Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Development of Theatre Texts 1

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Theatre Studies

DESCRIPTION The development in the writing of the theatrical text underwent a series of major changes throughout the centuries. This study-unit examines the changes in perspective of theatre through key theoretical texts that were written in specific moments of theatre history. These are examined as a pattern in the development of this specific element of the theatrical act. Theoretical writings are examined with a view to understanding how playwriting was conceived at particular historical periods.

Plays of various periods will be studied in the light of the theories elaborated at the time and contrasted to other periods and theories. Students must do their reading well in time before lectures. Apart from their final examination, students will also be given an analysis task, for which they will have to write a 1000 word essay and discuss it in class. Although the discussion in this unit will be furthered in THS2101, it can also be taken as an independent unit.

Study-unit Aims:

The study-unit aims to:
- Impart knowledge of theatre texts across the ages from the Greeks to the present;
- Consider theory in the light of practice and vice-versa;
- Familiarise students with (i) written plays and (ii) dramatic and performance theories.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Analyse, contextualise, and problematise theoretical and philosophical texts;
- Link theoretical and philosophical texts with dramatic and performance texts;
- Adopt a synoptic approach when considering the writing of texts on paper and in space.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Demonstrate skills in sophisticated thought, self-reflection, and independent learning;
- Demonstrate communication and presentational skills in writing and debate;
- Carry out research using the appropriate research methodologies;
- Understand implications in synoptic studies, beyond theatre and performance.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Texts to be covered across THS2100 and THS2101: Aristotle's Poetics, Horace's Ars Poetica, as well as readings from Tertullian, St Augustine, Donatus, Castelvetro, Cinthio, Robortello, Scaliger, Guarini, Lope de Vega, Sir Philip Sidney, Ben Jonson, Moliere, Boileau, Goethe, Schiller, Artaud, Beaumarchais, Sarah Kane, and others.

Main Texts:

- M. Carlson, Theories of the Theatre (London: Cornell University, 1984)
- M. Sidnell, ed., Sources of Dramatic Theory (Cambridge: CUP, 1991)
- B. Dukore, ed., Dramatic Theory and Criticism. Greeks to Grotowski (Parts of) (Hawaii: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers, 1974)

Supplementary readings:

A selection of plays will be given in function of the theorists discussed. Plays may include the following:

Oedipus Rex - Sophocles
The Oresteia - Aeschylus (in particular, the Libation Bearers)
Electra - Sophocles
Electra - Euripedes

Oedipus - Seneca
Everyman - Anon

The Mandrake Root - Machiavelli
Lena - Ariosto
Phedre - Racine
Fuente Ovejuna - Lope de Vega
The Comic Illusion - Corneille
Le Cid - Corneille
Moliere - The School for Wives criticised
The impromptu of Versailles

The Barber of Seville - Beaumarchais
The Robbers - Schiller

The Doll's house - Ibsen
Miss Julie - Strindberg
Woyseck - Buchner
The Inspector General - Gogol
Waiting for Godot - Beckett
The rise and fall of Arturo Ui - Brecht
Threepenny Opera - Brecht
Look back in Anger - Osborne
The Crucible - Arthur Miller
4.48 Psychosis - Sarah Kane

and any other plays advised by the lecturer.

Most of these texts are found in the UoM library, and students will be directed accordingly to their availability.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Independent Study

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Presentation SEM1 No 50%
Examination (1 Hour) SEM1 Yes 50%

LECTURER/S Vicki Ann Cremona

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2019/0, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.