Contemporary US Drama

This class looks at the diversity of voices and exciting developments in style and structure that have taken place in US drama in the past decade. We will analyze plays that have been staged since 2006, examining how playwrights and collaboratives work with space, time, language, mood, technology, and production design to create the divergent aesthetics of contemporary US drama. Plays and productions will be considered within their geographic, cultural, and institutional contexts. Class discussions may address production histories, playwrights’ relationships with specific directors and/or performance venues, audience reception, and critical response. Works will be taught in units of four, followed by a “criticism round-up” in which we assess and compare published responses to the material.


Akhtar, Disgraced

Baker, The Flick

Diaz, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity

Guirgis, The Motherfucker with the Hat

Gurira, Eclipsed

Hudes, Water by the Spoonful

Hunter, The Whale

Hwang, Yellow Face

Jacobs-Jenkins, An Octoroon

Lee, We’re Gonna Die

Mac, Hir

Norris, Clybourne Park

Nottage, Ruined

O’Hara, Bootycandy

Parks, Father Comes Home from the Wars, (Parts 1, 2 and 3)

Rude Mechs, The Method Gun

Satter, Seagull (Thinking of you)

Washburn, Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play