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ENG-220-20, Introduction to Drama (FA14)

 INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Kate Bossert (kbossert@ndm.edu)

SCHEDULE/DAY/TIME: T1/Tuesday/06:00-08:45 PM, 09/02/2014-10/14/2014

CONTENT:

This course provides a general introduction to dramatic literature and theater history, spanning the classical age to the 20th century. Readings will range from tragedy to light comedy and exemplify both traditional and experimental forms.This is a literature course, NOT an acting class.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

1. demonstrate a working knowledge of theater history, including major periods, works, authors, forms, basic elements, and terminology relevant to dramatic literature;

2. identify and describe the theme, plot structure, characterization, imagery, and point of view in a particular dramatic work;

3. analyze the relationship between page and stage through the discussion and viewing of directorial and performance choices;

4. generate and support independent interpretations of dramatic literature, both in speech and writing.

 METHODS:  

This is discussion-based course. Students will frequently read aloud in class as we discuss scenes from the assigned plays. However, this is a literature course, NOT an acting class. No prior performance experience is required or expected.  As part of this course, we will also attend a live performance of Much Ado about Nothing by the American Shakespeare Center on Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014, at 2:30pm in Le Clerc Auditorium on Notre Dame of Maryland University’s main campus. Admission is free, and students are welcome to invite guests to this performance, which is open to the public. If a student is unable to attend this performance they will be asked to make alternate arrangements to attend another live professional theater production before the end of the semester.

REQUIREMENTS AND ASSIGNMENTS: 

1. Reading

2. Attendance & Participation (25%);

3. Weekly Quizzes (25%);

4. Four 1-page responses to the readings (20%);

5. One 5-7 page final essay (20%);

6. Attendance at live performance (10%)

Note: Attendance at every class session is mandatory. Missing one class for any reason will negatively impact a student’s participation grade; missing two or more classes for any reason will cause the student to fail the course. Missing more than half of a session constitutes one absence.

REQUIRED TEXT(S) OR MATERIALS: 

1. Norton Anthology of Drama. Short Ed. Ed. Gainor, et al. Norton, 2009. (ISBN: 9780393934120)

2. Much Ado about Nothing. Pelican Shakespeare. Ed. Peter Holland. Penguin, 2000. (ISBN: 9780140714807)

This is a “web-enhanced” course that will make minimal use of on-line material. I will use Joule to post electronic copies of the syllabus, assignments, and readings not contained in our textbooks.

READINGS AND/OR ASSIGNMENTS TO BE DONE PRIOR TO THE FIRST CLASS:

Aristotle, excerpts from Poetics (posted on Joule)