Writing and Rhetoric provide students with valuable composition and speaking skills for academic and private life. This course explores the relationship between a vibrant civic theater and politically self-conscious peoples. Some of the artists whose work is read and experienced in the class wrote in climates of political censorship and persecution. Others argue that racism or sexism makes a national theater impossible, for playing to the oppressors is itself a moral capitulation. Each play read invites the class to explore the way that drama can challenge, subvert, support, or critique notions of order, whether of gender, race, class, religion or politics, being a powerful tool for public argument. Students write three process essays, building written arguments through discussion, prewriting, class presentation, formal and informal debate. At the end of the semester, students produce a written proposal for oral presentation. Students learn to recognize and employ the elements essential to effective argumentation: concise language and a clear style, logical signposts and transitions, appropriate use of evidence and attention to logical fallacies.