Chekhov and the Birth of the Modern Theater
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Level: Undergraduate
Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students
Department: Humanities
Course Number: NLIT 3448
Course Format: Lecture
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Literature
  • Humanities
  • Cultural Studies
Russian drama is perhaps not as widely appreciated in the West as the novels of Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, but it played a central role in the development of modern theater. Chekhov and Stanislavsky are the best-known figures in this regard, but they represent only the tip of a very large iceberg. Studying Chekhov's major plays (The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters, and The Cherry Orchard) in the context of Russian playwrights who preceded and followed him allows for a deeper understanding of the origins and nature of modern drama. Other readings include Gogol's The Inspector General, Tolstoy's The Power of Darkness, Sukhovo-Kobylin's The Death of Tarelkin, Gorky's Lower Depths, Blok's The Puppet Show, Mayakovsky's Mystery-Bouffe, and Erdman's The Suicide.
Course Open to: Majors Only