Faculty of Arts


History and Performance

Please note: this is archived course information from 2016 for DRAMA 204.


This course provides a historical survey of Western drama from ancient Greece through to contemporary New Zealand. Wherever possible an element of practical work is brought to bear on each text taught. In addition a summary of Western performance history is provided in relation to the texts. Students undertake their own theatrical projects in relation to the plays that are taught, both individually and via group work.

The second major aspect of this course is the full production staging of a play with either historical significance or contemporary relevance. The production will normally be directed by an outside professional with students taking all other roles: acting, designing, costuming, lighting, music, sound, stage management, publicity and so on. The production has a short public season in Semester Two.

To complete this course students must enrol in DRAMA 204 A and B.

Class limits information for 2016: Enrolment is limited to 35 students, with selection based on: First priority: students with a Drama major ranked by GPA calculated over Drama-related courses including ENGLISH 109 and/or CLASSICS 110. Second priority: students with a Drama minor ranked by GPA calculated as above. Third priority: students with other majors and minors who have taken Drama-related courses, ranked by GPA calculated as above. Any remaining places will be offered to students ranked by GPA calculated over their best 60pts passed, with preference given to students with theatre/performance experience.  First selection, 10 December with any remaining applicants wait-listed in ranked order; thereafter admissions from the wait-list, revised to reflect withdrawals and ranking of any later applicants.

Availability 2016

Semester 1 and 2 (full year)


Coordinator(s) Dr Rina Kim


DRAMA 204A (Semester 1)

Aeschylus, The Oresteia (Part I Agamemnon) – E-resource available via Library. Read Tony Harrison’s version, but you can also compare it with Ted Hughes’s translation.

Euripides, BacchaeE-resource available via Library (See CECIL).

Moliere, TartuffeE-resource available via Literature Online  (Richard Wilbur for rhymed versions).

Ibsen, Hedda Gabler E-resource available via Library Catalogue and Cecil. Read John Osborne’s translation.

Anton Chekhov, The Seagull (in Plays)E-resource available via Literature Online (http://literature.proquest.com/), translated by Tom Stoppard.

NB: In Semester 1 the Course Reader provides only the excerpts of those plays and you should read the full version of each play-text. 

DRAMA 204B (Semester 2)

Frank Wedekind, Spring Awakening - Edition available from the bookshop.

Luigi Pirandello, Six Characters in Search of an Author - Edition available from the bookshop.

Bertolt Brecht, Life of Galileo – (Available online as an e-audio through Library)

Beckett, Endgame - Edition available from the bookshop.

Recommended Reading

Stella Jones, The Tree 

Toa Fraser, Bare (included in Two Plays by Toa Fraser)

Briar Grace-Smith, When Sun and Moon Collide (Wellington 2008)

Robert Lord, Balance of Payments 


Coursework only


DRAMA 204: 30.0 points


60 points passed and approval of Academic Head or nominee


THEATRE 201, 202, 203, 204

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