Reading eight plays from Sophocles to Beckett, this class investigates how drama works and why we still read and watch plays. What, for instance, does a reader or a director do with that famous stage direction from Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, “Exit, pursued by a bear”? Students will learn to think more broadly than just about drama, and will develop critical writing skills, forming arguments that think beyond the obvious and demonstrate a command of the text. Students will work throughout the semester on a capstone project: a short play of their creation to be handed in at the end of the semester. Those interested should expect to have one hour’s worth of work each of six days out of the week including, but not limited to reading, viewing lectures, watching film adaptations of plays, writing essays, posting to a discussion board, and participating in e-meetings.