Special Topics (Group A)

2018-2019 Special Seminar Topics

DRM385H1 S – Seminar: Contemporary Documentary Theatre

The documentary theatre maker must choose what conversations she will stage, which documents she will rely on to convey authenticity, and what dramaturgical devices she will deploy to support or question this authenticity. Each choice involves aesthetic and ethical considerations. This course will provide students with a general understanding of the historical roots of documentary theatre, in Canada, the US, and the UK before diving into contemporary practice. Pairing a selection of recent documentary plays with contemporary criticism and a sampling of performance theory, this course will examine the myriad of artistic decisions that go into crafting a documentary play and how those decisions shape the performance. Students will build a toolkit with which they can question how authenticity is presented or troubled, how hegemonies are supported or questioned, and how the spectator is encouraged to interact with the document.”

Prerequisite: DRM100Y1/DRM101Y1/UNI102Y1 or any 4.0 FCE
Recommended Preparation: DRM220Y1/DRM230Y1

DRM388H1 S – Seminar: Cultural History of Ballet

Long central to European, Russian, and North American culture, ballet has in the last two decades become a vibrant and expanding area of academic research. This course introduces students to the institutions, genres, works, and artists that have most influenced ballet and ballet music in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. These range from the famous romantic and ‘classical’ ballets created for state theatres in Paris, Copenhagen, and St. Petersburg to popular ballets created for music halls in London and Paris, and from the modern ballets of the Ballet Russes to those of George Balanchine. In addition to studying seminal works, authors, and performers, we will read recent studies in musicology, cultural studies, dance studies, and art history that offer insight into the relationship between ballet and the broader cultural world in which they were created and performed. Topics will include nationalism, exoticism, racism, and representations of gender and sexuality (whether in the works themselves, in historiography, or in past and present-day performance practices), as well as reception, canon formation, and the creation and preservation of cultural hierarchies.

Prerequisite: DRM100Y1/DRM101Y1/UNI102Y1 or any 4.0 FCE
Recommended Preparation: DRM220Y1/DRM230Y1

DRM485H1 F – Senior Seminar Thesis

This senior seminar will involve a focused research project that is developed over twelve weeks. Topic ideas within the scope of performance and performativity – broadly defined – are welcome. Possible areas of interest may include theatre and performance (drama, dance, music, circus, etc..); popular culture; theatre education; film and video; text; activism; production; photography; digital media; identity (race, gender, sexuality, disability, class, etc); practice based research and; arts administration; dramaturgy.

This is an excellent opportunity to focus on a subject, work through an idea, revisit a play or performance, bridge knowledge from other majors/studies, and identify intersections between your practical training and theoretical interests. The course will focus strongly on research skills, approaches and methodologies; the writing process/writing as re-writing and; collegial discussion and communication. The final product will include a 13-15 page paper and may also be explored through practice and/or performance (in-class).

Prerequisite: DRM220Y1/DRM230Y1 and  apply online.

DRM487H1 S – Seminar: Theatre, Protest and Performance

This seminar-style course will engage students in guided discussion in exploration of various manifestations of the concept of protest, political resistance, and activism from a performance studies standpoint. The multidisciplinary approach of the course considers not only the performance of protest, but also the ways in which protest is performance. Readings pulled from various disciplines will inform considerations of the relationships between culture, power, time, space, and performance. Students will ultimately have the opportunity to develop their own case-studies exploring a chosen site of political contestation in relation to course theme and readings.

Prerequisite: DRM220Y1/DRM230Y1 and  12.0 FCE

DRM488H1 F – Seminar: Performing Data/Data Performing — Strategies for a Theatre of Informatics

What can be revealed through the use of population statistics or biometric data as raw material for a theatrical performance? What happens to numbers and statistics when they are represented onstage by human faces, voices and bodies? How might genres such as documentary or verbatim theatre become instruments for critical explorations and multisensory experiences of data? Beginning with early onstage appearances of numbers and statistics in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, this course will engage with contemporary performances that have been devised through the use of data. In the process, we will explore prevailing metaphors and epistemologies surrounding “big data”, along with important related issues such as dataveillance, machine learning, predictive modelling, algorithmic determinism, bio-politics and various forms of performative resistance such as the Quantified Self Movement. This course is intended for students interested in critically and creatively negotiating their engagement with a world of increasing quantification, reliance on statistical evidence, and algorithmic determinism. Note: Prior knowledge of statistics or data processing are not a prerequisite for this course.

Prerequisite: DRM220Y1/DRM230Y1 and  12.0 FCE