EN207: Theater History

Early Western Theater in Context

EN207: Theater History

Study Guide: Spanish Renaissance, English Renaissance, Restoration

April 27th, 2014 · Comments Off on Study Guide: Spanish Renaissance, English Renaissance, Restoration · Announcements

Check out the study guide for the final exam, here! Remember that there will be questions about the plays we’ve read, also.


Need help with MLA formatting and quoting?

February 3rd, 2014 · No Comments · Assignments

Be sure to format your paper correctly, and cite everything you draw on–whether you’re paraphrasing or quoting directly! You can visit the CTL in Rowley for help, and you can also take a look at some of these materials I’ve provided.


Reading Journal

January 16th, 2014 · No Comments · Assignments

This term, I’m asking you to write in a reading journal each week, about 2 handwritten pages or so. This is an informal writing assignment. Your reading journal is a place where you can meditate on or vent about anything you read for this class; this is your space, and you can write as you please. Drawings are okay, prose is okay, stream of consciousness is okay, more organized reflections are okay–this is your space. You might use it as a place to write about your general sense of the play’s purpose, a synthesis of the week’s lecture and discussion, your personal response to the play, any difficulties the plays or other readings present, things you really enjoyed or wonder about–anything at all.

I will collect them periodically for grading, but I will NOT grade on content or style–only on whether all the entries are present and you seem to have put some real thought and effort into them. I hope that they’ll be a place for starting conversations, maybe even essay ideas or tools to help you make sense of the readings. Have fun!


Essay Assignments

January 16th, 2014 · No Comments · Assignments

This term, you’ll compose a series of four 3-page essays in lieu of two longer essays. In each essay, your goal is to provide an overview of the period’s theater through the lens of one of the plays we’ve read. I ask you to:

  1. Provide a succinct overview of the period’s theater, and
  2. Show how one of the plays from that period intersects with, dramatizes, or otherwise can shed light on the theatrical practices or spaces of the day.
  3. Throughout, you should draw on course materials and key quotes or images, all cited appropriately, as illustration.
  4. Use MLA formatting for your papers (2-spaced, 1” margin, header, title, page numbers, additional works cited page).

You may draw on secondary readings assigned in class to help you, but there should be no “outside” research. Your goal in each is to be focused and accurate in your overview of theater history, as well as relevant and specific in your use of illustrations from the plays. I am looking for clear, concise writing that accurately depicts your subject.


Reminder for tomorrow!

April 21st, 2014 · Comments Off on Reminder for tomorrow! · Announcements

Remember that we’ll be meeting at our regular time tomorrow, Tuesday April 22, on which date your 1-page response is due and we’ll continue our discussion of Wycherley! Here’s the relevant bit from the schedule:

April 17-21: Easter holiday. Write a 1-page response, drawing on the Nagler excerpts above and/or “12. The Ladies in Masks,” “13. Impromptu Comedy in the Galleries,” and “14. Vizard-masks” (have read all the Nagler excerpts for next class!) describing what you think it would be like to attend a Restoration-era play.

Tuesday, April 22, Monday Classes Meet: The Country Wife. 1-page response due.
Wednesday, April 23: Extra Credit opportunity. Attend the Bisson Lecture in the Humanities, with Dr. Peter Donaldson, at 5:00 in the Dining Hall (zones 1 & 2). Write a 1-page response about something you found interesting about his talk. Turn this in on Thursday.


Thursday, April 10 Reminder

April 7th, 2014 · No Comments · Announcements

We’re entering the homestretch! Remember that Essay 3 is due on Thursday–you can write about either English Renaissance theater or Spanish Renaissance theater, but also remember the goals of the assignment–to give a succinct overview of the period’s theater history and illustrate some portion of it with a concrete example from the text. Keep in mind that if you write about Fuenteovejuna, you’ll be writing about Spanish Renaissance (Golden Age) theater, and if you write about The Tempest, that’s English Renaissance. If you think you can accurately cross-pollinate, then feel free to do so!

Here’s the rest of the homework for Thursday, April 10: Essay 3 due. Introduction to Restoration & 18th-century theater. Re-read pages 202-219 in Thomson essay, which is specific to the Restoration stage. Journal 11.


Midterm Exam

March 3rd, 2014 · No Comments · Announcements

I have made two study guides, based on the material in the Oxford Illustrated History of Theatre, that may help as you study for your midterm; they were to have been distributed in class today, but that didn’t turn out as I’d planned! The Farce of Master Pierre Pathelin will be considered material that may possibly appear as extra credit, since we will not have gone over it.

Study Guide: Ancient Greek Theater
Study Guide: Early Roman and Medieval Theater

Remember that the midterm will take place on Thursday; it will include a matching and a short answer section. Happy snow day!


Extra Credit Opportunity

January 23rd, 2014 · No Comments · Announcements

I will award a notable amount of extra credit (½ a letter grade higher on one exam–it will therefore be possible to get over 100%) to students who work together to create an informational exhibit on some aspect of theater history for the Shakespeare Initiative this term! Your work must be professional and polished, but you can craft an informational exhibit on any topic relevant to theater history as covered in this class. For instance, if you are in interior design, you  might make a model of historical theater type; if you are in fashion and design, you might create a costuming or a setting poster; if you are good with technology, you might create a website or a video; and so forth (it has to stand alone, though; this means, no powerpoints!). Use your imagination, and come discuss it with me!

Each group (ideally) should have between 2 and 4 students in it, but if you have an idea and want more or fewer, come talk. See me for more information. If you are planning to do this, SEND ME AN EMAIL DETAILING YOUR GROUP MEMBERS AND YOUR IDEA BY THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27.


Homework Reminder for Thursday

January 21st, 2014 · No Comments · Announcements

Happy snow day! This means, of course, that you can spend more time reading, watching, and thinking about Oedipus Tyrannus, right? For Thursday, remember that everyone should have completely read the facing English/Greek version (English only, clearly!) of the play by Sophocles, available here. I strongly suggest that you print it out–do so with two pages per sheet and double-sided, which will save on printing. As we saw last class, it is much easier to have a discussion if everyone has the text in front of them to refer to. 

Second, remember to watch the 1957 version of Oedipus Rex (that is the Latin translation of the title from the Greek), directed by Sir Tyrone Guthrie. This is a very famous version of the play, but it will likely seem very strange to you–keep in mind what we learned about the material practices (how people actually encountered it) of ancient Greek theater, which will help. Also note that this is, of course, a translation–so it will naturally be slightly different in language from the text you read.

Finally, don’t forget to complete your second Journal entry–this should be, as we discussed, in a separate reading journal.

And once all that’s done, go sledding!