2018-2019 Catalog

THEA 290 Topics in Performance: Laughing at Ourselves: Autobiographical Performance

This class will be taught by memoirist, actor, and storyteller, David Crabb. Crabb is the 2018-19 Wanlass Guest Artist in Theater.  

In this course, participants will learn how to create compelling and humorous personal nonfiction narratives for the stage, studying classic narrative structure and paying close attention to theme & detail. There is a long history of performers whose autobiographical solo work, like Crabb’s, simultaneously finds comedy in the tragedies of their lives while infusing the mundane with drama. To learn how to do this, students will study seminal storytellers and theater makers, (such as Spalding Gray, John Leguizamo,  Whoopi Goldberg, Julia Sweeney, and others) who use their lives and experiences as templates for performance. Students will also review Moth-style storytelling to help find their own voice through a close examination of identity, self, and how we perform in the world. 

Crabb will also direct the Theater Department's devised Spring 2019 studio show, and some of the work created in this class has the possibility of being a part of that performance.


4 units


THEA 210 or permission of instructor