Judith Sebesta
Performing Arts
Material Type:
Activity/Lab, Assessment, Full Course, Lesson Plan, Reading, Syllabus
Academic Lower Division
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  • Theatre
  • Theatre Studies
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    Education Standards

    Theatre Appreciation

    Theatre Appreciation


    These resources support a competency-based, asynchronous online Introduction to Theatre course using an Open Source textbook, public domain play texts, and other free online resources such as videos of performances. 

    Introduction to Theatre Syllabus

    This syllabus is for a competency-based, asynchronous online Introduction to Theatre course using an Open Source textbook, public domain play texts, and other free online resources such as videos of performances. 

    Title image: "Factory Theatre" by kaykaybarrie is licensed under CC BY 2.0.



    Judith Sebesta, Ph.D.


    Materials – Textbooks, Readings, Videos

    The primary text for this course is Theatrical Worlds, edited by Charlie Mitchell and published by the University Press of Florida. This open source text is available as a free download; click on the title above and then click on the link "PDF" in the bar at the top of the page (you will need a pdf viewer such as Adobe Acrobat Reader, available as a free download as well). You can purchase a print copy for $25 through the University Press of Florida. There also are numerous, very inexpensive used copies for sale on Amazon if you do want a print copy. If you have any difficulties accessing the text, please don't hesitate to let me know.

    You also will read two plays, available for free through the links below (both versions are in the public domain):

    Medea, by Euripides

    Trifles, by Susan Glaspell

    Finally, you will be exploring numerous video clips, including interviews, production excerpts, TED Talks, documentaries, etc., as well as three full productions that are freely available via YouTube.

    Course Description

    A survey of the fields of theatre activity designed to provide introductory knowledge of all phases of drama, literature, performance, theatre facilities and equipment, and production procedures. This course is designed as an asynchronous, fully online course.

    Course Competencies

    The competencies you will demonstrate in this course are as follows:

    Competency 1: Students will identify the foundational characteristics of theatre.

    Competency 2: Students will express contextualized and tolerant interpretations of the historical foundations of Western theatre as well as different types of dramatic literature.

    Competency 3: Students can describe major artistic positions, and their collaborative work, in the theatrical discipline.

    Competency 4: Students will evaluate creative works of the human imagination, applying appropriate disciplinary standards of judgment and vocabulary.

    Competency 5: Students can describe world theatre and its relevance in a global society.

    Competency 6: Students will apply knowledge gained in this course to broader contexts.


    Minimal Technical Skills Needed

    Using the learning management system (D2L), Word Processing Platform like Google docs, and the Internet (e.g. YouTube).

    Instructional Methods

    This course is based on the tenets of competency-based education (CBE), which include consideration of the students’ prior learning, not attempting to teach students what they already know, and attempting to connect their success to proper timing, relevant exposure, and authentic assessment. 

    Student Responsibilities or Tips for Success in the Course

    This flexible-paced course requires you to regularly log into the course and to effectively manage your time to support your own success. Your instructor is regularly available to assist with your learning and will provide timely (usually within 24 hours) answers to questions and feedback on assessments. You must complete and submit all assessments, assignments, and competencies by 11:59 pm on the final date of the term. Please note the deadlines below for submission of quizzes (or see the course schedule/calendar). Beginning work in this class in the final two weeks of the term, or attempting to complete significant parts of the coursework in the final week, dramatically decreases your chances of success, so manage your time accordingly.


    Passing grades for all competencies for this course are a score of 80 points (out of 100) or higher. All six competencies are worth 100 points each. The first five competencies consist of five posttests worth 100 points each. The essay in the sixth competency is worth 50 points and will be combined with the total score for discussion participation in five of six discussions (with each discussion worth 10 points for a total of 50 possible points) to total 100 possible points for Competency 6 (you must score at least an 80 to pass that competency, as with the other five). You must pass all six competencies to pass the course. All six competency scores (of 80 or higher each) will be averaged for the final course grade, which will be submitted and transcripted as an A (90-100), B (80-89), or F. 



    Points possible

    Competency 1 Posttest


    Competency 2 Posttest


    Competency 3 Posttest


    Competency 4 Posttest


    Competency 5 Posttest


    Competency 6


    Essay = 50 pts


    5 Discussions = 50 (10 pts each)



    Pretests and Posttests

    The pretests and posttests for this theatre course assess your knowledge of all phases of drama, literature, performance, theatre plants and equipment, and production procedures.

    IMPORTANT: This course cannot be completed in a matter of days. The quizzes and essays often require significant, time-consuming work both on your part to complete and on the part of the instructor to grade. To help you manage your time and work in the course, and thus to increase your chance of success in completing it, there are deadlines for all quizzes in the class. See the schedule at the end of this syllabus or the course schedule/calendar.  You are always welcome to complete and submit quizzes, discussion, posts, essays, etc. at any point before the deadlines.

    Plan your time accordingly. Deadlines will not be extended for any reason, but you will be welcome to re-enroll in the course in future terms.


    The purpose of the pretest is to provide a baseline understanding of your knowledge in the competency. The pretests (five total) are required for the course, although the scores do not count toward your final grade. Once you complete and submit a pretest, the first posttest attempt for that competency will become available. You must submit the pretest before taking the posttest. Once you submit the pretest, I will provide feedback on it where appropriate, so it is recommended that you wait for that feedback before attempting the posttest.

    Here are the deadlines for the pretests:

    Competency 1 Pretest: April 29

    Competency 2 Pretest: May 1

    Competency 3 Pretest: May 3

    Competency 4 Pretest: May 6

    Competency 5 Pretest: May 8


    The posttest is an assessment of your knowledge of the material required for the competency. A score of 80 points or higher is required on every competency to pass, including competency 6, even though it has no posttest. In order to access the posttests for all competencies, you must first complete and submit the pretest. You cannot take the second or third posttest quizzes for that competency without completing and submitting the first posttest.

    Once you begin a posttest, you will have 3 hours to complete and submit it.

    If you score an 80 or higher on the first posttest attempt for a competency, you do not need to take the other attempts and can move on to the next competency. If you score less than 80 points on the first two posttest attempts in a competency, you will have an opportunity to review the material and re-take the competency posttest. You may take the posttest up to three times. If you have not passed the competency in three attempts, you will fail the course. However, any competencies you have completed and passed up to that point can be rolled forward if you enroll in the course again in the next term. You may also work with an Academic Coach to determine another method of fulfilling the program requirements in this subject.

    Here are the deadlines for the posttests:

    Competency 1 Posttest #1: April 30

    Competency 1 Posttests #2 & #3: May 1

    Competency 2 Posttest #1: May 2

    Competency 2 Posttests #2 & #3: May 3

    Competency 3 Posttest #1: May 4

    Competency 3 Posttests #2 & #3: May 5

    Competency 4 Posttest #1: May 7

    Competency 4 Posttests #2 & #3: May 8

    Competency 5 Posttests #1: May 9

    Competency 5 Posttests #2 & #3: May 10

    ***Finally, competencies must be completed in order, beginning with the first, except for the 6th competency.


    You are required to contribute to five out of six “discussions” on strategic topics raised in the readings/videos. Each post should be no less than 100 words and no more than 250.  Feel free to participate and post as often as you like, but you only will be graded on the initial post in each topic. These are worth 10 points each for a total score of 50. This score is added to your essay score (worth 50 points) in Competency 6 for the total score (out of 100) for that competency. There are a total of six discussion topics and you can select five to contribute to (there will be no extra points if you contribute to a sixth or post multiple posts in a topic).

    Although termed “discussions,” the six topics available actually are meant to serve as crowd-sourced “wikis,” with students creating a body of knowledge in each that can be accessed by everyone in the course for further ideas, insights, and information.

    You are expected to use proper spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc., so carefully compose your responses, and you might consider composing them in MS Word first, with spell and grammar check, and then cutting and pasting. 

    I understand that some people are stronger writers than others, but it is expected that your written assignments in this course, including these discussions, have been reasonably edited for spelling and grammatical mistakes. Habitual typos and nonsensical sentences will result in lowered scores.

    Posts should refer to material covered in the course readings and videos. They give me the chance to hear from you about your take on the course content. They also give you a chance to check in with what other students (or me, if you are the first student to post) in the class are thinking about the same material. It is expected that you answer the questions and prompts thoughtfully – if you use personal anecdotes (and you definitely can!), be sure to contextualize them as they pertain to the prompt, the course material referenced and the class.


    Contributes meaningful and new ideas 

    5 pts

    Utilizes proper mechanics, coherence, and etiquette

    5 pts


    10 pts


    For competency 6, students will prepare and submit an essay of 500 words to address: How did this course better prepare you, as an organizational leader, for a global, interconnected world? How does the practice of theatre, and those who create it, connect to your own work as a leader and collaborator? You will be able to submit two drafts before submitting the final draft.


    Does the essay demonstrate an understanding of leadership in theatre practice,

    e.g. through the work of the director?  

    10 pts

    Connections to Broader Contexts

    Does the essay address how theatre connects to leadership in other contexts/sectors?

    10 pts

    Global Understanding

    Does the essay include connections between theatre, leadership, and a global world?

    10 pts


    Is the essay well structured, with an interesting opening in an introductory paragraph that states the thesis and gives a brief overview of the points that will support the thesis, several paragraphs covering the main points, and a good conclusion that does more than restate the main points?

    10 pts


    Has the essay been edited for spelling, grammar, tense, number, commas, semicolons, etc.?  Does the student present his/her points in a clear, articulate manner? See Grammar/Style Checklist.

    5 pts

    Word Count

    Does the assignment largely meet the word requirement?

    5 pts


    50 pts


    Course Specific Procedures/Policies

    Please note that due to the competency-based nature of this course, in which you have

    multiple opportunities to achieve a passing (80 points or better) score on any given

    assessment, extra credit is not available.

    Syllabus Change Policy

    The syllabus is a guide.  Circumstances and events, such as student progress, may make it necessary for the instructor to modify the syllabus during the semester.  Any changes made to the syllabus will be announced in advance.

    ADA Statement

    Students with Disabilities

    The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact Disability Services.


    Competency 1

    Introduction to Theatre

    Instructor: Judith Sebesta


    TW = Theatrical Worlds

    Competency 1: Students will demonstrate knowledge of the foundational characteristics of theatre.

    Learning Outcome 1: Explain the defining characteristics of theatre, performance, and the fine arts.

    Reading(s): TW pp. 3-11 + top of p. 14 (Intro and Basic Elements); 14-16 (How Theatre “Means”); pp. 40-41 (“Theatre as Games”)

    Video: Opening scene from Romeo and Juliet in Shakespeare in Love:

    Video: Aristotle’s Six Elements of Drama:

    Video: Black Comedy at Pioneer Theatre Company

    Video: Scene from Fences

    Learning Outcome 2: Demonstrate an understanding of the various uses of theatre and performance in society.

    Reading(s): TW pp. 16-32 (The Uses of Theatre)

    Video: “Does Theatre Still Matter?” Tony Kushner

    Video: “Why women should tell the stories of humanity”

    Video: Los Vendidos

    Learning Outcome 3: Identify the four major types of theatre configurations.

                Reading: TW pp. 82-85          

    Discussion/Assignment: post pics of examples of the spaces? – make a wiki, collaborative project of sorts

    Assessment Questions:



    What is the moment of creation in theatre?

    When a playwright gets an idea for a play

    *When a performance of a play begins

    When the playwright finishes a play

    When the rehearsal process begins


    PT1 Why study theatre?

    It enhances cognitive and creative abilities

    It is interdisciplinary

    It crosses cultural boundaries and aids in cultural literacy

    *All of the above



    All of these are required to create theatre except:

    *A script

    An actor

    An audience

    A space



    Briefly describe the development of the term “fine arts.”


    PT 1 The branch of philosophy that deals with beauty and taste






    PT 1 Theatre deals in the ________ of human action.



    PT 1 Describe the origins of theatre in the Western world up to the creation of tragedy.

    We can trace the origins of theatrical practice in the Western world to the citizens of the Greek city-state of Athens in the fifth century BCE. Theatre began with dithyrambs, a chorus

    of fifty men with a leader who told stories about a fertility god named Dionysus through

    song and dance. Eventually, innovations were made such as performers imitating individual characters. In addition, the chorus was greatly reduced and changed to represent the men or women of a city where a play took place. Presented at festivals, this form became what we know today as Greek tragedy.


    PT1 He can be described as the first drama critic in the Western World.






    PT2 Unlike other solitary forms of art, theatre is often highly ____________.



    PT1 List four qualities that make theatre distinct from other art forms.

    Collaborative, resists duplication, is ephemeral and immediate, dynamic between actor and audience



    The idea of pretending that the audience is not present

    began with the Greeks

    was invented by Shakespeare

    *is relatively recent

    none of the above


    PT2 How has the relationship between actors and audience shifted depending on historical period or culture?

    This relationship between actors and audiences has changed over the centuries. In many theatrical traditions, the audience has been a much more influential “actor” in the performance. In eighteenth century France and England, wealthy patrons could sit right on the stage in full view. As much as we complain about the annoyances of cell phone use and texting during performances today, to a nineteenth-century audience, our behavior would seem downright passive. It was common practice for people to vocalize their criticism by booing and hissing at villains during their entrances or heckling actors when it was thought a performance was subpar. Vocal reactions to onstage action built to such a crescendo that newspapers often complained of theatrical rowdyism. Other cultures have a more casual relationship between actor and audience. For example, in some puppet theatre traditions like the wayang kulit in Indonesia, shows are played from evening until dawn, and it is common practice for spectators to move about, talk, and feast during the show. Nevertheless, actors and audiences are ultimately partners.


    PT2 An unspoken agreement between actor and audience concerning a fictional reality is known as a ____________.



    PT1 Describe the basic concept of Peter Shaffer’s Black Comedy. In the Pioneer Theatre Company production, what elements of the scenery on stage enhance that concept and the comedy that results? 

    The show opens in darkness but when the characters in the play experience a blackout caused by a short circuit, the stage suddenly becomes illuminated. As the actors grope around in the “dark,” we realize the convention. When the lights are on, the reality is that the characters are experiencing darkness. When the lights are out, the lights in the house have returned. Following this logic, if a match is struck or a flashlight is switched on, the stage lights dim.

    Lots of furniture, two levels, stairs.


    PT1 The decision by an audience member to act as if events unfolding on stage are real is called

    *willing suspension of disbelief

    assumption of imagination

    discarding of skepticism

    acceptance of pretense


    PT2 Symbolism generated on stage is based entirely on _________.




    Describe the relationship between theatre and games, including sports.

    Both have structure, rules, and an absolute outcome. Although theatre is a kind of ritual, it still provides us with the same basic element we seek out in sports—conflict.


    PT2 Analyze a favorite film or tv show using Aristotle’s six elements of drama. Which element seems most prominent?

    Should cover plot, character, thought, diction, music, and spectacle.


    PT1 Briefly describe the meanings of the title in August Wilson’s play Fences as described in both the text and as depicted in the video clip from the 2011 Broadway production of the play.



    PT2 ____________ is when participants are invited to rehearse desired behaviors, practice

    being in relationships, expand and find flexibility between life roles, and

    perform the change they wish to be and see in the world.

    Drama therapy


    PT 1 To teach Christian doctrine, priests oversaw the creation of plays performed by amateurs in the local community during the period of

    Ancient Greece

    The Roman Empire

    *The Middle Ages in Europe

    The English Renaissance



    During the Middle Ages, plays were presented outdoors using

    *mansions and plateas

    proscenium theatres

    arena staging

    all of the above


    PT2 Throughout history, theatre has been used to teach lessons about




    *All of the above


    PT1 ____________ aspires to promote dialogue and social justice through performance.

    Engaged theatre


    PT1 Anna Deavere Smith’s work and The Laramie Project are examples of


    Christian theatre

    *Documentary theatre

    Musical theatre


    PT & PT2 The controversial _____ ______ phenomenon is a performance tradition in some evangelical Christian churches that provides an annual Halloween alternative to haunted houses.

    Hell House



    She led the U.S. Federal Theatre Project.

    Anna Deavere Smith

    Margaret Clifford

    Hallie Flanagan

    Eve Ensler



    Augusto Boal’s form of theatre that recasts formerly passive audience members as “spect-actors” to engage them in social justice is called ____________ __ __ ___________.

    Theatre of the Oppressed


    PT2 They created agitprop theatre

    Federal Theatre Project

    El Teatro Campesino

    Pioneer Theatre Company

    Both the FTP and ETC


    PT2 Theatre-like events became an important part of protests against President Slobodan Miloševic ́ in







    PT2 The design of most theatre buildings falls into what four fundamental types?

    Proscenium, thrust, arena, black box


    PT3 The area above the playing space in a proscenium theatre is known as the


    Fly space





    PT What are some of the challenges presented by the arena theatre configuration for actors and designers?


     PT1 Which type of theatre space is used primarily for more experimental shows?




    *Black box 


    PT1 The production of Fences from which you viewed a clip is likely in what type of theatre building/configuration?




    Black box 


    PT2 The theatre depicted in the clip from Shakespeare in Love is what type?




    Black box 




    (Learning Outcome 1) Which of the following describes how the experience of live theatre differs from that of film or television performance?

    The audience has no immediate effect on the actors.

    The actors are completely separated from the audience.

    *It exists only for a moment in time, never to be exactly duplicated.

    The audience is remote from the actual creation of the performance.




    PT3 (Learning Outcome 3) Does the arena theatre configuration multiply the advantages and limitations of the thrust configuration? Why or why not? Explain your reasoning.

    While the thrust configuration juts into the audience space so that the audience is seated on all three sides, the arena is a stage surrounded by raised seating on all four sides. Both the limitations and advantages of the thrust are multiplied in the arena. Spectators feel the greatest sense of intimacy because their sears surround the performance and there is no frame or formal separation between the performers and them. Further, the spectators may experience a feeling of community, because they can look into the eyes of the other spectators at any given time. But, the set-up creates real challenge for the performers. Actors must always be aware of the presence of spectators on all side, and they cannot turn their back to one side of the audience more than the other. Set designers have the challenge of setting the scene with little chance of masking the mechanisms by which they move the sets. Therefore, arena staging tends to avoid elaborate scenic effects and focuses, instead, on acting, costumes, and props. The arena also places great demands on the director who must ensure that all elements of the production are conveyed from every angle, which limits the use of the arena configuration.


    PT3 (Learning Outcome 3) A local community theatre hires you to direct a show in their "black box" theatre. When you go to look at the space and begin planning your production, you feel it would be best to fully utilize which of the "black box's" advantages?

    Extensive lighting setup

    Large seating area for big crowds

    Easily accessible wings to hide scenery pieces

    *A close proximity to the audience

    Competency 2

    Introduction to Theatre

    Instructor: Judith Sebesta

    TW = Theatrical Worlds

    Competency 2: Students will exhibit understanding of the historical underpinnings of Western theatre and express contextualized and tolerant interpretations of different types of dramatic literature.

    Learning Outcome 1: Identify some major historical influences on the development of Western theatre.

    Readings: TW pp. 36-39 (Origins of Theatre); 168-193; 199-203 (The World of Shakespeare)

    Ancient Greek Theatre

    Video: An Introduction to Greek Theatre (National Theatre)


    Video: “Why theatre is essential to democracy”


    Explore the chorus:

    “Modern Interpretations of Greek Chorus” (National Theatre)


    Compare and contrast:

    Video: The Chorus in Mighty Aphrodite


    Video: Tiny Chorus in Gossip Girl


                Shakespeare Resource Center:


    Activity/Discussion: Compare two film versions of R&J:


    Learning Outcome 2: Demonstrate an understanding of the defining characteristics of Western theatre's major theatrical genres.

    Readings: TW pp. 153-167 (Genre); 204-230 (The American Musical)


    The diversity of the American musical: Top Ten Best Tony Award Performances

    Activity/Discussion: Pick one, search for the full performance, and explain why it is your favorite


    Learning Outcome 3: Analyze works of dramatic literature as reflections of societies, vehicles for socio cultural commentary, and/or platforms to instigate social responsibility.

    Readings: TWs pp. 39-45 (How to Read a Play); 61-62 (Reading Plays like an Actor)






    PT Western theatre’s origins were likely in






    PT 2 How are storytelling, ritual, and play connected to theatre? How has a ritual or act of storytelling or play in your own life been theatrical or performative?  


    PT1 He is considered the first Greek actor.






    PT Describe the typical ancient Greek theatre. Which theatre type or configuration were they?


    PT1 Actors in ancient Greece were all __________ and wore exaggerated _________ and ________ because of how far they were from the audience.

    Male (or professionals); costumes and masks


    PT 1 The large rectangular building behind the orchestra in the theatres of ancient Greece was known as the






    PT2 What three things provide us information about Ancient Greek Theatre?

    The plays, other sources, the archeological remains of theatres, vase paintings


    PT Plays in ancient Greece were presented during festivals in honor of






    PT2 Plays in Ancient Greece were presented as competitions to win


    glory and recognition


    political office


    PT3 What were the three types of drama in Ancient Greece?

    Tragedy, comedy, satyr


     PT 3 Only ______ actors played all the speaking roles in Ancient Greek Theatre.



    PT1 According to artistic director Oskar Eustis, how are dialogue, empathy, theatre, and democracy connected?


    PT 3 Describe a time when you have felt a part of a community in an audience.


    PT2 What functions may the chorus serve? Which of these are highlighted in the clips from Mighty Aphrodite and Gossip Girl (“Tiny Greek Chorus”)?

    A window into other worlds

    Voice of the community/narration




    PT The majority of Shakespeare’s plays were first produced at the _________ Theatre.



    PT2 Shakespeare’s formal education likely ended with

    *Grammar school

    High school


    He had no formal education


    PT3 Only male actors were permitted onstage in the theatres of

    Ancient Greece

    Shakespearean England

    *Both of the above

    Neither of the above


    PT Give several examples of how the playing conditions of the time likely enhanced Shakespeare’s creativity.


    PT3 The greatest artistic and cultural works of any given society, which are thought of as a collective achievement of a civilization, are known as the

    great books

    crowning cultural achievement




    PT1 The eruption of violence in a New York City theatre in 1849 that resulted from the rivalry between Shakespearean actors Forrest and Macready was known as the

    Shakespeare Battle of Broadway

    Greenwich Village Theatre Conflict

    Penn Station Pandemonium

    *Astor Place Opera House Riot


    In ________ ________, the spoken language becomes the primary means of making the theatrical moment.

    Poetic drama


    What caused the “seen audience” in Shakespeare’s playhouses, what are the challenges of a seen audience, and what feature do his plays, and those of others during that period, include because of the condition?


    PT Song and dance in Shakespeare’s plays served to

    enliven performances

    set an emotional tone

    convey the nature of a moment

    *all of the above


    Which statement about the use of costumes during Shakespeare’s era is false?

    They were not historically accurate

    *Historical accuracy was crucial

    Contemporary dress was used

    All female characters were men dressed as women



    The most common type of theatre in classical Greece was


    Satyr play


    Orchestral drama


    PT1 What play did Aristotle consider to be the perfect tragedy?

    *Oedipus Rex





    ____________ is a type of comedy that has absurdly complicated plots, broad characters who behave irrationally, and lots of physical comedy.



    Select a favorite film or tv series and analyze its genre using the types described in the text.


    Melodrama and comedy have in common

    Musical interludes

    Slapstick violence

    *Happy endings

    moral rigidity


    PT3 This is widely considered one of the most influential theatrical genres in the Western world.




    Theatre of Cruelty


    PT2 Why are Shakespeare’s plays taken as a whole difficult to categorize into any one genre?


    PT The most popular category of subtype of the musical today is the

    *book musical





    PT1 The complicated and controversial form of entertainment in which white actors – and eventually black actors --performed in blackface is known as ___________.



    PT2 Frequently cited as the first real precursor to the twentieth-century musical was the hit extravaganza

    In Dahomey


    Ziegfeld Follies

    *The Black Crook


    Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, George Gershwin, and Harold Arlen all got their start writing _________.



    Why did Showboat stand apart from most musicals of the time? How was it influential on future musicals?


    Cole Porter wrote all the following except:

    *Annie Get Your Gun

    Anything Goes

    Kiss Me Kate

    He wrote none of the above


    PT1 This show, one of the most successful musicals ever on Broadway, broke the record of the time for a show with the longest run and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.






    PT 2 Musicals of the 1950s like Guys and Dolls, The Music Man, and Gypsy all represented a _________ view of America.



    Discuss significant shows and developments in the history of musical theatre that signify its diversity.


    The most important alternative to the book musical to emerge in the 1970s was the _________.

    concept musical


    PT1 Arguably the most significant American composer in the history of musical theatre was

    Alan Jay Lerner

    Oscar Hammerstein II

    Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber

    *Stephen Sondheim


    Describe three new genres of musical theatre that have developed over the past 50 years, providing examples of shows for each.


    Why might theatre artists be interested in reviving or reworking existing musicals?


    How does the creation of a theatre production differ from film in terms of the writer(s) of the plays/scripts?

    The object of a production is usually to pursue the vision of the playwright and find the best means to showcase his or her ideas. This is one area where theatre and film diverge dramatically. A film script is a commodity and when it is sold, the screenwriter ceases to have any influence over the end product. Another writer or a team of writers can completely rewrite it. In addition, directors and star actors may decide that lines or scenes should be altered as well. In television, a room full of writers may get their hands on a script even though only one may end up being credited. In both cases, the result can be a polished gem, a hodgepodge of different points of view, or anything in between. In theatre, even though production teams may have radically different ideas about how to interpret a script, the playwright still holds an honored position. His favor is sought by directors and actors who seek to create a definitive live realization of his words. Playwrights or their estates have even pulled the rights to perform a play because they felt a production diverged too radically from the original intent.




    PT1 Closet dramas are

    plays created to be performed in small spaces

    *plays meant only to be read, instead of produced onstage

    plays about LGBT themes

    all of the above


    PT2 The place in the world of the play where the playwright picks up the story is known as the


    place of position

    tactic of conflict

    point of attack


    PT1 A key discovery in Trifles is the fact that

    *Mr. Wright killed his wife’s canary

    Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters are Mrs. Wright’s sisters

    Mrs. Wright shot her husband

    All of the above


    PT1 Medea has a _______ point of attack.



    PT 3 What is the climactic moment of Medea?


    PT1 In Euripides’ play, do you think Medea is justified in her actions? Why or why not?


    PT2 What could Medea’s tragic flaw be argued to be?


    PT2 Who is the protagonist in Trifles? The antagonist?


    PT1 Compare and contrast the themes in Medea and Trifles.


    Competency 3

    Introduction to Theatre

    Instructor: Judith Sebesta

    TW = Theatrical Worlds

    Competency 3: Students will display knowledge of major artistic positions, and their collaborative work, in the theatrical discipline.


    Learning Outcome 1: Explain artistic practices of stage actors.

                Reading: TW pp. 49-61

     “My Journey from Marine to Actor”


    Discussion/activity: Compare

    Jake Gyllenhall “Finishing the Hat”



                Mandy Patinkin “Finishing the Hat”


                Learning Outcome 2: Explain artistic practices of theatrical directors.

                Reading: TW pp. 63-79

                Video: “Spider-Man, The Lion King and life on the Creative Edge” Julie Taymor TEDTalk:


                Video: Hamilton director Thomas Kail on his process:



    Discussion/Activity: Which production concept of these three different interpretations of Hamlet do you prefer, and why?:

    Videos:            Branagh’s Hamlet

    Hawke’s Hamlet

    Gilligan’s Hamlet:


                Learning Outcome 3: Explain artistic practices of theatrical designers.

    Set Design

    Reading: TW pp. 80-82, 85-108


    Which set do you find most aesthetically appealing and why?

    The 10 best theatre designs -- in pictures


    Costume Design

    Reading: TW pp. 113-130

    The Lion King on Broadway | Discover the Costumes



                Lighting Design

    Readings: TW 131-149; “Light on Their Feet: A Conversation With Jennifer Tipton and Sebastián Solórzano Rodríguez”: /07/29/light-on-their-feet-a-conversation-with-jennifer-tipton-and-sebastian-solorzano-rodriguez/


                            Video: The Art of Theatre Lighting - War Horse for The National Theatre





    PT Which statement is true about the art and practice of acting in the world of live theatre?

    It usually is a glamorous life of public attention

    It is extremely lucrative for most actors

    Overnight success is common

    *Most actors must support themselves with other work.


    PT Using a set of skills to build a character onstage, and applying creativity and imagination to the work, actors are both __________ and __________.

    Craftsman and artist


    PT2 Discuss the origins in ancient culture of the idea that actors should feel, not just feign, emotion.


    PT Hamlet’s speech on acting below is thought to promote the acting technique of

    method acting





    “Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on

    the tongue; but if you mouth it, as many of your players do, I had as

    lief [I would prefer] the town-crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the

    air too much with your hand, thus; but use all gently: for in the very

    torrent, tempest, and—as I may say—whirlwind of passion, you must

    acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness.”


    PT 1 The first acting theorist to create a system of acting was



    *François Delsarte

    Konstantine Stanislavski


    PT 1 Stanislavski’s method of acting included all techniques except:

    affective memory

    *creating a role from the outside in

    method of physical actions

    the “magic if”


    PT 1 Adam Driver believes that "s[]elf-expression is just as valuable a tool as a rifle on your shoulder." According to Driver, how are the military and theatre communities similar?  

    You have a group of people trying to accomplish a mission greater than themselves.

    It’s not about you.

    You have to know your role within the team.

    Every team has a leader or director, and sometimes they’re smart, sometimes they’re not.

    You are forced to be intimate with complete strangers in a short amount of time.

    Self-discipline and self-maintenance required.



    PT 1 If the playwright is the author of the words on the page, then the director is the

    author of the ______________.



    PT What are the five main functions of the director?

    1. Interpreting the script and developing a vision or concept for the


    2. Working with the design team to develop the visual, oral, and spatial

    world of the production.

    3. Casting the actors.

    4. Rehearsing the actors.

    5. Integrating all of the elements into a unified whole.


    PT 1 Directing as a completely separate function

    *is a relatively recent development in the history of the theatre.

    *began in Classical Greece

    *was common during Shakespeare’s time

    *has never really existed


    What developments in the late nineteenth century led to the rise of the director?


    PT3 Describe the differences between a faithful approach to directing and a translator approach.


    PT 1 The three production elements that the director shapes in the rehearsal process are:

    Actor, space, and time


    PT The movement and placement of the actors on the stage is known as



    traffic control



    PT 1 When selecting his creative team, Hamilton Director Thomas Kail states that, when he has a choice, he will go with humanity over talent every time. What do you think he means by this? 


    PT 1 Select a favorite character in a film or tv show and write a character breakdown for him or her.


    PT3 In relation to the audience in a proscenium theatre, where is “downstage”?


    PT What are some pros and cons of color-blind casting?


    What are the four primary roles of the stage manager?

    1. Running all activities backstage
    2. Maintaining the prompt book
    3. facilitating communication among the production team
    4. running the show each evening during performances


    Because of the importance of leadership inherent in the position, directors must often negotiate delicate issues of power and authority. (For example, student directors often have a hard time directing their peers.) Describe a situation in which leadership might prove problematic for a director. Brainstorm about ways in which he or she might deal with the situation.

    Individual answers will vary. Important points to cover include the following:

    • The director needs to lay the groundwork that it is his or her job to create the concept and vision for the play, but collaboration with actors and designers in how both are interpreted is encouraged. However, the director makes the final decisions.
    • Communication with the actors and designers must be diplomatic, but directors must be firm in asserting one's authority.
    • All the theatre artists—director, designers, and actors—can learn to read each other's style of leadership or learning so as to adapt how they interact to create a productive rapport. This is the art of any leader or subordinate—whether in business, politics, educational and other institutions, etc.—in creating effective working relationships.
    • A leader conveys power and authority in the tone he or she uses to reflects conviction and confidence in his or her decision. He or she must be able to admit mistakes and try another approach. Often, solutions are not clear-cut, whether in business or in the theatre. Trial and error, adjustments, and more brainstorming with other creatives can help shape the best solution.
    • Most often, the director and actors or designers might argue about how realistic a suggestion is. Often, creative people will suggest ideas that are too complex, too expensive, or too time-consuming to implement with a given level of skill, budget, or time frame. It is the director who must set the parameters with the creative team as to what can and cannot be realistically accomplished.

    Student examples of how to avoid conflict will vary, and they may be hypothetical or drawn from what students have experienced personally in theatre productions, what they have viewed in some of the video clips and films, or interviews they have read in the activities they have completed for this competency.


    PT 1 In her TEDTalk, director Julie Taymor suggests that artists but be true to themselves throughout the artistic process, but she also states that they must consider the ___________.



    PT2 In her TEDTalk, Julie Taymor discusses identifying an “ideograph” to represent the essence of each of the productions she directs, such as a circle for The Lion King. Pick a favorite film or tv show and describe its ideograph.


    PT 1 Julie Taymor’s ideograph for her film of Shakespeare’s The Tempest was a



    quill pen



    PT2 Director Julie Taymor called the production of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark a

    *Circus rock and roll drama


    Musical comedy

    All of the above


    PT3 Compare/contrast concepts for two of the three versions of Hamlet on film/tv you viewed.



    PT2 What are the three basic areas or parts of a theatre building?

    Facilities for the audience

    The stage

    Work and support spaces


    Trace the development of Western scenic design through the Renaissance.


    PT During the Middle Ages, plays were mounted on a special wheeled platform known as the

    _________ _________.

    pageant wagon


    How did classical theatre influence Italian Renaissance scenic design?


    What two developments in the nineteenth century challenged the primacy of painted perspective scenery?

    The adoption of the box set and the increased attention to historical accuracy


    What is site specific theatre, and what are its advantages?

    Site-specific refers to theatrical works presented outside traditional theatre spaces. A straightforward use of this technique is to transplant a play to a setting suggested by the text (A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a forest, The Pirates of Penzance on a ship, etc.). Performances devised specifically for a found space are capable of more complexity. They can allow the environment and the play to be reconsidered at the same time and can challenge the boundaries between actor and audience.


    PT The set designer helps to tell a story through

    auditory perception

    *visual metaphors




    PT2 Identify steps in the designers’ processes that involve collaboration with other members of the creative team.


    PT2 Jo Mielziner’s classic design for this play captured the claustrophobic environment of the Loman household set against a looming cityscape.

    *Death of a Salesman

    André Chénier

    Waiting for Godot

    Brighton Beach Memoirs


    PT 3List the six common scenic elements available in most theatres.

    Flats, platforms, wagons, turntable, step units, and drops


    PT2 This is often fabricated of special seamless canvas and is commonly used to create a “sky” behind the set.






    PT3 Sketches that become the guide for building and finishing a set are known as






    Which of the following best describes how scenic designers collaborate with actors?

    *Their designs are functional for how the actors will move throughout the set.

    Their designs accommodate how the actors move, so their costumes make movement natural and may even draw attention to their movement.

    Their designs take into consideration whether the actor will deliver a speech while facing a bright light.

    They explain the technology of the set design with the actors.


    PT2 Analyze one of your own outfits as a costume. What meanings, such as visual cues about your personality, might your clothes be communicating?


    Costumes can communicate meaning through such visual cues as


    social standing


    *all of the above


    PT 3 The number of characters and the number of different costumes they require

    within a production are compiled into a _________.

    costume plot


    PT 2 How many dressers assist Kelli O’Hara in her quick costume change during her Tony Award performance from The King and I?



    PT 2 In the clip on The Lion King costumes, what is the dominate element, considered both scenery and lighting equipment, seen upstage in most of the scenes?






    The costumes, masks, and puppets in The Lion King were inspired by




    *all of the above


    PT 1 Briefly describe the beach vacation-related anecdote regarding the attention to detail paid to the creation of the costumes in the The Lion King.


    PT Before creating a final version of a costume, designers and their assistants often create a version of the garment made of inexpensive fabric known as the






    Costume Designer Stacey Galloway gives what advice to anyone interested in following in her footsteps?

    You have to have a passion for costume history and history in general, psychology, visual arts.

    Willing to work long hours for less money

    Be passionate about storytelling and creation of characters


    What is usually the first step in the process for all designers?

    creating renderings

    meeting with actors for fittings

    meeting with the director

    *reading and analyzing the script


    What are the five functions of lighting in theatre?

    Selective visibility


    Revelation of form

    Establishing the mood

    Reinforcing the theme


    This position is responsible for the physical implementation of the lighting designer’s work, making sure all the lighting instruments or fixtures get hung and focused correctly.


    Assistant Lighting Designer

    First Hand

    *Master Electrician


    Which statement is true about lighting design before the 16th century?

    Candles were the primary lighting instruments

    *Since performances took place during the day, little attention was paid to lighting practices

    Theatres used oil lamps hung on walls and scenery to light the stage

    Reflectors to intensify effects of candles and lamps were in common use


    PT2 How was gas lighting a significant improvement over candles and oil lamps for use in theatres?

    Brighter, cleaner burning, more easily controllable



    PT3 This paved the way for the use of modern technology in lighting design.






    PT He is considered the father of modern lighting design.

    William Murdock

    Thomas Edison

    Adolphe Appia

    *Stanley McCandless


    What was the McCandless method?

    The theory in lighting design, developed by Stanley McCandless, that light cast on the actor from a 45-degree angle enhanced visibility and appeared natural. He maintained that there should be two lights at forty-five-degree angles aimed at the front of an actor—one with a warm tint and one with a cool tint. This technique is still used today.


    PT 2 She is considered the first professional lighting designer.

    Tharon Musser

    *Jean Rosenthal

    Jennifer Tipton

    None of the above


    A colored plastic filter placed in front of a lighting instrument to change the color of the light it emits is known as a






    PT 1 Lighting designer Ken Billington states, “By doing a light cue in the right way, I can change the emotions of what the audience sees.” How do the lighting techniques described in the video clip from War Horse illustrate this statement?


    PT2 A ______ is a change in the lighting on stage.



    PT 1 What are the five basic categories of lighting fixtures?

    PAR, Fresnels, ERSs, cyc lights, automated fixtures


    How has the creation of software programs like Vectorworks, Lightwright, and WYSIWYG revolutionized the way lighting designers can work?

    No longer does he or she have to waste time and humanpower to see how something will look by hanging a light, focusing it, and then playing with the look during rehearsals. All of that work can now be done within a computer-generated model that can be used to create looks the designer intends to use. These images can then be shared with other members of the production team to help visually communicate lighting ideas that were previously left to the imagination until technical and dress rehearsals. Technology of this sort allows designers to work on more shows from their home base and to spend fewer hours in the theatre reworking any given production.


    PT2 Lighting designer Jenifer Tipton describes her lighting method as lighting any space from the




    *all of the above


    PT 3 What does lighting designer Sebastián Solórzano Rodríguez describe as his goal if the text and actions of a production he is lighting are complicated?

    To help the audience with the light to make the show easier for them to understand. The light shouldn’t make the show harder to comprehend.


    Discuss the power of collaboration suggested by the following quote: "Production meetings are the most fertile ground for the ideas that transform a show. They can pop suddenly out of anyone's mouth to influence, shift, and elevate the direction of the show." —Arthur Laurents, American playwright and director (1918–2012)

    Production meetings can be fertile ground for collaboration among all members of the creative team. The director holds these meetings with designers and technicians to consider budget, designs, shifting of scenery, time for costume changes, location of offstage storage space, and many other matters. As decisions are made, each designer provides the director with a detailed plan in the most appropriate form: color renderings and fabric swatches for costumes; ground plans, scale drawings, renderings, and models for the sets; light plots with gel colors for lights, etc. The sound designer (when one exists) may work with an annotated script and lists of sounds (music and sound effects). These renderings, plans, and other materials represent the culmination of the designers' work with the director: detailed, readable plans for a total production, all in harmony with one another and with the director's interpretation of the text.


    Imagine you are in the audience when the curtain opens on a play. The stage is dimly lit. The stage floor is set at an angle, and towering structures made of metal pipe surround the playing space. Rays of intense light shoot through the metal structures, creating oddly shaped, ominous shadows and pools of red on the floor. Music fills the space. It is in a minor key with a pronounced, driving rhythm. Describe the mood that has been created. What kind of play do you anticipate experiencing now that the "stage has been set" in this opening scene, even before actors enter the stage? Name the contributions of specific theatrical designers in creating this overall effect. Describe which tools the designers have used to create the mood and tone of the play.


    Student answers will vary but should touch on some of the points that follow: The stage has been set for the audience to anticipate something "heavy"—something that might end unhappily, such as a tragedy or serious play. The designers are responsible for creating the environment of the play. The dim lighting suggests something hidden, foreboding, or lurking. The not-level angle of the stage floor implies imbalance, a feeling that something is askew; it makes the audience feel unsettled. The towering structures made of metal pipe, a hard, cold surface, are menacing, forbidding, and oppressive. The rays of intense light shooting through the structures conjure up feelings of "piercing" light, a harsh light that is unrelenting and revealing. The shadows and pools of red on the floor are ominous, even suggestive of blood. The music surrounds the stage, envelops it, and traps the space. We are forced to listen and our bodies respond, perhaps breathing in time to the driving rhythm. The minor key of the music is unsettling; the driving rhythm correlates with the steady, piercing light coming through the harsh, "towering" metal structure.


    In his book The Empty Space (1968), director Peter Brook (b. 1925) notes that only three elements are necessary for theatre to exist: any empty space and the person in action in the space being watched by someone else. Explain how this is an act of collaboration and who is involved in this collaboration at its most basic level.

    Student answers will vary but should touch on some of the points that follow: The basis of theatre, the essence of the event, is a theatrical collaboration: one person acting and one person listening and/or watching in the same space at the same time. Therefore, only two people are involved in this most basic collaboration—the actor and audience of one. Whether a director is involved is debatable; directors were a more recent addition to the theatre scene once long-running plays became popularized. Prior to that, the starring actors were common and, at the time, preempted the need for a director. The interaction between actor and audience is not static; each changes the play as the reaction of the audience influences the actor's performance. Furthermore, by definition, the performer and the spectator share the same time and space, so a theatrical performance can happen only once. Each performance is unlike another, which contributes to the importance of the collaboration between actor and audience.


    Competency 4

    Introduction to Theatre

    Instructor: Judith Sebesta

    TW = Theatrical Worlds

    Competency 4: Students will evaluate creative works of the human imagination, applying appropriate disciplinary standards of judgment and vocabulary.

    Learning Outcome 1: Apply critical thinking skills to evaluate and critique the aesthetic choices presented in live theatrical productions.

    Readings: pp. 11-12 (How to See a Play); review pp. 14-16 (How Theatre “Means”)

    How to Write a Play Review on WikiHow: (ignore the sample high school play review)


    Learning Outcome 2: Implement appropriate disciplinary vocabulary to effectively communicate ideas regarding live theatrical productions.

                View a production. Options:


    The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)


    Legally Blonde


                Bill Irwin’ s The Regard of Flight



    PT What word are you never supposed to say in theatre, calling it instead “the Scottish play”?






    PT What is a ghost light?

    A dim light thought to emit from a ghost said to haunt any theatre

    Light leftover after a lighting instrument is shut off

    *A bare lamp mounted on a pole that is put on stage whenever the theatre is not in use and all the lights are shut off

    All of the above


    PT The first step in preparing to write a review is

    Reading the play

    Seeing the production

    *Understanding the purpose of a review

    Writing the review


    PT When should you write a rough draft of your review?

    *Immediately following your viewing of the production

    The next day, to make sure you’ve fully digested the performance

    A week later, in order to see it again and conduct research on the context of the show

    None of the above


    PT All of the following are useful questions to address about the acting in a production except

    Were the performers believable?

    Did the actors have a vocal quality (volume and articulation) that fit the context of the play?

    Were the performers engaging and interesting to watch?

    *Did the actors remember their lines?





    Respond to the following prompts in relation to the production you viewed for this competency (The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged); Legally Blonde; or The Regard of Flight), being sure to use specific detail to support your responses.


    PT3  (Learning Outcomes 1 & 2) Respond to all prompts in this assessment in relation to the third production you viewed for this competency (in other words, the one you did not view for the first two posttest attempts -- remember, original options included The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged); Legally Blonde; or The Regard of Flight). Be sure to use specific detail to support your responses.

    Start here: How would you describe the director’s concept for the production? Do you feel it was effective?  10 pts

    PT3 Analyze two design elements, describing how they support the overall concept. Use two to three specific examples from the performance to support your discussion. 10 points



    How would you describe the director’s concept for the production? Do you feel it was effective?  10 points



    (Learning Outcomes 1 & 2) How does the title of the piece inform and comment on the major themes that it presents? 10 points


    (Learning Outcomes 1 & 2)

    Analyze one of your favorite actor's performances in the production and the choices he or she made to make that character come alive for you. 10 points



    PT3 Write a 500-word, five paragraph review of the production.  60 points


    Begins with a strong hook.  5

    Addresses who, what, where, and when in the introduction (research where the production was held and pretend that you are in the actual theatre watching it). 10

    Provides a plot description that effectively conveys the setting, main characters, and story. 10

    Analyzes the acting and directing, with specific details using concepts learning in class. 10

    Analyzes  design elements, with specific details using concepts learning in class. 10

    Concludes with reaction/judgement that includes specific detail (and/or connects clearly to the above) for support.  15

    Total 60

    Competency 5

    Introduction to Theatre

    Instructor: Judith Sebesta

    TW = Theatrical Worlds

    Competency 5: Students will illustrate an understanding of world theatre and its relevance in a global society.

    Learning Outcome 1: Explain select artistic practices of Asian theatrical traditions.


    Reading: TW pp. 231-238

    Video: Eye Dancing and India’s Ancient Art of Kathakali



    Reading: TW pp. 238-244

                Video: Bunraku


                Video: Kabuki




    Reading: TW 245-252

    Video: Beijing Opera


    Learning Outcome 2: Explain select artistic practices of Middle Eastern and African theatrical traditions.

    Middle East

                Reading: TW pp. 253-257

    Video: Karagoz



    Reading: TW pp. 257-261

    Video: Common Ground's participatory theater model in action in Congo.


    “Master Harold” . . . and the boys


    Discussion/Activity on MHatB

    With which character do you most identify and why?


    Learning Outcome 3: Explain select artistic practices of Latin American theatrical traditions.

                Reading: TW pp. 261-267



    LO 1

    PT Thought to be the oldest surviving oral tradition:

    Dithyrambic choruses

    Greek epics

    *Vedic chants

    Egyptian drama


    PT 1 Traditional Indian theatre forms share a common aesthetic of what four elements?

    Codified movement and dance

    Voluptuous costumes

    Colorful makeup

    Spare stages that focus attention on actors


    PT Consistent makeup and costume codes for each role in Kathakali make specific ________ immediately recognizable to the audience.



    PT Instead of a goal like a climax, as in much Western drama, the goal of Indian drama is for the audience to achieve a state of consciousness known as a






    PT 1 The 2012 Hindi play S*x, M*rality, and Cens*rship exemplifies what about contemporary Indian theatre?

    *its potential for social consciousness

    its degradation

    its focus on “theatre sports”

    all of the above


    PT 2 It takes students nearly _______ years of training to learn the choreography and gestures necessary to Kathakali.



    PT 1 At the Kerala Kalamandalam, actors take how many hours to prepare for each performance, putting on elaborate costumes and makeup?






    PT Noh theatre conventions include all of the following except:

    actors in masks

    *elaborate sets

    roof over an elevated stage with a painted pine tree background

    performances both indoors and outdoors


    PT 2 Bunraku puppets are operated by how many puppeteers?






    PT 1 In the clip from Bunraku performances you viewed, the puppeteer not in black operates what part(s) of the puppet?

    Head/torso and right hand


    PT 2 He is considered the Shakespeare of Japan.






    Musicians are an important part of




    *All of the Above


    PT 1 Compare/contrast Kabuki theatre with the theatre of Shakespeare’s age.


    PT The most popular of Japan’s traditional theatre forms is __________.



    PT 1 All of the following Kabuki history and conventions are true except

    actors participated in prostitution

    *women performing male roles are known as onnagata

    codified makeup indicates certain characters

    dramatic poses known as mie heighten emotional affect


    PT3 Kabuki plays are about

    *historical events and moral conflicts

    the future

    the Shinto religion

    clashes with the Western world


    PT3 Which dynasty is known for ushering in the golden age of Chinese drama?






    PT 1 By 1850, what became the most prevalent traditional Chinese theatre form?


    Pear Garden Theatre


    *Beijing Opera


    PT 2 Beijing Opera shifted China’s performance focus from ___________ to dance, song, and acting.



    PT 2 How did the Cultural Revolution affect theatre?

    China’s Cultural Revolution (1966–1976) limited permissible theatre to eight “model” plays promoting the communist government’s agenda. The eight model works favored socialist realism and consisted of two ballets, a symphony, and five “revolutionary operas.” The Cultural Revolution was cruel to theatre practitioners, subjecting actors and directors (as well as intellectuals, doctors, teachers) to violence, imprisonment, and forced “reeducation” via hard labor in the countryside. In the post–Cultural Revolution era, Chinese theatre flourished with a restoration of traditional plays and a fusion of traditional and modern forms.


    PT How have women participated (or not) in Chinese theatre throughout history?


    PT 1 What part has censorship played in Japanese and Chinese theatre, both traditional and modern?


    PT3 Identify and describe some common characteristics of the traditional Asian theatre forms you have studied.




    PT 1 A popular form of theatre in the Islamic Middle East is

    Musical theatre


    *Shadow puppetry




    PT Ta’ziyeh, an annual Iranian commemorative passion play, includes all of the following except:

    In-the-round configuration

    Audience participation

    *Burning of effigies



    PT 2 According to the text, women are not permitted to act in the theatres of

    *Saudi Arabia



    all of the above


    PT 1 A _________ is a West African storyteller and living archive.



    PT Discuss the role of ritual in West African and Latin American performance.


    PT 2 The first African to with the Nobel Prize for Literature was

    Sundiata Keita

    *Wole Soyinka

    Efua Sutherland

    Athol Fugard


    PT A popular form of traveling cabaret-style theatre in Ghana inspired by minstrelsy is the ________ _______.

    Concert party


    PT 2 Playwright Athol Fugard’s works focus on the institutionalized system of racism in South Africa known as



    Jim Crow laws

    None of the above


    PT 1Briefly describe Common Ground Theatre’s participatory process to resolve conflict in Congo, including what types of conflicts it has worked to resolve.


    PT 1 Choose a character from “Master Harold” . . . and the boys and discuss his tragic flaw.

    Willie has a sweet, childlike nature which makes him agreeable in most situations. He holds a deep admiration for Sam, and, by the end of the play, he demonstrates the ability to recognize his own shortcomings and try to change them. He understands that he needs to control his violent urges. Sam, meanwhile, is kind, wise, patient, humorous, and perceptive. His flaw is believing in Hally too much. He truly thinks the young man will be able to overcome his upbringing and environment, and experiences deep disappointment when Hally does not prove to be that mature. However, he also closes the door towards any reconciliation. Hally is stubborn, naïve, volatile, and, unwittingly, racist. During the play, he behaves like a brat - his parents won't listen to him, so he takes it out on Sam and Willie, knowing they will not be able to strike back. However, Hally is also intelligent and holds many idealistic views. At the end of the play, he appears to be filled with regret, although he doesn't say it. There may be hope for him in the future.


    PT 2 In “Master Harold” . . . and the boys, how, if at all, do each of the three main characters change by the end of the play?

    Of the three characters, Willie changes the most. After observing the altercation between Sam and Hally, he realizes that he has been mistreating Hilda and should change his behavior. This is a clear reversal of his earlier, stubborn statements that Hilda deserved to be beaten. Sam does not fundamentally change by the end of the text, although it appears that he does come to terms with the fact that as Hally gets older, society's view of race will start to affect their relationship. However, he retains his characteristic hope, offering to make a new kite for Hally and dancing with Willie. As for Hally, it appears as though he changes drastically - going from Sam's genuine friend to a racist, cruel version of his father. However, Hally hints at these negative traits throughout the play. Sam brings out the best in him, while his interaction with his father brings out the worst side of Hally, and that is where the play leaves him.




    PT 1 Often overlooked in theatre history, this nun contributed 52 plays to Mexican theatre of the 17th century.

    Sor Maria Gonzalez

    Sor Jesusa Rodriguez

    *Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz

    Sor Inez Ignacio Lopez


    PT 2 How does the work of Mexican performance artist, playwright, and activist

    Jesusa Rodriguez exemplify her belief in the “. . . necessity to protest and resist through pleasure”? Describe the work of another Latin American theatre artist who exemplifies this idea.


    PT Many theatre practitioners in Argentina were forced to leave the country or kidnapped, tortured and murdered in the 1970s and 80s during the

    Cultural Revolution

    Argentinian Artist Purge

    20 Year War

    *Dirty War


    PT Playwright __________ ___________ situates her work squarely in the uniquely Argentine grotesco genre and uses parody, black comedy, collage, and encoded language (to avoid censorship) to explore the violence, complicity, and what she calls the “schizophrenic” nature of her home country.

    Griselda Gambaro


    PT 2 Griselda Gambaro’s plays were a reaction to the terrorism of the Dirty War in






    PT 1 Notable as one of Brazil’s first women to be socially accepted as a writer, she also used her position to advocate for greater equality for women and abolition.

    Griselda Gambaro

    *Julia Lopes de Almeida

    Jesusa Rodriguez

    Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz


    PT Grupo Macunaima, a São Paulo theatre company founded in 1978 by Antunes Filho, focuses on

    *Staging authentically Brazilian performance

    Feminist theatre


    The work of avante-garde playwrights


    PT 2 The text concludes that “the theatre and its audiences are increasingly the benefactors of the connectedness forged through our hybridized culture staged in performance venues around the globe.”  What does the author mean by that? Illustrate your explanation with an example from a theatre production, film, or tv show that you have seen.




    Competency 6

    Students will synthesize information and apply knowledge gained in this course to broader contexts.

    Students should prepare an essay of  500 words to address: How did this course better prepare you, as an organizational leader, for a global, interconnected world? How does the practice of theatre, and those who create it, connect to your own work as a leader and collaborator?

    Student responses will vary but should include information about the director as well as addressing how the following relates to leadership in organizations beyond theatre:

    With the prevalence of intercultural exchange, theatre practitioners must approach their craft with cultural sensitivity and integrity, honoring difference and creating dialogue rather than falling into the traps of easy appropriation and exploitation.



    Leadership (10 pts)

    Does the essay demonstrate an understanding of leadership in theatre practice, e.g. through the work of the director? 

    Connections to Broader Contexts (10 points)

    Does the essay address how theatre connects to leadership in other contexts/sectors?

    Global Understanding (10 points)

    Does the essay include connections between theatre, leadership, and a global world?

    Organization (10 points)

    Is the essay well structured, with an interesting opening in an introductory paragraph that states the thesis and gives a brief overview of the points that will support the thesis, several paragraphs covering the main points, and a good conclusion that does more than restate the main points?

    Mechanics (5 points)

    Has the essay been edited for spelling, grammar, tense, number, commas, semicolons, etc.?  Does the student present his/her points in a clear, articulate manner? See Grammar/Style Checklist.

    Word Count (5 points)

    Does the assignment largely meet the word requirement?

    Introduction to Theatre Grammar/Style Checklist

    Introduction to Theatre Grammar/Style Checklist



    _____  Use 12 point font and double-space.

    _____  Underline or italicize titles of books, plays, and movies; essay titles are placed in quotation marks.

    _____  Do not underline punctuation that follows a title, unless it is part of the title.

    _____  Avoid contractions in formal essays.

    _____  Block quotes longer than four typed lines. Block quotes are indented 10 spaces from the left margin. Maintain double spacing. Do not use quotation marks with block quotes. Include the page number of the quote.

    _____  Proofread, proofread, proofread



    _____  Review proper uses of commas and possessive apostrophes.

    _____  Use a semicolon to join two independent clauses without the benefit of a conjunction; a semicolon may also be used between items in a series containing internal punctuation.

    _____  Use single quotation marks only to indicate quotes within quotes. Use double quotation marks for normal quotes.

    _____  Always place periods and commas inside quotation marks and colons and semicolons outside quotation marks. Put question marks and exclamation points inside quotation marks unless they apply to the sentence as a whole.

    _____  To condense a quoted passage, you can use the ellipsis mark (three periods, with spaces between, before and after) to indicate that you have omitted words. (Here is . . . an example.) Do not split an ellipsis onto two separate lines.



    _____  it's = it is. its = possessive form, no apostrophe.

    _____  Make sure a pronoun and its antecedent agree when they are both singular or both plural.  (The doctor finished her rounds. The doctors finished their rounds.)

    _____  The pronouns this, that, and which should not refer vaguely to earlier word groups or ideas. These pronouns should refer to specific antecedents. ("This day marks the beginning of a new life, "rather than "This marks the beginning of a new life.")

    _____  Avoid ending sentences with a preposition. ("I do not have the tools with which to do the job," rather than "I do not have the tools to do the job with.")

    _____  When deciding to use who or whom in a subordinate clause or a question, check for the word's function within the clause or question. Who can be used for subjects and subject complements; whom can be used for objects. ("He tells that story to whoever will listen" [whoever is the subject of "will listen"]...."You will work with our senior engineers, whom you will meet later" [engineers is the object of the sentence.])