Special Topics (Group A)

2019 Summer Special Topics

DRM387H1 F  Call 45: Re-stor(y)ing Treaty Relationships

This course carries its participants into rigorous engagement with the tangled history of settlement, so that future conciliation might be operationalized. Here, we explore the curation of fluid spaces in which Indigenous participants and our non-Indigenous allies might address ourselves to the question (sometimes apart, sometimes together) of what it means “to rebel against the permanence of settler colonial reality,” to “dream alternative realities” and finally through story-ing together to create both the “context and event” out of which a process of re-worlding might begin.

Call 45 offers a blended program of land-based, experiential sessions (peripatetic teachings), lectures, sharing circles, and Storyweaving workshops through which to mediate possible sites (topographical, cognitive, ceremonial, and performative) of profound encounter and renewal. Informed by Indigenous aesthetic principles and by the Knowledge Systems that are rooted in this territory, Call 45 provides all participants with the opportunity to find ourselves within the ancient Stories written in the land, to remember the history of settlement and treaty-making, to address treaty-violations, and to actively re-present ourselves as treaty peoples in Tkaronto/Gchi Kiiwenging.

Offered only once - this summer 2019. It has been designed in conversation with the Hart House 100 production Story-ing Call 45: Weaving a Peoples’ Proclamation of (Re) Conciliation (opening September 2019 at Hart House Theatre). Participation in this production is not required to complete DRM387H.

Instructor: Jill Carter
Prerequisite: 4.0 FCE (priority for DRM & INS Majors, Minors & Specialists)
S term Summer: Mondays & Wednesdays, 6pm–9pm

DRM386H1 S Theatre Criticism: Toronto Fringe Festival & Summerworks

This course provides students with first-hand experience writing, editing and filing theatre reviews, while investigating the Toronto Fringe Festival (July 3–14, 2019) & Summerworks (August 9–19, 2019) as an artistic institution and producing model.

Students will be expected to buy theatre tickets (will try for group discount) to view among 150+ Fringe plays and Summerworks shows in order to write reviews. 

Prerequisite: 4.0 FCE and apply online by June 10th (priority for DRM Majors, Minors & Specialists)
S term Summer: Mondays & Wednesdays, 6pm–9pm

2019-2020 Special Seminar Topics

DRM385H1: Seminar: Performing Sport - The Athlete, The Artist

“To bring the expectations that arise from an artistic interpretation to sport distorts sport” (Edgar, Sport and Art). Blurring the boundaries between sport and art, the focal point of this course is this very distortion. Some examples of aesthetic sports include artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, figure skating, and synchronized swimming. While it is not uncommon to hear the term “artist” used in reference to these aesthetic athletes, what happens if the audience does bring an artistic interpretation to non-aesthetic sports—can an MLB pitcher or an NHL goalie be considered an artist as well? Considering the evaluative processes established in aesthetic sport—more specifically, the complications and contradictions that arise from trying to quantify the technical (the objective) and the artistic (the subjective)—and implementing them to non-aesthetic disciplines, this course will consider the inherent interconnectivity between sports and performance, and athletes and artists.

Prerequisite: 4.0 FCE(priority for DRM Majors, Minors & Specialists)
Recommended Preparation: DRM220Y1/DRM230Y1
F term: Mondays, 5pm–8pm

DRM386H1 S – Seminar: Dance and Politics

This course introduces students to the field of critical dance studies by examining bodily movement as a social, cultural, and political practice. Drawing examples from concert dance, social dance, ritual practice, and choreographies of protest, we will engage with questions such as: How does dance express belonging and exclusion, and participation in the making of modern national states and their subjects? How does choreography by Black and Indigenous activists build community, express dissent, and enact world-making? Readings drawn from the fields of dance studies, performance studies, and critical race and gender studies will be complemented by screenings, movement experiments, and viewings of live dance performance. The goal of the course is to develop critical methods for analyzing embodied politics of movement, on and off the stage.

Prerequisite: 4.0 FCE(priority for DRM Majors, Minors & Specialists)
Recommended Preparation: DRM220Y1/DRM230Y1
S term: Tuesdays, 5pm–8pm

DRM387H1 F Seminar: Experimental Music-Theatre

A genre that emerged in the 1960s and fell out of favour shortly after, “music-theatre” comprises, broadly, productions in which “spectacle and dramatic impact are emphasized over purely musical factors,” as Robert P. Morgan writes in Twentieth-Century Music. We will be engaging this definition of music-theatre (and noting the distinction from musical theatre) through its historical precedents (Richard Wagner’s epic music-dramas), the crossover between “new music” and performance art (John Cage, Yoko Ono, Alison Knowles). In particular, we will explore work from the last five to ten years, including that by Sarah Hennies, Du Yun, d’bi.young anitafrika, Christian Marclay, Janet Cardiff, and Raven Chacon, among others.

We will also collaborate with students in Professor Norbert Palej’s graduate composition course in the Faculty of Music, meeting bi-weekly in a music-theatre creation lab, and in January 2020, perform a collective-creation piece as part of the Faculty of Music’s annual New Music Festival.

Instructor: Nikki Cesare Schotzko
Prerequisite: 4.0 FCE(priority for DRM Majors, Minors & Specialists)
Recommended Preparation: DRM220Y1/DRM230Y1
F term: Tuesdays, 10am–1pm

DRM388H1 S Seminar: Burlesque Theory, History, and Practice

This course explores the rich history of burlesque performance from the Victorian era to the present-day’s neo-burlesque movement. We will trace the lineage of this style of performance from the first incarnations of American Burlesque in the 1860s, to the heyday of classic burlesque striptease, to the revival in the late 1990s and growing popularity in the 2000s. We will also look forward to currently emerging subgenres. In investigating this style of performance, we will examine questions of race, class, gender, and sexuality. We will explore tensions between what is considered respectable theatre and what is seen as low-brow or tawdry theatre.

Course readings will present differing, even conflicting views of burlesque performance and performers, striptease and sex work, the male gaze, and feminism. The class format will be a mixture of lecture and discussion with some movement work. Guest artists and lecturers will also attend class throughout the term. Students will have the opportunity in their final assignments to either write a formal essay or to create a burlesque performance piece and to submit an artist’s statement and process journal. Prerequisite: 4.0 FCE (priority for DRM Majors, Minors & Specialists)
Recommended Preparation: DRM220Y1/DRM230Y1
S term: Thursdays, 5pm–8pm

DRM487H1 S – S Livestreaming with (DDL)2: Artistic and Professional Explorations of a Digital Media Challenge

Increasingly, theatre practitioners (performers, dramaturgs, directors, designers, scholars, writers, and producers, etc.) are asked to participate in online, web-based live stream auditions, job interviews and present creative ideas to festival programmers or performance venues. They are expected to efficiently present themselves and their ideas through live-stream media.

Our innovative course explores both critical discourses but also practices of live stream performance, internet theatre documentation and job interview situations. Students will be building and practicing professional, creative and critical analytical skills, when conceptualizing and performing live-stream tasks. This includes critical writing, technical skills in terms of setup, the use of equipment (sound, light, camera, post-production), digital post-production and representation strategies/performance. This is a project of Professor Budde’s creative research hub Digital Dramaturgy Labsquared or (DDL)2, and is co-funded by the Provost’s ITIF Fund and CDTPS.

Instructor: Antje Budde 
S term: Wednesdays, 2pm–5pm
Prerequisite: DRM220Y1/DRM230Y1 and  12.0 FCE

DRM488H1 F – Seminar: Black Playwrights: Resistance, Resilience and Transformation  

An exploration of dramatic literature by writers from the African Diaspora (Canada, USA, UK and the Caribbean) from 1959 to the present. The course will identify a selection of playwrights central to the development of Black drama, their plays, and preformative practices. Emphasis will be placed on dramaturgical analysis, sociohistorical context, the author’s influences, and relevant critical writing, in order to evaluate these works as sites of social resistance, cultural resilience, and aesthetic transformation. Readings include works for the stage by Lorraine Hansberry,Wole Soyinka, August Wilson, Derek Walcott, Debbie Hunter Green, George Elliott Clarke, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Walter Borden, Jocelyn Bioh, Kwame Kwei-Armah and Ntozake Shange.

Instructor: Djanet Sears
F term: Tuesdays, 2pm–5pm
Prerequisite: DRM220Y1/DRM230Y1 and  12.0 FCE