388 Contemporary Theatre
Despite our highly visual and multimedia age, we don't often think of the stage as being a site of significant cultural conversation. Yet there is simply no substitute for the vitality and importance of live theater. To paraphrase Edward Albee, theater puts the mirror up in front of an audience and asks them: "This is who you are. Now what are you going to do about it?"
This course will examine the origins and development of contemporary theatre in the Western tradition, post-1960, with an emphasis on American and British drama. We will particularly place a heavy emphasis on text-based drama of the last two decades, examining the ways in which recent theater has asked its audiences to contemplate issues of concern to contemporary life including (though not limited to) race in America; global violence against women; class division; and the commodification of human relations, both personal and international. We will also discuss how theater challenges us to find creative solutions through connection, community, and claiming identity. No prior experience reading drama is necessary.
In the past, this course has included works by (but is not limited to): August Wilson, David Henry Hwang, Quiara Alegría Hudes, Lynn Nottage, Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins, Robert O'Hara, Adrienne Kennedy, Amiri Baraka¿, Jez Butterworth, Tony Kushner, and Ayad Akhtar.
Satisfies the Literary, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.
First-year students require permission of the instructor.