THEA 015. Performance Theory and Practice
This seminar-format course provides a global road map to written and embodied theories and practices of live performance: cross-culturally, cross-historically, and across genres. The emphasis is on the aspects of live performance that complete and complement the work of playwrights, with particular attention to performers, director/choreographers, designers, composers, etc. Rather than pre-scripted drama and commodified models of theatrical production, we emphasize movement-based, ensemble-generated, non-verbal/non-discursive, interdisciplinary, political and ritual dimensions of performance. The class includes units on performance traditions and genres beyond Europe, North America, and the anglophone world. Assigned readings will emphasize the practice-based writings by or about theater artists such as Bharata Muni, Zeami, Stanislavsky, Artaud, Brecht, Mei Lan Fang, Lecoq, Grotowski,Schechner, Chaikin, Mnouchkine, Wilson, and Castellucci, along with selected theoretical and critical texts by nonpractitioners. Each week will include a video lab of relevant performances (and field trips to live performances when possible). Assigned writing will consist of a series of short analytical seminar papers and two major research papers, at least one of which will be devoted to research on performance beyond the Euro-American/anglophone cultural context. The course will be taught remotely, and each week will consist of a required non-synchronous weekly video screening, a non-synchronous recorded lecture by the professor, and a 75-minute seminar discussion centered around student papers. The course will end with final critical research paper on a topic of the student’s choice (no final exam).
Recommended in sophomore or junior year.
Fulfills a general requirement for all theater majors and minors.
Prerequisite: THEA 001 or consent of instructor.
Eligible for GLBL-Core
Fall 2021. Kuharski.
Fall 2022. Staff.
Fall 2023. Staff.
Catalog chapter: Theater
Department website: http://www.swarthmore.edu/department-theater
Check the Spring 2022 Schedule of Courses
Check the Fall 2022 Schedule of Courses