English 241. Modern Drama
Although it is impossible to read all the plays of the modern period in one semester, by reading the “blockbusters” alongside lesser- and little-known avant garde plays, we will together build a foundation for taking up the important question of how the “canon” becomes encoded. Supplemental readings of particular productions, manifestos, theoretical essays, biographical accounts and historical material will enrich individual and collective responses to the dramatic texts. In this way, all of us become active participants in keeping the “body” of modern drama alive. Authors will include Samuel Beckett, Bertolt Brecht, Georg Büchner, Jean Genet, Lorraine Hansberry, Eugène Ionesco, Eugene O’Neill, Gertrude Stein, August Strindberg, Tennessee Williams and others.