Logo UAB

Criticism and Reception of Contemporary Drama

Code: 43157 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
4313879 Theatre Studies OT 0 2


Núria Santamaria Roig

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
catalan (cat)

Other comments on languages

Ús eventual


Núria Santamaria Roig
Francesc Foguet Boreu



Objectives and Contextualisation

This module approaches, from a historical perspective, the evolution of modern contemporary and actual conceptions on drama and dramatic qualities. The module offers an approximation to theories, critical focuses and analysis methods related to the reception of contemporary drama. It develops through the contextualization of specific paradigms and through the study of some dramaturges and aesthetically relevant texts, taking into account the critical reception of their time and its ulterior influence in performing arts. 


  • Analyse phenomena in the performing arts on the basis of their potential categorisations and interrelations.
  • Apply research methods in the different study disciplines of the performing arts according to the relevant conceptual frameworks.
  • Assess the specific characteristics of research in the performing arts and the great potential provided by their complexity.
  • Evaluate performance phenomena synchronically and diachronically on the basis of specific theoretical paradigms (specialisation A).
  • Follow the codes of practice that govern research activity.
  • Integrate knowledge and use it to make judgements in complex situations, with incomplete information, while keeping in mind social and ethical responsibilities.
  • Respect the historic and cultural value of theatrical heritage.
  • Use acquired knowledge as a basis for originality in the application of ideas, often in a research context.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyse contemporary dramatic texts critically and in context.
  2. Analyse the elements and phenomena that intervene in the criticism and reception of contemporary dramatic literature.
  3. Apply current research methods in contemporary drama.
  4. Evaluate the latest trends in contemporary drama studies.
  5. Follow the codes of practice that govern research activity.
  6. Integrate knowledge and use it to make judgements in complex situations, with incomplete information, while keeping in mind social and ethical responsibilities.
  7. Respect the historic and cultural value of theatrical heritage.
  8. Use acquired knowledge as a basis for originality in the application of ideas, often in a research context.


 I. Drama (contemporary) and reception studies

  1. The drama: nominal and adjective approximations. Following the thread of history: accommodations and incommodities.
  2. Sharpening some analysis tools: from Post-Structuralism to the theories of reception. Questions about receptions and receptors.
  3. “To Comtemporarysize” or to contemporize? Transfusions and translations: intertextuality and rewritings.

II. Critique

  1. Visions on critique: definitions and specificities on theatre critique.
  2. The function of critique and of theatre critiques.
  3. Differences between literary critique and spectacular critique.
  4. Critical systems and discourses: summary study of some cases.


In the two blocks of the module, theoretical lectures are combined with the analysis of materials and different documents on the subject such as the development of practical commentary exercises on theoretical or creative texts, texts that comment on performances, critics and critiques.  Special importance is given to individual and group presentations of exercises and projects focused on different areas of reflection, theorization, drama studies and theatre critique with the aim of generating a debate on contemporary theatre critique.

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Lectures and seminars 30 1.2 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 7
Type: Supervised      
Debates and development of exercises 45 1.8 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 7
Type: Autonomous      
Reading of articles / Reports of interest development de works 75 3 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 7


In the Drama and Reception block the evaluation will be based on an individual commentary exercise and a group exercise, which will be presented orally, and that can be based on one of the following work lines: a) The analysis of intertextual games of one or more works in relation to a modern or contemporary drama; b) The analysis or transfer of a modern or contemporary drama to another expressive support; c) The analysis of the mechanisms of construction of a particular type of reception; d) actualization manoeuvres: critical analysis of a staging that is presented as a actualizing re-reading of a modern or contemporary classic. Attendance and engaged participation in class weigh into the qualification for this block.

In the block of critique, the evaluation is fundamentally based on an individual and on a group exercise. The individual exercise will consists in an analysis of a typological sample of published critiques of a play premiered recently. The group work will be an oral exposition around one of the following options: a) The choosing of a critic who is currently active, the assessment of the type of critique he/she realises and the commenting of a representative example of their production; b) To write a critique of a play that is showing in Barcelona and to compare that critique with one of the other critics; c) To follow throughout a month the critique of shows and drama literature of a newspaper or magazine edited in Barcelona and to analyse the treatment they receive. Engagement in the debates and the realised exercises are also highly accountable of the final qualification.


1. At the time of each evaluation activity, the teacher will inform the students of the procedure and the date for reviewing the grades.

2. In the event of a student committing any irregularity that may lead to a significant variation in the grade awarded to an assessment activity, the student will be given a zero for this activity, regardless ofany disciplinary process that may take place. In the event of several irregularities in assessment activities of the same subject, the student will be given a zero as the final grade for this subject.

3. In the event that tests or exams cannot be taken onsite, they will be adapted to an online format made available through the UAB’s virtual tools (original weighting will be maintained). Homework, activities and class participation will be carried out through forums, wikis and/or discussion on Teams, etc. Lecturers will ensure that students are able to access these virtual tools, or will offer them feasible alternatives.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Attendance and active participation in class 20 % 0 0 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 7
Handing-in of reports and works 40 % 0 0 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 7
Individual and group exhibitions 40 % 0 0 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 7


Adorno, Theodor W. (1969): «La crítica de la cultura y la sociedad», a Crítica cultural y sociedad, trad. de Manuel Sacristán, Barcelona, Ariel, p. 203-230.

Auden, W. H. (1974): La mano del teñidor, Barcelona, Barral. Primera edició: 1948.

Barthes, Roland (1969): Crítica i veritat, versió de Jaume Vidal Alcover, Barcelona, Llibres de Sinera.

____ (1993) Le plaisir du texte, Paris, Seuil.

Batlle, C.; Gallén, E.; Güell, M. (ed.) (2016) Drama contemporani: renaixença o extinció?, Lleida-Barcelona-París, Punctum / Institut del Teatre/ UPF / Université Paris-Sorbonne.

Bennet, Susan (1997): Theatre Audiences: A Theory of Production and Reception, London - N. York, Routledge.

Benjamin, Walter (1987): Dirección única, trad. de Juan J. del Solar i Mercedes Allendesalazar, Madrid, Alfaguara.

Berardinelli, Alfonso (2016): Leer es un riesgo, trad. de Salvador Cobo, Madrid, Círculo de Tiza.

Berenguer, Ángel (1991): Teoría y crítica del teatro. Estudios sobre teoría teatral, Alcalá de Henares, Universidad de Alcalá de Henares, Servicio de Publicaciones.

Bértolo, Constantino (ed.) (1990): El ojo crítico, Barcelona, Ediciones B.

Brenner, Jacques (1970): Les critiques dramatiques, París, Flammarion.

De Matteis, Tiberia (2008): La critica teatrale: come si analizza e si recensisce uno spettacolo, Roma, Gremese.

Eagleton, Terry (1999): La función de la crítica, trad. de Fernando Inglés Bonilla, Barcelona, Paidós.

Eco, U. (1987) Lector in fabula: la cooperación interpretativa en el texto narrativo, Barcelona, Lumen.  

Eco, Umberto (1991): Els límits de lainterpretació, Barcelona, Destino.

Eliot, T. S. (1967): Criticar al crítico y otros críticos, Madrid, Alianza.

Eliot, T. S. (1999): «Els límits de la crítica» [1956], a Sobre poetes i poesia, Barcelona, Columna, p. 121-138.

Fàbregas, Xavier (1973): Introducció al llenguatge teatral, Barcelona, Edicions 62.

Fàbregas, Xavier (1976): El teatre o la vida, Barcelona, Galba.

Fish, S. E. (1980) Is there a text in this class?: The Authority of Interpretative Communities, Cambridge, Mass, Harvard UP.

Fogel, Jean-François (1986): «Un crítico con antenas», a Críticas ejemplares, Palma, Bitzoc, p. 105-109.

García Barrientos, José-Luis (2017): Cómo se analiza una obra de teatro. Ensayo de método, Madrid, Síntesis.

Genette, G. (1982) Palimpsestes: la littérature au second dregré, Paris, Seuil.

Hamm, P. (1971): Crítica de la crítica, Barcelona, Barral.

Iser, Wolfgang (1985) L'acte de lecture. Théorie de l'effet esthétique, Bruxelles, Mardaga.

James, Henry (2008): La figura de la alfombra, trad. de Enrique Murillo, Madrid, Impedimenta.

Jauss, H. R. (1991) Teoria de la recepció literària: dos articles, Barcelona, Barcanova.

Kristeva, J. (1969) Semeiotikè. Recherches pour une sémanalyse, Paris, Seuil.

Le Calvez, E.; Canova-Green, M.C. (1997) Texte(s) et intertexte(s), Amsterdam, Rodopi.

Lehmann, H. T. (2006) Postdramatic Theatre, London - N. York, Routledge.

Limat-Lettelier, N.; Miguet-Ollagnier, M. (dir.) L'Intertextualité, Paris, Les Belles Lettres.

Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim (1987): Dramatúrgia d’Hamburg, trad. de Feliu Formosa, Barcelona, Publicacions de l’Institut del Teatre.

Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim (2007): Crítica y dramaturgia, trad. de Vicent M. Sanz Esbrí, Castelló, Ellago.

Mamet, David (2011), Manifiesto, Barcelona, Seix Barral.

Mayoral, J. A. (comp.) (1987) Estética de la recepción, Madrid, Arco-Libros.

Pavis, Patrice (1985): «Le discours de la critique dramatique», a Vers une théorie de la pratique théâtrale, Villeneuve-d’Ascq (Nord), Presses Universitaires du Septentrion p. 157-166.

Rancière, J. (2008), Le spectateur émancipé, Paris, La Fabrique.

Reich-Ranicki, Marcel (2004): Los abogados de la literatura, Barcelona, Galaxia Gutenberg, Círculo de Lectores.

Reich-Ranicki, Marcel (2014): Sobre la crítica literaria, Barcelona, Elba.

Romera Castillo, José (ed.) (2004): Teatro, prensa y nuevas tecnologías (1990-2003), Madrid, Visor Libros.

Sanchis Sinisterra, J. (2002) La escena sin límites, Ciudad Real, Ñaque.

Sarrazac, J. P. (2000) Critique du théâtre: de l'utopie au désenchantement, Paris, Circé.

_____ (2012) Poétique du drame moderne, Paris: Seuil.

Sarrazac, J. P. (dir.) (2005) Lexique du drame moderne et contemporain, Paris, Circé.

Steiner, George (2017): Presencias reales. ¿Hay algo en lo que decimos?, trad. de Juan Gabriel López Guix, Madrid, Siruela.

Strauss, Botho (1989): Crítica teatral: las nuevas fronteras, Barcelona, Gedisa.

Szondi, Peter (1988) Teoria del Drama Modern (1880 - 1950), Barcelona, Institut del Teatre.

Valentini, Valentina (1991) Després del teatre modern. Barcelona, Institut del Teatre.