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David Birdsong, Chair 201 W 21ST STREET STOP B7600, HRH 2.114A, AUSTIN, TX 78712 • 512-471-5531

Spring 2010

FR 390M • CONTEMPORARY EUROPEAN THEATRE 1975-2010

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
36724 TTh
9:30 AM-11:00 AM
PAR 305
WOLITZ, SETH L

Course Description

In this course we shall explore the key figures in European theater who have marked their name across the continental boards and the newest names that are starting to hold the stage in more than one country in Europe today. This course seeks to underline that European theatre has not only absorbed Beckett but has moved beyond into new areas of theatrical concern. If national theatres continue to exist given the national languages and thespian traditions, at the same time, never was European theatre more integrated in acknowledging neighboring cultural expressions and performing them so that one can state that Europe shares not only the euro but a shared theatrical voice that makes room for the violence of the Anglo-Saxon stage works (Carolyn Churchill, Sarah Kane, Edmond Bond, McDonagh, etc.) and the historical/philosophical German theater (of Weiss, Handke and the contemporary Schmmelpfenning, Dea Loker and Lukas Baerfus), the uncanny Austrian theatre ( Tabori, Berhard, Mitterer, E. Jelenek) the quirky French theatre of post-Beckett, , The latest play of le Théatre du Soleil, Les Ephemeres, [2009], Vinaver, Koltes, Lagarce, Copi, and the very contemporary Py, Piemme, Azama, and Melquiot, etc.)Nor shall we miss the Norwegian Fosse performed on every European stage or his rival Noren from Sweden, Noren, whose political theater breathes fire. We shall also explore the latest Polish theatre and its illustrious directors and theoreticians, surely one of the most creative of the last fifty years ( the visual theatre of Leszak Madzik, Jerzy Kalina, etc) and post-Soviet theater in its new guise. Spanish theatre too has been active both under Franco with Sastre and Buero Vallejo but today with Francisco Nieva and Ignacio Amestroy Eguiguen etc. as well as Fo in Italy. In short, contemporary theatre is well and creative and very involved in interpreting the political, cultural, social and humanistic realities of contemporary Europe. In strong contrast with American theatre, European theatre has never been so open to new theatrical experimentations and is quite open to American productions. Our course should provide the student with a hands-on dominance of contemporary theatre across Europe, its main figures, plays, themes, directors, troupes, theoretical writings on modern drama and the new configurations of various forms of theatrical expression from the official national theatres to the off off Fringe productions, cabaret activities, and the multi-media forms of new troupes.

Grading Policy

Midterm: 30% Class Presentation 30% Paper or Final Exam to be decided 30% Quiz 10%

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