Grade Breakdown


Participation is composed of two elements:

Weekly Participation – 20%

In a seminar course, all participants are responsible for the creation of the learning environment. The success of a seminar is directly linked to two elements: 1) the participants’ careful preparation, through close and careful reading of texts, and 2) informed discussion during weekly meetings. Students will be evaluated on their professionalism (preparedness for the course, regular attendance) and the quality (not quantity) of their contributions to weekly discussions. While attendance does not equal participation, it is a necessary precursor to participation! Students will receive a 6 out of 10 for attending each class; additional marks can be earned through thoughtful participation. The process of reading theoretical texts is a complex and challenging one, and you are likely to have questions and uncertainties about the readings: bring these uncertainties to class, as they provide great springboards for discussion.

Seminar Leader – 10%

Each student will be responsible for leading a discussion on one theorist. Depending on numbers, students will either lead a seminar on their own, or in pairs. The seminar leader is responsible for choosing two or three aspects of the week’s readings that are particularly engaging or thought-provoking, presenting these to the class, and facilitating a critical discussion of these ideas. Leaders must prepare a series of questions that stem from the readings in order to initiate engaging discussion. The following handout provides more details.

Critical Responses – 7 x 5% = 35%
Must be emailed to the instructor before class begins on the first day the reading is scheduled for discussion
(e.g. response to Aristotle must be emailed before 4:00pm on Tuesday, September 16, 2008). Late responses will not be accepted.

For seven of our 14 theorists, write a carefully crafted critical response to the author’s arguments (200-250 words each). Good responses focus on one or two ideas emerging from the readings, and favour depth over breadth. All responses must be emailed to the following address: (please use this address only for responses, not for regular correspondence). See handout for full assignment details.

Comparative Essay – 15%
Now Due Tuesday October 21 at the beginning of class
Download the details: Comparative Essay Assignment

This essay will ask you to address a specific idea, theme or preoccupation found in several of the theorists from the first part of the course.

Drums in the Night Analysis – 20%
Due Monday November 24 by 3:45pm at the Drama office

Download the details: Performance Analysis Assignment

This essay asks you to consider Craig Walker’s production choices in Drums in the Night in light of Brecht’s theoretical statements.


The pressure that arises from assignments and deadlines can lead to stress, and all students are subject to this stress through the course of their academic studies. Please know that my door is open to discuss any challenges you may be facing, and to help you see them through. University study is a privilege that few can access, and in respect of this privilege, students must display integrity through their conduct and assignments. In the end, it is our ability to rise to life’s demands in the face of challenges that develops character, and makes our achievements truly meaningful. Students and Instructors are equally bound by the University’s policy on Academic Integrity, which can be found at: Please familiarize yourself with these guidelines.

When submitting work for a course, ALL references, whether explicit or implicit, directly quoted or paraphrased, must be accurately documented, both in the body of the assignment (e.g. footnotes) and in a bibliography at the end of the paper. In addition, all work submitted for this course must be original to this course. If you consult secondary sources in the preparation of any assignment, you must note any arguments borrowed from these sources. For further information, carefully read the following document: “Plagiarism And How to Avoid It

As for deadlines, I do think it is in everyone’s best interest to just get work in on time. For the Comparative Essay and the Brecht assignment, a penalty of 2% per weekday will be applied, up to a maximum of 20% (two weeks late). Assignments more than two weeks late may not be accepted. Exceptional circumstances may warrant a modification to this policy at the instructor’s discretion, and students are responsible for adequately communicating their circumstances to the instructor. As for extensions, I am amenable to granting them if students email me early enough – that is, if you demonstrate planning, as opposed to last-minute panic. Due to the nature of the course, extensions cannot be granted for weekly critical responses or seminar presentations.