Mainstage Production


Students participate in the production of a theatrical text for public performance. Students analyze, research, rehearse, and produce a play under the direction of a member of the Theater Studies faculty or a guest professional. Students may focus on acting, directing, design, dramaturgy, management, or production; specific area of focus will be determined through audition and/or arrangement with the instructor. Consent of instructor required. May be repeated for credit.

Fall 2020: "Citizen: An American Lyric"

From guest director, JaMeeka Holloway-Burrell: When I was approached about directing the mainstage, I knew immediately that I wanted to direct a piece by a Black woman, and I wanted that piece to be in dialogue with our current national conversation on white supremacy and race. Acts of violence continue to be committed against Black and Brown lives through systemic racism, racially unbalanced power structures, and white privilege. I wanted to magnify the realities of Black life in America—on stage at Duke—and Claudia’s work explores these topics in very moving ways. Oftentimes, conversations on race and identity in predominantly white spaces cater to the white comfortability level, and I was really excited by the voice this piece would give to Black students on campus who might be struggling to tell their stories. Working together with the students on “Citizen” will allow us to engage in challenging discussions and to mark the many ways covert and non-physical acts of violence are committed against Black bodies through microaggressions, lack of visibility, and erasure.

350/Section 01 and 03: Production
Auditions not required for course. The course will be hybrid, taught both online and in person, with a final performance presented for three nights to a remote audience. Department Chair Torry Bend will teach the course, with JaMeeka Holloway-Burrell, a leader of Black theater in the Triangle, will guest director. The class structure is an elongated form of table work, where students read through the play and spend more time analyzing and discussing such things as themes, characters, and historical contexts. From the Director:

350/Section 02: Design & Tech
The course, while studying traditional ways of making theater, is going to be an exploration or experiment in how to use traditional methods in the environment we now find ourselves in. How do we use technology to produce theater virtually while still holding to the idea of live theater storytelling and it not simply be another form of broadcast tv/film.

Curriculum Codes: