ENGLISH 447 - Modern Drama
Winter 2020, Section 001 - 100 Years of American Drama
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
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Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


This seminar will examine the rise of an authentically American drama from the socially progressive and realistic theater of the 1920s and 1930s to the present. Beginning with playwrights like Elmer Rice, Sophie Treadwell, Susan Glaspell and Clifford Odets, and continuing through the accomplishment of “the big four” (Eugene O’Neill, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams and Edward Albee), class meetings will also consider the ways in which contemporary writers for the American stage engage in a sometimes uneasy dialogue with their famous predecessors in terms of race, class, gender, ethnicity and questions of sexual identity, ageism and difference. Playwrights to be considered in our ongoing discussions include Sam Shepard, David Mamet, Lorraine Hansberry, Suzan-Lori Parks, Paula Vogel, Tony Kushner, David Henry Hwang, and August Wilson, as well as additional figures drawn from the theatrical here and now (Amy Herzog, Lynn Nottage, Samuel J. Hunter, Dominique Morissaeau, Annie Baker and John Robin Baitz, among others). Class meetings will be supplemented by video recordings; these will be held on reserve at Asquith in the Shapiro Library for required outside-of-class viewing.

Course Requirements:

Students enrolled in this course will be asked to prepare and present bi-weekly reports to the class as a whole; there will be an in-class midterm exam as well as a final term project.

Intended Audience:

No previous experience with theater and drama is a prerequisite for this course; intellectual curiosity is.


ENGLISH 447 - Modern Drama
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM

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