Your Money or Your Life: Human and Economic Relations On Stage

Fall 2021
Freshman - Senior
Class Size: 25
16 Credits per quarter
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This program incorporates Greener Foundations. Greener Foundations is Evergreen’s 2-quarter introductory student success course, which provides all first-year students with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive at Evergreen. First year students will get 14-credits from this program, and 2-credits from a Greener Foundations course. In order for first year students to complete registration, you will also need to register for the Greener Foundations sections specifically designed to work with this academic program using CRN 10109.

How can the economics of human relations be portrayed in theater?

There have been many attempts, going back to Jesus and the money lenders in the temple, to the poverty stricken characters in The Wire and other contemporary chronicles.

But how have current playwrights addressed this notion in contemporary theater?

We'll read and discuss a number of plays that have attempted to address those situations where money determines human relationships and attitudes.

Among the playwrights we'll read and discuss are: Henrik Ibsen, Bernard Shaw, Bertolt Brecht, Lorraine Hansberry, James Baldwin, August Wilson, Dario Fo, Caryl Churchill, and plays written by the San Francisco Mime Troupe.

In the discussions of each play, the class will try to articulate: 1) what are the human relations, and 2) what are the economic relations portrayed in the play, and 3) what are the relations between the human and the economic.

Alongside these plays, we'll also read and discuss A People's Guide to Capitalism, a book that analyzes the current economic state of our world.

From what we learn from these plays and the book on popular economics, students will be expected to work in small groups to create original radio plays. The plays will attempt to combine: 1) the students' knowledge of our contemporary world, 2) the economic analyses we'll learn about, and 3) theatrical ideas gleaned from the plays we read. Students will be expected to work in five such groups over the quarter.

Each groups' play will also have some musical element that could be a song, or some background music, or a chorus that the performers sing --- or some other musical event.

Every two weeks, each group will will perform their play for the class. The last play will be recorded for future performance on the radio.


Fall 2021 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

So - Sr (16): 10085
Fr (14): 10088

Academic details

Preparatory For

Performing Arts, Theater, Music

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing


Time Offered
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting

Com 308 - Media Classroom


Date Revision
2021-09-23 This program is now completely online (was hybrid)