E s379M • Shakespeare in Performance (OXFORD)
Restricted to Participants in the Oxford Summer Program
This course offers the dual exploratory opportunities of reading the texts and seeing them come alive in performance. Both are experiences in interpretation. Our class discussions will focus on how the play text offers suggestions for interpretations of character, action, and meaning. The performances we see will broaden that pursuit, reveal a variety of approaches, and perhaps invite re-reading and re-imagining.
This is indeed a special summer Shakespeare and the UT Oxford program. We have the opportunity to be part of an historical celebration in Stratford. The Royal Shakespeare Festival in Stratford will host performances of all 37 plays, the sonnets, and the long poems. The Complete Works! Companies from around the world will perform in a variety of venues, not only on the main stage and the Swan, but also in the riverside park, in a pub courtyard, and in Holy Trinity Church. Shakespearean Olympics! Please see www.rsc.org.uk/news and events/10_2146.asp for more.
Of course, we'll see only four plays there (sigh!) but we will be witness to a grand enterprise, rub elbows with people from everywhere, maybe do our own scene on a bank of Avon and perhaps sneak back on a "free" weekend to see more.
The texts we read will be determined by the five plays we will be seeing in Stratford and at the Globe in London. At Stratford, we'll see Much Ado about Nothing, Henry IV, Part 1, Julius Caesar, and The Tempest (with Patrick Stewart as Prospero): all four genres, comedy, history, tragedy, and romance.
We will also see a fifth play at the New Globe in Southwark, London, a reconstruction of the stage for which Shakespeare wrote his plays and, if I can manage it, do a workshop in staging with you in that wonderful bare space.I hope that you will read the texts (Oxford Editions, of course) and begin your (required) Journal of comments and questions in anticipation of your journey.
Brief one-page "position" papers 20%
Group report 20%
Class discussion 20%