Spring 2022

Three, Two, One: Reading Small Drama

Listed in: English, as ENGL-231

Moodle site: Course (Guest Accessible)


Christopher A. Grobe (Section 01)


How small can drama get while remaining “dramatic”? During the first half of the twentieth century, it was not unusual for a stage in America (or anywhere in the English-speaking world) to be filled with dozens of actors. Over the last sixty years, though, the crowds onstage have thinned. Today, three-, two-, and even one-person plays are as common as twenty-person plays once were. In this course, we will study the work of playwrights who have found new inspiration within these tight constraints.

As a foundational course in drama, this course will teach you the special skills involved in reading plays. As texts meant to be interpreted and staged by theater-makers, plays are radically under-determined things. So, you cannot sit back and play the role of audience. You must also do the imaginative work of all those people–actors, directors, designers, etc.–who turn a play into a performance. This course will teach you the habits of mind that make this imaginative work possible.

Limited to 25 students. Spring semester. Professor Grobe.

If Overenrolled: First preference to English majors who need a 200-level course; next preference to students who have not declared a major but have taken a 100-level course in English; others admitted by seniority, with preference to Theater & Dance majors.


Attention to Writing


2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2014, Fall 2016, Spring 2022