There will be few additions to the reading assignments here. We will have a film viewing. You may also be assigned to attend the fall production from the Theater Department, (not yet announced). If so we’ll discuss it in class.

Introduction and Modes of Drama

Observations on comedy and tragedy. For this, I’ll have some clips for students to watch in class.

A One-act Play

The men investigate a murder while the women occupy themselves with trifles, or maybe it’s the other way around. Also, I am old enough and rural enough to remember what a “party line” is, so feel free to ask me in class.

*A collection of short plays; “Trifles” is first.

A Shakespeare Play

Shakespeare’s most performed comedy will allow us to talk about gender roles, transformation, communication and deceit, and of course the nature of “Comedy.”

  • Day 1. Act I
  • Day 2. Acts II and III
  • Day 3. Acts IV and V

*Be sure to follow this link. There’s also a transcription of the play from Shakespeare’s first folio on Gutenberg. You do not want to deal with Elizabethan spelling.

A Classical Tragedy

This ancient play may be the archetypal tragedy; but it will also challenge your ideas of tragedy and the tragic hero, and perhaps even the illusion of human happiness.