This course is a focused investigation of the contemporary American theater, and an exploration of the role students might play in its future as artists and audiences. We will read published and unpublished plays, familiarize ourselves with the country's most important companies, festivals, and institutions, and discuss issues facing the American theater now. We will also explore the artistic experiments (performance in online spaces, promenade theater, audio drama, and more) taken up and extended in the face of COVID-19 restrictions and undertake some experiments of our own. We'll listen to artists who have chronicled inequities in the American theater and consider paths forward. Artists whose works will be studied may include Mimi Lien, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Dominique Morisseau, Annie Baker, Sylvan Oswald, and Quiara Alegría Hudes. Students will attend contemporary performance locally. A small lab fee will apply; the Performing Arts department is committed to assisting students for whom this fee is financially burdensome. Students will also enjoy class visits from artists working in theater, dance, and performance today.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU Hum; AS HUM; FA HUM; AR HUM; FA CPSC