2278 - American Drama Now: Six Contemporary Classics (?) since 2000
The mid-twentieth-century American stage produced a number of classics of world-historical importance. Can the same be said of the contemporary American stage? This question is at the heart of this course. Students will read the following six plays, all premiering since 2000: Take Me Out by Richard Greenberg (2002), Ruined by Lynn Nottage (2008), In the Next Room, or The Vibrator Play by Sarah Ruhl (2009), Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris (2010), Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play by Anne Washburn (2012), and The Christians by Lucas Hnath (2014). The issues that we will explore are those of the plays themselves: otherness, multiculturalism, and American democracy as seen through the prism of baseball; war, rape, trauma, and survival in the Congo; sex, pleasure, technology, and gender, then and now; race, class, gentrification, and family legacy; popular culture, narrative, myth, and the contingency of the future; and religion, theology, conflict, and community. Lecture (plus questions). Facilitated Discussion.
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