THEA 421

History of Western Theater

4 Undergraduate credits
Effective January 8, 2018 – December 16, 2018

Graduation requirements this course fulfills

This course examines the evolution of Western theater traditions, from the ancient world to the present day. It analyzes the major periods and dramatic forms in theater history, explores the historic and social context in which dramatic work was created, and examines how a familiarity with the politics of representation and other concerns of identity-based cultural groups informs performance practices. Theater architecture, technology, design concepts, acting styles, and significant dramatists and dramatic works are studied.

Special information

Prerequisites: THEA 321 Directed Readings in Theater or instructor's permission

Learning outcomes


  • Identify the major time periods and geographic areas associated with the history of western theater;
  • Explain relevant characteristics of theater in various times and places;
  • Examine the ways dramatic texts help to foster intra- and cross-cultural understanding;
  • Describe the underlying cultural, economic, and political environments as they affected the theater-making process;
  • Identify major theater practitioners and their contribution to the development of theater within their historical and regional context.