Introduction to Theatre [CRN 27411]

Discipline: Theatre
Instructor: Ehrlich
Credits: 3
Day: B
Start: 15:10
End: 16:30
Field Work: Day 2 | February 21, 2017 | Myanmar (Burma)
Prerequisites: None Download Syllabus

This course invites students to explore the theatre as an art form, as well as the theatre’s impact on society. This introduction is also an appreciation of the theatre as a collaborative artistic expression involving a synthesis of the arts.

This course uses a new edition of a textbook that specializes in an integrative approach to global theatre (without segregating non-Western forms). Following the historiographic emphasis of the Theatre Histories chapters, we will explore: the link between oral and literate performance, Carnivalesque performers, theatre and the print revolution, nationalism in the theatre, Realism and Naturalism, theatre during revolutionary times, “theatre in search of identity” in contemporary times, and theatre in networked culture.

Field excursions and in-class lectures focusing on the cultures we’ll visit include: (Japan) Noh theatre, (PRC/H.K.) Chinese opera, (Vietnam) water puppetry, (India) Kathakali, (S. Africa) the Fugard Theatre. Specific playwrights and actors we will study include: (Japan) Zeami Motokiyo, (PRC) Mei lanfang, (India) Rabindranath Tagore, and (Germany) Bertold Brecht.

Field Work

Country: Myanmar (Burma)
Day: 2
Date: February 21, 2017

A visit to the studio of a well-known puppeteer of the ahmyint-thabin tradition, and a chance to learn about the history, artistry, and philosophies of this centuries-old theatrical tradition.

Learning objectives:
1. Explore the history and philosophy of a traditional theatrical form
2. Learn about the interplay of the arts (puppetry, dance, temple architecture, etc.)
3. First-hand experience with the manipulation of marionettes