This dramatic literature class will take a look at two forms of theatre that maintain their roots in realistic exchanges while allowing us to drift into realms of pure imagination. The semester will be divided into two. First we will explore the European roots of Theatre of the Absurd through the plays of Samuel Beckett, Eugene Ionesco and Harold Pinter. Then we will look at the South American tradition of Magical Realism and how it has inspired contemporary American playwrights such as Tony Kushner and Sarah Ruhl. Students will be expected to write both analytic responses and engage in playwriting exercises as we explore these forms.