HUMS 638
Modern Drama

Daniel Burt

Faculty Contact Information
Phone: (508) 432-9669
The Schedule
June 19 Introduction to Modern Drama: The Shift of Subject and Method

9:00-12:00: Buchner's Woyzeck and Ibsen's A Doll's House
1:00-5:00: Checkhov's The Cherry Orchard

Screenings: A Doll's House (1973), The Cherry Orchard (1999)

June 20 Problematizing the Drawing Room

9:00-12:00: Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnes
1:00-5:00: Shaw's Major Barbara

Screenings: The Importance of Being Earnest (2002), 1992, Major Barbara (1941)

June 21 Modern Angst: War and Existence

9:00-12:00: Brecht's Mother Courage
1:00-5:00: Beckett's Waiting for Godot

Screenings: Waiting for Godot (2001)

June 22 American Tragedies

9:00-12:00: O'Neill's A Long Day's Journey into Night
1:00-5:00: Miller's Death of a Salesman

Screenings: A Long Day's  Journey into Night (1962), (1973), (1987), Death of Salesman (1951), (1985)

June 23 The Marginalized Take Center Stage

9:00-12:00: Churchill's Top Girls
1:00-5:00: Kushner's Angels in America

Screenings: Angels in America (2003)

The Plan
Students should complete an initial reading of the above plays before the course begins and keep a critical notebook recording details about the plays and your critique. Notes on the plays will be available on Wesleyan's Blackboard System which students should consult regularly for updates and on-line discussions.
Each student will be responsible to take a turn as guest "director," providing an analysis of a scene or section of a selected play and directing a performance. There will be two writing assignments, due on Monday, 17 July: 1) a review of one of the film versions of the plays on our reading list, and 2) a critical introduction to an imagined anthology that includes all eleven of the plays on our reading list that considers key concepts of modern drama and compares and contrasts the approaches taken by our playwrights.