[Theaterfacultystaff] Spring Theater History and Drama Seminars

Condee, William condee at ohio.edu
Mon Oct 12 14:51:48 EDT 2015


THAR 4710 101 Seminar in Theater History and Drama: Selected Topics

German Drama and Theater

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:10-1:20 PM in Kantner Hall 108
Professor: Dr. Matt Cornish

The goal of “German Drama and Theater” is to investigate the history of German-language theater, both on the page and in performance. We will strive to better understand political theater, the relationship between theater and its society, and the aesthetics of live performance. Theater has had major cultural significance in Germany since before it was a nation, and by focusing on Germany we will be able to concentrate deeply on how theater engages with communities and the underlying principles of performance, while observing the art form develop over several hundred years.

We will read, watch, discuss, and write about extraordinary plays and productions, historical and contemporary, improving our critical thinking and research skills, and expanding our notions of what theater can be and what it can do.


THAR 4720 Seminar in Theater History and Drama: Forms of Drama
T Th 9:00-10:20
Prof. William Condee

The Absurd in Modern Drama

This seminar goes beyond a narrow definition of “theater of the absurd” to look at absurdity across the span of modern drama. These plays confront the existential crisis of the modern era: Why do we live?

We will examine the philosophical basis of the “absurd” (Artaud and Camus) and the viability of this term as a tool for understanding drama. Plays will include precursors to absurdist drama, such as Jarry’s Ubu Roi, Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author, Sophie Treadwell’s Machinal, as well as early silent film, before delving into “absurd” plays by Beckett, Ionesco, and Pinter. We will also look at dramas not usually considered “absurd,” such as those by Williams, O’Neill, Mamet, Shepard, and August Wilson in order to challenge “the absurd” as a critical lens. Finally, we will read more recent drama, including plays by Adrienne Kennedy, Caryl Churchill, Gao Xingjian and Suzan-Lori Parks, to consider whether “absurdism” works as a way of thinking about current drama. For the final project, students will have the opportunity to develop a production proposal for a modern play of their choice.


IART 7703/THAR 7760 Tuesday 2:10-5:00
Professor William Condee

Nineteenth Century Theater and Drama

This seminar will examine issues of race, reality, and gender in the plays of Ibsen, Strindberg, and Chekhov, but will also include Faust, Woyzeck, Fashion, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, The Escape, and other forms of popular theater. In addition, students will study the theatrical and performance conditions of the period.


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