Theatre History II

In this graduate seminar, we will examine, interrogate, and connect various aesthetic choices, themes, and political issues in theatre history from Restoration to today. We will discuss prominent dramatic literature and theory, acting styles, and audience reception. We will also analyze the components of production design (set, props, lighting, costumes, and music), and the material conditions in which theatre is created (i.e. the location, size, shape, and financial resources of the performance venue). As students in the Performing Arts Management MFA program, you will be responsible for discussing work in various contexts; with artistic directors, literary managers, boards of directors, the media, and potential funders. It is imperative that you are able to analyze and discuss theatre from various critical vantages.


B. Worthen, Wadsworth Anthology of Drama, 5th ed. (2006)

Oscar Brockett & Franklin Hildy, History of the Theatre: Foundation Edition (2006)


Behn, The Rover (1677)

Lessing, Emilia Galotti (1772)

Pixérécourt, The Dog of Montargis (1814)

Hugo, Hernani (1830)

Scribe, The Glass of Water (1842)

Boucicault, The Octoroon (1859)

Ibsen, An Enemy of the People (1884)

Strindberg, Miss Julie (1888)

Maeterlinck, The Intruder (1890)

O’Neill, The Hairy Ape (1922)

Treadwell, Machinal (1928)

Mother Courage and Her Children (1939)

Beckett, Endgame (1957)

Baraka, Dutchman (1964)

Césaire, A Tempest (1968)

Valdez, Zoot Suit (1978)

Churchill, Cloud Nine (1979)

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o and Ngugi wa Mirii, I Will Marry When I Want (1980)

Smith, Fires in the Mirror (1992)

Parks, Venus (1996)


Beaumarchais, “An Essay on Serious Drama” (1767)

Hugo, “Preface to Cromwell” (1827)

Zola, “Naturalism in the Theatre” (1878)

Shaw, “The Problem Play” (1895)

Brecht, “Theatre for Pleasure or Theatre for Instruction” (1936)

Artaud, The Theatre and Its Double (excerpt) (1938)

Miller, “Tragedy and the Common Man” (1949)

Esslin, excerpt from Theatre of the Absurd (1961)

Parks, “Elements of Style” (1994)


Bahun-Radunović, Sanja. “History in Postmodern Theater: Heiner Müller, Caryl Churchill, and Suzan-Lori Parks.” Comparative Literature Studies 45.4 (2008): 446-470.

Brooks, Peter. “The Text of Muteness.” New Literary History 5.3 (1974): 549-564.

Broyles-Gonzalez, Yolanda. “Toward a Re-Vision of Chicano Theatre History: The Women of El Teatro Campesino” in Making a Spectacle: Feminist Essays on Contemporary Women’s Theatre, ed: Hart, Lynda. University of Michigan Press, 1989.

Carlson, Marvin. “French Stage Composition from Hugo to Zola.” Educational Theatre Journal (1971): 363-378.

Flax, Neil. “From Portrait to Tableau Vivant: The Pictures of Emilia Galotti.” Eighteenth-Century Studies 19.1 (1985): 39-55.

Galella, Donatella. “Redefining America, Arena Stage, and Territory Folks in a Multiracial Oklahoma!.” Theatre Journal 67.2 (2015): 213-233.

Kelly, Katherine E. “Pandemic and Performance: Ibsen and the Outbreak of Modernism.” South Central Review 25.1 (2008): 12-35.

Pearson, Nels C. “‘Outside of here it’s death’: Codependency and the Ghosts of Decolonization in Beckett’s Endgame.” ELH 68.1 (2001): 215-239.

Rundle, Erika. “Caliban’s Legacy: Primate Dramas and the Performance of Species.” TDR/The Drama Review 51.1 (2007): 49-62.

Savran, David. Highbrow/lowdown: Theater, Jazz, and the Making of the New Middle Class. University of Michigan Press, 2009.

Taylor, Diana. “Theater and Terrorism: Griselda Gambaro’s Information for Foreigners.” Theatre Journal 42.2 (1990): 165-182.

Yarbro-Bejarano, Yvonne. “The Female Subject in Chicano Theatre: Sexuality, ‘Race,’ and Class.” Theatre Journal 38.4 (1986): 389-407.