Dramatic Literature (2016 - 2018)
Note: Majors and minors must register under the DRLIT-UA number for the courses listed below and not under cross-listed course numbers. Fulfillment of the College's expository writing requirement is a prerequisite to all dramatic literature courses.
Survey Course in Dramatic Literature
Introduction to Drama and Theatre
DRLIT-UA 101 Offered periodically. 4 points.
Topics include the emergence of new dramatic genres and forms, the relation between "high culture" and popular performance, the changing nature and activity of play-going, theories of character and action, the aesthetics of theatre production, the politics of representation, the globalization of theatre, and the urbanization of the performing arts, especially in New York. Eight to ten representative plays are read and discussed alongside various writing about the theatre.
Core Sequence for Majors
History of Drama and Theatre I, II
DRLIT-UA 110, 111 Restricted to dramatic literature majors; non-majors should take Introduction to Drama and Theatre (DRLIT-UA 101). 4 points per term.
Examines selected plays central to the development of world drama, with critical emphasis on a cultural, historical, and theatrical analysis of these works. The first semester covers the major periods of Greek and Roman drama; Indian, Japanese, and Chinese classical theatre; medieval drama; theatre of the English, Italian, and Spanish Renaissance; and French neoclassical drama. The second semester begins in the late seventeenth century and draws from 18th-century comedy and classical German theatre, nineteenth-century works from Germany, Russia, and the U.S., turn-of-the-century realisms, and divergent currents of modernism.
Advanced Electives in Dramatic Literature
Acting Medieval Literature
DRLIT-UA 35 Identical to MEDI-UA 868. 4 points.
Approaches medieval literature as works that were acted out, sung, and narrated from memory as part of a storytelling tradition. Strongly performanceoriented: students draw on their dramatic and musical skills and interests to stage a medieval play, perform a substantial piece of narrative poetry, sing or play a body of medieval songs, or a similar endeavor.
DRLIT-UA 113 Identical to THEA-UT 705. 4 points.
A study of the origins and development of the most influential dramatic movements of the 20th century. Specific topics vary by term and instructor.
Modern Drama: Confronting the Audience
DRLIT-UA 114 Identical to THEA-UT 602. 4 points.
Questions what is at stake, politically, aesthetically, and philosophically, in the way works of theatre address (or seem not to address) their audience. Readings include plays by Henrik Ibsen, Georg Kaiser, Wyndham Lewis, Gertrude Stein, Bertolt Brecht, Samuel Beckett, Peter Handke, and Suzan- Lori Parks, as well as theoretical work by Stein and Brecht, Antonin Artaud, Walter Benjamin, Michael Fried, Bert O. States, Erika Fischer-Lichte, and Jacques Rancière.
Theory of Drama
DRLIT-UA 130 Identical to ENGL-UA 130. 4 points.
Explores the relationship between two kinds of theories: theories of meaning and theories of practice. Among the theories of meaning to be studied are semiotics, deconstruction, feminism, psychoanalysis, new historicism, and postmodernism. Theories of practice include naturalism, dadaism, futurism, epic theatre, theatre of cruelty, poor theatre, and environmental theatre. Foundational texts and representative plays.
Gay and Lesbian Theatre
DRLIT-UA 137 Identical to THEA-UT 624. 4 points.
A survey from The Boys in the Band to Angels in America. Focuses on plays and playwrights that have had a significant impact in the representation of homosexual life onstage. Examines the historical, political, and cultural developments from which gay theatre emerged, and the communities that emerged in the process of creating gay theatre.
DRLIT-UA 138 Identical to THEA-UT 621. 4 points.
A reevaluation of a wide variety of European and American forms that, beginning in the 16th century, were separated from "high culture" theatre: fairground performance, commedia dell'arte, mummers' plays, circus, pantomime, minstrel shows, vaudeville, and carnival, puppet, and mask theatre. What popular performance does differently than "high culture" theatre, how it does so, and to whom it addresses itself. Considers the central role of popular performance in 20th-century theatre.
Topics in Italian Culture: Futurism in Italy
DRLIT-UA 174 Identical to ITAL-UA 173. 4 points.
Arguably the first avant-garde movement of the 20th century, futurism saw itself as a violent explosion that would drastically redefine not only the artistic landscape but reality as a whole. The futurists produced a theoretical program to overhaul literature, painting, theatre, architecture, music, politics, and even cooking. We assess its relevance for our understanding of modernity.
DRLIT-UA 200 Identical to ENGL-UA 720, COLIT-UA 110. 4 points.
Historical and critical study of the idea and practice of tragedy from the Greeks to the present.
Greek Drama: Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides
DRLIT-UA 210 Identical to CLASS-UA 143. 4 points.
Covers—in the best available translations—the masterpieces of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, including the place of the plays in the history of the drama and the continuing influence they have had on serious playwrights, including those of the 20th century.
Comedies of Greece and Rome
DRLIT-UA 211 Identical to CLASS-UA 144. 4 points.
Study of early comedy, its form, content, and social and historical background. Covers the Old Comedy of fifth-century Athens through the Attic New Comedy and Roman comedy. Authors include Aristophanes (11 comedies are studied, and one is staged); Euripides, whose tragedies revolutionized the form of both comedy and tragedy; Menander, whose plays were only recently discovered; and Plautus and Terence, whose works profoundly influenced comedy in Western Europe.
DRLIT-UA 225 Identical to ENGL-UA 410. 4 points.
A survey of Shakespeare's major plays and poems, with attention to their historical, cultural, and theatrical contexts.
DRLIT-UA 230 Identical to ENGL-UA 415. Assumes some familiarity with Shakespeare's works. Beginning students should take DRLIT-UA 225. 4 points.
Explores the richness and variety of Shakespearean drama through an emphasis on the mastery of selected major plays. Six to eight plays are read intensively and examined thoroughly in discussion.
Restoration and 18th-Century English Drama
DRLIT-UA 235 4 points.
Study of the drama written for the London stage from the restoration of the Stuart monarchy in 1660 to the Stage Licensing Act in 1737, including urban comedies and classical tragedies, closet dramas and box-office successes, propaganda pieces and broad satires. Playwrights include John Dryden, Margaret Cavendish, George Etherege, William Congreve, Susanna Centlivre, Thomas Shadwell, George Farquhar, John Gay, George Lillo, Henry Fielding, David Garrick, and Richard Brinsley Sheridan.
Feminism and Theatre
DRLIT-UA 240 Identical to THEA-UT 623. 4 points.
Approaches plays from the perspective of contemporary feminist theory. Topics include strategies for asserting new images of women on stage, the dramatic devices employed by female playwrights, lesbian aesthetics, race, class, and the rejection of realism. Readings from such authors as Maria Irene Fornes, Caryl Churchill, Sarah Daniels, Wendy Wasserstein, Ntozake Shange, Adrienne Kennedy, Susan Glaspell, Aphra Behn, Alice Childress, Tina Howe, Holly Hughes, Karen Finley, Darrah Cloud, and Suzan-Lori Parks.
Modern British Drama
DRLIT-UA 245 Identical to ENGL-UA 614. 4 points.
Studies in the modern drama of England and Ireland, always focusing on a specific period, a specific group of playwrights, a specific dramatic movement of theatre, or a specific topic. Among playwrights studied in different semesters are Shaw, Synge, O'Casey, Behan, Osborne, Pinter, Stoppard, Bond, Friel, Storey, Hare, Edgar, Brenton, Gems, Churchill, and Daniels.
Modern American Drama
DRLIT-UA 250 Identical to ENGL-UA 650, SCA-UA 842. 4 points.
Study of the drama and theatre of America since 1900, including Eugene O'Neill, Susan Glaspell, the Group Theatre, Thornton Wilder, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Edward Albee, Sam Shepard, David Mamet, Maria Irene Fornes, and David Henry Hwang.
DRLIT-UA 251 Identical to THEA-UT 632. 4 points.
Content varies by semester. Explores one or more distinctive theatrical genres, such as tragedy, comedy, melodrama, satire, or farce, or plays of distinctive theatrical types, such as theatre of the absurd, the documentary play, or theatre of witness. Considers the role and function of the theatre within societies as a response to historical, psychological, and spiritual forces.
DRLIT-UA 254 Identical to ENGL-UA 652, THEA-UT 618. 4 points.
Content varies by semester. Focuses on two or three related playwrights: for example, Brecht and Shaw, Chekhov and Williams, Churchill and Bond, Beckett and Pinter, Strindberg and O'Neill. In-depth study of their writings, their theories, and the production histories of their plays in relation to biographical, cultural, political, and aesthetic contexts.
African American Drama
DRLIT-UA 255 Identical to ENGL-UA 255, THEA-UT 605. 4 points.
Ranges from early minstrelsy to turn-of-the-century musical extravaganzas; from Harlem Renaissance folk plays to realistic drama of the 1950s; from the militant protest drama of the 1960s to the historical and experimental works of the present. Considers sociohistorical context and issues of race, gender, and class; of oppression and empowerment; and of marginality and assimilation. Playwrights include Langston Hughes, Alice Childress, Lorraine Hansberry, Amiri Baraka, Adrienne Kennedy, Charles Fuller, George C. Wolfe, Ntozake Shange, August Wilson, Suzan-Lori Parks, and Anna Deavere Smith.
Asian American Theatre
DRLIT-UA 256 Identical to THEA-UT 606. 4 points.
Places plays in their historical and theoretical context and considers how Asian American drama and performance intersect with Asian American consciousness and experience. Works include Genny Lim's Paper Angels and Chay Yew's A Language of Their Own. Orientalism, media representation, and theories of genealogy inform the discussion.
DRLIT-UA 258 Identical to THEA-UT 622. 4 points.
Socially engaged theatre exemplifying performance as a site of resistance, social critique, and utopianism. Content may vary by semester, from an examination of activist forms including agit-prop, pageantry, epic theatre, documentary, street theatre, and women's performance art, to major theoretical perspectives and their practical translations since Brecht, including Boal and feminist and queer theory, to plays and productions by Clifford Odets, Bertolt Brecht, the Living Theatre, Bread and Puppet, Tony Kushner, Emily Mann, and others.
17th-Century English Theatre
DRLIT-UA 290 4 points.
Plays written by Shakespeare's collaborators, rivals, and followers. We meet world-conquering heroes, murderous conspirators, riotous good-fellows, and star-crossed lovers while examining the fast-changing culture of Jacobean and Carolinian England, with its new patterns of urban life, emergent notions of republican politics and personal liberty, the discovery of new worlds and new sciences, and the increasing pressures of European war, revolution, and civil war. Authors include Francis Beaumont, Richard Brome, Thomas Dekker, John Fletcher, Ben Jonson, Christopher Marlowe, Philip Massinger, Thomas Middleton, John Milton, James Shirley, and John Webster.
Theatre of Latin America
DRLIT-UA 293 Identical to THEA-UT 748. 4 points.
The historical reinvention of European-based theatrical forms in the Americas through their continuous interaction with non-European cultural forms in the 20th century. Topics: the significance of modernist and postmodernist dramatic forms in cultures where industrial modernity is an insecure social context; oppositional theatre in relation to the historical use (or abuse) of theatrical spectacle as a political means to control peoples; "magical realism" as a social poetics of scarcity; and postcolonial theories of culture and art (hybridity, transculturation, and the "aesthetics of hunger").
Theatre in Asia
DRLIT-UA 294 Identical to THEA-UT 744. 4 points.
Content varies by semester. The influence of major aesthetic texts, such as the Natyasastra and the Kadensho, in relation to specific forms of theatre. The dramatization of religious beliefs, myths, and legends when examined in a contemporary context. Other topics may include Middle Eastern performance, Japanese theatre, traditional Asian performances on contemporary stages, religion and drama in Southeast Asia, and traditions of India.
DRLIT-UA 295 Identical to THEA-UT 731. 4 points.
Nonliterary/multimedia theatre, performance, and dance theatre. Considers theatrical forms influenced by the theories of Artaud and the European avantgarde, as well as John Cage and visual aesthetics related to American acting, painting, collage, and environmental and conceptual art. Study of dadaist, surrealist, and futurist plays; multimedia happenings of Karpov, Oldenberg, and Whitman; conceptual self-works and solos of Vito Acconci, Karen Finley, Spalding Gray, and Diamanda Galas; and the work of avant-gardists such as Richard Foreman, Robert Wilson, Meredith Monk, Ping Chong, Mabou Mines, LeCompte's Wooster Group, and Pina Bausch.
Drama in Performance in New York
DRLIT-UA 300 Identical to ENGL-UA 132. 4 points.
Combines the study of drama as literary text with the study of theatre as its three-dimensional translation, both theoretically and practically. Drawing on the rich theatrical resources of New York City, students see approximately 12 plays, covering classical to contemporary and traditional to experimental theatre. Readings include plays and essays in theory and criticism.
Topics in Performance Studies
DRLIT-UA 301 Identical to THEA-UT 650. 4 points.
Content varies by semester. Uses key theoretical concepts from the field of performance studies to examine a diverse range of performance practices. Topics include ritual studies, interculturalism, tourist performances, discourses of stardom, theatre anthropology, and documentary performances.
DRLIT-UA 508 Identical to THEA-UT 634. 4 points.
Content varies by semester. Explores the history and semiotics of one of several hybrid genres, such as opera, dance, drama, film adaptations of plays, or multimedia works.
Contemporary European Theatre
DRLIT-UA 609 4 points.
Examines a new wave of dramatists who share a dark, desperate, depressive, yet humorous Weltanschauung and style. Works by Sarah Kane, Mark Ravenhill, David Harrower, Roland Schimmelpfennig, Koffi Kwahule, Yasmina Reza, Juan Mayorga, Biljana Srbljanovi, Gianina Carbunariu, Hristo Boytchev, Matei Visniec, Goran Stefanovski, Vassily Sigarev, and their forerunners Beckett, Ionesco, Orton, Churchill, Koltes, Havel, Mrozek, et al.
DRLIT-UA 700 Identical to THEA-UT 603, IRISH-UA 700. 4 points.
The rich dramatic tradition of Ireland since the days of William Butler Yeats, Lady Gregory, and the fledgling Abbey Theatre. Works by John Millington Synge, Sean O'Casey, Samuel Beckett, Brendan Behan, Brian Friel, Tom Murphy, Frank McGuinness, and Anne Devlin. Issues of Irish identity, history, and postcoloniality.
Electives in Practical Theatre
DRLIT-UA 635, 636 Identical to MPAET-UE 9, 10. Either term may be taken alone for credit. 4 points per term.
Comprehensive, practical survey of the various technical aspects of theatrical production. First term explores the planning, construction, and painting of scenery and the architecture of the stage. Second term deals with stage electrics, lighting, crafts, sound technology, and special effects.
DRLIT-UA 637, 638 Identical to MPAET-UE 27, 28 and OART-UT 1906. Either term may be taken alone for credit. 2 points per term.
Class hours are spent in the practice of improvisation, pantomime, and theatre games, as well as brief scenes. Additional hours for rehearsal and performance of scenes.
DRLIT-UA 639, 640 Identical to MPAET-UE 37, 38 and OART-UT 1907. Either term may be taken alone for credit. 2 points per term.
Emphasis on scene study and the analysis and performance of characters. Students may be cast and rehearsed by members of the directing classes in brief scenes performed on Friday afternoons and in evenings of one-act performances, as well as in staff-directed or supervised full-length productions.
DRLIT-UA 641 Identical to MPAET-UE 1143. 4 points.
Theories of light and lighting. The practice of lighting the stage. Experiments with light as design.
DRLIT-UA 642 Identical to MPAET-UE 1175. 4 points.
Costume design for the modern stage; the history of fashion.
DRLIT-UA 643, 644 Identical to MPAET-UE 1081, 1082. Prerequisites: satisfactory work in Acting II (DRLIT-UA 639 or 640) or equivalent, and permission of the adviser. DRLIT-UA 643 is a prerequisite for DRLIT-UA 644. 4 points per term.
Elements of play scripts are analyzed and dramatized. Students may cast and rehearse brief scenes performed on Friday afternoons.
Design for the Stage
DRLIT-UA 645 Identical to MPAET-UE 1017. 4 points.
Design for today's stage in period and modern styles. Methods of originating and presenting a design conception. Practice in scene sketching.
Styles of Acting and Directing
DRLIT-UA 646, 647 Identical to MPAET-UE 1099, 1100. 4 points per term.
Scenes from period plays (Greek, Roman, Elizabethan, neoclassical French, Restoration, and 18th- and 19th-century European) are studied and performed with attention to performance styles and techniques.
Fundamentals of Acting I
DRLIT-UA 649 Identical to THEA-UT 850. 4 points.
Through theatre games, structured improvisation, and beginning scene work, students exercise their imaginations, learn how to work as an ensemble, and develop a sense of their bodies as expressive instruments. Uses techniques developed by the most celebrated 20th-century theorists, such as Stanislavski, Grotowski, and Bogart (the same theories that underlie the training of the Tisch undergraduate acting conservatory). No prior experience necessary.
Fundamentals of Acting II
DRLIT-UA 650 Identical to THEA-UT 851. Prerequisites: Acting I and II (DRLIT-UA 637 or 638 and DRLIT-UA 639 or 640), or Fundamentals of Acting I (DRLIT-UA 649), or permission of the instructor. 4 points.
A continuation of Fundamentals of Acting I, focusing on more advanced scene work. Students prepare a series of scenes, and a variety of advanced topics are covered, including text analysis, spontaneity, and character development.
Advanced Workshop in Playwriting
DRLIT-UA 840 4 points.
Principles and practice of writing for the theatre. Students are expected to write and rewrite their own plays and to present them for reading and criticism.
Electives in Cinema
Topics in World Cinema
DRLIT-UA 303 4 points.
Content varies by semester. Topics include Japanese, Chinese, and various East Asian cultures and their interactions with Western culture through the medium of cinema.
Film as Literature
DRLIT-UA 501 Identical to ENGL-UA 170. 4 points.
Content varies by semester. Introduces the specific choices that a director must make to transform the printed word into a visual and auditory experience. Point of view becomes a challenge of camera shots; a described room becomes a matter of lighting, color, and sound; and the sense of time becomes a product of editing, rhythm, music, and splicing. Works may include Euripides' Medea (Pasolini), Nabokov's Lolita (Kubrick), Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire (Kazan), Paul Schrader's Taxi Driver (Scorsese), Virginia Woolf 's Orlando (Potter), and Thomas Hardy's Tess (Polanski).
Italian Films, Italian Histories I
DRLIT-UA 503 Identical to ITAL-UA 174. 4 points.
Studies representations of Italian history, from ancient Rome through the Risorgimento, through the medium of film. Examines the use of filmic history as a means of forging national identity.
Cinema and Literature
DRLIT-UA 504 Identical to FREN-UA 883. 4 points.
Considers various modes and genres, such as expressionism, social realism, and the projection of the hero. One film is viewed per week and analyzed through reading assignments that include novels, plays, and poems. Emphasis on the potentiality of different media and discovering the many facets of Europe and European experience on which these media so often focus.
Italian Cinema and Literature
DRLIT-UA 505 Identical to ITAL-UA 282. 4 points.
Studies the relationship between Italian literature and post-World War II cinema. Among the authors and directors examined are Lampedusa, Bassani, Sciascia, Visconti, De Sica, and Rosi.
Italian Films, Italian Histories II
DRLIT-UA 506 Identical to ITAL-UA 175. 4 points.
Studies representations of Italian history, from the unification of Italy to the present, through the medium of film. Fascism, the resistance, 1968, and other events. Considers how film functions with respect to canonical national narratives and dominant systems of power.
DRLIT-UA 517 Identical to CINE-UT 120, CINE-UT 316. 4 points.
A historical and critical survey of a particular film aesthetic and its impact on film language, production, and culture. Topics include cinematography, camera movement, sound, color, studio art design, and editing.
DRLIT-UA 531 Identical to FMTV-UT 11. 4 points.
Examines the main schools of theory and asks, "What is cinema?" Overview of the basic theories developed by filmmakers (e.g., Eisenstein, Pudovkin) and theoreticians (e.g., Arnheim, Bazin, Metz). How theoretical concerns of cinema studies relate to the practice of filmmaking and film criticism.
Senior Honors Thesis
DRLIT-UA 925 Prerequisite: a 3.65 GPA (both overall and in the major) and permission of the director of the program. 4 points.
Senior Honors Colloquium
DRLIT-UA 926 Prerequisite: a 3.65 GPA (both overall and in the major) and permission of the director of the program. 4 points.
Topics in Dramatic Literature
DRLIT-UA 971 4 points.
Content varies by semester.
DRLIT-UA 980, 981 Prerequisite: permission of the director of the program. Open to qualified upper-class dramatic literature majors or minors, but may not be used to fulfill the minimum requirements of either the major or the minor. 2 or 4 points per term.
Requires a commitment of 8 to 12 hours of work per week in an unpaid position to be approved by the director of the program. The intern's duties on-site should involve some substantive aspect of work in drama. A written evaluation is solicited from the on-site supervisor at the end of the placement. The grade is based on a final project submitted to a faculty director with whom the student meets regularly over the semester to discuss the progress of the internship.
DRLIT-UA 997, 998 Prerequisite: permission of the director of the program. May not duplicate the content of a regularly offered course. Intended for qualified upper-class majors or minors in dramatic literature, but may not be used to fulfill the minimum requirements of either the major or the minor. 2 or 4 points per term.
Requires a paper of considerable length that embodies the results of a semester's reading, thinking, and frequent conferences with the student's director. The paper must demonstrate the student's ability to investigate, collect, and evaluate his or her material, drawing conclusions that are discussed in a sound and well-written argument. In the 2-point course, the student is held to the same high standard as the student who is working for 4 points, but the investigation and the paper are of proportionate length.