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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Summer 2004

E s379M • Shakespeare in Performance

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
84060 F


Course Description

Shakespeare’s plays were written to entertain a wide audience, from the groundlings who stood in the pit for the price of a pint to the aristocrats who occupied (uncomfortable) seats in the galleries. This summer he will entertain us. We will read and attend performances of five plays at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-on-Avon, at the Globe Theatre in London, and possibly also at the National Theater. We don’t yet know exactly which plays will be on, but we have heard that we will be treated to some of the major tragedies. In the Globe Theatre we will experience the plays in an “authentic” reconstruction of Shakespeare’s own playhouse, probably with an all-male cast wearing Elizabethan undergarments. This experience should stimulate our discussion of the relation of the theatrical text to its historical and physical context. In Stratford, on the other hand, we may see Hamlet in Victorian or modern dress, which will lead us to consider the perennial modernity of Shakespeare’s scripts for performance. If we are lucky, we will meet with some leading actors and directors, who will help us to understand the kinds of theatrical choices that shape a particular production. Finally, we will visit the major sites in Stratford: Shakespeare’s birthplace, his wife Ann Hathaway’s cottage, and Holy Trinity Church where he was christened and buried.

Grading Policy

Two-page paper on every play studied, 50%
Quiz on every play, 25%
Short (4-page) final project, 25%
Borderline grades decided by attendance and participation.


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