Approved by Faculty Senate

 

University Studies Course Approval Form

Department: Theatre and Dance

Course Number: 119

Semester Hours: 3

Frequency of Offering: 1/year; one section of 30 students

Course Title: Play Reading

Catalog Description: Study and applications of analytical methods to modern theatrical styles; introduction to relationships between designers, directors; and performers, and to research methods and library resources in theatre. Concurrent registration in THAD 090 required of THAD majors and minors unless excused by the department. Offered yearly.

This is an existing course that has previously been approved by A2C2.

Department Contact Person: David Bratt dbratt@winona.edu

This course is submitted to satisfy the requirements in Arts and Sciences Core: Humanities

Syllabus Listing of Course Objectives / Outcomes: bullet bullet bullet• to give students practice in using analytical techniques by learning how to take apart various kinds of playscripts to discover how they communicate;

• to give students practice in synthesizing by reassembling the analyzed playscripts in order to discover the sources of their unity;

• to acquaint students with the major types of playscripts and the parts of plays;

• to introduce students to library resources available to help them discover playscripts and information about them.

The University Studies Program specifies that Humanities courses must include requirements and learning activities that promote students' abilities to: bullet bullet bulleta. identify and understand specific elements and assumptions of a particular Humanities discipline

Assignments introduce students to various features of dramatic literature and assumptions of those who study it. These include the persistence of ‘human nature’ through time and across cultures; the inductive and indirect nature of the communication between author and audience; the active, constructive role of the viewer in the creation of meaning; and the uniqueness of the world created by each playscript. Students also become acquainted with research resources used in theatre studies.

b. understand how historical context, cultural values, and gender influence perceptions and interpretations

As students analyze plays from a variety of historical periods, they are explicitly and repeatedly enjoined to support their conclusions with data from the playscript, not simply from their own preferences and prejudgments and to explore the way in which the significance of a word or incident may shift when moving betweeb its native culture to the student’s own. In addition, when students do their analytical work in groups composed of both men and women, they are further exposed to some of the effects of gender upon interpretations and perceptions.

c. understand the role of critical analysis (e.g. aesthetic, historical, literary, philosophical, rhetorical) in interpreting and evaluating expressions of human experience

The course’s primary purpose is to give students practice in using analytical tools common to the literary/aesthetic approaches known as New Criticism and Audience-Oriented (Reader-Response) Criticism.

THAD 119—PLAY READING

Fall 2000

David Bratt

PAC 206 (X5241 or 5230) e mail: dbratt@winona.edu

Office Hours: 10-11 daily; or by appointment (sign up on office door)

 

UNIVERSITY STUDIES: This course satisfies the Humanities requirement in the Arts and Sciences Core of WSU’s University Studies program. It includes requirements and learning activities that promote students' abilities to: bullet bullet bulleta. identify and understand specific elements and assumptions of a particular Humanities discipline;

b. understand how historical context, cultural values, and gender influence perceptions and interpretations; and

c. understand the role of critical analysis (e.g. aesthetic, historical, literary, philosophical, rhetorical) in interpreting and evaluating expressions of human experience.

The activities and assignments that most specifically address these Humanities Requirements will be identified in the syllabus by letter, thus: (A), (B), (C).

COURSE OBJECTIVES: bullet bullet bullet• to give students practice in using analytical techniques by learning how to take apart various kinds of playscripts to discover how they communicate; (B, C)

• to give students practice in synthesizing by reassembling the analyzed playscripts in order to discover the sources of their unity; (A, C)

• to acquaint students with the major types of playscripts and the parts of plays; (A, B)

• to introduce students to library resources available to help them discover playscripts and information about them. (A)

TEXTBOOKS: bullet bulletCerf and Cartmell, eds., 24 Favorite One-Act Plays

Moliere, Tartuffe and Other Plays

Ibsen, 4 Major Plays

Halline, ed., Six Modern American Plays

Also purchase from THAD Dept office, PAC 215: Grote, Script Analysis and Bratt, Analyzing and Synthesizing Playscripts for Production. You will need a three-ring binder for these texts.

ASSIGNMENTS: You should plan on spending an average of eight hours out of class each week on this course. You will be responsible for: bullet bullet bullet• class attendance

• participation in group work and discussions

• play and textbook readings and assignment sheet

• attendance at the two THAD Main Season productions during the semester.

• bibliography assignment and 'treasure hunt'

• group play analysis oral presentation and paper about a one-act play in the textbook

• journal entries (if you are a theatre major)

• midterm and final exams

GRADING: bullet bullet bullet• 20% group members' assessment of your work in the group

• 10% "treasure hunt"

• 45% exams (half midterm and half final)

• 25% group work on play (both oral presentation and written paper).

After computing a grade from these elements, I may raise or lower your final course grade as much as 15% for excessive absences or to reflect my assessment of the quality of your assignment sheets (including the bibliography assignment), class participation, and journals.

ATTENDANCE: You are allowed three skips without penalty but will be held responsible for everything covered in class. Class participation may be an important factor in computing your final grade.

LATE WORK: Work submitted late will have its grade lowered one full letter grade for each day it is late. Work not submitted by the beginning of the exam hour will result in an E for the course. Incompletes will be given only for reasons beyond the control of the student.

EXAMS: midterm and final; both objective in nature; both approximately one hour. Includes take-home essays. bulletPRODUCTION CREW (or "LAB") REQUIREMENTS:
bulletIf you are:
bulletand if you are: bulletthen you have this Main Season** crew responsibility during the semester: bulletA THAD major or minor student* bulleta member of the cast of a Main Season production

enrolled in a THAD course that counts in your THAD major or minor

both enrolled in a THAD course that counts in your THAD major or minor and a member of the cast of a Main Season production

bullet5 crew hours plus strike

5 crew hours

5 crew hours plus strike

bulletA non-THAD major or minor student* bulleta member of the cast of a Main Season production bullet5 crew hours plus strike bullet bullet* The phrase "THAD major or minor" refers to the theatre major and minor, the dance minor, and the Speech/Theatre Arts teaching major and minor.

** The phrase "Main Season" refers to the 4-5 annual productions on which THAD faculty have major artistic assignments.

These crew responsibilities will normally be in addition to any production work you are doing as a paid crew head or a paid shop assistant. If you are enrolled in THAD 291-R&P, these crew responsibilities are also in addition to production work you do to fulfill the requirements of R&P.

These crew responsibilities will be cancelled if you are doing or have done non-291-R&P production work during the semester as an unpaid crew head on a Main Season production.

Students who do not fulfill their crew responsibility as a Main Season cast member will not be cast in another Main Season production for twelve months. Students who do not fulfill their crew responsibility as a student in a THAD course will have their final course grade lowered in accordance with the syllabus for the course.

This policy will be administered by your course instructor or the THAD faculty Production Manager.

PLAY ANALYSIS GROUP PROJECT (A, B, C)

On the date indicated in the syllabus, submit to the instructor a list of 2-3 plays which you would like to work on and one you would prefer not to work on. The plays should be chosen from #1, 2, 5, 8, 12, 17, and 22 in the one-act textbook. Also complete the following statement: "I intend to do work which will earn me a grade of ___ on this assignment." Be honest: don't say "A" unless you're really willing to put out the effort; don't say "C" out of false modesty. In addition, write "early" or "late" if you have a preference about when your group gives its oral report.

Working with your group, do an analysis of the play you have been assigned by the instructor. Your group will report the results of this analysis both in an in-class report (consisting of oral and written elements) and in written form to the instructor.

The quality of your group's in-class report will be evaluated both by the instructor and by the rest of the listeners. The quality of the written analysis will be evaluated by the instructor. Everyone in the group will receive the same grade.

The written analysis will consist of the following elements (references in parentheses tell you where to go to get descriptions of the elements, either in the textbook or in class lectures):

Element

Format

Points

a. Confusing moments, moments of emotional involvement, and generalized questions. These are to be compiled immediately after your first reading of the play (Bratt pp. 8-10). List bullet4
b. Action chart (Bratt pp. 20-26). Chart bullet9 c. Description of the setting for all offstage and onstage events (Bratt pp. 38-42). List bullet4 d. Character actions (S-R Charts) for the three major characters in the play (Bratt pp. 63-76 ff.). Charts bullet13 e. Analysis of a 5-page scene (provide a photocopy) which indicates one major character's Objectives/Stragegies, Intentions/Tactics, and Beats in that passage (Grote pp. 92-100 and lectures). In a column alongside the dialogue, comment about the progression of the character’s intentions and beats. Chart or table bullet13 f. Detailed statement of the Goal of three major characters (Grote pp. 83-86), including assessments of their will/moral stance (lectures) and thoughts about other Goals which you considered but discarded. Essay bullet13 g. Detailed analysis, with examples, of three main characters' patterns (Grote pp. 131-33 and handouts). Essay bullet18 h. Chart of the play's dramaturgy (Grote pp. 161-68). Chart bullet13 i. Discussion of the play's ideas and themes (lectures). Essay bullet4 j. Quality of the paper's writing. bullet9 bullet bulletImportant note: sections ‘a’ through ‘i’ should each conclude with detailed summary statements which make clear what you learned about the playscript, its characters, themes, or action as a result of doing the analysis reported in that section. These statements should begin, "As a result of doing this section, we have learned the following about the script: . . ."

5. The in-class presentation of the group’s analysis should involve as many of the above elements as possible, presented as effectively as possible, either orally or in handouts or both. In addition, it may also include other information, such as the presentation of a scene illustrating alternative interpretations, alternative designs representing various interpretations, etc. This presentation should take 25-35 minutes and should involve all the members of the group equally. The audience’s responses to the presentation may guide the group in revising its material for final written submission to the instructor.

6. All written materials should conform to the instructor's expectations concerning writing quality.

COURSE JOURNAL

If you are a theatre major, you are required to keep a journal and hand it in to your instructor at least twice during the semester. The entries for this journal are to be typed or word-processed (although sketches or drawings may be done in pencil).

If you type, use paper that is 3-hole punched and clean-edged; store and transport the entries in a 3-ring binder. If you keep your entries on a computer disk, submit printed copies to the instructor.

These journal entries may be 'first-draft' quality: spelling and punctuation are not important issues. bullet bullet bullet bulletAfter the course is over, save this journal: you will need its entries to help you do work in the THAD 495-Senior Seminar course.

Each entry should consist of two parts: bullet bullet(a) a brief log of your activities in the course since your previous entry; and

(b) more extended writing about one of the following topics (your instructor may specify which of these you should concentrate on): bullet• your reactions to others' evaluations of your work. For instance bullet1. what points did they make?

2. did you agree or disagree? why?

3. what specifically will you do as a result of their feedback to you?

• your thoughts about the process by which you are completing a project in the course. Use the following items as a guide: bullet bullet1. comment about your progress through various steps or stages of the process: where are you getting ideas? how are you exploring the subject? what problems are you encountering? how are you addressing these problems?

2. what are the strengths of your work? have others pointed these strengths out to you? do you believe them? are they strengths that you yourself recognized?

3. what is there about the work you are doing that you are still uneasy with?

4. what makes your most effective pieces of work (as a performer, designer, or technician) different from your less effective pieces?

• your thoughts now about a journal entry you made earlier in the semester

• your reactions to a comment your instructor made about your journal entries

• your perception about connections between your work in this course and material in a course or courses you have taken

• your perception of connections between your work in this course and experiences you've had outside your college coursework

• your perception about connections between this course and the work you hope to do after you graduate

Date Activity Assignment
8/28 Intro; groups; terms; bibliography assignment Read Doll House, Tartuffe, Oedipus by 9/1
8/30 Discuss Ch 1-2 (Bratt) (B) Submit one-act play choices; read Ch 1-2 (Bratt)
9/1 Submit bibliography; groups plan report deadlines (A) submit bibliog assignment
9/4 No class
9/6 27 WAGONS (Ch. 1-2 group assign); return bib. (B) Do 27 WAGONS Ch. 1-2 group assignment
9/8 Discuss Ch.3 (A,C); resubmit bibliography Read Ch. 3 (Bratt); redo bibliog assignment
9/11 Meet in groups to do DEVIL assignment
9/13 DEVIL action group assign. (p 20-26 Bratt) Do DEVIL action group assign. (p 20-26 Bratt)
9/15 Treasure hunt (A); DUCK group assignment (same pp) Do DUCK group assignment (same pp)
Hedda Gabler, Guthrie, 9/16, 10 a.m.
9/18 Discuss Ch 4-5 (Bratt) (A,C) Read Ch 4-5 (Bratt); work on treasure hunt
9/20 Meet in groups to do DEVIL assignment (B)
9/22 DEVIL group assign (p 63-76 Bratt); submit treasure hunt Do DEVIL group assign (p 63-76 Bratt); submit treasure hunt
9/25 Discuss Ch. 6 Bratt and p 82-100 Grote and Berne (A,C) Read Ch. 6 Bratt and p 82-100 Grote
9/27 Meet in groups (B), do DEVIL goal assignment; ‘beat’ lecture
9/29 DEVIL (231-4) p. 86-100 assignment; beats/Berne lecture Do DEVIL p. 86-100 group assignment
10/2 Meet in groups to do WAGON assignment
10/4 WAGON (121-6, 131-41) p. 86-100 assign; midterm essay Do WAGON p. 86-100 assignment
10/6 Continue WAGON assignment
10/9 No class
10/11 Midterm test
10/13 Meet in groups (B): work on report; distribute Wordsworth Make appointment with instructor for 10/13-17
See The Foreigner, 10/12-15, 7:30 p.m.
10/16 Discuss Ch. 7-8 (incl. language) (A,C); discuss Foreigner Read Ch. 7-8; submit 1-page Wordsworth paper
10/18 DEVIL p. 117-34 group assignment Do DEVIL p. 117-34 group assignment
10/20 Meet in groups (B): work on report Make appointment with instructor for10/20-24
10/23 Sonnets: assignment for 11/6 �
10/25 Discuss Ch. 10 (A, C) Read Ch. 10
10/27 Meet in groups (B): work on report Make appointment with instructor for 10/27-31
To Fool the Eye, Guthrie, 10/28, 10 a.m.
10/30 DEVIL p. 161-68 assignment Do DEVIL p. 161-68 group assignment
11/1 DEVIL assignment
11/3 Meet in groups (B): work on report Make appointment with instructor for 11/3-7
11/6 Sonnet assignment (10/23)
11/8 Sonnet assignment
11/10 No class
11/13 Meet in groups (B): work on report
11/15 Group I presentation -C Study groups’ plays
11/17 Group II presentation -C and have

questions

11/20 Group III presentation - C for presenters
11/22 No class
11/24 No class
11/27 Group IV presentation -C Study groups’ plays and have questions
11/29 Group V presentation - C for presenters
12/1 Respond to questions on reports; ‘machine’ article Respond to questions on reports; submit groups’ written reports
See Christmas Carol, 11/28-12/2
Date Activity Assignment
12/4 Discuss Emperor Jones, Realistic vs. Nonrealistic (A) Read Emperor Jones, submit ‘machine’ article summary
12/6 Discuss Man Who Came to Dinner, Climactic (Crisis) drama vs. Episodic (A) Read Man Who Came to Dinner
12/8 Discuss Little Foxes, Serious vs. Comic drama (A) Read Little Foxes, resubmit groups’ written reports

 

Final exam: Tues, 12/14, 8 a.m.