E 379M • 4-Shakespeare Thru Performance
3:30 PM-5:00 PM
This course explores Shakespeare's plays through performance. We will spend every class period looking in detail at Shakespeare's texts, at the interpretive challenges they present, and at the way performance choices contribute to their meaning. We will consider the original circumstances of their performance, their subsequent history on stage and film, and the critical controversies they have occasioned. Above all we will explore them in action, through our own creative work, both in the classroom and in the theatre barn at Winedale. The course is designed for students with an interest in Shakespeare and a willingness to perform in front of others. Previous experience with acting is not necessary. The course will cover a selection of Shakespeare's plays (about eight in all), and will culminate in a performance of one of them at Winedale. We will also incorporate readings from other Shakespearean texts and criticism. This class will require you to spend three weekends at The University of Texas Winedale Historical Center: Fri-Sun, Feb 28-Mar 1, Fri-Sun, Mar 27-29, and Thursday-Sunday, April 30-May 3. We will also plan a one-day visit on Sunday, April 26. It will be necessary for you to miss all other UT classes on Friday May 1; make sure this won't be a problem before you register. These sessions at Winedale are required; they are the most important part of the course. During these weekends, you will be working very long hours on the play, from early morning to late at night. You should be prepared for this commitment before you register. The course concludes with public performances of the plays on May 1 and 2, at 7 pm. Seating is limited; tell your family and friends to make reservations early.
Attendance and active participation are required, and are the most important parts of the course. Performance--both reading from a text and with lines memorized--will be a daily activity. The course will test every aspect of the student's interaction with Shakespeare, demanding close critical reading, discussion and written analysis, and rigorous, creative exploration of the text in performance. Attendance/participation 30% Papers 25% In-class performance work 25% Final project 20%