This course defines dramaturgy as studying the architecture of a play; the historical context in which it was made, its structure and style, and the many different ways to live inside of it. We will take a deep dive into many plays, together as a class and through individual projects, as well as exploring the role of a Dramaturg and speaking with professionals working in the field today. Each student will choose two plays over the course of the semester, one canonical and one contemporary, and develop a full dramaturgical packet for each, including historical research, script analysis, and program notes for an imaginary production. Students who have completed this course will be prepared to take on roles as the Production Dramaturg for future Swarthmore Theater productions. This writing and research based course is perfect for readers who are interested in theater, writers who are interested in structure, and anyone who has ever wanted to take apart a play, lay out all the parts, and figure out what makes it tick.
This course invites students to engage in a research-informed, practical exploration of the theatrical genre of solo performance. Structured primarily as a workshop, the approach for this course is hands-on where, most weeks, students will be asked to create/devise their own performance material through the lens of three sub-genres of solo performance: first-person/autobiographical performance, performance art, and solo performance of multiple-characters. Alongside the creation of original work, students will also encounter the work of artists who are significant figures in solo performance. This combination of intellectual and practical research introduces students to the creation of art through the excavation of the personal, the body as subject, the tools of the transformative actor, the creation/familiarity with one’s own artistic practice, and an exploration of what matters to the artist and how that gets translated into solo performance. Through the semester, students will create drafts of 3-4 original works of solo performance, culminating in an invited public showing at the end of the semester.