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Florence 2014 Classes

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Room 1525 Emeritus
Santa Rosa, CA 95401

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Spring 2014 Classes

Course Descriptions & Bios

* Students must enroll in the Study Abroad Life and Culture course offered by the college that processes their program application.
~ Pre-requisite: check course descriptions for details.

College of San Mateo

Instructor: Doniella Maher
LITERATURE 101~ - 20th Century Literature
LITERATURE 113~ - The Novel
LITERATURE 220~ - Shakespeare
SOSC 383* - Italian Life, Language and Culture

Diablo Valley College

Instructor: Dorrie Mazzone
POLITICAL SCIENCE 220 - Comparative Politics
POLITICAL SCIENCE 240 - Political Theory
POLITICAL SCIENCE 250 - International Relations
SOCSC 162* - Italian Life, Language and Culture

Sacramento City College

Instructor: Valerie Kidrick
ART HISTORY 306 - Medieval Art
ART HISTORY 307 - Italian Renaissance Art
HUMANITIES 300 - Classical Humanities
INDIS 350* - Italian Life, Language and Culture

Santa Rosa Junior College

Instructor: Wendy Wisely
MEDIA 10 - Film Appreciation
THEATRE ARTS 1 - World Theatre Through Time
THEATRE 2 - Introduction to Theatre Arts
INTDIS 90* - Italian Life, Language and Culture

THEATRE ARTS 1: World Theatre

Italy is the birthplace of Commedia dell Arte – the slap stick genre which influences the comedy from Moliere to Charlie Chaplin to Seinfeld and The Office.

The lure of Italian culture and history was so strong that Shakespeare placed many of his plays there, despite the fact that he never got to visit Italy himself – but you can! See for yourself what Shakespeare only could dream about. We'll also be studying the works of more modern Italian playwrights such as Pirandello and Dario Fo who were responding to a very different time period - post WWII. We’ll examine these and the theater traditions and plays from around the world throughout history.

Field trip opportunities:

  • Teatre dell Pergola professional theater within walking distance which presents works of Pirandello to Oscar Wilde!
  • Teatro di Rifredi which brings contemporary and new works to the stage. It specifically reaches out to younger (more “hip”) audiences.
  • Tour the Teatre Verdi which is a beautiful example of 17th century proscenium stage with the ornate, gilt stage frame and the many balconies.

THEATRE 2: Introduction to Theatre Arts

The home of the Renaissance is a wonderful place to introduce students to the spectacle of live theater and it’s unique place within society. There is a sense of the theatrical in almost everything in Florence from the architecture to the fascination with fashion! Language is not a barrier to appreciating the sights and sounds of a live opera, appreciating the costume and lighting design of a ballet or laughing at the physical comedy of street performers performing in ancient commedia dell arte. There will be several opportunities to get out of the classroom and experience the theatrical first hand, many offered with discounted prices through the AIFS cultural calendar.

Other possible theatrical adventures:

  • Backstage tour of the Teatro Communale - noted for its state of the art contemporary facility and acclaimed costume shop.
  • Travel to Fiesole to see a partially restored Roman amphitheater.
  • Explore various mask and puppetry shops and perhaps get to see how they are made!

MEDIA 10: Film Appreciation

“If you ever have any doubt about the power of movies to affect change in the world, interact with life and fortify the soul, then study the example of (Italian) neorealism” — Martin Scorsese.

Neorealism was Italy’s cinematic response to World War II and an absolute rejection of the glamour of studio films from Hollywood. It is a gritty and honest approach that relied on making the most out of the least, something most students can relate to.

This course explores film from several different points of view: socio-political, mythological, auteur, historical, and artistically. We will be viewing, discussing, and writing about not only works from American masters but such films as THE BICYCLE THIEF (Vittorio di Sica), LA STRADA (Fellini) and even LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL which re-introduced Hollywood to Italian cinema awarding Roberto Benigni an Academy Award.

Field trip idea:

  • There are numerous cinemas within walking distance. It would be an excellent exercise to go see a matinee and see what can be garnered through mise-en-scene, music, editing and cinematography alone.

Instructor Bio:

Wendy Wisely has been a member of the SRJC Theatre Arts faculty since 1994.

She has worked as a professional director, actor and writer for over twenty years in film, TV, and live theaters throughout the Bay Area and beyond. She is an award winning stage director and her on-camera work as an actor is currently making the rounds in festivals around the nation. Her directing work at SRJC has included, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, COMEDY OF ERRORS, GUYS AND DOLLS, ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOOS NEST, RUMORS, and STEEL MAGNOLIAS among others. In addition, Wendy worked as the Associate Artistic Director of the Children’s Theatre Workshop and has been a Theatre Arts faculty member at Las Positas College, Berkeley City College, and for the California Shakespeare Theater. She has a degree in Drama from the University of Washington, and received her Masters of Fine Arts in Performance from San Jose State University.

Wendy has traveled with student groups to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the American College Theater Festival, and taught for the study abroad program in London 2011. She jumped at the chance to go again - this time to Florence!!

When asked why she wanted to teach abroad she answered, “I want to the opportunity to be alongside students on an adventure that will change the way they see themselves and the world. I want to see those ‘aha’ moments.”