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Intro to TD 317 Theatre History
Transcript of Intro to TD 317 Theatre History
All assignments are due at the beginning of class unless otherwise noted
(10:00am, not 10:01am)
You can email in assignments, but a
hard copy is due within 24 hours.
take it to the Main Office under penalty of eternal torment in some hellish nether dimension
Be sure to check email (particularly Canvas announcements)
Give us 48 hours to respond to any email you send us
If you have "questions" about a grade, please observe
The 24/7 Rule
Wait 24 hours to email us.
Give us 7 days to sort things out
Penalties for plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty include
Zero for the assignment
Loss of 50 points from final grade
Potential suspension and expulsion
If you're talking about history, then discussions of gender, race, class, sexuality, colonialism, ability and any number of other potentially sensitive need to be on the table.
I expect you to:
Respect one another
(if someone is talking, you're not).
(what many people call "political correctness," I call "manners").
Challenge and be challenged by one another.
You will be required to read all material in this class and engage in discussion.
If you are at all concerned about your ability to complete the assignments
please meet with me before the 12th class day.
Participation (40 points)
Sam will take
attendance via sign-in sheet every day.
You are allowed THREE unexcused absences
After that, all other unexcused absences are 10 points off each
There will also be
minor assignments throughout the semester
(in-class writing, posting to discussion boards)
Failure to do these assignments will cost you points.
Earn points by asking and answering questions, volunteering to read or perform, etc.
This can earn you points over and above the 40 points.
Lose points by falling asleep, carrying on distracting conversations, being unprepared to talk about the material
Laptops and phones can be used in class but are raised hands:
I will assume you are ready to answer questions and will call on you.
There will be a series of assignments over the course of the semester that you can do for extra credit
10 points each, and you can do three total (30 points: a letter grade)
Connected to seeing shows in town
Assignments and Grading Again, Some More
Quizzes (7 per semester, 10 points each, 1 dropped, 60 points total)
, typically following major readings
beginning of class
Drop the lowest
Quizzes can only be made up or taken early for
Officially Sanctioned Religious Holiday (
due 2 weeks before
Absences for Performances or Official UT Team Events (
due 2 weeks before
Pre-excused family absences (
due 2 weeks before unless it's an emergency
with doctor's note
Midterm and Final Exam (50 points each)
Includes 30 multiple choice questions covering material presented in class (by instructor AND fellow students)
Includes EITHER a 2 page take home essay assigned during the review
OR some in class short answer questions, your choice.
Multiple Choice will only cover the second half
of the semester
Final Exam Essay may cover entire semester
Exams can be retaken or taken early
only with excused absence
Assignments and Grading Continued
All grading in this class will be done on a point system, with
maximum total points for the class being 300
(not including extra credit).
Presentations (2 per semester, 50 points each)
You will have
two group presentations
One for each of the 12 primary texts we will be reading this semester.
Spread out over the course of the semester.
You have to read ahead for your presentation.
You must do one BEFORE Spring Break and one AFTER Spring Break
Read through the syllabus and
email Sam your top 4 choices for BEFORE and AFTER Spring Break (a total of 8 choices) by 10AM FRIDAY
Folks from last semester, maybe sign up for the early ones?
These presentations will be
15-20 minutes long
, and include the following:
One on-book scene performed for the class
Information on the first production of the play
Information on a recent production or adaptation of the play.
A direction and design concept for a version of this play to be staged at UT.
Can include an adaptation, either one you write or one you find.
2 page write up of your research, with reasons why we should produce your version of the play
Annotated bibliography (2 research documents per person)
Assignments and Grading
Moment of Honesty #1
: Theatre history can be a boring, confusing and painful. For ME.
Thousands of years over an entire planet in one semester
The "vegetables" of the theatre major
To meet these two problems head on. With this in mind, we will:
Replace the chronological approach with the canonical approach.
Part 1: The Western Canon, aka All the Theatre History You Need for the Cocktail Party
Part 2: Beyond the Canon, aka Theatre History is More Than Six Men in Three Cities
Moment of Honesty #2:
A lot of Part 2 will be as new for me as it is for you.
Frame our readings and research as geared toward producing artistic performances
rather than scholarly texts. In other words,
we are reading and researching as dramaturgs
(more on that next class)
MWF 10-11am, WIN 2.112
The Longman Anthology of Drama and Theatre: A Global Perspective
Available online and at bookstore, often used
Rentable, but maybe worth keeping
Additional texts will be posted to Canvas
as PDFs or as links
Instructor: Rudy Ramirez
TA: Sam Blake
PhD Candidate in Performance as Public Practice
Director, Writer and Performer
Associate Artistic Director, The VORTEX Repertory Company
Office Hours: Fridays 11am-12noon, B.118
PhD Student in Performance as Public Practice
Artist and Scholar
Office Hours: TBD
And now we're going to hear a little about you. Very little
Area of Focus (Stage Management, Theatre Studies, etc or different major)
One thing that you think makes "good theatre"
Imagine that we are part of a new theatre company called
We've produced a blend of American classics and new plays.
Beloved by audiences and critics alike
We have just gotten word of a major new grant called the
Performing History Grant
Joint venture between the
National Endowment for the Arts
National Endowment for the Humanities
Asking theatre companies around the nation to
propose a season of three plays that "demonstrates the continued relevance and importance of theatre history in performance to the contemporary life of our nation."
Season can include:
Historical works performed under
Historical works performed under
modified original practices
Historical works performed in
an alternative time or place
than originally written
New adaptations of historical works
by contemporary playwrights or devising companies
Each play we read in this class is up for consideration as part of our season.
You will each choose two of these plays for group presentations in which you will advocate for the play being part of the season, performed in one of the manners listed above.
Welcome to Company 317
Intro to TD 317D:
Theatre History Since 1800
For Next Class
Listen to the Hamilton soundtrack.
Go over syllabus: any questions?
Acquire Longman Anthology for readings next week
Email Sam by 10am Friday with your top 4 plays for both BEFORE and AFTER Spring Break.
More Classroom Policies and Resources
Documented Disability Statement
The University of Texas provides on request appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities.
Please present a letter prepared by the Service for Students with Disabilities (SSD) Office within first two weeks.
(512) 471-6259 [voice] (866) 329-3986 [video phone]
Behavior Concerns Advice Line
If you are worried about someone who is acting differently, you may use the Behavior Concerns Advice Line to discuss by phone your concerns about another individual’s behavior.
The University is committed to maintaining a learning environment that is free from discriminatory conduct based on gender.
UT encourages any student or non-student who thinks that he or she has been subjected to sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault/violence, interpersonal violence (including domestic and dating violence), stalking, or sexual misconduct by another student, member of the faculty or staff, or campus visitor or contractor, to immediately report the incident to any of the individuals persons or offices listed below.
Title IX covers all gender orientations, identities, and expressions.
Institutional Title IX Coordinator: TitleIX@austin.utexas.edu, 512-232-3992
Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students: firstname.lastname@example.org
Student Emergency Services Office of the Dean of Students , 4.104 Student Services Building (SSB) 512-471-5017
Voices Against Violence, a program of UT’s Counseling and Mental Health Center, offers further resources: http://www.cmhc.utexas.edu/vav/index.html
Reasons why the second semester is easier:
We are covering 215 years rather than more than 2500.
Imperialism and globalization puts all these pieces in conversation with one another.
Many of these are familiar.
I have read or seen all of the plays this semester and directed a couple of them.
For those who were in my class last semester, there are some changes:
No big paper
Presentations spread out throughout the semester
This does mean you need to read ahead
We're taking attendance
Theatre History's Guide to Style
I asked "What do you think makes good theatre?" because a lot of our fundamental ideas about what makes good theatre have been around for less than 200 years. My goal for this class is for you to think about how your ideas of good theatre have been shaped by history, and for you to use this knowledge to develop your own theatrical style.
Unit 1: The Realist Revolution
How did a genre decried as vulgar and celebrated as world-changing become the most recognizable and accepted theatrical style in the Western World, and does it still have that revolutionary potential?
The Doll's House, The Cherry Orchard, A Raisin in the Sun, Death and the King's Horseman
Unit 2: The Theatrical is Political
How and why have people rejected Realism as an inadequate means of telling a story, particularly when that story has a political message? And how do you pronounce Brecht?
Mother Courage and Her Children, The Physicists, No Saco Nada de la Escuela, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf, Top Girls, Angels in America: Millennium Approaches
Not I, Black Watch
Unit 3: Melodrama, Minstrelsy and Musicals
What are the troubling roots of this distinctly American (or is it) genre, and how are artists today confronting and moving forward from that history?
Uncle Tom's Cabin
West Side Story, Passing Strange