The Play's the Thing: Study of Theatre and Drama

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Winter 2017 and Spring 2017 quarters

Taught by

Great dramatic literature is an essential component of cultural literacy. Performing plays from different historical periods creates a unique opportunity to combine theory and practice, and to simultaneously explore our history and our own identities through creative collaboration. In this two-quarter program, we will study selective great plays from the Greeks through the modern era, theater performance practices and cultural context for each text, and dramatic theory from Aristotle through Brecht and beyond. Students will learn to closely read and analyze plays, connect literature and history, and explore the relevance of historical/dramatic texts to contemporary life. Playwrights to be studied may include Euripides, Plautus, Shakespeare, Congreve, Ibsen, Chekhov, Brecht, and Beckett.

In addition, our performance studies will bring these texts to life through rigorous and disciplined practice in acting, voice, and movement. In addition to developing oral, kinetic, and corporal eloquence, these studies will help students develop the core competencies of Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence model—self-awareness, self-regulation, social skill, empathy, and motivation.

In spring quarter we will apply our learning to the production of a full-length play of historical significance for public performance. Students will explore different aspects of theater arts and learn strong collaborative skills in preparing and presenting this production.

Program Details

Fields of Study


Preparatory For

theatre performance, dramatic literature, theatre history and theory, cultural studies, performing arts, and careers demanding good written and oral communication skills.


Winter Open Spring Open

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered


Advertised Schedule

First spring class meeting: Monday, April 3 at 10am (Com 335)

Online Learning

No Required Online Learning


$30 in winter and $10 in spring for theater tickets.


2016-11-28Winter fee reduced (from $30 to $10).
2016-05-02This program no longer offers a 12-credit option winter quarter.