Review Comment

New York Theatre

March 10, 2015

McMath, Stacey
New York Theatre

This was an incredibly fun course for a student who didn't know much about theatre. Seeing a show every week was amazing, and it really opened my eyes to amazing theatre off-Broadway. The shows were all very different and while not completely traditional, I didn't think that they were overly avant-garde (but I don't have too much knowledge about what counts as avant-garde theatre). I was very impressed by the line up of the shows we saw - we went to The Public, BAM, Soho Rep, Theatre for a New Audience, and many more. Many times the show we saw would have a front-page rave review in the NYTimes Arts section the next day. For someone who wants to experience the NYC theatre scene it was amazing.You also only have one class a week so it's relatively low stress. One note - a lot of the class time focuses on how the theatre works and how the business works as a whole. I found this really interesting but if you don't care about how they run a theatre or put on a show then McMath's class may not be your favorite.

Each week you write a response paper (about two pages) for the previous weeks show. My problem with this was that we NEVER got grades on them, just a check and maybe a comment or two about what you could improve. There were also no guidelines for these papers. I literally had no idea what my grade in the class would be until I got it. In addition we had two research papers at midterm/final time that were very easy - each had to be ten pages but there was a checklist of topics to cover that easily got you there if you were willing to look up all of the info. There were readings each week but you could get through the entirety of the semester without really reading at all - we would occasionally discuss them in class for a few minutes but thats it, more often we focused on the general topic of the readings so if you had skimmed a bit to get the gist you were completely fine!

Workload:

Long readings every week but they really aren't necessary - you could get through class discussion if you had simply skimmed the first and last few pages. Oftentimes I didn't read at all and I did perfectly well in the class.
One response paper a week (2 pages)
Two research papers (10+ pages) but on pretty easy topics to write about - low stress for sure.

December 15, 2008

Chaikelson, Steven Silver_nugget
New York Theatre

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

If you want an opportunity to see a lot of plays at a very low price, take this class! It is one of those classes you could only enjoy at a college in the city. Steven is extremely friendly and approachable. The class, however, is about the business of theatre, not really the performances themselves, so for me they could be very tedious. However, if this interests you, Steven is very knowledgeable as was the TA, Abby.

Workload:

Attendance at a play each week, very light reading, easy midterm paper/presentation and take-home final, weekly 2-page write-ups about theatrical performances.

April 20, 2008

Chaikelson, Steven Silver_nugget
New York Theatre

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

Take this class. Just DO IT.
But take the class when you are willing to give up an evening. It's certainly a fun class -- something you don't HAVE to take notes for because you won't be tested on anything he says in class. Attendance is mandatory, and so are all the plays. But it's totally worth it. What better way to fill your arts requirement than go see Spring Awakening? You see a play every week then do a write-up about it. We got awesome seats to a bunch of off-broadway shows, and overall, although the class takes a big chunk out of your Tuesday (or whatever), it's worth it.

Workload:

A few articles that you don't have to read, a book -- read one -- a play, you should probably read that too -- a midterm on a director or something (group project) and a final that is a bunch of essays. don't worry -- it's take home and open book.

February 04, 2008

Chaikelson, Steven Silver_nugget
New York Theatre

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

An awesome class for the adventurous. While the class had absolutely no academic reading and elementary school projects, it was made bearable by attending a Broadway/Off-Broadway or Off-Off Broadway show each week! While the 2 hour class seemed to drag on, I did end up learning a bit more about New York Theater (great for cocktail parties). Steven was very nice and easy to talk to outside of class.

Workload:

- About 20 pages of reading per week (none of which is required or even discussed in class)
- A midterm presentation and 10 page paper
- A take-home final
- Weekly 1 pg. reflections on the show

January 15, 2008

Chaikelson, Steven Silver_nugget
New York Theatre

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

TAKE THIS COURSE, it is one of the most enlightening courses I have taken at columbia!

Steve is awesome, a very nice and understanding guy and he is also knows his stuff about theater. The course is structured, so you dont get any pointless lectures. You get to go to shows, which is the greatest part. It was the class that i looked forward to!

Do your work, show up to class, and get an A

Workload:

midterm presentation and paper, light reading of newspaper articles, and a fair final. The final is based on your experiences in the theater and also on your reading, so if you did all of the reading it is very easy.

December 25, 2007

Chaikelson, Steven Silver_nugget
New York Theatre

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

I recommend this class more than I recommend fettucini alfredo, and I love fettucini alfredo. Not only do you get to see a show every week for an entire semester for a mere $130 (unless the stagehands strike like they did during my semester), but you get an impressive wealth of knowledge about the theatre industry and specifically how it works in New York. Of course, it helps that Professor Chaikelson is a working producer, because it opens doors for all kinds of learning experiences. We met with producers and stars of shows after seeing them for question-and-answer periods, and used actual marketing packets as class materials.
Beware, though. Even though the class may officially meet Tuesdays from 5:10-11, about half the shows we saw were on different days, which could be a problem for some people's schedules.

Workload:

Weekly readings, 2 books and 1 play to read (Though he doesn't discuss the books much in class, be sure to read at least one of them. It will come up on the final). A midterm project (a research paper and class presentation-
-most people used powerpoint) and a take-home final with 3 3-5 page essays, one on an assigned book.

February 16, 2007

Burney, Christopher
New York Theatre

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

I took this class the first semester Chris taught it. I loved it, and I adore him. I can't, however, say the same for his TA, Caralyn, who seems to think herself God's gift to the theater industry and Columbia University itself. Her position is totally unnecessary anyway, really.

Chris knows his stuff incredibly well, and is full of random theater trivia. He is kind, witty and smart, and though his sense of humor isn't quite for everyone, he's one of the funniest people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing.
He's wonderful at making his students feel comfortable with voicing their opinions in class.

The course itself was fairly loosely structured and very laid-back, so it's not terribly academic, but you get what you put in with this one. You can choose to BS your way straight through, or you can take it seriously (because although Chris jokes a lot, he does) and learn a lot about New York's theater scene, past and present.

My favorite part of the course, though, was the huge variety of theater Chris exposed us to. I got to see a lot of things I wouldn't normally go to. It's a great course for anyone who's interested in the theater, be that interest casual or serious.

Workload:

The course has been heavily restructured since I took it; we had a midterm exam and a final project, but the former's been replaced by a second project. Additionally, weekly journal entries commenting on the productions you see. Extra credit for journals written about shows you see outside of class. Fairly light reading.

January 09, 2007

Burney, Christopher
New York Theatre

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

Professor Burney and his lovely assstant Caralyn Spector are pathetic. This has got to be the least academically worthwhile class I've ever taken, or hopefully ever wiil. A horrible combination of gay-man's-talk-show-host and 3rd rate academic, the teaching in this class WILL NOT inspire you.
BUT...
take this class anyway! Seeing a play every 2 weeks for an entire semester is worth every moment of humorless tedium. Really really really.

Workload:

2 excessively long projects and a short journal entry for each show. Basically just show up to class and cobble together some BS for the papers. Also, read The Empty Space, not because you have to, but because it is an incredible work (and as an added bonus if you use it in your work you have a guarenteed A).

Directory Data

Dept/Subj Directory Course Professor Year Semester Time Section
THEB / THTR THEB THTR V2002: New York Theatre Stacey McMath 2012 Fall R / 8:00-11:00 PM 1
THEB / THTR THEB THTR V2002: New York Theatre Miriam Felton-Dansky 2012 Spring W / 8:00-11:00 PM 1
THEB / THTR THEB THTR V2002: New York Theatre 2011 Spring R / 8:00-11:00 PM 1
THEB / THTR THEB THTR V2002: New York Theatre Stacey McMath 2010 Fall W / 8:00-11:00 PM 1
THEB / THTR THEB THTR V2002: New York Theatre Stacey McMath 2010 Spring W / 8:00-11:00 PM 1
THEB / THTR THEB THTR V2002: New York Theatre Steven Chaikelson 2009 Fall R / 8:00-11:00 PM 1
THEB / THTR THEB THTR V2002: New York Theatre Stacey McMath 2009 Spring W / 8:00-11:00 PM 1
THEB / THTR THEB THTR V2002: New York Theatre Steven Chaikelson 2008 Fall R / 8:00-11:00 PM 1