Theatre Culture Studies III: Melodrama to Modernism


The third in the department's three-course history sequence, TCS III surveys the dramatic literature and cultural history of the modern theater. Beginning with Romanticism's self-conscious break with the past, we'll study the rise of bourgeois melodrama with its intensely emotional rendering of character and spectacular effects. We'll consider how those effects were made possible by advances in industrial stage technology which reproduced the everyday world with unprecedented verisimilitude, and how playwrights responded to those technologies by calling for the theatre to become either a "total work of art"--plunging its spectators into a mythical realm--or a petri dish--analyzing the struggles of the modern individual within his or her modern milieu. Exploring a range of aesthetic modes--including Realism, Naturalism, Symbolism, Expressionism, the Epic Theatre, and the Theatre of the Absurd--we will read classic plays by modern playwrights to consider how the modern theatre helped its audiences understand as well as adapt to the rapidly changing conditions of the modern world.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU Hum; AS HUM; FA HUM; AR HUM

Section 01

Theatre Culture Studies III: Melodrama to Modernism
INSTRUCTOR: Schvey, Reaugh
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