Drama as Text and Performance

I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.’

– Oscar Wilde

The study of a literary form is important for any student of literature, and what better form than drama to understand the coming together of elements in a genre. Combining textual analysis and performance, and working with a stage and audience, drama a powerful tool for personal and social transformation.

In this course, we explore the forms of drama, their influences in context, moving from modern European theatre and its history to modern India theatre. We will read mainstream plays, look at folk theatre and women’s street theatre. This course would like you to think about sociocultural and political contexts of playwrights, the conditions of production and reception, and see how these aspects shape meaning-making. Some texts in this course include Hamlet, A Raisin in the Sun, key work by Bertolt Brecht, the Mrcchakatika and the works of Girish Karnad, Mahasweta Devi and Habib Tanvir.