Field & Mission: The Landscape of the American Theater
For MFA in Drama students only.
The American theater--our "field"--is varied and evolving. This class will explore our theater's foundational visions and values: Where did the theater as we know it come from? How was it built? What does it stand for? How true does it remain to its originating impulses?
We will also survey some contemporary artists and artistic practices that define the field today, as well as some of the questions and conflicts present in this profession--even in the idea of "profession" itself. These
include: 1) What is the artist's/theater's social and political responsibility? 2) How do identity and cultural background influence art making? 3) How do place and geography affect our art? 4) What is the role of
art in a market economy? 5) How does the artist stay connected to personal mission and growth? What is a career?
In the process of surveying the contours of our field and investigating its founding visions, you will be asked to articulate some of your own artistic goals and principles. To these ends we will combine history, contemporary overview, and personal investigation, reading, writing, and practical exercises.