Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Modern Drama, WWI-Present

ENGL 077.401
MW 3-4:30

This course will survey the developments of European drama in the
last eight decades, looking closely at texts by Brecht, Artaud,
Pirandello, and Beckett in the first part of the course and then at the
work of such playwrights as Pinter, O'Neill, Williams, Miller, Albee,
Churchill, Wasserstein, Friel, and Stoppard.  Some of these plays will be
read in their entirety, and some in selected extracts.  Students will
gain insight into the major trends and innovations of modern drama, its
theories, and some of the ways in which drama increasingly becomes an
instrument of change and protest.  We will also look at the exchange of
influence among these dramatists, and compare American with British
developments in the drama as well as general European currents.  Extracts
of recent film versions of some of thse plays may be shown to help
emphasize the dual nature of the drama as both text and performance.
Course requirements: 3 papers (1 take-home essay, 1 shorter and 1
longer formal essay) midterm, final exam, possibility for student scene

fulfills requirements