Skip to Gallatin Navigation Skip to Gallatin Main Content

Ethnographic Playwriting

Semester and Year FA 2016
Course Number ARTS-UG1567
Section 001
Instructor Darrel Alejandro Holnes
Days M
Time 6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
Units 4
Level U



Ethnography is a methodology that refers to the study of an individual or a community’s customs and cultures. Through conducting ethnographic studies, we can encounter our own communities in new ways and come into contact with communities outside of our own. Such study and experience is essential to playwriting as a method to document, critique, and challenge the world in which we live. Through literary review, interview-based ethnographic fieldwork, and dramatic writing workshops this course will help you find ways to enter or engage a community, document your individual life, and document your communities in ethnographic plays. This course will also feature a diverse group of working playwrights and scholars as we discuss the research methods and playwriting craft behind such groundbreaking plays as  The Laramie Project  by Moises Kaufman,  Fires in the Mirror  by Anna Deveare Smith, and  Unnatural Acts: Harvard’s Secret Court of 1920s  by Tony Speciale and the Plastic Theater, and the viewing of a few plays. We will also be reading work by various scholars including selections from  Ethnodrama: An Anthology of Reality Theatre  by Dr. Johnny Saldaña,  Method Meets Art  by Dr. Patricia Leavy, and  Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes  by Robert M Emerson and others. Upon completing this course you will have ethnographic plays, ethnographies, and an artistic statement about your research-based playwriting.


All Syllabi

Course Type

Arts Workshops (ARTS-UG)