2008-09 Catalog

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Program Description

PerformanceWorks: Telling Stories

Revised Last Updated: 11/17/2008

Fall and Winter quarters

Faculty: Sean Williams music, cultural studies, Rob Esposito dance, kinesiology, Don Foran literature

Major areas of study include performing arts, literature and writing.

Class Standing: This lower-division program is designed for 50% freshmen and 50% sophomores.

This program will not be accepting new students winter quarter.

This two-quarter program has as its focus the ways in which people tell and adapt stories to reflect their priorities and the ways they see the world. How are stories drawn out of people? How are stories adopted, adapted, expressed, and reacted to across cultures? In Southeast Asia, for example, storytelling through the use of puppetry is a normal and expected part of adult interaction. In Ireland storytelling might occur through song as well as through the spoken word. We will explore the theory and practice of storytelling through words, movement, and music. While our words may be limited to the English language, our field is the world. Biblical stories turn into bluegrass songs; Greek myths appear in contemporary films. The faculty for this program have extensive experience living and studying outside the United States, and bring multiple perspectives and ways of seeing the world to bear in our collective exploration.

Students enrolled in this program should expect a performance component but also a strong emphasis on the written word. In many cases, stories take life only when they leave the page and find expression in the performing arts. In other cases, a vision that is expressed through the arts may develop deeper meaning through its adaptation to the written word. In all cases, however, interpretation is an essential go-between, and our roles as interpreters form an important point of entry to the objects of study.

In fall we will begin with the roots of some of the world's essential stories from multiple cradles of civilization: Greece, the Middle East, India, England, and elsewhere. We will explore the ways in which stories tell the members of a society who they are by examining essential archetypes and how they differ from place to place. In winter quarter we will focus more specifically on writing stories based on what we have come to know. Working collaboratively with our colleagues, we will engage in small, in-house performances of adaptations of these stories.

Because we work in multiple media (including sound, film, and the body as well as the pen and computer), all students are expected to work regularly with a variety of aspects of performance in the program. We will watch, we will move, we will write, and we will make music; we will also examine what we have seen and done through seminars and in-class discussions. How would you render a work of Shakespeare in song? How would you turn a film into a poem, a dance into a play, a prophecy into a book? All of our work will be supplemented with the work of visiting artists (including professional storytellers), live performances in Olympia and Seattle, and a culminating visit to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon.

Credits: 16 per quarter

Enrollment: 69

Books: www.tescbookstore.com

Special Expenses: $300 for several performance events over the two quarters and for a visit to Ashland, Oregon to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in writing, music, dance, theater and education.

Planning Units: Programs for Freshmen, Culture, Text and Language, Expressive Arts

Program Revisions

Date Revision
April 18th, 2008 This program has been changed to a Core program from a lower division offering.
May 2nd, 2008 Rob Esposito and Don Foran have joined the faculty team for this program.
July 14th, 2008 This program has reverted back to a lower division program registering both freshmen and sophomores.
November 17th, 2008 Restriction against joining program winter quarter added.