Module Identifier DR31020  
Academic Year 2000/2001  
Co-ordinator Dr Hazel Davies  
Semester Semester 2  
Pre-Requisite DR10120 , DR10220 or relevant Part II American Studies modules.  
Course delivery Lecture   10 Hours 10 x 1 hour lectures  
  Seminars / Tutorials   10 Hours 10 x 1 hour seminars  
Assessment Exam   2 Hours   60%  
  Essay   Essay (2500 words)   40%  

- To study 20th century American drama in its historical, social, political and theatrical context.
- To examine the original staging conventions for selected texts and the audiences' response to them.
- To evaluate, discuss and compare `mainstream' theatre and alternative theatre practices in America, and assess their contribution to world theatre.

Learning Outcomes:

Typically, by the end of the module, a student will be able:

- To develop the ability to analyse texts in their historical and theatrical context.
- To develop the ability to discuss seminal texts in detail, both on paper and through oral means.
- To develop the requisite communication and oral presentation skills in order to allow him/her to do so.
- To co-operate as part of a group in presenting an argument in the analysis of course material.


A study of selected texts written by 20th century American playwrights. In lectures and seminars, students will examine the relationship between text and production through a close study of performance history and assess the centrality of the American dream.

Reading Lists
** Essential Reading
O'Neill, Eugene. Long Days Journey into Night and Mourning Becomes Electra. Jonathan Cape
Williams, Tennessee. The Glass Menagerie and Streetcar Named Desire. Penguin or Methuen
Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman and The Crucible. Penguin or Methuen
Albee, Edward. The American Dream, The Zoo Story and Who?s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.
Shepard, Sam. True West, Buried Child and Curse of the Starving Class.
Mamet, David. American Buffalo and Oleanna.
** Recommended Text
Berkowitz, Gerald M. (1992) American Drama of the Twentieth Century. London
Bigsby, C.W.E.. A Critical Introduction to Twentieth-Century American Drama Vols. 1-3. Cambridge, 1982, 1984, 1985
Bogard, T., Moody, R., Meserve, J., (eds.). (1977) The Revels History of Drama in English, Vol 8, `American Drama?. London
Brown, J.R., Harris, B., (eds.). Stratford-upon-Avon Studies 10 `American Theatre?.
Murphy, B.. (1987) American Realism and American Drama 1880 -1940. Cambridge
Parker, D., (ed.). (1987) Essays on Modern American Drama. Toronto
Weales, Gerald. (1962) American Drama Since World War II. N.Y.