A. Required Texts:

(1) Bernard Shaw, Major Barbara (Middlesex: Penguin, 1987). 
(2) T.S. Eliot, The Family Reunion (New York: HBJ, 1966).
(3) Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot (London: Faber & Faber, 1975).
(4) John Osborne, Look Back in Anger (London: Faber & Faber, 1986).
(5) Harold Pinter, The Caretaker (London: Methuen, 1983).
(6) Shelagh Delaney, A Taste of Honey (New York: Grove Press, 1959).
(7) Joe Orton, The Complete Plays (New York: Grove Weidenfield, 1976).
(8) Edward Bond, Saved (London: Methuen, 1984).
(9) Caryl Churchill, Cloud Nine (New York: Routledge, 1987).
(10) Christopher Innes, Modern British Drama 1980-1990 (Cambridge: CUP,1992).
(11) Eric Bentley, ed. The Theory of the Modern Stage (London: Penguin, 1992).
(12) Photocopied collection of articles, hereafter cited as Logos.

B. Course Requirements:

(1) two papers [800 words each; one unit each]. The topics of these will be discussed in class and they will be due, respectively, on Feb 22 and April 26;
(2) a journal [2 units] in which students are to write regularly. This will be submitted in the penultimate week; each entry should be dated and neatly written or typed;
(3) a final exam [three units]: Monday, May 10, 6-9 p.m.
(4) anyone missing a reading or writing assignment, for whatever reason, should see me as soon as possible.
(5) class participation counts for two units.

C. Weekly Class Assignments:

Week 1: Mon Jan 25: Innes’ “Defining British Drama” (pp. 1-13); Shaw’s Major Barbara, “A Dramatic Realist to His Critics,” Appendix to The Quintessence of Ibsenism; Williams’ “Bernard Shaw.”

Week 2: Mon Feb 1: Innes’ “Defining Modernism: George Bernard Shaw” (pp. 15-53); T.S. Eliot’s The Family Reunion; Innes’ “T.S. Eliot and the Drama of Conversion” (pp. 386-399).

Week 3: Mon Feb 8: Williams’ “T.S. Eliot” (in Logos); Eliot’s “The Possibility of a Poetic Drama”; Zola’s “Naturalism in the Theatre” (Bentley pp. 351-372); Michael Goldman’s “The Ghost of Joy: Romanticism and the Forms of Modern Drama” (in Logos).

Week 4: Mon Feb 15: Beckett’s Waiting for Godot; Innes’ “Samuel Beckett: Interior Space and Play as Image” (pp.427-445); extract from Martin Esslin’s The Theatre of the Absurd (in Logos).

Week 5: Mon Feb 22: Beckett’s “Three Dialogues”; Williams’ “Waiting for Godot: Beckett” (in Logos); Osborne’s Look Back in Anger; Innes’ “John Osborne: the Rhetoric of Social Alienation” (pp. 98-112).

Week 6: Mon Mar 1: Williams’ “Look Back in Anger: John Osborne” (in Logos); Lukacs’ “The Sociology of Modern Drama” (Bentley, pp. 425-450); George Kurman’s “Entropy and the `Death’ of Tragedy: Notes for a Theory of Drama” (in Logos).

Week 7: Mon Mar 8: Pinter’s The Caretaker; Innes’ “Harold Pinter: Power Plays and the Trap of Comedy” (pp. 279-296); Williams’ “The Birthday Party: Harold Pinter” (in Logos).

Week 8: Mon Mar 22: Delaney’s A Taste of Honey; Innes’ “Early Groups and Feminist Principles” (pp. 448-453); extract from Lynda Hart’s “Performing Feminism” (in Logos); W.B. Yeats’ “A People’s Theatre” (Bentley pp. 327-338).

Week 9: Mon Mar 29: Extract from Romain Rolland’s The People’s Theatre (Bentley, pp. 455-470); Erwin Piscator’s “The Drama Can Belong to Our Century” (Bentley, pp. 471-473); Arnold Hauser’s “The Origins of Domestic Drama” (Bentley, pp. 403-419); de Tocqueville’s “Some Observations on the Drama Amongst Democratic Nations” (Bentley, pp. 479-484).

Week 10: Mon Apr 5: Orton’s Loot; Innes’ “Joe Orton: Farce As Confrontation” (pp. 268-278); the following sections (in Logos) from Peter Szondi’s Theory of the Modern Drama: (1) Foreword: “On the Difference Between a Mimetic and a Semiotic Theory of the Modern Drama” by Jochen Schulte-Sasse; (2) Introduction: “Historical Aesthetics and Genre-Based Poetics”; (3) Chapter One: “The Drama”.

Week 11: Mon Apr 12: Bond’s Saved; Innes’ “Brechtian Influences: Epic Stagecraft and British Equivalents” (pp. 121-136) and “Edward Bond: Rationalism, Realism and Radical Solutions” (pp. 156-177).

Week 12: Mon Apr 19: Brecht’s “The Street Scene” and “On Experimental Theatre” (Bentley, pp. 85-108); Brecht’s “Theatre for Pleasure…” and Roland Barthes’ “The Tasks of Brechtian Criticism” (in Logos); extract from Fredric Jameson’s Postmodernism and Consumer Society (in Logos); Franco Moretti’s “The Moment of Truth: the Geography of Modern Tragedy” (in Logos).

Week 13: Mon Apr 26: Churchill’s Cloud Nine; Innes’ “Caryl Churchill: Theatre as a Model for Change” (pp. 460-471); Elaine Showalter’s “Representing Ophelia: Women, Madness, and the Responsibilties of Feminist Criticism” (in Logos).

Week 14: Mon May 3: Last day of class: Review: Towards a Theory of Modern Drama?