Dramatic Literature (2022 - 2024)
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 For students not majoring in the program. Offered periodically. 4 points.
What is theatre? Why do we do it? What does theatre contribute to our society? What role does it/can it play in the world? In other words: why is theatre important? Examines how performance both reflects and constitutes community and culture, and the numerous forms it takes around the world. Also considers the roles of the actor, director, playwright, and designer, and how they work together.
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 performance oriented: 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.
Theory of Drama
DRLIT-UA 130 Identical to ENGL-UA 130. 4 points.
Explores traditions of philosophical and theoretical engagement with theatre and drama. What do theory and theatre have in common, and what can they learn from each other? How does theatre constitute a laboratory for aesthetic, conceptual, and political experimentation? How does theoretical philosophy depend on models of knowledge and action that derive from theatre? Specific topics vary by term and instructor.
Gay and Lesbian Theatre
DRLIT-UA 137 Identical to THEA-UT 624. 4 points.
Explores over 400 years of gay and lesbian characters and themes in Western theatre and performance. From Marlowe to Kushner, Broadway to the cutting edge of performance, examines gay and lesbian identities across time and performance genres against a background of cultural, social, sexual, and critical history.
DRLIT-UA 200 Identical to COLIT-UA 110, ENGL-UA 720. 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.
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.
A study of plays by female playwrights and feminist theatre from the perspective of contemporary feminist theory. Considerations 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. Possible plays and performance texts treated include those of Maria Irene Fornes, Caryl Churchill, Ntozake Shange, Adrienne Kennedy, Susan Glaspell, Aphra Behn, Holly Hughes, Karen Finley 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.
A careful examination of the evolving trends in black performance since World War II. Focuses on self-identified black playwrights who take ownership over U.S. history and also U.S. theatrical history, challenging expected notions of both. How their works reflect the social changes (civil rights, the cold war) and aesthetic changes (absurdism, postmodernism, postcolonialism, hip hop) of the time period.
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.
Seventeenth-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.
Introduces theatre and performance practices throughout the Americas (U.S. Latin community, Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Hispanophone Caribbean). Considers how drama reflects the different histories and cultures of Latin America. Broader topics and contexts include politics, history, dictatorship and revolution, imperialism and colonialism, identity (gender, sexual, national, and racial/ethnic, among others), borders, mestizaje, and indigenous performances.
Theatre in Asia
DRLIT-UA 294 Identical to THEA-UT 744. 4 points.
Examines the extraordinary range of performance theories, practices, dramaturgical structures, and modes of spectatorship embodied in modern Asian performance. Primary focus on post-1945 performance and the questions it raises about tradition, modernity/alternative modernities, national identity, gender, sexuality, postcolonialism, interculturalism, transculturation, and globalization. Ranges broadly over India, Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea, and Southeast Asia, and considers new and experimental work as well as contemporary adaptations of classics and classical theatrical genres.
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 avant-garde, 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.
History of American Musical Theatre
DRLIT-UA 296 Identical to OART-UT 1922. 4 points.
Through audio and video recordings, slides, demonstrations, and visits to live performances, traces the musical’s relation to 19th century popular entertainments such as minstrelsy, vaudeville, and burlesque, as well as its relation to popular song and dance forms throughout the 20th century to the present day
Drama in Performance in New York
DRLIT-UA 300 Identical to ENGL-UA 132. 4 points.
Examines the dynamic relationships between theatre, performance, and the city of New York. Considers how the city itself is constituted through different kinds of performances (even our own), and how performance serves as a mode of understanding urban processes. Drawing on the rich theatrical resources of New York City, students see approximately 12 performances from across the boroughs, covering Broadway to Off-Off, 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.
Iran Arts Activism
DRLIT-UA 303 Identical to OART-UT 1500. 4 points.
Utilizes social media as an online platform for contact and exchange with artists and curators of Iran's blossoming grassroots media art movement. Considers a wide range of aesthetic expressions: classical and modern poetry; 1950s USIA educational titles; Farsi comedy/melodrama; New Wave experimental, documentary, and fiction films; 1960s and 70s television, pop music, and modernist paintings; revolutionary propaganda murals and posters; bank notes; poetic Iran/Iraq war documentaries; 1980s and 90s child/art films; and post-90s classical and pop music.
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.
Introduces a range of dramatic writing and performance practices throughout Europe from the 1960s to the present with a strong emphasis on contemporary theatre and performance. Studies a variety of artistic movements (postdramatic theatre, theatre of the real, digital performance, physical theatre, Tanztheatre, and Regietheatre) alongside popular thematic concerns (war, the everyday, domestic life, race, immigration, capitalism, and violence).
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 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 an acting course, 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.
An introduction to the central tools and skills that make up the actor’s art and craft. Through theatre games, structured improvisation, and beginning scene work, students will exercise their imaginations, learn how to work as an ensemble, and develop a sense of their bodies as expressive instruments. All techniques covered have been developed by the most celebrated 20th century theorists, such as Stanislavski, Grotowski, and Bogart, and are the same theories that underlie the training of the Tisch undergraduate acting conservatory. No prior experience necessary.
Workshop in Playwriting
DRLIT-UA 840 Formerly Playwriting: Advanced Workshop. May be repeated once for credit as content changes. 4 points.
Identifies and then responds to the specific opportunities and challenges of writing for live performance. We analyze the very different ways other playwrights have done this, and locate specific strategies to adapt to our own ends. Preparation for each week includes reading assignments and written exercises, as well as progressive work towards a final project, the one-act play.
Advanced Workshop in Playwriting
DRLIT-UA 841 Formerly Workshop in Playwriting II. Prerequisite: Workshop in Playwriting (DRLIT-UA 840). 4 points.
This course is a revision workshop and serves as a continuation of the work done in Workshop in Playwriting (DRLIT-UA 840).
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, but will focus on the development of the film as a major art form and its relationship to other art forms. Particular attention will be paid to the language of cinema, the director and screenwriter as authors, and the problems of translating literature into film, with extensive discussion of the potentials and limitations of each art form. Milestone films are viewed and analyzed.
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.
Special Courses (Including Honors)
Senior Honors Thesis
DRLIT-UA 925 Identical to ENGL-UA 925. Prerequisites: History of Drama and Theatre I, II (DRLIT-UA 110, 111); a 3.65 GPA (both overall and in the major); and permission of the director of the program. Repeatable once for credit up to a maximum of 4 points. 2 or 4 points per term.
Two terms required of all honors students. Weekly conferences with the faculty thesis director. Students must also concurrently enroll in the yearlong Senior Honors Colloquium (DRLIT-UA 926). The default expectation for DRLIT-UA 925 is 2 points per term; students must obtain permission from the program to register for 4 points.
Senior Honors Colloquium
DRLIT-UA 926 Identical to ENGL-UA 926. Prerequisites: History of Drama and Theatre I, II (DRLIT-UA 110, 111); a 3.65 GPA (both overall and in the major); and permission of the director of the program. Repeatable once for credit up to a maximum of 4 points. 2 points per term.
A yearlong experience required of all students in the honors program, taken concurrently with two terms of thesis writing (DRLIT-UA 925). Typically meets eight times each term.
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.