F101 | American Dreams: Plays About the American Immigrant Experience
9:30 - 11:00 a.m.
In Person BCC, Room M-213
9/30, 10/7, 10/14, 10/21, 10/28, 11/4
Limit 20 Participants
It is often said that America is a nation of immigrants. In this class we will examine how transnational immigration has been represented in American dramatic literature by a close reading and discussion of several plays written about the American immigrant experience by first or second-generation American authors. From the Irish and Italian immigrants in the 19th and 20th centuries to the more recent waves of Asian, Hispanic, and Eastern European immigrants, the American stage has presented compelling theatre of the struggle to begin life anew in America. This class will examine five plays that dramatize the tension between assimilating to American culture and preserving one’s native culture, the daily battle against discrimination, and the courage it takes to carve out a new life and identity in a strange and often hostile land. The course format will be lecture with power point slides and videos followed by a class discussion.
Jeannie Marlin Woodsis a freelance stage director and actor who resides in the Berkshires. She has enjoyed a 50-year career as a scholar, actor, director, arts educator, and arts administrator. A graduate of the Ph.D. in Theatre Program of the City University of New York, she was a professor of theatre history and performance at Winthrop University for 17 years, where she was Artistic Director of The New Stage Ensemble Theatre and served 5 years as Associate Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. She is a Professor Emerita of Theatre at Western Illinois University, where she taught theatre for 12 years. She founded the Starry Night Repertory Company in western Illinois and was its Artistic Director (2009-2019). An international scholar and director, Dr. Woods was a Fulbright Scholar in the graduate program of the National Institute of the Arts in Taiwan. She was inducted into the Fulbright Taiwan Hall of Fame in 2019. She also has taught theatre courses on the SS Universe Explorer with the Semester at Sea program and circumnavigated the globe. Dr. Woods is the author of Theatre to Change Men's Souls—The Artistry of Adrian Hall and Maureen Stapleton: A Bio-Bibliography. She has been a reviewer for BerkshireOnStage.blog since 2021.
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