St. Thomas University
English 2223
The Page and the Stage
2001 - 2013

A Guide -- no, a Companion -- to the Course

I taught this course, in an essentially unchanged format (though with substantial tweakings over the years), between 2001 and 2013. The premise of the course was that I committed to work with only plays that were being produced during the course, either here in Fredericton or within commuting distance (which, in practice, meant Sackville or Saint John). Each year, besides reading and attending (and writing about) five local productions, each member of the course participated in a process of researching, and another of editing, a "Playgoer's Companion" (before 2010 they were called "Playgoer's Guides"), a four-page folded document which was, by arrangement, distributed at the theatre along with the theatre company's own programs.

The aim of the documents was to provide theatregoers with some of the knowledge and expectations that might help them be more knowledgeable audience members. They were not intended to substitute for the information about the particular production which the company themselves might provide. Rather, we tried to find public information -- about the playwright, the context of the play, its production history, or whatever else seemed likely to be of interest, and which might offer the audience members a chance to read, either before the lights went down or after the production, some text that could provide interesting -- possibly enriching -- context for their experience.

Almost all of those documents still exist on the various course Web sites. Although the courses themselves have been archived, it's possible to provide links to the documents. I think -- hope -- they might serve to provide background for new productions, or simply to be of interest to anyone wanting a bit of insight into a play. Below, then, is a list of all the documents that were created over the dozen or so years of the course and which are still available online, with a link to each. Most are in the form that was finally printed and distributed at the theatre, though in some cases -- mainly in the first couple of years of the course -- that file has been lost and what is linked here is an HTML file of the material included.

I -- and, I expect, all the students who participated in the creation of these documents over the years -- hope you find them of interest, and perhaps even useful. They're in chronological order.

If you'd like to know more detail about how the course was conducted, you can have a look at the course introduction to the 2013 version of the course here. If you'd like more detail, email me and I can give you access to the whole course Web site (or we can email or talk about it).

Christopher Durang, Betty's Summer Vacation (winter 2001; html)
Joe Orton, What the Butler Saw (winter 2001)
Timberlake Wertenbaker, Our Country's Good (winter 2001)
George F. Walker, Criminal Genius (winter 2001; html)
Michael Healy, The Drawer Boy (winter 2001; html)
Frank Loesser, Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, Guys and Dolls (winter 2001; html)
Eve Ensler, The Vagina Monologues (winter 2002; html)
William Shakespeare, Macbeth (winter 2002)
David Edgar, Pentecost (winter 2002)
William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew (winter 2002)
A. R. Gurney, Sylvia (winter 2002)
Irving Berlin, and Dorothy and Herbert Fields, Annie Get Your Gun (winter 2002)
Tom Stoppard, Arcadia (winter 2004)
William Shakespeare, The Tempest (winter 2004)
William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet (winter 2004)
Maureen Hunter, Vinci (winter 2004)
Joe Orton, Loot (winter 2004)
Thomas Middleton and William Rowley, The Changeling (winter 2004)
Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest (winter 2004)
David Auburn, Proof (winter 2004)
Bertolt Brecht, Mother Courage and Her Children (winter 2004)
Jonathan Larson, Rent (winter 2005)
Aeschylus, translated by Ted Hughes, Agamemnon (winter 2005)
Sam Shepard, A Lie of the Mind (winter 2005)
David Hare, The Blue Room  (winter 2005)
Arthur Miller, The Crucible  (winter 2005)
George F. Walker, The End of Civilization (winter 2005)
William Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale (winter 2005)
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, Evita: A Musical About the Life of Eva Peron (winter 2005)
William Shakespeare, Love's Labour's Lost (winter 2005)
Harold Pinter, The Birthday Party (winter 2006)
Christopher Durang, 'Dentity Crisis (winter 2006)
Caryl Churchill, Heart's Desire  (winter 2006)
Samuel Beckett, Krapp's Last Tape  (winter 2006)
Aristophanes, Lysistrata  (winter 2006)
David MacIvor, How it Works  (winter 2006)
Thornton Wilder, Our Town  (winter 2006)
Michel Tremblay, For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again  (winter 2006)
Lanford Wilson,  The Rimers of Eldritch  (winter 2006)
Donald Marguilies, Sight Unseen  (winter 2006)
Thomas Middleton, A Tragi-Comedie called The Witch  (winter 2006)
Paula Vogel, How I Learned to Drive (winter 2007)
Christopher Marlowe, The Tragicall History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus (winter 2007)
John-Michael Tebelak and Stephen Schwartz, Godspell (winter 2007)
Kevin Major, No Man's Land (winter 2007)
George Abbott & Richard Pike Bissell, The Pajama Game (winter 2007)
Jean Anouilh, Ring Round the Moon (winter 2007)
Eugene Ionesco, The Bald Soprano (winter 2007)
Kevin Kerr, Unity (1918) (winter 2007)
Aphra Behn, The Rover, or, The Banish'd Cavaliers (winter 2008)
Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, The Three Penny Opera (winter 2009)
Frank McGuinness, Carthaginians (winter 2009)
Celia McBride, So Many Doors (winter 2009)
Tom Stoppard, The Real Inspector Hound (winter 2009)
Francis Beaumont, The Knight of the Burning Pestle (winter 2009)
John Mighton, Scientific Americans (winter 2009)
Jeffrey Hatcher and Mitch Albom, Tuesdays With Morrie (winter 2009)
George Farquhar, The Beaux' Stratagem (winter 2010)
Peter Morgan, Frost / Nixon (winter 2010)
Martin McDonagh, The Cripple of Inishmaan (winter 2010)
Sarah Daniels, The Gut Girls (winter 2010)
Sally Clark, Life Without Instruction (winter 2010)
George F. Walker, Problem Child (winter 2010)
Daniel MacIvor, This is a Play / Here Lies Henry (winter 2010)
Neil LaBute, Autobahn (winter 2011)
Peter Shaffer, Black Comedy (winter 2011)
Sam Shepard, Buried Child (winter 2011)
David Hare, Fanshen (winter 2011)
Caryl Churchill, Heart's Desire (winter 2011)
Tom Stoppard, The Real Inspector Hound (winter 2011)
Judith Thompson, Perfect Pie (winter 2011)
Joan Littlewood and The Theatre Workshop, Oh, What a Lovely War (winter 2012)
Michael Tremblay, Bonjour, la, Bonjour (winter 2012)
Ariel Dorfman, Death and the Maiden (winter 2012)
Gina Gionfriddo, Becky Shaw (winter 2012)
Alden Nowlan and Walter Learning, The Dollar Woman (winter 2012)
Eric Rockwell and Joanne Bogart, The Musical of Musicals: The Musical! (winter 2012)
Patrick Barlow, The 39 Steps (winter 2012)
David Mamet, Oleanna (winter 2012)
Tom Stoppard / Arthur Schnitzler, Undiscovered Country (winter 2012)
Neil LaBute, Reasons to be Pretty (winter 2012)
Colleen Murphy, The December Man (winter 2013)
Bertolt Brecht, The Caucasian Chalk Circle (winter 2013)
Don Hannah, While We're Young (winter 2013)
Sarah Daniels, The Gut Girls  (winter 2013)
William Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale (winter 2013)
Anton Chekhov, The Cherry Orchard (winter 2013)

To other courses taught by Russ Hunt
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