Theater in America

Theater in America

$249.00

Teen Focus 12+

This course provides an introduction to modern American plays that explore the social, political, racial and economic challenges and triumphs of the 20th century to the present day.  Students will read plays from a diverse group of groundbreaking playwrights whose work has characterized our collective American experience.  Close examination and analysis of these texts will spring forth from classroom discussions, written assignments, and participation.  Students will attend live local performances, and listen to online guest speakers working in the theater.  By recognizing key characteristics of expression, creative design, structure, and character development an appreciation of the power of storytelling to engross, move, and change an audience will be developed.

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This course provides an introduction to modern American plays that explore the social, political, racial and economic challenges and triumphs of the 20th century to the present day.  Students will read plays from a diverse group of groundbreaking playwrights whose work has characterized our collective American experience.  Close examination and analysis of these texts will spring forth from classroom discussions, written assignments, and participation.  Students will attend live local performances, and listen to online guest speakers working in the theater.  By recognizing key characteristics of expression, creative design, structure, and character development an appreciation of the power of storytelling to engross, move, and change an audience will be developed.

Learning Goals and Outcomes:

  • Read and analyze a variety of contemporary plays
  • Identify the major playwrights in recent American history
  • Connect how the art of storytelling defines and shapes modern thought and theory
  • Critically analyze texts for social, cultural, and political trends
  • Discover the elements of story design: protagonist, antagonist, setting up, hooking the audience, crisis, climax, and resolution
  • Articulate how playwrights create story structure by identifying character and plot development
  • Understand the role of the playwright as the prominent theater artist
  • Develop original ideas by conceiving a concept and communicating the idea clearly to an audience
  • Attend a professional theatre production and analyze the play from an audience perspective and a creative student

Required Readings:

Topics Covered

•Read and analyze a variety of contemporary plays

•Identify the major playwrights in recent American history

•Connect how the art of storytelling defines and shapes modern thought and theory

•Critically analyze texts for social, cultural, and political trends

•Discover the elements of story design: protagonist, antagonist, setting up, hooking the audience, crisis, climax, and resolution

•Articulate how playwrights create story structure by identifying character and plot development

•Understand the role of the playwright as the prominent theater artist

•Develop original ideas by conceiving a concept and communicating the idea clearly to an audience

•Attend a professional theatre production and analyze the play from an audience perspective and a creative student

Grade Level

Appropriate for grades 9 through 12. This is a high school literature course open to students ages 12 and up who are prepared to read and discuss literature at a high school level.

Time Commitment

Most students report spending approximately 3 hours per week on homework outside of the webinar.

Instructor

Titania

Reading List

Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire
Fences by August Wilson
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
All My Sons by Arthur Miller
Mountaintop by Katori Hall
Anna in the Tropics by Nilo Cruz
God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza

Prerequisites

Any HS Lightning Literature class, or equivalent literary analysis experience. Student must be able to read quickly and fluently at the 9th grade level or above, and possess the maturity to discuss emotionally challenging topics in a group setting. Students must be comfortable with the fast pace of the reading assignments, as only one-two weeks of class time will be allotted for the reading of each play.  Students should also be able to write multi-paragraph texts independently and verbally communicate complex ideas with the microphone in the live webinar.

Available Sessions

Fall 2017 Thursday 9am Pacific