The catalogue course description reads “Basic concepts and representative texts for the study of the form, function, and development of the genre of drama.” We will definitely accomplish this, but we will also become familiar with specific texts, modes of performance, and the politics and aesthetics of drama as a meeting place for writing, performance, and a great deal more.
We will start in Greece, end in Hawaiʻi, and therefore cover a great deal of ground. Dramatists studied will include Sophocles, the Everyman author, Shakespeare, Ibsen, Wilde, Beckett, Weiss, Churchill, Stoppard, Kushner, Kneubuhl, and Apio. Aristotle, Brecht, Artaud, and other theorists of drama will be read as well.
The course will be taught face-to-face. Students will be required to provide frequent postings on the course content, as well as theatrical review assignments, short critical and theoretical papers, speech memorization, and at least one staging assignment. There will be mandatory individual conferences on every paper, with required revision on all written assignments.
English majors, Drama majors, and arts and humanities students in general will benefit from this course. It is interdisciplinary, and also multi-media, as we will be spending a great deal of time on production, visual aspects, and acting styles. And because drama is such a public art, we will also talk about its capacity for social instruction and political change.
The 3rd Edition of the Norton Shorter Anthology of Drama will be the text, which contains most of the plays we’ll be reading. Weiss, Kneubuhl, Stoppard, and Apio will need to be purchased separately.
For all students, this course fulfills the WI and O requirement. For English majors, English 362: Drama fulfils the Genre requirement for 300 level Courses—Breadth of Field, or a 300- or 400-Level Course requirement. For non-majors, it fulfills an upper-division elective requirement.