“Greek and Roman Stagecraft”
This course will introduce students to the range of practical considerations involved in the staging of theatre in Greece and Rome. Issues concerning performance space, music, masks, metatheatre, props, costumes, blocking, set, and choruses will all be discussed. Over the course of the semester, students will prepare two case-studies of plays (one from Classical Athens, one from Republican Rome), with short weekly assignments contributing to the final submission. Plays will be randomly assigned in the first class meeting. Additionally, we will summarize the transitions in theatre that took place between 340 and 280 BCE in the Greek world, as well as the function of theatre in the Roman empire, with particular attention to the genres of mime and pantomime. Artistic, epigraphic, and archaeological material will be used to illuminate the ancient scripts. No background in theatre is required, but students should have a willingness to undertake creative, in-depth examination of ancient texts.
(No knowledge of Latin and Greek is needed, and no textbooks will be required for purchase, though students should be willing to acquire a good, recent translation of the plays on which they are presenting.)