention to skin colors, hair growth, the aging process, the world of fantasy design, historical details, and natural trauma injuries. They will begin to understand the principles involved in recreating these effects on their own faces. The students experiment with their skills focusing on an effective approach to communicating their designs to an audience. There is no magic to understanding stage make up. Students are required to purchase specific supplies and tools to complete the course. A limited understanding of color, light, and shadow are encouraged. Enthusiasm is welcomed and appreciated.

"Making faces: Theatrical makeup class draws majors and nonmajors alike " University Week article about the theatrical make-up class taught by Josie.

Drama 421 - Figure Drawing

The human form is, in the most basic sense, the medium of the theatre. In this class we will learn to draw it, covering gesture and movement, line, proportion, modelling and shadow, and the basics of anatomy. We will draw from both nude and clothed models of a variety of body types, and embark on field trips to draw people in a variety of architectural and natural settings, learning to render the figure in relation to their environment.

Drama 455 - Alexander Technique

An introduction to the F.M. Alexander Technique, emphasizing its practical application to activity. It is primarily a studio class with supplemental readings and a term project. For more information about the Alexander Technique itself, please see the information listed for the Professional Actor Training Program.

Drama 473 - Modern European Theatre

Between the turn of the twentieth century and World War II, easier access to technology (including the telegraph, the typewriter, the telephone, the camera, etc.) and the new media of film and radio revolutionized western daily life and transformed western theatre. Theatre practitioners drew inspiration from the social changes that these technologies provoked and began incorporating them into theatre-making. Indeed, technological development was a significant factor in the development of directing and design as the specialized professions that we now take for granted. However, theatre also started competing with cinema for audiences.

This course examines four major trends in modern theatre—realism, expressionism, epic theatre, and the theatre of the absurd—focusing on theatre’s relationship to technology. We will discuss how technology changed the practices of playwriting, theatre-making, and theatre-going and created a distinction between popular entertainment and the dramatic canon (the group of plays that western practitioners and spectators are expected to know). We will place this discussion in the larger context of western modernity.

MFA in Acting (PATP) classes


The Suzuki Method is a rigorous physical and vocal discipline for actors, created by renowned theater artist Tadashi Suzuki and his company. The method is designed to regain the perceptive abilities and powers of the human body. Drawing on a unique combination of traditional and innovative forms, the training strives to restore the wholeness of the body as a tool of theatrical expression.

The Viewpoints is a technique of improvisation first articulated by choreographer Mary Overlie who broke down the two dominant issues performers deal with – time and space – into six categories. Her work represents a non‐hierarchical post‐modern approach to theater training. Since that time, Artistic Director Anne Bogart and SITI Company have adapted the Viewpoints to serve as a basis for their training. The Viewpoints allows a group of actors to function together spontaneously and intuitively and to generate bold, theatrical work quickly. It develops flexibility, articulation and strength in movement and speaking, and makes ensemble playing really possible.

One thing all students should know is to wear movement clothes; for Suzuki, shorts are best, and we will work in cotton socks (or tabi); and for Viewpoints, any movement pants such as yoga/dance/or trackpants and we will work barefoot.

Alexander Technique

The Alexander Technique in the PATP. (PDF)

Voice and Dialect Training

Voice and Dialect Training, by Judith Shahn.

The goal of the three year training is for the actor to develop and possess a three to four octave range of the speaking voice that can express any nuance or gamut of human expression through language or sound. The basis of the work is largely in The Linklater Method.

In the first year, the progression of vocal exercises is practiced, which allows awareness of alignment, breath, and vibration. Releasing tension from the jaw, tongue and stretching the soft palate (the channel for sound) takes time and patience. Next, the voice is ready to develop range, resonance and articulation. All throughout the year, the voicework is applied directly to text (contemporary, Shakespeare’s verse as well as your own writing) in order to link the voice with language. Cathy Madden’s Alexander technique is integrated as we co‐teach once a week.
In the spring quarter of the first year, I work with you one on one in tutorials to determine your
individual needs and give you tools to practice.

Second year voice: Adding to the Linklater work, sound and movement, Roy Hart based work, Primitive Voice work all applied to text. I have you bring in the text from your second year production into class so we can work with the challenges both as an ensemble and as individuals. Tutorials continue. Dialect training: Second quarter of second year we begin working on an approach to learning dialects based on the IPA you’ve learned in speech class with Scott Hafso. We apply this to dialects and accents (usually British and some other dialects of your class’ choice). We perform scenes in these dialects. The emphasis is on embodying the dialect and using it as a tool to find character within a scene or play. Spring quarter: Dialect projects. These interview‐based texts have been developed by me over the years and heavily influenced by the work of Anna Deavere‐ Smith. You record someone with an accent and use the interview as a text, which you perform. In addition, a full research project on the country, culture, geography, additional sources (as well as food!) is required.

As needed, I come into rehearsals of productions to give notes for dialect shows and do tutorials with students in pursuit of production goals. Each student receives a copy of warm‐ups on CD.

Third year: On a tutorial base only. Third year is a great time to solve ongoing challenges. Third year students practice the voice work in morning preparation and are expected to lead the warmup for the rest of the PATP.


Course description for First Year PATP Studio with Mark Jenkins, Etudes.

The first purpose of this first‐year Studio is to allow you to investigate your deeper self, your core being, and how to bring your authentic self to your work as a matter of course. We go about this sometimes long and arduous process by trying to provide a safe and productive atmosphere where you can effectively experiment, investigate, organize and exercise your internal/subjective resources. We will provide situations where you will call upon your imagination, memory, impulses, thoughts and purpose, physical behavior, the use of analogy and metaphor, focus on self so that vivid and true expression will follow. Cathy Madden, our Alexander faculty, is a crucial resource in this process for helping actors open physical pathways so that internal experience can actually fully occur in a way that will naturally lead to vivid external expression.

First year actors are given a series of assignments and “etudes” of increasing complexity that encourage personal investment in clear circumstances which lead to focus and purpose and increase capacity to “live in the moment” and has the stamp of your individuality. Much of the early work will be drawing from yourself rather than written text; from your own experiences, and desires, your relationships with inanimate and animate objects, with other people. Sometimes you will be asked to work from the “inside out” but often from the outside in and sometimes in combination. You will present solo and partnered etudes. Eventually we will introduce written text into the assignments. This class falls under the general category within the Stanislavski System of “The actor’s work on self”.


An advanced acting studio for developing the technical and performance skills for screen acting. The class includes: the history and legacy of screen acting; the nature of cinematic storytelling: film grammar and performance; screenplay and teleplay analysis; the camera: the impact of the closeup; the actor and the set: working on camera; the inner life: what the camera is looking for; scene study on camera; monologues on camera; digital reel preparation.

Also read the University Week article UW student actors learn to transfer stage technique to screen, by Nancy Wick)

MFA in Directing (PDTP) classes


The Suzuki Method is a rigorous physical and vocal discipline for actors, created by renowned theater artist Tadashi Suzuki and his company. The method is designed to regain the perceptive abilities and powers of the human body. Drawing on a unique combination of traditional and innovative forms, the training strives to restore the wholeness of the body as a tool of theatrical expression.

The Viewpoints is a technique of improvisation first articulated by choreographer Mary Overlie who broke down the two dominant issues performers deal with – time and space – into six categories. Her work represents a non‐hierarchical post‐modern approach to theater training. Since that time, Artistic Director Anne Bogart and SITI Company have adapted the Viewpoints to serve as a basis for their training. The Viewpoints allows a group of actors to function together spontaneously and intuitively and to generate bold, theatrical work quickly. It develops flexibility, articulation and strength in movement and speaking, and makes ensemble playing really possible.

One thing all students should know is to wear movement clothes; for Suzuki, shorts are best, and we will work in cotton socks (or tabi); and for Viewpoints, any movement pants such as yoga/dance/or trackpants and we will work barefoot.

Directing Lab and Seminar

Taken from the School of Drama’s Spring 2005 Newsletter, by Tamara Fisch - UW Director Training: A Unique Approach

How do you train a director? Acting training, for many years, has been based around teaching a specific methodology: action theory, Meisner, Stanislavsky, or a combination of those, or other methodologies. Not so with directing — young directors have generally learned from apprenticing themselves to master teachers, and through that old (and valuable, if inefficient) system of trial and error. Observing the work of an accomplished director can be extremely valuable. But watching someone do it well (or, as the case may be, poorly) doesn’t necessarily help you do it well. The director is the artistic captain of the theatrical event — coordinating all the impulses of the various collaborative artists (actors, designers, playwright) and shaping one coherent event.

Directing is a decathlons. So how is that taught? the UW’s directing program has arrived at an interesting answer to the question. While students at most directing programs in the country present finished scenes in class for feedback, however this misses that basic question: how did the student arrive at a product that either failed or succeeded?

The Directing Lab, a central element of training here, gets at the most fundamental aspects of the director’s process. Three times a week, two student directors and a group of actors rehearse their play, or scene, or staging etude. The majority of rehearsal hours, from table work to staging, is done in class. Most directors are accustomed to being the only director in the room, and certainly, the only director directing the play. Not so in Lab. In this truly interactive element of the training program,Jon observes the directors’work, and often contributes questions, or suggestions, or will take over for a short while to demonstrate staging possibilities or techniques. The directors (closet control freaks, all) have to let go of some control issues (free therapy with your MFA!) in the service of a more direct learning process.

This class makes UW’s approach unlike that of any other program in the country. Fundamentally demystifying, this structure allows the mentor to observe the mechanics of each student’s process at every level, and to see where and how changes or adjustments could or should be made. Additionally, graduate actors and directors get to work together almost every day, developing their processes together, and forging relationships that can extend into their professional careers. This kind of close contact is new to the School of Drama.

Directors are also taught in Seminar, where they explore topics in directing, and discuss their directing projects with Andrew Tsao, L. Zane and head of the program Valerie Curtis‐Newton. Seminar also functions as an opportunity for exercises focused on specific aspects of directing: staging comedy, crowd scenes, physical sequences of dramatic action, analyzing new plays. The high value placed on multiple perspectives in the development of an artist is another component that makes this program exceptional. Val, Andrew and Zane are all very different directors, with different teaching styles and emphases. The exposure to multiple ways of thinking about directing helps young directors expand their horizons and thinking. They can then pull from all these different ideas to form their own ideas about what the work can be, and to develop artistic voices that are uniquely their own.

There is no such thing as a UW director — and creating such a brand is not the goal of the program. [Several individual artists are invited to study here so that they can develop and improve themselves as individual artists. While many programs profess this same commitment, it is practiced here with vigor and enthusiasm.] Directors also take select design and acting classes, to familiarize themselves with the crafts of their primary collaborators, and hone those collaborative skills. It is an exhaustive as well as exhilarating process. Three years as intense as any — but it’s not nearly long enough! Fortunately, the process of learning and growing, only begins in an MFA program. All these young directors will go on to forge careers in which they encounter new challenges and opportunities, new problems to solve, and create different ways to solve them. The UW School of Drama gives them the tools, training and confidence to continue that learning process for the rest of a long and exciting career.

MFA in Design classes

Design Studio

Drama 510 or ‘Studio’ is open only to MFA Design and Directing Candidates. Each MFA Design Student in Costume or Scenic Design will take Studio each quarter of residency in the MFA program. Lighting Design Students will take it each quarter of their first year and again in the Spring of the second year. (2nd Year Lighting students audit the course in Fall and Winter, and only do the group project in the Spring.) The course has many goals and while all are present in all three years of tudy, different aspects of these goals will be emphasized more or less at different s times of a student’s tenure.

The most fundamental goal is to prepare students for a career as professional designers for the stage. Focusing primarily on Scenery and/or Costumes students will practice creating original designs for plays, operas, dance, and or music pieces. In some cases design work related to lighting and/or sound may also be required. In creating these designs, students will be asked to invent personal, unique, visual responses to complex artistic, social, and/or political challenges. In designing environments and characters students will create representations of racially, ethnically, sexually, socio‐economically and historically diverse populations, keeping in mind a production that would affect a (potentially diverse) audience in a timely and relevant way. The performing arts have a unique ability to do this and e aim to train students to do this work in a spirit of integrity, excellence, w collaboration and effective communication.

To do this work, students will be required to engage in text analysis, dramaturgy, research, drawing, drafting, painting, model making, swatching, sampling, and photography, as well as other design related activities. There are many skills classes outside of Design Studio that will aid students in working in these areas. Over the course of the three years, each student is expected to combine these skills with his r her personal vision to create coherent, clearly communicated (visual) responses o to textual, musical, physical and/or non‐verbal programs.

It is an important aspect of this class that each student will have an extended period of time to develop a personal methodology that is effective and efficient in clearly conveying visual and textual ideas in a timely manner. Students are encouraged to explore alternate modes of drawing and modeling (changing scale, media, order of process, etc.) It is very important also that each student develop a methodology that allows him or her to ‘work quickly’ and also to constantly develop and improve his r her ability to communicate effectively with peers, collaborating designers, irectors, technicians and other production personnel.

Design and Technical Drafting

This course will cover the basics of “thinking with a pencil” as it pertains to hand-drafting and perspective drawing. I intend to cover a broad range of topics to aid in becoming comfortable with hand-drafting, perspective sketching, and creating a drawing package. The course will also cover use of a computer 3d modeling program, Google Sketchup, as a tool for visual presentation.

Digital Rendering

Using basic techniques in Adobe Photoshop and Dreamweaver, students will use software skills to better visualize their design ideas and immediately apply what they've learned to their designs for professional projects, class projects, and School of Drama related productions. Specific applications include, but are not limited to: Photoshop: techniques are explored as a means of creating design postcards, rendering of light and shapes in space, embellishing hand‐drawn sketches, adding details to model photos, and changing color and palette of a costume rendering; Dreamweaver: using images created and edited in Photoshop, we will explore using those images in preparing a website for online display of student portfolios.

Figure Drawing

The human form is, in the most basic sense, the medium of the theatre. In this class we will learn to draw it, covering gesture and movement, line, proportion, modelling and shadow, and the basics of anatomy. We will draw from both nude and clothed models of a variety of body types, and embark on field trips to draw people in a variety of architectural and natural settings, learning to render the figure in relation to their environment.

Graduate Lighting

Drama 419: Stage Lighting Design Instructor: Geoff Korf (

Advanced Stage Lighting Design is a three-quarter sequence as described below:

Autumn: In the Autumn quarter, each student will be led through the basic steps necessary to generate a complete lighting plot and hook-up for a stage production. The fall class will include practical assignments (in the Penthouse Theatre,) some discussion of plays, lighting observations, as well as attendance and discussion of actual productions. There will also be specific assignments related to making a light plot. Please keep all your original work and blueprint or photocopy the work that you turn in. Worksheets, which will begin halfway through the quarter, do not need to be copied. The class emphasizes open discussion, analysis, and participation in class.

In the autumn quarter, there will be 2 practical assignments where you will be asked to reproduce light in the Penthouse. In these practical assignments you will be in groups of 2 or 3. These are to be prepared outside of the scheduled class time, but will be viewed and discussed by the whole class during class time. Each student will need their own adjustable wrench to carry out these assignments. Because of the multiple uses of the theatre the available time to hang your projects will be fairly restricted. You will be required to commit one week in advance to a specific period of time.

You will also be asked to turn in five one-page descriptions of some lighting phenomenon. (Observations) These observations should be taken from some real world phenomena, not a theatrical or reproduced idea of light. In most cases, I will be specific about what kind of light you are to observe; in other cases, what you look at will be at your discretion. These observations primarily serve two purposes: First to get you in the habit of looking at light consciously in everyday settings, and secondly to refine your skills in describing lighting to others. You are asked to observe carefully and write in detail about such things as the light’s intensity, color, quality, and sharpness as well as about the nature of the shadow’s the light casts. It is very important that you write the observation WHILE you are looking at the light. (In the present moment.) Do NOT try to REMEMBER something you saw in the past. (Even just moments in the past.)

2-3 times in the quarter, you will also be expected to read, and to participate in a discussion of a play. This discussion will be centered around the dramatic action of the play, as well as how one might approach it scenographicaly.

Winter: While the autumn quarter will focus mainly on skills and techniques involved in the creation of light plots, the winter quarter is intended to focus more deeply on the conceptual thinking process involved in that creation.

In the winter, there will be two more paper projects where each student will design a light plot for a previously produced production.

Spring: The main focus of the spring quarter will be practical, live, lighting projects typically in the Light Lab, or Playhouse or Penthouse Theatre. Students will work in groups to solve a new practical assignment each week. Typically there are additional students that join the class for the Spring Quarter.

Lighting Critiques: In addition to the above, each student will be expected to attend the lighting critiques of the Drama School Productions.

Grading: The grade for the class is based primarily on participation in the class and performance in the assignments. That the projects and assignments are turned in carefully considered, complete, and on time is likely to have a more significant effect on each student’s grade than the artistic merit of those assignments.

Advanced Graduate Lighting

Drama 512: Advanced Graduate Lighting

This course is intended for 2nd and 3rd year MFA Lighting Design students and is taken each quarter of the 2nd and 3rd year residency. It is a continuation and refinement of much of the material of Drama 419, but projects are both larger in scale and more diverse in nature.

The course over 3 quarters will typically contain 2 or 3 practically‐based (live) projects and 3 or 4 paper‐based (theoretical) projects. Some projects will span across quarter breaks, (in which case they will be graded in the latter quarter).

The main learning goal of the class might be described as the continued development of both left and right brained aspects of lighting that began in Drama 419.

The practical projects are intended to push students deeper into exploration of spatial, temporal, and generative aspects of lighting design. For each project, students will act as producer, director, designer, perhaps even performer. These projects tend to be entrepreneurial and generative in nature, (and also have an aspect of encouraging students to gain experience in self‐promotion and articulating one’s own artistic identity.) The paper projects are more directed at developing linear and analytical thinking elated to text analysis, work‐sheeting and plotting. Students will be exposed to a variety of scales, venues, and genres in the three or four paper projects.

Grades are based 80% to 90% on effectiveness of design on projects and related assignments and 10‐20% on participation in class, depending on the quarter. Each project’s grade is weighted approximately 50‐60% for concept and structure of the design; 20‐25% organization and/or execution of design with the remainder related to timeliness and work on preparation and related assignments. (e.g. Preliminary lots and positions, intermediate steps in practical projects etc.)


Investigation of methods for two-dimensional representation of space, light, form, and figure for the stage. Emphasis is on growth of the student’s facility to communicate visual ideas based on close observation of the actual coupled with clear expression of the emotional. Multi-media employed: painting, drawing, collage, and digital manipulation. Basic familiarity with Photoshop required. Graduate level or by special permission of Instructor.

Ph.D. classes

Doctoral students take Drama theory and history seminars, and can find a variety of classes at the Center for Performance Studies.

Center for Performance Studies, look under courses for current offerings

Women of the Road, the Picara in the Theatre

Aims of the course: to study the pícara as she appears in theater or film as a character, and as she has lived in real life as an actress, playwright, director or other occupation. Our study will use both history and theory, particularly materialist historical feminism. We will proceed in general chronologically from past to present. The history of the pícara begins in ancient times, but is first recognized as a term in 15th century Spain that continues today. The picaresque novel and drama became recognized genres in Spain at the height of its colonial quest and Inquisition in the 15th and 16th centuries, when feudal and Catholic values were being eroded by those of early capitalism.

Even though the Spanish term pícara was not recorded until the 16th century, fictional and real-life figures with the pícara’s qualities can be identified more than a thousand years earlier. In the tradition of the picaresque, the pícara is a female character whose story unfolds in the form of a journey. In traveling the road --often on foot--she reveals the social world through which she passes, and like the pícaro, who is her male counterpart, she lives on its margins.

Historically, the pícara has walked, ridden horses, pulled wagons, boarded trains, driven cars, and taken transcontinental flights. As a traveler over the roads, rails, and skies, the pícara’s materiality enables her to critically expose the patriarchal ideology that she is forced to embody. Thus she becomes a feminist subject. These qualities in themselves have remained fairly stable from ancient times to the present, but as ideological signs they have also shifted their meanings as social and historical circumstances have changed over time.

We will read representative plays from the whole range of the pícara’s history, as well as essays on both fictional and real-life pícaras in their historical and social contexts. We will also see videos of pícara plays, as well as live theater performances if they are available. Students will choose one real-life or fictional pícara, preferably early in the course, research their chosen pícara, and present their research in an oral presentation about an hour long to the class sometime during the course. Also a 250-300 word abstract with a one-page bibliography should be turned in to during the 8th week. In the last class meeting the students will read their abstracts aloud and join in class discussions afterwards. The final research paper should be about 18 to 20 pages of essay, plus footnotes or endnotes and a bibliography.

Ruins- Classical Theatre and the Archaeology of Memory

This seminar is designed to as an excavation into the memory of antiquity. As such it aspires to acquaint the scholar of this period with the 'excavations' of theatre culture of Attic and Hellenistic Greece, the Republic and Imperial Rome, and late antiquity, through its surviving artifacts. The objective of the course is to return to and reencounter an overly constructed period through its basic primary sources (archeologic, textual, architectural, iconographic), with all their problems, ancient and modem, in the attempt to consider the totality of a culture that has survived largely through its ruins and its fragments. The questions that propel the course are those of memory: how antiquity has been remembered, what are the marks of memory, and what are the marks of memory's erasure. To this end, a basic acquaintance of the plays, playwrights, and critical texts of the period is imperative.

TEXTS and PLAYS We will be working from the following plays and texts.

Plays: The Persians; The Oresteia; Ajax; the Theban plays; Bacchae; The Cyclops; The Frogs; Thesmaphoriazusae; The Dyskolos; Phormio; The Haunted House; Thyestes; "The Whorehouse Manager; The Schoolmaster;

Texts: The Cambridge Companion to Greek Tragedy, P. E. Easterling, ed.- UW Bookstore The Poetics, Aristotle, The Athenian Constitution, Nothing to Do With Dionysus?, Winkler and Zeitlin, eds. UW Bookstore The Roman Theatre and its Audiences, Richard Beacham UW Bookstore * From - Pickard-Cambridge, The Dramatic Festivals of Athens, City Dionysia * From- Alan Cameron, Circus Factions

Articles and excerpts, primary: Descriptions of Greece, Pausanius Against Medias, Demosthenes * Andocides, On the death of the Choirboy * Satires, ii, iii, vii, Juvenal * Res Gestae Divi Augusti: The Achievements of the Divine Augustus On Spectacles, Tertullian Alexander, from Plutarch's Lives From Deipnosophistai, Athenaeus * From Labanius, On the Dancers * From Secret History, Procopius

Grades and Expectations: It is the expectation of the class that--barring professional engagements--we are all assembled and prepared for every class meeting. Beyond this, you are expected to 1) prepare a bibliography of standard sources in the field; 2) host the seminar for one area of interest; 3) prepare a textual history of a single classical author; 4) produce a brief history of single classical theatre; and, lastly, produce a conference-length paper on a subject of your choice. Grades are based on three areas: your daily participation and presentation; your text and site history and bibliography; your final paper.

1) The production of a Bibliography is designed to familiarize you with the standard works of the field. Beyond the general studies (like Margarete Bieber's classic overview The History of Greek and Roman Theater, and the works of Pickard-Cambridge) it should also involve at least one area of focus (e.g. theatre architecture, play texts, festivals, religion, masks, iconography, etc), as well as primary materials.

2) Presentation: Each of you are expected to host the seminar for one subject--not one entire class. These subjects can be a source, a play, an author, or a particular text. Examples abound: The Black Athena Project, the Greek Festival Calendar, the cult of Dionysus, the discovery of Menander, Aldus of Mantua, Byzantine scholarship, Roman Bloodsports, etc). You may also choose a source work that is under-represented in the class (Demosthenes, Pollux' Onomasticon, Vitruvius' De Archetectura), though I would encourage you to interrogate the reliability of such texts. If you are in doubt about a topic, feel free to consult with me. Please avoid reading to us, but rather host us in a conversation about the material.

3) The textual history is designed to trace a single play from its earliest textual evidence to a "modem" (post Renaissance) edition. In essence, it asks you to determine and document the channels by which a given work has been preserved. For example: how did Aristotle's Poetics come down to us? Or Terence? What is the genealogy of the manuscript?

4) The site history allows you to look at one theatre (Pergamum, Orange, Theatre of Dionysus, Aphrodisias, etc) with some detail, considering when and why it was built, how and in what form has it survived.

5) The paper, a 10-12 page conference paper complete with abstract.

Intercultural Theatre, Anthropology and Postcolonialism

Aims of the course: to concentrate on the practices and politics of intercultural theater and theater anthropology, in the light of the postcolonial critique. We will focus on theater and its history at the cross-currents between Western theater and the classical theaters of India, China, Japan, and Bali, as well as the cross-current with Pacific Northwest Native American performance. Reading matter will include plays, theoretical essays, and descriptive analyses of theater and ritual performances. We will also see films and live productions whenever possible.

Investigative questions will be aimed at anthropology, theater studies, and performance studies, and will include methodological, historical, aesthetic, philosophical, ethical, and political issues, including the following questions: In the past, how have Euroamericans approached other cultures, plays and performance traditions and vice versa? With what effects? What has qualified and not qualified as evidence and why? How has evidence been gathered? What cultural assumptions inform each particular performance event? What are the stakes and responsibilities of researching and performing intercultural theater and the theater of Native Americans? Is Western borrowing from non-Western theater an instance of Orientalism in the hegemonic sense defined by postcolonialism: the theatrical staging of another culture in order to reduce it to a mystified, exoticized, often feminized object/other that only strengthens the identity of the majority culture? Or can theater, through this borrowing, respond to the call for a multicultural, internationalist “celebration of difference”? What are the epistemological terms and political effects of such borrowings?

Requirements: Oral reports and final papers will overtly deal with the key issues above, as well as providing well researched examples of specific theater or performance events or practices.

The Semiotics of Theatre and Film

The aim of this course is to introduce, in historical and critical context, the basic tenets of semiotics, focusing primarily on the semiotics of theater, and secondarily on the semiotics of film, as semiotics has developed from the 1970s to the present. Theoretical essays and books, play texts, live and taped theater performances, and films will be discussed. Performance -- whether materially present as a live event, seen on film, or imagined through a text – will be analyzed in several perspectives: the representation of space and time; textual and visual rhetoric; and acting --gesture, movement, and corporeal presence. The broad field of socio-semiotics is also addressed: cultural signs and codes, the historicity of signs, and semiotic theories of culture. Also a key issue to be addressed is how semiotics has influenced, interrogated, exposed, and been incorporated into the theory and practice of other analytical methods and schools.

Conversations with Antiquity

This course is designed to explore the first encounters with antiquity from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment. From the unearthing of the Laocoon, to the first modern publications of classical literature, the commentaries on them, the re-construction projects of the Italian academies, the imitation of classical forms, the debates of the ancients and the moderns, to the Greek Revival of the 18th century, the resurgence of classical learning and the return of antiquity was a vital force of culture in the west. The broad approach of this seminar considers the theme of dialogue between periods through many mediums: art history, architecture, theatre, and theatre culture, including such possible topics as the invention of Neo-Classicism, Renaissance concepts of Roman theatres, Greek Revival architecture, and nationalism, the Senecan tradition of tragedy, the Humanist comedies of the academies, the re-discovery of perspective, and the poetics of ruins.

Biographies of Shakespeare and Marlowe

This seminar in theatre historiography will examine the amazing variety of biographies that have been written on William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe. The lives of both playwrights, for different reasons, offer major challenges in historical investigation, documentary sources, argumentative evidence, and historical narrative. Marlowe’s mysterious death has allowed for the wildest of conjectures and assertions. Was he a spy for the Elizabethan government? A Catholic double agent? An atheist? A lover of tobacco and boys? Where is the evidence, and what, if anything, do these conjectures have to do with his playwriting? By contrast, Shakespeare’s life was seemingly less sensational, but the conjectures and claims about his activities and beliefs have been just as various and uncertain as those put forward to explain Marlowe’s life. Most notably, dozens of biographers have argued that his plays were actually written by someone else (e.g., Francis Bacon, Edward de Vere, the 17 th Earl of Oxford). And as we will see, it is possible (if not probable) to make the case that even Christopher Marlowe wrote Shakespeare’s play. What are the assumptions and justifications for such claims; how is evidence developed and used? How can we determine the historical reliability and credibility of biographical scholarship?

In the process of reading several biographies on each playwright, we will investigate how biographical study has developed and changed in theatre studies, generation by generation. In the case of Marlowe, we want to take the measure of the biographical scholarship that has emerged since the 19 th century; in the case of Shakespeare, we will consider the biographies of the last three hundred years, extending from Nicholas Rowe (1709) to the recent outpouring of biographies. Why, given the impressive documentary scholarship on Shakespeare by E. K. Chambers (1930) and S. Schoenbaum (1975), have so many new biographies appeared? New methods? New evidence? New theories? And what do we make of the recent surge of biographies on Marlowe? Besides examining individual biographies, we will also consider how biographers and critics explained the possible relationship between the two playwrights in the 1580s and 1590s. And we will also read fictional narratives on the lives of the playwrights in order to compare and contrast how historical storytelling and the problems of evidence operate in biography and fiction (e.g., Anthony Burgess’s two novels: Nothing Like the Sun: A Story of Shakespeare’s Love-Life and A Dead Man in Deptford, which fictionalizes Marlowe’s life).

Mimesis: Theories of Representation in Theatre and Film from Plato and Aristotle to the Present

Aims of the course: We will explore major theories of mimesis as they relate to artistic representation in historical context, primarily to theater and film, but also to radio and television. The debates around mimesis will be studied from its first appearance in Aristotle and Plato, to the Enlightenment and Romanticism; modernist realism, constructivism, and epic theater; and finally to postmodern structuralism/semiotics, feminism, deconstruction, and postcolonial theory. Stage plays, films, and a radio play will also be included. Emphasis is placed on the definitions of mimesis, realism, the real, the representation of space and time, constructions of the subject, and adaptations from one artistic medium to another.

Theorists, playwrights, theater and film directors include: Aristotle, Plato, Erich Auerbach, Jonas Barish, Diderot, Rousseau, Goethe, Schiller, Euripides, Sophocles, Wole Soyinka, Zhiga Vertov, Sergei Eisenstein, Georg Lukacs, Roman Jakobson, Bertolt Brecht, Walter Benjamin, Herbert Blau, Mikhail Bakhtin, Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida, Michel de Certeau, Julia Kristeva, Elin Diamond, Samuel Beckett, Jean Baudrillard, Jean Genet, Samuel Weber, Adrienne Kennedy, and Sarah Bryant-Bertail. Reading materials:

Theatrical and Cinematic Styles

The concept of style is central to all artistic study. It is also quite familiar to all of us in our daily lives. Everything apparently has a style: clothes, cars, phones, beverages, cuisine, and so on. And both individuals and groups have their styles of identification and behavior. So, at one level, we all know immediately what the idea of style means. We use it all of the time. Establishing stylistic traits and sending stylistic signals seem to be essential attributes of human behavior and community. But as soon as we attempt to define and apply the concept in the study of the arts— including drama, theatre, and film—we face major problems. Is it possible to develop a vocabulary, even a poetics, of artistic style, in ways similar to Aristotle’s attempt to develop a poetics of a dramatic genre? What is an artistic style? What is it made of? How are styles achieved or recognized? How or why do styles change? What is the relationship between form and content in the arts? Is style something we add to or impose upon artistic content? Or is it part of the content? What is the stylistic relation between a play text and a performance text? Is style a part of the formal elements or system of an artwork? Or is it located elsewhere, such as the artistic sensibility or imagination? Or is style something an observer recognizes; if so, is it located in the perceptions of observers?

This course will investigate three basic topics: (1) the stylistic codes, verbal and visual, of theatre and film, as achieved and perceived in their formal systems of representation; (2) the history of "period" styles in Western theatre (e.g., classical, medieval or gothic, rococo, expressionism, symbolist, and postmodern); (3) the aesthetic theories of visual styles in the performing arts. We want to discover how theatre and film achieve their stylistic effects, how they communicate, what they communicate, and how they are perceived. We will chart the uses of the concept of style in historical and formal analysis, from Aristotle to the present. We want to see if features of Aristotle’s methodology for analyzing tragedy provide a foundation for the study of artistic style. e will investigate the ways that people in the theatre (e.g., costume and scene designers) derive much of their stylistic vocabulary and understanding from the visual arts of painting, sculpture, and architecture. Is this transfer of terminology and ideas across the arts appropriate? Can we, for example, apply the word baroque equally well to painting, architecture, music, scene design, and acting style? If not, why not?

Throughout our investigation, we will attend to the challenges of using clear and concise descriptive and analytical language for discussing artistic style in the performing arts. Also, we will watch and analyze several films for their handling of elements of style, from costuming and set design to camera shots and editing. In the process, we want to see if the terminology and methods for describing and analyzing the stylistic codes of representation in theatre can also be applied to film. Do the two performing arts share similar stylistic features and vocabulary? Or do we need two distinct vocabularies and theoretical models for analyzing theatre and film?

By drawing upon theatre semiotics, as developed during the twentieth century, we will examine the verbal, visual, and auditory codes of theatrical and cinematic styles—as used by artists and perceived by spectators. For the seminar, students will help guide our discussions of the class readings. Also, each student will select a specific period style for a class report (discussion, debate). In our study of the historical, aesthetic and political nature of stylistic choices in theatre and film, we will give special attention to the history of Shakespearean production since the Renaissance (e.g., costuming, design, lighting, acting, stage movement, and directing styles). How have directors, since their emergence in the 19 th century, attempted to express their stylistic visions in performance? One of our case studies in our class readings will focus on the stylistic history of productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream—on stage and in film (1590s to the present). In addition, each student will do a research project on a specific Shakespeare play and its production history—its changing styles across time. Throughout our investigations, a central theoretical problem and challenge will engage us: how to locate, define, apply, and interpret the historical, formalistic, and ideological features of style in both theatre and film.

Theatre Historiography: A Case Study of London Theatre, 1880-1920

This course—which will focus primarily on the London stage (18801920)— examines historical methods for the study of theatre and the writing of theatre history. In our investigations of the history of London theatre in this era, we will consider the ways that theatre historians have constructed key narratives and period concepts for the era (e.g., the "age of Henry Irving," "the age of Bernard Shaw", “the age of the theatre managers,” “the epoch of West End theatre,” “Victorian theatre,” “Edwardian theatre,” “the era of operetta and musical comedy,” “the age of the music halls,” etc.) Among other things, we are interested in narratives about the conflict between the West End theatres and the development of modernism. We also want to consider the two-part divisions between high and low cultures (e.g., West End theatres versus the music halls; upper and middle class audiences versus working-class spectators). What are the historical assumptions and narratives that organize our understanding of London theatre? What are the problems in theatre evidence (e.g., documentation on productions, manuscripts, published plays, newspapers and journals, letters, autobiographies, and biographies)? As we consider these matters, we want to examine social, economic, political, and technological developments that contributed to theatrical practices (e.g., British imperialism, the age of empire, the development of electricity, new architectural techniques, new transportation systems, the economics of theatre careers, urbanization, the arrival of professional advertising, the expansion of newspapers and journals, the actor-manager system, the suffrage movement, nationalism, and war).

TEXTS AND CLASS PROJECTS: To begin, we will read Michael Booth’s Theatre in the Victorian
Age (1991). It will quickly provide the background and foundation for our course. Then we will read the following biographies: Michael Holroyd's Bernard Shaw (vols. 1 & 2; 1988, 1989), Laurence Irving's Henry Irving: The Actor and His World (1952), and Nina Auerbach’s Ellen Terry: Player in Her Time (1987). As we will see, their professional careers provide touchstones for key historical narratives about theatre in this era. We will also take up Jonathan Schneer’s London 1900: The Imperial Metropolis and sections of Eric Hobsbawn’s The Age of Empire: 18751914. These books will help us place London theatre within the larger contexts of social, political, and economic developments, both national and international.

The course will also be organized around key topics, themes, and issues that serve as historical
touchstones for the era. Each student will present four class reports on the following topics: (1) the
career of a theatre manager of the West-End and neighborhood theatres (e.g., George Alexander,
Herbert Beerbohm Tree, Charles Wyndham, Oswald Stoll, George August Conquest, George Edwardes, Mary Moore, Oscar Asche, Arthur Bourchier, Richard D’Oyle Carte, George Grossmith, and others); (2) a key production of a play by one of the new playwrights (e.g., Oscar Wilde, Arthur Wing Pinero, Henry Arthur Jones, Harley Granville Barker, J. M. Barrie, John Galsworthy, Cicely Hamilton, W. Somerset Maugham, St John Hankin); (3) a production of Shakespeare (e.g., Irving & Terry, H. B. Tree, William Poel, Johnston Forbes Robertson, Mrs. Patrick Campbell, F. R. Benson, Granville Barker, Lilian Baylis, Ben Greet); and (4) the career of a woman in the theatre (e.g., one of the actresses, managers, playwrights, and political activists such as Elizabeth Robins, Florence Farr, Lillie Langtry, Lillah McCarthy, Mrs. Patrick Campbell, Violet Vanbrugh, Madge Kendal, Gertie Millar, Irene Vanbrugh, Lena Ashwell, Marie Tempest, Janet Achurch, Vesta Tilley, Marie Lloyd, Cicely Hamilton, Lilian Baylis, Sybil Thorndike). In sum, we want to understand not only how London theatres operated and changed in the lateVictorian and Edwardian eras but also how theatre historians have written that history. A
final research paper is required. The topic is open, but it can be developed out of one of the class
reports. Indeed, that is a good idea.