Creation and Re-Creation
2015 to 2016
Creation and Re-Creation: Great Works through a Prism (MUSIC 290S) will develop a class in which students study a dramatic work in its original form and then study reinterpretations of the work in other media. In the initial Spring 2016 offering of the class that work will be Shakespeare’s Othello. After intensive study of the original, students will investigate two operas based on the play, several staged and filmed productions, a dance interpretation, and a set of paintings based on the story of Othello.
Study of the play itself will focus on the influence of contemporary theatrical conventions, Shakespeare’s language, the plot, the characters, their psychological motives, and how they interact. Each reimagining of the source material will consider how the impact of the story is affected by the language and vocabulary of the new medium and the re-interpreter’s attitudes toward the material.
The class will include a visit to the American Shakespeare Center (ASC) in Staunton, Virginia for an intensive workshop on Shakespeare, his language and rhetoric, and conditions in the theaters of his day. Students will tour Blackfriars Playhouse at ASC, the world's only re-creation of Shakespeare's indoor theatre, and attend a performance there. Blackfriars presents plays that are staged with Elizabethan theatrical production values: on a simple stage, without elaborate sets, and with the audience sharing the same light as the actors.