Faculty of Arts

DRAMA 202 A & B

History and Performance


Course Description

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. 

Provisional class limits for 2021: 

Enrolment is limited to 35 students.

First priority: students with a Drama major ranked by GPA calculated over Drama-related courses including DRAMA 100, ENGLISH 109 and/or CLASSICS 110.

Second priority: students with a Drama minor ranked by GPA calculated as above.

Third priority: students with other majors and minors who have taken Drama-related courses, ranked by GPA calculated as above.

Any remaining places will be offered to students ranked by GPA calculated over their best 60pts passed, with preference given to students with theatre/performance experience. 

First selection, 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


Course work for both semesters

Availability 2021

Semester 1 and 2 (full year)


Coordinator(s) Dr Rina Kim
Lecturer(s) Dr Emma Willis


Semester 1 only

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, Bacchae – E-resource available via Literature Online (http://literature.proquest.com/) (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., translated by John Davie. Please see the Modules for the text.

William Shakespeare, Hamlet– E-resource available via Library Catalogue and Talis.

Moliere, Tartuffe – E-resource available via Literature Online (Richard Wilbur for rhymed version). https://shsutextanalysismctier.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/tartuffe.pdf (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Ibsen, Hedda Gabler – E-resource available via Library Catalogue and Talis. Read John Osborne’s translation.

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

NB: The Course Reader provides only the excerpts of those plays and you should read the full version of each play-text. 

Recommended Reading


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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