Introduction to Theatre (Section 2) [CRN 31338]

Discipline: Theatre
Instructor: Harris
Credits: 3
Day: A
Start: 1230
End: 1350
Field Work: Day 5 | April 3, 2019 | Ghana
Prerequisites: None Download Syllabus

Theatre as an art and one of the humanities, its impact upon society, and its relationship to other art forms.

Arguably, theatre is the most collaborative of the arts, requiring not only the collaboration of at least two people (even for a one-person show), but also the uniting of multiple forms of artistic expression. Additionally, theatre commonly incorporates other humanities, for examples philosophy, literature, religion, art, music, history, and language. This course uses the world stage to examine these complex, interconnected, esoteric components of theatre, as well as more concrete elements like performers, audiences, designers, writers, and venues. Theorizing that all societies share the ritual origins of theatre, this course examines the theatre traditions of the countries visited in order to discover common roots across cultures. At the same time, the course celebrates each culture’s uniqueness. Students examine the impact of theatre on each society, and each society’s impact on its theatre. The course facilitates the understanding of theatre as a potentially universal art form, but one with multiple fundamental differences across four continents. The course employs reading and discussing dramatic literature, and attending and analyzing a variety of theatrical performances in each port.

Field Work

Country: Ghana
Day: 5
Date: April 3, 2019

The National Theatre of Ghana houses three resident groups: drama, dance, and music.  Our visit will focus on the drama group and the dance group. We will wake up/shake up the morning with dance-based physical warm-ups, interspersed with explanations of their cultural and practical (for the actor/performer) significances. Local lunch will divide the late morning and early afternoon workshop sessions with members of the drama company. We will place particular emphasis on exploring both the theory and practice of the company’s predilection for open-air theatre. Depending upon the season’s schedule, we will view an early evening performance or performance demonstration. Learning Objectives:

  1. Students will explore alternative ways to use their bodies to express themselves and their stories.
  2. Students will explore differences in intent and technique between indoor and open-air/street theatre.
  3. Students will identify, articulate, and demonstrate attributes of western influenced traditional Ghanaian theatre.