Scholars, amateur historians and actors have shaped theatre history in different ways at different times and in different places. This Companion offers students and general readers a series of accessible and engaging essays on the key aspects of studying and writing theatre history. The diverse international team of contributors investigates how theatre history has been constructed, showing how historical facts are tied to political and artistic agendas and explaining why history matters to us. Beginning with an introduction to the central narrative that traditionally informs our understanding of what theatre is, the book then turns to alternative points of view - from other parts of the world and from the perspective of performers in fields such as music-theatre and circus. It concludes by looking at how history is written in the 'democratic' age of the Internet and offers a new perspective on theatre history in our globalised world.
Beginning with Greek drama and continuing through Roman, Medieval, Renaissance, French, Spanish, English, and American forms, this video gives an overview of how modern theatre came to be. The great playwrights, trends, and artistic styles are briefly described to give the student a general understanding of both the history and cultural importance of theatre.
Beginning with the origins of theatre in Greece and Rome and in the early civilizations of Africa and the Americas, The Oxford Illustrated History of the Theatre guides readers through the full spectrum of dramatic representation--from medieval mystery cycles and miracle plays to the Renaissance in Italy, Spain, England, and France; from Calderon, Shakespeare, and Moliere to Tennessee Williams, Oscar Hammerstein, and Samuel Beckett; and from the Golden Age in Spain to the Dadaist movement and avant-garde. The distinguished contributors highlight what is most vital and defining about the theatre in any given period and uncover the means by which these distinctive achievements were created. Throughout, the book illuminates the theatre's changing role within society, the reasons for the popularity or failure of a given production or trend, and the interplay between the theatre and other forms of art and with contemporary thought. It also gives due weight to how the scene backstage evolved through the centuries--the role of musicians, light, sound, and equipment, and the art of set design--and to the crucial role of the audience and critics.