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TAPS 1: Introduction to Theater and Performance Studies

TAPS 1 provides you with a solid foundation in Theater Studies and traces the development of the burgeoning field of Performance Studies. We will consider a range of canonical plays and emerging performance forms, and explore how performance can also function as an interpretive framework for analyzing a broad range of social behaviors, sites, and institutions. Through a series of close readings, discussions, written and practical exercises, and viewings of live performance, this course will help you achieve a richer understanding of the performances you see and the performances you may wish to make. This quarter, TAPS 1 will serve as the platform for the Theater & Performance Studies professionalization series. We will host several guest speakers (directors, actors, playwrights, and dance practitioners), who will give you some real connections in the theater world and will provide you with information and skills to help you build a career in the arts.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Robinson, A. (PI)

TAPS 11N: Dramatic Tensions: Theater and the Marketplace

Preference to freshmen. The current state of the American theater and its artists. Conventional wisdom says that theater is a dying art, and a lost cause, especially in an age of multi-media entertainment. But there are more young playwrights, actors, and directors entering the field today than at any other time in American history. Focus is on the work of today's theater artists, with an emphasis on an emerging generation of playwrights. Students read a cross-section of plays from writers currently working in the US and UK, covering a spectrum of subjects and styles from serious to comic, from the musical to the straight play. Hits and misses from recent seasons of the New York and London stages and some of the differences of artistic taste across the Atlantic. Hands-on exploration of the arts and skills necessary to make a play succeed. Students develop their own areas of interest, in guided projects in design, direction or performance. Conversations with playwrights, designers ,and directors. Labs and master classes to solve problems posed in areas of creative production. Class meets literary managers and producers who are on the frontlines of underwriting new talent. Class trips include two plays at major Bay Area Stages.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Freed, A. (PI)

TAPS 11Q: Art in the Metropolis (ARTSINST 11Q)

This seminar is offered in conjunction with the annual "Arts Immersion" trip to New York that takes place over the spring break and is organized by the Stanford Arts Institute (SAI). Participation in the trip is a requirement for taking part in the seminar (and vice versa). The trip is designed to provide a group of students with the opportunity to immerse themselves in the cultural life of New York City guided by faculty and the SAI programming director. Students will experience a broad range and variety of art forms (visual arts, theater, opera, dance, etc.) and will meet with prominent arts administrators and practitioners, some of whom are Stanford alumni. For further details and updates about the trip, see http://arts.stanford.edu.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Phelan, P. (PI)

TAPS 20N: Prisons and Performance

Preference to Freshmen. This seminar starts with the unlikely question of what can the performing arts, particularly dance and theater, illuminate about the situation of mass incarceration in America. Part seminar, part immersive context building, students will read and view a cross-section of dance and theater works where the subject, performers, choreographers or authors, belong to part of the 2.4 million people currently behind bars in US prisons. Class includes conversations with formerly incarcerated youth, prison staff, juvenile justice lawyers and artists working in juvenile and adult prisons as well as those who are part of the 7.3 million people currently on parole or probation. Using performance as our lens we will investigate the unique kinds of understanding the arts make possible as well as the growing use of theater and dance to affect social change and personal transformation among prison inmates. Class trips will include visits to locked facilities and meetings with artists and inmates working behind bars.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Ross, J. (PI)

TAPS 21N: The Idea of Virtual Reality

What is virtual reality and where is it heading? Was there VR before digital technology? What is the value of the real in a virtual culture? How, where, and when do we draw the line between the virtual and the real, the live and the mediated today? Concentrating on three aspects of VR simulation, immersion, and interactivity this course will examine recent experiments alongside a long history of virtual performance, from Plato's Cave to contemporary CAVEs, from baroque theatre design to Oculus Rift.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Winter 2018 | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

TAPS 40N: Family Drama: American Plays about Families (AMSTUD 41N, ENGLISH 41N)

Focus on great dramas about family life (Albee, Kushner, Shephard, Vogel, Kron, Nottage, Parks). Communication in writing and speaking about conflict central to learning in this class.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Phelan, P. (PI)

TAPS 41N: Inventing Modern Theatre: Georg B├╝chner and Frank Wedekind

The German writers Georg Büchner (1813-1837) and Frank Wedekind (1864-1918). Many of the most important theater and film directors of the last century, including Max Reinhardt, G. W. Pabst, Orson Welles, Robert Wilson, and Werner Herzog, have wrestled with their works, as have composers and writers from Alban Berg and Bertolt Brecht through Christa Wolf and Thalia Field. Rock artists as diverse as Tom Waits, Lou Reed, Duncan Sheik, and Metallica have recently rediscovered their urgency. Reading these works in translation and examining artistic creations they inspired. Classroom discussions and written responses; students also rehearse and present in-class performances of excerpts from the plays. The aim of these performances is not to produce polished stagings but to creatively engage with the texts and their interpretive traditions. No previous theatrical experience required.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Winter 2014 | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-CE | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

TAPS 133T: Transgender Performance and Performativity (FEMGEN 133)

This course examines theater, performance art, dance, and embodied practice by transgender artists. Students will learn the history and politics of transgender performance while considering the creative processes and formal aesthetics trans artists use to make art. We will analyze creative work in conversation with critical and theoretical texts from the fields of performance studies, art history, and queer studies.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Spring 2018 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-CE | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

TAPS 151: Dramaturgy (TAPS 315)

In this seminar, we will take the conventional idea of dramaturgy for narrative performance as developed in Western European theater since the enlightenment, and investigate its relation to non-narrative forms of performance in 20th and 21st (performance art, conceptual dance). Further, we will use dramaturgical procedures to explore the ideological content of performance and position of art institutions in our society. Finally, the students will get acquainted with production dramaturgy and get necessary tools to take the role of dramaturgs in actual performance productions.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Spring 2018 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-CE | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

TAPS 151C: Hamlet and the Critics (ENGLISH 115C, ENGLISH 215C)

Focus is on Shakespeare's Hamlet as a site of rich critical controversy from the eighteenth century to the present. Aim is to read, discuss, and evaluate different approaches to the play, from biographical, theatrical, and psychological to formalist, materialist, feminist, new historicist, and, most recently, quantitative. The ambition is to see whether there can be great literature without (a) great (deal of) criticism. The challenge is to understand the theory of literature through the study of its criticism.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Lupic, I. (PI)
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