2020-2021 Drama Courses and Descriptions


*The Course Schedules below are subject to change once the new Academic Calendar is published as well as pending enrolment pattern changes. Detailed course descriptions by instructors are added when available and are also subject to change.

**Please consult the Registrar's Time Table for mode of delivery for courses.

[ DRE121H5F | DRE122H5S | DRE200H5F | DRE201H5S | DRE222H5S | DRE226H5S | DRE342H5F | DRE347H5S | DRE356H5F | DRE362H5S | DRE370H5F | DRE405H5F | DRE463H5S ]

Course Title: Traditions of Theatre and Drama

Course Code: DRE121H5F | Lecture MW 11-12 | Tutorials M 12-1, M 2-3

Instructor: Holger Syme

An introductory survey of the forms and history of world drama from the classical period to the 19th 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

Course Title: Modern and Contemporary Theatre and Drama

Instructor: Caitlin Gowans

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

An introductory survey of the forms and history of world drama from the late 19th 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

Course Title: Canadian Theatre History

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

Instructor: Ashley Williamson

A survey of the history of theatre in Canada, with particular emphasis on developments since the mid-20th century.

Exclusion: DRM268H1
Prerequisite: DRE/ENG121H5 and ENG122H5, or permission of the U of T Mississauga program director.

Course Title: Acting

Course Code: DRE201H5S | Lecture T 11-12 | PRAs R 11-12, R 1-2

Instructor: Autumn Smith

A practical introduction to the art and craft of performance, intended for students with little or no previous experience or training. The course uses a range of acting exercises to teach critical thinking, active listening, specificity of action, intention of thought and team building. Students will engage in text analysis, collective creation, storytelling, physical and vocal exercises, and character development, in the process cultivating skills transferable to their chosen career path. This course is ideally suited for any student seeking to enhance their interpersonal and presentation skills.

Exclusion: DRS121H5 or DRS122H5

Course Title: The Performance Text

Course Code: DRE222H5S | Lecture M 12-2, W 12-1

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, Beckett, Fornes, Drury, 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, creative projects.

Course Title: Shakespeare in the Theatre

Course Code: DRE226H5S | Lecture MW 11-12 and W 2-3 | PRA W 1-2

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 17th 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.

Course Title: Studies in 20th Century Performance Styles

Course Code: DRE342H5F | Lecture M 11-1

Instructor: Jacob Gallagher-Ross

A seminar on a topic chosen by the instructor, having a particular focus on 20th century theories of performance. Includes optional practical workshop component.

Prerequisite: 4.0 full credits, including DRE/ENG121H5 and DRE/ENG122H5; or permission of the UTM program director.

Detailed Description by Instructor:
The 20th century witnessed a profusion of attempts to reimagine the work of the performer and its wider social and cultural significance. Auteur directors devised radical schools of actor training to produce new bodies capable of realizing their radical visions; holy theatres strove to re-enchant a profane world with new rituals and new ideas of the sacred; visual artists borrowed performers (or deployed themselves) as aesthetic material; live performers shadowboxed with mediated images; politically-charged performances modeled new societies and new ways of being. This class will survey the major theories and theorists of acting that transformed 20th century theatre and performance — and that still cast a long shadow over the beginning decades of the 21st century.

Selected Major Readings: Course readings will include theoretical texts and manifestos by major theatrical thinkers, short plays and performance texts, and selected historical and contextual material.

Method of Instruction: lectures, student presentations, class discussion.

Method of Evaluation: class participation, written assignments, in-class presentations, creative research.

Course Title: Studies in Theatre and Drama 3

Course Code: DRE347H5S | Lecture M 12-2

Instructor: Nazli Akhtari

This course focuses on the reflections of diasporic experience in theatre and performance. We will explore how reoccurring themes of home, belonging, trauma, nostalgia, displacement, border, and identity have inspired performances in and about diaspora(s). We will also look at the role performance plays in better recognition of diasporic experience. Through reading representative plays and watching video excerpts of performance on stage and outside the theatre, we will examine the process in which diaspora(s) are imagined and materialized by selected artists and collectives. We will ask how theatre and performance contribute to representations of diasporic life, and how artists push the conventions of genre and assumptions about identity and cross-border experience. Areas of emphasis will vary but will spotlight around the geographic context of Canada, and will foreground one or more form including theatre, performance, video art, and performative text.

Prerequisite: 4.0 full credits, including DRE/ENG121H5 and DRE/ENG122H5; or permission of the UTM program director.

Course Title: Theory of Drama

Course Code: DRE356H5F | Lecture W 3-5

Instructor: Martin Revermann

A study of theories of drama, theatre and performance, with a special emphasis on semiotics. Topics will include the relationship between theatre and other modes of social interaction (the fashion show, the political convention), theatre and other performing arts, and theatre/drama as a literary genre. May include one or more Theatre Erindale and other productions in the syllabus.

Prerequisite: 4.0 full credits, including DRE/ENG121H5 and DRE/ENG122H5; or permission of the UTM program director.

Course Title: Playwriting

Course Code: DRE362H5S | Lecture M 2-5

Instructor: Andrea Scott

An introduction to the art and craft of writing for the stage. Through a variety of practical exercises, students will be encouraged to explore the unique properties of the theatrical environment. Topics for investigation will include general issues (such as language, plot structure, characterization, metaphor and symbolism, etc.) as well as issues specific to the theatrical context (such as theatrical time and space, movement, engagement with an audience, relationship to other theatre practitioners, etc.). The class will involve writing in and out of class, as well as exercises in effective and constructive critique of one another's work.

Prerequisite: 4.0 full credits, including DRE/ENG121H5 and DRE/ENG122H5; permission of instructor. Admission to this limited enrolment course will be determined by the evaluation of a portfolio to be submitted by May 15 for an "F" course, by November 1 for an "S" course. Contact the Department for further information.

Course Title: Exploring Shakespeare in Performance

Course Code: DRE370H5F | Lecture M 1-3 | Tutorials 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) and (DRE122H5 or ENG122H5) and DRE226H5.

Course Title: Topics in Indigenous Performance

Course Code: DRE405H5F | Lecture W 11-1

Instructor: Maria Hupfield

This senior research and creation seminar will explore topics in contemporary Indigenous performance. These topics will vary with faculty research interests; course may cover such matters as intergenerational cross-cultural collaboration, Anishinaabe star and land knowledge, working with culturally-codified objects, contextualizing projects in non-institutional spaces, international inter-indigenous productions, community outreach and Indigenous feminisms and futurisms. The course may include a practical workshop component or a capstone research or performance project.

Prerequisite: 9 credits including (DRE121H5 or ENG121H5) and (DRE122H5 or ENG122H5) and either (DRE200H5 or DRE222H5). Students who do not meet the prerequisite may petition the department in writing for approval to take the course. See the guidelines for written petitions on the department website.

Course Title: Senior Seminar III (Digital Dramaturgies)

Course Code: DRE463H5S | Lecture W 3-5

Instructor: Jacob Gallagher-Ross

A senior research seminar in performance and popular culture. Topic will vary with instructor.

Prerequisite: 9 credits, including (DRE121H5 or ENG121H5) and (DRE122H5 or ENG122H5) and (DRE200H5 or DRE222H5); or permission of the U of T Mississauga program director

Detailed Description by Instructor:
In recent years, digital technologies of reproduction and communication have multiplied exponentially, bringing with them new modes of storytelling, new forms of personal expression, and, indeed, new ways of feeling. The Internet and smartphones allow instantaneous chat across global networks; media communities like YouTube have created venues for amateur performances to reach mass audiences; social media platforms host vicious political debates and provide virtual infrastructure for progressive activists; and the enforced brevity of Facebook status updates, Twitter posts and text messages have created compressed, allusive idioms out of everyday speech. These and other rapid technological and cultural changes have transformed theatre, the oldest of 'old media.' This seminar will explore these changes, examining theatre’s place in a world conditioned by new media and the place of these new media in the theatre. From avatar performances in Second Life, to Twitter plays, to dramatic texts 'written' by algorithms, to computer chatbots restaging debates between Michel Foucault and Noam Chomsky, to YouTube karaoke, to flash mobs, to transmedia performances, to the boundless archives enabled by digital recording — we'll consider the manifold ways that technology can perform. We’ll ask what is considered 'live' theatre in a digital age, and how new media share the stage with more traditional forms of performance.

Method of Instruction: seminar discussion, student presentations, creative projects

Method of Evaluation: short and long paper, creative project, student presentations, seminar participation