The focus of this course will be on the live theatrical experience: we will analyze theatre as both an art form and a cultural experience by viewing a wide array of plays and performances in production in Philadelphia this semester. The theatrical events will be examined in their entirety, as we consider: place and space of performance; audience; production elements such as directing, acting, and design; as well as the “text” of the play or performance piece itself. In addition, we will examine the state of the contemporary theatre culture in Philadelphia by looking at: the history of theatre in the city; the theatre buildings themselves; as well as the mission of selected theatre companies. Our readings will provide historical and theoretical contexts for our viewing; we will also read the scripts of some of the plays we see, as well as local newspaper and on-line coverage of theatre in Philadelphia. The course will include tours of local theatres and discussions with professional artists.

college.upenn.edu/freshman-seminars

provost.upenn.edu/initiatives/arts

sas.upenn.edu/theatrearts/

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