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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Modern Drama
Module Code EL110
School 67
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Gearoid O'Flaherty
Semester 2: Gearoid O'Flaherty
Autumn: Gearoid O'Flaherty
Module TeachersEugene McNulty
Gearoid O'Flaherty
Ellen Howley
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only
The repeat Autumn Assignment will duplicate the format of the paper from the Second Semester Assignment.

The purpose of this module is to examine the development of new forms of theatrical representation through a focus on the evolution of modern European, American and Caribbean drama from the late nineteenth century to the present. Significant developments in the theory and practice of dramatic performance will be identified. The module will provide the opportunity to explore how the dramatic forms pioneered in Europe were adopted and adapted by leading American and Caribbean dramatists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Focusing on seminal dramatic texts from diverse locations and backgrounds, students will gain an understanding of how the theatre is shaped by the world around it. Perspectives on gender, power, memory, myth, and identity will be interrogated within their relevant social, cultural, and political contexts.

Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the major developments in theatrical practice from the late nineteenth century to the present.
2. Make links between experimental theatre and wider social and philosophical issues, such as socialism and existentialism.
3. Illustrate an understanding of the relationship between new realist/experimental theatre and the preceding history of dramaturgy.
4. Deploy key critical vocabulary, such as Metatheatre, Absurdism, and Expressionism.
5. Demonstrate an understanding of performative praxis.
6. Appreciate the diversity of theatrical traditions in aptly problematic terms.
7. Identify connections between the theatre of Europe, America and the Caribbean. Explore the adaptation, evolution/revolution of European theatrical innovations by American and Caribbean dramatists.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24Covering a range of texts (plays & critical works), contexts and concepts associated with Modern Drama.
Tutorial3Guided class discussion in smaller groups.
Independent Study98Reading a selection of plays and works of criticism; viewing and reviewing a selection of stage productions related to the module; analysis and revision.
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Henrik Ibsen, A Doll’s House/Hedda Gabler

Anton Chekhov, The Seagull

August Strindberg, Miss Julie

Oscar Wilde, Salomé

George Bernard Shaw, Major Barbara

Una Marson, London Calling

Bertolt Brecht, Mother Courage

Eugene O’Neill, Long Day’s Journey into Night

Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire

Arthur Miller, All My Sons

Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

Samuel Beckett, Happy Days/Endgame

August Wilson, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

Winsome Pinnock, Rockets and Blue Lights

Sarah Kane, Blasted/4.48 Psychosis

Marina Carr, Portia Coughlan

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
EssayMid-Semester Assignment30%Week 8
AssignmentEnd of Semester 'Final Assignment'70%Sem 2 End
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Brecht, Bertolt: 2014, On Theatre: The Development of an Aesthetic, Methuen, London,
  • Carlson, Marvin: 1993, Theories of the Theatre: A Historical and Critical Survey, Cornell University Press, New York,
  • Esslin, Martin: 2014, The Theatre of the Absurd, Bloomsbury, London,
  • Fortier, Mark: 2002, Theory/Theatre: An Introduction, Routhledge, London,
  • Grene, Nicholas: 2014, Home on the Stage: Domestic Spaces in Modern Drama, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,
  • Harris Smith, Susan: 2006, American Drama: The Bastard Art, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,
  • Kiberd, Declan: 1995, Inventing Ireland, Vintage,
  • Krasner, David: 2011, A History of Modern Drama, Wiley, Hoboken,
  • Marker, Frederick J. and Innes, Christopher: 1998, Modernism in European Drama : Ibsen, Strindberg, Pirandello, Beckett : Essays From Modern Drama, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, Ontario,
  • Pickering, Kenneth: 1988, How to Study Modern Drama, Macmillan, Basingstoke,
  • Stylan, J.L.: 1983, Modern Drama in Theory and Practice: Volumes 1-3, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,
  • Willet, Ralph: 0, Brecht on Theatre, Methuen,
  • 2007: The Columbia Encyclopedia of Modern Drama, Columbia University Press,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
BREBachelor of Religious Education &English

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