Review Comment

[ENTH BC3186] Modern Drama

April 02, 2010

Worthen, William Gold_nugget
[ENTH BC3186] Modern Drama

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

There is simply no one out there that compares to William Worthen. He is the authority on all things Modern Drama AND Shakespeare; his own writings weigh the two. His passion in the classroom will keep you engaged from the moment he enters to the moment he realizes that class time is up (you will not be noticing the clock at all during his class). His lectures are incredibly coherent and he uses no notes to facilitate them. He simply knows the texts inside and out, can pull quotes from nearly anything off the top of his mind, and his discussions of the plays are illuminating. He does not recite cliches but his ideas and opinions are based in a lifetime of devotion to the study of theater. He is a brilliant and charismatic man and one should seize the opportunity to take a class with him.

Workload:

Two papers and a final. Contrary to what the other reviewer has said about grading, I felt that Worthen was a fair grader and gave me many suggestions. He wants to see you in dialogue with the texts, not plot summaries. One Broadway play (discounted tickets). Very do-able, but not a blow-off class. You need to enjoy the Modern stage.

August 27, 2009

Worthen, William Gold_nugget
[ENTH BC3186] Modern Drama

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Professor Worthen is simply an extraordinary human. Not only is he utterly brilliant, but he is outrageously funny and kind as well. His energy is contagious and engaging and makes for an all-round enjoyable classroom experience.

However, while I would love to have coffee, sit, and chat with Professor Worthen, I would question taking another class with him. As a casual theatre-goer with no previous classroom experience with theatre history, I felt lost for much of the class. Throughout his lectures Professor Worthen, in all of his radiant brilliance, constantly made casual references to playwrights, actors, theatrical technique, movements, etc. that were way over my head. This is a warning to anyone unstudied in theatre that while a prerequisite is not stated for the course, a working knowledge of theatre history is expected.

The course was well organized, but aside from having read some really great plays, I barely managed to scrape through the class with a B and my knowledge of Modern Drama is now minimal at best.

WARNING: Your entire grade in the class is based on two essays (one short, one long), the final test, and minimal class participation. Worthen is a tough grader and there are no opportunites to make up your grade if you do poorly on one of the assignments. Also, if you don't do all or most of the reading, you will be very sorry by the end because EVERYTHING that was ever discussed in the lectures is fair game on the final including the identification of specific quotations that might have only been mentioned breifly.

Workload:

Quite a few plays and essays to read. The plays are enjoyable, the essays tedious and the workload sporadic. Some days you find yourself with little or no reading and some reading assignments are very nearly impossible to complete in the amount of time given. Two essays (one short, one long) and a final.

WARNING: Your entire grade in the class is based on the two essays, the final test, and minimal class participation. Worthen is a tough grader, doesn't give much feedback, and there are no opportunites to make up your grade if you do poorly on one of the assignments. Also if you don't do all or most of the reading you will be very sorry by the end because EVERYTHING that was ever discussed in class is fair game on the final including the identification of specific quotations. Notes on the lectures are essential to studying for the final.

Directory Data

Dept/Subj Directory Course Professor Year Semester Time Section
THEB / ENTH THEB ENTH BC3186: Modern Drama William Worthen 2009 Spring MW / 10:35-11:50 AM 1