Reading Plays

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
ENGL 1115
Reading Plays
Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Start Date
End Term
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
4 hours per week
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction

Some or all of the following methods will be used:

  1. Lecture/discussion
  2. Reading aloud from assigned texts
  3. Group work
  4. Peer editing
  5. Students’ attendance at a play
  6. Instructor feedback on students’ written work
  7. Individual consultation
Course Description
In this course students will read, discuss and write about plays as literature, including elements of stagecraft and performance. Plays assigned may emphasize a variety of genres (such as tragedy, comedy, the one-act play, the dramatic monologue) and may reflect significant developments in the history of theatre, from its beginnings to the present.
Course Content

All first-year English literature courses share the following features:

  1. Students are instructed in the writing of critical essays on literary subjects.
  2. Students are taught to recognize and understand a variety of literary devices and textual elements, such as metaphor, symbolism, distinctions between author and narrator/narrating persona, and issues of language and of structure, as appropriate to the genres and texts studied.
  3. Readings and topics vary among sections of the same course, according to each instructor’s selection; however, all course materials are consistent with the objectives of the course. 

In English 1115, course content will be governed by the following general principles:

  1. This course will introduce students to a variety of plays and playwrights. Assigned plays will include a sampling of modern and/or contemporary drama, and may also include works from pre-modern periods (such as classical Greek, medieval or Elizabethan plays).
  2. Students may be required to attend a live theatrical performance, on or off campus, and to write a critical review of the production.
  3. Students may view film adaptations or productions of plays read in class.
Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of any first-year English literature course, the successful student should be able to

  1. read receptively and reflectively, with sensitivity to the subtleties of language;
  2. recognize and understand literary devices;
  3. practice writing as a process involving pre-writing, drafting, revising and editing;
  4. write an essay of literary analysis that develops an interpretive thesis supported by appropriate and correctly cited evidence; and
  5. give and receive constructive criticism about written work.

Upon completion of English 1115, the successful student should also be able to identify and discuss the following elements of drama:

  1. components of structure, for example plot and sub-plot, exposition and conflict;
  2. character;
  3. dialogue, monologue and soliloquy;
  4. stagecraft;
  5. performance; and
  6. the influence of an audience on a performance.
Means of Assessment
  1. A minimum of two academic essays, with a combined value of at least 40% of the course grade.
  2. A minimum of 80% of the course grade will be based on writing assignments (essays, essay-based exams, journals, paragraphs).   A maximum of 20% of the course grade may be based on informal writing (quizzes, short answer tests); oral reports/presentations; participation/preparation grades; and/or other non writing-intensive assignments.
  3. A minimum of 15% of the course grade will be based on in-class writing (essay or exam).
Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students

Sample Reading List:

  • Athol Fugard, My Children, My Africa
  • Tomson Highway, The Rez Sisters
  • Henrik Ibsen, An Enemy of the People
  • Ann-Marie MacDonald, Good Night Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet
  • Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
  • Sophocles, Antigone
  • Any College entrance Language Proficiency Requirement EXCEPT the Douglas College Course Options in ELLA or ENGU, OR
  • a minimum grade of C- in ELLA 0460, or a minimum grade of C- in both ELLA 0465 and 0475, OR
  • a minimum grade of C- in ENGU 0450 or ENGU 0455 or ENGU 0490
Which Prerequisite

In combination with another 1100-level English or CRWR course (as per College calendar requirements), this course may serve as a prerequisite for any 2nd  year English course.