Course: THEA 115 Play Production
Theatre History Outline
Arthur Dirks
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Theatre History Outline

1. The Poet-Centered Theatre

Greek Dramatic Forms:

Earliest fixed theatre (c. 540 BC):

Greek Festivals with theatre:


Roman Dramatic Forms:


Medieval secular theatrical activity (c. 600 AD):

2. Symbol Referenced Staging

Evolution of liturgical drama (c. 1200 AD):

Renaissance theatrical activity (c. 1500):

James Burbage built the first English theatre building - the Theatre - in London in 1576. It was essentially a game arena with a booth and a trestle stage in the ring.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) wrote 36 plays.

3. Framed Staging

17th Century French Neoclassicism:

English Restoration Comedy of Manners (1650-1730)

18th Century English Bourgeois Drama (considered Comedy of Manners to be immoral)

Reactions against bourgeois drama (return to "laughing comedy")(late 18th Century)

Late 18th Century development of German Romanticism

4. Realistic Staging

19th Century Realism and Naturalism

Modern Drama (1870)

Emergence of the Director (1870)

Independent Theatre Movement:

Modern Acting:

5. Technological Theatre

Modern Stagecraft:

Theatre in America:

Twentieth Century theatrical styles:

Breaking out of Broadway:

The renaissance of the 1960s

All original content protected by copyright © Arthur L. Dirks, Taunton, MA., 2005.