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Theatre in the Age of Film & Television
An exploration of theatricality and theatrical communication via an examination of how some major trends in theatre since the 19th century have been represented by film and electronic media. The course will study examples of theatrical works on film and other theatrical responses to social, cultural, and political issues presented in mass media.
Topics covered in this course include:
- Holding the Mirror Up to Nature
- Exploring Theatricality
- Theatrical Mirrors
- Gaze and Performativity
- Masks and Abstracting the Human
We use stories to make sense of our world, and the theatre has long been one of the main ways in which we’ve shared those stories with each other. Since the arrival of film and other televisual media, however, the theatre has experienced something of an identity crisis. Forced from its traditional position as the dominant mode of performance-based storytelling, theatre has had to re-examine not only how it tells stories, but also how it can tell stories.
DRAM205 is an investigation of theatre storytelling conducted in the context of the arrival of these new media technologies. We will discuss theatre relation to filmed media as a means of identifying some of the conventions and communicative languages that are unique to theatre and theatrical storytelling. Put another way, we will explore what it is that makes theatre theatrical, and we will look at how some theatrical modes of expression have been used in televisual media to enhance the storytelling experience.
The course is structured in 3 units. The units are assembled according to the overall journey of the course. We will begin by establishing a baseline discussion about realism and its alternatives as strategies for dramatic storytelling. Then we will explore the concept of theatricality. Finally, we will look at how theatricality and departures from realism are being used in some contemporary theatrical works to tell us stories about each other and ourselves.
Please see the course's WordPress site for more details about the course: http://dram205cds.wordpress.com
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**Evaluation Subject to Change**
Textbooks and Materials
CDS reserves the right to make changes to the required material list as received by the instructor before the course starts.
There are a variety of required texts and screenings for this course. Wherever possible I have tried to find free, legal versions. Links to those versions will be posted on the course onQ site. You will have to purchase the other materials. They are all available online as streaming video and/or ebooks. I estimate the total cost or resources in this course to be between $50 and $80, depending on where you purchase them.
Current information about where to purchase these resources is available on the course website. (Note: you are also required to see a live theatre production of your choice - based on where you live - before the 8th week of class)
- Shanley, John Patrick. Doubt: A Parable. New York: Dramatists Play Service, 2007.
- Brecht, Bertolt. Mother Courage and Her Children.
- Theater of War
- Changing Stages [vol 5]: "Between Brecht and Beckett"
- Selections from Beckett on Film: Play, Not I, Rockaby, and Breath
- Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway
- Living Theater
- I, Claudia
- Hedwig and the Angry Inch
- South Park - Bigger, Longer, and Uncut
- Black Watch
To complete the readings, assignments, and course activities, students can expect to spend, on average, about 10 hours per week on the course (114 hours per term). This amount will vary depending on such factors as an individual student’s reading skills, familiarity with the study of English literature, experience and facility with writing academic essays, and goals for the course.
Students are expected to be able to make a consistent weekly commitment and regular participation to this course throughout the term.
onQ is Queen's online learning platform. You'll log into onQ to access your course. All materials related to your course—notes, readings, videos, recordings, discussion forums, assignments, quizzes, groupwork, tutorials, and help—will be on the onQ site.
About Credit Units
Queen’s courses are weighted in credit units. A typical one-term course is worth 3.0 units, and a typical two-term course is worth 6.0 units. You combine these units to create your degree. A general (three-year) BA or BSc requires a total of 90 credit units.
To take an online course, you’ll need a high speed internet connection as well as a microphone and speakers to be able to watch videos, hear sounds, and participate in interactive online activities. A webcam is recommended but not necessary.
- Laptop or Desktop computer purchased within the last 5 years. (mobile devices are not supported)
- Windows Vista SP2/Mac OSX 10.9 or higher
- Up to date versions of Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari. Please note that Google Chrome is not recommended for use in our courses.
- Most recent version of Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash
See also Getting Started.
The deadlines for new applications to Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are in our Upcoming Application Dates section.
Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for Summer term 2017, Fall tern 2017 and Winter term 2018 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Domestic students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $666.91; for a 6.0-unit course, $1333.82. See also Tuition and Fees.
The information below is intended for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Academic Regulations in other Faculties may differ.
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How does this affect my academics?
See the GPA and Academic Standing page.
Follow the link above for an explanation of how the GPA system affects such things as the Dean’s Honour List, requirements to graduate, and academic progression.
Frequently Asked Questions on the Grading Scheme
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All textbooks can be purchased at Queen’s Campus Bookstore.
All Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are open to students at other universities. Before applying as a visiting student, request a Letter of Permission from your home university that states that you have permission to take the course and apply it to your degree. See also Apply.
Please see Queen’s policy statement on academic integrity for information on how to complete an online course honestly.