Course Instructor Days Times Room

Topics Title
Dramaturgy: Theatres and Libraries
Theatres and Libraries
Description and Organization: This course was the first class in UGA’s new special collections library, working with rare materials connected with plays, and in the past two years it has had enough success that you now get to benefit from what we did. You will learn about the basic work of being a dramaturg (a literary researcher focused on performance) and about the special materials that UGA owns. If you have ever wanted to do research on the background of a script/screenplay or on past productions, this course will teach you how. We’ll also be talking about how a production company develops new work, how to prepare educational materials for the general public, and how to make a library work for you. You’ll carry out a series of scavenger hunts to learn the tools, as well as reading about the work that a dramaturg does. (This introduction to research tools for Libraries and Theatre will take up about a third of the class, and you can employ such tools in many courses.) In the second third of the class ( the “ooo and ahhh” weeks), we’ll get our hands on rare materials and produce background books for real productions. The special materials we’ll see include manuscript materials by such figures as dramatist Tennessee Williams, the 19th-century actress Fanny Kemble, and the character actor Charles Coburn. We can also see original design work and archival posters for major Broadway productions. Finally, we will have access to the incredible riches of the Peabody Awards. In addition, you’ll be exercising your skills and creating background books for the plays that the Department of Theatre and Film Studies plans to present next year. Your other big assignment in this section of the course will be preparing and revising an independent research project proposal for this class. The final third is devoted to you: you’ll develop an independent project and present it to the class with plenty of guidance and assistance. If you want to develop a one- woman show based on Fanny Kemble’s remarkable story, write an essay about the changes that Tennessee Williams made to a script, examine how a small touring company was the basis for a successful Hollywood career, or investigate the making of Sesame Street or Gone with the Wind, you’re in the right place.
Grades: Once we have a few weeks under our collective belt, I’ll ask you, as a group, to decide how you want the assignments to count toward your final grade. You’ll have five short reports on your scavenger hunts, a background book, a formal proposal, a presentation, and a final project. If need be, we can revisit that grading formula.
Attendance and Late Work: Since we meet only once a week, you should bear in mind that if you miss a class, you have missed 1/15 of the course. So don’t miss class. Late work is terribly frustrating because I set aside time to grade assignments, and having to find extra time is, as you know, difficult. More to the point, you all realize that having extra time to do an assignment can mean a better grade. Late ? work, then, is unfair to your classmates who did not get that extra time. Yet crises do arise. I have the policy of allowing every student one (and only one) deadline extension to be taken when you wish. You can move one deadline by a week. After that deadline option gets used, I penalize any other late assignment. So save your deadline option for the week you have flu, your sister’s wedding, or whatever.