E 379L • Contemporary Drama-W
5:00 PM-6:30 PM
This course presents an introduction to the major playwrights and themes of contemporary drama in the English-speaking world, focusing primarily on the United States and England. Beginning with a consideration of the origins of contemporary drama in the theatrical revolutions of the late 1950s to early 1970s, the course moves on to an examination of some of the major plays and playwrights of the last twenty years organized around three recurrent areas of concern: re-adaptations and revisions of classical themes and techniques; reflections on and reconsiderations of issues of modern identity, both personal and national; and epic re-stagings of history to current political ends. Works will be considered as examples of dramatic literature in dialogue with their dramatic predecessors and contemporaries and as documents of contemporary theatrical culture, influenced and often determined by the institutional structures of New York's Broadway and Off-Broadway or Londons West End and Fringe production arrangements.
Attendance and participation, 15%; two short essays (5 pages each), 25%+25%; one eight-page essay, 35%
Osborne, Look Back in Anger; Pinter, The Birthday Party; Kennedy, Funnyhouse of a Negro; Baraka, The Duthchman; Mamet, American Buffalo; Shepard, Buried Child; Kane, Phaedra in Love; Mee, Big Love; Walcott, Odyssey: A Stage Version; Bond, Lear; Vogel, How I Learned to Drive; Ruhl, Passion Play; Parks, The America Play; Letts, August: Osage County; Hwang, M. Butterfly; Greenberg, Take Me Out; Fornes, Fefu and Her Friends; Cruz, Anna in the Tropics; Kushner, Angels in America; Hare, The Absence of War; Churchill, The Skriker; Stoppard, The Coast of Utopia