Syllabus 1

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SYLLABUS
THE 4330 (3 credits)
SHAKESPEARE FOR THE THEATRE
WEB BASED COURSE
ANY TIME ANY PLACE
THIS COURSE HAS GENERAL EDUCATION COUNCIL APPROVAL AS
FULFILLING EXIT AND GORDON RULE REQUIREMENTS.
15 WEEKS
INSTRUCTOR:
Dr. Denis Calandra
THR 247 (TAMPA CAMPUS)
[email protected]
PREREQUISITES: None for non-majors. Script Analysis for majors.
OFFICE HOURS: BY ARRANGEMENT.
COURSE RATIONALE:
In this course we will carefully study four Shakespeare plays: Much Ado About Nothing;
Macbeth; Hamlet; Twelfth Night. The intention is to introduce you to the technical and
artistic means used by Shakespeare to achieve his extraordinary dramatic effects, and to
create his unforgettable characters. In addition, we will explore the themes and ideas
expressed in the plays within their historical contexts.
Shakespeare wrote for performance, and was himself an actor. We will explore the plays
as blueprints for performance. A central feature of the course will be streamed video of a
series of professional rehearsals of key Shakespeare scenes. These were produced by Dr.
Calandra expressly for this course.
For the purpose of comparative analysis we will also view short excerpts from filmed
productions.
Students will be offered the tools to inquire into the process of making the plays come to
life in performance and to inquire into the complex ideas expressed in the plays. Students
will write increasingly sophisticated critical analyses of plays, rehearsal processes,
performances, and in small groups they will discuss K. Branagh’s HAMLET DVD.
Using web and USF Virtual Library resources in addition to several of the essays
published in your texts, we will consider Shakespeare as a cultural and historical
phenomenon.
COURSE TOPICS will include:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Generation of texts.
Shakespeare’s social and historical conditions.
Original practices of Shakespearean theatre.
Relationship of theatre practice to understanding Shakespeare.
Multiplicity of approaches to interpretation, expression, performance.
Cultural markers in performance in different eras.
Significance of choice in theatre practice as it affects meaning: age of actors,
gender of actors, ethnicity of actors.
8. Performance space, setting, media as these affect meaning: stage, film, TV.
9. All topics are tied to the underlying basic questions of how and why
Shakespeare’s astonishing characters and dramatic effects remain nearly
universally appealing.
COURSE OBJECTIVES: to help students:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
learn to read Shakespeare texts with fluency and understanding.
learn to analyze texts creatively in order to speculate on meaningful choices for
actors, directors, designers.
learn to research original theatrical practices of Shakespeare’s day as a means of
understanding texts and making refined speculations about how to ‘embody’ the
plays in performance.
learn to articulate judgments about choices made in different media by
professional actors, directors, designers.
learn to use research tools relevant to Shakespeare’s plays and to their
contemporary relevance.
learn to express ideas about character, theme, and historical/contemporary
relevance through critical essays and/or portfolios and performance.
learn to inquire collaboratively about Shakespeare performance.
WRITING COMPONENT (GORDON RULE). To be submitted in WORD or WORD
compatible.
a. Students are expected to complete three formal 1000 word critical analyses of
plays/scenes. Very specific questions will be set. Complete analyses may be resubmitted within one week of receiving graders’ comments. MLA or other
ACADEMIC style is required. Quotes from plays must give Act, Scene, line
numbers within the analysis text. Outside references require footnotes or
endnotes.
b. Students will write three sets of RESPONSES to specific questions about James
Shapiro’s A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE:1599.
c. Students will write three sets of RESPONSES to specific questions about
streamed professional rehearsals.
NOTE: Though less formal than the critical analyses, these RESPONSES require
attention to proper spelling and grammar.
BOOKS/RESOURCES:
1. Most recent Signet paperback editions of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING;
MACBETH; HAMLET; TWELFTH NIGHT .
2. Short scholarly essays in the Signet volumes.
3. Selections from paperback: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599,
James Shapiro (Harper Collins, 2005).
4. Web sites as posted on Blackboard.
5. Streamed professional rehearsals, interviews, workshops.
6. Streamed excerpts from professional productions.
7. Commercial DVD (rented or purchased) Kenneth Branagh’s HAMLET.
GRADING:
(FULL ASSIGNMENT DETAILS AND CALENDAR ON BLACKBOARD SITE.)
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Critical analyses (1000words):
3 @ 10 points =
Shapiro RESPONSES (51 questions): [email protected] 6 points =
Rehearsal RESPONSES:
[email protected] 6 points =
HAMLET discussion (10 days):
[email protected] 20 points =
Final =
30 points.
18 points.
18 points
20 points.
14 points.
PLAGIARISM RESULTS IN FAILURE.
PERMISSIONS: students are not permitted to tape, copy, or sell course materials in any
form.
ATTENDANCE: participation required.
MISSED WORK POLICY: no late work. Each complete effort at a critical analysis may
be revised for an improved grade within one week. Dates and revision assignments will
be posted in a timely manner.
RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCE: students who need extensions or other consideration for
religious reasons must inform instructor by the second week of class.
DISABILITY: this course complies with USF’s policy on accommodation.
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