All theater. Of all time. Totally doable, right?

Of course not. But we will do what we can. This course will begin with a broad overview of some of the earliest trends and ideas surrounding the dramatic works of the Greeks and Romans. We’ll consider Aristotle’s discussion of tragedy in Poetics and read Aeschylus’s three plays which comprise the Oresteia (including the most famous of these, Agamemnon).

We’ll then turn to comedy by jumping forward into the age of Shakespeare. We’ll read Ben Jonson’s biting satire Valpone and compare it with Tracy Letts’s August: Osage County and Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig. We’ll also look at the short French play by Alfred Jarry, Ubu Roi.

Finally, we will expand our discussion of dramatic work by exploring experimental adaptations (such as Mary Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses), theater of the absurd (Waiting for Gadot, Mother Courage), and American musical theater (Next to Normal, Into the Woods).


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