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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)

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, TAPS 251C)

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)

TAPS 151T: Great Books: Dramatic Traditions (TAPS 351)

The most influential and enduring texts in the dramatic canon from Sophocles to Shakespeare, Chekhov to Soyinka. Their historical and geopolitical contexts. Questions about the power dynamics involved in the formation of canons. This course counts as a Writing in the Major course for TAPS in 2016-17.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Menon, J. (PI)

TAPS 152: Introduction to Improvisation in Dance: From Salsa to Vodun to Tap Dance (AFRICAAM 52, CSRE 152)

This seminar introduces students to Dance Studies by exploring the topic of improvisation, a central concept in multiple genres of dance and music. We will survey a range of improvised dance forms¿from salsa to vodun to tap dance¿through readings, video viewings, discussion, and movement exercises (no previous dance experience required). When studying each genre, we will examine how race, gender, sexuality, citizenship, and other power structures affect the practices and theorizations of improvisation. Topics include community and identity formation; questions of technique versus ¿natural¿ ability; improvisation as a spiritual practice; and the role of history in improvisers¿ quest for spontaneity. Course material will focus on improvised dance, but we will also read pertinent literature in jazz music, theatre, and the law.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Winter 2016 | Units: 3-4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

TAPS 153M: Mechanics of the Theater: The Technologies of Stagecraft

This course explores the history of technologies vital to the theatre: traps, lifts, lights, and sounds have been crucial for creating stage illusion. Divided into three main sections, Mechanics and Machines, Lighting and Projections, and Acoustics and Sound, we will examine the history of technological innovation and theatrical experimentation from the Enlightenment to the present. We will also be conducting case studies for each section with a core text or texts. We will cover Shakespeare's Hamlet, Ibsen's Ghosts, Chekhov's The Seagull, and Dreamgirls, The Musical. n nTechnologies such as mechanical traps, electrical lights, and sound machines have been used to create stunning illusions and spectacular theater. Many of these technologies were also significant for the histories of industrialization and modernization. We will ask: How did theater makers develop and innovate using technological innovations? What role does technological aesthetics play in understanding human culture? What are the relationships between theater, technology, and society? In class, we will be reading, experimenting, and performing with various technological artifacts. We will be conducting experiments alongside our reading practice to better understand our historical subjects.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Autumn 2017 | Units: 3-4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
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