Singapore University of Social Sciences

Drama, Theatre and Performance

Drama, Theatre and Performance (ELT374)


ELT374 Drama, Theatre and Performance examines plays as both dramatic texts and stage performances. A range of well-known plays and their performance histories from the Renaissance period to the present day will be read. Through close reading of the text, students will look at the language, dramatic structures and conventions, and discuss the thematic treatment of issues in the plays. The course also attends to performance possibilities and considerations, how they affect the production and reception of a play first staged or one performed centuries later. Students will look at some of the changes and developments in drama and performance, and address the value of theatre in past and present society.

Level: 3
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: EVERY JULY


  • Reading plays
  • Watching plays
  • Shakespeare’s language, conventions and theatre
  • The Tempest
  • 19th century realist theatre: A Doll’s House
  • Gender and controversy in Ibsen’s theatre
  • Samuel Beckett and the Theatre of the Absurd
  • Waiting for Godot
  • Arthur Miller’s idea of tragedy and the common man
  • Death of a Salesman
  • Looking at the one-act monologue: The Coffin Is Too Big for the Hole
  • Staging and performance in today’s theatre world

Learning Outcome

  • Analyse the distinctive dramatic genres and conventions, and their different performance practices and modes of production.
  • Interpret dramatic structure and meaning through critical analysis of the plays on the course.
  • Evaluate the possibilities and considerations from text to performance, as well as key concerns of production and reception in performance.
  • Examine language and dramatic conventions through close reading of dramatic texts.
  • Discuss the themes and issues in plays, interrogating the relevance of these plays in their era and today.
  • Assess the role of the cultural, historical, and political conditions in the production of plays.
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