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Performing New York

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Bryn Cohn + Artists in Bryant Park by Steven Pisano, Flickr.

SINY 160: Performing New York

This course is designed to give visiting undergraduate students a foundational understanding of New York City as an object of history and as a site that has fostered the remarkable development of American theater and performance. In this class, we won’t approach the concepts of New York City or performance monolithically, but instead develop a broad historical understanding of what these expansive terms look and feel like in and outside of the space of the theaters, performance venues, and on the streets of various neighborhoods across the five boroughs.

We will be attentive to theories, methods, and practices of contemporary performance, while engaging with a wide scope of works from community-engaged performance, dance, devised performance, to the Broadway musical. Alongside these artistic acts students will be introduced to ways in which the city of New York itself is a landscape of continuous acts of theater, ceremonies and events all worthy of close attention for the way they operate by means of performance.

Seeing work will be central to our curriculum. For our class, we will use all of the resources at our disposal in New York City: the downtown theater scene, Broadway, museums, performance venues, the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, and the New York-based performing artists, curators, and programmers who populate this vibrant, influential expanding artistic landscapes in the world.

Meet the Instructor(s)

Ciara Murphy

Ciara Murphy

Ciara Murphy, Ph.D., serves as Director of Strategic Research & Planning at the Public Theater, one of the nation’s first not-for-profit theaters championing new playwriting and home to Free Shakespeare in the Park. At the Public, Ciara leads all aspects of strategic & institutional planning, in addition to spearheading the Public’s audience research and program evaluation initiatives. Ciara received her Ph.D. in Theater & Performance Studies, and Ph.D. Minor in the History from Stanford University. She is a scholar of modern and contemporary theater and performance; and the intersections of performance with science and technology.