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Course Details

Spring 2018-2019
* THR 359 / ENG 447 (LA)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

The Plays and Films of Martin McDonagh

Fintan O'Toole

Since he burst onto the theatre scene with The Beauty Queen of Leenane in 1996, Martin McDonagh has produced some of the most vivid, but also some of the most controversial work in contemporary drama and cinema. His plays and films are violent, lurid, transgressive and often grotesque, yet they also lend themselves to performances of great subtlety and sensitivity, like Frances McDormand's in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. We explore McDonagh's extreme imagination, its roots in Irish Gothic, Grand Guignol, the Grimm Brothers, Antonin Artaud and the theatre of the absurd and its uncomfortable use of race and disability.

Sample reading list:
Martin McDonagh, The Leenane Trilogy
Martin McDonagh, The Pillowman
Martin McDonagh, In Bruges (Screenplay)
Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (film)
Martin McDonagh, Hangmen
Martin McDonagh, A Very, Very, Very, Dark Matter

Reading/Writing assignments:
Each student will produce a short blog post before each seminar. Play texts and screenplays will be read in advance of class and films will be available for streaming. Some work by other authors will be read where relevant and a small number of critical texts will be discussed. Each student will produce two essays of approx. 3,500 words each, one at the end of Spring Break, one for Dean's Date.

Paper in Lieu of Mid Term - 40%
Paper in lieu of Final - 40%
Class/Precept Participation - 20%

Prerequisites and Restrictions:


Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
42367 C01 01:30:00 pm - 04:20:00 pm W        Enrolled:10 Limit:18