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Interpreting the Theatrical Past Schedule

Schedule

Term 1


Weeks 1 -5: PRINCIPLES OF THEATRE HISTORIOGRAPHY

Week 1: Introduction to Module

 

Reading for Week 2
- Marvin Carson, ‘The Performance of History’, in Case & Reinelt, eds., The Performance of Power pp.272-279- (copy provided)
Christopher B. Balme, ‘Reciprocal articulations: from playbills to logs’, The Theatrical Public Sphere, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014, pp. 47-73 (Library on-line))
- Joseph Donohue, ‘Evidence and Documentation’, in Postlewait & McConachie, Interpreting the Theatrical Past, pp.177-197 (copy provided)
- Christopher B. Balme, The Cambridge Introduction to Theatre Studies (Cambridge University Press, 2008, Chapter 6 ‘Theatre Historiography’ (Library on-line)
 
Task:
Find an example of a historical document to talk about in class

Week 2: Evidence and Documentation

 

Reading for Week 3
- Christopher Balme, ‘Interpreting the Pictorial Record: Theatre Iconography and the Referential Dilemma’, Theatre Research International 22:3 (Autumn, 1997), pp.190-201 (Library on-line)
- Patricia Smyth, ‘Beyond the Picture-Frame Stage: Late Nineteenth-Century Pictorial Theatre Posters’, Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film 37:2 (Winter 2010), pp. 4-27 (Library on-line)
 
Task: Find an example of iconography – painting of a theatrical scene, theatrical portrait, vase painting, depiction of theatre, costume or set design, architectural plan to discuss in class

Week 3: Iconography

Guest Lecturer: Dr Patrcia Smyth

 

Reading for Week 4
- Dennis Kennedy, ‘Confessions of an Encyclopedist’, in William Worthen & Peter Holland, eds., Theorizing Practice: Redefining Theatre History, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, chapter 2, pp. 30-46 (copy provided)
- Thomas Postlewait, The Cambridge Introduction to Theatre Historiography, Chapter 5
Earlier versions of this chapter are in
- Thomas Postlewait, ‘The Criteria for Periodisation in Theatre History’, Theatre Journal 40:3 (Oct 1998), pp. 299-318 (Library on-line)
- Thomas Postlewait, ‘The Concept of “Period Style” in Cultural History: Problems in Definition and Classification’, Nordic Theatre Studies Special issue, 1990, pp.52-5 (copy provided)

Task: Select a theatre history or dictionary – Hartnoll, Wickham, Banham, Kennedy and talk about the way in which the author has approached periodisation.

 

Week 4: Periods and Periodisation; Historical & Theatrical Events

 

Week 5: Curating and Archiving Theatre (Guest Speaker) Dr Jill Sullivan, University of Bristol Theatre Collection

 

Week 6: Reading Week

 

Weeks 7-10: LOCAL THEATRE HISTORIES or VISUAL CULTURES PROJECT

 

Reading for Week 7

Read a local theatre history study on a theatre of your choice and be ready to comment on it in class

Read: Ros Merkin, ‘Liverpool’ in David Wiles & Christine Dymkowski, eds., The Cambridge Companion to Theatre History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), pp. 91-103 (Library on-line)

Week 7: Local Theatre Histories


Reading for Week 8

Read: Charles Dickens ‘The Amusements of the People’, Household Words, 13 April, 1860/

‘Two Views of a Cheap Theatre’, All the Year Round, 25 February, 1860 (handouts)

Jim Davis, Introduction to The Britannia Diaries (London: Society for Theatre Research, 1992), pp. 1-32. (copies m

Copies of Britannia Documents

Week 8 Local Theatre Histories: Case Study: The Britannia Theatre, Hoxton

Week 8: Local Theatre Histories: THE BRITANNIA THEATRE

Week 9: Local Theatre Histories: Group or Individual Class Presentations on Work in Progress

Week 10: Local Theatre Histories: Group or Individual Class Presentations on Work in Progress

 

TERM 2

 

Weeks 1-5: THEATRE HISTORIOGRAPHY: THEORETICAL APPROACHES

Reading for Week 1
- Thomas Postlewait, ‘Autobiography and Theatre History’, in Postlewait & McConachie, Interpreting the Theatrical Past, pp. 248-272
- Jacky Bratton, ‘Anecdotes and Mimicry as History’, in New Readings in Theatre History, pp. 95-108
- Leigh Woods, ‘Actors’ Biography and Mythmaking: The Example of Edmund Kean’ in Postlewait & McConachie, Interpreting the Theatrical Past, pp. 230-247
 
Task: Find an example of theatrical biography or autobiography to discuss in class

 

Week 1: Biography and Autobiography

 

Reading for Week 2: To be confirmed

Task: To be cobfirmed

Week 2: Theare and Visual Culture

Reading for Week 3
- Christopher B. Balme, ‘Locating the theatrical public sphere’, The Theatrical Public Sphere, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014, pp. 22-48
- David Wiles, Theatre and Citizenship: The History of a Practice, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011, pp. 1-21, 208-223
- Bruce McConachie, ‘The Oriental Musicals of Rogers and Hammerstein’ in Theatre Journal 46:3 (Oct 1994), pp.385-398
- Marvin Carlson, ‘Reflections on a Global theatre History’ in David Wiles & Christine Dymkowski, eds., The Cambridge Companion to Theatre History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), pp. 149-161

Task: Either Find an example of a performance that could be described as advocating citizenship or engagement in the public sphere to discuss in class or demonstrate how we might map transnational exchange in theatre history

 

Week 3: Theatre History, Globalisation, Citizenship and the Public Sphere

 

Reading for Week 4
- Jim Davis, ‘Redefining the Nineteenth-century London Theatre Public: Questions of Evidence’, in Erika Fischer-Lichte & Matthias Warstat, eds. Staging Festivity: Theatre und Fest in Europa, Berlin, 2009
- Tracy C. Davis, Actresses as Working Women: Their Social Identity in Victorian Culture (London: Routledge, 1991), pp. 78-97
- Joseph R. Roach, The Player’s Passion: Studies in the Science of Acting (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1985), pp. 11-17

Task: Find out about the acting style of a specific period and/or actor (eg. Elizabethan or Restoration acting, David Garrick or Sarah Siddons) or about audiences in a specific period to discuss in class

 

Week 4: Historiography of Acting and Audiences

 

Reading for Week 5
- Robert K. Sarlos, ‘Performance Reconstruction: The Vital Link between Past and Future’, in Postewait & McConachie, Interpreting the Theatrical Past, pp. 198-229

Jerome de Groot ‘Introduction’ and ‘Performing pastness, recycling culture and cultural re-enactment’ in Consuming History: Historians and Heritage in Contemporary Popular Culture Abingdon: Routledge, 2016)


Task: Find an example of reconstructions (such as the Globe Theatre, the Ballet Russe, Heritage Parks) to discuss in class

 

Week 5: Performance Reconstruction

Week 6: Reading Week

 

Weeks 5-10: RESEARCH PROJECT PREPARATION

Week 7: Theatre History and Practice Projects

Guest Speaker: Dr Janice Norwood

Week 8: Approaching Research Projects

Guest speakers: Dr Tracy Cattell and David Coates

Week 9-10: Class Presentations on Work in Progress