Course Structure

Course Description

Theatre History II covers the growth of the theatre from the English Interregnum and Restoration up to the present. We will look at all elements of the theatre from those periods, including playwriting, acting, costuming, architecture, directing, etc., as well as general historical and philosophical movements.

The study of history is a means of understanding who we are as human beings by understanding the events, documents, places, cultures, and people that make up the past. The task of the historian, then, is to take these elements of the past and interpret them in order to suggest their meaning and relevance for today. This becomes a subjective pursuit and interpretation of history is a rewarding but ongoing search.

Theatre History gives us a specific discipline to interpret in historical context. The task of the theatre historian is to take that discipline and suggest why it has meaning and relevance in both a broad historical context as well as within the discipline—but the idea of relevance must be uppermost in the historian’s pursuit.

As theatre artists, if we do not understand the past, its meaning, and relevance, then it will be difficult to find meaning and relevance in what we do.

Prerequisite: TA 116: Dramatic Structure and Analysis. (Can be waived with approval from the Department.)

For students with an emphasis in Theatre, TA 401 is a prerequisite for TA 402.

For students with an emphasis in Technical Theatre, TA 401 is not required.

Course Objectives

With the successful completion of course requirements, the student will be able to do the following:

  1. Analyze the impact of historical events on theatre.
  2. Analyze the different elements of plays (characters, theme, plot, etc.) and how they reflect the historical events and attitudes of their time.
  3. Analyze the progression of historical and philosophical thought from the restoration of theatre to modern theatre.
  4. Interpret the actions of cast and characters in various period plays to show the moral and ethical messages of the day, and contrast these with modern interpretations.
  5. Explain and define who we are as human beings, using the key events, documents, places, cultures, and people that make up the past.
  6. Interpret past events to suggest their relevance to current events.
  7. Interpret theatre in its historical context.
  8. Explain how theatre historians find meaning and relevance in the discipline of theatre history.
  9. Identify important events in theatre history from the English Interregnum and Restoration to the present day.
  10. Define the elements of theatre, including playwriting, acting, costuming, architecture, and directing.
  11. Explain the theories that may be used to interpret the events of each period of the theatre.

Course Requirements


Title: History of the Theatre, Brockett & Hildy, Any Edition

ISBN: 10: 0205511864 (Tenth Edition)

Price: Compare prices for your textbooks through the University Store Price Comparison site. They will show you all of the options from the University Store plus several online options to help you find the best price.

Title: Drama Anthology BYU-Idaho (Optional – Only Recommended if you want to keep it for your personal library)

Author: W.B. Worthen

ISBN: 1-413-07695-5

Price: To purchase, place a special order through the BYU-Idaho bookstore, or try buying it used online through or other sites. If you choose to purchase it online, make sure that you are getting the BYU-Idaho Custom Edition of the book. Cost is about $156.00 new and $117.00 used.

Title: Theatre History Reference Book (Available on I-Learn, no purchase necessary)

Author: Omar Hansen


Webcam and Microphone (For oral mid-term and final exams)


  1. In addition to readings from the texts, students are encouraged to read from other historical sources such as journals and credible Internet sources, in order to better participate in class discussions.
  2. Class members will be required to read the following list of plays. Each play will be discussed as a class to gain further understanding of each play and its significance. Not all of the plays are found in the Worthen book. Some of the plays can be read online for free, and you will have to purchase individual copies of a few of them. You might have to download the Kindle Reader or other E-book reader (free) for your PC to be able to read the plays you purchase. Four of the plays, as listed below, are available as audio recordings to listen to free. Please refer to the chart below.





The Rover (The Banished Cavaliers)

Aphra Behn

Page 464

Not Needed

School for Scandal — Richard Sheridan

Not Available

Not Needed

Servant of Two Masters — Carlo Goldoni

Not Available

Not Needed

Nathan the Wise Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

Not Available

Not Needed

The Inspector General — Nikolai Gogol

Not Available

Not Needed

Our American Cousin — Tom Taylor

Not Available

Not Needed

A Doll’s House

Henrik Ibsen

Page 551 - Audio

Not Needed

Riders to the Sea

John Millington Synge

Not Available - Audio

Not Needed


Susan Glaspell

Page 987 - Audio

Not Needed

Major Barbara

Bernard Shaw

Page 652

Not Needed

Mother Courage

Bertold Brecht

Page 709

Not Available

Paperback = $0.75-$2.99

Paperback = $7.90

No E-Book Version

Fiddler on the Roof – Joseph Stein

Not Available

Movie at

Paperback = $0.92-$5.79

Kindle = $9.68

Paperback = $10.19


August Wilson

Page 1155

Not Available

Paperback = $0.75-$5.00

Paperback = $7.50

No E-Book Version


Brian Friel

Page 1459

Not Available

Paperback - $7.00

No E-Book Version

  1. Students will be required to write a two page response to each of the plays. Each response should address the following questions: What is the dramatic question, or what does the main character want to get in the play, and do they get it? What is the theme of the play or what does the author wan the audience to questions when they leave the theatre? If you were producing the play, what would you emphasize? What would be your directorial concept? The instructor will also ask one question of their one that pertains to the specific play.
  2. Each week, students will also complete a worksheet that contains 20–35 questions regarding that week’s focus of study. The student will use the course text as well as the course reference guide to complete the study guide. Students will then take an assessment based on the questions from the study guide.
  3. There will be two tests during the semester—a midterm and a final exam. Both the mid-term and final exam will be oral. Student will sign up for 15 minute time slots in which they will meet with their instructor in an online meeting. Students will be asked questions based on what has been learned in class up till that point. A webcam and microphone will be needed to be able to take the exams.
  4. This class also requires collaboration and discussion with class members. The instructor will monitor students’ participation in the online class discussions. Students are required to fully participate in these discussions by adding thoughtful insights and asking good questions. In these discussions, students should help each other learn and understand the material. Students are also required to be respectful to each other during these discussions. This doesn’t mean you can’t share your opinion, but you must do so in a respectful way.
  5. Students will also have the opportunity to complete a semester project. Students have the option of doing a research paper or designing a project of their own based on the course material. More details about each project can be found in the course on I-Learn.



Mid-Term Exam


Final Exam


Play Responses




Discussion Participation


Semester Project


Total (point totals are approximations)


93–100% = A

80–82% = B-

67–69% = D+

90–92% = A-

77–79% = C+

63–66% = D

87–89% = B+

73–76% = C

60–62% = D-

83–86% = B

70–72% = C-

<59% = F

Extra Credit

Extra Credit may be given at the discretion of the instructor.

Time Commitment

The online class policy is that, for every credit hour, you should expect to spend 3 hours of work per week. For example, in a 3-credit course, there would be 9 hours of work each week. For this class, you should plan on spending about 9 hours per week.


Online Support Center

The Online Support Center (OSC) is designed to help any students taking online courses at BYU-Idaho. If you have questions about any online course or any feedback concerning online courses, instructors, or your online learning experience please contact the OSC.

OSC Contact Information

Phone: 208-496-1411

Text Messaging: 855-808-7102


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Hours: Monday-Friday, 7 AM – 7 PM, MST