T104 | American Dreams: Plays About
The American Immigrant Experience - Part II


4:00 - 5:30 p.m. EST


1/17, 1/24, 1/31,
2/7, 2/14, 2/21

Six Sessions

This class is a continuation of the in-person class taught in the fall 2022 semester. This winter class will be on Zoom. The previous class began with an examination of how transnational immigration has been represented in American dramatic literature. In that course we read plays that related to immigrants from Ireland in the early 19th century, Italy in the 1950s, postwar Poland, 1950’s China, and Puerto Rico in 1980. Part II of AMERICAN DREAMS will examine three contemporary plays that also 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. These plays will be stories about immigrants from Latin America (Living Out by Lisa Loomer), Moldova and Russia (Aliens with Extraordinary Skills by Savania Stanescu, and Pakistan/India (Disgraced by Ayad Ahktar). The course format will be lectures with powerpoint slides and videos followed by a class discussion of the play facilitated through the discussion features on Zoom.

Readings: The readings for the course include three plays: Aliens with Extraordinary Skills, by Saviana Stanescu, Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar, and Living Out  by Lisa Loomer. The scripts are on order at the Drama Book Shop in New York. Just call the shop at 212-944-0595 and ask for the scripts reserved in the name of Jeannie Woods and place your order. The scripts will be sent to you in the mail. Cost will be approximately $47. No other readings will be needed for the course.

Jeannie Woods is a Berkshire stage director and actor. She has enjoyed a 50-year career as a scholar, actor, director, arts educator and administrator. A graduate of the Ph.D. in Theatre Program of the City University of New York, she was a professor of theatre and stage director at Winthrop University for 17 years, where she was also Artistic Director of The New Stage Ensemble Theatre. 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 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. Recently added to the Fulbright Specialist Roster, she will be a guest artist/teacher for two weeks in March at the National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei. 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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