L: Great Moments of Theater
The nature of theatrical experience has been essentially the same since the 4th Century BC. From Euripidies to Shakespeare to Sam Shepard, people have gathered together in large and small groups to watch and enjoy the most horrible events imaginable: mothers killing children; young lovers dying for their parents' sins; babies being buried alive; etc. The theater is also one of the most limber of artistic forms, encompassing literature, performance, and design. In this class, we'll examine the contemporary scene, focusing on American and English drama, but also looking at theatrical forms from a wide variety of cultures and traditions. We'll pay not only close attention to theater as literature, but also to its often-overlooked visual elements: set, make up, lighting and costume design. Each student will be responsible for creating a production book for a playwright of their choosing, encompassing a critical essay and design elements for an imaginary production. The list of authors may include: Wallace Shawn, Howard Barker, Sam Shepard, Tony Kushner, Caryl Churchill, etc.