SYLLABUS

Thurs. Sept. 7:  Opening Class
Why do humans (and others) "perform"? What are theatres? And how do/should/can we limit the terrain of the "theatrical" in relationship to something that might be termed "reality"? Is "theatre theory" a redundancy? The English word “theory” comes from the Greek “theoria,” meaning contemplation, speculation, or sight. It is related to the word “theatron,” or place for viewing – the theater. Theater and theory are kin. Is this the case around the world? What happens to theatre over time? What can we know of prehistoric practices, let alone ancient or medieval. What of performance remains? And, is theatre itself a time machine? We will ask the essential question: Why learn about theatre history and historical theatricality? And what do dance, music, visual art and architecture have to do with what we will be studying this semester?



Section 1: Orienting Questions to "Prehistory" and "Origins"
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Tues. Sept. 12: What is Performance?
Suzan-Lori Parks, The America Play and other selections
Also, an article from American Theatre magazine
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Thurs. Sept. 14: Performance in/as Culture: The Cockfight
Clifford Geertz, selection from The Interpretation of Cultures
John Emigh, selection from The Cambridge Companion to Performance Studies
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Tues. Sept. 19: Counter-Mimicry, or Performance Across Cultures 
 Wole Soyinka, Death and the King’s Horseman
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Thurs. Sept. 21:  Global Differences? Global Samenesses?  What is at stake in some efforts to find universals of performance and what might be some problems with such a search?
Eugenio Barba, Dictionary of Theatre Anthropology, selections
A play of Noh Theatre, Japan:  Dojoji
Scenes from Kalidasa's Sanskrit drama, Sakuntala
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Thurs. Sept. 26: Prehistory, Performance, and “Origin Rituals”
The Herzog film Cave of Forgotten Dreams, a forgotten 1959 theatre textbook, 
a brief selection from Martin Bernal Black Athena
Richard Schechner, selection from Performance Theory
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Tues. Sept. 26:   Masks and Ancestors – Possession vs. Representation
Selection from John Emigh Masked Performance
Materials on spirit possession globally
In class conversation about the modern Western “tourist gaze” and other problems with colonial legacies of primitivism
GROUP ONE TO PERFORM
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Thurs, Sept, 28: Pre-Conquest Indigenous Traditions

Selection from Diana Taylor The Archive and the Repertoire
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Section 2: The Ancient Mediterranean
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Tues. Oct. 3:  Ancient Mediterranean Africa
Ronald J. Leprohon, "Ritual Drama in Ancient Egypt."
 The Triumph of Horus
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Thurs. Oct. 5:  More on Egypt and  Influence
Guest lecture: Kenneth Molloy
Inge Nielsen, Cultic Theatre and Ritual Drama: Interchange Between East and West in Antiquity, selection
GROUP ONE TO PERFORM
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Tues. Oct. 10:   The Theatre of Dionysus
Euripides, The Bakkhai
David Wiles, Greek Theater Performance, chapters 1 and 2.
(Be sure to note the assignment )  
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Thurs. Oct. 12: Greek Comedy
Aristophanes, Thesmophoriazusae 
Wiles, chapters 3 and 4, and Sue-Ellen Case on "Classic Drag"
GROUP TWO TO PERFORM
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Tues. Oct. 17: Plato and Aristotle on Mimesis
Plato, The Republic: Books 7 and 10.
Aristotle,  The Poetics of Aristotle
Wiles, chapter 5.
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Thurs. Oct. 19:  Multiple Medeas
Euripides Medea
Seneca Medea 
GROUP THREE TO PERFORM 
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Tues. Oct. 24:  Roman Empire 
A. M. Nagler, Sourcebook in Theatrical History
Odai Johnson, "Unspeakable Histories: Terror, Spectacle, and Genocidal Memory"
Plautus, The Captives
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THurs, Oct. 26: MIDTERM EXAM
Here is the study sheet.  

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Section 3: Asia and Africa
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Thurs. Nov. 2:    The Sanskrit Theatre of Ancient India
Bharat-Muni, selections from the Natyasatra
Barbara Stoler Miller, Theater of Memory
Kalidasa, Sakuntala
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Thurs. Nov. 9: Traditional Theatre of Kerala
Reread Natyasastra from the last class.
Suresh Awasthi, “The Temple as Theatre”
Phillip B. Zarrilli, Kathakali: Dance-Drama
GROUP FOUR TO PERFORM
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Thurs. Nov. 9: Traditional Theatre of Kerala
Reread Natyasastra from the last class.
Suresh Awasthi, “The Temple as Theatre”
Phillip B. Zarrilli, Kathakali: Dance-Drama
GROUP FOUR TO PERFORM
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Tues. Nov. 14 Theatrical Legacies of Pre-Colonial Africa 1
Margaret Thompson Drewal, Yoruba Ritual
Wole Soyinka, "The Fourth Stage"
Thomas DeFranz and Anita Gonzalez, Introduction to Black Perfromance Theory

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Thurs. Nov. 16: Theatrical Legacies of Pre-Colonial Africa 2
 David Kerr, African Popular Theatre,
Guenther, Trickers and Trancers

GROUP FIVE TO PERFORM
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Section 4: Medieval Europe and the "New" World 

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Tues. Nov. 21:  Holy Roman Empire
Saint Augustine and Tertullian
Quem Quertis and Hrosvit 
John Spaulding Gatton, "There Must Be Blood" 
Andrew Sofer, The Stage Life of Props 

Tues. Nov. 28: Carnival, Mumming, Farce 
The Farce of the Fart
A Christmas Mumming, The Play of St. George
Mikail Bahktin, "On Popular Festive Forms"in Rabelais and His World

Final paper option proposal due. 
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Thurs. Nov. 30: Corpus Christi and the Inka
Carolyn Dean, Inka Bodies and the Body of Christ
Moltolina, History of the Indians of New Spain
Grads: Leo Cabranes Grant, "From Scenarios to Networks"
GROUP SIX TO PERFORM
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Tues. Dec. 5: Old World New World "Visions"
Shakespeare, The Tempest and Black Elk Speaks
Grads, "This Thing of Darkness I Acknowledge Mine"
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December 12:  Final Exam, 10:30 in 007 Lyman Hall.

Study Sheet is here
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