COMP 355
Contemporary American Theatre: Poetry, Politics, Place Spring 2024
Division I
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

As Gertrude Stein once remarked, “The hardest thing is to know one’s present moment.” What is going on in U.S. theatre today? Who are the dramatists and theatre makers of the present moment? This survey course will introduce students to twenty-first century American drama and performance, focusing on the poetic, political, and environmental aspects of the art form. Topics to be considered may include: theatre as social practice, the rise of artivism, participatory, site-specific, and immersive theatre, social justice theatre, supernaturalism, changing labor practices in the industry, and the turn to digital performance. Artists and companies to be considered may include: Suzan Lori-Parks, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Quiara Alegría Hudes, Anne Washburn, Taylor Mac, Hansol Jung, Clare Barron, Jeremy O. Harris, Lucas Hnath, Lauren Yee, Larissa FastHorse, Jihae Park, The Civilians, Elevator Repair Service, Jackie Sibblies Drury, Eboni Booth, Sanaz Toossi, Alexis Scheer, and Jacklyn Backhaus. Assignments will include both critical and creative responses to the material addressed in the class. Whenever possible, we will attend live performances on campus and in the regional community.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 16
Expected: 16
Class#: 3610
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: written and dramaturgical-based assignments; a 10-minute oral presentation in pairs on a selected artist or group; a 5-7 page mid-term critical paper, and a final 7-9 page paper, 20-page theatrical script, or 5-10 minute live performance
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Theatre majors, or students interested in the arts
Distributions: Division I

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