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Course Information

Instructor Info:William MacAdams
Office Extension x6202
TA Info:Andrew Figueroa
Term: 2012F
Meeting Info: Tuesday Thursday
09:00 AM - 11:50 AM Emily Dickinson Hall (EDH) 104
09:00 AM - 11:50 AM Emily Dickinson Hall (EDH) 104

In this course, you will create original performance pieces based on your personal stories and your understanding of the economic divides in this country at this moment.     Central to this exploration is the exploration of your own story: what is your economic background?  How do you articulate it?  How (and why) do you not articulate it?  And how does your own story connect to the broader social context in which we live, and the future you envision?

Course Objectives:
  • Storytelling and writing
  • Abstract and poetic expression, through movement, dance, found objects, and non-text based forms
  • Listening (to partners, to the group, and to oneself)
  • Social and political analysis, through a course reader developed by my work and by the contribution of fellow students
  • Critical reflection, on both one’s own work and the course as a whole
  • Performance skills, including timing, composition, and focus
Evaluation Criteria:

Students in the course will be evaluated for:

  • Class participation in dialogues, performance exercises, and in active and engaged support of your peers' work
  • Nine written and performance assignments, detailed under 'additional information' below
  • A final presentation that is prepared, provocative, engaging theatrically, and reflective of your learning
  • Attendance and punctuality
Additional Info:

A few guiding principles for our work together:

  1. It is through the voice and the body that theatermakers articulate stories and create work that crosses lines of difference.  This course will sonsist of creating - from within the boundaries of your own physical form - a theatrical vocabulary that responds to your own and each other’s stories, and to questions about economic divides.
  1. Although the causes are complex and contested, few people would disagree that the United States is at a fundamental economic transition.  Although this is not a social science class, the economic climate is the background for our personal stories and our points of view.  I believe that, in moments of transition, people who can articulate their own stories and build bridges across lines of difference often become builders of community and help envision the way forward.  In a very small and local way (i.e., the size of our classroom), our work as an ensemble will help you develop these skills
  1. Although the course is primarily concerned with class and economic divides, it is not possible to have a conversation about class without a conversation about race. So the course will necessarily ask questions, and open up dialogue, about both.
  1. This is the first time we will offer this course at Hampshire.  In many ways, you will be shaping the dynamics (and very possibly the assignments) of students who will come after you.  I ask that you embrace this with a spirit of experimentation, responsibility, and




Assignments described above, and:

  • Serving as a silent observer and reporting back on class dynamics once during the course of the semester
  • Reading assignments in student-created readers, as discussed in class
  • Writing a (2 page) self evaluation of your work in the course and of the course as a whole
  • Creating a performance piece and performing it during the second-to-last week of the course