Crisis Mode: Theatre From the Late 1960s Through Today


A study of contemporary theatre from the 1960s through today, this course will take an expansive view of the plays and playwrights, theatre movements, and styles that have developed and come to expression in the past 50 years. Students will read and discuss a great number and wide variety of plays, with an emphasis on looking at the world in which those plays were written and why they might, or continue to, have resonance today. The course will examine how theatre responded to certain events of historical significance and moments of crisis and how plays provide both a reflection and the expression of our times. Areas of study will include theatre of the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, the AIDS crisis; plays of post-9/11 and war; and plays that reflect the socioeconomic conditions that lead to unrest and political upheaval. Crisis Mode will concentrate on American plays and political movements but will encompass a global perspective. Plays and playwrights from a variety of cultures and points of view will be discussed. Crisis Mode is not a performance class. For purposes of discussion, students will be asked to read aloud scenes from selected plays. Those students with an interest in performing will be given opportunity to express that in selected projects or presentations. This class meets twice a week.