This course studies Shakespeare in terms of performance and interculturalism. Some background of Shakespeare is required. We will read modern and contemporary theory, and analyze cross-cultural adaptations as well as Shakespeare's original texts. Please finish your readings (one play or approximately a hundred pages of modern or contemporary texts) before coming to class and be ready to speak. In addition to regular class meetings, we will also schedule a two-hour video viewing time every week after class, and your attendance is mandatory.

Attendance, Punctuality, and Participation in Discussion 15%
Oral Reports and Short Papers 35%
Project Report and Term Paper 50%

Plagiarizing—citing, paraphrasing, or borrowing from other sources without proper documentation—will result in a deduction of 25 points of your semester total and can cause failure of the course.




Week 1

Introduction: Shakespeare as Performance; Interculturalism
In-Class Video Clips: Zefferelli's film Romeo and Juliet; ballet Romeo and Juliet; Taiwanese opera Romeo and Juliet



Week 2

The Deadly, Holy, Rough, and Immediate Theatres
Reading: Peter Brook, The Empty Space
In-Class Video Clip: Sichuan opera《癡夢》



Week 3

Romeo and Juliet, A Cultural Approach
Reading: Romeo and Juliet
Video for Discussion:
West Side Story



Week 4

Theatre and the Body
Readings: Eugenio Barba, "Theatre Anthropology"; Tadashi Sizuki, "Culture Is the Body"
Video for Discussion: Taiwanese opera《彼岸花》
In-Class Video Clip: Kunqu opera《林沖夜奔》



Week 5

Field Trip
Activity: Taiwanese opera class with Liao Qiongzhi at Taiwan Junior College of Performance Arts in Taipei
Reading: Macbeth



Week 6

The World of Traditional Chinese Theatre
Reading: Tao-Ching Hsu, The Chinese Conception of the Theatre
Oral Report 1: The World of Chinese Opera
1. Stage and Stage Convention
2. Script and Plot
3. Types of Characters
4. Costumes and Makeup
5. Music
6. Stylish Acting and Acrobatics



Week 7

When West Meets East
Readings: Antonin Artaud, "On the Balinese Theatre" and "Oriental and Western Theatre"; Bertolt Brecht, "Alienation Effects in Chinese Acting"; Leonard C. Pronko, "Three Versions of Noh"
Video for Discussion: Kunqu opera《血手記》


Week 8

Intercultural Conscious
Readings: Richard Schechner, "Internatural Themes"; Patrice Pavis, "Toward a Theory of Interculturalism in Theatre?"; Erika Fischer-Lichte, "Interculturalism in Contemporary Theatre"; Peter Brook, "The Culture of Links"; Ariane Mnouchkine, "The Theatre is Oriental"; Rustom Bbarucha, "Somebody's Other: Disorientations in the Cultural Politics of Our Times"; Eugenio Barba, "Eurasian Theatre"; Jerzy Grotowski, "Around Theatre: The Orient-the Occident"; Clive Barker, "The Possibilities and Politics of Intercultural Penetration and Exchange"
Video for Discussion: Beijing opera《慾望城國》



Week 9

Guest Lecture
Activity: Wu Hsing-kuo's lecture



Week 10

Radical Shakespeare
Readings: Alfred Jarray, Ubu Roi and essays
In-Class Video: Sichuan opera《馬克白夫人》


Week 11

Assimilation, Transfiguration, and Registration
Oral Report 2: Shakespeare and Chinese Operatic Adaptations
1. A Midsummer Night's Dream vs. Beijing opera《仲夏夜之夢》and Taiwanese opera《熱天兮戀夢》
2. Much Ado about Nothing vs. Huangmei opera《無事生非》and Taiwanese opera《無事生非》
3. Hamlet vs. Beijing opera《王子復仇記》and Yue pera《哈姆雷特在 墓地》



Week 12

Shakespeare and Social Commentary
Reading: King Lear
Video for Discussion: Beijing opera《李爾在此》



Week 13

Political Theatre
Reading: Augusto Boal, Theatre of the Oppressed


Week 14

Is Shakespeare Innocent?
Reading: The Tempest
Video for Discussion: The Forbidden Planet


Week 15

Colonial, Postcolonial, and Neo-Colonial Shakespeare
Reading: Aime Cesaire, A Tempest
Play: Beijing opera《暴風雨》

© 2005 by Bi-qi Beatrice Lei. All rights reserved.