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This course covers the European historical backgrounds informing the modern stage. It also examines how the same fundamental dynamics occur in contemporary theatres, and in other performance situations nowadays, such as marae theatre, passion plays and other site-specific shows.
Since Classical Greece, the stage has been a public space for the exploration and expression of social, political, cultural and artistic concerns. Over the centuries, stages and styles of acting and production have developed to suit specific societies. This course introduces these historic backgrounds to the modern stage, while also considering how these same dynamics play out in contemporary theatres. Over the duration of this course we will consider a variety of forms, genres and individual texts. We will also keep a firm eye on the local context, through an appraisal of how these shifts have influenced theatre in Christchurch and Aotearoa New Zealand.Topics for 2018 include:- Greek comedy, including Aristophanes’ 'The Frogs' and its modern adaptations- Shakespearean drama, including 'Macbeth' and its modern adaptations- Passion plays- Restoration Theatre, April de Angelis’s ‘Playhouse Creatures’- Farce, including Stephen Sinclair & Danny Mulheron’s 'The Sex Fiend'- Effects and technology in the theatre, including the work of notorious Grand Guignol theatre- Childrens’ and family theatre, including 'Badjelly the Witch'- Theatre in Christchurch festivals, including the impact of the earthquakes on performance- Robert Harling’s ‘Steel Magnolias’ (on stage at the Court Theatre during the course)This course can be used towards an English major or minor. BA students who major in English would normally take at least two 100-level 15 point ENGL courses (which must include at least one of the following: ENGL117, ENGL102 or ENGL103), at least three 200-level 15 point ENGL courses, and at least two 300-level 30 point ENGL courses. Please see the BA regulations or a student advisor for more information.
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:
Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award
Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.
Students must attend one activity from each section.
There is no final examination in this course.
The following plays will be made available via Learn: Aristophanes’ ‘The Frogs’ (trans by Ian Johnstone); Brendon Bennetts’ ‘The Frogs: Respawned’; William Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’; Maurice Level’s ‘The Final Kiss’; Stephen Sinclair and Danny Mulheron’s ‘The Sex Fiend’; Fiona Farrell’s ‘Passengers’; Dan Bain’s ‘Cat vs Dog’; and Alannah O’Sullivan’s adaptation of Spike Milligan’s ‘Badjelly the Witch’.Other texts include: Tom Stoppard’s ‘Dogg’s Hamlet, Cahoot’s Macbeth’; Michelanne Forster’s ‘Daughters of Heaven’; and April de Angelis’s ‘Playhouse Creatures’.(Image: "Stage Door sign, Garrick Theatre, London, UK" by Cory Doctorow. Cropped from original. Licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.)
Domestic fee $746.00
International fee $3,038.00
* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.
This course will not be offered if fewer than 40 people apply to enrol.
For further information see
Humanities and Creative Arts.