Theatre Arts / Library: Researching Hamlet’s Madness

Title: Hawk or Handsaw?  Researching Hamlet’s Madness.  A Theatre Studies Library Lesson Study Plan
Discipline(s) or Field(s): Theatre Arts and Information Literacy
Authors: Beth Cherne, Walter Elder (Theatre Arts), Michael Current, Cris Prucha (Murphy Library),  University of Wisconsin – La Crosse
Submission Date: August 21, 2007

Executive Summary

Learning goals were to introduce and deepen students’ knowledge and interest in library resources for theatre research. We wanted to ignite their curiosity and thrill them with the possibilities of finding information for their use in work for the stage. We designed a worksheet of questions, based on real-world scholars’ debates about Shakespeare’s Hamlet and interpretations of the title character. We found that when given a structure and real questions, students dug in and found strong information.

Theatre Arts / Library Lesson Study: Researching Hamlet’s Madness (Final Report)

Theatre Arts: Active, Collaborative, Creative Processes

Title: Introduction to Active Collaborative Creative Processes in the Theatre Appreciation Classroom
Discipline(s) or Field(s): Theatre Arts
Authors: Beth Cherne, William T. Clow, Ron Stoffregen, Joe Anderson, Mary Leonard Anderson, Walter Elder, University of Wisconsin – La Crosse
Submission Date: June 25, 2008

Executive Summary:  The lesson’s principal purposes were to initiate an interactive environment in the classroom; to involve students actively in collaborative work; to introduce basic concepts in theatre production and performance. The instructional pattern took the form of an activity: small groups of about five students wrote, rehearsed and performed a one-two minute play for the class; we then discussed the theatrical concepts that arose. We found that the lesson accomplished all of these things, but that it worked better taught at the second class meeting of the semester, rather than the first, because the first class meeting required so many “house keeping” details, leaving little time for discussion.