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November 1994, Week 1


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Ron Shields <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Theatre History Discussion List - Amer. Soc. for Theatre Research" <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 6 Nov 1994 08:32:29 CST
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----------------------------Original message----------------------------
In recent days there has been a discussion on ASTR-L (that is,
American Society for Theatre Research) that overlaps some of the
interests of film/video departments.  The following post captures
some of the thinking.
----------------------------Original message----------------------------
>Alan:  I've not decided how to frame the inquiry but I agree
>completely that we must redefine theatre to include film, video, and
>other forms of media.  For our age, film and video are the major forms of
>theatre available to much of this global village.  Our insisting upon live
> interaction
>between performer and audience for an event to be "theatre" will
>marginalize our profession even more. I would like to hear from
>faculty who have developed a curriculum integrating live theatre,
>film, and video.  Tice Miller, U of Nebr-Lincoln
>[log in to unmask]>
>> Well, that really depends on how you define "theatrical curriculum."  Do you
>> include all live performance, or limit it to 'theatre' as presently
> understood?
>>  How about film, video, and other forms of theatre delivered by electronic or
>> recorded media?  I've my own perceptions of what should be included, which
>> would involve a much broader definition than I find in most curricula
>> (including the one I've helped developed here at Ohio State), but would be
>> interested to know how you want to frame the inquiry.
>> Alan Woods
>> Ohio State
>> [log in to unmask]
I strongly believe that "mediated" performances (including film, video,
etc.) should be included as part of the undergraduate curriculum/experience
in theatre/  Why?  Because mediated performances are the performances of
our time. I reject the traditional retreat behind the aesthetic debate,
"live" versus "recorded" performances. On a theoretical level, performative
and cultural questions of perception and reception inform both aesthetic
forms.  On a more simplistic level, but certainly a strong pedagogical one,
our students know the texts from their video/filmic world and approach the
performance of literary texts from this "edited" perspective. Why deny what
they know and value?  Why deny how our age expresses values, self, and the
At Bowling Green we include the option of "film/media studies" as a
concentration within one of our undergraduate theatre degrees, the BAC
(Bachelor of Arts in Communication).  In the theatre BAC, students must
declare themselves either specialists in acting/directing, or design/tech,
or performacne studies.  Film/media studies is a focus option within the
performance studies tract. By the way, in recent weeks our department has
debated the wisdom, viability, etc. of serving as the institutional home
for BGSU's film studies program.  It remains to be seen if this should or
will come about.
Ron Shields
Associate Professor
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, OH  43403