2019-2020 Drama Courses and Descriptions

*The Course Schedules below are subject to change, pending enrolment pattern changes. Detailed course descriptions by instructors are also subject to change.

[ DRE121H5F | DRE122H5S | DRE200H5F | DRE222H5S | DRE226H5S | DRE344H5F | DRE358H5S | DRE360H5F | DRE366H5S | DRE370H5F | DRE420H5F | DRE422H5S |

Course Title: Traditions of Theatre and Drama

Course Code: DRE121H5F | Lecture M/W 10-11 | Tutorials M 11-12, M 1-2

Instructor: Holger Syme

An introductory survey of the forms and history of world drama from the classical period to the nineteenth century in its performance context. May include later works influenced by historical forms and one or more plays in the Theatre Erindale schedule of production. May include a research performance component. This course is also listed as ENG121H5.

Exclusion: DRM100Y1; ENG125Y1


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Course Title: Contemporary Theatre and Drama

Course Code: DRE122H5S | Lecture M/W 11-12 | Tutorials W 12-1, W 2-3

Instructor: Jacob Gallagher-Ross

An introductory survey of the forms and history of world drama from the late nineteenth century to the present in its performance context. May include film adaptations and one or more plays in the Theatre Erindale schedule of productions. May include a research performance component. This course is also listed as ENG122H5.

Exclusion: DRM100Y1; ENG125Y1

Detailed Description by Instructor:

Picking up where DRE121 left off, this course is an introduction to selected plays, aesthetic theories, and performance techniques from the nineteenth century to (roughly) the present. We’ll watch theatre artists contend with the dominant philosophical ideas, aesthetic values, and political realities of their time, as they attempt to create artworks capable of responding to—or even creating—a modern world. While doing so, they transformed the molecular structure of theatre, pulling apart traditional ways of understanding narrative, illusion, and character—destroying the old, to make way for the new.

Selected Major Readings: A range of modern and contemporary plays, manifestos, and contextual materials.

First Three Texts/Authors to be Studied: Ibsen, A Doll's House, TBA

Method of Instruction: Lecture, class discussion, discussion-based tutorials.

Method of Evaluation: Final exam, short papers, creative project, class and tutorial participation.


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Course Title: Canadian Theatre History

Course Code: DRE200H5F | Lecture M 11-12, W 11-1

Instructor: Nancy Copland

A survey of the history of theatre in Canada, with particular emphasis on developments since the mid-twentieth century.

Exclusion: DRM268H1
Prerequisite: DRE/ENG121H5, 122H5, or permission of the U of T Mississauga program director.

Detailed Description by Instructor:

This course will give an introduction to the history and historiography of theatre in Canada, mainly in the 20th and 21st centuries. The course will focus substantially, though not exclusively, on Toronto. Toronto has been a theatre hub since the nineteenth-century, important historical sites are still extant and accessible, and significant companies are still active. We will investigate significant events, institutions, companies, and individuals; we will also critically examine the materials and methods used to construct Canadian theatre histories. Important themes will be changing definitions of “Canadian” theatre and of “theatre” itself. Readings will consist of primary documents and critical articles, supplemented by selected, historically-significant plays.

Selected Major Readings: Many readings will be made available through Quercus Plays: TBA.

Method of Instruction: Lecture/ discussion.

Method of Evaluation: Short responses; review essay; test; participation; final exam during examination period.


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Course Title: The Performance Text

Course Code: DRE222H5S | Lecture M 1-3, W 1-2

Instructor: Jacob Gallagher-Ross

An introduction to the techniques of dramaturgical analysis, through the study of a range of texts to which students might be exposed as theatre practitioners and audience members. Focus will be on the relationship between the performance event and its associated written text. Examples will emphasize modern and contemporary drama, as well as a range of styles, and will include one or more Theatre Erindale productions, and other appropriate productions, as well as a practical workshop component.

Exclusion: DRE240H5, 242H5, 244H5, 246H5
Prerequisite: DRE/ENG121H5, 122H5 or permission of U of T Mississauga program director.

Detailed Description by Instructor:

In this class, we’ll investigate the relationship between dramatic texts and theatrical performance. Every play is both a literary work and a blueprint for potential productions. They can be read closely like other texts; but reading plays also demands special skills. We’re not just reading what’s there, but for what could be there: the performance possibilities that might be realized onstage. No production can ever capture every shade of a play's meaning, or every potential interpretation—but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to see as much as we can. This class will be an exercise in noticing the telling details that lead to original readings—whether in a paper or a production—and in testing those readings with performance. We’ll therefore approach dramaturgical analysis and performance on parallel tracks. As scholars, we'll read, interpret, and write critically about a range of modern and contemporary plays. As performers, we'll stage theatrical investigations that bring those critical readings to life.

Selected Major Readings: Plays by Buchner, Ibsen, Brecht, Beckett, Churchill, Birch.

First Three Texts/Authors to be Studied: Fuchs, "EF's Visit to a Small Planet"; Buchner, Woyzeck; Ibsen, Hedda Gabler.

Method of Instruction: Lecture, class discussion, workshop sessions

Method of Evaluation: Performance projects, three short essays, participation.


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Course Title: Shakespeare in the Theatre

Course Code: DRE226H5S | Lecture M/W 11-12 | PRA W 2-3

Instructor: Holger Syme

This course introduces students to Shakespeare€s plays as works of theatre. We will study the spaces and performance practices for which these texts were originally written and explore how subsequent generations of theatre makers approached, adapted, and repurposed them for different performance venues and styles, and from different aesthetic, cultural, and political perspectives, from the seventeenth century to our own time, in Britain, North America, and beyond the English-speaking world. The course will include screenings of select landmark productions.

Exclusion: DRE221Y5
Prerequisite: Open to students who have successfully completed DRE121H5 or ENG121H5; and DRE122H5 or ENG122H5.


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Course Title: Studies in Theatre and Drama 1 (Theatre of the Middle East)

Course Code: DRE344H5F | Lecture F 1-3

Instructor: Marjan Moosavi

This course is a survey of performance traditions, dramatic forms, and theatrical movements of Muslim Middle Eastern countries in their socio-political and historical contexts. Through reading and discussing representative plays in the 20th century and watching production videos, we will examine the process in which traditional performances and Western-style theatre have inspired each other to create a rich and colourful theatrical repertory. The goal is to acquaint you with the diversity of ideas in playwriting and directing in Middle Eastern theatre and empower you to build appreciation for its breadth and diversity, look critically at its historiography, and think creatively about an adapted methodology for studying it. The course is a combination of lecture, discussion, role playing, textual analysis, research, and even dramaturgical and devising exercises.

Prerequisite: 4.0 credits, including at least 1.0 Humanities course.
Recommended Preparation: DRE/ENG121H5, 122H5

 


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Course Title: The Audience and the Theatre

Course Code: DRE358H5S | Lecture M 1-3

Instructor: Martin Revermann

A theoretical and historical examination of the theatrical performance with a focus on the role of the audience. Topics will include the shifting relationship with performers, both collaborative and manipulative, a reflection on what makes theatre audiences different from other audiences, and what precisely happens at various stages of the playgoing experience. The second part of the semester will be devoted to a series of historical case studies, ranging from ancient Greece through Shakespearian England to 17th-century Spain and 20th-century Germany.

Prerequisite: 4.0 credits, including at least 1.0 Humanities course.
Recommended Preparation: DRE/ENG121H5, 122H5
Exclusion: ENG125Y1


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Course Title: Developmental Dramaturgy

Course Code: DRE360H5F | W 3-5

Instructor: Jacob Gallagher-Ross

A theoretical, historical, and practical study of the process of developmental dramaturgy. The course will include a survey and analysis of historical and contemporary interpretations of the role of dramaturgy in the creation of new work. Students will also participate in the practical application of dramaturgical strategies and techniques.

Prerequisite: DRE/ENG121H5, 122H5; DRE200H5/220H5, 222H5


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Course Title: Women in Theatre

Course Code: DRE366H5S | M 3-5

Instructor: Nancy Copland

Topics in the history of women in English-language theatre. Topics will vary from year to year, depending on available faculty. May include a practical workshop component.

Prerequisite: 4.0 credits including at least 1.0 Humanities
Recommended Preparation: DRE/ENG121H5, 122H5

Detailed Description by Instructor:

This course will focus on selected aspects of women’s theatre from the early 20th C to the present in the U.K. and North America. In the first part of the course we will look at historical examples of women’s theatre, including suffrage performances and other examples from the first decades of the 20th C and experimental companies of the late 1960s and 70s. In the second part of the course we will look at some recent plays by Canadian playwrights who self-identify as women, potentially including work from the 2019-20 season.

Method of Instruction: Seminar.

Method of Evaluation: Short essay; student presentations; participation; final assignment (essay or creative project).


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Course Title: Exploring Shakespeare in Performance

Course Code: DRE370H5F | M 1-3 | TUT0101 W 1-3

Instructor: Holger Syme

In this course, students will be introduced to contemporary theatrical approaches to the most canonical of dramatists. Through selected theoretical readings, interviews, practical exercises, and screenings of recent productions, we will explore tensions between reverential and radical treatments of the Shakespearean text, including topics such as the politics of casting, the role of the director, and the authority of the actor. The course will ask what it means to stage Shakespeare now and will equip students to develop their own and conceptual and theatrical responses to that question.

Exclusion: DRE221Y5

Prerequisite: Open to students who have successfully completed at least 4.0 full credits, including DRE121H5 or ENG121H5; DRE122H5 or ENG122H5; and DRE226H5.


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Course Title: Senior Seminar 1 (Brecht)

Course Code: DRE420H5F | M 1-3

Instructor: Martin Revermann

A senior research seminar in Theatre and Performance. Topic will vary with instructor.

Prerequisite: 9 credits, including DRE/ENG121H5, 122H5; DRE200H5/222H5; or permission of the U of T Mississauga program director.


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Course Title: Senior Seminar II (History and Theory of Directing)

Course Code: DRE422H5S | W 3-5

Instructor: Lawrence Switzky

This course traces the evolution of the director in the theatre as a major creative figure, from precursors in classical and medieval theatre through the early twentieth century and the present day. Our inquiry will combine screenings (of productions and of rehearsals), readings, and practical exercises—everyone in the course will have several chances to direct and to be directed. We will investigate the director largely in terms of how participants in the theatrical event at various times and places have understood the director’s role: actors, playwrights, designers, audiences, and directors themselves. Some topics we will consider include what “authorship” means in the collaborative medium of theatre; the uses and misuses of power, charisma, and authority by directors; differing approaches to directing in film and theatre; and the challenges that stage directing, considered as an art form, poses to more traditional forms of artistic labor.

Some directors we will study will include André Antoine, Edward Gordon Craig, Edith Craig, Adolphe Appia, Konstantin Stanislavski, Vsevolod Meyerhold, Max Reinhardt, Erwin Piscator, Jean-Louis Barrault, Elia Kazan, Joan Littlewood, Peter Brook, Peter Stein, Tadeusz Kantor, Robert Wilson, Anne Bogart, and Katie Mitchell. We will also read several short plays that imagine the role of the director (from the perspective of the playwright) by Luigi Pirandello, Samuel Beckett, and Ella Hickson.


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