Module 6 History of Theatre II

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History of Theatre Part II:

History of Theatre Part II THTRE111 Unit 11

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Realism into the 20 th century

Anton Chekhov (1860-1904):

Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) Russian Submerged life into text Not well received at first Worked in Moscow Art Theatre, Stanislavsky Seagull Three Sisters Uncle Vanya Cherry Orchard

Review of realism:

Review of realism

More 20th century genres:

More 20 th century genres Farce Opera leading to the American Musical Absurdism Political theatre, special effects driven theatre, performance art


Farce Comedic Consists of unlikely, extravagant, and improbable situations Uses disguise and mistaken identity often Fast paced Characterized by physical humor, deliberate absurdity of nonsense, and broad stylization Lend Me a Tenor , ICC, 2011

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900):

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) Wrote Farces ( Importance of being Earnest ) Tended to make fun of upper society (remember this was a period where normal folks now had access to items normally only available to the rich)

What did you see in the clip?:

What did you see in the clip? Comedy? Unlikely or extravagant circumstances? Improbable circumstances? Fast paced? Physical humor? Absurdity or nonsense?

Farce’s influence on modern pop culture?:

Farce’s influence on modern pop culture?

Life in the early 20th century:

Life in the early 20 th century World Wars Automobile Great Depression

The American Musical:

The American Musical Showboat , 1927, Pulitzer Prize winner First serious musical, arguably first of the new genre ( Oklahoma considered to be the quintessential musical) Developed from Follies and Opera


1950s Great period for American writers, continued in musical form, defined the American drama Arthur Miller The Crucible, Death of a Salesman, All My Sons, A View From the Bridge Heavy, deep, dark family dramas Tennessee Williams Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Streetcar Named Desire, The Glass Menagerie Wrote autobiographical dramas that reflected midwest upbringing


Absurdism Developed alongside the American Drama, response to the world Three types of absurdism Fatalist- trapped in an irrational universe where communication has broken down Hilarious- Looked at the insanity of life in a comedic way Existential- Human beings are naturally alone. The absence of a god means that man must create own existence, purpose, and meaning.

Absurdist Playwrights:

Absurdist Playwrights Eugene Ionesco Samuel Beckett And of course, Homecoming author Harold Pinter

PowerPoint Presentation:

Brief scene from Beckett’s Waiting for Godo ,


1960s-1980s American Musical continued to thrive Cats, Annie, Stephen Soundheim develops his voice American Drama continued to develop David Mamet, Sam Shepherd Much political theatre that reflected the landscape Feminist Theatre Caryl Churchill, Paula Vogel, Wendy Wasserstein African American Theatre August Wilson, Lorraine Hansberry