Preamble: This continuation of the study of human society’s predilection for theatre explores drama in the modern world. The course studies the development of modern and contemporary dramatic theory and explores the work of major playwrights to see how the art evolves in conversation with tradition and history. Aesthetic, cultural and political movements in the theatre and postmodern experiments in transmedia and metatheatre are incorporated in the discussion to understand the ways in which playwrights tease and play with time, space and the human imagination in the creation of the dramatic experience.
Course Content: History of modern drama; Concepts and movements: Naturalism, Realism, the problem play, Surrealism, Expressionism, epic theatre, theatre of the absurd, theatre of cruelty, theatre of identity and protest, the one-act play; Postmodern experiments: performance, style, technique; Women playwrights: Margaret Cavendish, Aphra Behn, Susannah Centlivre, Lady Gregory, Susan Glaspell, Sophie Treadwell, Ntozake Shange (choreopoem); Major playwrights: Strindbergh, Ibsen, Wilde, Chekhov, Shaw, Synge, Osborne, Lorca, Pirandello, Brecht, Pinter, Bond, Albee; Theories of theatre and critical apparatus: Schopenhauer, Hegel, Nietzsche, Strindberg, Maeterlinck, Marinetti, Brecht, Soyinka; Anton Chekhov: The Cherry Orchard; J. M. Synge: Riders to the Sea; Samuel Beckett: Happy Days; Sophie Treadwell: Machinal.
1. Puchner, Martin et al. eds. The Norton Anthology of Drama. Norton, (3rd ed.), 2017.