Sample Syllabus THETR/EDUC 241

 During April of 2018, Hamilton College students in this course worked with the Mid-Town Utica Community Center, the Neighborhood Center (in partnership with the Kirkland Arts Center), the Kirkland Town Library and Bellamy Elementary School to create theatre projects with youth. The goal of the course was to first teach students ideas on how and why to use theatre as a tool to educate and empower youth and then have the Hamilton students practice what they learned in class as they worked with our community partners.

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THETR/EDUC 241 Theatre for Social Change: Youth and Education

Jeanne Willcoxon

Office Hours: Tuesday and Friday 10am-noon or by appointment

Class Hours: Monday and Wednesday 2:30-3:45

KTSA 219

This course examines how theatre provokes, promotes and produces social change through engaging with youth. The course focuses on applied theatre, theatre that occurs in “non-traditional settings and/or with marginalized communities” to directly intervene in issues of concern to community members. Students examine how theatre can be used to educate and empower youth in communities and classrooms through Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed, storytelling circles and the devising of original performances. We end the course with the Neighborhood Bridges Program to learn how theatre teaches students critical and creative literacy in the classroom. As students learn about theatre for social change, they practice the methods and technique we study in class and then develop and implement their own applied theatre projects for youth in the community.

ASSIGNMENTS:

Paper One (3-5 pages) 15%

Student-Led Neighborhood Bridges Session 15%

Class Participation in Discussion and On-Your-Feet Practice: 20%

Community Project with a final paper: 50%

REQUIRED BOOKS

Nicholson, Helen. Theatre & Education. Palsgrave Macmillan, 2009.

Zipes, Jack. Speaking Out: Storytelling and Creative Drama for Children. New York: Routledge, 2004. [THIS IS ACCESSED ONLINE THROUGH LIBRARY WEBSITE]

Additional material on BLACKBOARD

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SCHEDULE (subject to change)

WEEK ONE: INTRODUCTIONS

Wednesday, 1/17:

Introductions

WEEK TWO: GROUND WORK

Monday, 1/22:

What is Applied Theatre?

Prentki, Tim and Preston, Sheila. “Introduction.” The Applied Theatre Reader, Routledge, 2009, pp. 9-17

Cohen-Cruz, Jan. “Introduction.” Engaging Performance: Theatre as Call and Response, Routledge, 2010, pp. 1-13.

Wednesday, 1/24:

Nicholson’s book raises several questions about the intersection of theatre and education. She starts with two quotes, one from playwright Howard Barker arguing that theatre is the “last place you would go to ‘learn’ something,” and one from playwright Edward Bond that seems to argue for the value of theatre in the education of youth. What are some of the possibilities and problems with the intersection of theatre and education?

Theatre & Education, 1-80.

WEEK THREE: AUGUSTO BOAL and THE THEATRE OF THE OPPRESSED

Monday, 1/29:

Cohen-Cruz, Jan. “Specta(c)ting: Theatre of the Oppressed, Orthodoxy and Adaptation.” Engaging Performance, pp. 42-49, 52-57, 64-66. [Blackboard]

Boal, Augusto. “Poetics of the Oppressed.” Theatre of the Oppressed, Theatre Communications Group, 1985, pp. 120-156 + Appendix A & B.[blackboard]

plus:

A VERY short history of Boal: Schutzman, Mady and Cohen-Cruz, Jan. “Introduction.” Playing Boal: Theatre, Therapy, Activism, Routledge, 1994, pp. 1-4. [you can access this book online through the library website

Wednesday, 1/31:

Boal in action - working with Forum and Image Theatre.

On-your-feet work with Boal.

WEEK FOUR- BOAL Case Studies

Monday, 2/5:

“Introduction: Why This? Why Now?” Youth and Theatre of the Oppressed, Ed. Peter Duffy and Elinor Vettraino, Springer Nature, 2010, pp. 1-14. [you can access this book online through the library website]

Students assigned specific case studies from Youth and Theatre of the Oppressed to present to the class.

Wednesday, 2/7:

Continue Case Studies with Boal from Youth and Theatre of the Oppressed.

WEEK FIVE - DEVISING ORIGINAL PERFORMANCES

Monday, 2/12:

Oddey, Alison. “Beginnings: How and Where to Start” and “From Process to Product: The participatory theatre-in-education program.” Devising Theatre: A Practical and Theoretical Handbook, Routledge, 1994.

Wednesday, 2/14:

Lipkin, Joan. “On the Case for Devising Theatre for Social Justice on College Campuses.” Theatre Topics, Volume 26, Issue 2, 2016.

Bowles, Norma. “Why Devise? Why Now?: ‘Houston, we have a problem.” Theatre Topics, Vol 15, No. 1, 2005. Addressing LGBT biases with high school students.

Bowles, Norma. “Devising and Mandated Reporting: An Update from the Field.” Theatre Topics, 07/2016, Volume 26, Issue 2.

PAPER ONE DUE: Drawing from your Boal case study (you may also choose to investigate another case study from class) and other Boal readings, critically explore how YOU think Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed works (or doesn’t) work as a theatrical tool to empower and educate youth. You may want to focus on a specific age group or make an argument about the applicability of TO to particular age groups. Be sure that you address counterarguments!

WEEK SIX - DEVISING PERFORMANCES

Monday, 2/19:

Theatre Games for Youth - Establishing Trust and Community

Wednesday, 2/21:

Some ideas on Devising Performances, trying out ideas from Oddey, Lipkin and Bowles.

WEEK SEVEN - NEIGHBORHOOD BRIDGES

Monday, 2/26: (note: this is a heavy reading day)

Zipes, Jack. Speaking Out : Storytelling and Creative Drama for Children. Taylor and Francis, 2015. Read Chapters 1, 2 and 3 [you can access this book online through the library website]

Selections from Rodari, Gianni. The Grammar of Fantasy. Trans. Jack Zipes, Teachers &Writers Collaborative, 1996. [Blackboard]

Wednesday, 2/28:

Zipes, Jack. Speaking Out : Storytelling and Creative Drama for Children. Read Chapter 4 on the history of Neighborhood Bridges and Chapter 5 on a typical session in the program.

WEEK EIGHT - NEIGHBORHOOD BRIDGES

Monday, 3/5:

Zipes, Jack. Speaking Out : Storytelling and Creative Drama for Children. Read Chapter 6.

Wednesday, 3/7:

Meet with your groups to plan your post-break work

SPRING BREAK 3/10-3/25

WEEK NINE - NEIGHBORHOOD BRIDGES and CRITICAL LITERACY

Monday, 3/26:

Meet with your groups for post-break community project

Wednesday, 3/28:

Zipes, Jack. Speaking Out : Storytelling and Creative Drama for Children. Read Chapter 7.

Student-led Neighborhood Bridges Sessions in Class

WEEK TEN - NB SESSIONS

Monday, 4/2:

Student-led Neighborhood Bridges Sessions in Class

Wednesday, 4/4:

Student-led Neighborhood Bridges Sessions in Class

WEEK ELEVEN - WORK WITH COMMUNITY PARTNERS

Monday, 4/9:

Project Work

Wednesday, 4/11:

Project Work

WEEK TWELVE - WORK WITH COMMUNITY PARTNERS

Monday, 4/16:

Project Work

Wednesday, 4/18:

Project Work

WEEK THIRTEEN - WORK WITH COMMUNITY PARTNERS

Monday, 4/23

Project Work

Wednesday, 4/25

Project Work

WEEK FOURTEEN - WORK WITH COMMUNITY PARTNERS and WRAP-UP

Monday 4/30

Project Work

Wednesday, May 2

Oral reports/discussion/reflection on community projects

FOR OUR FINAL:

Turn in project paper.

THETR100 Introduction to Making Theatre: Theory and Practice Syllabus