Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Units: 4
Hours: 4 lecture per week (48 total per quarter)
Prerequisite: Demonstrated proficiency in English by placement via multiple measures OR through an equivalent placement process OR completion of ESLL 125 & ESLL 249.
Advisory: Not open to students with credit in DRAM 2B or ENGL 42B.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area I: Humanities
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Successful students will be able to employ new perspectives and skills as applied to interpreting dramatic texts for content, plot development, image interpretation, language structure, character motivation, genre as needed in an employment situation
  • Successful students will develop relevant perception, social placement and regional inspiration of plays from Moliere to presetn day from both Eastern and Western cultures as they apply to historical timelines.
  • Successful students will actively apply content understanding to reflecting upon behaviors universal in human nature both past and present and will creatively apply these perspectives in employment situations.


The study of the history of theatre from the Restoration through current trends. The history and development of theatre and drama are studied through reading and analyzing representative masterpieces of dramatic literature from the 17th Century to the present day in relationship to the cultural, political and social conditions of the time.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Assess the historical relevance, context and importance of different plays.
B. Outline the historical development of theatre from the 17th century through the modern period.
C. Classify and differentiate the basic structures of dramatic literature.
D. Compare and distinguish a number of plays within an historical frame of reference.
E. Evaluate and interpret the relationship between a play as literature and a play as a living art form.
F. Demonstrate critical thinking and communication skills such as listening, reasoning, analysis and criticism when reading or viewing plays.

Course Content

A. Literary analysis of dramatic works from 17th century through the modern period
1. Setting
2. Plot
3. Character
4. Imagery
5. Language structure and characteristics
6. Cultural aesthetic and relevance
B. Dramatic Genres
1. Tragedy
2. Comedy and Satire
3. Well-made play
4. Romantic Epic
5. Emergence of avante-garde forms
C. History of Dramatic Literature
1. French Renaissance
2. Restoration Drama
3. Neo-classic and Romantic
4. Melodrama
5. Modern Realism
6. The rise of "isms" in art--Theatricalism, Expressionism, Surrealism
7. Brecht and alienation
8. Theatre of the Absurd
9. Modern dramatic forms since Wold War II
10. World theatre forms and theatrical integration
D. Analysis of Performance and Presentation
1. Artist and audience analysis
2. Performance demands and characteristics
3. Venues
4. Social relevance and impact

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

When taught via Foothill Global Access: on-going access to computer with Email software and capabilities; Email address; Java-script enabled internet browsing software.

Method(s) of Evaluation

A. Research essays
B. Examination
B. In-class writings
C. Participation during classroom exercises

Method(s) of Instruction

A. Lecture
B. Discussion
C. Cooperative learning exercises
D. Oral presentations

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Machiavelli - The Mandrake Webster, John - The Duchess of Malfi de la Barca, Pedro Calderon - Life is a Dream Racine, Jean - Phaedre Moliere - Tartuffe Behn, Aphra - The Rover de la Cruz, Sor Juana Ines - The Divine Narcissus Wycherly, William - The Country Wife Sheridan, Richard Brinsley - The School for Scandal Hugo, Victor - Hernani van Goethe, Johan Wolfgang - Faust Ibsen, Henrik - Ghosts; A Doll's House Wilde, Oscar - The Importance of Being Earnest Chekhov, Anton - The Cherry Orchard Strindberg, August - Miss Julie Shaw, George Bernard - Major Barbara Rice, Elmer - The Adding Machine Piriandello, Luigi - Six Characters in Search of an Author Albee, Edward - Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Goat Anouilh, Jean - Antigone Baraka, Amiri - Dutchman Beckett, Samuel - Waiting for Godot, Endgame Brecht, Bertold - Mother Courage Fornes, Maria-Irena - Fefu and Her Friends Hellman, Lillian - The Children's Hour Hwang, David Henry - M Butterfly Kaufman, George S & Hart, Moss - You Can't Take it With You Kushner, Tony - Angels in America, Part I: Millenium Approaches Letts, Tracy - August Osage County Miller, Arthur - Death of a Salesman, All My Sons Osborne, John - Look Back in Anger O'Neill, Euguene - Long Days Journey Into Night Parks, Susan-Lori - Top Dog, Underdog Williams, Tennessee - A Streetcar Named Desire Wilson, August - Fences, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (Students are able to purchase various new or used editions of these plays to assure economy.) When taught via Foothill Global Access: supplemental lectures, handouts, tests, and assignments delivered via Email and/or Internet; feedback on tests and assignments delivered via Email and/or Internet; class discussion may be delivered in chat rooms, list-serves, and newsgroups.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Reading assigned plays and supporting texts. B. Journal responses to readings. C. Written analysis of readings. D. Individual/Group project.


English, Theater Arts