This program will introduce students to the work of women and trans playwrights, from innovators like Lorraine Hansberry, Adrienne Kennedy, and Caryl Churchill to more recent works by Suzanne Lori-Parks, Taylor Mac, and Quiara Alegría Hudes. We will explore these plays as literature—through seminars and lectures—and as blueprints for performance—through final projects in which students choose, rehearse, and perform key scenes.
We will read the work of our playwrights alongside influential texts in feminist and gender studies, using the critical essays to support our reading of the plays, and using the plays to evaluate the theories put forward in the academic theory. In other words, students should be prepared to engage thoughtfully in both creative and critical modes of inquiry, and to write papers as well as preparing monologues and scenes for performance.
No previous experience with theater is required; weekly workshops will provide students with practice in performance, with a focus on vocal clarity and on-stage listening. Additional challenge will be offered to those who have a substantial background in acting for the stage, but all students are expected to work collaboratively on their final projects.
Because this program is focused on gender—as it intersects with other categories of identity such as race and class—students should be prepared to engage thoughtfully and respectfully in challenging conversations about systemic oppression.
Course Reference Numbers
literature; theater; gender, women's & sexuality studies; cultural studies -- also useful for students planning to enter a social service field that requires an inclusive understanding of gender
$25 fee will cover the cost of a ticket to a play