Faculty of Arts

DRAMA 202 A & B

History and Performance


DRAMA 202 explores a range of major plays from ancient Greek tragedy to contemporary New Zealand drama. This course aims to study plays in their historical context and as texts for performance.

We examine plays with reference to the original staging conventions and to modern productions, and introduce different film and stage productions. More importantly, DRAMA 202 encourages students to develop skills in the staging of dramatic texts through practical sessions. These staging exercises are designed to help students build up necessary skills for our stage production in September.

This course examines a number of theories of drama, with reference to their practical applications in play-texts and productions. We also explore dramatists’ engagement with the existing genres and traditions.

Aims and outcomes

By the end of the course you will be expected to have:

  • Good knowledge of the dramatic tradition and conventions and of the work of historically significant playwrights
  • Gained some familiarity with theoretical debates including Stanislavski and Brecht
  • Developed a sense of the expressive possibilities of different dramatic languages, such as naturalistic dialogue, poetic rhetoric, mise en scene and movement.

Class limits for 2019

Enrolment is limited to 35 students.

  1. First priority: students with a Drama major ranked by GPA calculated over Drama-related courses including DRAMA 100, ENGLISH 109 and/or CLASSICS 110.
  2. Second priority: students with a Drama minor ranked by GPA calculated as above.
  3. Third priority: students with other majors and minors who have taken Drama-related courses, ranked by GPA calculated as above.
  4. Any remaining places will be offered to students ranked by GPA calculated over their best 60 pts passed, with preference given to students with theatre/performance experience. 

First selection is 10 December with any remaining applicants wait-listed in ranked order; thereafter admissions from the wait-list, revised to reflect withdrawals and ranking of any later applicants.

To complete this course students must enrol in DRAMA 202 A and B.

View the course syllabus

Availability 2019

Semester 1 and 2 (full year)


Coordinator(s) Dr Rina Kim


Aeschylus, The Oresteia (Part I Agamemnon) – E-resource available via Library. Read Tony Harrison’s version, but you can also compare it with Ted Hughes’s translation.

Euripides, BacchaeE-resource available via Literature Online (http://literature.proquest.com/), translated by John Davie.

Molière, TartuffeE-resource available via Literature Online (Richard Wilbur for rhymed versions).

Henrik Ibsen, Hedda GablerE-resource available via Library Catalogue and Talis.  (Available Online via library catalogue. Read John Osborne’s translation.)

Anton Chekhov, The Seagull  – E-resource available via Literature Online (http://literature.proquest.com/), translated by Tom Stoppard.

Frank Wedekind, Spring AwakeningEdition available from the bookshop. (Available Online:   https://archive.org/stream/theawakeningofsp35242gut/35242-0.txt)

Bertolt Brecht, Life of Galileo–Also available online as an e-audio through Library (Available Online: http://www.socialiststories.com/liberate/Life%20of%20Galileo%20-%20Bertolt%20Brecht.pdf)

Samuel Beckett, Endgame–Edition available from the bookshop. (Available Online: http://samuel-beckett.net/endgame.html)

* The texts for the New Zealand Theatre Project (for Staging Exercise 2) will be announced at the end of Semester 1. You do not have to purchase the texts for the plays you are not working on but I highly recommend you read them.


Coursework only


DRAMA 202A: 15.0 points

DRAMA 202B: 30.0 points


60 points passed and approval by the Academic Head or nominee 



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