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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Stefka G Mihaylova
DRAMA 473
Seattle Campus

Modern European Theatre and Drama

Major movements and figures in contemporary European theatre from French absurdism to the present. Prerequisite: DRAMA 302.

Class description

Between the turn of the twentieth century and World War II, easier access to technology (including the telegraph, the typewriter, the telephone, the camera, etc.) and the new media of film and radio revolutionized western daily life and transformed western theatre. Theatre practitioners drew inspiration from the social changes that these technologies provoked and began incorporating them into theatre-making. Indeed, technological development was a significant factor in the development of directing and design as the specialized professions that we now take for granted. However, theatre also started competing with cinema for audiences.

This course examines four major trends in modern theatre—realism, expressionism, epic theatre, and the theatre of the absurd—focusing on theatre’s relationship to technology. We will discuss how technology changed the practices of playwriting, theatre-making, and theatre-going and created a distinction between popular entertainment and the dramatic canon (the group of plays that western practitioners and spectators are expected to know). We will place this discussion in the larger context of western modernity.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Susan L Bruns
Date: 09/19/2011