African American Drama, from the 1920s to the Present
This course will introduce students to Pulitzer-prize winning plays such as Lynn Nottage’s Sweat and Jackie Sibblies Drury’s Fairview, as well as less known plays that show the wide range of form and themes in twentieth and twenty-first century African American drama. We will focus on performance as a mode of interpreting a script and performance as a way of understanding the intersections of race, class, and gender. In-class viewings of selected scenes in recorded productions of the plays will energize our analysis of the scripts. Short creative, performance- oriented writing assignments will produce the questions explored in the three critical essays. Our line-up may include Zora Neale Hurston’s Color Struck, Anna Deavere Smith’s Fires in the Mirror, Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson, Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls, and Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Choir Boy.