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Studies in Drama: Stoppard and Churchill

What is the interplay between an event and its "frames"? What is special and distinctive about stage events? How and why do contemporary dramatists turn back in time for their settings, models, and materials? How do they play with this material to create performance pieces of importance and delight for modern audiences? How do they create distinct, fresh perspectives using the stage in an era of mass and multi-media? What is the implied audience for these plays, and how does that clash or coi...

Start Date: Feb 01, 2004 Topics: General History, Drama, Theatre
Cost: Free

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What is the interplay between an event and its "frames"? What is special and distinctive about stage events? How and why do contemporary dramatists turn back in time for their settings, models, and materials? How do they play with this material to create performance pieces of importance and delight for modern audiences? How do they create distinct, fresh perspectives using the stage in an era of mass and multi-media? What is the implied audience for these plays, and how does that clash or coincide with actual audience expectations and responses? What information do we "need to know," and what do we need to know that is not information? If words circulate, can meaning be stable? What is the relationship between pleasure and responsibility? What are the politics of stagecraft in our time? Is the theater really dead? What '60s pop song includes the previous question?Focusing on two of Britain's most respected and prolific contemporary dramatists, Caryl Churchill and Tom Stoppard, we will explore these and other questions involving literary history, interpretation, and performance. As well as carefully reading and discussing selected plays, the class will create (collectively) an archive of material to enrich our understanding of the texts and their contexts-a sort of "Notes Toward a Supreme OCW Site." (The last phrase is an example of citation la Stoppard; it may be just frivolous-or maybe not.)

Details

  • Dates: Feb 01, 2004 to May 25, 2004
  • Days of the Week: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
  • Level of Difficulty: Beginner
  • Size: Massive Open Online Course
  • Instructor: Prof. Diana Henderson
  • Cost: Free
  • Institution: MIT OCW
  • Topics: General History, Drama, Theatre

Provider Overview

About MIT OCW: MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity.

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