Fall 2023 Theatre UN3145 section 001



Call Number 00127
Day & Time
T 10:10am-12:00pm
LL105 Diana Center
Points 4
Grading Mode Standard
Approvals Required None
Instructor Dorothy Chansky
Course Description

African American women have been writing plays at least since the Harlem Renaissance and the American Little Theatre Movement (1910s-1920s).  Initially many of their plays portrayed the plight of poor Black women either in the American South or in New York City’s Harlem, in each case showing a struggle for dignity in the midst of an unfair, dismissive, racist situation in which lynchings of Black men were a common enough occurrence and citizen rights were doubly denied these (generally educated) writers—both as Blacks and as women.  Even plays depicting middle-class Black families or working women showed how just holding one’s head up and keeping food on the table (much less seeking fulfillment or advancement) was exhausting and often demeaning.  Plays written with Black audiences in mind often sought to provide “uplift” and encouragement.  Those anticipating white or mixed audiences frequently wanted to show Blacks as equal to whites in intellect, cleanliness, childrearing, honor, patriotism, and citizenship.  Over the course of a century, Black playwrights have addressed racism, African American history, urban blight, a changing workplace, and Black American womanhood in a variety of styles ranging from so-called kitchen sink realism to comedy, fantasy, and abstraction.  The readings in the course do not exhaust the possibilities for study but they will get you attuned to a rich trove of varied, important writing. In this seminar, students will read and discuss several plays/meeting, make both formal and informal class presentations, and write a final essay.  Course fulfills lecture/seminar in drama studies, theatre studies, performance studies requirement for Theatre major.

Web Site Vergil
Department Theatre @Barnard
Enrollment 11 students (12 max) as of 4:06PM Saturday, February 24, 2024
Subject Theatre
Number UN3145
Section 001
Division Barnard College
Campus Barnard College
Section key 20233THTR3145V001