THE 218 The Multicultural Stage
This course will center on multicultural and intercultural theater and performance in the United States and around the world. The course will be divided into two sections: the first part of the course will focus on how theater has served as a way for marginalized racial and ethnic groups to express identity in America. We will look at plays written by African-American (Amiri Baraka’s Dutchman, Suzan-Lori Parks’ Venus), Latino/a (Nilo Cruz’s Anna in the Tropics, John Leguizamo’s Mambo Mouth), and Asian-American (David Henry Hwang’s M. Butterfly, Julia Cho’s BFE) playwrights. The second part of the course will offer an overview of the state of contemporary global performance. Ranging from Africa (Wole Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horseman, Athol Fugard’s Master Harold and the Boys), to Latin America (Griselda Gumbaro’s Information for Foreigners, Ariel Dorfman’s Death and the Maiden), to the Caribbean (Derek Walcott’s Dream on Monkey Mountain, Maria Irene Fornes’s The Conduct of Life), we will discuss how different cultures have performed gender, race, class, postcolonial and historically-marginalized perspectives. Throughout we will explore how theater exists as a vital and powerful tool for expressing the values, cultures, and perspectives of the diverse racial and ethnic groups in America and throughout the world. This course is offered in the spring semester of even-numbered years.