program description

Over the past century, film and television have evolved to become the dominant performance mediums and agents of popular culture in the world. Conversely, and in spite of significant innovation, theatre in America has experienced a decline in output, influence and attendance. This program will investigate stage and screen in 21st century.  What are these mediums -- as separate entities and in relation to one another? What role do they play in our culture?  How do they co-exist and, at best, live in creative dissonance? Our readings will include plays, operas, film scripts, literary sources, and critical/historical materials. We will also attend theatre performances in Seattle and screen works created on film and video. Through a series of lectures, workshops, performance exercises, and seminars, we will focus our work to develop both critical perspective on and practical understanding of stage and screen in the modern era.

Central questions that form the basis of our learning goals include:

  • What concepts, conventions and techniques are involved in reading (and listening to), producing and viewing plays, musicals, operas?
  • What developments, individuals and works exemplify the art of the stage in the age of film and television?
  • What distinguishes film and television from stage performance and how have these distinctions evolved with developments in technology and media?
  • What is involved when literature is adapted as theatre, opera or film?
  • How has our perception of and relationship to the stage changed as a result of film and television?
  • What role does community and culture play in the live stage event versus film and television, which are generally pre-packaged technology?

Given the complexity and scope of this subject, it would be impossible to provide a truly comprehensive picture of stage and screen in just one quarter of study.  The specific topics chosen for the program (supported by reading, visual materials, music and performances) address concepts, developments, techniques, individuals and works that best reveal the art of  the stage in the age of film and television.

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