History of Theater I (DRA2156.01)

Maya Cantu

This course offers an introduction to the history and development of world theater and drama. We will experience the dynamic pageant of theater history through an exploration of its conventions and aesthetics, as well as its social and cultural functions. We will study theater history from antiquity through the nineteenth century, reading representative plays ranging from Greek tragedy and classical Sanskrit drama; to an array of Japanese theatrical forms (Noh, Bunraku, and Kabuki); and through German Romanticism and American melodrama. Along the way, we will read key critical and theoretical texts illuminating the plays. The course encompasses not only the study of plays as dramatic texts, but also their contexts of theater architecture and stagecraft, performance conventions, debates of art and commerce, shifting relationships to the audience, and questions about expanding the canon. Through an interdisciplinary study of theater history, students will also learn to connect theatrical tradition to its contemporary practice.


Learning Outcomes:
Students will:

o Become familiar with key figures, innovations, concepts, and conventions of world theater history from antiquity through the nineteenth century. 

o Understand the diverse functions that theater has served, within its various historical, political, aesthetic, and cultural contexts.

o Learn to analyze dramatic literature through perspectives informed by global theater history.

o Connect theater history and dramatic literature, with the dramatic theories informing its contexts, development, and reception.  

o Strengthen research, writing, critical thinking, and oral communication skills through a mix of close readings, discussions, essay assignments, and projects.


Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 4
M/Th 10:00AM - 11:50AM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency: Once a year

Categories: All courses , Fully In-Person , Drama
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