Music, Films and Theater
Exploring Contemporary Theatre
Day: 6 Mondays Time: 1:15-2:45 p.m. Dates: 9/16-10/28 (no class on 10/14) Location: UMass Boston, McCormack Bldg., 1st FL, Room 421 Facilitator: Jason E. Weber Description: The theatre is an art form that is struggling to find its place in contemporary society. How does the performative event fit into the daily lives of individuals absorbed in technology and fast-paced global exchanges? What is the value of theatre in that society? Ariane Mnouchkine, a contemporary French director-writer, says “Theatre is not a conversation in a sitting room or café. It is not realism but poetry. Theatre is art, and life is something different.” What does she mean, and is she correct? This is what we shall seek to explore in this course. Participants will learn about the breadth of the intellectual and creative discourse surrounding the present and future of the theatrical form. Students will have weekly readings of plays representing a wide range of styles found in the contemporary theatre. Coupling those plays with important critical work from the last century, we will work to Socratically develop and test a working definition of “Contemporary Theatre” and hypothesize what the future of the art form is, or if a future is even possible.
Day: 9 Fridays Time: 12:30-3:00 p.m. Dates: 9/20-11/15 Location: UMass Boston, McCormack Bldg., 3rd FL., Room 204 Facilitator: Richard Rancatore Description: Join in as we view and discuss unusual, rare, or forgotten gems of foreign cinema. Film aficionado, Richard Rancatore, will be researching his latest group of cinematic treasures during the summer and promises his students a list of all the films featured in this ongoing class during the last decade.
Introduction to Opera
Day: 6 Mondays Time: 10-noon Dates: 9/23-11/4 (no class on 10/14) Location: UMass Boston, Healey Library, Lower Level, Presentation Room 2 Facilitator: Barbara Wagner Description: This is an introduction that approaches opera via the libretto. Barbara Wagner has made CDs of well-known operas, giving the story in English before each scene, which is sung in the original language. Each opera will be followed by (a) brief readings on the composer’s life and any other relevant items of interest and/or (b) the most famous arias sung by other singers for comparison (as time permits). We will start with a brief history of early western music and Italian opera, followed by two sessions on Giuseppe Verdi’s Stiffelio. Next we’ll have two sessions on Thaïs by Jules Massenet, and a final session on Beethoven and Fedelio. Note: There will be one $5 fee for handouts.
Acting for the Stage
Day: 10 Mondays Time: 1:15-3:30 p.m. Dates: 9/30-12/16 (no class on 10/14 & 11/11) Location: UMass Boston, McCormack Bldg., 3rd FL., Room 204A Facilitator: Laura Godtfredsen Description: This course is designed for those who want to perform before a live audience. We will focus on character development, stage presence, interactive dialogues, stage voice and blocking. Scenes will be chosen that fit the profiles of the students who enroll in the course. It is essential that the student actors make a commitment at the outset to realize the goal of performing before a live audience at the end of the semester or shortly thereafter. Students will have an opportunity to engage in the full stage experience, including set design, stage management, and prop selection. The performance goal is about 1 to 1.5 hours in length, either several scenes or a one act play.