A Junior Tutorial With Linda Gates: The Shared Poetic Language of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes

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“The blood jet is poetry and there is no stopping it.”
The shared poetic language of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes


A Junior Tutorial With Linda Gates
Wednesday 2-5 – Spring Quarter – 2012

Ted Hughes was a promising young British poet from Yorkshire and Sylvia Plath was a promising young American poet and Fulbright scholar from Massachusetts. They met at Cambridge University where they both were students. Attracted by each other’s poetry even before they met, they fell passionately in love and married six months later. Returning to England after brief academic teaching stints in America, they were determined to devote themselves full time to writing poetry. After six years of marriage, two children, and successful publications by both poets, Hughes began an affair with another woman and they separated. A month after the first UK publication of her autobiographical novel The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath killed herself. Although feminists hounded Ted Hughes in print as being responsible for her death, even repeatedly effacing his name from hers on her tombstone, he was still her husband and as her literary executor, he was responsible for the presenting her poetry to the world. Shortly before his death he released a final book of poems Birthday Letters on her birthday. In it he used poetry to speak to her about their marriage. After his death, his final poem to her, Last Letter, was discovered among his unpublished writings.

Junior Tutorial

This Junior Tutorial will research the shared poetic language of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes using their poetry, journals, letters, and other writing, with the goal of creating a performance piece devised from their research and in collaboration with the class. Students would be expected to read their poetry aloud, to find a shared link between Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes’ work and to explore literary criticism of writers such as A. Alvarez, Sally Bayley, Diane Middlebrook and others. Students would be expected to participate in the devising of a final performance piece, which they will perform at the end of the class and to write a final paper on their research and its relationship to their process in devising their final performance.

The catalyst of the tutorial is the intent of the Rothermere American Institute at Oxford, to host an Interdisciplinary Master Class exploring Sylvia Plath’s and Ted Hughes’ work in honor of what would have been her 80th birthday. They have asked me to teach the voice and text performance component, which will form the basis of this class.


The Poetry Foundation of Chicago is also interested in sponsoring a performance in the fall of 2012. This goal of this Junior Tutorial is to give interested students the opportunity to be a part of this process.

Class time is Wednesday Spring Quarter 2-5. Laura Passin, an ABD from the English Department has agreed to act as Dramaturg. Limited to 8 students.

For more information please contact Linda Gates at: lhg984@northwestern.edu or 847-467-1856

Office Hours: M-W 2-4 or by appointment.

Theatre Professor, Linda Gates offers Summer Workshop: Marionettes in Prague

This intensive summer workshop is focused on Marionette Theater in all its aspects: marionette design, carving, manipulation, performance as well as training the voice of the puppeteer. It is ideal for performers, designers, theatre professionals, film makers and all lovers of puppetry.

Master Puppeteer Mirek Trejtnar will work with students in all aspects of creating a marionette performance: designing puppets, woodcarving, painting, puppet costume design, and manipulation for performance and

Linda Gates, Head of Theatre Voice at Northwestern University wlll work with students to develop vocal techniques to create and present their puppet’s voices for performance.

The core of the concluding section of the program is five performances (two in Prague, three outside of Prague). In addition there will be field trips outside of Prague and a visit to a historic puppet collection

Arrival: Jul. 6
Orientation: Jul. 7
Beginning of classes: Jul. 8
Departure: Aug. 3

Marionette Master Class Mirek Trejtnar
Voice for the Puppeteer Linda Gates

Students are accommodated in Jerome House (Dům Jeronýma Pražského), a dorm of the Collegium Hieronymi Pragensis, an institution which serves study abroad needs of Northwestern, Yale, Brown, Harvard and other top American institutions of higher learning. The dorm is centrally located, and provides accommodation in suits of four rooms sharing two bathrooms and a kitchenette or in single and double rooms with private bathrooms with a shared kitchenette in the hall.
Number of participants
14 students

The tuition of $4,430 per student covers accommodation and breakfast for the duration of the program, fieldtrips, program social events, and materials for marionette manufacturing.
Students may receive Northwestern University credit for this course. You must apply through the Study Abroad office. Applications are accepted on a rolling admissions basis from now through March 1,

Application deadline: May 31st, 2012.
Application procedure: Fill out the enclosed application form, save it on your computer and send it electronically to marionettes@chp.cz or print it out and mail to:

Collegium Hieronymi Pragensis
Jungmannova 9 – 110 00
Prague 1
Czech Republic

Miroslav Trejtnar, Czech Master Puppeteer and Teacher,

Trejtnar has a long connection with puppetry. He concentrated on woodcarving at the Arts and Crafts High School in Prague. From there he went on to study puppet design at the Department of Alternative and Puppet Theatre at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. Miroslav also spent time training at the Institut UNIMA in Charleville-Mézières, France. He also worked with the Bread and Puppet Theatre, USA.

In 1999, Trejtnar founded the KID Company which is devoted to designing and producing traditional Czech wooden puppets, toys and sculptures. His puppets have been displayed by invitation at the UNIMA 2000 World Festival in Magdeburg, Germany. Trejtnar has been commissioned to design and make puppets for a large range of productions in the Czech Republic and elsewhere. Highlights have included working for the Forman brothers on their production of ‘Baroque Opera’ as well as for the renowned Jiří Trnka animation studios in Prague. 1996 was a special year for Trejtnar as he received the Bavarian Design Award at the Munich International Crafts Fair.

Trejtnar is one of few remaining teachers of the art of designing and making traditional Czech marionettes. His courses are in great demand.[2] He also has great knowledge as a manipulator of different styles of puppetry. Puppeteers come from all around the world to have the chance to work with and learn from him. Apart from operating his own studio in Prague, Trejtnar has been invited to lecture in puppet making and design at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, St. Martin’s College of Design, London and also in Portugal and Hong Kong. Many of his students work as professional puppeteers and teachers of puppetry in schools around the world. Every year, Trejtnar works with students on a puppet creation and performance project called Teatrotoc, www.teatrotoc.eu

Linda Gates, Voice for the Puppeteerhttp://www.chp.cz/

Medill Innocence Project Fellowships


The Medill Innocence Project, which over the years has helped to exonerate prisoners from death row and played a role in Illinois’ governor’s decision to abolish the death penalty, is offering two fellowships this summer.
Each student awarded a fellowship will receive a stipend of $7,500. Applications are open to Northwestern undergraduate and graduate students.
Working with Prof. Alec Klein, director of the Medill Innocence Project, the two students awarded the Medill Innocence Project fellowships will conduct a range of research, including examining systemic criminal justice issues. Experience is not required, only a passion for investigative journalism, strong reporting and writing abilities and a willingness to learn, gather data, conduct interviews and contribute to publication on the Medill Innocence Project’s website, www.medillinnocenceproject.org.
The deadline to apply is noon, Friday, March 9, 2012.
To apply, email a cover letter and resume to Prof. Alec Klein:

Music Ed. Offering open to Undergrads for Spring 2012.

Course #: Music Ed 435 (Selected Topics)
Improvisation: Theory & Practice – Spring quarter 2012. W 1:00-3:50 MAB 219.
Improvisation can be viewed in multiple ways: as a product such as in music, an attitude, a way of being, or as a process for creating items ranging from music to buildings. In this graduate seminar we will examine multiple theories and uses of improvisation in music and outside of music. We will also practice improvisation in several ways as we organically uncover meanings of what it means to “improvise.” This seminar requires no previous experience in improvisation nor in music.

ART 390-0 SPECIAL TOPICS: PERFORMANCE ART for Spring Quarter 2012

Dave McKentzie
MW 9-11:50

This course will explore the historical roots of non-theatrical performance as well as more recent practices. Theories of performance as well as various historical approaches—such as Dada, Futurism, and Fluxus will be introduced. Assignments are designed to provide an introduction to live art and to provide the fundamental tools and techniques for performing. Over the course of the quarter students will be asked to determine their relationship to process, time, space and the body.