Review Comment

Modernism and 20th Century Theater

July 23, 2003

Garrett, Shawn-Marie
Modernism and 20th Century Theater

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Shawn is by far the best professor I've had in the theater department, and, frankly, at the University in general. She is a superb editor; I found her comments on my essays more helpful than anything I’d received from an English professor. I would agree with another of Shawn’s reviewers who commented that Shawn is not the most “professional” of professors, but I think that that, if anything, that only adds to her charm and teaching. The class moved rather quickly (and, at times, a bit chaotically) which often left me wanting to talk more about a particular play. Opportunity for further discussion arises, naturally, in the inescapable papers. Shawn has a tendency to forget that she is the only one in the room with a degree in Dramaturgy when describing paper topics, but don’t be intimidated. She will happily explain what she meant in plain English if you meet with her during her office hours. Though I certainly felt (and feel) intimidated by her, there really is no need. She genuinely wants you to succeed. On that note, she encourages you to submit drafts and re-write papers (re-writes are due before the end of the semester). As I said before, setting aside however much you will learn about theater, your writing skills will dramatically (no pun intended) improve. Bottom line: I genuinely look forward to taking another class with Shawn. If you are interested in theater, are a hard worker, and enjoy participating in class discussions, then definitely take a class with Shawn.

Workload:

The one pitfall of the class. Expect to be very busy. Not ideal for the procrastinator: I often found myself up till sunrise the night before the class as I'd put off reading the 2 plays and 2 impossibly convoluted (and, of course, translated from either Russian or German) essays on Modernism. Some of the essays on Modernism are, as I said before, impossible. I think that I’d have understood Wagner in German as well as I did in English and the extent of my German is “Guten tag.” Thankfully, Shawn understands that you will not understand everything that you read. That said, she will still expect you to read it. The plays (all excellent) go down much more easily – expect to read about 2 a week for this class. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it.

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