Welcome! You are viewing an archive of the course offered by Natalie Harrower at the Queen’s University Department of Drama in the Winter of 2008. If you are looking for current offerings at Queen’s Drama, follow this link.


Course Description

This course is designed as both a survey of select theoretical writings on theatre up to the 1970s, and an in-depth exploration of key issues arising from those theories. Readings and class discussions will raise many questions (many, many more than we can answer!) about the definition, purpose, and effect of drama and theatre in the world. While students will be encouraged to address topics of individual interest, the readings have been chosen to highlight philosophical debates on the ideas of ‘mimesis’ and ‘morality,’ which raise the following questions: what is the relationship between theatre and the ‘real world,’ and what responsibilities does theatre have to society? In the course of our investigations, we’ll mine the texts for all sorts of ideas and issues.

Course Goals: Students can expect to…

  • Improve skills in reading, critical thinking, and the synthesis of ideas
  • Comprehend and analyse tracts by some of the major theorists of drama
  • Develop a critical vocabulary of key dramatic and philosophical concepts
  • Trace different approaches to key ideas through their various incarnations
  • Deepen understanding of the relationship between text and performance
  • Enrich understanding of the art-society dialectic
  • Improve the ability to present, discuss, and debate concepts orally
  • Conquer any lingering reservations about the big bad word ‘theory’


Course Instructor: Natalie Harrower
Office: Carruthers 307
Office Hours: Tues 2:30-4pm & Wed 4-5:30pm
Email: (website)
Class Meetings Tues 4:00-5:30pm; Thurs 2:30-4:00pm
Location: Theo 118
Website: You’re looking at it