Students will learn to recognize how storytelling and meaning are constructed in the universal language of theatre. Play texts, films, collaborative group work and lectures will be used to examine all aspects of theatre – structure, form, genre, style and the creative process of how ideas and stories are
transformed into theatre. The historical context of theater – performance conventions, architecture, social impact and audience expectations will serve as a way of understanding our contemporary theatre and its place in our society and in our individual lives.
Special focus will be given to the unique storytelling traditions of the countries we will be visiting on
our voyage and how they play a role in our world’s universal need for live theater. Students will be expected to attend live performances in several of these countries and will have a variety class assignments based on these experiences.
Field WorkCountry: Myanmar (Burma)
Day: 2 - Rangoon - 28 February
The Burmese marionette tradition traces its roots back long before the earliest records of performances in the 1400s. By the 1700s, this tradition became an important part of Burmese royal court life. With British colonization in the 1800s, however, the form went into decline. As a reflection of a culture reaching to share its roots, traditional Burmese puppetry is a rare opportunity to witness a style of performance foreign to western eyes yet universal in its storytelling desires. Students will participate in the history, creation and performance of traditional Burmese puppetry and share an authentic Burmese meal together. Academic Objectives:
- Students will be exposed to a completely non-western form of storytelling and performance
- Students will understand how the storytelling techniques are a reflection of Myanmar’s culture
- Students will develop vocabulary necessary to draw connections between traditional Myanmar puppetry and how they/we use storytelling in America.