DART 3P94: Theatre Criticism
Online intensive, June 2-12, 2020
DART 3P94: Theatre Criticism is a new course that introduces students to the practical craft of and the theoretical background to theatre criticism. The activity of the course is divided between seeing productions and writing reviews of them; workshopping these reviews with the instructor and classmates; editing the reviews towards assessed submission, and eventual possible publication on a dedicated course blogsite; reading and discussing relevant academic and journalistic articles about criticism; and learning about alternative, digital, performative, and visual forms of criticism.
The instruction of this summertime intensive will be online, conducted using a combination of video conferencing, online chatrooms, animated Powerpoint lectures, and related formats. There will be designated course times during which students will be required to be virtually present; other activities during the two-week course will include reading/class preparation; writing and editing reviews and other forms of written response to theatre; creating digital critical responses using social media and other online platforms; participating in digital forums; and developing a summative criticism project. A final research paper about criticism will be due at the end of June.
Students will be required to see a minimum of four theatre productions as part of the course. While Fricker had hoped to take students on field trips to see live theatre, the pandemic situation has meant that students will be exploring theatre through video.
“There is an increasing amount of video-captured theatre performances available online, both through online subscriptions and packages that the Brock Library already holds, to theatres and festivals making some of their captured content available to the public,” says Fricker. It may be that a combination of live and recorded viewing is possible but all the performances will be viewed online.
“One of the interesting wrinkles of critiquing such performances is that you’re not reviewing live theatre but rather a recording of live theatre, and so questions of camera angles, cuts and actors’ relationships to each other and the camera come into play.”
This is an intensive course experience and prospective students are advised to be prepared to engage with it full-time during the two weeks of the course.
Prerequisite(s) are DART 2P96 and 2Q92 (2F94) or permission of the department. Interested students are invited to write to the instructor, Prof. Karen Fricker (firstname.lastname@example.org), as she is willing to consider relevant course experiences from other programs than DART.
Please register before May 1, 2020.
Karen Fricker is an associate professor in Dramatic Arts at Brock, a theatre critic at the Toronto Star, and vice-president of the Canadian Theatre Critics Association.