This class will examine the nature of performance and how performance reflects and reveals the culture in which it exists. The course will examine a range of theatrical traditions, texts and performance styles with particular emphasis given to the theatrical culture of the countries we visit. We will analyze the historical and political context of these particular theatrical forms and performance styles and their relationship to, and influence on, Western Theatre. Class work will be supplemented by attendance at live performances in port.
Field WorkCountry: Myanmar (Burma)
Day: 2 - Wednesday, 25 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. Academic Objectives:
- Students will gain knowledge about the historical and cultural significance of Burmese Marionette Puppetry
- Students will have the opportunity to discover some of the craft of this art form – the making of puppets and the art of their manipulation by master puppeteers.
- Through observation (and participation as audience members) students will be able to appreciate and place a particular theatrical form within the the broader context of World Theatre.