Learning Theater: From Audience to Critic at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Who doesn't love going to a play: sitting in the darkened theater, an anonymous member of the audience waiting to be entertained, charmed, and challenged? But how many of us know enough about the details of the plays, their interpretation, their production, and acting itself, to allow us to appreciate fully the theatrical experience? In this seminar, we will spend 13 days in Ashland, Oregon, at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF), where we will attend these plays: Shakespeare's Henry V, Othello, Love’s Labour’s Lost, and Romeo and Juliet; the world premiere of Mary Kathryn Nagle’s Mannahatta; Kate Hamill’s Sense and Sensibility, based on Jane Austen’s novel; Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!; the world premiere of Idris Goodwin’s The Way the Mountain Moved; Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s Snow in Midsummer, based on the classical Chinese drama The Injustice to Dou Yi That Moved Heaven and Earth by Guan Hanquing; and Lauren Gunderson’s The Book of Will. (To read more about these productions, go to www.osfashland.org). We will also spend time backstage, meeting with actors, designers, and artistic and administrative directors of OSF. Students will read the plays before the seminar begins. In Ashland, they will produce staged readings and design a final paper based on one of the productions. These reviews will be delivered to the group and turned in on Thursday, September 20.

Important Logistics

This seminar will convene in Ashland on Monday, September 3, and will adjourn to Stanford on Sunday, September 16. Students make their own arrangements to arrive in Ashland by 4:00 p.m. on Monday, September 3 (Medford is the nearest airport). Room and board in Ashland and transportation back to Stanford will be provided and paid for by the program.

This course may have expenses not covered by the program fee, as for some students it will be more expensive to travel to Ashland than to Stanford. If Financial Aid recommends that you receive assistance with the program fee and you are accepted to this class, then we will also invite you to request financial assistance with the difference between the cost of arriving in Medford versus going directly to Stanford (if higher).  Consult our page about money for more information.

Meet the Instructor(s)

Ivan Lupic

Ivan Lupić specializes in Shakespeare and early modern English literature. His current book project is entitled Subjects of Advice: Drama and Counsel from More to Shakespeare. Research interests include: European Renaissance; literature and political thought; textual scholarship, book history, and manuscript studies; theater history; history of the discipline; translation studies; queer studies; new boredom. His work has appeared in collections such as The quest for Cardenio: Shakespeare, Fletcher, and the Lost Play (Oxford University Press, 2012), Postcolonial Shakespeare(Edizioni di storia e letteratura, 2009), Shakespeare and War(Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), and Shakespeare in Europe (Jagiellonian University Press, 2008). His first Croatian book, on the relationship between book history and performance studies in foreign-Shakespeare contexts, appeared in 2010. He also writes on the manuscript culture of the Ragusan Republic and is contemplating a book in English on the place of the Ragusan Renaissance within the European literary system.

Linda Paulson

Linda Paulson is Associate Dean and Director of Stanford’s Master of Liberal Arts Program.  She received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from UCLA and has taught at Stanford since 1985. Her research focuses on the Victorian novel and on the development of a British woman’s novel. In 1989, she received Stanford’s Dinkelspiel Award for Distinctive Contributions to Undergraduate Education. She frequently lectures for Stanford Travel/Study groups in England and France and has been taking Stanford undergraduates to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival since 1995.