Theatricality and Mass Media - Online drama courses | Arts and Science ONLINE

Theatricality & Mass Media

DRAM 205/3.0

An exploration of theatricality and theatrical communication via an examination of how some major trends in theatre since the 19th century have been represented by film and electronic media. The course will study examples of theatrical works on film and other theatrical responses to social, cultural, and political issues presented in mass media.

Please note: This course is typically offered in the fall term - every other year

Learning Outcomes

Topics covered in this course include:

  • Holding the Mirror Up to Nature
    • Mimesis
    • Distance
    • Suggestion
    • Ritual
  • Exploring Theatricality
    • Theatricality 
    • Liveness
  • Theatrical Mirrors
    • Gaze and Performativity
    • Masks and Abstracting the Human
    • Drag
    • Carnivalesque


We use stories to make sense of our world, and the theatre has long been one of the main ways in which we’ve shared those stories with each other. Since the arrival of film and other televisual media, however, the theatre has experienced something of an identity crisis. Forced from its traditional position as the dominant mode of performance-based storytelling, theatre has had to re-examine not only how it tells stories, but also how it can tell stories.

DRAM205 is an investigation of theatre storytelling conducted in the context of the arrival of these new media technologies. We will discuss theatre relation to filmed media as a means of identifying some of the conventions and communicative languages that are unique to theatre and theatrical storytelling. Put another way, we will explore what it is that makes theatre theatrical, and we will look at how some theatrical modes of expression have been used in televisual media to enhance the storytelling experience.

The course is structured in 3 units. The units are assembled according to the overall journey of the course. We will begin by establishing a baseline discussion about realism and its alternatives as strategies for dramatic storytelling. Then we will explore the concept of theatricality. Finally, we will look at how theatricality and departures from realism are being used in some contemporary theatrical works to tell us stories about each other and ourselves.

Please see the course's WordPress site for more details about the course:


Fall 2022
Course Dates: 
Sept. 6 - Dec. 5, 2022
Exam Dates: 
Dec. 8-22, 2022


20% Response Assignments

70% ICE Assignments

10% ICE Grading Forums 

**Evaluation Subject to Change**


Professor Grahame Renyk (

Instructor message

Hello, and welcome to Dram205 - Theatre in the Age of Film and Television. My name is Grahame Renyk, and I the instructor for this course(that's me in the picture).I have taught this course on campus at Queen's since 2009, and this is the second time it is being offered online through Arts and Science Online. I am excited to explore this new format for the course. Everything will be administered via this onQ site.

Time Commitment

To complete the readings, assignments, and course activities, students can expect to spend, on average, about 10 hours per week on the course (114 hours per term). This amount will vary depending on such factors as an individual student’s reading skills, familiarity with the study of English literature, experience and facility with writing academic essays, and goals for the course.

Students are expected to be able to make a consistent weekly commitment and regular participation to this course throughout the term.

Course Resources


SOLUS is Queen’s Student On-Line University System. You’ll have access to a SOLUS account once you become a Queen’s student. You’ll use SOLUS to register for courses, add and drop courses, update your contact information, view financial and academic information, and pay your tuition.

About OnQ

onQ is Queen's online learning platform. You'll log into onQ to access your course. All materials related to your course—notes, readings, videos, recordings, discussion forums, assignments, quizzes, groupwork, tutorials, and help—will be on the onQ site.

About Credit Units

Queen’s courses are weighted in credit units. A typical one-term course is worth 3.0 units, and a typical two-term course is worth 6.0 units. You combine these units to create your degree. A general (three-year) BA or BSc requires a total of 90 credit units.

Computer Requirements

To take an online course, you’ll need a high speed internet connection as well as a microphone and speakers to be able to watch videos, hear sounds, and participate in interactive online activities. A webcam is recommended but not necessary.

System Requirements:

Computer Specifications

  • Windows 8.1 or newer
  • OSX 10.13 (High Sierra) or newer
  • Dual Core 2 GHz processor
  • 4 GB RAM
  • Soundcard
  • USB Headset
  • Webcam

Supported Browsers

  • Chrome (preferred - latest version)
  • Firefox (latest version)
  • Safari is not recommended as it causes several known issues in onQ
  • Edge is not recommended as it causes several known issues in onQ

Internet Connection

  • Wired high speed access: Cable or better
  • Wifi is not recommended


  • Latest version

Media Player

  • Flash (latest version)

Adobe Reader

  • Latest Version


The deadlines for new applications to Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are in our Upcoming Application Dates section.

Grading Scheme

The information below is intended for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Academic Regulations in other Faculties may differ.

Letter Grade Grade Point

GPA Calculators
Have your SOLUS grade report handy and then follow the link to the Arts and Science GPA calculators.

How does this affect my academics?
See the GPA and Academic Standing page.

Follow the link above for an explanation of how the GPA system affects such things as the Dean’s Honour List, requirements to graduate, and academic progression.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Grading Scheme
Please follow this link to the FAQ's

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for Summer Term 2018 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Domestic students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $685.90; for a 6.0-unit course, $1371.80 See also Tuition and Fees.

Campus Bookstore

All textbooks can be purchased at Queen’s Campus Bookstore.

Non-Queen’s Students

All Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are open to students at other universities. Before applying as a visiting student, request a Letter of Permission from your home university that states that you have permission to take the course and apply it to your degree. See also Apply.

Academic Integrity

Please see Queen’s policy statement on academic integrity for information on how to complete an online course honestly.