Theatre Arts 275

The Seeds of Modern Drama

Professor Mazer

Spring 2012


519 Annenberg Center, 3-2659;

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



January 12:  Introduction


January 17:  Alexandre Dumas, fils, The Lady of the Camelias (Camille) (Blackboard)


January 19:  Emile Zola, Thérèse Raquin (in Norris Houghton, The Seeds of Modern Drama);  Naturalism in the Theatre” (Blackboard)


January 24:  Henrik Ibsen, A Doll House


January 26:  A Doll House (cont.); G. Bernard Shaw, “Ideals and Idealists” and “The Technical Novelty of Ibsen’s Plays,” from The Quintessence of Ibsenism (Blackboard)


January 31:  Ibsen, Hedda Gabler; Shaw, “Hedda Gabler,” from The Quintessence of Ibsenism (Blackboard); Arthur Ganz, “Miracle and Vine Leaves:  An Ibsen Play Rewrought” (Blackboard)


February 2:  Ibsen, The Master Builder


February 7:  Gerhart Hauptmann, The Weavers (in Houghton)


February 9:  August Strindberg, Miss Julie (including the Preface).


February 14:  Miss Julie (cont.); Una Chaudhuri, “Private Parts:  Sex, Class, and Stage Space in Miss Julie” (Blackboard)


[Approximate due date:  first take-home assignment] 


February 16:  Ibsen, Peer Gynt


February 21:  Georg Büchner, Woyzeck


February 23:  Frank Wedekind, Spring Awakening


February 28:  Strindberg, A Dream Play


March 1:  Anton Chekhov, Uncle Vanya


[Spring Break]


March 13:  Uncle Vanya (cont.)


March 15:  Uncle Vanya (cont.)


March 20:  The Cherry Orchard


March 22:  The Cherry Orchard (cont.)


March 27:  The Cherry Orchard (cont.)


[Approximate due date:  second take-home assignment]


March 29:  G. Bernard Shaw, Mrs. Warren’s Profession (including “The Author’s Apology,” Blackboard; also available for free on Kindle.)


April 3:  Shaw, Major Barbara (including the Preface).


April 5:  Major Barbara (cont.); Sidney P. Albert, “‘In More Ways than One’:  Major Barbara’s debt to Gilbert Murray” (Blackboard).


April 10:  H. Granville Barker, The Voysey Inheritance (Blackboard)


April 112:  The Voysey Inheritance (cont.)


April 17:  Elizabeth Robins, Votes for Women!  (Blackboard)


April 19: John Millington Synge, Playboy of the Western World (Blackboard; also available for free on Kindle.)


April 24:  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 Blackboard 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.