E 344L • American Playwrights and American Directors
Throughout the twentieth century, close collaborations between leading American playwrights and groundbreaking American directors have proved vital to the development of a vibrant and unique American drama, from Eugene O'Neills involvement with George Cram Cook and the Provincetown Players to Chuck L. Mees engagements with Anne Bogart and the SITI Company. In this course, we will examine several of the most prominent playwright-director relationships from the early twentieth century to the contemporary age to uncover how these productivethough often tempestuouspartnerships helped shape the course of the American theatre. Key questions to be considered include differences between a writerly and directorial approach to the stage, issues of authority and control in rehearsal and theatrical production, literary versus visual means of storytelling, and the influence of both revisions and rehearsals on the development of a final theatrical product. Through this course of study, we will aim to arrive at a more complete understanding of the writer-director relationship as it has existed in the American theatre of the past century and a better sense of its place and importance within the context of theatre history.
Attendance and Participation, 15%; two short essays (5 pages each), 25%+25%; one eight-page essay, 35%
Eugene O'Neill, Bound East for Cardiff; George S. Kaufman, Dinner at Eight; Thornton Wilder, Our Town; Clifford Odets, Awake and Sing; Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie; Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman; Neil Simon, The Odd Couple; Steven Sondheim, Company; Tony Kushner, Angels in America; August Wilson, Fences; Chuck L. Mee, Bobrauchenbergamerica; Robert Wilson, Einstein on the Beach