Creating Devised Theatre and Performance (2 cr.)
Annie G. Levy and Franny Silverman, Dorit and Gerald Paul Artists-in-Residence
JSTU-H 495 # Individual Readings in Jewish Studies
3 Sundays: January 15th, January 22nd and January 29th, 2012
10am - 6pm
meets with JSTU-H 595 #
This course is a practical, on-your-feet introduction to collaborative and devised theatremaking. Devising theatre is the process of creating theatre in a collaborative manner. Though particular roles may be assigned – writer/s, director/s, actor/s, designer/s – the creation of the piece, whether wholly original or adapted, happens with the artists working together in the rehearsal room, informing each others’ processes. Students will be exposed to a variety of processes in ensemble-theatre-making, including adaptation, group writing, found text, Viewpoints and Composition, improvisation, working with counterpoint and creating solo performance, as well as methods of offering critical feedback on works-in-progress. As a course offered through Jewish Studies, we will explore techniques of adaptation and devised theatre using source material from the vast canon of Jewish texts, legends, and/or modern Jewish culture as examples. Regarding their own pieces, students will be encouraged to use source material of great personal interest to them.
• To explore a variety of texts, topics and exercises through the medium of theatre, towards the inspiration and development of a piece of original work of personal significance.
• To expose students to the history, tradition, and practice of adaptation, creation, and collaboration in theatre.
• To equip students with the tools to continue to develop this or future pieces of original work for the stage.
You are expected to attend every class, arriving on time and ready to participate in the class. While the class consists of performance, written documentation of process and a written self-evaluation at the end of the course, the bulk of your final grade depends on your presence and participation. Full credit cannot be granted to any student who does not attend all three classes.
The class meets for eight hours at a time. In order to fully participate in each of the three class meetings, please arrive wearing clothes you feel comfortable moving in. We will be doing some of our work bare foot, so please make sure not to wear tights to class. Student should bring a notebook and pen or pencil for note taking, as well as there their laptop for research.
Students must accept the responsibility to be honest and to respect ethical standards in meeting their academic assignments and requirements. Integrity in the academic life requires that students demonstrate intellectual and academic achievement independent of all assistance except that authorized by the instructor. The use of an outside source in any paper, report or submission for academic credit without the appropriate acknowledgment is plagiarism. It is unethical to present as one’s own work the ideas, words, or representations of another without proper indication of the source. Therefore, it is the student’s responsibility to give credit for any quotation, idea, or data borrowed from an outside source.
Students who fail to meet the responsibility for academic integrity subject themselves to sanctions ranging from a reduction in grade or failure in the assignment or course in which the offense occurred to suspension or dismissal from the University.
Students with Disabilities:
The University’s commitment to equal educational opportunities for students with disabilities includes providing reasonable accommodations for the needs of students with disabilities. To request an accommodation for a qualifying disability, a student must self identify and register with the Coordinator of Disability Services for his or her campus. No one, including faculty, is authorized to evaluate the need and arrange for an accommodation except the Coordinator of Disability Services. Moreover, no one, including faculty, is authorized to contact the Coordinator of Disability Services on behalf of a student. For further information, please see Information for Students with Disabilities on the University’s web site.
Students will be given a reader of texts from a variety of different sources. Students will be responsible for keeping up to date with readings and bringing the reader to class each time.
The Final Performance:
The class will culminate in a shared showing of students’ works-in-progress. Each student will be required to perform up to 7 minutes of their piece (which could be the entirety of the piece, or just a section), as well as lead the audience feedback session after their piece. Students may create a solo piece or cast another actor or actors to perform the piece. Pieces must be low tech or no tech, but can include any design or technical elements that the students can create, gather and execute themselves (that is to say, there is no budget or outside tech support)
One last note:
The only way that a class like this can be successful is if each student commits to making the class a shared experience for the class. There are X number of you all trying to get as much out of this class as possible. This means that I will need to cut conversation short at times, so everyone gets a chance to work. This means that you will be asked to care about each other’s works in progress, class exercises, and general growth as much as you do your own.
This is not meant to sound utopian. This is to build an environment where each of you feels supported and inspired to trust your intuition. This is a chance to learn from each other.
Your final grade will be based on the following breakdown
Attendance and involvement 50% (class discussions, exercises, etc)
Work in progress showing 30%
Rehearsal log and self evaluation 20%