Weekly outline

  • General


    Little Women









    Femininity on Stage
    ART2256.F10
    Anna Bean
    TR 6:30-9:00 pm
    Whittemore


    A directing course centered around constructions of femininity on the stage.


    Theatre has always been a place where the construction of the gender identity of women has readily happened, with or without their participation. Students will direct scenes from plays making significant statements about the role of women in society. We will work especially at learning methods for communicating social commentary on gender through directing choices. Scenes will be gleaned from classic, modern and contemporary plays, such as Euripides' Medea and Iphigenia at Aulis; Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen; Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov; The Lulu Plays by Frank Wedekind; Yerma by Federico García Lorca; Bulrusher by Eisa Davis, Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl; How I Learned to Drive by Paula Vogel; Ruined by Lynn Nottage, among others.

    Prerequisite

    Directing (ART53) or by permission of instructor. If you have not taken Directing, please E-mail instructor at abean@marlboro.edu explaining your interest.

    • September 2 - September 8

      Buy books! Listed in order of usage:

      Eds. Blondell, Gamel, Rabinowitz, Zweig. Women on the Edge: Four Plays by Euripides. New York: Routledge, 1999. ISBN: 978-0415-90774-3.

      Parks, Suzan-Lori. The America Play and Other Works. New York: Theatre Communications Group. ISBN: 978-1559-36092-0.

      Ruhl, Sarah. The Clean House and Other Plays. New York: Theatre Communications Group. ISBN: 978-1-55936-266-5
      • September 9 - September 15

        September 9, 6:30-9:00 pm, Whittemore

        • Introductions

        • Overview of semester2-3 weeks of Practicum

            • Warm-ups

            • Script analysis

            • Rehearsal road map

        • 1 week of theory of femininity

        • Remaining weeks

          • Viewings and critiques

            • Scenes

              • Ancient

              • Modern

              • Contemporary

        Preparation for next class

        • Read Mary Overlie's The Practice Manual
        • Prepare to lead one exercise described in Manual that you feel conveys an intention or emotion.
          • In class you will lead other students in exercise and we will guess as to the intention and/or emotion for which you were striving.

        • September 16 - September 22

          Friday, September 17, 6:30-9

          • Administrative announcements

          • Warm-ups

            • Anna's amalgamation of yoga, meditation, biofeedback, and sports warm-ups

            • Your five weeks leading warm-ups

          • Thursday, Sept. 30: Grace
          • October 7: Shea
          • October 14: Katherine
          • October 21: Sam
          • October 28: Elizabeth
                 
          Preparation for next class
          • Read "Introduction" in Women on the Edge (1-89)
          • Prepare to present on and lead discussion on one section.
            • I. Athens and Greek Culture -- Elizabeth

            • II. Athenian Tragedy: A Civic Institution -- Sam

            • III. Women in Athens -- Katherine

            • IV. Euripides -- Shea

            • V. The "Afterlife" of Euripides -- Grace

          • Presentation and discussion should include:

            • Main idea and supporting details of each subsection

            • Three questions posed to group

          • THe Artist is Present
        • September 23 - September 29

          Thursday, September 30

          6:30-9:00 pm, Whittemore

          Main Stage


          Preparation for class

          1. Read Medea (149-216) and Iphigenia at Aulis (305-389)
          2. Pick out one 5-minute scene from each play you would potential like to direct for class.
            1. We will be reading these aloud in class and discussing their feasibility with script analysis.
          3. As much as you have time for: Watch videos of versions of Medea and Iphigenia listed here on the Moodle.
            1. Most of these are adaptations of the play (which is an adaptation of a myth, etc.), not all of them based on the Euripidian version.
            2. Watch them for aesthetic inspiration or rejection. We will spend a short time in class discussing them on 9.30.

        • September 30 - October 6

          Thursday, October 7

          6:30-9:00 pm, Whittemore

          Main Stage

          Ancient Greek Theatre w/ Masks
          Production of Aeschylus' Agamemnon. This clip is after Clytemnestra kills Agamemnon after he has returned from the Trojan War. She kills him as revenge for killing Iphigenia. She has killed him with her lover, Aegisthus, and she will be killed by her son, Orestes. This is a famous production by the National Theatre of Britain, directed by Peter Hall in 1983. It is an all-male cast.



          For the videos included last week, I would recommend watching:

          Medea, Chs. 9-13, 12" to end (children killing scene)

          Iphigenia, Chs. 16-21, 13" to end (yes, Iphigenia in her final moments)

          Media- Classic (Dame Judith Anderson), 1'12" to end


          Preparation for class

          1. Pick your scene.
          2. Contact your possible cast members.
            1. Scenes will be shown Thursday, October 14
          3. Readings for class to come
          • October 7 - October 13

            Thursday, October 14

            7:00-10 pm, Whittemore

            Main Stage

            We will finally be putting up your scenes.

            The order will be:
            Elizabeth
            Shea
            Katherine
            Sam

            Grace, I've forgotten where you fit in. Let me know and I will update.

            Expectations
            1. Please have actors on time. Actors should plan to stay the entire time (it's good for them!) unless s/he must leave.
            2. Your design elements are completely up to you. Feel free to play with lighting, CLEAN HOUSE set pieces, props, whatever. Always ask yourself: how is this decision serving the play?
            3. Please do not alter the text.

            In addition to putting up your scenes, I would like you to do a script analysis of the scene, ideally by the 14th, but you can take a few more days to send it to me (via E-mail, abean@marlboro.edu). Please type your analysis--thanks!

            Script Analysis
            Separate your script analysis (only for your scene!) into the following four sections (this differs slightly from what I outlined on October 1):
            1. Given circumstances (support this section with direct quotes or with your design concepts)
              1. Environmental facts
                1. Social environment
                2. Political environment
                3. Spiritual environment
                4. Relationships
              2. Previous Action
                1. What is the main point of action that has happened before your scene?
            2. Character
              1. Address for each character (including the Chorus, if relevant)
                1. Overall objective in scene
                2. Obstacles standing in character's way
                3. Physical description
                  1. Your actual actor does not need to look like this description.
            3. Theatrical Conventions and Interpretations
              1. What relationship between performer and audience does the script imply? I am referencing your contemporary moment, not the historical moment of the creation of the play.
              2. Are there any specific visual allusions/images/metaphors?
              3. Does the scene/play remind you of any thing or anyone?
            Hendricks Weekend Homework!!
            Please read the following:
            Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen
            The Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov
          • October 14 - October 20

            Thursday, October 21

            6:30-9:00 pm, Whittemore

            Main Stage

            Please read the following:
            Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen
            The Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov

            Please watch as much as you have time for: versions of Hedda Gabler and Three Sisters on video (above)

            In Class
            1. Post Mortem on Greek scenes
            2. Short history of modern drama, Ibsen and Chekhov
            3. The plays--how to act the modern drama

            • October 21 - October 27

              Thursday, October 28

              6:30-9:00 pm, Whittemore

              Greene Room

              Please bring 5 hard copies of your script analyses to class. We will be discussing these as a group. Also, please bring your Hedda and Three Sisters scripts.

              In Class
              1. Update on scene work -- casting, rehearsing, etc.
              2. Go over aspects of script analyses
              3. Given circumstances (support this section with direct quotes or with your design concepts)
                1. Environmental facts
                  1. Social environment
                  2. Political environment
                  3. Spiritual environment
                  4. Relationships
                2. Previous Action
                  1. What is the main point of action that has happened before your scene?
              4. Character
                1. Address for each character (including the Chorus, if relevant)
                  1. Overall objective in scene
                  2. Obstacles standing in character's way
                  3. Physical description
                    1. Your actual actor does not need to look like this description.
              5. Theatrical Conventions and Interpretations
                1. What relationship between performer and audience does the script imply? I am referencing your contemporary moment, not the historical moment of the creation of the play.
                2. Are there any specific visual allusions/images/metaphors?
                3. Does the scene/play remind you of any thing or anyone?
            • October 28 - November 3

              • November 4 - November 10

                Thursday, November 4

                6:30-9:00 pm, Whittemore

                In Class
                1. Scene work from Hedda Gabler and The Three Sisters
                2. Notes and comments on scenes
                Homework
                1. Watch videos below:
                  1. The Children's Hour (1961, William Wyler, Director)
                    1. Based on the 1934 play by Lillian Hellman
                  2. Susie Bright on The Children's Hour
                  3. Sister My Sister (1995, Nancy Meckler, Director)
                  4. Trailer from the film
                1. Read articles below. One is a study guide to a production of The Children's Hour; the other, a scholarly look at the film/play of Sister My Sister (called My Sister in This House). Both the film and play were written by Wendy Kesselman.
              • November 11 - November 17

                Class canceled due to exhaustion. Go see THE CLEAN HOUSE!!
                • November 18 - November 24

                  Thursday, November 18

                  6:30-9:00 pm, Whittemore

                  In Class
                  1. Bring script analyses for scene from The Children's Hour or My Sister in This House (scripts to come)
                  2. Bring chosen scene to direct
                  Homework
                  1. Watch videos above:
                    1. The Children's Hour (1961, William Wyler, Director)
                      1. Based on the 1934 play by Lillian Hellman
                    2. Susie Bright on The Children's Hour
                      1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWarBuwyIeU&feature=related" class="mediaplugin mediaplugin_youtube" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" data="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=429gotnYSt0\" target=\"_blank\">http://www.youtube.com/v/429gotnYSt0<\/a><\/li>\r\n <\/ol>\r\n
                      2. http://www.youtube.com/v/429gotnYSt0<\/a><\/li>\r\n <\/ol>\r\n
                    3. Read articles above. One is a study guide to a production of The Children's Hour; the other, a scholarly look at the film/play of Sister My Sister (called My Sister in This House). Both the film and play were written by Wendy Kesselman.
                    4. Chose a scene to direct.
                    5. Write a script analysis for scene. E-mail to me (abean@marlboro.edu) and bring a hard copy to class on November 18.
                    Edit summary
                  • November 25 - December 1

                    NO CLASS

                    Enjoy your Tofurky or turkey. Hopefully no one in my family will shoot a deer and gut it on the front porch on T-day. It's happened before...

                    • December 2 - December 8

                      Thursday, December 2

                      6:30-9:00 pm, Whittemore

                      Scenes
                      Elizabeth is ill and cannot join us. So, there will be three scenes. The Children's Hour scene will go first, then the My Sister scenes.

                      Reminder of Expectations
                      1. Please have actors on time. Actors should plan to stay the entire time (it's good for them!) of the scene work. After all scenes are done, actors can and should leave.
                      2. Remember: Your design elements are completely up to you. Feel free to play around. Always ask yourself: how is this decision serving the play?
                      3. Please do not alter the text.

                      Homework

                      • Reading more plays! More to come.
                      • December 9 - December 15

                        Thursday, December 9

                        6:30-9:00 pm, Dance Studio

                        As promised, we will read plays. For each of the three plays, please answer the following question. The answers do not need to be formally written down, unless you have a memory like mine.

                        Please address the excerpts by Judith Butler (from the reading we did earlier in the semester) in relation to each play. Excerpts are below in a folder entitled "Butler Excerpts."

                        The three plays we are reading are also below.

                        Class meeting

                        Please remember that we are meeting in the Dance Studio, and that Elizabeth will be staging her Children's Hour scene.

                        • December 16 - December 22