This course introduces the genre of drama by examining a range of theatrical works from ancient Greece (Sophocles, Oedipus the King), Elizabethan England (Shakespeare, Hamlet), and the later nineteenth century (Ibsen, A Doll's House; Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest). We will focus mostly on twentieth-century plays, primarily from Ireland and the United States (Shaw, Synge, O'Casey, Beckett, and Friel; Glaspell, Hansberry, Miller, and Wilson).
Reading and discussion of these written texts will challenge us to imagine them in performance.
The course will require a considerable amount of short writing assignments (before and during classes), as well as a longer (5-7pp) paper.
Required texts for the course are:
Kelly, Joseph (ed.). The Seagull Reader: Plays. 2nd ed. Norton, 2008
Harrington, John P. (ed.). Modern and Contemporary Irish Drama. 2nd ed. Norton, 2008
Esslin, Martin. The Field of Drama. Methuen, 1987