1 x 2-hour lecture weekly
1 x 1-hour seminar weekly
1 x 1-hour film screening weekly
1 DRAM1001 - Drama 1A: First Stages
1a DRAM1002 - Drama 1B: Bodies of Work
Must Satisfy: ((1 or 1a))
Assignment(s), Library exercise, Project, Tutorial presentation, Tutorial participation
Topic description

This topic introduces students to drama, theory and performance texts that shape key Asian traditions in theatre, dance, puppetry and ritual. Case studies from the Indian subcontinent, China, Japan, and Indonesia, among others, will enable us to trace the origins and developments of both elite and popular traditions, situating them in the contexts of work by classical practitioner-theoreticians, like Bharata, Zeami, Li Yu, etc. This will also allow us to investigate cultural and aesthetic, social and moral themes in Asian drama and performance experience.

Educational aims

This topic aims to:

  • Introduce a range of historically and stylistically significant Asian drama and theory texts and demonstrate their implications for subsequent theatrical development
  • Introduce a range of key practitioners in the Indian, Chinese, Indonesian, Korean, and Japanese performance traditions
  • Provide students with the opportunity to develop an historical perspective by recognising, articulating and evaluating these theories, dramatic texts and practitioners in the light of current theatre practice in Asia
  • Develop students' ability to think, speak and write about Asian performance traditions in a critically engaged, aesthetically informed and ethically responsive manner
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Describe the significance of selected dramatic/performance works and theoretical texts and their contribution to shaping theatrical traditions in Asia
  2. Apply appropriate dramaturgical and aesthetic criteria in analysing Asian drama, theory and performance and evaluating their ways of embodying cultural contexts
  3. Contribute thoughtfully to group discussion and respond constructively to seminar presentations
  4. Demonstrate competency in the practice of documentation and responsible research on traditional Asian drama and performance