1) how your thinking about a specific idea or concept in theatre and performance studies has changed over the course of the semester; and 2) why you think that shift is important. Please note that you must speak to the concept/idea’s resonance in both aesthetic (i.e. theatrical/art) spaces and everyday/social spaces.
Please choose one of the following terms/concepts. While you may necessarily refer to other concepts in your essay, the focus should undeniably be on your chosen concept:
In your essay, you must make detailed reference to and engage with at least 3 items from the syllabus or class (texts, performances, podcasts etc.), and at least 2 must be texts. The strongest essays will pull from more than one week/module. You may use more than 3 syllabus/class items if you choose, however I strongly advise you not use more than 4. Prioritize the quality and depth of your engagement over the quantity of texts/performances, and please make sure that your references to them are specific and properly cited––both when you summarize major points and when you use direct quotations. Please do not substantially use any outside sources (i.e. texts, websites, books, articles that we did not cover in class), except if necessary in passing to make your larger points.
In all aspects of this essay, please be as specific as possible and avoid vague statements!
Each time you use a text/performance/podcast/etc., you should precisely describe what it is/who wrote it/who performed it/what it does/what it argues/what it’s about (as a way to demonstrate that you understand it), however the goal is to use the texts/performances as a way to narrate how your thinking has changed, as well as whose ideas/works have helped you along in that process. As such, try to find a balance between writing about the texts/performances themselves and narrating their impact on your thinking, as well as the broader implications of your shift in thinking.
Possible ways to frame the broader implications of your shift in thinking include: is this shift important politically? If so, how, why, in which contexts? Is it important for theatre makers, theatre-goers, scholars, educators, someone else? In which contexts? Is it important historically? If so, how, why, and in which contexts? Is this shift important socially or culturally? How, why, for whom? What new questions does this shift allow us to ask? What does this shift allow us to think about or “see” that we couldn’t before? What does this shift do to hierarchies or to the ways we value or frame certain kinds of art-making or art-makers? How does this shift change the ways we think/about or engage with “X”?
As you can see, there are a lot of ways to think and talk about this, but one way of framing all of it is to ask: what does this shift do and what are this shift’s (social, political, historical, or cultural) stakes, as you understand them? Why, how, and in which contexts does this shift matter?