Spring 2013
M/W/F Fine Arts Building
Rm. 350 Fine Arts


Dr. Farley Richmond
Office: Fine Arts #367
Office phone: 542-2089. IT IS BEST TO REACH ME BY E-MAIL.
Office hours: To be announced but mainly by appointment with me


This course is meant to develop and expand your knowledge of the vast and complex field of Asian theatre by focusing on the use of masks and puppets in performance. Major emphasis is placed on Japanese and Indonesian genres of performance, among which are the wayang kulit shadow theatre of Java and Bali, as well as the various masked performance genres on the island of Bali. It also gives separate but equal treatment to the Bunraku puppet theatre and the Noh masked theatre of Japan.

In order to expand your knowledge of the subject we will briefly touch on other Asian countries, not the least of which are India and China, two countries now exerting considerable global economic influence over the United States. These are the two countries with the largest populations in the world both having ancient important cultures stretching back thousands of years. A separate course might well be taught on the use of masks and puppets in these societies. Nor must we forget masks and puppetry in Korea, Tibet, Nepal, Sri Lanka, as well as various countries in Southeast Asia, like North and South Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines, Myanmar, New Guinea, and Malaysia.

It will be necessary to contextualize your thinking about the subject by exploring some information about the use of masks and puppets in the west beginning in ancient times and continuing through the present day. This may help you to see just how significant and deep the subject of masks and puppets really is and should be in theatre education.

Required Texts:

A number of written sources will be provided during the semester, including plays. There is a wiki for the course that I am working on providing you as a place to learn and communicate. More on that later.

Attendance Policy:

Needless to say attendance is mandatory because much if not all of the material covered in the course will be new to you, some of it is even new to your instructor.

PLEASE NOTE: Should any student miss more than three classes during the semester without permission of the instructor his/her grade in the course will be reduced by a half a letter grade for each additional absence beyond the three. For example, an A will turn to an A-, a A- will become a B+ and so on.

Participation Policy:

Despite my love and enthusiasm for the Internet, social media, cell phones, and texting, all of these appear to distract students from full and undisturbed participation in my courses. Therefore, I am banning their use in my classroom. Please come to class prepared to take notes the old fashioned way with paper and pen or pencil. Be ready to contribute to discussion when the opportunity is provided. Share you thoughts and ideas of the subject. Later you will have time to transfer what you’ve learned to digital form AFTER you leave the classroom. Also, you should read and thoroughly be familiar with any assigned readings and assigned play text BEFORE attending class. Background research and creativity oblige students to go beyond the basic requirements in all their courses by mining the library holdings, not just those found on the Internet.

(due dates for some assignments to be announced at a later date)

Midterm Exam 10%
Final Exam 20%
2 Creative Projects, one on puppetry and one on masks of Asia 10%
Final Creative Project on masks or puppets of Asia to be negotiated with me 20%
Wiki Writing Assignments 10%
Final Written Assignment 20%
Attendance & Participation 10%

To assess your abilities this course has three relatively distinct ways of accomplishing that goal. First, the midterm and final exams are designed to test your memorization of material covered in the course through readings, lectures and discussion. Second, the creative projects are meant to give you an opportunity to express your imagination regarding this subject, ie. applying ideas that inspire you. Third, the writing assignments (wiki writing and final written project) will help me to assess your research skills, as well as your critical and analytical approach to the subject.

NOTE: Grad Students are obliged to prove an additional research paper of 10 to 15 pages using department condoned methods of noting citations on a subject to be discussed with and approved by the instructor.

Final Notes:
Warning! Warning! University policy on academic dishonesty will most definitely be enforced. Committing plagiarism by copying the words or the original ideas of another person without giving that person full and proper credit, is an especially serious violation of this policy. If you violate this policy you will be reported immediately to the Student Judiciary for disciplinary action. According to university regulations, students convicted of plagiarism face one of three punishments: expulsion from the university, suspension for a semester, or a notation on your university transcript of academic dishonesty. I have come across such cases in the past and thus am especially vigilant. Please know that I will not be lenient for anyone caught!

If you have a disability and require classroom accommodations, please see me after class or make an appointment during office hours. If you plan to request accommodations for a disability, please register with the Disability Resource Center at 114 Clark Howell Hall, (706) 542-8719,