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 Picador Seminars by Guillermo Verdecchia 

Submitted by Dr. Florian Bast on Mon, 02/03/2014 - 16:42


Tuesdays, 1-3 pm, first session on April 22nd.

This course is an introduction to writing for the stage. We will focus on developing a writing practice, analytical skills, and understanding of your individual process. The course will be structured much like a writing workshop with time devoted to practice and discussion. Your interests and questions will inform some of what we cover.

We learn to write by writing. And by reading. We will do both in this class. Some portion of each class will be devoted to in-class writing. An array of sources and techniques will be used to motivate and guide this work. This in-class writing will explore a variety of styles and approaches to writing for theatre and performance. Some of this work will be further developed throughout the term. Students are expected to write approximately 10 pages each week. Our emphasis will be on experimentation and process; our aim is personal, intelligent, and adventurous writing.

In concert with the development of a writing practice, we will develop and strengthen our critical and analytical faculties. We will read a variety of scripts or portions thereof to develop a sense of the variety of voices and styles theatre and performance embrace, and to understand how they work, how they mean, how, and what they perform. We will also share our own writing in class regularly and learn to respond thoughtfully to one another's work. We can learn as much from each other's work as from our own. Hearing our work aloud, in space and in public (not simply in our heads), can make us more sensitive to how our writing performs. Analysing the work of others can help us become more conscious of the choices we make in our own.

Our work may conclude with a public reading …

There is also a task I would like you to prepare for our first session:

On the first day of class, Apr 22, 2014, please come prepared to answer the following question:

Where does your interest in theatre/writing come from? What is the most significant or inspiring theatre experience you've had.

Please prepare a brief oral synopsis of your favourite scene from a play (or film) that you really like.  This play can be from any era and reflect any style.  It can also be either a well known work or an obscure piece of dramatic writing by someone other than you. Your synopsis should be between 2 ­ 3 minutes max.

   i.      Feel free to set up the scene with a précis of the story of the play

  ii.      Feel free to read a tiny excerpt from the work itself

Welcome to our class; I look forward to working with you.

Corneille: It is certain that there are laws of playwriting, since it is an art; but it is not certain what these laws are.

All students are welcome, but the number of spots is limited. Magisterstudents, please note that the rules for using Picadorscheins apply for this course. Get in touch with your students advisors if you have any questions.

You can apply for this class via email.


Contemporary Canadian Intercultural Theatre

Mondays, 3-5 pm, first session on April 28th.

Stuart Hall argued that “the capacity to live with difference” would be the "question of the 21st century".

This course will focus on (mostly) Canadian plays that, in some way, stage Hall's question. What role might the theatre play in moving us beyond the platitutdes and good intentions of official multiculturalism toward a truly intercultural nation? How might Canadian drama and theatre intervene in other national contexts that face similar questions.

We will consider between 5-7 plays. A list of required texts will be provided soon. The class will be structure somewhat like a seminar; I will try to keep lecturing to a minimum. Your participation will be crucial to the success of this course. We will discuss these texts together, and supplement our discussion with dramatic readings and low-key performances. This is after all a course built around plays! (Don't worry; this will be great fun and give you insight into the texts.)

The seminar is part of the BA Module "Literature and Culture III" It is also open to advanced Magister students. Please note that the rules for using Picadorscheins apply for this course. Get in touch with your students advisors if you have any questions.

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