English 150B - Fall, 2014

Drama from 1800 to the Present

Class Information

Instructor: Shershow, Scott
Time: MWF 11:00-11:50
Location: 217 Olson


    In this class we’ll study highlights of modern and contemporary drama with an emphasis on plays that rethink in radical ways the possibility of theatrical comedy. Among other things, we’ll consider, as twin influences on the tradition of modern drama, Bertolt Brecht’s aspiration to a rigorously political drama, and Antonin Artaud’s “theater of cruelty” — a kind of ecstatic, non-representational mode of performance. We'll also read several notable works of contemporary theater, including plays by Harold Pinter, Sarah Kane, Tony Kushner and Suzan-Lori Parks.


    Two papers, one shorter and one longer, midterm and final examination.


    Methuen Book of Modern Drama
    Endgame and Act Without Words, Samuel Beckett
    Mother Courage and Her Children, Bertolt Brecht
    Angels in America, Tony Kushner
    Heartbreak House, George Bernard Shaw
    Other electronic texts