We don’t just produce plays here, you know.
The Department of Theatre and Drama has offered the M.A. and the Ph.D. many years before the incorporation of M.F.A. and B.F.A. programs, and the scholars and teachers and, yes, the theatre practicioners who come from our History/Theory/Dramatic Literature side of the department have written important lectures, articles, and books since the establishment of the Ph.D. program in 1954.
A review of the contents of the current issue of Theatre Journal [64.1 (March 2012)] is a good example of this. The journal reviews books written by our faculty; there are reviews of performances and books written by graduates from the Ph.D. program; and there is an important article by a recent Ph.D., David Muller. To wit:
- Alumnus Mark Fearnow (Ph.D. ’90) reviews Anne Fletcher’s Rediscovering Mordecai Gorelik: Scene Design and the American Theatre.
- Retired faculty member Rakesh Solomon‘s recent study of Edward Albee and his direction of his plays, Albee in Performance is reviewed by Billy Middleton, who writes that Solomon “fills a void in Albee criticism by exploring the author’s career as a director, which is too often given second billing to his career as a playwright.”
- Faculty member Amy Cook‘s Shakespearean Neuroplay: Reinvigorating the Study of Dramatic Texts and Performance Through Cognitive Science is reviewed by Michael Boynton, who finds it “a much-needed overview and application of cognitive studies to a performance text … a useful and informative book.”
- David Muller (Ph.D. ’06) contributes two articles, the first being a performance review of I Am the Wind by Jon Fosse, directed by Patrice Chéreau, and produced at The Young Vic, London, and Théâtre de la Ville, Paris.
- David Muller also provides the lead article for the issue, an expansive and closely argued piece, “Bajazet ’37: Jacques Copeau’s Palais à Volonte at the Comédie-Française.” Ric Knowles, the editor of Theatre Journal introduces it as “a copiously illustrated essay in the modernist history of French classical scenography” that destroys “a long-standing myth about the staging of Racinian tragedy classique.” A terrific read, the article’s arguments are supported with the most illustrations ever published in a Theatre Journal article.
I counted pages, and the articles and reviews by our alumni and reviews of books by professors from the department constitute a cool twenty percent of the issue. It almost seems that the IU logo should be printed somewhere on the cover…