This course surveys major works of modern (early and mid-20th century) and contemporary (post-1970s) drama, with an interdisciplinary focus on literary issues and theatre history. Plays from Europe, America, and Africa are considered. We begin with Ibsen's invention of modern drama and, during the semester, may cover such topics as theater of the absurd (Eugene Ionesco's The Lesson), gender (Caryl Churchill's Top Girls), gay identity and AIDS (Tony Kushner's Angels in America), race (Amiri Baraka's Dutchman), apartheid in South Africa (Athol Fugard's Master Harold and the Boys), and much more. We view brief video clips for many of the plays so that we may discuss the work of literature in production. Students are encouraged, but not required, to perform a scene from one of the plays we read.