Slavic 134E: Chekhov’s Theater: A Cross-Cultural Inquiry

TT 2-3:30, 182 Dwinelle. Instructor: Anna Muza.

Units: 4 Satisfies L&S Arts & Literature breadth requirement.

This Course is Cross-Listed with Theater 126, Section 2

Only Shakespeare equals Chekhov in terms of his appeal to human concerns and sensibilities of different times and cultures. We’ll read closely each play of the “Chekhov quartet” (The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, The Three Sisters, The Cherry Orchard), framed by some of Chekhov’s short stories and a few texts by Western authors (Ibsen, Strindberg, Beckett) to examine Chekhov’s dramatic idiom and his approach to staging the human condition. We’ll follow the poetics of the Chekhovian performance from the seminal productions of the Moscow Art Theater to the inter-national and cross-cultural interpretations of Chekhov’s drama on the stage and screen over the course of a century. We’ll watch and discuss the staging of The Cherry Orchard by Berkeley’s own Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies in the Fall of 2015.

Anton Chekhov. The Major Plays. Signet Classic. Translated by Ann Dunnigan.
Henrik Ibsen. Hedda Gabler.
August Strindberg. Miss Julie.
Samuel Beckett. Waiting for Godot.
A Course Reader.

Prerequisites: none.