HISTORY OF CONTEMPORARY THEATRE (UNIT B)
Learning outcomes of the course unit
To introduce students to the history of latter twentieth-century theatre.
To bring students directly in contact with sources for study of the performing arts.
To provide students with keys for unlocking critical analyses of stage languages, in particular those connected to direction and dramaturgy.
Course contents summary
Course title: Latter twentieth-century and contemporary theatre.
Module A (5 learning credits): general introduction to latter twentieth-century and contemporary theatre cultures. Methodology and sources for study; the main fields of theatrical action, from theatre as an artistic experience and cultural product to theatre as a tool of social action, education and expression; study and analysis of significant practices.
Module B (5 learning credits): Théâtre du Soleil, a theatre of History. A critical examination of the theatrical productions of this long-lasting French company (1964- ) directed by Ariane Mnouchkine, through video documents and company materials. We will discuss how a great ensemble relates to contemporary history and culture, by setting itself the goal of interpreting, representing and narrating its own time, our present, through performance.
Indicative reading list (the exact titles will be announced before the start of the course):
A textbook: a volume on the history of twentieth-century theatre.
Three plays (of the student’s choice)
Lecture notes: Pensare il teatro nella società contemporanea, available from 16 February 2009 at Dipartimento Beni Culturali, Palazzo Pilotta, Piazza della Pace, 7/a.
on Théatre du Soleil (for students attending Module B)
Dossier Soleil, by Roberta Gandolfi and Silvia Bottiroli, "Hystrio", spring 2009,
A book to be chosen from:
Barbara Alesse, Ariane Mnouchkine e il Théâtre du Soleil, Roma, Editoria e Spettacolo, 2005
or Judith Miller, Ariane Mnouchkine, Routledge: New York and Canada, 2007.
The teaching method alternates between classroom lectures and lessons in which students take an active part in collective analysis of dramatic texts and documents (theoretical texts, memoirs, reviews, photographs or videos from a number of productions). Therefore attending students are asked to read a number of materials during the course.
Students are assessed by oral exam, which on the one hand tests their critical assimilation of the topics dealt with during the lessons and on the other hand their independent study of the texts in the reading list.