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BART 12A03 - Revolts and Revolutions Throughout Creative Writing

Type d'enseignement : Workshop

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

The class deals with an active and accessible initiation to theatre, through dramatic creative writing and acting. The students are invited to write their own plays, with the help of the teacher and the entire group. Secondly, the group will be asked to act their own plays and to set up a presentation, in order to make real what has been previously written. We will take inspiration from various literary sources, priorily theatre but also novels, political speeches or poetry, from Europe and Asia. The first goal of our class is to grasp the main rules of dramatic writing and acting. Students will experiment how to create stories, to commit to an artistic and personal point of view and to defend it to its very end. By acting their own plays, not only will they be introduced to how using their voice and body on stage but also to defend the texts they have carefully thought and written. The class is open to everyone. Complete beginners, curious students as well as “initiated” actors or artists are warmly welcome to join and to constitute a group. According to the group work and motivation, a short presentation will be scheduled by the end of the semester. This year main theme will be “Revolt and Revolution”. If this theme seems highly political at first place, it actually has a symbolical meaning for theatre. There is no actual plot for drama without a revolution, either personal or political, ongoing. In addition to dramatical texts, we will have a look at History but also about our personal understanding of “commiting to a cause”. This theme is also broad enough for the students to create their own stories and it's worth reminding that the student's creative desires are more valued than the imposed theme.


FRANCESCONI, Paul B. (Author)

Pedagogical format

The semester is devided into two parts: The first three sessions are dedicated to writing activities. The second three sessions to acting and performances. We will work in group or individually to write short plays and monologues. In class, we first read and discuss some texts and topics about Asian dramatic literature, related to our own researches. Then, the creative writing workshop starts, with some practical exercices and discussions with the whole group. Every student are really encouraged to participate. Regardless the work we've done after the first three sessions, we will directly experiment them on stage. The creative writing workshop becomes a drama workshop.

Course validation

To validate the course, the student is expected to pass the following assignments: 1°) Writing: two exercises will be asked through the semester: a monologue (written individually) and a play (written collectively). Though it is difficult to clearly assess the artistic quality of a play, it is easy to see whether the work done is regular or not. Students are therefore assessed on their responsivness about the teacher's comments and what they really want to say in their plays. 2°) Acting: Students are expected to know their text and rehearse when it is asked. A sense of commitment will be also evaluated. A final presentation will be put in place to present what we've written together. 3°) Punctuality and participation: Theatre is a collective art. This requires to be on time, present and to participate at the discussion during the class.

Required reading

Shi Naian, Water margins

Additional required reading

  • Sophocle, Antigone, Electra
  • Friedrich Schiller, The Robbers
  • Paul Claudel, Tête d'Or
  • Helene Cixous, L'Histoire terrible et inachevée de Norodom Sihanouk, roi du Cambodge, L'Indiade ou l'inde de leurs rêves, Et soudain, des nuits d'éveil