Queen's University

Performance in Times of Crisis [MUTH 429]

Performance in Times of Crisis

MUTH 429/3.0


MUTH 429 Performance in Times of Crisis: new course description

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. We will concern ourselves with what the performing arts do, and not only what they mean. Through a series of case studies of responses to African famine relief, 9/11, violence against the LGBTQ+ community, 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 “habits of mind,” including reading, analysis, and evaluation, as well as critical reading and writing skills. But it will also teach entrepreneurial application skills: we will also develop online collaboration and prototyping skills by developing and piloting our own ideas about performance’s potential for impact in this particular moment of COVID crisis through a series of mini-performance-interventions.


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