Theatre Arts 275

The Seeds of Modern Drama

Professor Mazer

Fall 2013


519 Annenberg Center, 3-2659;

Office Hours:  Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:30-2:30, and by appointment





August 29:  Introduction


September 3:  Alexandre Dumas, fils, The Lady of the Camelias (Camille) (Canvas)


September 5:  [NO CLASS]


September 10:  Emile Zola, ThérŹse Raquin (in Norris Houghton, The Seeds of Modern Drama);  “Naturalism in the Theatre” (Canvas)


September 12:  Henrik Ibsen, A Doll House


September 17:  A Doll House (cont.); G. Bernard Shaw, “Ideals and Idealists” and “The Technical Novelty of Ibsen’s Plays,” from The Quintessence of Ibsenism (Canvas)


September 19:  Ibsen, Hedda Gabler; Shaw, “Hedda Gabler,” from The Quintessence of Ibsenism (Canvas); Arthur Ganz, “Miracle and Vine Leaves:  An Ibsen Play Rewrought” (Canvas)


September 24:  Ibsen, The Master Builder


September 26:  Gerhart Hauptmann, The Weavers (in Houghton)


October 1:  August Strindberg, Miss Julie (including the Preface).


October 3:  Miss Julie (cont.); Una Chaudhuri, “Private Parts:  Sex, Class, and Stage Space in Miss Julie” (Canvas)


[Approximate due date:  first take-home assignment] 


October 8:  Ibsen, Peer Gynt


[Fall Break]


October 15:  Georg Büchner, Woyzeck


October 17:  Frank Wedekind, Spring Awakening


October 22:  Strindberg, A Dream Play


October 24:  Anton Chekhov, The Three Sisters


October 29:  The Three Sisters (cont.)


October 31:  The Three Sisters (cont.)


November 5:  The Three Sisters (cont.)


[Approximate due date:  second take-home assignment]


November 7:  [TO BE ANNOUNCED]


November 12:  G. Bernard Shaw, Mrs. Warren’s Profession (including “The Author’s Apology,” Canvas; also available for free on Kindle.)


November 14:  Shaw, Major Barbara (including the Preface).


November 19:  Major Barbara (cont.); Sidney P. Albert, “‘In More Ways than One’:  Major Barbara’s debt to Gilbert Murray” (Canvas).


November 21:  H. Granville Barker, The Voysey Inheritance (Canvas)


November 26:  The Voysey Inheritance (cont.)




December 3:  Elizabeth Robins, Votes for Women!  (Canvas)


December 5: John Millington Synge, Playboy of the Western World (Canvas; also available for free on Kindle.)


December 10:  Catch-up and conclusions.



There will be TWO take-home essay assignments (approximately 5 pages), plus ONE final paper (approximately 10-12 pages), due at a date to be announced during reading and exam period, on a topic that must MUST BE APPROVED IN ADVANCE.  Attendance in class is crucial; CHRONIC ABSENCE OR LATENESS WILL BE COUNTED AGAINST YOU.


The following books can be purchased at the Penn Book Center, 34th and Sansom Sts.:


Henrik Ibsen, Four Major Plays v. I

August Strindberg, Miss Julie and Other Plays

Henrik Ibsen, Peer Gynt

Georg Büchner, Complete Plays

Frank Wedekind, Spring Awakening

Anton Chekhov, Four Plays & Five Jokes

G. Bernard Shaw, Major Barbara


The listserv for this course is  Several electronic scripts and articles are available on the Canvas website, to which you have been automatically subscribed.


The syllabus for this course is available at  Make a bookmark on your web browser for this site.