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Card-index course

Renaissance Theatricality

Responsible Faculty: Faculty of Arts

Teacher(s): Kevin Curran
Lecturer(s): -

Validity: 2018 -> 2018

No timetable defined.


Spring semester
2 hours per week
28 hours per semester

Teaching language(s): English
Public: Yes
Credits: 5.00


No one finishes a degree in English literature without gaining a sense of the unique theatrical achievement of Renaissance England. And yet students rarely get the opportunity to see just how diverse that achievement was. This is because courses on Renaissance drama (and the anthologies that serve those courses) typically focus on plays written in a more or less "Shakespearean" style for only one or two kinds of commercial theater. In fact, there were many kinds of "stages" in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, including not only those in a variety of commercial theaters, but also those in royal courts, aristocratic households, and the city streets. Trading in the term "drama" for the more complex and inclusive term "theatricality," this course sets out to capture this diversity in Renaissance performance culture. We will read plays written for indoor and outdoor commercial theaters, as well as descriptions of masques, entertainments, and pageantry. Underpinning all our discussions will be four key components of theatricality: the physics of performance, or the relationship between time and space on stage; horizontality and verticality; the material stage, or the relationship among bodies and things; and the dynamics of audience judgment.

Required Texts (available at "Books, Books, Books" in Lausanne):

Renaissance Drama: An Anthology of Plays and Entertainments, ed. Arthur Kinney, 2nd Edition (Wiley-Blackwell)

Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream, ed. Peter Holland (Oxford University Press)

Additional information


Canton de Vaud
Swiss University
Unicentre  -  CH-1015 Lausanne  -  Suisse  -  Tél. +41 21 692 11 11  -  Fax  +41 21 692 26 15