ENGLISH 447 - Modern Drama
Fall 2020, Section 001 - Eco-Theatre: Staging Climate Crisis
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  Online (see other Sections below)
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


The 21st century has seen an outpouring of theatre and performance designed to confront the global ecological crisis. We will read examples of this work, alongside ecocritical writing about the future of the climate and the politics it demands, in order to discover our own answers to a range of questions. These include: What can theatre do that other media (novels, poetry, film, nonfiction prose) can’t when it comes to representing climate change? Is the theatre too small or too localized to convey the global dimensions of climate crisis? What strengths and weaknesses do certain genres—realism, Brechtian epic theatre, performance art, science fiction—offer to that project? Can climate theatre be funny, or does it have to be depressing? Why make theatre in times of crisis in the first place? Playwrights and collectives whose work we will consider may include Caryl Churchill, The Civilians, Annie Sprinkle, Chantal Bilodeau, Duncan MacMillan, Karen Malpede, and Madeleine George. We may also consider precursors of contemporary climate theatre from earlier in the century—by, for example, Henrik Ibsen, the San Francisco Mime Troupe, and Rachel Rosenthal.

No prior experience with climate change art or with theatre and performance is necessary. Engaged and curious discussion is required. Assignments will include discussion questions posted before class, interpretive essays of course texts, and a longer final project. While this project can take many forms, students are encouraged to use it as an opportunity to create their own original work of climate theatre.

Intended Audience:

Online-only students are welcome!

Class Format:

Exams: Asynchronous and Online

Lectures: Asynchronous and Online

Class Discussions: Synchronous and Online


ENGLISH 447 - Modern Drama
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM

Textbooks/Other Materials

The partner U-M / Barnes & Noble Education textbook website is the official way for U-M students to view their upcoming textbook or course material needs, whether they choose to buy from Barnes & Noble Education or not. Students also can view a customized list of their specific textbook needs by clicking a "View/Buy Textbooks" link in their course schedule in Wolverine Access.

Click the button below to view and buy textbooks for ENGLISH 447.001

View/Buy Textbooks


Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for ENGLISH 447 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi

CourseProfile (Atlas)

The Atlas system, developed by the Center for Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (Atlas)