1. Recognize the values, beliefs, and behaviors that define a culture.
2. Define key terms of cultural awareness such as oppression, privilege, racism,
ethnocentrism, and classism.
3. Identify the influence of ritual, ceremony, and storytelling on diverse American
4. Identify the historical negative stereotypes of African American, Asian American,
Latino, and Native American people perpetuated by the entertainment industry and
analyze the effect of these negative stereotypes within the framework of American culture.
5. Place a work of contemporary, multicultural theatrical art in its historical and stylistic context.
6. Distinguish among the theatrical conventions of diverse American theatrical traditions.
7. Analyze and interpret works of dramatic literature by key playwrights or performance artists
from diverse American cultures.
8. Apply these tools of identification, analysis, and cultural understanding to live theatrical
A. Definition of relevant theatrical terminology.
B. Key terms of cultural awareness including oppression, privilege, racism, ethnocentrism,
II. Overview of Native American, African American, Asian American, and Latino Theatre.
A. The use of ritual, dance, music and story-telling in the lives and world view of each group.
B. Understanding creative endeavors within a cultural context.
C. Diverse methods of theatrical presentations.
D. Development of theatrical conventions according to the historical
traditions of each group.
E. Synthesis of cultural understanding with artistic interpretation
of theatrical productions and play readings.
F. Negative stereotypes of African, Asian, Latin and Native Americans perpetuated by the
III. Native American Theatre
A. The influences of colonialism, brutality and oppression.
B. Assimilation attempts, treaties, boarding schools, tribal society, the oral tradition, the
Civil Rights Movement, American Indian Movement, and a rediscovery of traditional
C. Possible playwrights include: Hanay Geiogamah, Thomson Highway, William
Yellowrobe, SpiderwomanTheatre, Greg Saris, and the theatrical organizations with
which they have worked.
IV. Latino Theatre
A. Geography, immigration, labor, and Catholicism.
B. Latino literature, magical realism, and poetry.
C. History of Latino Theatre and how it continues to be shaped by political, social, and
D. Possible playwrights include: Luis Valdez, Milcha Sanchez-Scott, Luis Alfaro, and the
theatrical organizations with which they have worked.
V. African American Theatre
A. Slavery, minstrel shows, the Civil War and Reconstruction, and the Northern Migration
B. Harlem Renaissance, the Depression, and the Federal Theatre Project.
C. African American oral tradition and literature, poetry, and the Civil Rights Movement.
D. African American playwrights include: August Wilson, Amiri Baraka, Pearl Cleage,
Anna Deavere Smith and the theatrical organizations with which they have worked.
VI. Asian American Theatre
A. The influences of immigration, labor and exclusion laws.
B. Effects of World War II, the internments camps, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, and the
Civil Rights Movement.
C. Traditional Asian theatrical conventions.
D. Possible playwrights include: Philip Kan Gotanda, David Henry Hwang, Margaret Cho,
Diana Son, and the theatrical organizations with which they have worked.
VII. Units of study may also include other theatrical traditions such as Arab American, gay,
Deaf, and religious theatre.
The student will complete:
1. Weekly reading assignments:
10-14 representative plays of varying lengths and related material.
2. Three short 500-word essays
3. 10-15 quizzes on the assigned reading
4. Midterm and Final Exam
5. A creative project, with written documentation, consisting of one of the following:
a. An oral presentation on a multicultural performance group.
b. An oral presentation on a multicultural theatre artist.
c. A costume or set design for one of the plays that are assigned for the course.
d. The design and construction of a culturally-specific production element (i.e.a mask, traditional performance garment, etc.).
e. A performance of a culturally-specific performance style.
f. A ten-minute play written by the student that deals with one of the terms of cultural awareness (oppression, privilege, racism, ethnocentrism, classism, etc.).
6. May include required attendance at Theatre Arts Productions.
Three Plays. Wilson, August. University of Pittsburgh Press. Copyright 1991. (Classic)
Asian American Playwrights: A Bio-bibliographical Critical Sourcebook. Miles Xian Liu. Greenwood Publishing Group. Westport, Conn. 2002. Ebook http://www.netlibrary.com/ (Classic text.)
Stories of Our Way: An Anthology of American Indian Plays. Geiogamah, Hanay.
(Editor) Jaye T. Darby (Editor). University of California, American Indian Studies Center. 1999. (Classic)
New Native American Drama. Geiogamah, Hanay. University of Oklahoma Press. 1980. (Classic)
The Land Called Morning: Three Plays. Heath, Caroline, ed. Fifth House.1986. (Classic)
Seventh Generation: An Anthology of Native American Plays. Mimi Gisolfi D'Aponte (Editor), Theatre Communications Group, 1998. (Classic)
On New Ground: Contemporary Hispanic-American Plays. Edited by M. Elizabeth Osborn. Theatre Communication Group, New York, 1987. (Classic)
The Creative Spirit: An Introduction to Theatre, 6th Edition. Stephanie Arnold. Lewis and Clark College: 2014.
Instructor prepared materials