Seminar in Modern American Drama

David McTier, U.S. Fulbright Scholar to Babeș-Bolyai University


David McTier, Ph.D., Professor
U.S. Fulbright Scholar to Romania

Course Objective & Description

The objective of this seminar is to provide you with the intellectual “tools” needed to read and better understand modern American plays, particularly those employing non-traditional writing conventions. The plays we explore will not necessarily represent the “best” or “most important” American plays of the 20th Century; rather, they will demonstrate particular styles and conventions that you need to know.

We will meet six (6) times on alternating Friday mornings for two hours. Classes will consist primarily of discussions of the assigned plays as well as “hands-on” activities. Since this is a seminar, you are expected to attend and participate fully in all classes. Each class will end with a 10-15 minute writing exercise (a “response”) that will serve as your grade for that day’s class.

Graded Components

Class #1: Sentinels   5% Attendance & Response
Class #2: Savants 15% Attendance & Response
Class #3: Scouts 15% Attendance & Response
Class #4: Shamans 15% Attendance & Response
Class #5: Standups 15% Attendance & Response
Class #6: Seers 15% Attendance & Response
Final Exam 20% Written, Open Notes Examination

Makeup/Substitute Opportunity

I will allow one opportunity to makeup/substitute for one missed class: you may watch and respond to the newly released, film version of August Wilson’s Fences. You will write a personal reflection of approximately 500 original words and submit this in hard copy when you take your final examination. Do not copy and paste anything; do not paraphrase anyone; do not email this to me. Just write about your personal response: what was appealing, impressive, meaningful, confusing, etc.

Course Grade

Please note that this seminar accompanies Prof. Rares Moldovan’s lecture. Your final course grade includes both lecture and seminar components. While I will determine your grade for this seminar, Prof. Moldovan will determine your final grade for the entire course.


Feel free to voice your questions and concerns using the contact form. Please do not contact me about your attendance; you are either present or you aren’t. (If you have attendance issues, please discuss them with Prof. Moldovan.)


  1. Please read each day’s assigned reading and be prepared to contribute to each class.
  2. Please bring a copy of each day’s assigned reading, be it hard copy or digital (on your cell phone or tablet).
  3. Please bring paper and pen to use for each day’s (hand) written response at the end of class.
  4. Please take notes, be they handwritten or digital. You may use these notes during your final examination.
  5. Please be on time. If you cannot arrive on time, then be as non-disruptive as possible and sit in the back of the classroom.

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