Friday, October 9, 2015

Sunday, September 27, 2015

General Membership Meeting - Thursday, October 1st

Please join us for the annual DIG general membership meeting to hear about
what we have planned for the coming year and to contribute suggestions for
speakers and workshops. 

When? Thursday, October 1st at 5PM
Where?  Red Hawk on State Street

The Drama Interest Group is a Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop primarily
for graduate students, but also for members of the university community
interested in drama and performance. Our activities include bringing
guests to speak about their latest research, seeing theatre and discussing
the performance together, and particularly conducting essay and
dissertation chapter writing workshops for graduate students at all levels.

Questions? Email Sheila Coursey ( or Hayley O'Malley (

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Arthur Miller Scholars' Symposium

The Drama Interest Group presents
The Arthur Miller Scholars' Symposium

October 14-16, Walgreen Drama Center, Ann Arbor, MI

Wednesday, October 14 (5 – 6:30 pm)
The Arthur Miller Theatre

Isabella Peralta
New York University Abu Dhabi
"Linda Loman: Tragedy and the Common Woman"

Arianna Stucki
New York University Abu Dhabi
“Linda Loman’s Tragedy”

Thursday, October 15 (6 – 7 pm)
Theatre Studio I

David Palmer, Vice President, The Arthur Miller Society
Massachusetts Maritime Academy
"The Brain’s Creation of the Self and Arthur Miller’s Conception of Tragedy"

Claire Conceison
Duke University and MIT
"Arthur Miller in China"

Friday, October 16 (4:30 – 6 pm)
The Arthur Miller Theatre

Rosemary Malague, Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania
"Attention Must be Paid: Staging Linda Loman in the 21st Century"

Rupali Mirza
Integral University. Lucknow. India
"Miller’s Michigan Play: No Villain and the Rising of the Proletariat"

Shelley Manis
University of Michigan

"Why We Should Teach The Archbishop's Ceiling"

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

For Fall 2015 - Graduate Sections in Theatre & Drama!

Please forward to any interested parties.

Dear Graduate Students,

Watch for opportunities to earn graduate credit in the Department of Theatre & Drama this fall 2015. We will be adding graduate sections to many of our upper-division courses. As soon as they are approved by the registrar, they will have the following course numbers:

Theatre 506 (meets with Theatre 241) – Directing I (already available!)
REC    TuTh 2:30PM - 4:30PM        2439 WDC      Cantor, Daniel
The history of directors; function and responsibilities of a director; relationships with designers, playwrights, stage managers, technical/artisan staff, actors, dramaturges. Identifying styles of theatre, stage types, floor plans. Also covers script interpretation/analysis, director's research, resources, directorial concepts, conceptualization of a play, interpretation.

Theatre 521 (meets with Theatre 321) – Theatre History I (already available!)
001-LEC         MoWe 1:00PM - 2:30PM      2439 WDC      Woods, Leigh A
002-LEC         TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM        2439 WDC      Mbala Nkanga
The history of theatre from Greeks to Shakespeare, reading selected plays and tracing the history of theatre into dramatic texts generated at particular times and places.

Theatre 523 (meets with Theatre 323) – American Theatre and Drama
001-REC         MoWe 11:30AM - 1:00PM   2439 WDC      Westlake, EJ
The study of the American heritage as theatre artists and what has influenced us; principal American dramatists and principal events and issues in the American theatre, mainly in the 20th century.

Theatre 525 (meets with Theatre 325) – Contemporary American Drama
001-REC         TuTh 1:30PM - 3:00PM        B207 WDC     Gonzalez, Anita L
Examines works and developments in American theatre and drama from the past twenty years, especially the diverse and multicultural drama of this period. Looks at elements of class and ethnicity, urbanization, family and community, war and technology, commercialism and consumerism, gender, race, and sexuality.

Theatre 526 (meets with Theatre 326) – Intercultural Drama
001-LEC         MoWe 3:00PM - 4:30PM      2443 WDC      Mbala Nkanga
Examines how international dramatic literature in translation comments on global lives and lifestyles. Class reads, analyzes and discusses intercultural plays in cultural context. Written assignments and in-class presentations investigate the political, social, ad cultural impact meaning of intercultural dramatic works. Students learn to analyze themes, structures, characters, and language of intercultural/international plays through the lens of cultural studies.

Theatre 532 (meets with Theatre 332) – Performing Archives and Oral Histories 
001-REC         Fr 3:00PM - 5:30PM B207 WDC     Gonzalez, Anita L
Students use ethnographic or archival sources to create new performance works. Building on histories introduced in 222, they create individual or small group projects. Interpretative text and character work helps to improve individual student performance skills.

Theatre 533 (meets with Theatre 333) – Documentary Theatre
Currently listed as Theatre 399.007
007-REC         TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM  B834 EQ         Lucas, Ashley
This seminar explores the political and social ramifications of documentary theatre in the U.S. from the 1990s to the present. We will spend the first half of the semester studying interview techniques and reading examples of documentary theatre by playwrights such as Anna Deavere Smith, Heather Raffo, and Moisés Kaufman and the Tectonic Theatre Project. In the second half of the semester, the students will investigate a local community of their choosing and create an interview-based performance as a final project. The class will perform this play for an invited audience at the end of the semester. 

Theatre 534 (meets with Theatre 334) – The Atonement Project
Currently listed as Theatre 399.003
003-REC                      TuTh 4:00PM - 5:30PM                       B830 EQ     Lucas, Ashley
This course will teach students about restorative justice, reconciliation, and atonement. We will explore questions of why and how artistic activity can begin and/or support processes of reconciliation for people who have committed crimes and for crime victims. Students in this class will facilitate weekly arts workshops in adult prisons and community venues where former prisoners, crime victims, and the families of those groups can gather together. Focusing on the themes of acknowledgement, apology, and atonement, the workshops will produce original performances, creative writing, and visual art presented at the end of the semester by both the student facilitators and the members of the workshop. Students and workshop participants who give their consent can contribute their work to the Atonement Project website—an online forum designed by the MIT Media Lab—as a means of starting conversations about atonement with web users. Ultimately this course seeks to identify the best strategies for using the arts to address crime and those most affected by it. 

Theatre 577 (meets with Theatre 277) – History of Dress
001-REC         MoWe 10:00AM - 11:30AM            2239 WDC      Hahn, Jessica M
Slide survey course which traces the history of dress from ancient times through the present day, with an emphasis on the societies which produced particular manners and styles of dress.

Theatre 605 (meets with Theatre 399-006) - Principles of Comedy (already available!)
006-REC         MoWe 3:30PM - 5:00PM      1435 WDC      Cantor, Daniel
This course will explore the principles of performing comedy, as experienced throughout the dramatic canon, investigating the work of Commedia, Moliere, Noel Coward, and David Lindsay-Abaire. The course will also explore improvisation, status work, and stand-up. We will ask ourselves, are there special considerations when playing comedy as opposed to straight drama? Is there such a thing as comic technique? If so, what is it? What are the technical demands of comic timing, rhythm, builds, and the ability to give and take focus? And are there ways in which we play comedy no differently than any other form of acting? We will also ask ourselves what makes a funny thing funny? Are there common threads through history? Are there universal comic elements that can be defined? We will pursue the course objectives through exercises, games, improvisations, discussions, readings, and group, solo and scene work.

Theatre 637 (meets with Theatre 437) - Theatre Pedagogy
Currently listed as Theatre 399.001
001-REC         MoWe 1:30PM - 3:00PM      B207 WDC     Westlake, EJ
Explores theatre pedagogy in several areas: teaching drama in the secondary school, teaching theatre in higher education, and using drama-in-education techniques in all levels of teaching. We will explore ways to approach teaching and learning that promotes a student-centered, curiosity-driven environment and takes into account a variety of cognitive and learning styles.
For questions about any of the above, please feel free to drop me an email!

EJ Westlake -
Faculty Sponsor

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Ann Folino White, March 26th and 27th

The Drama Interest Group invites you to attend a lecture and a graduate workshop by

Ann Folino White

Dramaturgies of New Deal Food Protests: Methodological and Theoretical Considerations
March 26, 5pm, 3154 Angell Hall

In her new book, Plowed Under: Food Policy Protest and Performance in New Deal America, Ann Folino White examines aesthetically and demographically diverse protests and performances about the New Deal government’s Agricultural Adjustment Act. The range of case studies presented in the book is crucial to documenting the conflicting concerns that the far-reaching food and agricultural policy raised for citizens nationwide--from white property-owning farmers in Wisconsin to Polish-American consumers in Detroit to landless/homeless African American sharecroppers in Missouri--at a time when the economic and human crisis of the Great Depression had no foreseeable end.

This talk addresses the unique methodological challenges posed by the diversity of historical events, which differ in place and time, type of protest action, protesters’ social identity, the rights at stake, and the protesters’ demands. It explores the various archival strategies, as well as the interdisciplinary dramaturgical approach utilized and adjusted to address the particularities of each political performance as it unfolded. To date, these historical events have been studied in isolation from one another because scholars in the various subfields of history--cultural history, agricultural history, labor history, women’s history, African American history, or even theater history--are concerned with different populations of citizens, political leanings, or forms of expression. Instead, treating an array of cultural performances alongside protests staged by different socioeconomic identity groups, Plowed Under throws into relief the constellation of anxieties that made up the lived experiences of the 1930s agricultural crisis, a formative era for U.S. food politics, one that initiated federal policies and cultural scripts that continue into the twenty-first century.

Graduate Student Workshop - De-stressing the Dissertation
March 27, 11am, 3154 Angell Hall

Graduate Students will learn valuable tips for De-stressing the Dissertation and removing obstacles to productivity. Come and chill out with Ann Folino White.

Ann Folino White (Ph.D. Interdisciplinary Theatre and Drama, Northwestern University) is Associate Professor of Theatre Studies at Michigan State University where she teaches stage directing, performance theory, and the history of American theatrical and popular performance from the late-nineteenth century to the twenty-first century. Dr. Folino White’s scholarship has appeared in numerous journals including American DramaText and Performance Quarterly, Performing Arts Resources, Women and Performance and TDR: The Drama Review. Her book, Plowed Under: Food Policy Protests and Performance in New Deal America (Indiana University Press, 2014), explores the significance of theatrical strategies to shaping public discourse about the morality of New Deal agricultural policy. Ann is also co-editor of Food and Theatre On the World Stage, (forthcoming from Routledge, Summer 2015), a collection of essays that consider the interplay between socio-political functions of food and practices of staging (food in) live theatre.

Drama Interest Group Presents Marlis Schweitzer, March 19th

The Drama Interest Group invites you to attend a lecture and a graduate workshop by

Marlis Schweitzer

Lecture: ‘My Word! How He is Kissing Her’: The Material Culture of Theatrical Promotion
March 19, 5pm, 3154 Angell Hall

This talk will examine the role of print media (specifically postcards and posters) in the promotion of foreign plays and performers to US audiences in the pre-World War I period. Schweitzer investigates how these objects circulated among, and directed interactions with, theatregoers from across the United States, inspiring new kinds of communal performances and redefining notions of global citizenship. Indeed, many people never entered a theatre yet actively consumed, responded to, and influenced the development of the theatre culture that surrounded them. Schweitzer’s analysis of the role of print media in the continental expansion of Broadway’s networks thus joins recent scholarship challenging traditional understandings of the temporal and spatial boundaries of the performance event.

Workshop: “Research Speed Dating”
March 20, 11:00am-12:30pm, 3241 Angell Hall

Graduate students work collaboratively in pairs under a tight deadline to develop a research project, complete with research question/s, methodology, and (if possible), a theoretical framework. Then they share their ideas with the rest of the group. The students then switch partners. Designed to brainstorm ideas and help students learn to find connections across disciplines.

Marlis Schweitzer is Associate Professor of Theatre at York University and editor of the journal Theatre Research in Canada. Her books include When Broadway Was the Runway (2009), Transatlantic Broadway: The Infrastructural Politics of Global Performance (2015), and the co-edited collection (with Joanne Zerdy) Performing Objects & Theatrical Things (2014). Her articles and chapters have appeared in a number of publications, includingTheatre Journal, Theatre Survey, Theatre Research International, TDR, Canadian Theatre Review, and the edited collection Performance and the City.

The Drama Interest Group is a Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Get your dissertation (or article, or research paper, or creative writing piece) on!

Every year, the Drama Interest Group hosts  writing workshops for graduate students. These involve short sessions where graduate students and faculty gather to discuss dissertation chapters and other forms of writing in an informal setting with an eye toward developing the work.

We will be continuing the practice this year and are seeking interested participants. The workshops can happen anywhere between February and May and should involve one chapter for which you would like feedback. Please contact the faculty sponsor E.J. Westlake (, or the graduate student coordinator Lauren Eriks ( for more information.

The Drama Interest Group is a Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop.