Theatre History

This isn’t your average Theatre History class. In this fun, gossipy, fact-based, playwright-interview-centered course, the faculty takes you from the Ancient Egyptians to the postmodernists in Theatre. Each class centers on one or two plays that represent their particular movement, style, and place in Theatre History. You will discuss how those plays were received in their time period, and discuss the playwrights who wrote those plays. There will be a lot of behind-the-scenes stories and theatre lore included in this course.

You will discuss the Greeks, the Romans, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Restoration, Realism, Surrealism, American Realism, Expressionism, Feminist Drama, Post-Modernism and more!

Sample of topics covered in this course:

  • Aristotle and his love of all things Sophocles
  • The death of theatre and the fall of Rome
  • The rise of theatre through the Church
  • Shakespeare: The man we know nothing about
  • Emile Zola: Who really invented realism?
  • Henrik Ibsen: The unintentional feminist,
  • Pirandello: Why write when there is no sense in the world?,
  • Eugene O’Neil: America’s first professional playwright,
  • Arthur Miller: American Realism defined,
  • Tennessee Williams: The man, the playwright, the rebel
  • Edward Albee: at the Intersection of Absurdism and Realism
  • Caryl Churchill: What the heck is feminist drama?
  • David Mamet: Heightened language in Contemporary playwriting
  • Suzan-Lori Parks and Tony Kushner: The Postmodern playwright

You will come away from this course with a comprehensive understanding of basic theatre history and with memorable anecdotes and facts about playwrights and their theatrical styles.