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Drama is the specific
mode Mode ( la, modus meaning "manner, tune, measure, due measure, rhythm, melody") may refer to: Language * Grammatical mode or grammatical mood, a category of verbal inflections that expresses an attitude of mind ** Imperative mood ** Subjunctive mo ...
of
fiction Fiction is any creative workA creative work is a manifestation of creative effort including fine artwork (sculpture Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions. It is one of the plastic arts. Durable sculp ...

fiction
represented
represented
in
performance A performance is an act of staging or presenting a play, concert, or other form of entertainment. It is also defined as the action or process of carrying out or accomplishing an action, task, or function. Management science In the work place, ...

performance
: a
play Play most commonly refers to: * Play (activity), an activity done for enjoyment * Play (theatre), a work of drama Play may refer also to: Computers and technology * Google Play, a digital content service * Play Framework, a Java framework * Play ...
,
opera Opera is a form of theatre in which music is a fundamental component and dramatic roles are taken by Singing, singers, but is distinct from musical theatre. Such a "work" (the literal translation of the Italian word "opera") is typically a co ...

opera
,
mime Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) is an Internet standard that extends the format of email messages to support text in character sets other than ASCII, as well as attachments of audio, video, images, and application programs. Message ...
,
ballet Ballet () is a type of performance dance that originated during the Italian Renaissance in the fifteenth century and later developed into a concert dance form in France and Russia. It has since become a widespread and highly technical form of ...

ballet
, etc., performed in a
theatre Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usually actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place, often a stage. The performe ...

theatre
, or on
radio Radio is the technology of signaling and telecommunication, communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic waves of frequency between 30 hertz (Hz) and 300 gigahertz (GHz). They are generated by an electronic device ...
or
television Television (TV), sometimes shortened to tele or telly, is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in monochrome (black and white), or in color, and in two or three dimensions and sound. The term can refer to a te ...

television
.Elam (1980, 98). Considered as a genre of
poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek language, Greek ''poiesis'', "making") is a form of literature that uses aesthetics, aesthetic and often rhythmic qualities of language—such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, and metre (poetry), metre—to ...

poetry
in general, the dramatic mode has been contrasted with the
epic Epic commonly refers to: * Epic poetry, a long narrative poem celebrating heroic deeds and events significant to a culture or nation * Epic film, a genre of film with heroic elements Epic or EPIC may also refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media ...
and the lyrical modes ever since
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit ...

Aristotle
's ''
Poetics Poetics is the theory of literary forms and literary discourse Discourse is a generalization of the notion of a conversation Conversation is interactive communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the ...
'' (c. 335 BC)—the earliest work of
dramatic theory Dramatic theory is a term used for works that attempt to form theories about theatre and drama. Examples of ancient dramatic theory include Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) wa ...
. The term "drama" comes from a
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
word "''draō''" meaning " to do / to act" (
Classical Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek (modern , romanized: ''Elliniká'', Ancient Greek, ancient , ''Hellēnikḗ'') is an independent branch of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European family of languages, nati ...
: , ''drama''), which is derived from "I do" (
Classical Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek (modern , romanized: ''Elliniká'', Ancient Greek, ancient , ''Hellēnikḗ'') is an independent branch of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European family of languages, nati ...
: , ''drao''). The two
mask A mask is an object normally worn on the face, typically for protection, disguise, performance, or entertainment. Masks have been used since antiquity for both ceremony, ceremonial and pragmatism, practical purposes, as well as in the perfor ...

mask
s associated with drama represent the traditional
generic Generic or generics may refer to: In business * Generic term, a common name used for a range or class of similar things not protected by trademark * Generic brand, a brand for a product that does not have an associated brand or trademark, other t ...

generic
division between
comedy Comedy (from the el, wikt:κωμῳδία, κωμῳδία, ''kōmōdía'') is a genre of fiction that consists of discourses or works intended to be humorous or amusing by inducing laughter, especially in theatre, film, stand-up comedy, televi ...
and
tragedy Tragedy (from the grc-gre, τραγῳδία, ''tragōidia'', ''tragōidia'') is a genre of drama Drama is the specific Mode (literature), mode of fiction Mimesis, represented in performance: a Play (theatre), play, opera, mime, ballet ...

tragedy
. In English (as was the analogous case in many other European languages), the word ''
play Play most commonly refers to: * Play (activity), an activity done for enjoyment * Play (theatre), a work of drama Play may refer also to: Computers and technology * Google Play, a digital content service * Play Framework, a Java framework * Play ...
'' or ''game'' (translating the
Anglo-Saxon The Anglo-Saxons were a cultural group Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior Social behavior is behavior Behavior (American English) or behaviour (British English; American and British English spelling ...
''pleġan'' or
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the ...

Latin
''ludus'') was the standard term for dramas until
William Shakespeare William Shakespeare (bapt. 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English playwright, poet, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and one of the world's greatest dramatists. He is often called England' ...

William Shakespeare
's time—just as its creator was a ''play-maker'' rather than a ''dramatist'' and the building was a ''play-house'' rather than a ''
theatre Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usually actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place, often a stage. The performe ...
''. The use of "drama" in a more narrow sense to designate a specific ''type'' of
play Play most commonly refers to: * Play (activity), an activity done for enjoyment * Play (theatre), a work of drama Play may refer also to: Computers and technology * Google Play, a digital content service * Play Framework, a Java framework * Play ...
dates from the modern era. "Drama" in this sense refers to a play that is ''neither'' a comedy nor a tragedy—for example,
Zola's
Zola's
'' Thérèse Raquin'' (
1873 Events January–March * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in leap years). This day is known as New Year's Day since ...
) or Chekhov's '' Ivanov'' ( 1887). It is this narrower sense that the
film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art The visual arts are art forms such as painting Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a solid surface ...

film
and
television Television (TV), sometimes shortened to tele or telly, is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in monochrome (black and white), or in color, and in two or three dimensions and sound. The term can refer to a te ...

television
industries, along with
film studies Film studies is an academic discipline that deals with various theoretical, historical History (from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study of the past. Events occurring before ...
, adopted to describe "
drama Drama is the specific Mode (literature), mode of fiction Mimesis, represented in performance: a Play (theatre), play, opera, mime, ballet, etc., performed in a theatre, or on Radio drama, radio or television.Elam (1980, 98). Considered as a g ...
" as a
genre Genre () is any form or type of communication in any mode (written, spoken, digital, artistic, etc.) with socially-agreed-upon conventions developed over time. In popular usage, it normally describes a Category of being, category of literature, m ...
within their respective media. The term ”
radio drama Radio drama (or audio drama, audio play, radio play, radio theatre, or audio theatre) is a dramatized, purely acoustic performance A performance is an act of staging or presenting a play, concert, or other form of entertainment. It is also defi ...
“ has been used in both senses—originally transmitted in a live performance. May also refer to the more high-brow and serious end of the dramatic output of
radio Radio is the technology of signaling and telecommunication, communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic waves of frequency between 30 hertz (Hz) and 300 gigahertz (GHz). They are generated by an electronic device ...

radio
. The enactment of drama in
theatre Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usually actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place, often a stage. The performe ...

theatre
, performed by
actor An actor is a person who portrays a character in a performance (also actress; #The term actress, see below). The actor performs "in the flesh" in the traditional medium of the theatre or in modern media such as film, radio, and television. The ...

actor
s on a
stage Stage or stages may refer to: Acting * Stage (theatre), a space for the performance of theatrical productions * Theatre, a branch of the performing arts, often referred to as "the stage" * ''The Stage'', a weekly British theatre newspaper * Stag ...
before an
audience An audience is a group of people who participate in a show or encounter a work of art A work of art, artwork, art piece, piece of art or art object is an artistic creation of aesthetics, aesthetic value. Except for "work of ...

audience
, presupposes
collaborative Collaboration is the process of two or more people, entities or organization An organization, or organisation ( Commonwealth English; see spelling differences), is an entity – such as a company, an institution, or an association ...

collaborative
modes of production and a
collective A collective is a group of entities that share or are motivated by at least one common issue or interest, or work together to achieve a common objective. Collectives can differ from cooperative A cooperative (also known as co-operative, co- ...
form of reception. The structure of dramatic texts, unlike other forms of
literature Literature broadly is any collection of Writing, written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, drama, and poetry. In recent centuries, the definition has expand ...

literature
, is directly influenced by this collaborative production and collective reception. Mime is a form of drama where the action of a story is told only through the movement of the body. Drama can be combined with
music Music is the art of arranging sounds in time through the elements of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the universal cultural aspects of all human societies. General definitions of music include common elements such as pit ...

music
: the dramatic text in
opera Opera is a form of theatre in which music is a fundamental component and dramatic roles are taken by Singing, singers, but is distinct from musical theatre. Such a "work" (the literal translation of the Italian word "opera") is typically a co ...

opera
is generally sung throughout; as for in some ballets dance "expresses or imitates emotion, character, and narrative action".''Encyclopaedia Britannica''
/ref>
Musicals Musical theatre is a form of theatrical performance that combines songs, spoken dialogue Dialogue (sometimes spelled dialog in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U ...
include both spoken
dialogue Dialogue (sometimes spelled dialog in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. C ...
and
song A song is a musical composition intended to be performed by the human voice. This is often done at melody, distinct and fixed pitches (melodies) using patterns of sound and silence. Songs contain various song form, forms, such as those includi ...

song
s; and some forms of drama have
incidental music Incidental music is music Music is the art of arranging sounds in time to produce a composition through the elements of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the universal cultural Culture () is an umbrella term which en ...
or musical accompaniment underscoring the dialogue (
melodrama between 1856 and 1860, depicting a typical Parisian scene as was the case on Boulevard du Temple. A modern melodrama is a dramatic work wherein the plot, typically sensationalized and for a strong emotional appeal, takes precedence over detailed ...
and Japanese , for example).See the entries for "opera", "musical theatre, American", "melodrama" and "Nō" in Banham (1998).
Closet drama A closet drama is a play (theatre), play that is not intended to be performed onstage, but read by a solitary reader or sometimes out loud in a small group. The contrast between closet drama and classic "stage" dramas dates back to the late eighteen ...
is a form that is intended to be read, rather than performed.''
Manfred "Scene from ''Manfred''" by Thomas Cole, 1833. ''Manfred: A dramatic poem'' is a closet drama A closet drama is a play that is not intended to be performed onstage, but read by a solitary reader or sometimes out loud in a small group. The co ...

Manfred
'' by
Byron George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, (22 January 1788 – 19 April 1824) known simply as Lord Byron, was an English Peerage of the United Kingdom, peer, who was a poet and politician. He was one of the leading figures of the Romanticism ...
, for example, is a good example of a "
dramatic poem Verse drama is any drama written significantly in poetry, verse (that is: with line endings) to be performed by an actor before an audience. Although verse drama does not need to be ''primarily'' in verse to be considered verse drama, significant p ...
." See the entry on "Byron (George George)" in Banham (1998).
In
improvisation Improvisation is the activity of making or doing something not planned beforehand, using whatever can be found. Improvisation in the performing arts is a very spontaneous performance without specific or scripted preparation. The skills of impr ...
, the drama does not pre-exist the moment of performance; performers devise a dramatic script spontaneously before an audience.Some forms of improvisation, notably the
Commedia dell'arte (; ; ) was an early form of professional theatre Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usually actor, actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a li ...
, improvise on the basis of 'lazzi' or rough outlines of scenic action (see Gordon (1983) and Duchartre (1929)). All forms of improvisation take their cue from their immediate response to one another, their characters' situations (which are sometimes established in advance), and, often, their interaction with the audience. The classic formulations of improvisation in the theatre originated with
Joan Littlewood Joan Maud Littlewood (6 October 1914 – 20 September 2002) was an English theatre director who trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA ) is a drama school in London, England, that provides vocatio ...

Joan Littlewood
and
Keith Johnstone Keith Johnstone (born February 22, 1933) is a British and Canadian pioneer of improvisational theatre, best known for inventing the ''Impro System'', part of which are the Theatresports. He is also an educator, playwright A playwright or drama ...
in the UK and
Viola Spolin Viola Spolin (November 7, 1906 — November 22, 1994) was an American theatre academic, educator and acting coach. She is considered an important innovator in 20th century United States, American theater for creating directorial techniques to help ...
in the USA; see Johnstone (1981) and Spolin (1963).


History of Western drama


Classical Greek drama

Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town in the US *Western Creek, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western Junction, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western world, countries that ide ...
drama originates in
classical Greece Classical Greece was a period of around 200 years (the 5th and 4th centuries BC) in Ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark ...
. The theatrical culture of the
city-state A city-state is an independent sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French ''souverain'', which is ultimately derived from the Latin word ''superānus'' ...

city-state
of
Athens Athens ( ; el, Αθήνα, Athína ; grc, Ἀθῆναι, Athênai (pl.) ) is the capital city, capital and List of cities in Greece, largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica (region), Attica region and is one of the List of oldest ...
produced three
genre Genre () is any form or type of communication in any mode (written, spoken, digital, artistic, etc.) with socially-agreed-upon conventions developed over time. In popular usage, it normally describes a Category of being, category of literature, m ...

genre
s of drama:
tragedy Tragedy (from the grc-gre, τραγῳδία, ''tragōidia'', ''tragōidia'') is a genre of drama Drama is the specific Mode (literature), mode of fiction Mimesis, represented in performance: a Play (theatre), play, opera, mime, ballet ...

tragedy
,
comedy Comedy (from the el, wikt:κωμῳδία, κωμῳδία, ''kōmōdía'') is a genre of fiction that consists of discourses or works intended to be humorous or amusing by inducing laughter, especially in theatre, film, stand-up comedy, televi ...
, and the
satyr play The satyr play is a form of Attica, Attic theatre performance related to both comedy and tragedy. It preserves theatrical elements of dialogue, actors speaking verse, a chorus that dances and sings, masks and costumes. Its relationship to tragedy i ...
. Their origins remain obscure, though by the 5th century BC, they were
institution Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington, are "stable, valued, recurring patterns of behavior." Institutions can refer to social mechanism, mechanisms which govern the behavior of a set of individuals within a given community, and are ide ...
alised in
competitions Competition arises whenever two or more parties strive for a common goal A goal is an idea of the future or desired result that a person or a group of people envision, Planning, plan and commit to achieve. People endeavour to reach goals ...

competitions
held as part of festivities celebrating the god
Dionysus Dionysus (; grc-gre, Διόνυσος) is the god of the grape-harvest, winemaking, fertility, orchards and fruit, vegetation, insanity, ritual madness, religious ecstasy, festivity and theatre in Religion in ancient Greece, ancient Greek reli ...

Dionysus
. Historians know the names of many ancient Greek dramatists, not least
Thespis 200px, ''Thespis' wagon'', relief of the Giotto's Belltower in Florence, Italy, Nino Pisano, 1334–1336 Thespis (; grc-gre, Θέσπις; fl. 6th century BC) was an Ancient Greece, Ancient Greek poet. He was born in the ancient city of Icarius ...
, who is credited with the innovation of an actor ("''hypokrites''") who speaks (rather than sings) and impersonates a
character Character(s) may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''Character'' (novel), a 1936 Dutch novel by Ferdinand Bordewijk * ''Characters'' (Theophrastus), a classical Greek set of character sketches attributed to Theophrastus M ...
(rather than speaking in his own person), while interacting with the
chorus Chorus may refer to: Music * Chorus (song) or refrain, line or lines that are repeated in music or in verse * Chorus effect, the perception of similar sounds from multiple sources as a single, richer sound * Chorus form, song in which all verses ...
and its leader ("''
coryphaeusIn Classical Athens, Attic drama, the coryphaeus, corypheus, or koryphaios (Greek language, Greek κορυφαῖος ''koryphaîos'', from κορυφή ''koryphḗ́'', the top of the head) was the leader of the Greek chorus, chorus. Hence the term ...
''"), who were a traditional part of the performance of non-dramatic poetry (
dithyramb The dithyramb ( grc, διθύραμβος, ''dithyrambos'') was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is ...
ic,
lyric Lyric may refer to: * Lyric poetry is a form of poetry that expresses a subjective, personal point of view * Lyric, from the Greek language, a song that is played with a lyre * Lyrics, the composition in verse which is sung to a melody to constitut ...
and
epic Epic commonly refers to: * Epic poetry, a long narrative poem celebrating heroic deeds and events significant to a culture or nation * Epic film, a genre of film with heroic elements Epic or EPIC may also refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media ...
). Only a small fraction of the work of five dramatists, however, has survived to this day: we have a small number of complete texts by the tragedians
Aeschylus Aeschylus (, ; grc-gre, Αἰσχύλος ; c. 525/524 – c. 456/455 BC) was an ancient Greece, ancient Greek Greek tragedy, tragedian, and is often described as the father of tragedy. Academic knowledge of the genre begins with his work, and ...
,
Sophocles Sophocles (; grc-gre, Σοφοκλῆς, ; 497/6 – winter 406/5 BC)Sommerstein (2002), p. 41. is one of three ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, anc ...

Sophocles
and
Euripides Euripides (; grc, Εὐριπίδης ''Eurīpídēs'', ; ) was a tragedian Tragedy (from the grc-gre, τραγῳδία, ''tragōidia'', ''tragōidia'') is a form of drama based on human suffering and, mainly, the terrible or sorrowful ...

Euripides
, and the comic writers
Aristophanes Aristophanes (; grc, Ἀριστοφάνης, ; c. 446 – c. 386 BC), son of Philippus, of the deme 250px, Pinakia, identification tablets (name, father's name, deme) used for tasks like jury selection, Museum at the Ancient Agora of Athen ...

Aristophanes
and, from the late 4th century,
Menander Menander (; grc-gre, Μένανδρος ''Menandros''; c. 342/41 – c. 290 BC) was a Greek dramatist and the best-known representative of Athenian New Comedy. He wrote 108 comedies and took the prize at the Lenaia festival eight times. His r ...

Menander
. Aeschylus' historical tragedy ''
The Persians ''The Persians'' ( grc, Πέρσαι, ''Persai'', Latinised as ''Persae'') is an ancient Greek tragedy written during the Classical period of Ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of ...
'' is the oldest surviving drama, although when it won first prize at the
City Dionysia The Dionysia () (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxim ...
competition in 472 BC, he had been writing plays for more than 25 years. The competition ("''
agon Agon (Classical Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek (modern , romanized: ''Elliniká'', Ancient Greek, ancient , ''Hellēnikḗ'') is an independent branch of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European ...

agon
''") for tragedies may have begun as early as 534 BC; official records ("''didaskaliai''") begin from 501 BC when the
satyr play The satyr play is a form of Attica, Attic theatre performance related to both comedy and tragedy. It preserves theatrical elements of dialogue, actors speaking verse, a chorus that dances and sings, masks and costumes. Its relationship to tragedy i ...
was introduced. Tragic dramatists were required to present a
tetralogy A tetralogy (from Greek τετρα- '' tetra-'', "four" and -λογία ''-logia'', "discourse"), also known as a quartet or quadrilogy, is a compound work that is made up of four distinct works. The name comes from the Attic theater Theat ...

tetralogy
of plays (though the individual works were not necessarily connected by story or theme), which usually consisted of three tragedies and one satyr play (though exceptions were made, as with Euripides' ''
Alcestis Alcestis (; Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: Mycen ...
'' in 438 BC).
Comedy Comedy (from the el, wikt:κωμῳδία, κωμῳδία, ''kōmōdía'') is a genre of fiction that consists of discourses or works intended to be humorous or amusing by inducing laughter, especially in theatre, film, stand-up comedy, televi ...

Comedy
was officially recognized with a prize in the competition from 487 to 486 BC. Five comic dramatists competed at the City
Dionysia The Dionysia () (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxim ...
(though during the
Peloponnesian War The Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC) was an ancient Greece, ancient Greek war fought between the Delian League, which was led by Classical Athens, Athens, and the Peloponnesian League, which was led by Sparta. Historians have traditionally di ...

Peloponnesian War
this may have been reduced to three), each offering a single comedy.
Ancient Greek comedy Ancient Greek comedy was one of the final three principal dramatic forms in the Theatre of ancient Greece, theatre of classical Greece (the others being tragedy and the satyr play). Classical Athens, Athenian comedy is conventionally divided into th ...
is traditionally divided between "old comedy" (5th century BC), "middle comedy" (4th century BC) and "new comedy" (late 4th century to 2nd BC).


Classical Roman drama

Following the expansion of the
Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the ancient Rome, classical Roman civilization, run through res publica, public Representation (politics), representation of the Roman people. Beginning with the Overthrow of the ...
(509–27 BC) into several Greek territories between 270–240 BC, Rome encountered
Greek drama Ancient Greek drama was a Theatre, theatrical culture that flourished in ancient Greece from 600 BC. The Polis, city-state of Classical Athens, Athens, which became a significant cultural, political, and religious place during this period, was its ...
.Brockett and Hildy (2003, 43). From the later years of the republic and by means of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Roman Republic, Republican period of ancient Rome. As a polity it included large territorial holdings aro ...

Roman Empire
(27 BC-476 AD), theatre spread west across Europe, around the Mediterranean and reached England; Roman theatre was more varied, extensive and sophisticated than that of any culture before it. While Greek drama continued to be performed throughout the Roman period, the year 240 BC marks the beginning of regular Roman drama. From the beginning of the empire, however, interest in full-length drama declined in favour of a broader variety of theatrical entertainments. The first important works of
Roman literature Latin literature includes the essays, histories, poems, plays, and other writings written in the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originall ...
were the
tragedies Tragedy (from the grc-gre, wiktionary:τραγῳδία, τραγῳδία, ''tragōidia'', ''tragōidia'') is a form of drama based on human suffering and, mainly, the terrible or sorrowful events that befall a tragic hero, main character. T ...

tragedies
and
comedies Comedy (from the el, wikt:κωμῳδία, κωμῳδία, ''kōmōdía'') is a genre of fiction consisting of discourses or works intended to be humorous or amusing by inducing laughter, especially in theatre, film, stand-up comedy, television ...
that
Livius Andronicus Lucius Livius Andronicus (; c. 284 – c. 205 BC) was a Greco-Roman Roman Theatre of Mérida, Spain. The term "Greco-Roman world" (also "Greco-Roman culture" or ; spelled Graeco-Roman in the Commonwealth), as understood by modern scholar ...
wrote from 240 BC.Brockett and Hildy (2003, 47). Five years later,
Gnaeus Naevius Gnaeus Naevius (; c. 270 – c. 201 BC) was a Roman epic poet A poet is a person who creates poetry. Poets may describe themselves as such or be described as such by others. A poet may simply be a writer of poetry, or may perform their ar ...
also began to write drama. No plays from either writer have survived. While both dramatists composed in both
genres Genre () is any form or type of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent answer to the painful divisions between self and other, private and public, and inner th ...
, Andronicus was most appreciated for his tragedies and Naevius for his comedies; their successors tended to specialise in one or the other, which led to a separation of the subsequent development of each type of drama. By the beginning of the 2nd century BC, drama was firmly established in Rome and a
guild A guild is an association of artisans and merchants who oversee the practice of their craft/trade in a particular area. The earliest types of guild formed as organizations of tradesmen, belonging to: a professional association, a trade union, a ...
of writers (''collegium poetarum'') had been formed. The Roman comedies that have survived are all ''
fabula palliata Fabula palliata is a genre of Roman drama that consists largely of Romanized versions of Greek plays.''OCD'', sv. palliata ''Palliata'' comes from ''pallium'', the Latin word for a Greek-style cloak. It is possible that the term ''fabula palliata' ...
'' (comedies based on Greek subjects) and come from two dramatists:
Titus Maccius Plautus Titus Maccius Plautus (; c. 254 – 184 BC), commonly known as Plautus, was a Roman playwright A playwright or dramatist is a person who writes plays. Etymology The word "play" is from Middle English pleye, from Old English plæġ, pleġa, ...

Titus Maccius Plautus
(Plautus) and
Publius Terentius Afer Publius Terentius Afer (; c. 195/185 – c. 159? BC), better known in English language, English as Terence (), was a Roman Africans, Roman African playwright during the Roman Republic. His comedies were performed for the first time around 170–1 ...
(Terence). In re-working the Greek originals, the Roman comic dramatists abolished the role of the
chorus Chorus may refer to: Music * Chorus (song) or refrain, line or lines that are repeated in music or in verse * Chorus effect, the perception of similar sounds from multiple sources as a single, richer sound * Chorus form, song in which all verses ...
in dividing the drama into
episode An episode is a narrative unit within a larger drama Drama is the specific Mode (literature), mode of fiction Mimesis, represented in performance: a Play (theatre), play, opera, mime, ballet, etc., performed in a theatre, or on Radio drama, ...
s and introduced musical accompaniment to its
dialogue Dialogue (sometimes spelled dialog in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. C ...
(between one-third of the dialogue in the comedies of Plautus and two-thirds in those of Terence).Brockett and Hildy (2003, 49). The action of all scenes is set in the exterior location of a street and its complications often follow from
eavesdropping Eavesdropping is the act of secretly or stealthily listening to the private conversation or communications of others without their consent in order to gather information. Etymology The verb ''eavesdrop'' is a back-formation from the noun ''eaves ...
. Plautus, the more popular of the two, wrote between 205 and 184 BC and twenty of his comedies survive, of which his
farce Farce is a comedy Comedy (from the el, wikt:κωμῳδία, κωμῳδία, ''kōmōdía'') is a genre of fiction consisting of discourses or works intended to be humorous or amusing by inducing laughter, especially in theatre, film, stand-u ...
s are best known; he was admired for the
wit Wit is a form of intelligent humour Humour (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English) or humor (American English; American and British English spelling differences#-our, -or, see spelling differences) is the tendency of ...

wit
of his dialogue and his use of a variety of poetic meters.Brockett and Hildy (2003, 48). All of the six comedies that Terence wrote between 166 and 160 BC have survived; the complexity of his plots, in which he often combined several Greek originals, was sometimes denounced, but his double-plots enabled a sophisticated presentation of contrasting human behaviour. No early Roman tragedy survives, though it was highly regarded in its day; historians know of three early tragedians—
Quintus Ennius Quintus Ennius (; c. 239 – c. 169 BC) was a writer and poet who lived during the Roman Republic. He is often considered the father of Roman poetry. He was born in Rudiae, formerly a small town located near modern Lecce in the heel of Italy (anci ...
,
Marcus Pacuvius Marcus Pacuvius (; 220 – c. 130 BC) was an ancient Roman In historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest histor ...
, and
Lucius Accius Lucius Accius (; 170 – c. 86 BC), or Lucius Attius, was a Roman Republic, Roman tragic poet and literary scholar. The son of a freedman#Ancient Rome, freedman and a freedwoman, Accius was born at Pisaurum in Umbria, in 170 BC. The year of his ...
. From the time of the empire, the work of two tragedians survives—one is an unknown author, while the other is the Stoic philosopher
Seneca Seneca may refer to: People and language *Seneca (name), a list of people with either the given name or surname *Seneca the Elder, a Roman rhetorician, writer and father of the stoic philosopher Seneca the Younger *Seneca the Younger, a Roman Stoi ...
.Brockett and Hildy (2003, 50). Nine of Seneca's tragedies survive, all of which are ''fabula crepidata'' (tragedies adapted from Greek originals); his '' Phaedra'', for example, was based on
Euripides Euripides (; grc, Εὐριπίδης ''Eurīpídēs'', ; ) was a tragedian Tragedy (from the grc-gre, τραγῳδία, ''tragōidia'', ''tragōidia'') is a form of drama based on human suffering and, mainly, the terrible or sorrowful ...

Euripides
' '' Hippolytus''. Historians do not know who wrote the only
extant Extant is the opposite of the word extinct. It may refer to: * Extant hereditary titles * Extant literature, surviving literature, such as ''Beowulf'', the oldest extant manuscript written in English * Extant taxon, a taxon which is not extinct, s ...
example of the ''fabula praetexta'' (tragedies based on Roman subjects), '' Octavia'', but in former times it was mistakenly attributed to Seneca due to his appearance as a
character Character(s) may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''Character'' (novel), a 1936 Dutch novel by Ferdinand Bordewijk * ''Characters'' (Theophrastus), a classical Greek set of character sketches attributed to Theophrastus M ...
in the tragedy.


Medieval

Beginning in the
early Middle Ages The Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages (historiography), Dark Ages, is typically regarded by historians as lasting from the late 5th or early 6th century to the 10th century. They marked the start ...
, churches staged dramatised versions of biblical events, known as
liturgical dramaThis article focuses on the technical term ''liturgical drama''; for general aspects of medieval performance, see the article on medieval theatre. Origin of the term and its dissemination The term was widely desseminated by well-known theater histo ...
s, to enliven annual celebrations. The earliest example is the
Easter Easter,Traditional names for the feast in English are "Easter Day", as in the ''Book of Common Prayer''; "Easter Sunday", used by James Ussher''The Whole Works of the Most Rev. James Ussher, Volume 4'' and Samuel Pepys''The Diary of Samuel Pe ...

Easter
trope ''Whom do you Seek? (Quem-Quaeritis)'' (c. 925).Brockett and Hildy (2003, 76). Two groups would sing responsively in
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the ...

Latin
, though no impersonation of
characters Character(s) may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * Character (novel), ''Character'' (novel), a 1936 Dutch novel by Ferdinand Bordewijk * Characters (Theophrastus), ''Characters'' (Theophrastus), a classical Greek set of char ...
was involved. By the 11th century, it had spread through Europe to
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the world, covering over , and encom ...

Russia
,
Scandinavia Scandinavia; Sami languages, Sami: ''Skadesi-suolu''/''Skađsuâl''. ( ) is a Subregion#Europe, subregion in Northern Europe, with strong historical, cultural, and linguistic ties. In English usage, ''Scandinavia'' can refer to Denmark, Norw ...

Scandinavia
, and
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a Northern Italy, continental part, delimited by the Alps, a Italian Peninsula, peninsula and List of islands of Italy, se ...

Italy
; excluding . In the 10th century, Hrosvitha wrote six plays in Latin modeled on
Terence Publius Terentius Afer (; c. 195/185 – c. 159? BC), better known in English as Terence (), was a Roman African playwright during the Roman Republic. His comedies were performed for the first time around 170–160 BC. Terentius Lucanus, a Rom ...
's comedies, but which treated religious subjects.Brockett and Hildy (2003, 77). Her plays are the first known to be composed by a female dramatist and the first identifiable Western drama of the post-Classical era. Later,
Hildegard of Bingen Hildegard of Bingen (german: Hildegard von Bingen; la, Hildegardis Bingensis; ), also known as Saint Hildegard and the Sibyl of the Rhine, was a German Benedictine The Benedictines, officially the Order of Saint Benedict ( la, Ordo Sanct ...

Hildegard of Bingen
wrote a
music Music is the art of arranging sounds in time through the elements of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the universal cultural aspects of all human societies. General definitions of music include common elements such as pit ...

music
al drama, ''Ordo Virtutum'' (c. 1155). One of the most famous of the early
secular Secularity, also the secular or secularness (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latiu ...
plays is the courtly
pastoral A pastoral lifestyle is that of shepherds herding livestock around open areas of land according to season A season is a division of the year based on changes in weather, ecology, and the number of daylight hours in a given region. On Earth, ...

pastoral
'' Robin and Marion'', written in the 13th century in French by
Adam de la Halle Adam de la Halle (1240–1287), also known as Adam le Bossu (Adam the Hunchback), was a French trouvère, poet and musician. Adam's literary and musical works include chansons and jeux-partis (poetic debates) in the style of the trouvères; p ...

Adam de la Halle
. '' The Interlude of the Student and the Girl'' (c. 1300), one of the earliest known in English, seems to be the closest in tone and form to the contemporaneous French
farce Farce is a comedy Comedy (from the el, wikt:κωμῳδία, κωμῳδία, ''kōmōdía'') is a genre of fiction consisting of discourses or works intended to be humorous or amusing by inducing laughter, especially in theatre, film, stand-u ...
s, such as ''
The Boy and the Blind Man ''The Boy and the Blind Man'' (french: Le Garçon et l'aveugle) is the name of a 13th-century France, French play; considered the oldest surviving French farce. It is an anonymous work. In the play there are two scoundrels, a "blind" beggar and hi ...
.'' Many plays survive from
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consisting of metropolitan France and Overseas France, several overseas regions and territories. The metro ...

France
and
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , languages = German language, German , demonym = Germans, German , government_ ...

Germany
in the
late Middle Ages The Late Middle Ages or Late Medieval Period was the period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in musical comp ...
, when some type of religious drama was performed in nearly every European country. Many of these plays contained
comedy Comedy (from the el, wikt:κωμῳδία, κωμῳδία, ''kōmōdía'') is a genre of fiction that consists of discourses or works intended to be humorous or amusing by inducing laughter, especially in theatre, film, stand-up comedy, televi ...
,
devil File:Devils-from-Rila-monastery.jpg, upA fresco detail from the Rila Monastery, in which demons are depicted as having grotesque faces and bodies. A devil is the personification of evil as it is conceived in various cultures and religious tr ...

devil
s,
villain A villain (also known as a " black hat" or "bad guy"; the feminine form is villainess) is a fictional character In fiction, a character (sometimes known as a fictional character) is a person or other being in a narrative (such as a novel, Pla ...
s, and clowns. In England, trade guilds began to perform vernacular "mystery plays," which were composed of long cycles of many playlets or "pageants," of which four are
extant Extant is the opposite of the word extinct. It may refer to: * Extant hereditary titles * Extant literature, surviving literature, such as ''Beowulf'', the oldest extant manuscript written in English * Extant taxon, a taxon which is not extinct, s ...
: York Mystery Plays, York (48 plays), Chester Mystery Plays, Chester (24), Wakefield Mystery Plays, Wakefield (32) and the so-called "N-Town Plays, N-Town" (42). ''The Second Shepherds' Play'' from the Wakefield cycle is a farcical story of a stolen sheep that its protagonist, Mak, tries to pass off as his new-born child asleep in a crib; it ends when the shepherds from whom he has stolen are summoned to the Nativity of Jesus. Morality plays (a modern term) emerged as a distinct dramatic form around 1400 and flourished in the early Elizabethan era in England. Characters were often used to represent different ethical ideals. ''Everyman (play), Everyman'', for example, includes such figures as Good Deeds, Knowledge and Strength, and this characterisation reinforces the conflict between good and evil for the audience. ''The Castle of Perseverance'' (c. 1400—1425) depicts an archetypal figure's progress from birth through to death. ''Horestes'' (c. 1567), a late "hybrid morality" and one of the earliest examples of an English revenge play, brings together the classical story of Orestes with a Vice (character), Vice from the medieval Allegory, allegorical tradition, alternating comic, slapstick scenes with serious, Tragedy, tragic ones. Also important in this period were the folk dramas of the Mummers Play, performed during the Christmas season. Court masques were particularly popular during the reign of Henry VIII.


Elizabethan and Jacobean

One of the great flowerings of drama in England occurred in the 16th and 17th centuries. Many of these plays were written in verse, particularly iambic pentameter. In addition to Shakespeare, such authors as Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Middleton, and Ben Jonson were prominent playwrights during this period. As in the Middle Ages, medieval period, historical plays celebrated the lives of past kings, enhancing the image of the Tudor dynasty, Tudor monarchy. Authors of this period drew some of their storylines from Greek mythology and Roman mythology or from the plays of eminent Roman playwrights such as Plautus and
Terence Publius Terentius Afer (; c. 195/185 – c. 159? BC), better known in English as Terence (), was a Roman African playwright during the Roman Republic. His comedies were performed for the first time around 170–160 BC. Terentius Lucanus, a Rom ...
.


English Restoration comedy

Restoration comedy refers to English comedies written and performed in England during the Restoration (England), Restoration period from 1660 to 1710. Comedy of manners is used as a synonym of Restoration comedy. After London theatre closure 1642, public theatre had been banned by the Puritan regime, the re-opening of the theatres in 1660 with the Restoration of Charles II of England, Charles II signalled a renaissance of English drama. Restoration comedy is known for its human sexual behavior, sexual explicitness, urbane, cosmopolitan
wit Wit is a form of intelligent humour Humour (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English) or humor (American English; American and British English spelling differences#-our, -or, see spelling differences) is the tendency of ...

wit
, up-to-the-minute topical writing, and crowded and bustling plots. Its dramatists stole freely from the contemporary French and Spanish stage, from English James I of England, Jacobean and Charles I of England, Caroline plays, and even from Greek theatre, Greek and Theatre of ancient Rome, Roman Classics, classical comedies, combining the various plotlines in adventurous ways. Resulting differences of tone in a single play were appreciated rather than frowned on, as the audience prized "variety" within as well as between plays. Restoration comedy peaked twice. The genre came to spectacular maturity in the mid-1670s with an extravaganza of aristocracy, aristocratic comedies. Twenty lean years followed this short golden age, although the achievement of the first professional female playwright, Aphra Behn, in the 1680s is an important exception. In the mid-1690s, a brief second Restoration comedy renaissance arose, aimed at a wider audience. The comedies of the golden 1670s and 1690s peak times are significantly different from each other. The unsentimental or "hard" comedies of John Dryden, William Wycherley, and George Etherege reflected the atmosphere at Court and celebrated with frankness an aristocratic machismo, macho lifestyle of unremitting sexual intrigue and conquest. The John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, Earl of Rochester, real-life Restoration rake, courtier and poet, is flatteringly portrayed in Etherege's ''The Man of Mode'' (1676) as a riotous, witty, intellectual, and sexually irresistible aristocrat, a template for posterity's idea of the glamorous Rake (character), Restoration rake (actually never a very common character in Restoration comedy). The single play that does most to support the charge of obscenity levelled then and now at Restoration comedy is probably Wycherley's masterpiece ''The Country Wife'' (1675), whose title contains a Lascivious behavior, lewd pun and whose notorious "china scene" is a series of sustained double entendres. During the second wave of Restoration comedy in the 1690s, the "softer" comedies of William Congreve (playwright), William Congreve and John Vanbrugh set out to appeal to more socially diverse audience with a strong middle-class element, as well as to female spectators. The comic focus shifts from young lovers outwitting the older generation to the vicissitudes of marital relations. In Congreve's ''Love for Love'' (1695) and ''The Way of the World'' (1700), the give-and-take set pieces of couples testing their attraction for one another have mutated into witty prenuptial debates on the eve of marriage, as in the latter's famous "Proviso" scene. Vanbrugh's ''The Provoked Wife'' (1697) has a light touch and more humanly recognisable characters, while ''The Relapse'' (1696) has been admired for its throwaway wit and the characterisation of Lord Foppington, an extravagant and affected burlesque fop with a dark side. The tolerance for Restoration comedy even in its modified form was running out by the end of the 17th century, as public opinion turned to respectability and seriousness even faster than the playwrights did. At the much-anticipated all-star première in 1700 of ''The Way of the World'', Congreve's first comedy for five years, the audience showed only moderate enthusiasm for that subtle and almost melancholy work. The comedy of sex and wit was about to be replaced by sentimental comedy and the drama of exemplary morality.


Modern and postmodern

The pivotal and innovative contributions of the Nineteenth-century theatre, 19th-century Norwegian dramatist Henrik Ibsen and the Twentieth-century theatre, 20th-century German theatre practitioner Bertolt Brecht dominate modern drama; each inspired a tradition of imitators, which include many of the greatest playwrights of the modern era. The works of both playwrights are, in their different ways, both Modernism, modernist and Realism (theatre), realist, incorporating formal Experimental theatre, experimentation, meta-theatre, meta-theatricality, and Social criticism, social critique. In terms of the traditional theoretical discourse of genre, Ibsen's work has been described as the culmination of "Tragedy#Modern development, liberal tragedy", while Brecht's has been aligned with an Historicization, historicised comedy. Other important playwrights of the modern era include Antonin Artaud, August Strindberg, Anton Chekhov, Frank Wedekind, Maurice Maeterlinck, Federico García Lorca, Eugene O'Neill, Luigi Pirandello, George Bernard Shaw, Ernst Toller, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Jean Genet, Eugène Ionesco, Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter, Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Dario Fo, Heiner Müller, and Caryl Churchill.


Opera

Opera, Western opera is a dramatic art form that arose during the Renaissance in an attempt to revive the Theatre of Ancient Greece, classical Greek drama in which dialogue, dance, and song were combined. Being strongly intertwined with Classical music, western classical music, the opera has undergone enormous changes in the past four centuries and it is an important form of theatre until this day. Noteworthy is the major influence of the German 19th-century composer Wagner, Richard Wagner on the opera tradition. In his view, there was no proper balance between music and theatre in the operas of his time, because the music seemed to be more important than the dramatic aspects in these works. To restore the connection with the classical drama, he entirely renewed the operatic form to emphasize the equal importance of music and drama in works that he called "music dramas". Chinese opera has seen a more conservative development over a somewhat longer period of time.


Pantomime

Pantomime (informally panto), is a type of musical theatre, musical comedy stage production, designed for family entertainment. It was developed in England and is still performed throughout the United Kingdom, generally during the Christmas and New Year season and, to a lesser extent, in other English-speaking countries. Modern pantomime includes songs, gags, slapstick comedy and dancing, employs gender-crossing actors, and combines topical humour with a story loosely based on a well-known fairy tale, fable or Folklore, folk tale.Reid-Walsh, Jacqueline. "Pantomime", ''The Oxford Encyclopedia of Children's Literature'', Jack Zipes (ed.), Oxford University Press (2006), It is a participatory form of theatre, in which the audience is expected to sing along with certain parts of the music and shout out phrases to the performers. These stories follow in the tradition of fables and Folklore, folk tales. Usually, there is a lesson learned, and with some help from the audience, the hero/heroine saves the day. This kind of play uses stock characters seen in masque and again commedia dell'arte, these characters include the villain (doctore), the clown/servant (Arlechino/Harlequin/buttons), the lovers etc. These plays usually have an emphasis on moral dilemmas, and good always triumphs over evil, this kind of play is also very entertaining making it a very effective way of reaching many people. Pantomime has a long theatrical history in Western culture dating back to classical theatre. It developed partly from the 16th century commedia dell'arte tradition of Italy, as well as other European and British stage traditions, such as 17th-century masques and music hall. An important part of the pantomime, until the late 19th century, was the harlequinade."The History of Pantomime"
It's-Behind-You.com, 2002, accessed 10 February 2013
Outside Britain the word "pantomime" is usually used to mean Mime artist, miming, rather than the theatrical form discussed here.


Mime

Mime artist, Mime is a theatrical medium where the action of a story is told through the movement of the body, without the use of speech. Performance of mime occurred in Ancient Greece, and the word is taken from a single masked dancer called ''Pantomimus'', although their performances were not necessarily silent. In Medieval Europe, early forms of mime, such as Mummers Play, mummer plays and later dumbshows, evolved. In the early nineteenth century Paris, Jean-Gaspard Deburau solidified the many attributes that we have come to know in modern times, including the silent figure in whiteface. Jacques Copeau, strongly influenced by
Commedia dell'arte (; ; ) was an early form of professional theatre Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usually actor, actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a li ...
and Japanese Noh theatre, used masks in the training of his actors. Étienne Decroux, a pupil of his, was highly influenced by this and started exploring and developing the possibilities of mime and refined corporeal mime into a highly sculptural form, taking it outside of the realms of Naturalism (theatre), naturalism. Jacques Lecoq contributed significantly to the development of mime and physical theatre with his training methods.Callery (2001).


Ballet

While some ballet emphasises "the lines and patterns of movement itself" dramatic dance "expresses or imitates emotion, character, and narrative action". Such ballets are theatrical works that have characters and "tell a story",''Encyclopaedia Britannica'' Dance movements in ballet "are often closely related to everyday forms of physical expression, [so that] there is an expressive quality inherent in nearly all dancing", and this is used to convey both action and emotions; mime is also used. Examples include Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's ''Swan Lake'', which tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer's curse, Sergei Prokofiev's ballet ''Romeo and Juliet (Prokofiev), Romeo and Juliet'', based on Shakespeare's famous play, and Igor Stravinsky's ''Petrushka (ballet), Petrushka'', which tells the story of the loves and jealousies of three puppets.


Creative drama

Creative drama includes dramatic activities and games used primarily in educational settings with children. Its roots in the United States began in the early 1900s. Winifred Ward is considered to be the founder of creative drama in education, establishing the first academic use of drama in Evanston, Illinois.


Asian drama


India

The earliest form of Indian drama was the Sanskrit drama.Richmond, Swann, and Zarrilli (1993, 12). Between the 1st century AD and the 10th was a period of relative peace in the history of India during which hundreds of plays were written. With the Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent, Islamic conquests that began in the 10th and 11th centuries, theatre was discouraged or forbidden entirely. Later, in an attempt to re-assert indigenous values and ideas, village theatre was encouraged across the subcontinent, developing in various regional languages from the 15th to the 19th centuries. The Bhakti movement was influential in performances in several regions. Apart from regional languages, Assam saw the rise of Ekasarana Dharma, Vaishnavite drama in an artificially mixed literary language called Brajavali dialect, Brajavali. A distinct form of one-act plays called Ankia Naat developed in the works of Sankardev, a particular presentation of which is called Bhaona. Modern Indian theatre developed during the British Raj, period of colonial rule under the British Empire, from the mid-19th century until the mid-20th.


Sanskrit theatre

The earliest-surviving fragments of Sanskrit drama date from the 1st century AD. The wealth of archeological evidence from earlier periods offers no indication of the existence of a tradition of theatre.Richmond (1998, 516). The ancient ''Vedas'' (hymns from between 1500 and 1000 BC that are among the earliest examples of History of literature#India, literature in the world) contain no hint of it (although a small number are composed in a form of
dialogue Dialogue (sometimes spelled dialog in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. C ...
) and the rituals of the Vedic period do not appear to have developed into theatre. The ''Mahābhāṣya'' by Patañjali contains the earliest reference to what may have been the seeds of Sanskrit drama.Richmond (1998, 517). This treatise on grammar from 140 BC provides a feasible date for the beginnings of theatre in India. The major source of evidence for Sanskrit theatre is ''Natyashastra, A Treatise on Theatre'' (''Nātyaśāstra''), a compendium whose date of composition is uncertain (estimates range from 200 BC to 200 AD) and whose authorship is attributed to Bharata Muni. The ''Treatise'' is the most complete work of dramaturgy in the ancient world. It addresses acting, dance,
music Music is the art of arranging sounds in time through the elements of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the universal cultural aspects of all human societies. General definitions of music include common elements such as pit ...

music
, Dramaturgy, dramatic construction, architecture, Costume design, costuming, Theatrical makeup, make-up, Theatrical properties, props, the organisation of companies, the audience, competitions, and offers a Hindu mythology, mythological account of the origin of theatre. Its drama is regarded as the highest achievement of Sanskrit literature.Brandon (1981, xvii). It utilised stock characters, such as the hero (''nayaka''), heroine (''nayika''), or clown (''vidusaka''). Actors may have specialised in a particular type. It was patronized by the kings as well as village assemblies. Famous early playwrights include Bhasa, Kalidasa (famous for ''Vikramōrvaśīyam, Vikrama and Urvashi'', ''Mālavikāgnimitram, Malavika and Agnimitra'', and ''Abhijñānaśākuntalam, The Recognition of Shakuntala''), Śudraka (famous for ''Mṛcchakatika, The Little Clay Cart''), Asvaghosa, Daṇḍin, and Harsha, Emperor Harsha (famous for ''Nagananda'', ''Ratnavali,'' and ''Priyadarsika''). ''Abhijñānaśākuntalam, Śakuntalā'' (in English translation) influenced Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Goethe's ''Goethe's Faust, Faust'' (1808–1832).


Modern Indian drama

Rabindranath Tagore was a pioneering modern playwright who wrote plays noted for their exploration and questioning of nationalism, identity, spiritualism and material greed.Banham (1998, 1051). His plays are written in Bengali language, Bengali and include ''Chitra'' (''Chitrangada'', 1892), ''The King of the Dark Chamber'' (''Raja'', 1910), ''The Post Office (play), The Post Office'' (''Dakghar'', 1913), and ''Red Oleander'' (''Raktakarabi'', 1924). Girish Karnad is a noted playwright, who has written a number of plays that use history and mythology, to critique and problematize ideas and ideals that are of contemporary relevance. Karnad's numerous plays such as ''Tughlaq'', ''Hayavadana'', ''Taledanda'', and ''Naga-Mandala'' are significant contributions to Indian drama. Vijay Tendulkar and Mahesh Dattani are amongst the major Indian playwrights of the 20th century. Mohan Rakesh in Hindi and Danish Iqbal in Urdu are considered architects of new age Drama. Mohan Rakesh's Aadhe Adhoore and Danish Iqbal's ''Dara Shikoh'' are considered modern classics.


Modern Urdu drama of India and Pakistan

Urdu Drama evolved from the prevailing dramatic traditions of North India shaping Rahas or Raas as practiced by exponents like Nawab Wajid Ali Shah (1822 – 1887) of Awadh. His dramatic experiments led to the famous Inder Sabha of Amanat and later this tradition took the shape of Parsi Theatre. Agha Hashr Kashmiri is the culmination of this tradition. Urdu theatre tradition has greatly influenced modern Indian theatre. Theatre has flourished in Urdu (which was called Hindi by early writers), along with Gujarati language, Gujrati, Marathi language, Marathi, and Bengali language, Bengali. Urdu drama has had an important influence on Hindi film industry, Bombay Film industry and all the early works of Urdu theatre (performed by Parsi Companies) were made into films. Urdu dramatic tradition has existed for more than a 100 years. Prof Hasan, Ghulam Jeelani, J.N,Kaushal, Shameem Hanfi, Jameel Shaidayi, etc. belong to the old generation, contemporary writers like Danish Iqbal, Sayeed Alam, Shahid Anwar, Iqbal Niyazi, and Anwar are a few postmodern playwrights actively contributing in the field of Urdu Drama. Sayeed Alam is known for his wit and humour and more particularly for plays like 'Ghalib in New Delhi', 'Big B' and many other works, which are regularly staged for large audiences. ''Maulana Azad'' is his most important play both for its content and style. Danish Iqbal's play ''Dara Shikoh'' directed by M. S. Sathyu is a modern classic that uses newer theatre techniques and a contemporary perspective. His other plays are ''Sahir''. on the famous lyricist and revolutionary poet. ''Kuchh Ishq kiya Kuchh Kaam'' is another play written by Danish which is basically a Celebration of Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Faiz's poetry, featuring events from the early part of his life, particularly the events and incidents of pre-partition days which shaped his life and ideals. ''Chand Roz Aur Meri Jaan'' – another play inspired from Faiz's letters written from various jails during the Rawalpindi Conspiracy days. He has written 14 other plays including ''Dilli Jo Ek Shehr Thaa'' and ''Main Gaya Waqt Nahin hoon''. Shahid's ''Three B'' is also a significant play. He has been associated with many groups like 'Natwa' and others. Zaheer Anwar has kept the flag of Urdu theatre flying in Kolkata. Unlike the writers of previous generation Sayeed, Shahid, Danish Iqbal and Zaheer do not write bookish plays but their work is a product of performing tradition. Iqbal Niyazi of Mumbai has written several plays in Urdu, his play ''AUR KITNE JALYANWALA BAUGH?'' won a National award other awards. Hence this is the only generation after Amanat and Agha Hashr who actually write for stage and not for libraries.


China

Chinese theatre has a long and complex history. Today it is often called Chinese opera although this normally refers specifically to the popular form known as Beijing opera and Kunqu; there have been many other forms of theatre in China, such as zaju.


Japan

Japanese Noh, Nō drama is a serious dramatic form that combines drama, music, and dance into a complete aesthetic performance experience. It developed in the 14th and 15th centuries and has its own musical instruments and performance techniques, which were often handed down from father to son. The performers were generally male (for both male and female roles), although female amateurs also perform Nō dramas. Nō drama was supported by the government, and particularly the military, with many military commanders having their own troupes and sometimes performing themselves. It is still performed in Japan today. Kyōgen is the comic counterpart to Nō drama. It concentrates more on dialogue and less on music, although Nō instrumentalists sometimes appear also in Kyōgen. Kabuki drama, developed from the 17th century, is another comic form, which includes dance.


See also

* Antitheatricality * Applied Drama * Augustan drama * Christian drama *
Closet drama A closet drama is a play (theatre), play that is not intended to be performed onstage, but read by a solitary reader or sometimes out loud in a small group. The contrast between closet drama and classic "stage" dramas dates back to the late eighteen ...
* Comedy-drama * Costume drama * Crime drama * Domestic drama * Drama school * Dramatic structure * Dramatic theory * Drama annotation * Dramaturgy * Entertainment * Flash drama * Folk play * Heroic drama * History of theatre * Hyperdrama * Legal drama * Medical drama * Melodrama * Monodrama * Mystery play * One act play * Political drama * Soap opera * :Theatre awards, Theatre awards * Two-hander * Verse drama and dramatic verse * Well-made play * Yakshagana


Notes


Sources

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Creative Dramatics as a Classroom Teaching Technique
" ''Elementary English'' 51:1 (January):75–80. * Elam, Keir. 1980. ''The Semiotics of Theatre and Drama''. New Accents Ser. London and New York: Methuen. . * Francis Fergusson, Fergusson, Francis. 1949. ''The Idea of a Theater: A Study of Ten Plays, The Art of Drama in a Changing Perspective.'' Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton UP, 1968. . * Goldhill, Simon. 1997. "The Audience of Athenian Tragedy." In Easterling (1997c, 54–68). * Gordon, Mel. 1983. ''Lazzi: The Comic Routines of the Commedia dell'Arte''. New York: Performing Arts Journal Publications. . * Gutzwiller, Kathryn. 2007. ''A Guide to Hellenistic Literature.'' London: Blackwell. . * Harsh, Philip Whaley. 1944. ''A Handbook of Classical Drama''. Stanford: Stanford UP; Oxford: Oxford UP. * Keith Johnstone, Johnstone, Keith. 1981. ''Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre'' Rev. ed. London: Methuen, 2007. . * Ley, Graham. 2006. ''A Short Introduction to the Ancient Greek Theater.'' Rev. ed. Chicago and London: U of Chicago P. . * O'Brien, Nick. 2010. ''Stanislavski In Practise''. London: Routledge. . * O'Brien, Nick. 2007. ''The Theatricality of Greek Tragedy: Playing Space and Chorus.'' Chicago and London: U of Chicago P. . * Pandey, Sudhakar, and Freya Taraporewala, eds. 1999. ''Studies in Contemporary India.'' New Delhi: Prestige. * Pfister, Manfred. 1977. ''The Theory and Analysis of Drama''. Trans. John Halliday. European Studies in English Literature Ser. Cambridige: Cambridge University Press, 1988. . * Rémy, Tristan. 1954. ''Jean-Gaspard Deburau.'' Paris: L’Arche. * Rush Rehm, Rehm, Rush. 1992. ''Greek Tragic Theatre.'' Theatre Production Studies ser. London and New York: Routledge. . * Richmond, Farley. 1998. "India." In Banham (1998, 516–525). * Richmond, Farley P., Darius L. Swann, and Phillip B. Zarrilli, eds. 1993. ''Indian Theatre: Traditions of Performance.'' U of Hawaii P. . * Spivack, Bernard. 1958. ''Shakespeare and the Allegory of Evil: The History of a Metaphor in Relation to his Major Villains.'' NY and London: Columbia UP. . * Viola Spolin, Spolin, Viola. 1967. ''Improvisation for the Theater''. Third rev. ed Evanston, Il.: Northwestern University Press, 1999. . * Taxidou, Olga. 2004. ''Tragedy, Modernity and Mourning''. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP. . * Glynne Wickham, Wickham, Glynne. 1959. ''Early English Stages: 1300—1660.'' Vol. 1. London: Routledge. * Glynne Wickham, Wickham, Glynne. 1969. ''Shakespeare's Dramatic Heritage: Collected Studies in Mediaeval, Tudor and Shakespearean Drama.'' London: Routledge. . * Glynne Wickham, Wickham, Glynne, ed. 1976. ''English Moral Interludes.'' London: Dent. . * Glynne Wickham, Wickham, Glynne. 1981. ''Early English Stages: 1300—1660.'' Vol. 3. London: Routledge. . * Glynne Wickham, Wickham, Glynne. 1987. ''The Medieval Theatre.'' 3rd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. . * Weimann, Robert. 1978. ''Shakespeare and the Popular Tradition in the Theater: Studies in the Social Dimension of Dramatic Form and Function.'' Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press. . * Weimann, Robert. 2000. ''Author's Pen and Actor's Voice: Playing and Writing in Shakespeare's Theatre''. Ed. Helen Higbee and William West. Cambridge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. .


External links


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{{DEFAULTSORT:Drama Drama,