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This subject is a study of the major developments in 20th and 21st century theatre and drama within the cultural and historical context of aesthetic modernism and modernity. It starts with the anti-realist manifestos of Bertolt Brecht and Antonin Artaud, and the theatrical innovations of Samuel Beckett, to consider the key intellectual and artistic upheavals of modern theatre and drama. The subject then turns to the impact of contemporary dramatists from the social realism of Shelagh Delaney and the political force of Caryl Churchill, to the gay fantasia of Tony Kushner, and the experiential theatre of Sarah Kane. The subject concludes with a section on 21st century advances in theatre that engage with virtual reality, global war and social satire.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of the subject students should be able to:
- demonstrate a detailed knowledge and understanding of the concepts and practices of modern and contemporary drama;
- apply high level critical and conceptual thinking to weigh up arguments about dramatic texts and theatrical performance;
- articulate the relationship between modern and contemporary drama and the complex social, historical and cultural contexts that produced them;
- work effectively in a team and interact with peers and develop;
- collaboration and leadership skills; and
- work with independence, self-reflection and creativity to meet the goals and challenges of theatre studies, as active participants in cultural life and the workforce.
Students who successfully complete this subject will be able to:
- demonstrate sound and independent critical and ethical thinking in their choice of materials and processes; and
- present written and oral communication to a professional standard regarding their treatment and material choices.
Last updated: 4 August 2020