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THT1001 Making Theatre History 1: Classic Plays in Context

Semester 1, 2022 Online
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Creative Arts
Student contribution band : 2021 Grandfather Funding Cl 2
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 27 June 2022


Examiner: Darryl Chalk


Enrolment is not permitted in THT1001 if THE1001 has been previously completed.


The study of the performance event, dramatic texts, and theatre theories, provides insights into human experience and modes of critical thinking that will be useful throughout a student’s program of study and beyond. To do this effectively a student of theatre requires foundational skills in reading, researching and analysing plays, and the ability to formulate and present academic arguments about drama in its historical contexts. A broad knowledge of pre-modern playtexts from the Western classical tradition (from ancient Greece to early modern Europe), is central to the knowledges required for theatre, arts, communication, humanities and education students.

This course offers the student an historical and theoretical journey through theatrical and dramatic literature. Through a contextual study of some of the most read and performed plays from the classical tradition, covering ancient Greek, Shakespearean, and neo-classical drama, this course provides students with foundational techniques in textual analysis, academic debate, research, essay writing and scholarship in drama. It will include a focus on the ways in which these stories continue to be staged, adapted, and re-written in early twenty-first century contexts.

Course learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. apply concepts of cultural literacy to explain the way in which drama functions within specific theatrical and social contexts;
  2. investigate and examine specific dramatic and theoretical texts from Western classical traditions of pre-modern theatre up until the 17th Century;
  3. analyse the processes which make up the performance event in specific historical contexts;
  4. apply fundamental principles of scholarly method to the writing of essays;
  5. interpret and communicate ideas in writing using the essay genre and examination format.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Defining Theatre: How to read a play in context 10.00
2. The origins of tragic theatre: Sophocles’ Oedipus the King and Euripides’ Medea 20.00
3. Comedy and patriarchy: Aristophanes’ Lysistrata 10.00
4. The rebirth of tragedy: Marlowe’s Dr Faustus and Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus 20.00
5. 'Boundaries’ of the body and identity: Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. 10.00
6. Neo-classical formations: Moliere’s Tartuffe 10.00
7. The classical is contemporary: Dan Evans’ Oedipus doesn’t live here anymore and Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq 20.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

Evans, D 2015, Oedipus doesn’t live here anymore, Playlab, Brisbane.
Many of the plays for this course appear in the Course Readings on Study Desk. It is highly recommended that hard copies be ordered and printed through USQ’s Printing Services.

Student workload expectations

To do well in this subject, students are expected to commit approximately 10 hours per week including class contact hours, independent study, and all assessment tasks. If you are undertaking additional activities, which may include placements and residential schools, the weekly workload hours may vary.

Assessment details

Description Weighting (%) Course learning outcomes
ESSAY 2: RESEARCH PAPER 40 1,2,3,4,5
Date printed 27 June 2022