The Story of Theatrical Spaces
In this new class, Peter Davis will lead the class on a visual journey through the history of theatre’s greatest performance venues in order to challenge our notions of why theatre spaces are the way they are. Why do theatres look the way they do? Why do we have a proscenium? Or a balcony? Or a front curtain? Why were playhouses once hidden from view? And why are they now often the cultural hub of a city? Why have playhouses been both a source of civic pride and occasionally social embarrassment? And why do grand theatre architecture and great dramatic literature rarely mix?
This course examines how theatre spaces evolved from the earliest facilities in ancient Athens to the modern playhouse, and the surprising ways in which theatre architecture both reflects its society and sometimes directly challenges it.