Comedy (spring, 2005)
In this course students examine the great comic traditions of theater from the ancient Greeks to the present. We will try to get at the difficult question of why one thing is funny and another is not, and we will survey the various subgenres within the world of comedy. We conclude the semester by reading the screenplay for Monty Python & The Holy Grail, a brilliantly silly look at the Arthurian legend. For each of five plays, students have the choice of writing a traditional paper (of 2000-2500 words), writing something creative (e.g., a new scene, a character’s journal, etc.) or doing a design project (e.g., a set design, a costume plot, a sound track, etc.). At least three different types of papers/projects must be chosen, and at least one traditional paper must be written in the semester.
Spring, 2005 texts
Lysistrata – By Aristophanes (Parker, translation)
Twelfth Night – Shakespeare
Rosencrantz & Gildenstern Are Dead – By Tom Stoppard
The Marriage of Bette and Boo – by Christopher Durang
Bonus Reading: Monty Python & The Holy Grail –Methuen