Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

THEA221 Theatre: Ancient to Contemporary

2021 information for papers will be published in early September. 

A survey of international theatre from Ancient Theatre to Contemporary Performance. The conceptual, critical understanding of plays, productions, and the formal characteristics of different types of performance.

This paper introduces students to some of the most important movements, authors and styles of theatre from ancient times through to contemporary performance. We look at not just the content of works - what is said in them - but also form - how it is said. THEA 221 is a core second-year paper in Theatre Studies at the University of Otago.

Paper title Theatre: Ancient to Contemporary
Paper code THEA221
Subject Theatre Studies
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $904.05
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,954.75

^ Top of page

THEA 122
Schedule C
Arts and Music

Teaching staff

Paper Coordinator: Ryan Hartigan

Paper Structure

This subject is largely taught through lectures and seminars.

Further information on teaching arrangements is given in the course outline, which is updated annually.

Teaching Arrangements

Assessment is a combination of critical writing and oral presentations, with the options of a) performances of scenes and b) re-imagining and rewriting of classic texts.

Further information on assessments is given in the course outline, which is updated annually on the basis of student feedback and other changes.


Required Texts:

  • Martin Crimp, Attempts on Her Life (Faber); also available in Martin Crimp, Plays 2 (Faber)
  • Euripides, Hippolytus, in Medea and Other Plays, tr. John Davie (Penguin)
  • Charles Selby, London by Night (eReserve)
  • Henrik Ibsen, Plays: Two, tr. Michael Meyer (Methuen)
  • Anton Chekhov, Three Sisters, tr. Stuart Young (available from Uniprint)
  • Bertolt Brecht, Mother Courage and Her Children, tr. Tony Kushner (Methuen)
  • Samuel Becket, Waiting for Godot, Grove Atlantic (or Faber)

There are also supplementary Texts for group projects.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the subject will gain basic literacy in key theatrical authors, styles, forms, and terms, as well as skills in research, essay writing and communicating knowledge and ideas.

^ Top of page


First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 10:00-10:50 9-15, 17, 19-22
Tuesday 10:00-10:50 9-12, 14-15, 17-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Thursday 10:00-10:50 10-12, 14-15, 17-22