Week One Blog
With our topic of Russian theatre pre 1750, there doesn't seems like there is a lot of information. We had to do research and I posted in the blog with entry "11.8" to show the small research that I had done so far. There really wasn't anything super defined. The entire group started doing research on the topic and no one could really find anything that was 100% dedicated to Russian theatre before 1750. We decided from the beginning that we were not going to try and study all of Russian theatre from the beginning of Russia. We were going to focus on more religious meanings and try and find plays that deal with religion. Big research starts next week.
Week Three Blog
I am thinking about what form this presentation is actually going to take. Yes we have done an outline of what, generally, we hope to cover. However, with this great lack of information I feel like it will come across as if we didn't really do anything. Thought, thinking about what we as a group have been talking about, the problem we are having with lack of information can very well be the solution. We are going to talk about why there is this lack of information. We are going to be focusing on the uprising of 1648, the reign of Tsars 1620-1680 and the religious transformations that were taking place at this same time as well. We have all already been researching these topics because we have come to the conclusion that these are the topics that seem to be affecting the lack of information at the time. What I found most interesting during my research is that Russia disassociated themselves with the west for most of the 17th century and because of this, the western world was not writing about Russia. I love how this idea ties back to what we have discussed in class about Noh theatre and Sanskrit theatre. The west was not writing about these places and so they seem to be less important when getting taught about in theatre history courses. I wish we could find more information regarding theatre in general before 1750. Not finding information makes you want to find it more. I do believe that I can relate this "lack" of information to other research projects that I will encounter in the future. If they are for classes or for works that I am putting together. Realizing that there is a hole in the research is not a bad thing, it gives you some other place to start looking.
Week Four Blog
I feel that our presentation went fairly well. We presented the issue of not having much direct research to show and how we dealt with that. I had people after class and well into the rest of the day telling me that they really enjoyed our presentation because of the fact that we presented our lack of information as our main source. I thought that aspect of the presentation went very well. I felt like when we started presenting the information about the uprising, tsars, and religious transformations that it got rather clunky. True, that this information was all necessary to present because these were the reasons we were not finding anything relating to theatre at the time, it still felt so dry. We only had 20 minutes, however. There is only so much one can cover in 20 minutes. I feel it is necessary to be a bit dry in some points to convey the idea you are trying to get across. Considering the other groups presentations where there seemed to be a wealth of information, having them focus on a specific aspect of their topic mostly seemed like the right choice. In the Elizabethan group I was wondering, and in other groups who had vast topics, how they settled on their final argument. What about this playwright for the Elizabethan group made him stand out for them? I understand again that there is only a small amount of time allotted for the presentations, I would have liked though and explanation as to why this specific artist was chosen out of so many. I thought the Indigenous Mexican groups presentation about linking the past dances and traditions to the present day worked extremely well. Their presentation felt very well constructed and it showed that everyone had contributed. I had to duck out of the Roman Spectacle presentation for a bit. I thought the arrangement of the class was interesting, grouping us into a "mob" of sorts and having us cheer and boo. Having that interactive aspect made it easier to become engaged with the material being presented. It also made my mind wander a bit though, wondering when I could and could not cheer or boo. I am proud of the presentation that my group and I gave. It was fun to treat it as a mystery and answer the question of "well.... What do we do now?" Using the problem as the solution I believe helped myself understand the subject more and so provided an interesting lens to look at pre 1750s Russian theatre through.