Professor of Theatre
Her special areas of interest are playwriting and gender issues in theatre history and theatre practice. She is the co-editor of Upstaging Big Daddy: Directing Theatre as if Race and Gender Matter (1993), and the author of Getting Into the Act: Women Playwrights in London, 1776-1829 (1995). She co-edited Women and Playwriting in Nineteenth Century Britain (1999).
She currently chairs the Barnard Hewitt Award for Excellence in Theatre Research for the American Society of Theatre Research.
Do you remember being read to as a child? Reading your first book out loud? How can the energy, excitement, and enthusiasm of telling tales, story dramatization, and ultimately reading aloud be harnessed, maintained and encouraged through theatre? The first step in the progression towards theatre is the child's natural tendency towards pretend play and storytelling. This class will examine reader's theatre as a way to engage children in the act and art of literacy. Students in this course will consider how arts integration, theatre education, and critical literacy methodologies that can enhance the storytelling process. We will then examine reader's theatre scripts and finally write and perform reader's theatre pieces with children at a local elementary school. Along the way, students will build upon their abilities to communicate stories theatrically. Prerequisite - some prior work with children, education, theatre preferred.
Our work in this course will be more or less equally divided between reading plays and writing a one-act. The plays we read, which will include a wide variety of playwrights, will inform our exercise work even as they deepen and extend our sense of drama as a form. We will be paying particular attention to the way character is revealed through dialogue, ways to unfold exposition, segmentation of dramatic action, and how dialogue is shaped by character activity. Students who are starting a new play and those who want to work on something already in process are equally welcome.