The English word “theory” comes from the Greek “theoria,” meaning contemplation, speculation, or sight. It is related to the word “theatron,” or place for viewing – the theater. Theater and theory are kin.
Section 1: Performance Theory
Tues. Sept. 15: What is Performance?
Richard Schechner, selection from Performance Studies: An Introduction
A little Karl Marx and Maurya Wickstrom on the Lion King
Thurs. Sept. 17: Play, Ritual, Theatre
Schechner, Performance Studies, chapters "Ritual" and "Play"
Tues. Sept. 22: Performance as/in Culture: The Cockfight
Clifford Geertz, selection from The Interpretation of Cultures
John Emigh, selection from The Cambridge Companion to Performance Studies
Thurs. Sept. 24: Counter-Mimicry, or Performance Across Cultures
Wole Soyinka, Death and the King’s Horseman
Tues. Sept. 29: Performance and Social Memory 1
Paul Connerton, How Societies Remember, pages 1-40
Thurs. Oct. 1: Performance and Social Memory 2
Paul Connerton, How Societies Remember, pages 41-104.
Tues. Oct. 6: Intro to Theatre Anthropology, Performance Archaeology
Eugenio Barba, Dictionary of Theatre Anthropology, selections
Grad Students also read: Pearson and Shanks, Theatre/Archaeology, selections
GROUP ONE TO PERFORM
Suzan-Lori Parks The America Play, and the musical Hamilton
Tues. Oct. 13: Physical Theatre and the Natyasastra
A guest lecture and workshop by Dr. Royona Mitra
Selection from the Natyasatra and more tba
PAPER ONE DUE
Section 2: Prehistoric to Ancient
Thurs. Oct. 15: Prehistory, Performance, and “Origin Rituals”
The Herzog film Cave of Forgotten Dreams, a forgotten 1959 theatre textbook,
Tues. Oct. 20: Ancient Africa/Ancient Mediterranean
Ronald J. Leprohon, "Ritual Drama in Ancient Egypt."
Inge Nielsen, Cultic Theatre and Ritual Drama
The Triumph of Horus
GROUP TWO TO PERFORM
Thurs. Oct. 22: The Theatre of Dionysus
Euripides, The Bakkhai
David Wiles, Greek Theater Performance, chapters 1 and 2.
(Be sure to note the assignment )
Wiles, chapters 3 and 4, and Sue-Ellen Case on "Classic Drag"
GROUP THREE TO PERFORM
Thurs. Oct. 29: Plato and Aristotle on Mimesis
Plato, The Republic: Books 7 and 10.
Aristotle, The Poetics of Aristotle
Wiles, chapter 5.
Section 3: India and Africa
Also selections from Knowledge Tradition Text: Approaches to Bharata’s Natyasastra
Margaret Thompson Drewal, Yoruba Ritual
Wole Soyinka, "The Fourth Stage"
David Kerr, African Popular Theatre,
Guenther, Trickers and Trancers
PAPER TWO DUE
Section 4: Rome to Medieval Europe and the "New" World
Tues. Nov. 17: Roman Empire
A. M. Nagler, Sourcebook in Theatrical History
Odai Johnson, "Unspeakable Histories: Terror, Spectacle, and Genocidal Memory"
Plautus comedy, The Captives
Saint Augustine and Tertullian, Quem Quertis and Hrosvit
GROUP FIVE TO PERFORM
A Christmas Mumming, The Play of St. George
Mikail Bakhtin, "On Popular Festive Forms"in Rabelais and His World
Tues. Dec. 3: Corpus Christi and the Inka
Carolyn Dean, Inka Bodies and the Body of Christ
Moltolina, History of the Indians of New Spain
Grads: Leo Cabranes Grant, "From Scenarios to Networks"
December 8: Old World New World "Visions"
Grads, "This Thing of Darkness I Acknowledge Mine"