Chicago is home to a vivid and diverse theater scene that includes everything from tiny stages in the back rooms of bars to glitzy Broadway-style productions. This course will examine a selection of American-authored plays from the Chicago season as the materials for an introduction to literary studies. As such, the course considers the plays we see and read as an occasion to develop skills in critical thinking, research, and writing. A secondary objective is to connect the various plays to particular moments or themes in American history and culture. We will proceed from the acquisition of a simple critical vocabulary for describing a play?s form and content, through character study, to more complex questions of the director's decisions in taking a play from the page to the stage. This course requires participation in some evening and/or weekend field trips or events, so consider your other commitments (such as off-campus employment or a fall/winter sports participation) as you identi