©Marva A. Barnett










PLEASURES AND PERCEPTIONS OF PERFORMANCE
USEM, Spring, 1999
Wednesdays, 9:00-10:50 a.m., Clemons 201
course mail list: pppusem@virginia.edu

Marva Barnett, Department of French / Teaching Resource Center
Office: Hotel D, East Range
Phone: 982-2815
E-mail: marva@virginia.edu
Office Hours: available Monday-Wednesday and Friday throughout the day; make an appointment to be sure to find me in.

Stephen Cushman, Department of English
Office : 441 Bryan Hall
Phone: 924-7105
E-mail: sbc9g@virginia.edu
Office Hours: W, 11-11:30, 2-4:30

Two assumptions guide this course. The first is that since recent advances in technology enable people to spend more and more time learning alone, isolated in virtual time and space, now more than ever we need ways to learn together, sharing unrepeatable experiences in real time and space. Theatrical performances give us one way to share pleasures and develop perceptions. The second is that theatrical performances have a complicated relationship to the scripts or texts on which they are based. In attending several live performances together, and in viewing others on videotape or film, we will explore the many ways in which a play on the stage differs from the one on the page.

This is not an acting course, and it requires no previous experience of drama. Students will be required to complete projects related to theater and to attend approximately six performances, mostly evening, including a required afternoon field trip to TheatreVirginia in Richmond on January 30, 1999, and two plays at Live Arts in Charlottesville. The course thus requires a fee of $20-$25 beyond book costs.

Texts:

Tennessee Williams, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Tom Stoppard, Arcadia
August Wilson, Seven Guitars
Lucinda McDermott, Shatter the Vessel: The Bishop Pike Project (working title)
Jeanmarie Williams, Human Interest
Bertolt Brecht, The Threepenny Opera

Syllabus:

January 20: Introduction
January 27: Williams, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (read entire play)
January 30: Bus departs from in front of University Chapel at noon for performance of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at TheatreVirginia, Richmond
February 3: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (discussion of performance)
February 10: Betsy Tucker, Acting Out (text to be announced)
February 17: Stoppard, Arcadia (read entire play)
February 24: NB: meet in CAB 312. Stoppard, Arcadia (see play at Culbreth Theatre before this class; discussion of performance)
March 3: Wilson, Seven Guitars (read entire play)
March 3: Attend performance of Seven Guitars at LiveArts, 609 East Market, at 7:30 p.m.
March 10: Wilson, Seven Guitars (discussion of performance)
March 17: Spring Break
March 24: Richard Warner, Mayo NEH Distinguished Teaching Professor of Drama, UVa; scenes from Shakespeare
March 31: Lucinda McDermott, Shatter the Vessel: The Bishop Pike Project (location of written text TBA); Jeanmarie Williams, Human Interest (paper copy on reserve at Clemons Library). Read entire plays. Both are to be posted by early February at http://www.people.virginia.edu/~jeh3u.
April 1-3: See Shatter the Vessel: The Bishop Pike Project at the Helms Theatre at 8 p.m.
April 7: Bishop Pike Project (discuss performance)
April 7-10: See Human Interest at LiveArts
April 14: Human Interest (discuss performance)
April 21: Brecht, Threepenny Opera (read entire play)
April 22-24: see Threepenny Opera at Culbreth at 8 p.m.
April 28: Threepenny Opera (discuss performance); conclusion

Course Policies:

Final grades based on regular attendance at both classes and performances (one class absence permitted; each subsequent absence lowers final grade by a full letter grade); enthusiastic and intelligent contributions to class discussion; and six typed 1-page responses to the performances we attend (each one due at the class in which we discuss the performance). Contributions to discussion and response papers weighted equally. No final exam.