Is nurturing the subversive comic impulse in expression vital to a democracy? This speaking-instructive dramatic literature course examines the comic tradition in U.S. dramatic writing, focusing primarily on how democratic principles and ideals have been represented. One primary topic to be considered involves the ways that comic plays, whether overtly or subversively, can serve as a contributing factor to stimulate political change in a democracy. A range of plays from early national to contemporary will be read and discussed to draw conclusions about features of a democracy and what it means to be a citizen of a democracy. The plays will also serve as the basis for oral presentations.