Not too easy. Not too difficult.
Prof. Carpenter did a very good job of sharing her enthusiasm for the subject and encouraging us to stretch our thinking. She's a high-energy person who obviously loves what she's doing and is eager to nurture others' interest. The in-class discussions of the readings and plays were invaluable in expanding my understanding of how dramaturgy works and what it entails. One class session was a discussion (via Skype) with a dramaturg in Baltimore who told us how he got into dramaturgy, how it works at his current theater, and what he liked least and most about the job; very interesting. My only complaint, if you could call it that, is that Prof. Carpenter has so much to teach on this subject that it could easily be a two-semester class.
Three highlights: One was the Skype class with another working dramaturg (Prof. Carpenter also works as a dramaturg). Second was the opportunity to get a glimpse into the play development process with the UMD/Kennedy Center partnership New Visions/New Voices. Third was the final project. Each of us was assigned to compile a protocol book on one of the plays the university is doing next season. It was eye-opening to see just how broad one's research and ideas needed to be, but I enjoyed working on it. Prof. Carpenter encouraged each of us to volunteer as dramaturg on anything we might be interested in and offered her help should we decide to do so. She did tap one of us to be dramaturg for one of the New Visions/New Voices play. When I mentioned that, as a result of this class, I've reached out to a local community theater company volunteering to be a dramaturg, she told me that she would be happy to help if I have any questions.
Hours per week:
Advice for students:
The response papers to the readings were only a couple of pages, but we had one due pretty much every class session. Allow time for the readings and however much time you need to write about them. And you absolutely, positively MUST start on your protocol book AS SOON AS you get your play assignment! I did, and I still spent MOST of the weekend before it was due researching, writing, and assembling my Book, despite having set a research cut-off date. I think we all found that, no matter how much work we did early on, the research still ended up taking more time than anticipated.