course designed by Zachàr Laskewicz for use at the Taipei National University of the Arts in 2003

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TNUA Tapei National University of the Arts

Theatre & Drama Studies Department



Theatre in the Twentieth Century:

Naturalism & the Avant-Garde


Designed by Zachar Alexander Laskewicz, PhD

for non-native speakers of English



Course Description:

This course is intended to give students at an advanced to proficiency level English a chance to appreciate Western theatrical literature and performance theory. The emphasis is on the both the reading of theoretical texts concerning critical reading skills of dramatic texts, the work of important theatre practitioners and directors and an introduction to theoretical issues such as performance theory. Rather than taking a historical perspective, the intention is to provide the student with theoretical and critical tools to analyse the Western theatre and drama works explored in the tutorial sessions. Assessment also includes the creation of a group-based or individual theatre project.


Weekly Schedule:

The following set of lectures is given to students who are required to have completed a set of readings related to the topic

1.                  Defining theatre and dramatic discourse

2.                  A Review of Critical Reading Skills of drama

3.                  Modern Drama

4.                  Theatre Semiotics

5.                  Avant-Garde Theatre

6.                  Representation, Reality & Language Use

7.                  The British School of Absurdism and New-Realism

8.                  The French School of Existential and Metatheatrical Absurdism

[week of revision]

9.                  The Figure of the Director

10.              The Theatre of Bertolt Brecht

11.              Artaud and his Theatre of Cruelty and

12.              Grotowski's Poor Theatre

13.              The Theatre of Peter Brooks

14.              The Theatre of Robert Wilson

15.              Performance Theory and Performance Art




May 2008 Nachtschimmen Music-Theatre-Language Night Shades, Ghent (Belgium)
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Last modified:
6 June, 2008