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EN9A7 Drama and Performance Reading Weeks 3 and 8

I am leading the seminars in week 5 on the MA module Drama and Performance Theory. A lot of them can be accessed in Daniel Gerould (ed.), Theatre/Theory/Theatre: the Major Critical Texts (Applause Books, 2000) , which I would recommend that you buy or otherwise get your hands on.

These are the readings:

Week 5: Theatre as Structure: comedy, tragicomedy (Dr Teresa Grant)

Ethelwold, Bishop of Winchester, ‘The Staging of Liturgic Drama’ from the Concordia Regularis, extracted in A. M. Nagler, A Source Book in Theatrical History (New York: Dover, 1953), p. 39-41. For some reason this book is exempted from the CLA agreement which means we cannot provide a PDF on Course Extracts. However, I will ask colleagues to give you a photocopy in Week 1, or you can seek it out in advance from the library (which has 5 copies, 3 of which are on 3-day loan), classmark, PN 1721.N2.

John Dryden, from An Essay of Dramatic Poesie (1668), extracts in Gerould, pp. 170-78.
William Congreve, ‘Concerning Humour in Comedy’ (1695), in J. E. Springarn (ed.), Critical Essays of the Seventeenth Century (3 vols, 1909). (available at

Oliver Goldsmith, ‘An Essay on the Theatre; or, a Comparison between Laughing and Sentimental Comedy’,
The Westminster Magazine 1, no. 1 (Jan, 1773): 4-6. (British Periodicals database via WUL, but there is also a PDF posted here)

Guarini, from The Compendium of Tragicomic Poetry (1599), extracted in Gerould, pp. 128-134.

Samuel Johnson, from ‘Preface to Shakespeare’ (1765), extracted in Gerould, pp. 221-235.

Sometimes I also teach week 8, but Paul Prescott is doing so this year, so you will want to consult him about the reading.
Week 8: Theatre in Context: Gender/Power (Dr Teresa Grant, Dr Paul Prescott)

Judith Butler, ‘Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory’, Theatre Journal, Vol. 40, No. 4 (Dec., 1988), pp. 519-531. (WUL)

Jonathan Dollimore, ‘The White Devil (1612): Transgression without Virtue’ in Radical Tragedy: Religion, Ideology and Power in the Drama of Shakespeare and His Contemporaries (Palgrave, 1984; 3rd ed., 2010), pp. 231-248. (available at