Essays In Theatre University Of Guelph

Description

In my two decades at Guelph, my research has shifted focus from an emphasis on Canadian theatre history and the canons of Canadian drama, to an exploration of a wider field of theatrical practices. In my current SSHRCC-funded research, I look into the history of political intervention theatre in Canada, to understand how theatricality was deployed as an expression of dissent and emergent political power in a culture that has held little regard or interest for  “the theatre” as an art form or entertainment commodity. Labour parades, fraternal society rituals, suffragist mock parliaments, street agitprop, insurgent walking tours: all demonstrate that in Canada, political intervention theatre has traditionally entailed a refusal of theatre as a disciplinary regime and artistic practice. The book out of that research published in Fall 2011, is titled  Committing Theatre:  Theatre Radicalism and Political Intervention in Canada, from Between the Lines Press. The principle that what we understand and teach as “theatre” must be understood as only one cultural organization of the theatrical enables me to look at military reenactment and warplay as a form of distributed theatrical performance that can be brought into the same frame as leftwing agitprop. In addition to my history of political theatre project, I am preparing a critical edition of the 1933 agitprop play Eight Men Speak for the Editing Modernism in Canada series from University of Ottawa Press, scheduled for fall 2012..

In my research I have focused in the main on domains of theatre work that sit outside of the professionalized regime of the theatre economy. I have sought ways to incorporate this work in my teaching. This has led to increasing reference to Performance Studies, in which theatre practice migrates into and through other fields of cultural production. I am finding that as digital technology becomes more accessible, students are refusing the boundaries that have historically separated theatre from film, video, fine art and music.

In my graduate and senior undergraduate courses I have been encouraging students to consider forms of performative research. Performative scholarship is increasingly important in Theatre Studies. There is no fixed definition or model to follow: performative research may involve an actual performance; it may problematize the optics of reception; it may reconstitute the relations of power in discourse. In any case it must be capable of articulating or demonstrating theorization.  My major stipulation in regards to performative research is that for the purposes of academic assessment, there must be some artifact or document that survives the moment of performativity. I make it clear to the students that this does not offer an easy out from essay writing. It requires serious consideration of methodology.

Teaching remains a core commitment for me, and one that I cherish. I take pride in my teaching, and I hold it as a meaningful encounter. Teaching needs to be alive and fully committed to its moment. Like theatre, it requires prepared spontaneity, and I am keenly aware that just about every good idea I have ever had as a scholar came out of a conversation in a classroom. For me the classroom is still a space of discovery. I believe deeply that the classroom is a place of free inquiry, and that we can only teach if we too are learning. 

XII. Course Descriptions

Theatre Studies

School of English and Theatre Studies

NOTES: Admission to the following courses is not guaranteed, and is by audition, submission of a portfolio and/or interview only:

For times and dates of auditions, interviews, or the deadline for applications, students should consult the School.All students applying for entry to these courses must obtain the signature of the Theatre Studies Program advisor or the Director, who will admit students only after consultation with the instructor.

Iterations of some courses may include field trips for which there are supplemental fees.

The Theatre Studies program has a particular interest in the drama and theatre of Canada. Course offerings will reflect this concentration where appropriate.

THST*1040 Introduction to Performance F,W (3-0) [0.50]
This course functions as a foundation for the study of theatre, performance, and media. Students will be introduced to the formative terms and theories of theatre, performance, and media as an academic discipline and to the conceptual and social terms of theatre and media as cultural practices. This course includes attendance at performances.
Department(s):School of English and Theatre Studies
THST*1190 Theatre Workshop I W (3-2) [0.50]
This course provides a fundamental introduction to the processes of theatrical production, with practical application and study of the analytic, creative and technical skills that bring an idea to life on the stage. Students will learn how to analyze a playscript from the perspective of the director, actor, designer and technician and will also be introduced to the fundamentals of theatre technology, scene study and production decision-making.
Co-requisite(s):THST*1040
Department(s):School of English and Theatre Studies
THST*1200 The Languages of Media F (3-2) [0.50]
This introductory course examines film, radio, television, and digital media, focusing on the codes and conventions used by different media to create relationships between structure and content, to make meaning.
Department(s):School of English and Theatre Studies
THST*1270 Theatre Research I W (3-0) [0.50]
This course introduces students to scholarly research and writing in the discipline of Theatre Studies through variable-topic theoretical inquiry and secondary research. Emphasis will be placed the application of theory to analysis, the use of evidence, the development a research question and the practice of scholarly writing.
Restriction(s):THST*1150
Department(s):School of English and Theatre Studies
THST*2050 Devising W (2-3) [0.50]
This course introduces students to the play creation techniques of devising, in which the script is generated collaboratively by the creative team (performers, directors, designers and dramaturges) in the rehearsal process. Students work collaboratively on demonstration exercises including physicalization, visualization, improvisation, and scripting, culminating in rehearsing and performing original material. Significant attention is paid to creative and collaborative problem solving in this studio course.
Prerequisite(s):THST*1040, THST*1190
Restriction(s):THST*2080 Restricted to students in a Theatre Studies specialization.
Department(s):School of English and Theatre Studies
THST*2190 Theatre Workshop II F (3-2) [1.00]
This course is an intensive study of the methods of theatrical production, organized around a creative project. Students will rotate through modules focusing on skill development in the areas of acting, design, costumes, sets, lights, sound, media and stage management. Depending on the scale of the production and the class size, this course may be co-taught with Theatre Workshop III. Students in the course may undertake performance or production roles in a public performance.
Prerequisite(s):THST*1040, THST*1190
Restriction(s):THST*2230 Restricted to students in a Theatre Studies specialization.
Department(s):School of English and Theatre Studies
THST*2270 Theatre Research II W (3-0) [0.50]
This variable content course will introduce students to aspects of the practice of scholarly research in relation to theatre studies. Students will be encouraged to consider resources and materials available to scholars of theatre and be introduced to the conventions of scholarly writing in theatre studies.
Prerequisite(s):THST*1270
Restriction(s):THST*3540, THST*3550, THST*3650, THST*3660 Restricted to students in a Theatre Studies specialization.
Department(s):School of English and Theatre Studies
THST*2450 Approaches to Media Studies W (3-0) [0.50]
This course examines major approaches to the study of communication, including cybernetic, anthropological, semiotic and other perspectives, focusing on how people transmit information and construct meaning.
Offering(s):Offered in even-numbered years.
Prerequisite(s):THST*1200
Department(s):School of English and Theatre Studies
THST*2650 History of Communication F (3-0) [0.50]
This course is organized around several revolutions in communication and technology: the evolution of human language; the development of writing systems and literacy; the invention and spread of printing and typography; and the beginnings of electronic communication and the digital revolution.
Offering(s):Offered in odd-numbered years.
Prerequisite(s):2.00 credits
Department(s):School of English and Theatre Studies
THST*3000 Experiential Learning S,F,W (3-0) [0.50]
Under the supervision of a faculty member, students in this course will be placed in experiential learning situations at the university or in the wider community where they will support a community or academic project. Students will be required to become familiar with the goals and procedures of the project, to frame and articulate learning objectives, and to express in writing their learning outcomes. Depending on the placement, a police record check may be required in order to placed. Please consult with the Theatre Studies website for further information on experiential learning opportunities. https://www.uoguelph.ca/sets/theatre-studies/ba
Prerequisite(s):7.50 credits, including THST*2050, THST*2190
Restriction(s):Restricted to students in a Theatre Studies specialization. Instructor consent required.
Department(s):School of English and Theatre Studies
THST*3010 Experiential Learning S,F,W (3-0) [0.50]
Under the supervision of a faculty member, students in this course will be placed in experiential learning situations at the university or in the wider community where they will support a community or academic project. Students will be required to become familiar with the goals and procedures of the project, to frame and articulate learning objectives, and to express in writing their learning outcomes. Depending on the placement, a police record check may be required in order to placed. Please consult with the Theatre Studies website for further information on experiential learning opportunities. https://www.uoguelph.ca/sets/theatre-studies/ba
Prerequisite(s):7.50 credits, including THST*2050, THST*2190
Restriction(s):Restricted to students in a Theatre Studies specialization. Instructor consent required.
Department(s):School of English and Theatre Studies
THST*3140 Performance and the Past W (3-0) [0.50]
This variable content course focuses on a selected area of theatre history. Students will be encouraged to integrate primary and secondary materials in a presentation of research findings which may take a range of forms including an essay, media or theatrical presentation.
Prerequisite(s):7.50 credits, including THST*1040
Restriction(s):THST*2010
Department(s):School of English and Theatre Studies
THST*3170 Special Topics F (3-0) [0.50]
This course provides students with the opportunity to work intensively in an area of theatre work in a project defined by faculty research. The material and topic will vary but the course will consistently engage with an area of creative practice, such as scenography and design, directing, acting studio or playwriting. This course may be offered as a performance-centered studio, a design studio workshop, or a playwriting seminar, depending on the instructor. Consult the Theatre Studies website for more information on a specific iteration of the course.
Prerequisite(s):7.50 credits, including THST*2270
Restriction(s):THST*3540, THST*3550, THST*3620, THST*3650, THST*3660, THST*3850 Restricted to students in a Theatre Studies specialization.
Department(s):School of English and Theatre Studies
THST*3190 Theatre Workshop III F (3-2) [1.00]
Students in this course will undertake the design, technical production and performance a fully realized theatrical production. All production assignments (cast, technical crews, front of house, dramaturgy, assistant director, assistant designer) will be drawn from students enrolled in the course and in cooperation with senior students enrolled in THST*4500. The course will be taught as a workshop with skill-specific modules, out-of-class rehearsals, and technical training crew calls. Depending on the scale of the production and the class enrolments, this course may be co-taught with THST*2190.
Prerequisite(s):7.50 credits, including THST*2190
Restriction(s):THST*3080, THST*3110, THST*3120, THST*3220, THST*3230 Restricted to students in a Theatre Studies specialization.
Department(s):School of English and Theatre Studies
THST*3260 Shakespeare: Text & Performance S (3-0) [0.50]
The course offers an analysis of a selection of plays by William Shakespeare. In addition to textual analysis, the students will be introduced to the stage history of the plays being considered, with attention to conditions of production. The course normally will include consideration of plays by Shakespeare which are currently in production at the Stratford Festival; students will have the opportunity to see the plays in performance for which an additional fee may be charged. The course is taught as an intensive seminar in conjunction with the Stratford Festival and is offered in Stratford, Ontario.
Prerequisite(s):2.50 credits in Theatre Studies including (1 of THST*2010, THST*3140, 1.00 credits in English)
Department(s):School of English and Theatre Studies
THST*3340 Voice and Text in Performance S (0-6) [0.50]
Within a studio context, students are introduced to techniques of voice, particularly in relation to performing verse. The course is taught as an intensive lab in conjunction with the Stratford Festival and is offered in Stratford, Ontario. The course may involve a lab fee. Admission to the course is by application to the School of English and Theatre Studies. Further information is available from the School.
Prerequisite(s):2.50 credits in Theatre Studies including (1 of THST*3080, THST*3110, THST*3190)
Co-requisite(s):THST*3260
Restriction(s):Instructor consent required.
Department(s):School of English and Theatre Studies
THST*3500 Performance Praxis I W (3-2) [0.50]
Students will collaborate in the exploration of theory and creative practice in a project-based course. The projects may be theatrical or media-based, or an integration of both depending on the iteration of the course. Please consult the Theatre Studies website for more information.
Prerequisite(s):THST*2050, THST*2270
Restriction(s):THST*3430, THST*3460, THST*3480, THST*3550, THST*3700 Restricted to students in a Theatre Studies major or minor.
Department(s):School of English and Theatre Studies
THST*3530 Canadian Cinema F (2-3) [0.50]
This course is designed to give the student knowledge and understanding of Canadian film and film makers.
Offering(s):Offered in even-numbered years.
Prerequisite(s):7.50 credits
Department(s):School of English and Theatre Studies
THST*3600 Directed Readings U (3-0) [0.50]
This course provides Independent study opportunities based upon bibliographies established in consultation with the instructor. An essay will normally constitute the written requirement for the course. Tutoring and/or consultation will be arranged, depending on the topic or materials for study. Projects for this course are subject to the approval of the School, and must be submitted to the Director, on forms provided by the School, no later than the last day of classes in the semester prior to enrolment in the course.
Prerequisite(s):3.00 credits in Theatre Studies including [(THST*2010, THST*2230) or (THST*3140, THST*2190)], (1 of THST*2050, THST*2080, THST*2120, THST*2240)
Restriction(s):Instructor consent required.
Department(s):School of English and Theatre Studies
THST*3950 Drama in London U (2-4) [0.50]
A course designed for students taking the London Semester consisting of a study of theatre events in London, through attending performances, reading texts and meeting for weekly seminars.
Equate(s):DRMA*3950
Restriction(s):Permission of the Co-ordinator of the London Semester.
Department(s):School of English and Theatre Studies
THST*4240 Theatrical Organization and Culture F (3-0) [0.50]
This course studies various models of theatrical organization such as social context, theatrical funding, board and management structures, and artistic mandates together with their implications for theatrical production and interpretation.
Prerequisite(s):10.00 credits including 1.00 credits in Theatre Studies.
Restriction(s):THST*3240
Department(s):School of English and Theatre Studies
THST*4270 Research Seminar I F (3-0) [0.50]
This course is a research seminar in selected topics in media, theatre and performance. The course features variable content. Please consult the Theatre Studies website for more information.
Prerequisite(s):10.00 credits, including (1 of THST*2270, THST*3420, THST*3550, THST*3650, THST*3660)
Restriction(s):THST*4320, Restricted to students in a Theatre Studies specialization, with an average of 70% in the specialization.
Department(s):School of English and Theatre Studies
THST*4280 Ensemble Project W (6-9) [1.00]
Students will engage throughout the semester with the processes of forming a theatre company, theorizing its organizational structure, exploring fundraising and publicity exercises, casting, designing, dramaturging, directing, and mounting a production, and engaging in post-production analysis that assesses the social and theatrical impact of the decisions taken and procedures employed.
Prerequisite(s):[THST*2010, THST*2230, (2 of THST*2080, THST*2120, THST*2240), THST*3550, THST*3850, (THST*3650 or THST*3660)] or (THST*2190, THST*2120, THST*3140, THST*3170, THST*3500)
Restriction(s):Restricted to majors in Theatre Studies who have completed a minimum of 14.00 credits with 70% cumulative average in Theatre Studies.
Department(s):School of English and Theatre Studies
THST*4290 Research Seminar II W (3-0) [0.50]
This is an advanced research seminar in selected topics in media, theatre and performance. The course features variable content. Please consult the Theatre Studies website for more information.
Prerequisite(s):10.00 credits, including THST*4270
Restriction(s):THST*4330, Restricted to students in a Theatre Studies specialization with an average of 70% in the specialization.
Department(s):School of English and Theatre Studies
THST*4500 Performance Praxis II W (3-2) [1.00]
This course provides students with applied leadership roles in capacities such as stage managers, assistant directors, assistant designers or dramaturges and leads to a culminating public production. Students will also study the functions of these roles in production and performance. Admission is by application to the School. Refer to the Theatre Studies website for more information.
Prerequisite(s):THST*3500
Restriction(s):THST*3410, THST*3420, THST*4250 Restricted to students in a Theatre Studies major or minor. Instructor consent required.
Department(s):School of English and Theatre Studies

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