Colonial Theater, Postcolonial Drama, and World Performance

Uniting the approaches of theater history, dramaturgy, and performance studies, this seminar will begin with the case study of Lolita Chakrabarti’s Red Velvet (2012, revived 2016), a play about the life of Ira Aldridge (1807-1867), the African-American actor who is said to be the first black man to play Othello.  Readings will include plays, critical theories, and historical documents from the eighteenth century to the twenty-first. The seminar will be organized around selected genealogies of performance as represented by adaptations, revivals, and critical re-writings:  Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko by Thomas Southerne and Biyi Bandele-Thomas; John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera by Bertolt Brecht, Wole Soyinka, and P. L. Deshpande; Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe by Richard Brinsley Sheridan and Derek Walcott; and Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot by Femi Osofisan and Suzan-Lori Parks. 

Also AFAM 793/AMST 694.

Graduate Course #: 
W 3.30pm-5.20pm
18th-/19th-Century Lit