A survey of the masterpieces of stage comedy from the Renaissance to the late 19th Century, focusing on the great rogues, tricksters, fools, and lovers of the Western tradition (exclusive of Shakespeare). Students will choose between a practical theater-work track (three fully prepared scenes + one short paper on an outside reading) and a more literary track (three short papers on outside readings + one prepared scene). Plays to be covered will include:
- The Mandrake — Niccolò Machiavelli
- Bartholomew Fair — Ben Jonson
- Tartuffe and The Misanthrope — Molière
- The Way of the World — William Congreve
- The Marriage of Figaro — Beaumarchais, together with Mozart’s opera
- The Inspector General — Nikolai Gogol
- The Importance of Being Earnest — Oscar Wilde
Outside reading/research will draw from other Italian Renaissance comedy, Spanish Golden Age comedy, Jacobean City Comedy, other Restoration and Georgian comedy, etc.
Can be applied to the “Text-into-Performance” minor.