Course Detail


Contemporary Drama

388 Contemporary Theatre


Despite our highly visual and multimedia age, we don't often think of the stage as being a site of significant cultural conversation. Yet there is simply no substitute for the vitality and importance of live theater. To paraphrase Edward Albee, theater puts the mirror up in front of an audience and asks them: "This is who you are. Now what are you going to do about it?"

This course will examine the origins and development of contemporary theatre in the Western tradition, post-1960, with an emphasis on American and British drama. We will particularly place a heavy emphasis on drama of the last two decades, examining the ways in which recent theater has asked its audiences to contemplate issues of concern to contemporary life including race in America; global violence against women; class division; and the commodification of international relations. We will also discuss how theater challenges us to find creative solutions through connection, community, and claiming identity.

We will read work by playwrights including (but not limited to): August Wilson, David Henry Hwang, Quiara Alegr\00EDa Hudes, Lynn Nottage, Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins, Robert O'Hara, Adrienne Kennedy, Amiri Baraka\200B, Jez Butterworth, Tony Kushner, and Ayad Akhtar.

Satisfies the Literature distribution requirement.


(Offered Fall 2015.)

First-year students require permission of the instructor.