This course focuses on theatre and performance history within the period of 1780-1940. In a world of growing Western imperialism/colonialism, changing technology, and increasingly rapid transportation and communication, local and global communities were being organized, represented, performed, and interpreted in new ways. Working with archival materials and contemporary scholarship, we will consider how categories such as nationality, race, and gender, and concepts such as political activism and celebrity shaped the international worlds of theatre and performance. We will question and creatively rethink the inheritances of our contemporary theatre and performance traditions, and consider the role of theatre as a form of social and community engagement.
The course is set up to help students accomplish the following learning goals:
- Gain exposure to varied theatre and performance practices from around the globe between 1780-1940.
- Learn to work with archival sources to understand how historical narratives are produced.
- Develop their ability to think critically about theatre and performance history.
- Draw connections between creative work and critical inquiry, considering specifically the role of theatre and performance history in students’ own work as theatre makers.