Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism (M.F.A. and D.F.A.)

Catherine Sheehy, Chair

Due to the current and inevitable future disruptions of COVID-19, neither Yale School of Drama nor Yale Repertory Theatre will produce a season of plays in 2020–2021. In service of our mission, the School of Drama is temporarily extending the M.F.A. and Certificate programs by one fully funded year of study. All sections pertaining to production work in this chapter of the bulletin refer to a typical production schedule and are not necessarily applicable for the 2020–2021 academic year.

Students in the Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism department receive intensive training to prepare for careers in three areas: to work in theaters as dramaturgs, artistic producers, literary managers, and in related positions; to work in theater publishing as critics and editors as well as in other capacities; to teach theater as practitioners, critics, and scholars.

At the core of the training are seminars in literature, theory, criticism, and history offered by the department’s faculty. These may be supplemented by courses taught elsewhere in the University if approved by students’ advisers. The aim is to impart a comprehensive knowledge of theater and dramatic literature—a knowledge necessary to the dramaturg, the writer and editor, and the teacher. Regarding the latter, every effort is made to give qualified students teaching experience within the University.

Of particular importance in the program of study are the criticism workshops, which are taught by various members of the faculty and which students must take in each of six terms. These courses are designed to improve skills in thinking and writing and are an essential component in the faculty’s evaluation of students’ progress from term to term.

Historically, Yale School of Drama has been a pioneer in this country in introducing and establishing the dramaturg as an essential presence in the creation of theater and as a key member of a theater’s staff. Under the supervision of the resident dramaturg of Yale Repertory Theatre, students are assigned to work on many varied productions, including those of new scripts by School of Drama playwrights, workshops and full productions by School of Drama directors, and professional presentations of classical and contemporary works at Yale Repertory Theatre. Among the areas in which students participate are text preparation and oversight; translation and adaptation; preproduction and rehearsal work on issues of design, direction, and performance; contextual research; program notes and study guide preparation; the conducting of audience discussions; participation in programs in educational outreach; and related work in conjunction with the marketing and media departments. Students also assist in Yale Repertory Theatre’s literary office with script evaluation and communication with writers and agents. Thus, students are trained in topics in institutional dramaturgy, including the formulation of artistic policy and its communication and implementation, and as production dramaturgs, operating within the rehearsal process.

In recognition of the fact that dramaturgs may not only assume the leadership of theaters under such titles as artistic director and producer but may also found theaters themselves, the Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism department has entered into a collaboration with the Theater Management department to create an optional course of study drawing from the strengths of both disciplines. By creating this interchange, Yale School of Drama seeks to remain at the forefront in fostering the discovery and exploration of new organizational models so that the art of theater will continue to flourish. More information on this partnership is available from the department.

In addition to their training in production dramaturgy and literary management, students have opportunities to develop as writers, editors, and translators through their work on the professional staff of Theater magazine, published three times annually by Yale School of Drama/Yale Repertory Theatre and Duke University Press.

Theater has been publishing new writing by and about contemporary theater artists since 1968. The magazine’s perspectives are different from those of any other American publication: at once practical, creative, and scholarly. Issues include new plays, translations, and adaptations; forums about policy, politics, and productions; interviews with writers, directors, and other artists; creative dossiers and polemics; and book and performance reviews. The publication maintains an electronic archive, a website, and social media pages, and it curates symposia and live events on campus and beyond.

Requirements for the M.F.A. and D.F.A. degrees are discussed more fully in the following pages.

Quality Standards

The minimum quality requirement for the M.F.A. degree in Dramaturgy is a grade average of High Pass in all required courses and electives counting toward the degree. Students who receive an Incomplete in any course are automatically placed on academic warning until the work is completed. Any student who receives more than one incomplete will be placed on academic probation. Students placed on academic probation may not participate in any capacity in the Yale Cabaret.

Plan of Study: Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism

Class of 2024

Required Sequence

Year one (2020–2021)
Course Subject
DRAM 3a/b Toward Anti-Racist Theater Practice
DRAM 36a/b The Passion Projects
DRAM 96a Models of Dramaturgy: The New Play Process
DRAM 106a Editing and Publishing Workshop
DRAM 166a/b Criticism Workshop
DRAM 306a/b Issues in Dramatic Structure and Performance Theory*
DRAM 346a/b Literary Office Practicum
DRAM 396a/b Dramaturgy Practicum
DRAM 476a/b Hot Topics
DRAM 636a/b Modular Engagements†
At least four elective courses and two modules after consultation with adviser†
Year two (2021–2022)
Course Subject
DRAM 6a/b Survey of Theater and Drama‡
DRAM 50a The Collaborative Process
DRAM 96b Models of Dramaturgy: Shakespeare from Page to Stage
DRAM 147a Writing for the Ensemble
DRAM 166a/b Criticism Workshop
DRAM 246a Translation*
DRAM 346a/b Literary Office Practicum
DRAM 396a/b Dramaturgy Practicum
DRAM 476a/b Hot Topics
DRAM 616b Adaptation
DRAM 636a/b Modular Engagements†
At least four elective courses and two modules after consultation with adviser†
At least one production dramaturgy assignment
Year three (2022–2023)
Course Subject
DRAM 166a/b Criticism Workshop
DRAM 336a/b Comprehensive Examinations
DRAM 396a/b Dramaturgy Practicum
DRAM 466a Research Methodologies*
DRAM 476a/b Hot Topics
DRAM 636a/b Modular Engagements†
At least four elective courses and two modules after consultation with adviser†
At least one production dramaturgy assignment
Year four (2023–2024)
Course Subject
DRAM 46a/b Special Research Project
DRAM 346a/b Literary Office Practicum
At least one production dramaturgy assignment

*Translation (DRAM 246a), Issues in Dramatic Structure and Performance Theory (DRAM 306a/b), and Research Methodologies (DRAM 466a) are not offered every year. When they are offered, all dramaturgs who have not taken these courses previously are enrolled in them.

†Students must choose and complete one of the modular engagements offered by the department in each term. D.F.A. chapter conferences do not satisfy this requirement; however, Carlotta and/or Langston Hughes modules required of students assigned to those productions do.

‡Dramaturgy students will be required to take the Survey of Theater and Drama (DRAM 6a/b) course in their second year. Those with extraordinary background in the subject matter may request permission of the instructor and the department chair to take the exemption exam.

Class of 2023

Required Sequence

Year two (2020–2021)
Course Subject
DRAM 3a/b Toward Anti-Racist Theater Practice
DRAM 6a/b Survey of Theater and Drama‡
DRAM 166a/b Criticism Workshop
DRAM 306a/b Issues in Dramatic Structure and Performance Theory*
DRAM 346a/b Literary Office Practicum
DRAM 396a/b Dramaturgy Practicum
DRAM 476a/b Hot Topics
DRAM 616b Adaptation
DRAM 636a/b Modular Engagements†
At least four elective courses and two modules after consultation with adviser†
Year three (2021–2022)
Course Subject
DRAM 166a/b Criticism Workshop
DRAM 246a Translation*
DRAM 336a/b Comprehensive Examinations
DRAM 396a/b Dramaturgy Practicum
DRAM 476a/b Hot Topics
DRAM 636a/b Modular Engagements†
At least four elective courses and two modules after consultation with adviser†
At least one production dramaturgy assignment
Year four (2022–2023)
Course Subject
DRAM 46a/b Special Research Project
DRAM 346a/b Literary Office Practicum
At least one production dramaturgy assignment

*Translation (DRAM 246a), Issues in Dramatic Structure and Performance Theory (DRAM 306a/b), and Research Methodologies (DRAM 466a) are not offered every year. When they are offered, all dramaturgs who have not taken these courses previously are enrolled in them.

†Students must choose and complete one of the modular engagements offered by the department in each term. D.F.A. chapter conferences do not satisfy this requirement; however, Carlotta and/or Langston Hughes modules required of students assigned to those productions do.

‡Students who did not pass the Survey of Theater and Drama (DRAM 6a/b) exemption exam may take the test again in their second year. If they do not pass on this second attempt, they must take DRAM 6a/b in their second year.

Class of 2022

Required Sequence

Year three (2020–2021)
Course Subject
DRAM 3a/b Toward Anti-Racist Theater Practice
DRAM 166a/b Criticism Workshop
DRAM 336a/b Comprehensive Examinations
DRAM 396a/b Dramaturgy Practicum
DRAM 476a/b Hot Topics
DRAM 636a/b Modular Engagements†
At least four elective courses and two modules after consultation with adviser†
Year four (2021–2022)
Course Subject
DRAM 46a/b Special Research Project
DRAM 346a/b Literary Office Practicum
At least one production dramaturgy assignment

†Students must choose and complete one of the modular engagements offered by the department in each term. D.F.A. chapter conferences do not satisfy this requirement; however, Carlotta and/or Langston Hughes modules required of students assigned to those productions do.

Additional Requirements for the Degree

Dramaturgical Assignments

With the exception of the 2020–2021 academic year, each student serves as a dramaturg on one or more productions per year either at Yale Repertory Theatre or in Yale School of Drama. During the fall term of their first eligible year, students are not typically assigned to production work. In the second term, these students may be assigned to a play by a School of Drama playwriting student and may also work on other plays under the supervision of the resident dramaturg. In their subsequent years, students may undertake a project at Yale Repertory Theatre, a director’s thesis production (see Directing department, The Director’s Thesis, DRAM 140a/b), a Shakespeare Repertory Project (see Directing department, Second-Year Directing, DRAM 120a/b), or a play by a School of Drama playwriting student.

Students work on Yale School of Drama productions and Yale Repertory Theatre productions subject to availability and suitability of projects and departmental requirements.

Additionally, dramaturgy students assist the resident dramaturg and Yale Rep’s literary manager in script evaluation and related tasks through the Literary Office Practicum (DRAM 346a/b).

Yale Cabaret

Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism students are encouraged to work in all capacities at the Yale Cabaret, but this participation is understood to be in addition to, and in no way a substitution for, required departmental work. No student with an “Incomplete” grade in any course, and no student on department-imposed probation, may participate in the Yale Cabaret in any capacity.

Yale Repertory Theatre Artistic Office

Students are trained to read scripts for Yale Repertory Theatre, and each academic year, they are required to submit written evaluations of these scripts to the Artistic Office. This work is done under the supervision of Yale Rep’s literary manager, who is a lecturer in the department, and the literary fellow, who is a D.F.A. candidate in the department.

Theater Magazine Requirement

During their first year, Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism students take the Editing and Publishing Workshop (DRAM 106a), taught by the editor of Theater, the journal of criticism and performance co-published by Yale School of Drama/Yale Repertory Theatre and Duke University Press, which introduces them to major aspects of publishing such a journal. In their subsequent years, qualified students may have additional opportunities to work on the magazine’s staff in a variety of editing and publishing positions. Selected D.F.A. candidates may be appointed to senior staff positions as part of their doctoral fellowships. Along with essays, reviews, and translations by leading authors and professional critics, Theater has published outstanding work by Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism students, who are encouraged to propose and submit writing and editorial projects for possible publication.

Language Requirement

The language requirement is satisfied by the translation of a play in the Translation seminar (DRAM 246a). Students who wish to pursue a special emphasis in translation may take this course once more with the approval of their advisers and the course instructor.

Library Orientation

Upon entering the department, students are required to take orientation seminars introducing them to the Yale University Library system and its various facilities and resources.

Comprehensive Examination Requirement

The comprehensives are a set of final written and oral qualifying examinations in which third-year students demonstrate their ability to bring critical depth and dramaturgical perspective to broad areas of the field. Through this process students take responsibility for mastery of subjects of their own choosing. Often these subjects have not been covered in course work.

Each student must write two independently researched exams. For each of these, the student writes essay-length answers to two questions in the chosen area of study. Topics for written examinations must be chosen in consultation with the student’s adviser and reflect breadth of study across time periods, genres, movements, etc. Areas of study should not overlap and may include major historical periods; important dramatists or other figures; basic dramatic genres; significant theoretically or critically defined movements. Other broad areas also may be devised in consultation with faculty advisers.

Each student must also submit case studies in theater history in the spring terms of the first and second years. Based upon a selection of plays chosen by the faculty in Classical and Medieval Drama in the first year and Pre-Modern Drama in the second year, these case studies demonstrate the student’s mastery of theater history. Guidelines for these case studies are available from the department.

Each student must create one dramaturgical casebook each year based on a production assignment completed during the student’s first five terms at Yale School of Drama and approved by the faculty. Casebooks must include the full and cut scripts, an essay of textual analysis, a comprehensive production history, a critical bibliography, preproduction and rehearsal journals, and other pertinent materials generated by work on the production (program pages, poster design, etc.). Guidelines for casebooks are available from the department.

These written components—exams, case studies, and casebooks—are followed by an oral comprehensive exam. Oral examinations are designed not only as defenses of the written exams but may also be a further exploration of areas students have worked up but not answered in their other comprehensives. The casebooks will provide the basis for discussion during the oral exam of the student’s development as a dramaturg. These exams will be completed in early May.

Final grades for the comprehensive examinations are determined upon completion of the process. Following each written examination, students will be given a Pass/Fail evaluation by their faculty advisers. If the faculty concludes that the exam is not passing work, the student will be informed of the areas of deficiency. In such a case the oral examination becomes an opportunity for the student to redress the deficiencies. A student who fails one or more comprehensives and/or the oral is allowed to reenroll in the comprehensive process once more during the following year. A student failing the second time is not awarded a degree.

Second-year students must adhere to the following schedule*

February 7, 2021: Deadline for submission of comprehensive examination topics. At this time, exam topics must be submitted in memorandum form via e-mail to all non-visiting members of the departmental faculty for approval.

March 13, 2021: Deadline for submission of a full comprehensive proposal, including a carefully researched and selected bibliography, for faculty approval. This bibliography should reflect an understanding of the most essential reading in the proposed subject, and reflect prior consultation with appropriate members of the department’s faculty.

April 18, 2021: Deadline for submission of final revised comprehensive proposal and bibliography.

Third-year students must adhere to the following schedule*

September 7–11, 2020: Deadline for third-year students to meet with their advisers to review and update comprehensive study procedures and propose a fall examination schedule. There will be a departmental faculty meeting in this week, at which third-year students must give their presentations of the five topics they have identified during stipended summer study. Students must take at least one examination during the fall term, according to the schedule below.

October 17, 2020: First fall deadline for taking a comprehensive examination.

November 22, 2020: Final fall deadline for taking a comprehensive examination.

February 14, 2021: First spring deadline for taking a comprehensive examination.

April 11, 2021: Final deadline for having completed independently researched exams.

May 14, 2021: Final deadline for having completed the oral examination.

*In light of the unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic, these dates are subject to change.

Requirements for the Doctor of Fine Arts in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism

Upon completion of the Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism department requirements for an M.F.A. degree and graduation from Yale School of Drama, a student is eligible to register to remain in residence for the proposal year to apply to the Doctor of Fine Arts (D.F.A.) program.* Acceptance into the D.F.A. program is not to be considered an entitlement and is based not only on the merits of the proposal, but also on the faculty’s assessment of the student’s performance and progress in the M.F.A. program. Candidates must submit their proposals by January 11, 2021, the first day of the spring term, for review by the D.F.A. Committee. The proposal must conform to departmental guidelines and designate first and second readers. If either reader comes from outside the department, the proposal must include a letter from the reader acknowledging a willingness to advise the dissertation if the prospectus is approved. It is understood that, except in extraordinary circumstances, if the student’s proposed dissertation can be read by a member of the full-time faculty, that faculty member will be considered the first reader. Upon review, the committee may approve, reject, or recommend changes to the proposal. If changes are recommended, the student has until April 1, 2021, to resubmit the proposal in order to obtain the committee’s approval. If the proposal has not been sufficiently revised at that time, it will be finally rejected.

A student holding an M.F.A. degree from Yale School of Drama has two years after graduation to apply to and be accepted into the D.F.A. program. Upon acceptance of the proposal by the D.F.A. Committee, the student is expected to complete the dissertation within three years, working in close consultation with the first reader. If necessary, and so long as the student is able to demonstrate progress, an extension may be granted upon a written request. Each year all D.F.A. students registered as in residence are expected to attend a chapter conference at the School of Drama; here they will offer a twenty-minute presentation about their latest research and writing. These chapter conferences will be held at the end of both the fall and spring terms. In consultation with their advisers, students may choose at which conference they would like to present. After the D.F.A. Committee’s final approval of the dissertation, two bound copies must be delivered to the chair of the Department of Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism six weeks prior to the date on which the student expects to graduate. The dissertation proposal guidelines contain complete details and stipulations for obtaining the degree and are available through the department.

The D.F.A. candidate may elect to register as a full-time student in residence to pursue work on the dissertation. The tuition fee for this status is $1,000 per year in residence and entitles candidates to use libraries and related facilities, to audit courses related to their research, to eligibility for tickets to Yale School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre productions, and to Yale Health Basic Coverage. Yale Health Hospitalization/Specialty Coverage is offered for an additional fee (for 2020–2021, the fee is $1,274 per term). In the first five years of residency, D.F.A. candidates receive a scholarship to cover tuition and the cost of Yale Health Hospitalization/Specialty Coverage. (If students decline this insurance coverage, their scholarship will be reduced by the amount equivalent to its cost.) Students enrolled in the D.F.A. program are eligible to apply for one of three departmental writing fellowships, a Yale Rep artistic associate fellowship, a Theater magazine fellowship, or DRAM 6a/b teaching assistantships. These fellowships are awarded based on suitability and other factors, such as additional opportunities for support, pedagogical enrichment, and demand in the department. The Theater magazine, artistic associate, and literary office fellowships are yearlong; the rest are for the academic year only. As a result, fellowship awards offer differing financial support. More information is available from the financial aid office.

*The Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism department has instituted DRAM 46, Special Research Project, as a capstone project for students enrolled in the four-year curriculum. Students interested in pursuing the D.F.A. degree are expected to use their enrollment in this course to complete their prospectus under the mentorship of departmental advisers. For more information on DRAM 46, please see the section below.

Courses of Instruction

DRAM 3a/b, Toward Anti-Racist Theater Practice This course meets both within individual departments and across disciplines, with students and faculty members as fellow learners, using readings, viewings, and discussions in pursuit of these goals: to identify the roots and branches of racism and white supremacy in the structures and practices of theater-making in the United States, including at Yale School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre; to interrogate where the practices do harm and hinder; and to invest in the future by inviting students and faculty to imagine and uplift systems and cultures that do not depend upon or promote supremacy, to build a more just and equitable field.

DRAM 6a/b, Survey of Theater and Drama An introduction to the varied histories of world drama and theater as an art form, as a profession, as a social event, and as an agent of cultural definition through the ages. DRAM 6a examines select theatrical cultures and performance practices to 1700. DRAM 6b examines select theatrical cultures and performance practices since 1700. Open to non-School of Drama students with prior permission of the instructor. Paul Walsh

DRAM 8a/b, The Artist as Citizen This course offers theater artists and managers a forum for reading, writing, and discussion, which may be guided or self-directed. Each student has an opportunity to consider personal responsibility to collaborators, the audience, and the broader society, with specific reference to each artist’s personal history and identity. What ethical and practical frameworks should shape our art form and its professional sphere? How might they align with personal practice and with value systems of the wider world? With an individual’s culture of origin? Or with the culture(s) in which we choose to work? What are the obligations and privileges of national and/or global citizenship? How can love and joy be centered when the artist embraces the role of citizen? This course is offered in person in both fall and spring terms and may be taken no more than eight times during a student’s enrollment. James Bundy

DRAM 36a/b, The Passion Projects While dramaturgs and critics are trained to be in response to works of art—in process or production—it is important that they keep their acumen and empathy sharp by putting themselves in a generative position, as well. This yearlong engagement is intended to develop in students the habits of creating, risking, and evolving as their ideas inevitably change. The course culminates in a showing of short student pieces for an invited audience that includes department faculty and an outside responder. Rebecca Rugg, Catherine Sheehy

DRAM 46a/b, Special Research Project In the four-year curriculum, Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism students in their final year undertake a special research project with a departmental adviser(s) to expand or deepen their field(s) of interest. The types of projects in which students engage might include: research and writing a prospectus for the D.F.A. program; identifying a suite of courses from across the University that would comprise a “minor” of sorts to expand areas of expertise for future teaching or writing; creating a longform writing project for publication or submission to conferences; designing a dramaturgical project for realization with collaborators within or outside Yale’s auspices; creating a curatorial or interdisciplinary project; designing an archival project. This may be one yearlong project or one project per term. Dramaturgy faculty

[DRAM 50a, The Collaborative Process See description under Directing. Not offered in 2020–2021]

[DRAM 51b, New Play Lab Required of Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism students who are assigned to work on the New Play Lab. See description under Playwriting. Not offered in 2020–2021]

DRAM 96a, Models of Dramaturgy: The New Play Process In contemporary new play development and production, dramaturgs play instrumental roles inside and outside of institutions, in and out of rehearsal rooms. Through lecture, discussion, and practicum, this course explores how dramaturgical practice is essential to the new play process, the issues facing dramaturgs in the field, and the strategies dramaturgs can employ to be effective collaborators. The course features a wide range of voices from the field as we collectively investigate and define the tenets of anti-racist dramaturgical practice. Amy Boratko

[DRAM 96b, Models of Dramaturgy: Shakespeare from Page to Stage Using Shakespeare as a resilient and fruitful object of study, this course examines the many facets of working on established texts for production. How do dramaturgs reanimate a venerable piece for their collaborators and audiences? How can contextual readings and fresh conceptual thinking put these centuries-old works in conversation with underrepresented voices and visions? With special attention to the mechanics of genre and the art of close reading, this course focuses on a handful of plays as exemplars of broader principles. Students are asked to perform original research for all artistic team members that considers the plays in their time, their sources, and the newest thinking about them; to cut texts for both length and production concept; and to create actor packets, program notes to focus audience attention and thought, and material for educational outreach to make the plays accessible to younger playgoers. Not offered in 2020–2021]

DRAM 106a, Editing and Publishing Workshop This course combines an introduction to general interest theater publications and scholarly publishing with a workshop focused on editing Theater magazine, involving best practices in editorial production and creative proposals for future issues. Required of all first-year Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism students. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Thomas Sellar

[DRAM 126a, Tragicomedy Tragicomedy has been characterized as the quintessential form of modern drama, but its origins extend back to the beginnings of art. As a genre, it provides a necessary perspective from which to discuss many different kinds of work, including some of the most contemporary and innovative. Its study requires the investigation of other fundamental dramatic forms such as the romance, pastoral, satire, grotesque—and, of course, tragedy and comedy. Playwrights to be considered in this course come from many periods and include Euripides, Plautus, Shakespeare, Beaumont and Fletcher, Tirso, Calderón, Molière, Kleist, Musset, Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov, Lorca, Lady Gregory, O’Casey, and Shaw. Open to nondepartmental students with prior permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2020–2021]

[DRAM 136a, Beckett A detailed study of Beckett’s plays and prose, including Beckett the critic on poets, painters, music, Proust, and performance. Open to nondepartmental students with prior permission of the instructor. Open to non-School of Drama students with prior permission of both the instructor and Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism Chair Catherine Sheehy. Not offered in 2020–2021]

[DRAM 146a, Taking the Temporal Turn into Theater and Performance This course looks at some of the existing models for thinking about temporality in theater studies. It also introduces new approaches and sources with which to imagine time in performance and theater differently. The course borrows its title from the idea of “the temporal turn”; afoot in other disciplines for some time, joined now by emerging work in our field, it signals the contemporary and urgent desire to rethink time. Not offered in 2020–2021]

DRAM 146b, Contemporary African, Black American, Black British, and Caribbean Drama and Performance Theater of the African diaspora is haunted by the migration, the movement, and the scattering of an African-descended people away from an ancestral homeland. Students look at when and where debbie tucker green, Kwame Kwei-Armah, the Negro Ensemble Company (New York), Suzan-Lori Parks, the Sistren Theatre Collective (Kingston), and August Wilson transmit Africa’s cultures, languages, nations, races, religions, and tribes to black America, black Britain, and Caribbean islands. Paul Gilroy’s theory of the black Atlantic and Joseph R. Roach’s theory of circum-Atlantic performance are the methods of literary research igniting case-study-themed sessions. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with permission of the instructor. Eric Glover

[DRAM 147a, Writing for the Ensemble Required of all first-year Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism students. See description under Playwriting. Not offered in 2020–2021]

[DRAM 156b, Shakespeare’s Tragic Modes An intensive study of seven tragedies, their performance history and criticism, along with major critical theories. The plays are Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth, Troilus and Cressida, Antony and Cleopatra, and Coriolanus. Not offered in 2020–2021]

DRAM 166a/b, Criticism Workshop A workshop in critical writing in which the student’s work is analyzed and discussed by the class and the instructor. Divided into sections, this class is required of Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism students in each of their six terms. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. James Hannaham, Kimberly Jannarone, Katherine Profeta, Marc Robinson, Thomas Sellar

[DRAM 186a, German Drama This course covers what has been called the “German Moment” in world theater, that is, the period approximately encompassed by the life of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832). It includes work by Lessing, Lenz, Goethe, Schiller, Tieck, Kleist, Grillparzer, Hebbel, and Büchner, and explores such concepts as classicism (including Weimar classicism), romanticism, and the Sturm und Drang. Theater production practice, acting, historical and philosophical context, and the other arts are also part of the discussion. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2020–2021]

[DRAM 196a, Race and the American Musical from Jerome Kern to Jay Kuo Race as a biological essence and a social construct has long been a part of the aesthetics and the politics of the American musical. By drawing parallels between theatrical representations of Asians and Asian Americans, blacks, Latinas and Latinos, and whites, students are able to indicate ways in which distinct writers see and hear racial identity. Students also listen to audio recordings of Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional/tour, and West End productions and watch film, television, video, and video clips on YouTube. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2020–2021]

DRAM 206a/b, Tutorial Study Second- or third-year dramaturgs may elect to undertake tutorial independent study by submitting, in consultation with their proposed tutor, a request stipulating course title, course description, reading list or syllabus, schedule of meetings with the tutor, and method of grading the tutorial. Approval must be granted by the student’s adviser and by the department. Forms for application are available from the registrar of the School of Drama. Faculty

[DRAM 207b, Carlotta Tutorial Required of Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism students who are assigned to work on the Carlotta Festival. See description under Playwriting. Not offered in 2020–2021]

[DRAM 216b, Curating Performance In recent years the role of the performance curator has expanded along with context-reliant forms such as participatory, site-based, and documentary theater. This course probes the curator’s functions in live performance, examining new critical discourses around curation, including perspectives from the visual arts and how they might apply to dramaturgs and creative programmers of theater, dance, and performance. Topics include the role of temporality, institutional critique, agonism, and decolonization in the curatorial imagination. Special emphasis is placed on case studies, including sessions with visiting curators discussing their practices. Students devise critical and creative portfolios proposing an original curatorial platform. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with prior permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2020–2021]

[DRAM 217a, Langston Hughes Tutorial Required of Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism students who are assigned to work on the Langston Hughes Festival. See description under Playwriting. Not offered in 2020–2021]

DRAM 226a, Contemporary Global Performance How might contemporary theater and performance makers be evolving their work in relation to the twenty-first century’s tectonic shifts in politics, aesthetics, and technology? This course considers examples of major transnational tendencies such as documentary performance, participatory art, and social practice, and examines works by selected pioneering artists active around the world today. Students propose additional or emerging categories and share their critical knowledge by jointly compiling dossiers of related artists and projects. The seminar requires viewing of videos in addition to the reading list. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with prior permission of the instructor. Thomas Sellar

[DRAM 246a, Translation This seminar explores the process of translation through practical assignments and culminates in the translation of a full-length play into English. Required of first- and second-year dramaturgs, and may be repeated as an elective in the third year with the permission of the student’s adviser and the course instructor. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor and Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism chair Catherine Sheehy. Not offered in 2020–2021]

DRAM 256a, What’s So Funny: Comic Theory and Practice The formal and moral dimensions of comedy have been the subject of constant contemplation and comment from its written beginnings in the West to the present day. Satire is a tool of social and political outrage; new comedy is a paean to social cohesion. How can both be comprised by the same descriptor? A key to the effective production of a comedy or the authoritative criticism of any piece of art claiming comic license is understanding the rules of the genre. This course examines the workings of various comic forms by reading theory from the Greeks to the present, with care to include the perspectives of historically overlooked (and frequently caricatured) groups. These readings are in conversation with dramatic literature, film, and video to test out what is, and whether it is, so funny. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with prior permission of the instructor. Catherine Sheehy

[DRAM 256b, The Political Shakespeare: The Chronicle Plays An intensive study of Shakespeare’s English history plays, centering on medieval political arrangements that can still be seen through the prism of our own political systems. The stories range from King John’s to Henry VIII’s by way of the Wars of the Roses, the eras of catastrophic empire building. Northrop Frye claims that Shakespeare examines “the question of identity…connected with social function and behavior; in other words, with the dramatic self, not with some hidden inner essence.” Great themes of war, power, the law, sexuality, lies, and betrayal are tracked by Shakespeare with all his characteristic disregard for factual verities, yet with his equally characteristic gift for the right words in the most familiar circumstances. Among the secondary sources we read together are books and essays by Frye, Tillyard, Auden, Kermode, Eagleton, Greenblatt, Garber, Bates, and Kott. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2020–2021]

[DRAM 276b, Greek Drama This course focuses primarily on Greek tragedy, considering the most important plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, as well as two comedies by Aristophanes. In addition to studying the plays, we read some modern critical essays. The emphasis is on locating the dramas in terms of their cultural context including mythic and epic background, Athenian history, and dramatic conventions. The course work consists of participation in discussion, several short (two-page) papers, and one slightly longer paper (five to ten pages) and a class presentation at the end of the term. Not offered in 2020–2021]

[DRAM 286a, The First Avant-Garde, 1880–1918 European modern performance innovations in such movements as naturalism, symbolism, expressionism, futurism, and dada. Artists covered include directors and producers (Reinhardt, Gémier, Diaghilev); playwrights (Maeterlinck, Wedekind, Mayakovsky); designers (Appia, Craig, Prampolini); theorists (Zola, Mallarmé, Moréas); and performers in non-text-based modes (Hennings, Efimova, von Freytag-Loringhoven). Artists are examined in their social, political, and philosophical backgrounds. An emphasis on historiography shapes the course’s approach: what types of artists do and do not occupy places in the canon of experimentation? Open to nondepartmental students and non-School of Drama with permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2020–2021]

DRAM 286b, The Second Avant-Garde, 1918–1939 Performance innovations, largely European, with an emphasis on artists seeking new modes of expression. This course is a sequel to DRAM 286a, but one is not required to take the other. Artists and artistic movements covered include post-WWI Surrealism, dada, Futurism, Brecht, Artaud, and Witkiewicz. We discuss direction, design, choreography, and theory along with the works’ historical, political, and cultural background. Historiographical questions frame the subject matter, including issues of archive and repertoire, influence and appropriation, and collaborative and individual creation. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with permission of the instructor. Kimberly Jannarone

[DRAM 296b, The Third Avant-Garde, 1940–1969 This course is the third in the avant-garde sequence, but DRAM 286a and 286b are not prerequisites. We study innovations in performance after the second world war, including Francophone artists (Sartre, Ionesco, Genet), Germanic (Dürrenmatt, Handke, Müller), and Eastern European (Mrozek, Gombrowicz). The course places works in the political, social, and philosophical background of the period, developments in the other arts, and the work of significant theater directors. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2020–2021]

DRAM 306a/b, Issues in Dramatic Structure and Performance Theory Fall term: a tour through models of dramatic structure in global theatrical literature, from the Greeks through the nineteenth century. Discussion of their legacies and uses today, as well as consideration of what the emphasis on written literature leaves out. Spring term: theories of theater and performance from late-nineteenth- and early twentieth-century avant-gardes and modernism, through postmodernism and up to the present moment, with consideration of theoretical lenses from other disciplines. In both terms, treatises, manifestos, and theoretical texts are read against plays and nonliterary evidence of performance activity. Required of all Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism students in their first or second year and open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Katherine Profeta

DRAM 336a/b, Comprehensive Examinations Students submit comprehensive proposals to their advisers and other designated faculty members who help them to focus their areas of concentration and prepare bibliographies. In this way, the faculty oversees the course of study for the comprehensives. This tutorial is an essential part of the procedure leading to an M.F.A. degree. Catherine Sheehy and faculty

DRAM 346a/b, Literary Office Practicum Among the most important responsibilities of an institutional dramaturg is the evaluation of new writing. The dramaturg’s ability to analyze and assess the potential of unproduced work is crucial to a theater’s vitality. In the Literary Office Practicum, students in all years read work submitted for Yale Repertory Theatre and write reader’s reports articulating the scripts’ strengths and weaknesses. These reader’s reports provide the basis for the Literary Office’s communication with playwrights. This course is Pass/Fail. Amy Boratko, Catherine Sheehy

[DRAM 356a, Melodrama “Melodrama is not a special and marginal kind of drama, let alone an eccentric or decadent one; it is drama in its elemental form; it is the quintessence of drama.” This statement by Eric Bentley provides the cornerstone for this course. The approach is threefold: melodrama as a ubiquitous dramatic impulse from the earliest times (Euripides, medieval theater, Shakespeare and his contemporaries); melodrama as an expression of society (the invention of the genre “melodrama” in the eighteenth century, its flowering in the nineteenth, and its role in the birth of cinema in the twentieth); melodrama as a form explored and exploited by modern theater innovators. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with prior permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2020–2021]

[DRAM 366b, Modern American Drama A seminar on American drama from World War I to 1960. Among the playwrights to be considered are O’Neill, Stein, Cummings, Odets, Wilder, Bonner, Hurston, Williams, Bowles, Miller, and Hansberry. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2020–2021]

[DRAM 376b, Ibsen, Strindberg, and the Invention of Modern Drama A close reading of selected plays by Henrik Ibsen and August Strindberg within the context of theatrical and cultural practices in the West in the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2020–2021]

[DRAM 386b/AMST 681b/ENGL 931b, American Drama to 1914 Topics include the European inheritance, theater and nation building, melodrama and the rise of realism, popular and nonliterary forms. Readings in Tyler, Dunlap, Aiken, Boucicault, Daly, Herne, Belasco, and others. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with prior permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2020–2021]

DRAM 396a/b, Dramaturgy Practicum This course consists of discussion among the departmental faculty and students about just-completed and current projects. The purpose is an exchange of practical and philosophical thoughts and information about issues, problems, and procedures encountered in the field. It meets biweekly. During 2020–2021, in the absence of production, the practicum will be a space in which we discuss and promote anti-racist practice in dramaturgy, writing, and editing. It will dovetail with DRAM 3a/b. The course is offered Pass/Fail and is required of all M.F.A. Dramaturgy students. Catherine Sheehy

DRAM 406b/FILM 804b/MUSI 837b, Opera, Media, Technologies Opera has been assigned—and continues to assume—important roles in genealogies of technical media. This seminar explores both what media archaeology and other recent approaches in media studies and science and technology studies hold for an understanding of the nature of opera, and what opera might in turn contribute to a historically expanded perspective on electronic and digital multimedia. Understanding opera as a technical medium will also help address the latest operatic transformations in the digital age. Topics include theoretical discourses on eventness and mediation, strategies of audiovisual immersion, the development of illusionist stage devices, the function of screens, the orchestra as technology, and Wagner’s ideal of the Gesamtkunstwerk, as well as examinations of the medial configurations in various operatic renditions, from the Baroque picture-frame stage to HD broadcasts, from Florentine intermedi to site-specific experiments, from Bayreuth to Zoom opera. Reading knowledge of Western musical notation is helpful but not required of students from outside the Department of Music. Gundula Kreuzer

[DRAM 446a, Medieval and Tudor Performance A study of liturgical, religious, and secular drama and performance in Europe and Britain from the tenth to the sixteenth century, paying particular attention to dramaturgical and performance conventions as well as social functions. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2020–2021]

[DRAM 456a/MUSI 847a/GMAN 680a, Wagner in and on Production An exploration of Wagner’s ideas of the Gesamtkunstwerk and their role in the theory and history of opera since the mid-nineteenth century. The seminar contextualizes Wagner’s theories of staging and his attempts at creating a lasting, “correct” production within contemporary theatrical practices and discusses consequences for both historical and modern stagings, with a special focus on Tannhäuser, the Ring cycle, and (possibly) Parsifal. We broach such methodological issues as theories and analyses of performance, multimedia, and the operatic work; approaches to and reconstructions of historical stagings; and the increasing mediatization of opera. Ultimately, the seminar seeks to understand opera more broadly in its liminal state between fixity and ephemerality. Open to nondepartmental students. Not offered in 2020–2021]

[DRAM 466a, Research Methodologies This seminar surveys methods of scholarly research, touching as well on broader notions of research that intersect with the scholarly sort. Students learn to use library resources and online databases, while developing skills for crafting annotated bibliographies, literature reviews, and conference proposals/presentations. They also explore methods of ethnographic research (especially as applies to dramaturgical notebooks) and practice skills for interviewing. The course draws from the students’ own scholarly interests and ongoing projects as the basis for the research. Required of all students. Not offered in 2020–2021]

DRAM 476a/b, Hot Topics A lecture series inaugurated by the Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism department to make students aware of current discussions in theater and performance studies that necessarily lie outside the department’s core curriculum. Attendance at the series is required of all M.F.A. dramaturgs. The series is open to D.F.A. and nondepartmental students, and to non-School of Drama students. Each lecture is accompanied by a short bibliography chosen by the lecturer and circulated in advance of the meeting through Canvas. Catherine Sheehy, Kimberly Jannarone, Katherine Profeta

[DRAM 496b/AMST 681b/ENGL 953b, The American Avant-Garde Topics include the Living Theater, Happenings, Cunningham/Cage, Open Theater, Judson Dance Theater, Grand Union, Bread and Puppet Theater, Free Southern Theater, Performance Group, Ontological-Hysteric Theater, Meredith Monk, Robert Wilson, Mabou Mines, and the Wooster Group. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with prior permission of both the instructor and Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism chair Catherine Sheehy. Not offered in 2020–2021]

[DRAM 506a, Mass Performance This course looks at exemplary instances of mass performance—moments in which a society or government orchestrates thousands of people to perform the same actions at the same time. Performances examined include the festivals of the French Revolution, European gymnastic displays, North Korean mass gymnastic and artistic performances, and contemporary virtual mass phenomena. The course examines psychological impulses toward mass movement, social ideals of community formations, and political upheavals. Critical literature includes works by Elias Canetti, Gustave Le Bon, Michel Foucault, Clifford Geertz, and Émile Durkheim. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2020–2021]

[DRAM 516b, Re-designing Women The seminar examines ancient and classical dramatic representations of female characters and their afterlives in modern and contemporary performance. Figures and texts to be studied may include Medea and Clytemnestra; the medieval abbess Hroswitha of Gandersheim; ancient iconic female figures including Penelope, the Sirens, and Eve; the women of the Italian Renaissance commedia dell’arte and their afterlives in Molière; Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew; and contemporary plays by Sarah Kane, Caryl Churchill, and Sarah Ruhl. The seminar uses female dramatic figures as a rubric for thinking about dramaturgy, directing, translation, and adaptation. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2020–2021]

[DRAM 526b/AMST 772b/THST 438b, Performance and/in the Archive This seminar considers how performance addresses history, and how history shapes performance. Topics include the archive and the repertoire; collective memory and trauma; documentary; fictive historiography; and queer and feminist approaches to time and temporality. Consideration is also given to the role of digital technologies in transforming how we access, interpret, and remix the past. Attention is paid to the genres of history writing and to the ethics and aesthetics of reconstructing, reinterpreting, and reenacting the past. Enrollment limited; permission of both the instructor and Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism chair Catherine Sheehy required. Not offered in 2020–2021]

[DRAM 536a, Transmedia Dramaturgy The digital, new-media revolution is changing our culture and the theater-making process, accelerating the transformation toward a nonlinear, nonnarrative, immersive theatrical experience that is increasingly reflective of a fragmented global cultural landscape and its audiences. This workshop-style course focuses on the transmedia experience as symptomatic of the postmodern “disintegration of meaning” of words and concepts. Students explore new ways of analyzing and conceptualizing dramatic structures that move across different media and genres. They also conceptualize their own dramatic models based on found media, classic texts, and their own writings. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2020–2021]

[DRAM 546b, Technology, Disability, and Humanism: Toward Posthuman Theater Hans-Thies Lehmann notes that “the very distinction between human beings and animals or machines, an essential precondition of humanist ethics and aesthetics, is radically questioned by the logic of technical progress itself.” Voluntary cyborglike enhancements of the human body redefine previous categories of what is and isn’t a “human” body. We investigate how theater has both challenged and asserted the very need for such a category (within both secular and sacred discourses), starting with Greek and Roman mythology’s visual taxonomy of human and unhuman shapes, and moving to the modern narratives of the monomyth, with the hero defining himself vis-à-vis the “others” (animals, objects, gods, and monsters), as well as more recent transhuman and posthuman aesthetics. The course also investigates the changing idea of dignity as a dramatic and narrative concept (as in Arthur Miller’s definition of tragedy, for example) in the context of posthuman theater. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2020–2021]

DRAM 556b, Latinx Theater What constitutes Latinx theater? What are its historical, cultural, aesthetic, and political genealogies? This course explores the trajectory of Latinx theater and performance in the United States, from the 1960s to the present by examining the relationship between Latinx theater and social justice movements of the 1960s and ’70s; Latinx playwright development programs in the 1980s and ’90s; and contemporary initiatives such as the Sol Project and the Latinx Theatre Commons. Through close readings of plays and performances, along with accompanying theory and criticism, we celebrate, analyze, and critique the works of Luis Valdez, María Irene Fornés, Cherríe Moraga, Josefina Báez, Caridad Svich, Kristoffer Díaz, Quiara Alegría Hudes, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Guadalís Del Carmen, Cándido Tirado, Brian Quijada, Karen Zacarías, Isaac Gomez, and Christina Quintana, among others. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with permission of the instructor. Chantal Rodriguez

[DRAM 566a, Dance and Movement Performance, 1900–Present An exploration of the history and theory of dance and movement performances since 1900, with an emphasis on American concert-dance contexts, though discussion of vital alternative performance contexts is a key part of our term’s work. This seminar combines extensive video viewing, whenever possible, with primary source readings from choreographers and critics, and recent dance studies scholarship. Artists/topics covered include Isadora Duncan, Mary Wigman, Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, Katherine Dunham, Pearl Primus, José Limón, tap dance, George Balanchine, Alvin Ailey, Tatsumi Hijikata/Butoh, Cage/Cunningham, Judson Dance Theater, Contact Improvisation, Pina Bausch/Tanztheater Wuppertal, William Forsythe, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Bill T. Jones, Ralph Lemon, Urban Bush Women, Xavier Le Roy, Jérôme Bel, Sarah Michelson. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2020–2021]

[DRAM 576b/ENGL 933b, Realism A study of European and American dramatic realism, from its beginnings in the 1870s through its radical revision in the twenty-first century. Works by Ibsen, Zola, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Hauptmann, Belasco, and Shaw, as well as by María Irene Fornés, Franz Xaver Kroetz, Jackie Sibblies Drury, Richard Maxwell, David Levine, and other contemporary figures. Readings in pertinent theory and criticism; discussion of nineteenth- and twentieth-century staging practices; and, when possible, video viewings of important recent productions. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2020–2021]

[DRAM 586b: How French Is It? Pierre Pathelin to Cyrano de Bergerac A gallop through the pre-twentieth-century French canon, covering the classical troika Corneille, Racine, and Molière, as well as forays into Marivaux, melodrama, théâtre de la foire, the Romantics, la pièce bien faite, and Naturalism. Three plays a week and a critical document. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2020–2021]

[DRAM 596b, History and Theory of Performer Training Behind every hour of live public performance are multiple hours of work in schools and rehearsal rooms, establishing well-worn patterns of use for body/mind, and determining highly contingent standards for what will be considered good, bad, and exceptional in performance. This survey seminar considers the manifold ways performers have been trained and rehearsed over the past two centuries, primarily looking at variations within the Euro-American tradition, as well as questioning what that tradition has left out. We historicize different modes of performer training, seeking to understand where they come from and what assumptions they are built on. We read contemporary theorizations of performer training (or, where they don’t exist, devise them ourselves). The immediate practical result is a better understanding of the working methods of the many performers we collaborate with; the larger results include a philosophical appreciation of what exactly it means to perform. Coverage: Delsarte, nineteenth-century ballet, Stanislavsky, Meyerhold, Brecht, Duncan, Dunham, the Group Theater, Adler, Strasberg, Graham, Spolin, the Open Theater, Boal, Grotowski, Contact Improvisation, the Second City, Lecoq, Hay, Berry, Hendricks, Joint Stock, Forced Entertainment. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2020–2021]

[DRAM 606b, Theater and Social Change “The theater itself is not revolutionary: it is a rehearsal for the revolution.”—Augusto Boal, Theatre of the Oppressed. This seminar examines historical and contemporary theatrical responses to social justice issues including: labor rights, disability rights, incarceration, state-sanctioned violence, racism, sexism, immigrant rights, LGBTQ+ rights, health care, and the global climate crisis. To what extent do these responses result in tangible social change? How do we measure a production’s or artist’s influence on shifting social thought and public policy? Together we investigate the efficacy and limitations of theater as a means of tangible social change. Course work includes close readings of plays, history, theory, and criticism, and video viewings of productions and/or films. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2020–2021]

DRAM 616b, Adaptation How do myths, legends, photographs, novels, short stories, poems, paintings, true stories, and graphic novels operate? Why do they affect us the way they do? Why are some adapted more successfully than others? To musicalize or not to musicalize? This seminar explores the process of adapting source material for the stage, augmented by practical assignments and culminating in an adaptation based on material of each student’s choosing. Required of second-year dramaturgs. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor and Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism chair Catherine Sheehy. Jill Rachel Morris

[DRAM 626b, Topics in Casting Choosing which actor plays each part is as much about the limits of everyday life as it is about the possibilities of live performance. By looking at primary texts in contexts and topics that include Asian American Performers Action Coalition, blackface minstrelsy versus black-on-black minstrelsy, Audra McDonald, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, #oscarssowhite, and yellowface, students are able to indicate ways in which the show-business fiction of “the best actor for the role” is exacerbated by the reality that the entertainment industry has never been equitable. Students also propose measures that may be taken across ability, class, gender, race, sex, and sexuality to overturn material conditions that uphold representational invisibility. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2020–2021]

[DRAM 646b/AFAM 612b/ENGL 958b, James Baldwin, On Stage Using Baldwin’s years in the theater as a timeline, we read black and queer playwrights who came out of the postwar naturalistic tradition that the author upheld in his scripts, while moving on to various traditions—the Black Arts Movement, Queer Theater, Black Surrealism, and so on—that Baldwin did not embrace but that served to enrich the scene. In addition to reading Baldwin’s essays and published thoughts about the theater and film, we analyze his plays, including his unpublished stage adaptation of his 1955 novel Giovanni’s Room. Also subject to discussion are his brilliant contemporaries, whom we read for context, including Langston Hughes, Tennessee Williams, Lorraine Hansberry, Alice Childress, Ed Bullins, Adrienne Kennedy, Derek Walcott, Wole Soyinka, Charles Gordone, Hanif Kureishi, Caryl Phillips, Ntozake Shange. The class concludes with plays written by Baldwin’s former student Suzan-Lori Parks. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2020–2021]

[DRAM 656a, Theater and Revisionist History “Memory cannot be flattened. Memory is history singing in tune with the stars, and no sheriff’s baton can reach that high.”—Manazar in Chavez Ravine by Culture Clash. This seminar considers plays and performances that function as revisionist histories as they reconstruct, reinterpret, and reembody the past. Focus is given to artists, companies, and movements from across the Americas that mobilize theatrical strategies to counter dominant narratives and resist the erasure of lived experience from the historical record. Through analysis of archival records, theatrical forms, and aesthetics, this course interrogates the complex relationships between performance, memory, history, and identity. Course work includes close readings of plays, history, theory, and criticism, and viewings of productions and/or films. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2020–2021]

[DRAM 666b/AMST 790/ENGL 964, American Performance in the 1970s An exploration of formally innovative and thematically transgressive art from an uncertain decade. The 1970s are distinguished by their intermediacy, positioned between the forceful dissension of the 1960s and the cool detachment of the 1980s and beyond. In its latter half, the decade’s transitional identity is especially pronounced, as the culture reformed itself in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, the Watergate scandal, and the economic crisis in New York and elsewhere. We consider how these shifting energies affected performance, with consideration of drama (María Irene Fornés, Adrienne Kennedy, Sam Shepard, Ntozake Shange, David Mamet), theater (Robert Wilson, Elizabeth LeCompte, Lee Breuer, Richard Foreman, Meredith Monk), dance (Lucinda Childs, Grand Union, Merce Cunningham), and performance art and other forms (Adrian Piper, Joan Jonas, Ana Mendieta, Chris Burden, Vito Acconci). Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2020–2021]

[DRAM 686a, Black Women Playwrights Works of drama by historical black women playwrights in the modern and postwar eras are read in parallel with black feminism and queer theory. From Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins’s post-Reconstruction drama and performance to Ntozake Shange’s Black Arts poetics and poetry, students note what is similar and different about representative black women’s dramatic composition and theatrical representation. Attention is also paid to black women’s history of ideas, such as the culture of dissemblance, intersectionality, the politics of respectability, and safe spaces. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2020–2021]

DRAM 696b/ENGL 956b, Modern European Drama The major European playwrights active from 1879 (the premiere of Ibsen’s Doll’s House) to 1989 (the death of Beckett) were responsible for theatrical advances of continuing influence and importance. This seminar traces the advent of dramatic naturalism and realism (early Ibsen and Strindberg, the major plays of Chekhov); the contrary movement toward symbolist subtlety and expressionist urgency (late Strindberg and Ibsen, early Brecht); the effort to shoulder the burden of history and engage contemporary politics (Shaw, middle- and late-period Brecht); and the opening of drama to the ambiguities of religion and philosophy (Beckett). The seminar is grounded in close readings of representative plays but also considers how dramas change under the pressures of performance. Readings in theater theory, manifestos, and criticism supplement the primary texts. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Marc Robinson

DRAM 706a, Black Theater History in the Making at Yale School of Drama Early dramatic works by early M.F.A. student playwrights who were enrolled at Yale School of Drama. Students learn the history of black theater at the School of Drama, from when John M. Ross enters in 1931 as the first black student in the then-department to when Lloyd G. Richards exits in 1991 as the first black dean of the now-school. Subjects for study may include Fannin S. Belcher, Jr., Anne M. Cooke, Dixwell Players (New Haven), Owen Dodson, Shirley Graham Du Bois, and FOLKS. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with permission of the instructor. Eric Glover

DRAM 716a, Theorizing the Oceanic for Theater and Performance This class explores the possibilities of the oceanic as an emergent theater and performance practice, dramaturgy, and politics. Paul Gilroy (of The Black Atlantic) has recently made a passionate argument for “sea-level theory.” We practice this through adopting a “watery” perspective beginning with a historical and theoretical look at white Enlightenment and modernity’s instrumentalization of the ocean. This includes the imperial and colonial ocean-dependent production of what Sylvia Wynter calls genres of the human and the ocean of the slave trade. By contrast, we turn to the oceanic: made in the hold, in the Atlantic revolutions, in the oceanic in Melville and the oceanic sublime and gothic, in the oceanic in archipelagic and decontinentalizing thought, in environmental thought and more. Our “planetary” orientations flow through the Oceania, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, and the Atlantic. Readings include Wynter, Christina Sharpe, Édouard Glissant, Kamau Brathwaite, Sarah Jane Cervenak, Fred Moten and Stefano Harney, Paul Gilroy, Tiffany Lethabo King, Elizabeth M. DeLoughrey, and others. Theory is combined with plays and contemporary performance examples including, for instance, Shakespeare, Ibsen, Derek Walcott, Naomi Wallace, Amiri Baraka, August Wilson, Robert Lowell, Lina Issa, and others. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with permission of the instructor. Maurya Wickstrom

DRAM 726a/THST 411, Special Topics in Performance Studies: Presence This course accompanies the themed speaker series for the Performance Studies Working Group, a weekly meeting convened by faculty in Theater and Performance Studies and the School of Drama’s Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism program. For fall 2020, the theme is “Presence.” It features thematic research presentations by performance studies scholars and practitioners from Yale and surrounding regions. Students enrolled for credit complete weekly readings based on that week’s scholarship, as well as weekly written responses and a final paper of which they present a portion at the final meetings of the PSWG. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Kimberly Jannarone, Elise Morrison

DRAM 736b, Greek Tragedy and the Modern Imagination This seminar examines selected ancient tragedies by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides and their reimagining for the modern stage by such playwrights as Jean Cocteau, Jean Giraudoux, Virgilio Piñera, Jean-Paul Sartre, Jean Anouilh, Bertolt Brecht, Countee Cullen, Ola Rotimi, Adrienne Kennedy, Wole Soyinka, Heiner Müller, Caryl Churchill, Marina Carr, Femi Osofisan, Yerandy Fleites Pérez, Mickaël de Oliveira, Luis Alfaro, and Slavoj Žižek. Course work for this reading-intensive seminar includes seminar presentations, written assignments, and focused discussion based on the close reading and analysis of plays, as well as modern assessments and commentary from scholars, theorists, and practitioners. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with permission of the instructor. Paul Walsh

Modular Engagements

DRAM 636a/b, Modular Engagements Each term the Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism department offers shorter engagements in various topics to enhance interdisciplinary opportunities, professional development, curricular offerings, and curatorial practice. The full list of modules may be obtained from the department. Many are open to nondepartmental students with the approval of the instructor and the chair.

[The Avant-Kilroys [F] This four-week module looks at underappreciated work by women, trans, and nonbinary authors writing decades and centuries before the now-famous list was first generated. Over the course of four meetings, different faculty members lead discussions about authors who never quite got their due. Not offered in 2020–2021]

“Canon” Fodder: Building the 2021 Summer Reading List [F] In an effort to expand and shake up the monolithic (not to mention monochromatic) “dramatic canon,” each year the Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism department creates a summer reading list of plays old and new, revered and undiscovered, all united by a theme explored in a volume from the Palgrave Theatre &… series. This fall we propose to make this a joint endeavor of faculty and students around Jill Dolan’s Theatre & Sexuality.

Critical Race Theory [Sp] A module in which students bring relevant radical political philosophy on race and racism to bear on the field of theater and performance studies. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Eric Glover

[Curation Lab [F] This module focuses on curating a live event, exhibition, series, or other project, either as a team or independently with the instructor’s guidance. Not offered in 2020–2021]

D.F.A. Chapter Conference [F and Sp] D.F.A. students present their research in a colloquy hosted and curated by the department. Catherine Sheehy and faculty

[Dance Dramaturgy This module gives us an opportunity to (1) read and discuss recent writing on dance dramaturgy and materials useful to the practicing dance dramaturg; (2) discuss any relevant practical experiences of the instructor and the students; and (3) spend one session “on our feet” in a studio with a choreographer and a few professional dancers, to experiment with looking at movement phrases and analyzing work in progress. Not offered in 2020–2021]

[How to Go Clubbing [F] This module explores club culture as a space that enables transgressive performances of the self via sound systems, media, lighting, and screens. We think through the sensorial experience of being in club or rave environments. What do nightclubs feel like? What keeps us there? And what are the connections between performance, theater, and the club? Drawing on the interplay between queer studies and new media dramaturgy, we position clubs and rave environments as experimental spaces of visual, sonic, and emotional immersion. Through close readings, field trips, and cultural analysis, we acquire a critical understanding of the potentialities of nightlife, especially queer nightlife, in the development of subcultural identity and emerging aesthetic practices. The module concludes with a culminating event/immersive experience that merges club theory and club practice. A collaboration between Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism students and Design students. Not offered in 2020–2021]

[Movement Dramaturgy and Collaborative Theater Making [F] A two-session immersive workshop exploring the models of such theorists as Eugenio Barba, Mira Rafalowicz, and others. Not offered in 2020–2021]

Professional Development [F] A module in which students learn how to deliver papers at conferences, place manuscripts with journals, and seek fellowships, full-time faculty positions, artistic positions, and grants. Eric Glover, Kimberly Jannarone

[Stories by Hand [F] This module brings together dramaturgs and projection designers for a three-day workshop with the acclaimed collective Manual Cinema. Their work combines handmade shadow puppetry, cinematic techniques, and innovative sound and music to create immersive visual stories for stage and screen. Using vintage overhead projectors, multiple screens, puppets, actors, live-feed cameras, multichannel sound design, and a live music ensemble, Manual Cinema transforms the experience of attending the cinema and imbues it with liveness, ingenuity, and theatricality. Not offered in 2020–2021]

Additional Courses

The following courses have been offered in the past and are representative of courses that may be offered in subsequent years in response to student interest. Course descriptions are available from the Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism department.

  • American Classic Comedy between the Wars
  • Bertolt Brecht and Augusto Boal
  • British Postwar Drama
  • British Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Comedy
  • Classicism
  • Contemporary African American Playwrights
  • Contemporary American and British Theater
  • Contemporary American Drama
  • Corneille, Racine, and Molière: Glory, Honor, and Duty
  • Hamlet: An Intensive Seminar
  • Late Works, Late Styles
  • Opera as Drama
  • Pastoral Drama and the Pastoral Landscape
  • Performance Criticism
  • Satire: From Aristophanes to Archer and Beyond
  • Shakespeare and His Comic Brethren
  • Shakespeare’s Dramaturgy
  • Shakespearean Drama
  • Theater about Theater: The Theatricalist Play from Shakespeare to Postmodernism

Students may elect to take appropriate graduate courses in other schools and departments at Yale, subject to permission of the instructor, scheduling limitations, and the approval of the faculty adviser.