Course code:



M - Intermediate

Meets the following requirements:

  • AD - Arts & Design
  • HY - History

Lab fee:


Typically offered:


This course focuses on dramatic literature connected to particular political and social issues in the US.

Students read plays and study a variety of theater artists that have used theater as a viable force for change over the last century. Together we will explore the mechanics and dynamics of particular performances as well as the context in which they were conceived.

We will investigate significant periods in American history such as the New Deal, the House Un-American Activities Committee, the Civil Rights Movement, the AIDS crisis, 9/11 and beyond, exploring their impact on this form. Artists will include Hallie Flanagan and The Federal Theatre Project, Susan Glaspell, Clifford Odetts, Arthur Miller, Lorraine Hansberry, Lillian Hellman, The Living Theatre, The Open Theatre, The Wooster Group, Anna Deavere-Smith, Tony Kushner, Young Jean Lee, The TEAM, Radiohole, and more.

Students are required to attend a weekly series of scheduled screenings/performances outside of class time. There will be at least one field trip. Evaluation is based on full participation in class discussion, successful completion of all short projects and assignments, and a major final project/paper.


Successful completion of the writing requirement and at least one literature course.

Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.