This course examines the culture and history of East Asian countries through the lens of theater. In its synthesis of textual, visual, aural, material and intellectual, theater presents a multidimensional reflection of the society it inhabits in. Theater studies in conversation with its cultural context therefore ought to challenge conventional research methods, and analyze this humanistic endeavor with a refreshed interdisciplinary approach. This course situates representative genres of East Asian theater under different topics. Students will discuss and compare the social and cultural features of different times in East Asia with theories in culture studies, history, and anthropology, while conducting performance analysis of representative theatrical genres in China, Japan and Korea from 16th century onwards. At the end of the semester, students will need to submit a term paper on a related topic of their choice.