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Performance in Times of Crisis [MUTH 472]

MUTH 472/3.0 Performance in Times of Crisis

What do music and theatre offer us in times of crisis? How have creators and performing artists responded to crises throughout history? In this course, we will explore some key historical and contemporary interventions in art music composition, popular music, music theatre and opera, applied and social theatre, and documentary theatre. Then, after reviewing some of the critical literature in performance studies, theatre studies, and music on the unique power of performance, we will explore a series of case studies—responses to African famine relief, 9/11, the at-risk youth crisis, the climate crisis, #metoo, #IdleNoMore, and #BlackLivesMatter. We will investigate the motivations for creating art in these contexts, the components of successful performance interventions, and the impact of this art. This course will teach disciplinary “habits of mind,” including close reading, performance analysis, and discussion, as well as critical reading and writing skills. But it will also provide an opportunity for students to hone their advocacy skills—both written and verbal—ultimately channeling their passion for the arts in a creative and personal expression that argues for the value of performance in times of crisis.

LEARNING HOURS 120 (36S;24O;60P).

Requirements: Prerequisite Level 3 or above. Exclusion MUTH 429 (Topic Title: Performance in Times of Crisis).