Students attending this course will:
• Comprehend the role of theatre in American society as a public platform where political discourses are debated and cultural issues negotiated.
• Understand the impact of theatre on the formation of a distinctly American national identity.
• Become familiar with major movements, figures, and events that significantly contributed to the development of American theatre.
• Be able to approach a dramatic text by focusing on both its theatrical qualities and cultural significance.
Course Content (Syllabus)
The aim of this course is to examine the development of drama and theatre in the United States from the eighteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. The plays selected represent a variety of periods, styles, and perspectives. The course will explore the relationship of drama to social, political, and cultural forces in order to offer a more complete understanding of the uniqueness of American Drama and its place in the construction of an American identity.
Additional bibliography for study
Bigsby, C. W. E. A critical introduction to twentieth-century American drama.
Bordman, Gerald Martin. American theatre: a chronicle of comedy and drama, 1869-1914.
Chinoy, Helen Krich., Jenkins, Linda Walsh. Women in American theatre.
Engle, Ron, Miller, Tice L. The American stage: social and economic issues from the colonial period to the present.
Quinn, Arthur Hobson. Representative American plays: from 1767 to the present day.
Senelick, Laurence. The American stage: writing on theater from Washington Irving to Tony Kushner.
Walker, Julia A. Expressionism and modernism in the American theatre: bodies, voices, words.
Watt, Stephen and Gary A. Richardson. American drama: colonial to contemporary.
Wilmeth, Don B. and C. W. E. Bigsby. The Cambridge history of American theatre. Witham, Barry. Theatre in the United States, 1750-1915.