From Oz to Hogwarts: Wisdom Through Fantasy

Dennis Bacigalupi
THTR 195
Course Description:
How are the wizard, witch, fairy godmother, spirit or otherworldly being effective instruments through which theatrical authors effectively present the highest personal and social values? Jimminy Cricket, Glenda the Good, Bilbo Baggins, Yoda, Merlin, Cinderella and Harry Potter teach us how best to interact with each other and create a more perfect world. Through the adventure of analyzing character, plot, theme, archetype, language, metaphor, style and other literary and performance devices, along with students’ imaginations expressed in their own written reports and performed dialogues, we will find the commonality of wisdom in scripts that emanate universal morality through the framework of fantasy and by so doing engage our minds and determination to follow the yellow brick road that leads to the fulfillment of our heart’s deepest desire. This course requires comprehensive comparative literature skills.

Faculty Bio:
Dennis Bacigalupi, Department of Rhetoric and Language Instructor, is a graduate of Juilliard’s Theater Division and has Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Science in Education degrees from the State University of New York. He has also taught Voice and Speech at The Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City and theater workshops for The Lincoln Center Institute. In addition to working for many years in New York theater and stages around the country and overseas, his training includes the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera and San Francisco State University.