Jun 18, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
2023-2024 Academic Catalog Archived Catalog

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ARTH 227FG - History of Theatre in Venice

Credit(s): 3

Corequisite(s): ARTH 225 
This course is a study of Italian theatrical history as it relates to Venice and the surrounding area. It will trace drama from its origins in Greek Dionysian religious festivals and consequent usurpation by the Romans through the development of the very specifically Italian forms, commedia del arte and grand opera. The location and timing of this course will provide students with a unique, first-hand experience in Italian theatrical culture. Ruins of the ancient Roman amphitheatre at Concordia Sagittaria and the exquisitely preserved Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, designed by Andrea Palladio, the oldest extant indoor theatre in the world, with its lovingly maintained original scenery in forced perspective from its initial performance of Oedipus Rex in 1584, will give students physical contact with historical theatrical practices. And access to La Fenice, the recently renovated Venetian opera house originally completed in 1792, as well as performances there, offers the opportunity to expose students to an art form that has uniquely Italian origins. Also, the dates of the course encompass the traditional Italian pre-Lenten celebration of carnevale when visitors and residents alike don elaborate and historically authentic costumes and masks, when squares and alleys are filled with street performers of all stripes, including commedia del arte troupes performing works by the masters of 16th century comedy on rude stages with no amplification and historically accurate costumes and props, culminating in an elaborately staged pageant, all of which will immerse the students in a three-dimensional world of theatre that no solely academic curriculum could hope to provide. (Spring Semester)

Course Learning Outcomes: Upon completion of the course, students will be able to
  • Trace the evolution of drama from ancient Greece to the origination of opera as a popular form of entertainment in 18th century Europe.
  • Identify and explain the function of each of the commedia del arte stock characters.
  • Identify the various architectural and technical elements of ancient and Renaissance theatrical practice.
  • Present a brief, original commedia del arte piece based on his or her experiences in Italy.
  • Demonstrate awareness of self as a member of multicultural global community examine the role of the Arts as a reflection of culture.

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