Graduate Liberal Studies Program

Course Description

GLS 592: Constructing and Deconstructing the American Family Onstage

Instructor: Anne Russell

Anne Russell's play -- a scene Anne Russell's play -- the players Anne Russell's play -- another scene

During the past half-century, the American family has undergone radical change. The plays of Tennessee Williams, William Inge, Arthur Miller, Edward Albee, Eugene O'Neill, and Lorraine Hansberry depict the trials and tribulations of the traditional family. Contemporary American plays, such as those of Sam Shepard, Marsha Norman, August Wilson, and Amy Sedaris portray emerging themes in family life. Selected readings from these and other plays will inform us of role changes in the family. From our own experience, we will create original family scenes which we will dramatize in class and may later evolve into fully-realized plays.

(Anne Russell holds a PhD in American Studies, an MFA in Creative Writing, and is the author of nine plays, including the family play The Porch which was performed in Manhattan in September 2006., and the family play Scheme Dreamer. She has been a licensed family counselor and mediator.)

Last Update: February 10, 2008