THEA 253
Shakespeare alone/together: Interpretation and Performance of Soliloquies and Major Speeches Fall 2021
Division I
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Class Details

Shakespeare alone/together: Interpretation and Performance of Soliloquies and Major Speeches Many of Shakespeare’s most intricate and challenging theatrical moments are contained within speech acts performed by an actor alone. These include true soliloquies, where the performer literally occupies the stage by him- or herself, and major speeches, where, although addressing other present characters, that performer still must carry the dramatic action for a significant time on their own. In both circumstances of course, the actor is actually always in the company of others–the audience. Such virtuosic talking presents unique challenges and opportunities for the Shakespearean actor. This class will investigate these challenges in two registers. First, each student will perform a series of speeches from the Shakespeare canon, focusing on vocal and physical approaches to characterization, and exploration of various modes of delivery. Second, for each set of speeches, the entire class will read selections from the critical literature on the play in question, and students will then be asked to re-interpret their performative delivery based on insights from the scholarship. In-class critiques will accompany all performances.
The Class: Format: studio
Limit: 12
Expected: 10
Class#: 1253
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Evaluation will be based on weekly presentation of performance material; participation in in-class critique of peer performances; weekly readings as assigned; short analytical papers to accompany performance projects.
Prerequisites: Theatre 101 or one college-level acting class or permission of instructor.
Enrollment Preferences: Theatre or English majors or prospective majors.
Distributions: Division I

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