Drama might be described as a game played with something sacred. It tells stories that go right to the heart of what people believe about themselves. And it is enacted in the moment, lending it an added layer of interpretive mystery and playfulness, or “theatricality.” We will explore theater and theatricality across periods and cultures, through intensive engagement with performance texts. We will study and discuss plays that exemplify different kinds of dramatic structure. Class members will also attend and review dramatic performances and have a chance to perform scenes on their own. In addition to modern and contemporary plays, readings will range from ancient Greece to Medieval England, Renaissance Spain and Classical Japan.