The focus of this course will be on the live theatrical experience: we will learn how to analyze theatre as both an art form and a cultural experience by viewing a wide array of plays and performances in production in Philadelphia this semester. The theatrical events will be examined in their entirety, as we consider: place and space of performance; audience; production elements such as directing, acting, and design; as well as the text of the play or performance piece itself. In addition, we will examine the state of the contemporary theatre culture in Philadelphia by looking at: the history of theatre in the city; the theatre buildings themselves; and the missions of selected theatre companies. Our readings will provide historical and theoretical contexts for our viewing; we will also read the scripts of some of the plays we see, as well as local newspaper/internet coverage of theatre in Philadelphia. The course will include tours of local theatres and discussions with professional artists.