Drama

Drama

Overview


Drama is the specific mode
Mode (literature)
In literature, a mode is an employed method or approach, identifiable within a written work. As descriptive terms, form and genre are often used inaccurately instead of mode; for example, the pastoral mode is often mistakenly identified as a genre...

 of fiction
Fiction
Fiction is the form of any narrative or informative work that deals, in part or in whole, with information or events that are not factual, but rather, imaginary—that is, invented by the author. Although fiction describes a major branch of literary work, it may also refer to theatrical,...

 represented
Mimesis
Mimesis , from μιμεῖσθαι , "to imitate," from μῖμος , "imitator, actor") is a critical and philosophical term that carries a wide range of meanings, which include imitation, representation, mimicry, imitatio, receptivity, nonsensuous similarity, the act of resembling, the act of expression, and the...

 in performance
Performance
A performance, in performing arts, generally comprises an event in which a performer or group of performers behave in a particular way for another group of people, the audience. Choral music and ballet are examples. Usually the performers participate in rehearsals beforehand. Afterwards audience...

. The term comes from a Greek
Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...

 word meaning "action" (Classical Greek: , drama), which is derived from "to do","to act" (Classical Greek: , draō). The enactment of drama in theatre
Theatre
Theatre is a collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place. The performers may communicate this experience to the audience through combinations of gesture, speech, song, music or dance...

, performed by actor
Actor
An actor is a person who acts in a dramatic production and who works in film, television, theatre, or radio in that capacity...

s on a stage
Stage (theatre)
In theatre or performance arts, the stage is a designated space for the performance productions. The stage serves as a space for actors or performers and a focal point for the members of the audience...

 before an audience
Audience
An audience is a group of people who participate in a show or encounter a work of art, literature , theatre, music or academics in any medium...

, presupposes collaborative
Collaboration
Collaboration is working together to achieve a goal. It is a recursive process where two or more people or organizations work together to realize shared goals, — for example, an intriguing endeavor that is creative in nature—by sharing...

 modes of production and a collective
Collective
A collective is a group of entities that share or are motivated by at least one common issue or interest, or work together on a specific project to achieve a common objective...

 form of reception. The structure of dramatic texts
Dramatic structure
Dramatic structure is the structure of a dramatic work such as a play or film. Many scholars have analyzed dramatic structure, beginning with Aristotle in his Poetics...

, unlike other forms of literature
Literature
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

, is directly influenced by this collaborative production and collective reception.
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Drama is the specific mode
Mode (literature)
In literature, a mode is an employed method or approach, identifiable within a written work. As descriptive terms, form and genre are often used inaccurately instead of mode; for example, the pastoral mode is often mistakenly identified as a genre...

 of fiction
Fiction
Fiction is the form of any narrative or informative work that deals, in part or in whole, with information or events that are not factual, but rather, imaginary—that is, invented by the author. Although fiction describes a major branch of literary work, it may also refer to theatrical,...

 represented
Mimesis
Mimesis , from μιμεῖσθαι , "to imitate," from μῖμος , "imitator, actor") is a critical and philosophical term that carries a wide range of meanings, which include imitation, representation, mimicry, imitatio, receptivity, nonsensuous similarity, the act of resembling, the act of expression, and the...

 in performance
Performance
A performance, in performing arts, generally comprises an event in which a performer or group of performers behave in a particular way for another group of people, the audience. Choral music and ballet are examples. Usually the performers participate in rehearsals beforehand. Afterwards audience...

. The term comes from a Greek
Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...

 word meaning "action" (Classical Greek: , drama), which is derived from "to do","to act" (Classical Greek: , draō). The enactment of drama in theatre
Theatre
Theatre is a collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place. The performers may communicate this experience to the audience through combinations of gesture, speech, song, music or dance...

, performed by actor
Actor
An actor is a person who acts in a dramatic production and who works in film, television, theatre, or radio in that capacity...

s on a stage
Stage (theatre)
In theatre or performance arts, the stage is a designated space for the performance productions. The stage serves as a space for actors or performers and a focal point for the members of the audience...

 before an audience
Audience
An audience is a group of people who participate in a show or encounter a work of art, literature , theatre, music or academics in any medium...

, presupposes collaborative
Collaboration
Collaboration is working together to achieve a goal. It is a recursive process where two or more people or organizations work together to realize shared goals, — for example, an intriguing endeavor that is creative in nature—by sharing...

 modes of production and a collective
Collective
A collective is a group of entities that share or are motivated by at least one common issue or interest, or work together on a specific project to achieve a common objective...

 form of reception. The structure of dramatic texts
Dramatic structure
Dramatic structure is the structure of a dramatic work such as a play or film. Many scholars have analyzed dramatic structure, beginning with Aristotle in his Poetics...

, unlike other forms of literature
Literature
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

, is directly influenced by this collaborative production and collective reception. The early modern
English Renaissance theatre
English Renaissance theatre, also known as early modern English theatre, refers to the theatre of England, largely based in London, which occurred between the Reformation and the closure of the theatres in 1642...

 tragedy
Tragedy
Tragedy is a form of art based on human suffering that offers its audience pleasure. While most cultures have developed forms that provoke this paradoxical response, tragedy refers to a specific tradition of drama that has played a unique and important role historically in the self-definition of...

 Hamlet
Hamlet
The Tragical History of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, or more simply Hamlet, is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1599 and 1601...

 (1601
1601 in literature
The year 1601 in literature involved some significant events.-Events:*February 7 - The Lord Chamberlain's Men stage a performance of Shakespeare's Richard II at the Globe Theatre. The performance is specially commissioned by the plotters in the Earl of Essex's rebellion of the following day...

) by Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

 and the classical Athenian
Theatre of Ancient Greece
The theatre of Ancient Greece, or ancient Greek drama, is a theatrical culture that flourished in ancient Greece between c. 550 and c. 220 BC. The city-state of Athens, which became a significant cultural, political and military power during this period, was its centre, where it was...

 tragedy Oedipus the King
Oedipus the King
Oedipus the King , also known by the Latin title Oedipus Rex, is an Athenian tragedy by Sophocles that was first performed c. 429 BCE. It was the second of Sophocles's three Theban plays to be produced, but it comes first in the internal chronology, followed by Oedipus at Colonus and then Antigone...

 (c. 429 BCE) by Sophocles
Sophocles
Sophocles is one of three ancient Greek tragedians whose plays have survived. His first plays were written later than those of Aeschylus, and earlier than or contemporary with those of Euripides...

 are among the masterpieces of the art of drama. A modern example is Long Day's Journey into Night
Long Day's Journey Into Night
Long Day's Journey Into Night is a 1956 drama in four acts written by American playwright Eugene O'Neill. The play is widely considered to be his masterwork...

 by Eugene O’Neill (1956).

The two masks associated with drama represent the traditional generic
Genre
Genre , Greek: genos, γένος) is the term for any category of literature or other forms of art or culture, e.g. music, and in general, any type of discourse, whether written or spoken, audial or visual, based on some set of stylistic criteria. Genres are formed by conventions that change over time...

 division between comedy and tragedy
Tragedy
Tragedy is a form of art based on human suffering that offers its audience pleasure. While most cultures have developed forms that provoke this paradoxical response, tragedy refers to a specific tradition of drama that has played a unique and important role historically in the self-definition of...

. They are symbols of the ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...

 Muses, Thalia and Melpomene
Melpomene
Melpomene , initially the Muse of Singing, she then became the Muse of Tragedy, for which she is best known now. Her name was derived from the Greek verb melpô or melpomai meaning "to celebrate with dance and song." She is often represented with a tragic mask and wearing the cothurnus, boots...

. Thalia was the Muse of comedy (the laughing face), while Melpomene was the Muse of tragedy (the weeping face). Considered as a genre of poetry
Poetry
Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning...

 in general, the dramatic mode has been contrasted with the epic
Epic poetry
An epic is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily concerning a serious subject containing details of heroic deeds and events significant to a culture or nation. Oral poetry may qualify as an epic, and Albert Lord and Milman Parry have argued that classical epics were fundamentally an oral poetic form...

 and the lyrical
Lyric poetry
Lyric poetry is a genre of poetry that expresses personal and emotional feelings. In the ancient world, lyric poems were those which were sung to the lyre. Lyric poems do not have to rhyme, and today do not need to be set to music or a beat...

 modes ever since Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

's Poetics (c. 335 BCE)—the earliest work of dramatic theory
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's Poetics from Ancient Greece and Bharata Muni's Natyasastra from ancient India.- External links :...

.

The use of "drama" in the narrow sense to designate a specific type of play
Play (theatre)
A play is a form of literature written by a playwright, usually consisting of scripted dialogue between characters, intended for theatrical performance rather than just reading. There are rare dramatists, notably George Bernard Shaw, who have had little preference whether their plays were performed...

 dates from the 19th century. Drama in this sense refers to a play that is neither a comedy nor a tragedy—for example, Zola's
Émile Zola
Émile François Zola was a French writer, the most important exemplar of the literary school of naturalism and an important contributor to the development of theatrical naturalism...

 Thérèse Raquin
Thérèse Raquin
Thérèse Raquin is the title of a novel and a play by the French writer Émile Zola. The novel was originally published in serial format in the journal L'Artiste and in book format in December of the same year.-Plot introduction:Thérèse Raquin tells the story of a young woman, unhappily married to...

 (1873
1873 in literature
The year 1873 in literature involved some significant new books.-Events:*3 March - The U.S. Congress enacts the Comstock Law, making it illegal to send any "obscene, lewd, or lascivious" books through the mail....

) or Chekhov's
Anton Chekhov
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was a Russian physician, dramatist and author who is considered to be among the greatest writers of short stories in history. His career as a dramatist produced four classics and his best short stories are held in high esteem by writers and critics...

 Ivanov (1887
1887 in literature
The year 1887 in literature involved some significant new books.-Events:*Futabatei Shimei writes The Drifting Cloud, the first modern novel in Japan.-New books:*Mary Elizabeth Braddon - Cut by the County*Hall Caine - The Deemster...

). It is this narrow sense that the film
Film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

 and television
Television
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

 industry and film studies
Film studies
Film studies is an academic discipline that deals with various theoretical, historical, and critical approaches to films. It is sometimes subsumed within media studies and is often compared to television studies...

 adopted to describe "drama
Drama film
A drama film is a film genre that depends mostly on in-depth development of realistic characters dealing with emotional themes. Dramatic themes such as alcoholism, drug addiction, infidelity, moral dilemmas, racial prejudice, religious intolerance, poverty, class divisions, violence against women...

" as a genre within their respective media. "Radio drama
Radio drama
Radio drama is a dramatized, purely acoustic performance, broadcast on radio or published on audio media, such as tape or CD. With no visual component, radio drama depends on dialogue, music and sound effects to help the listener imagine the characters and story...

" has been used in both senses—originally transmitted in a live performance, it has also been used to describe the more high-brow and serious end of the dramatic output of radio
Radio
Radio is the transmission of signals through free space by modulation of electromagnetic waves with frequencies below those of visible light. Electromagnetic radiation travels by means of oscillating electromagnetic fields that pass through the air and the vacuum of space...

.

Drama is often combined with music
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

 and dance
Dance
Dance is an art form that generally refers to movement of the body, usually rhythmic and to music, used as a form of expression, social interaction or presented in a spiritual or performance setting....

: the drama in opera
Opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

 is generally sung throughout; musicals
Musical theatre
Musical theatre is a form of theatre combining songs, spoken dialogue, acting, and dance. The emotional content of the piece – humor, pathos, love, anger – as well as the story itself, is communicated through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an...

 generally include both spoken dialogue
Dialogue
Dialogue is a literary and theatrical form consisting of a written or spoken conversational exchange between two or more people....

 and song
Song
In music, a song is a composition for voice or voices, performed by singing.A song may be accompanied by musical instruments, or it may be unaccompanied, as in the case of a cappella songs...

s; and some forms of drama have incidental music
Incidental music
Incidental music is music in a play, television program, radio program, video game, film or some other form not primarily musical. The term is less frequently applied to film music, with such music being referred to instead as the "film score" or "soundtrack"....

 or musical accompaniment underscoring the dialogue (melodrama
Melodrama
The term melodrama refers to a dramatic work that exaggerates plot and characters in order to appeal to the emotions. It may also refer to the genre which includes such works, or to language, behavior, or events which resemble them...

 and Japanese
Noh
, or - derived from the Sino-Japanese word for "skill" or "talent" - is a major form of classical Japanese musical drama that has been performed since the 14th century. Many characters are masked, with men playing male and female roles. Traditionally, a Noh "performance day" lasts all day and...

, for example). In certain periods of history (the ancient Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 and modern Romantic
Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

) some dramas have been written to be read
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. A related form, the "closet screenplay," developed during the 20th century.-Form:...

 rather than performed. In improvisation
Improvisational theatre
Improvisational theatre takes many forms. It is best known as improv or impro, which is often comedic, and sometimes poignant or dramatic. In this popular, often topical art form improvisational actors/improvisers use improvisational acting techniques to perform spontaneously...

, the drama does not pre-exist the moment of performance; performers devise a dramatic script spontaneously before an audience.

Classical Athenian drama



Western
Western culture
Western culture, sometimes equated with Western civilization or European civilization, refers to cultures of European origin and is used very broadly to refer to a heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, religious beliefs, political systems, and specific artifacts and...

 drama originates in classical Greece
Classical Greece
Classical Greece was a 200 year period in Greek culture lasting from the 5th through 4th centuries BC. This classical period had a powerful influence on the Roman Empire and greatly influenced the foundation of Western civilizations. Much of modern Western politics, artistic thought, such as...

. The theatrical culture
Theatre of Ancient Greece
The theatre of Ancient Greece, or ancient Greek drama, is a theatrical culture that flourished in ancient Greece between c. 550 and c. 220 BC. The city-state of Athens, which became a significant cultural, political and military power during this period, was its centre, where it was...

 of the city-state
Polis
Polis , plural poleis , literally means city in Greek. It could also mean citizenship and body of citizens. In modern historiography "polis" is normally used to indicate the ancient Greek city-states, like Classical Athens and its contemporaries, so polis is often translated as "city-state."The...

 of Athens
Classical Athens
The city of Athens during the classical period of Ancient Greece was a notable polis of Attica, Greece, leading the Delian League in the Peloponnesian War against Sparta and the Peloponnesian League. Athenian democracy was established in 508 BC under Cleisthenes following the tyranny of Hippias...

 produced three genre
Genre
Genre , Greek: genos, γένος) is the term for any category of literature or other forms of art or culture, e.g. music, and in general, any type of discourse, whether written or spoken, audial or visual, based on some set of stylistic criteria. Genres are formed by conventions that change over time...

s of drama: tragedy
Tragedy
Tragedy is a form of art based on human suffering that offers its audience pleasure. While most cultures have developed forms that provoke this paradoxical response, tragedy refers to a specific tradition of drama that has played a unique and important role historically in the self-definition of...

, comedy, and the satyr play
Satyr play
Satyr plays were an ancient Greek form of tragicomedy, similar in spirit to burlesque. They featured choruses of satyrs, were based on Greek mythology, and were rife with mock drunkenness, brazen sexuality , pranks, sight gags, and general merriment.Satyric drama was one of the three varieties of...

. Their origins remain obscure, though by the 5th century BCE they were institution
Institution
An institution is any structure or mechanism of social order and cooperation governing the behavior of a set of individuals within a given human community...

alised in competitions
Agon
Agon is an ancient Greek word with several meanings:*In one sense, it meant a contest, competition, especially the Olympic Games , or challenge that was held in connection with religious festivals....

 held as part of festivities
Athenian festivals
The festival calendar of city-state of classical Athens involved the staging of a large number of festivals each year. These Athenian festivals included:-Athena:...

 celebrating the god Dionysus
Dionysus
Dionysus was the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness and ecstasy in Greek mythology. His name in Linear B tablets shows he was worshipped from c. 1500—1100 BC by Mycenean Greeks: other traces of Dionysian-type cult have been found in ancient Minoan Crete...

. Historians know the names of many ancient Greek dramatists, not least Thespis
Thespis
Thespis of Icaria , according to certain Ancient Greek sources and especially Aristotle, was the first person ever to appear on stage as an actor playing a character in a play...

, who is credited with the innovation of an actor ("hypokrites") who speaks (rather than sings) and impersonates a character
Character (arts)
A character is the representation of a person in a narrative work of art . Derived from the ancient Greek word kharaktêr , the earliest use in English, in this sense, dates from the Restoration, although it became widely used after its appearance in Tom Jones in 1749. From this, the sense of...

 (rather than speaking in his own person), while interacting with the chorus
Greek chorus
A Greek chorus is a homogenous, non-individualised group of performers in the plays of classical Greece, who comment with a collective voice on the dramatic action....

 and its leader ("coryphaeus
Coryphaeus
Coryphaeus, or Koryphaios , and often corypheus in English. In Attic drama, the coryphaeus was the leader of the chorus. Hence the term is used for the chief or leader of any company or movement...

"), who were a traditional part of the performance of non-dramatic poetry (dithyramb
Dithyramb
The dithyramb was an ancient Greek hymn sung and danced in honour of Dionysus, the god of wine and fertility; the term was also used as an epithet of the god: Plato, in The Laws, while discussing various kinds of music mentions "the birth of Dionysos, called, I think, the dithyramb." Plato also...

ic, lyric
Lyric poetry
Lyric poetry is a genre of poetry that expresses personal and emotional feelings. In the ancient world, lyric poems were those which were sung to the lyre. Lyric poems do not have to rhyme, and today do not need to be set to music or a beat...

 and epic
Epic poetry
An epic is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily concerning a serious subject containing details of heroic deeds and events significant to a culture or nation. Oral poetry may qualify as an epic, and Albert Lord and Milman Parry have argued that classical epics were fundamentally an oral poetic form...

). 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
Aeschylus was the first of the three ancient Greek tragedians whose work has survived, the others being Sophocles and Euripides, and is often described as the father of tragedy. His name derives from the Greek word aiskhos , meaning "shame"...

, Sophocles
Sophocles
Sophocles is one of three ancient Greek tragedians whose plays have survived. His first plays were written later than those of Aeschylus, and earlier than or contemporary with those of Euripides...

 and Euripides
Euripides
Euripides was one of the three great tragedians of classical Athens, the other two being Aeschylus and Sophocles. Some ancient scholars attributed ninety-five plays to him but according to the Suda it was ninety-two at most...

, and the comic writers Aristophanes
Aristophanes
Aristophanes , son of Philippus, of the deme Cydathenaus, was a comic playwright of ancient Athens. Eleven of his forty plays survive virtually complete...

 and, from the late 4th century, Menander
Menander
Menander , Greek dramatist, the best-known representative of Athenian New Comedy, was the son of well-to-do parents; his father Diopeithes is identified by some with the Athenian general and governor of the Thracian Chersonese known from the speech of Demosthenes De Chersoneso...

. Aeschylus' historical tragedy The Persians
The Persians
The Persians is an Athenian tragedy by the ancient Greek playwright Aeschylus. First produced in 472 BCE, it is the oldest surviving play in the history of theatre...

 is the oldest surviving drama, although when it won first prize at the City Dionysia
Dionysia
The Dionysia[p] was a large festival in ancient Athens in honor of the god Dionysus, the central events of which were the theatrical performances of dramatic tragedies and, from 487 BC, comedies. It was the second-most important festival after the Panathenaia...

 competition in 472 BCE, he had been writing plays for more than 25 years. The competition ("agon
Agon
Agon is an ancient Greek word with several meanings:*In one sense, it meant a contest, competition, especially the Olympic Games , or challenge that was held in connection with religious festivals....

") for tragedies may have begun as early as 534 BCE; official records ("didaskaliai") begin from 501 BCE, when the satyr play
Satyr play
Satyr plays were an ancient Greek form of tragicomedy, similar in spirit to burlesque. They featured choruses of satyrs, were based on Greek mythology, and were rife with mock drunkenness, brazen sexuality , pranks, sight gags, and general merriment.Satyric drama was one of the three varieties of...

 was introduced. Tragic dramatists were required to present a tetralogy
Tetralogy
A tetralogy is a compound work that is made up of four distinct works, just as a trilogy is made up of three works....

 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 (play)
Alcestis is an Athenian tragedy by the ancient Greek playwright Euripides. It was first produced at the City Dionysia festival in 438 BCE. Euripides presented it as the final part of a tetralogy of unconnected plays in the competition of tragedies, for which he won second prize; this arrangement...

 in 438 BCE). Comedy was officially recognised with a prize in the competition from 487 to 486 BCE. Five comic dramatists competed at the City Dionysia (though during the Peloponnesian War
Peloponnesian War
The Peloponnesian War, 431 to 404 BC, was an ancient Greek war fought by Athens and its empire against the Peloponnesian League led by Sparta. Historians have traditionally divided the war into three phases...

 this may have been reduced to three), each offering a single comedy. Ancient Greek comedy
Ancient Greek comedy
Ancient Greek comedy was one of the final three principal dramatic forms in the theatre of classical Greece . Athenian comedy is conventionally divided into three periods, Old Comedy, Middle Comedy, and New Comedy...

 is traditionally divided between "old comedy" (5th century BCE), "middle comedy" (4th century BCE) and "new comedy" (late 4th century to 2nd BCE).

Roman drama



Following the expansion of the Roman Republic
Roman Republic
The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization where the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 508 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and...

 (509–27 BCE) into several Greek territories between 270–240 BCE, Rome encountered Greek drama
Theatre of Ancient Greece
The theatre of Ancient Greece, or ancient Greek drama, is a theatrical culture that flourished in ancient Greece between c. 550 and c. 220 BC. The city-state of Athens, which became a significant cultural, political and military power during this period, was its centre, where it was...

. From the later years of the republic and by means of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 (27 BCE-476 CE), theatre spread west across Europe, around the Mediterranean and reached England; Roman theatre
Theatre of ancient Rome
The theatre of ancient Rome was a thriving and diverse art form, ranging from festival performances of street theatre, nude dancing, and acrobatics, to the staging of Plautus's broadly appealing situation comedies, to the high-style, verbally elaborate tragedies of Seneca...

 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 BCE marks the beginning of regular Roman drama
Theatre of ancient Rome
The theatre of ancient Rome was a thriving and diverse art form, ranging from festival performances of street theatre, nude dancing, and acrobatics, to the staging of Plautus's broadly appealing situation comedies, to the high-style, verbally elaborate tragedies of Seneca...

. 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
Latin literature includes the essays, histories, poems, plays, and other writings of the ancient Romans. In many ways, it seems to be a continuation of Greek literature, using many of the same forms...

 were the tragedies
Tragedy
Tragedy is a form of art based on human suffering that offers its audience pleasure. While most cultures have developed forms that provoke this paradoxical response, tragedy refers to a specific tradition of drama that has played a unique and important role historically in the self-definition of...

 and comedies that Livius Andronicus
Livius Andronicus
Lucius Livius Andronicus , not to be confused with the later historian Livy, was a Greco-Roman dramatist and epic poet of the Old Latin period. He began as an educator in the service of a noble family at Rome by translating Greek works into Latin, including Homer’s Odyssey. They were meant at...

 wrote from 240 BCE. Five years later, Gnaeus Naevius
Gnaeus Naevius
Gnaeus Naevius was a Roman epic poet and dramatist of the Old Latin period. He had a notable literary career at Rome until his satiric comments delivered in comedy angered the Metelli family, one of whom was consul. After a sojourn in prison he recanted and was set free by the tribunes...

 also began to write drama. No plays from either writer have survived. While both dramatists composed in both genres, 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 BCE, drama was firmly established in Rome and a guild
Guild
A guild is an association of craftsmen in a particular trade. The earliest types of guild were formed as confraternities of workers. They were organized in a manner something between a trade union, a cartel, and a secret society...

 of writers (collegium poetarum) had been formed. The Roman comedies that have survived are all fabula palliata (comedies based on Greek subjects) and come from two dramatists: Titus Maccius Plautus
Plautus
Titus Maccius Plautus , commonly known as "Plautus", was a Roman playwright of the Old Latin period. His comedies are the earliest surviving intact works in Latin literature. He wrote Palliata comoedia, the genre devised by the innovator of Latin literature, Livius Andronicus...

 (Plautus) and Publius Terentius Afer
Terence
Publius Terentius Afer , better known in English as Terence, was a playwright of the Roman Republic, of North African descent. His comedies were performed for the first time around 170–160 BC. Terentius Lucanus, a Roman senator, brought Terence to Rome as a slave, educated him and later on,...

 (Terence). In re-working the Greek originals, the Roman comic dramatists abolished the role of the chorus
Greek chorus
A Greek chorus is a homogenous, non-individualised group of performers in the plays of classical Greece, who comment with a collective voice on the dramatic action....

 in dividing the drama into episode
Episode
An episode is a part of a dramatic work such as a serial television or radio program. An episode is a part of a sequence of a body of work, akin to a chapter of a book. The term sometimes applies to works based on other forms of mass media as well, as in Star Wars...

s and introduced musical accompaniment to its dialogue
Dialogue
Dialogue is a literary and theatrical form consisting of a written or spoken conversational exchange between two or more people....

 (between one-third of the dialogue in the comedies of Plautus and two-thirds in those of Terence). The action of all scenes is set in the exterior location of a street and its complications often follow from eavesdropping
Eavesdropping
Eavesdropping is the act of secretly listening to the private conversation of others without their consent, as defined by Black's Law Dictionary...

. Plautus, the more popular of the two, wrote between 205 and 184 BCE and twenty of his comedies survive, of which his farce
Farce
In theatre, a farce is a comedy which aims at entertaining the audience by means of unlikely, extravagant, and improbable situations, disguise and mistaken identity, verbal humour of varying degrees of sophistication, which may include word play, and a fast-paced plot whose speed usually increases,...

s are best known; he was admired for the wit
Wit
Wit is a form of intellectual humour, and a wit is someone skilled in making witty remarks. Forms of wit include the quip and repartee.-Forms of wit:...

 of his dialogue and his use of a variety of poetic meters
Meter (poetry)
In poetry, metre is the basic rhythmic structure of a verse or lines in verse. Many traditional verse forms prescribe a specific verse metre, or a certain set of metres alternating in a particular order. The study of metres and forms of versification is known as prosody...

. All of the six comedies that Terence wrote between 166 and 160 BCE 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, Marcus Pacuvius and Lucius Accius
Lucius Accius
Lucius Accius , or Lucius Attius, was a Roman tragic poet and literary scholar. The son of a freedman, Accius was born at Pisaurum in Umbria, in 170 BC...

. From the time of the empire, the work of two tragedians survives—one is an unknown author, while the other is the Stoic philosopher
Stoicism
Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy founded in Athens by Zeno of Citium in the early . The Stoics taught that destructive emotions resulted from errors in judgment, and that a sage, or person of "moral and intellectual perfection," would not suffer such emotions.Stoics were concerned...

 Seneca
Seneca the Younger
Lucius Annaeus Seneca was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist, and in one work humorist, of the Silver Age of Latin literature. He was tutor and later advisor to emperor Nero...

. Nine of Seneca's tragedies survive, all of which are fabula crepidata (tragedies adapted from Greek originals); his Phaedra
Phaedra (Seneca)
Phaedra, sometimes known as Hippolytus, is a play by Seneca the Younger, telling the story of Phaedra and her taboo love for her stepson Hippolytus...

, for example, was based on Euripides
Euripides
Euripides was one of the three great tragedians of classical Athens, the other two being Aeschylus and Sophocles. Some ancient scholars attributed ninety-five plays to him but according to the Suda it was ninety-two at most...

' Hippolytus
Hippolytus (play)
Hippolytus is an Ancient Greek tragedy by Euripides, based on the myth of Hippolytus, son of Theseus. The play was first produced for the City Dionysia of Athens in 428 BC and won first prize as part of a trilogy....

. Historians do not know who wrote the only extant
Extant literature
Extant literature refers to texts that have survived from the past to the present time. Extant literature can be divided into extant original manuscripts, copies of original manuscripts, quotations and paraphrases of passages of non-extant texts contained in other works, translations of non-extant...

 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 (arts)
A character is the representation of a person in a narrative work of art . Derived from the ancient Greek word kharaktêr , the earliest use in English, in this sense, dates from the Restoration, although it became widely used after its appearance in Tom Jones in 1749. From this, the sense of...

 in the tragedy.

Medieval



In the Middle Ages, drama in the vernacular languages of Europe may have emerged from religious enactments of the liturgy
Liturgy
Liturgy is either the customary public worship done by a specific religious group, according to its particular traditions or a more precise term that distinguishes between those religious groups who believe their ritual requires the "people" to do the "work" of responding to the priest, and those...

. Mystery play
Mystery play
Mystery plays and miracle plays are among the earliest formally developed plays in medieval Europe. Medieval mystery plays focused on the representation of Bible stories in churches as tableaux with accompanying antiphonal song...

s were presented on the porch of the cathedrals or by strolling players on feast days
Calendar of saints
The calendar of saints is a traditional Christian method of organizing a liturgical year by associating each day with one or more saints and referring to the feast day of said saint...

. Miracle and mystery plays, along with moralities
Morality play
The morality play is a genre of Medieval and early Tudor theatrical entertainment. In their own time, these plays were known as "interludes", a broader term given to dramas with or without a moral theme. Morality plays are a type of allegory in which the protagonist is met by personifications of...

 and interludes, later evolved into more elaborate forms of drama, such as was seen on the Elizabethan stages.

Elizabethan and Jacobean



One of the great flowerings of drama in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 occurred in the 16th and 17th centuries. Many of these plays were written in verse, particularly iambic pentameter
Iambic pentameter
Iambic pentameter is a commonly used metrical line in traditional verse and verse drama. The term describes the particular rhythm that the words establish in that line. That rhythm is measured in small groups of syllables; these small groups of syllables are called "feet"...

. In addition to Shakespeare, such authors as Christopher Marlowe
Christopher Marlowe
Christopher Marlowe was an English dramatist, poet and translator of the Elizabethan era. As the foremost Elizabethan tragedian, next to William Shakespeare, he is known for his blank verse, his overreaching protagonists, and his mysterious death.A warrant was issued for Marlowe's arrest on 18 May...

, Thomas Middleton
Thomas Middleton
Thomas Middleton was an English Jacobean playwright and poet. Middleton stands with John Fletcher and Ben Jonson as among the most successful and prolific of playwrights who wrote their best plays during the Jacobean period. He was one of the few Renaissance dramatists to achieve equal success in...

, and Ben Jonson
Ben Jonson
Benjamin Jonson was an English Renaissance dramatist, poet and actor. A contemporary of William Shakespeare, he is best known for his satirical plays, particularly Volpone, The Alchemist, and Bartholomew Fair, which are considered his best, and his lyric poems...

 were prominent playwrights during this period. As in the medieval period
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, historical plays celebrated the lives of past kings, enhancing the image of the Tudor
Tudor dynasty
The Tudor dynasty or House of Tudor was a European royal house of Welsh origin that ruled the Kingdom of England and its realms, including the Lordship of Ireland, later the Kingdom of Ireland, from 1485 until 1603. Its first monarch was Henry Tudor, a descendant through his mother of a legitimised...

 monarchy. Authors of this period drew some of their storylines from Greek mythology
Greek mythology
Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They were a part of religion in ancient Greece...

 and Roman mythology
Roman mythology
Roman mythology is the body of traditional stories pertaining to ancient Rome's legendary origins and religious system, as represented in the literature and visual arts of the Romans...

 or from the plays of eminent Roman playwrights such as Plautus
Plautus
Titus Maccius Plautus , commonly known as "Plautus", was a Roman playwright of the Old Latin period. His comedies are the earliest surviving intact works in Latin literature. He wrote Palliata comoedia, the genre devised by the innovator of Latin literature, Livius Andronicus...

 and Terence
Terence
Publius Terentius Afer , better known in English as Terence, was a playwright of the Roman Republic, of North African descent. His comedies were performed for the first time around 170–160 BC. Terentius Lucanus, a Roman senator, brought Terence to Rome as a slave, educated him and later on,...

.

Modern and postmodern



The pivotal and innovative contributions of the 19th-century Norwegian dramatist Henrik Ibsen
Henrik Ibsen
Henrik Ibsen was a major 19th-century Norwegian playwright, theatre director, and poet. He is often referred to as "the father of prose drama" and is one of the founders of Modernism in the theatre...

 and the 20th-century German theatre practitioner
Theatre practitioner
Theatre practitioner is a modern term to describe someone who both creates theatrical performances and who produces a theoretical discourse that informs his or her practical work. A theatre practitioner may be a director, a dramatist, an actor, or—characteristically—often a combination of these...

 Bertolt Brecht
Bertolt Brecht
Bertolt Brecht was a German poet, playwright, and theatre director.An influential theatre practitioner of the 20th century, Brecht made equally significant contributions to dramaturgy and theatrical production, the latter particularly through the seismic impact of the tours undertaken by the...

 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 modernist
Modernism
Modernism, in its broadest definition, is modern thought, character, or practice. More specifically, the term describes the modernist movement, its set of cultural tendencies and array of associated cultural movements, originally arising from wide-scale and far-reaching changes to Western society...

 and realist, incorporating formal experimentation
Experimental theatre
Experimental theatre is a general term for various movements in Western theatre that began in the late 19th century as a retraction against the dominant vent governing the writing and production of dramatical menstrophy, and age in particular. The term has shifted over time as the mainstream...

, meta-theatricality, and social critique
Social criticism
The term social criticism locates the reasons for malicious conditions of the society in flawed social structures. People adhering to a social critics aim at practical solutions by specific measures, often consensual reform but sometimes also by powerful revolution.- European roots :Religious...

. In terms of the traditional theoretical discourse of genre, Ibsen's work has been described as the culmination of "liberal tragedy", while Brecht's has been aligned with an historicised
Historicization
The principle of historicisation is a fundamental part of the aesthetic developed by the German modernist theatre practitioner Bertolt Brecht....

 comedy.

Other important playwrights of the modern era include August Strindberg
August Strindberg
Johan August Strindberg was a Swedish playwright, novelist, poet, essayist and painter. A prolific writer who often drew directly on his personal experience, Strindberg's career spanned four decades, during which time he wrote over 60 plays and more than 30 works of fiction, autobiography,...

, Anton Chekhov
Anton Chekhov
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was a Russian physician, dramatist and author who is considered to be among the greatest writers of short stories in history. His career as a dramatist produced four classics and his best short stories are held in high esteem by writers and critics...

, Frank Wedekind
Frank Wedekind
Benjamin Franklin Wedekind , usually known as Frank Wedekind, was a German playwright...

, Maurice Maeterlinck
Maurice Maeterlinck
Maurice Polydore Marie Bernard Maeterlinck, also called Comte Maeterlinck from 1932, was a Belgian playwright, poet, and essayist who wrote in French. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1911. The main themes in his work are death and the meaning of life...

, Federico García Lorca
Federico García Lorca
Federico del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús García Lorca was a Spanish poet, dramatist and theatre director. García Lorca achieved international recognition as an emblematic member of the Generation of '27. He is believed to be one of thousands who were summarily shot by anti-communist death squads...

, Eugene O'Neill
Eugene O'Neill
Eugene Gladstone O'Neill was an American playwright and Nobel laureate in Literature. His poetically titled plays were among the first to introduce into American drama techniques of realism earlier associated with Russian playwright Anton Chekhov, Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, and Swedish...

, Luigi Pirandello
Luigi Pirandello
Luigi Pirandello was an Italian dramatist, novelist, and short story writer awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1934, for his "bold and brilliant renovation of the drama and the stage." Pirandello's works include novels, hundreds of short stories, and about 40 plays, some of which are written...

, George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama, and he wrote more than 60...

, Ernst Toller
Ernst Toller
Ernst Toller was a left-wing German playwright, best known for his Expressionist plays and serving as President of the short-lived Bavarian Soviet Republic, for six days.- Biography :...

, Vladimir Mayakovsky
Vladimir Mayakovsky
Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky was a Russian and Soviet poet and playwright, among the foremost representatives of early-20th century Russian Futurism.- Early life :...

, Arthur Miller
Arthur Miller
Arthur Asher Miller was an American playwright and essayist. He was a prominent figure in American theatre, writing dramas that include plays such as All My Sons , Death of a Salesman , The Crucible , and A View from the Bridge .Miller was often in the public eye,...

, Tennessee Williams
Tennessee Williams
Thomas Lanier "Tennessee" Williams III was an American writer who worked principally as a playwright in the American theater. He also wrote short stories, novels, poetry, essays, screenplays and a volume of memoirs...

, Jean Genet
Jean Genet
Jean Genet was a prominent and controversial French novelist, playwright, poet, essayist, and political activist. Early in his life he was a vagabond and petty criminal, but later took to writing...

, Eugène Ionesco
Eugène Ionesco
Eugène Ionesco was a Romanian and French playwright and dramatist, and one of the foremost playwrights of the Theatre of the Absurd...

, Samuel Beckett
Samuel Beckett
Samuel Barclay Beckett was an Irish avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet. He wrote both in English and French. His work offers a bleak, tragicomic outlook on human nature, often coupled with black comedy and gallows humour.Beckett is widely regarded as among the most...

, Harold Pinter
Harold Pinter
Harold Pinter, CH, CBE was a Nobel Prize–winning English playwright and screenwriter. One of the most influential modern British dramatists, his writing career spanned more than 50 years. His best-known plays include The Birthday Party , The Homecoming , and Betrayal , each of which he adapted to...

, Friedrich Dürrenmatt
Friedrich Dürrenmatt
Friedrich Dürrenmatt was a Swiss author and dramatist. He was a proponent of epic theatre whose plays reflected the recent experiences of World War II. The politically active author's work included avant-garde dramas, philosophically deep crime novels, and often macabre satire...

, Dario Fo
Dario Fo
Dario Fo is an Italian satirist, playwright, theater director, actor and composer. His dramatic work employs comedic methods of the ancient Italian commedia dell'arte, a theatrical style popular with the working classes. He currently owns and operates a theatre company with his wife, actress...

, Heiner Müller
Heiner Müller
Heiner Müller was a German dramatist, poet, writer, essayist and theatre director. Described as "the theatre's greatest living poet" since Samuel Beckett, Müller is arguably the most important German dramatist of the 20th century after Bertolt Brecht...

, and Caryl Churchill
Caryl Churchill
Caryl Churchill is an English dramatist known for her use of non-naturalistic techniques and feminist themes, the abuses of power, and sexual politics. She is acknowledged as a major playwright in the English language and a leading female writer...

.

India




The earliest form of India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

n drama was the Sanskrit drama
Sanskrit drama
The earliest-surviving fragments of Sanskrit drama date from the 1st century CE. The Mahābhāṣya by Patañjali contains the earliest reference to what may have been the seeds of Sanskrit drama. This treatise on grammar from 140 BCE provides a feasible date for the beginnings of theatre in India.Its...

. It began after the development of Greek
Theatre of Ancient Greece
The theatre of Ancient Greece, or ancient Greek drama, is a theatrical culture that flourished in ancient Greece between c. 550 and c. 220 BC. The city-state of Athens, which became a significant cultural, political and military power during this period, was its centre, where it was...

 and Roman drama
Theatre of ancient Rome
The theatre of ancient Rome was a thriving and diverse art form, ranging from festival performances of street theatre, nude dancing, and acrobatics, to the staging of Plautus's broadly appealing situation comedies, to the high-style, verbally elaborate tragedies of Seneca...

 and before the development of theatre in other parts of Asia. It emerged sometime between the 2nd century BCE and the 1st century CE and flourished between the 1st century CE and the 10th, which was a period of relative peace in the history of India
History of India
The history of India begins with evidence of human activity of Homo sapiens as long as 75,000 years ago, or with earlier hominids including Homo erectus from about 500,000 years ago. The Indus Valley Civilization, which spread and flourished in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent from...

 during which hundreds of plays were written. With the Islamic conquests
Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent
Muslim conquest in South Asia mainly took place from the 13th to the 16th centuries, though earlier Muslim conquests made limited inroads into the region, beginning during the period of the ascendancy of the Rajput Kingdoms in North India, from the 7th century onwards.However, the Himalayan...

 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 a large number of regional languages from the 15th to the 19th centuries. Modern Indian theatre developed during the period of colonial rule
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

 under the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

, from the mid-19th century until the mid-20th.

Sanskrit theatre



The earliest-surviving fragments of Sanskrit drama
Sanskrit drama
The earliest-surviving fragments of Sanskrit drama date from the 1st century CE. The Mahābhāṣya by Patañjali contains the earliest reference to what may have been the seeds of Sanskrit drama. This treatise on grammar from 140 BCE provides a feasible date for the beginnings of theatre in India.Its...

 date from the 1st century CE. The wealth of archeological evidence from earlier periods offers no indication of the existence of a tradition of theatre. The ancient Vedas
Vedas
The Vedas are a large body of texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism....

 (hymn
Hymn
A hymn is a type of song, usually religious, specifically written for the purpose of praise, adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification...

s from between 1500 to 1000 BCE that are among the earliest examples of literature in the world) contain no hint of it (although a small number are composed in a form of dialogue
Dialogue
Dialogue is a literary and theatrical form consisting of a written or spoken conversational exchange between two or more people....

) and the ritual
Ritual
A ritual is a set of actions, performed mainly for their symbolic value. It may be prescribed by a religion or by the traditions of a community. The term usually excludes actions which are arbitrarily chosen by the performers....

s of the Vedic period
Vedic period
The Vedic period was a period in history during which the Vedas, the oldest scriptures of Hinduism, were composed. The time span of the period is uncertain. Philological and linguistic evidence indicates that the Rigveda, the oldest of the Vedas, was composed roughly between 1700–1100 BCE, also...

 do not appear to have developed into theatre. The Mahābhāṣya by Patañjali
Patañjali
Patañjali is the compiler of the Yoga Sūtras, an important collection of aphorisms on Yoga practice. According to tradition, the same Patañjali was also the author of the Mahābhāṣya, a commentary on Kātyāyana's vārttikas on Pāṇini's Aṣṭādhyāyī as well as an unspecified work of medicine .In...

 contains the earliest reference to what may have been the seeds of Sanskrit drama. This treatise on grammar
Grammar
In linguistics, grammar is the set of structural rules that govern the composition of clauses, phrases, and words in any given natural language. The term refers also to the study of such rules, and this field includes morphology, syntax, and phonology, often complemented by phonetics, semantics,...

 from 140 BCE provides a feasible date for the beginnings of theatre in India
Theatre in India
The earliest form of the theatre of India was the Sanskrit theatre. It began after the development of Greek and Roman theatre and before the development of theatre in other parts of Asia...

.

The major source of evidence for Sanskrit theatre is A Treatise on Theatre (Nātyaśāstra), a compendium whose date of composition is uncertain (estimates range from 200 BCE to 200 CE) and whose authorship is attributed to Bharata Muni
Bharata Muni
Bharata was an ancient Indian musicologist who authored the Natya Shastra, a theoretical treatise on ancient Indian dramaturgy and histrionics, dated to between roughly 400 BC and 200 BC. Indian dance and music find their root in the Natyashastra...

. The Treatise is the most complete work of dramaturgy in the ancient world. It addresses acting
Acting
Acting is the work of an actor or actress, which is a person in theatre, television, film, or any other storytelling medium who tells the story by portraying a character and, usually, speaking or singing the written text or play....

, dance
Dance
Dance is an art form that generally refers to movement of the body, usually rhythmic and to music, used as a form of expression, social interaction or presented in a spiritual or performance setting....

, music
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

, dramatic construction
Dramaturgy
Dramaturgy is the art of dramatic composition and the representation of the main elements of drama on the stage. Dramaturgy is a distinct practice separate from play writing and directing, although a single individual may perform any combination of the three. Some dramatists combine writing and...

, architecture, costuming
Costume design
Costume design is the fabrication of apparel for the overall appearance of a character or performer. This usually involves researching, designing and building the actual items from conception. Costumes may be for a theater or cinema performance but may not be limited to such...

, make-up
Theatrical makeup
In the performing arts, theatrical makeup is used to assist in creating the appearance of the characters that actors portray.-Background:In Greek and Roman theatre, makeup was unnecessary. Actors wore various masks, allowing them to portray another gender, age, or entirely different likeness....

, props, the organisation of companies, the audience, competitions, and offers a mythological
Hindu mythology
Hindu religious literature is the large body of traditional narratives related to Hinduism, notably as contained in Sanskrit literature, such as the Sanskrit epics and the Puranas. As such, it is a subset of Nepali and Indian culture...

 account of the origin of theatre.

Its drama is regarded as the highest achievement of Sanskrit literature
Sanskrit literature
Literature in Sanskrit begins with the Vedas, and continues with the Sanskrit Epics of Iron Age India; the golden age of Classical Sanskrit literature dates to late Antiquity . Literary production saw a late bloom in the 11th century before declining after 1100 AD...

. It utilised stock character
Stock character
A Stock character is a fictional character based on a common literary or social stereotype. Stock characters rely heavily on cultural types or names for their personality, manner of speech, and other characteristics. In their most general form, stock characters are related to literary archetypes,...

s, 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
Bhasa
Bhāsa is one of the earliest and most celebrated Indian playwrights in Sanskrit. However, very little is known about him.Kālidāsa in the introduction to his first play Malavikagnimitram writes -...

, Kalidasa
Kalidasa
Kālidāsa was a renowned Classical Sanskrit writer, widely regarded as the greatest poet and dramatist in the Sanskrit language...

 (famous for Vikrama and Urvashi
Vikramorvasiyam
Vikramōrvaśīyam is a Sanskrit play by medieval Indian poet Kalidasa who fluorished in the 4th Century CE, on the Vedic love story of king Pururavas and celestial nymph Urvashi...

, Malavika and Agnimitra
Malavikagnimitram
Mālavikāgnimitram is a Sanskrit play by Kālidāsa. It is his first play.The play tells the story of the love of King Agnimitra, the Shunga king of Vidisha , for the beautiful hand-maiden of his chief queen. He falls in love with the picture of an exiled servant girl named Mālavikā...

, and The Recognition of Shakuntala
Abhijñānaśākuntalam
Abhijñānashākuntala or Abhijñānaśākuntalam) , is a well-known Sanskrit play by Kālidāsa. Its date is uncertain, but Kalidasa is often placed in the period between the 1st century BCE and 4th century CE....

), Śudraka
Sudraka
' was an Indian King. Three Sanskrit plays are ascribed to him - Mricchakatika , Vinavasavadatta, and a bhana , Padmaprabhritaka.. He has been identified as Abhira King Indranigupta, who used the pen name Sudraka.- References :* Ryder, Arthur William. Translator...

 (famous for The Little Clay Cart), Asvaghosa
Asvaghosa
' was an Indian philosopher-poet, born in Saketa in northern India to a Brahmin family. He is believed to have been the first Sanskrit dramatist, and is considered the greatest Indian poet prior to Kālidāsa. He was the most famous in a group of Buddhist court writers, whose epics rivaled the...

, Daṇḍin
Dandin
Dandin can refer to:* Daṇḍin, 6th-7th century Sanskrit writer* The Dandin Group, a wireless internet thinktank* Dandin the Sword Carrier, a character appearing in Mariel of Redwall and The Bellmaker, two books from the fictional Redwall series by Brian Jacques....

, and Emperor Harsha
Harsha
Harsha or Harsha Vardhana or Harshvardhan was an Indian emperor who ruled northern India from 606 to 647 AD. He was the son of Prabhakara Vardhana and younger brother of Rajya Vardhana, a king of Thanesar, Haryana...

 (famous for Nagananda
Nagananda
Nagananda is a Sanskrit play attributed to king Harsha .Nagananda is one of the best Sanskrit dramas in five acts dealing with the popular story of Jimutavahana's self-sacrifice to save the Nagas...

, Ratnavali
Ratnavali
Ratnavali is a Sanskrit drama about a beautiful princess named Ratnavali, and a great king named Udayana. It is attributed to the Indian emperor Harsha . It is a Natika in four acts. One of the first textual references to the celebration of Holi, the festival of Colours have been found in this text...

 and Priyadarsika
Priyadarsika
Priyadarsika is a Sanskrit play attributed to king Harsha .-External links:*, translated by G. K. Nariman and A. V. Williams Jackson...

). Śakuntalā
Abhijñānaśākuntalam
Abhijñānashākuntala or Abhijñānaśākuntalam) , is a well-known Sanskrit play by Kālidāsa. Its date is uncertain, but Kalidasa is often placed in the period between the 1st century BCE and 4th century CE....

 (in English translation) influenced Goethe's
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer, pictorial artist, biologist, theoretical physicist, and polymath. He is considered the supreme genius of modern German literature. His works span the fields of poetry, drama, prose, philosophy, and science. His Faust has been called the greatest long...

 Faust
Goethe's Faust
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust is a tragic play in two parts: and . Although written as a closet drama, it is the play with the largest audience numbers on German-language stages...

 (1808–1832).

Modern Indian drama


Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore , sobriquet Gurudev, was a Bengali polymath who reshaped his region's literature and music. Author of Gitanjali and its "profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse", he became the first non-European Nobel laureate by earning the 1913 Prize in Literature...

, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913, is probably India's best-known modern playwright. His plays are written in Bengali
Bengali language
Bengali or Bangla is an eastern Indo-Aryan language. It is native to the region of eastern South Asia known as Bengal, which comprises present day Bangladesh, the Indian state of West Bengal, and parts of the Indian states of Tripura and Assam. It is written with the Bengali script...

 and include Chitra (Chitrangada, 1892), The King of the Dark Chamber (Raja, 1910), The Post Office
The Post Office (play)
The Post Office is a 1912 play by Rabindranath Tagore. It concerns Amal, a child confined to his adopted uncle's home by an incurable disease. W...

 (Dakghar, 1913), and Red Oleander (Raktakarabi, 1924).

Modern Urdu Drama of India


Urdu Drama evolved from the prevailing dramatic traditions of North India shaping Rahas or Raas as practiced by exponents like Nawab Wajid Ali Shah 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 culmination of this tradition.

In some way or other, Urdu theatre tradition has greatly influenced modern Indian theatre. Among all the languages Urdu(which was called Hindi by early writers), along with Gujrati,Marathi and Bengali theatres have kept flourishing and demand for its writers and artists has not subsided by the drama aficionados. For Urdu drama, no place is better than Bombay Film industry otherwise known as Hindi film industry. All the early gems of Urdu Theatre (performed by Parsi Companies) were made into films. Urdu Dramatic tradition has been a spectator’s delight since 100 years and counting.

Drama as a theme is made up of several elements. It focuses on life and different aspects of it. The thing to be noticed here is that drama on stage imitates drama in life. It has been said that, there has always been a mutual relationship between theatre and real life. Great historical personalities like Shakespeare have influenced Modern Urdu tradition to a large extent when Indian, Iranian, Turkish stories and folk was adapted for stage with heavy doses of Urdu Poetry. In modern times writers like Imtiaz Ali Taj, Rafi Peer, Krishan Chander, Manto, Upender Nath Ashk, Ghulam Rabbani, Prof. Mujeeb and many others shaped this tradition.

While 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 few post modern Play wrights 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 gems which are regularly staged for massive turn out of theatre lovers. Maulana Azad is his magnum opus both for its content and style.

Danish Iqbal's 'Dara Shikoh' directed by M S Sathyu is considered a modern classic for the use of newer theatre techniques and 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 the 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 amny groups like 'Natwa'and others. Zaheer Anwar has kept the flag of Urdu Theatre flying in Kolkata. Unlike the writers of previous generartion Sayeed, Shahid, Danish iqbal and Zaheer do not write bookish Plays but their work is a product of vigorous performing tradition.Iqbal Niyazi of Mumbai has written several plays in urdu.his play"AUR KITNE JALYANWALA BAUGH??"won National award other awards. Hence this is the only generartion 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
Chinese opera
Chinese opera is a popular form of drama and musical theatre in China with roots going back as far as the third century CE...

 although this normally refers specifically to the popular form known as Beijing Opera
Beijing opera
Peking opera or Beijing opera is a form of traditional Chinese theatre which combines music, vocal performance, mime, dance and acrobatics. It arose in the late 18th century and became fully developed and recognized by the mid-19th century. The form was extremely popular in the Qing Dynasty court...

 and Kunqu
Kunqu
Kunqu , also known as Kunju , Kun opera or Kunqu Opera, is one of the oldest extant forms of Chinese opera. It evolved from the Kunshan melody, and dominated Chinese theatre from the 16th to the 18th centuries. The style originated in the Wu cultural area...

; there have been many other forms of theatre in China.

Japan


Japanese Nō drama
Noh
, or - derived from the Sino-Japanese word for "skill" or "talent" - is a major form of classical Japanese musical drama that has been performed since the 14th century. Many characters are masked, with men playing male and female roles. Traditionally, a Noh "performance day" lasts all day and...

 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
Kyogen
is a form of traditional Japanese comic theater. It developed alongside Noh, was performed along with Noh as an intermission of sorts between Noh acts, on the same Noh stage, and retains close links to Noh in the modern day; therefore, it is sometimes designated Noh-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
Kabuki
is classical Japanese dance-drama. Kabuki theatre is known for the stylization of its drama and for the elaborate make-up worn by some of its performers.The individual kanji characters, from left to right, mean sing , dance , and skill...

 drama, developed from the 17th century, is another comic form, which includes dance.

Opera


Western opera
Opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

 is a dramatic art form, which arose during the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 in an attempt to revive the classical Greek drama tradition in which both music and theatre were combined. Being strongly intertwined with western classical music
Classical music
Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times...

, 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 huge influence of the German 19th century composer 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 traditional Greek drama
Theatre of Ancient Greece
The theatre of Ancient Greece, or ancient Greek drama, is a theatrical culture that flourished in ancient Greece between c. 550 and c. 220 BC. The city-state of Athens, which became a significant cultural, political and military power during this period, was its centre, where it was...

, he entirely renewed the operatic format, and to emphasize the equal importance of music and drama in these new works, he called them "music dramas".

Chinese opera
Chinese opera
Chinese opera is a popular form of drama and musical theatre in China with roots going back as far as the third century CE...

 has seen a more conservative development over a somewhat longer period of time.

Pantomime



These stories follow in the tradition of fable
Fable
A fable is a succinct fictional story, in prose or verse, that features animals, mythical creatures, plants, inanimate objects or forces of nature which are anthropomorphized , and that illustrates a moral lesson , which may at the end be expressed explicitly in a pithy maxim.A fable differs from...

s and 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 character
Stock character
A Stock character is a fictional character based on a common literary or social stereotype. Stock characters rely heavily on cultural types or names for their personality, manner of speech, and other characteristics. In their most general form, stock characters are related to literary archetypes,...

s seen in masque and again commedia dell'arte
Commedia dell'arte
Commedia dell'arte is a form of theatre characterized by masked "types" which began in Italy in the 16th century, and was responsible for the advent of the actress and improvised performances based on sketches or scenarios. The closest translation of the name is "comedy of craft"; it is shortened...

, 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.

Creative drama


Creative drama
Creative Drama
Creative drama is an improvisational, non-exhibitional, process-centered form of drama in which participants are guided by a leader to image, enact and reflect upon human experience....

 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 .

UK


The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988
Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988
The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 , also known as the CDPA, is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which received Royal Assent on 15 November 1988. It reformulates almost completely the statutory basis of copyright law in the United Kingdom, which had, until then, been...

 does not define a dramatic work except to state that it includes a work of dance or mime. However, it is clear that dramatic work includes the scenario or script for films, plays (written for theatre, cinema, television or radio). and choreographic works.

See also


  • Applied Drama
    Applied Drama
    Applied Drama is an umbrella term for the wider use of drama practice in a specific social context and environment. This practice doesn't have to take place in a conventional theatre space...

  • Augustan drama
    Augustan drama
    Augustan drama can refer to the dramas of Ancient Rome during the reign of Caesar Augustus, but it most commonly refers to the plays of Great Britain in the early 18th century, a subset of 18th-century Augustan literature...

  • Christian drama
    Christian drama
    Christian drama is drama that explores Christian themes.- Mystery play :Through the medieval period churches in Europe frequently performed mystery plays, retelling the stories of the Bible. They developed from the representation of Bible stories in churches with accompanying song...

  • Closet drama
    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. A related form, the "closet screenplay," developed during the 20th century.-Form:...

  • Costume drama
    Costume drama
    A costume drama or period drama is a period piece in which elaborate costumes, sets and properties are featured in order to capture the ambiance of a particular era.The term is usually used in the context of film and television...

  • Crime drama
  • Domestic drama
    Domestic drama
    Domestic drama expresses and focuses on the realistic everyday lives of middle or lower classes in a certain society, generally referring to the post-Renaissance eras...

  • Dramatic structure
    Dramatic structure
    Dramatic structure is the structure of a dramatic work such as a play or film. Many scholars have analyzed dramatic structure, beginning with Aristotle in his Poetics...

  • Dramatic theory
    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's Poetics from Ancient Greece and Bharata Muni's Natyasastra from ancient India.- External links :...

  • Flash drama
    Flash drama
    Flash drama is a type of theatrical play that does not exceed ten minutes in duration, hence the name Flash drama. Groups of four to six flash drama plays are popular with school, university and community drama companies since they offer a wide variety of roles and situations in a single...

  • Folk play
    Folk play
    Folk plays such as Hoodening, Guising, Mumming and Soul Caking are generally verse sketches performed in countryside pubs in European countries, private houses or the open air, at set times of the year such as the Winter or Summer solstices or Christmas and New Year...

  • Heroic drama
    Heroic drama
    Heroic drama is a type of play popular during the Restoration era in England, distinguished by both its verse structure and its subject matter. The sub-genre of heroic drama evolved through several works of the middle to later 1660s; John Dryden's The Indian Emperour and Roger Boyle's The Black...

  • History of theatre
    History of theatre
    The history of theatre charts the development of theatre over the past 2,500 years. While performative elements are present in every society, it is customary to acknowledge a distinction between theatre as an art form and entertainment and theatrical or performative elements in other activities...

  • Legal drama
    Legal drama
    A legal drama is a work of dramatic fiction about crime and civil litigation. Subtypes of legal dramas include courtroom dramas and legal thrillers, and come in all forms, including novels, television shows, and films. Legal drama sometimes overlap with crime drama, most notably in the case of Law...

  • Medical drama
    Medical drama
    A medical drama is a television program, in which events center upon a hospital, an ambulance staff, or any medical environment.In the United States, most medical episodes are one hour long and, more often than not, are set in a hospital. Most current medical Dramatic programming go beyond the...

  • Melodrama
    Melodrama
    The term melodrama refers to a dramatic work that exaggerates plot and characters in order to appeal to the emotions. It may also refer to the genre which includes such works, or to language, behavior, or events which resemble them...

  • Monodrama
    Monodrama
    A monodrama is a theatrical or operatic piece played by a single actor or singer, usually portraying one character.- Monodrama in opera :...

  • Mystery play
    Mystery play
    Mystery plays and miracle plays are among the earliest formally developed plays in medieval Europe. Medieval mystery plays focused on the representation of Bible stories in churches as tableaux with accompanying antiphonal song...

  • One act play
    One act play
    A one-act play is a play that has only one act, as distinct from plays that occur over several acts. One-act plays may consist of one or more scenes. In recent years the 10-minute play known as "flash drama" has emerged as a popular sub-genre of the one-act play, especially in writing competitions...

  • Play
    Play (theatre)
    A play is a form of literature written by a playwright, usually consisting of scripted dialogue between characters, intended for theatrical performance rather than just reading. There are rare dramatists, notably George Bernard Shaw, who have had little preference whether their plays were performed...

  • Political drama
    Political drama
    A political drama can describe a play, film or TV program that has a political component, whether reflecting the author's political opinion, or describing a politician or series of political events. Dramatists who have written political dramas include Aaron Sorkin, Robert Penn Warren, Sergei...

  • Radio drama
    Radio drama
    Radio drama is a dramatized, purely acoustic performance, broadcast on radio or published on audio media, such as tape or CD. With no visual component, radio drama depends on dialogue, music and sound effects to help the listener imagine the characters and story...

  • Soap opera
    Soap opera
    A soap opera, sometimes called "soap" for short, is an ongoing, episodic work of dramatic fiction presented in serial format on radio or as television programming. The name soap opera stems from the original dramatic serials broadcast on radio that had soap manufacturers, such as Procter & Gamble,...


Theatre awards
  • Two-hander
    Two-hander
    Two-hander is a term for a play, movie, or television programme with only two main characters. The two characters in question often display differences in social standing or experiences, differences that are explored and possibly overcome as the story unfolds....

  • Verse drama and dramatic verse
    Verse drama and dramatic verse
    Verse drama is any drama written as verse to be spoken; another possible general term is poetic drama. For a very long period, verse drama was the dominant form of drama in Europe...

  • Well-made play
    Well-made play
    The well-made play is a genre of drama from the 19th century that Eugène Scribe first codified and that Victorien Sardou developed. By the mid-19th century, it had entered into common use as a derogatory term...

  • Yakshagana
    Yakshagana
    Yakshagana is a musical theater popular in the coastal and Malenadu regions of Karnataka, India. Yakshagana is the recent scholastic name for what are known as kēḷike, āṭa, bayalāṭa, bayalāṭa, daśāvatāra . It is believed to have evolved from pre-classical music and theatre during Bhakti movement...

    —An Indian musical drama

Sources


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  • Baumer, Rachel Van M., and James R. Brandon, eds. 1981. Sanskrit Theatre in Performance. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1993. ISBN 978-8120807723.
  • Brandon, James R. 1981. Introduction. In Baumer and Brandon (1981, xvii–xx).
  • ---, ed. 1997. The Cambridge Guide to Asian Theatre. 2nd, rev. ed. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. ISBN 978-0521588225.
  • Brockett, Oscar G. and Franklin J. Hildy. 2003. History of the Theatre. Ninth edition, International edition. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. ISBN 0205410502.
  • Brown, Andrew. 1998. "Ancient Greece." In The Cambridge Guide to Theatre. Ed. Martin Banham. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. 441–447. ISBN 0521434378.
  • Carlson, Marvin. 1993. Theories of the Theatre: A Historical and Critical Survey from the Greeks to the Present. Expanded ed. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0801481543.
  • Cartledge, Paul. 1997. "'Deep Plays': Theatre as Process in Greek Civic Life." In Easterling (1997c, 3–35).
  • Duchartre, Pierre Louis. 1929. The Italian Comedy. Unabridged republication. New York: Dover, 1966. ISBN 0486216799.
  • Dukore, Bernard F., ed. 1974. Dramatic Theory and Criticism: Greeks to . Florence, Kentucky: Heinle & Heinle. ISBN 0030911524.
  • Durant, Will & Ariel Durant. 1963 The Story of Civilization, Volume II: The Life of Greece. 11 vols. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  • Easterling, P. E. 1997a. "A Show for Dionysus." In Easterling (1997c, 36–53).
  • —. 1997b. "Form and Performance." In Easterling (1997c, 151–177).
  • —, ed. 1997c. The Cambridge Companion to Greek Tragedy. Cambridge Companions to Literature ser. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. ISBN 0521423511.
  • Elam, Keir. 1980. The Semiotics
    Semiotics
    Semiotics, also called semiotic studies or semiology, is the study of signs and sign processes , indication, designation, likeness, analogy, metaphor, symbolism, signification, and communication...

     of Theatre and Drama. New Accents Ser. London and New York: Methuen. ISBN 0416720609.
  • Fergusson, Francis
    Francis Fergusson
    Francis Fergusson was an American academic and critic, a theorist of drama and mythology. Fergusson taught for a time on the faculty of the department of English at Rutgers University and is regarded as an influence on poet Robert Pinsky....

    . 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. ISBN 0691012881.
  • Goldhill, Simon. 1997. "The Audience of Athenian Tragedy." In Easterling (1997c, 54–68).
  • Gordon, Mel. 1983. Lazzi
    Lazzi
    Lazzi is an improvised comic dialogue or action commonly used in the Commedia dell'arte. Most English-speaking troupes use the Italian plural "lazzi" as the singular and "lazzis" for the plural....

    : The Comic Routines of the Commedia dell'Arte. New York: Performing Arts Journal Publications. ISBN 0933826699.
  • Harsh, Philip Whaley. 1944. A Handbook of Classical Drama. Stanford: Stanford UP; Oxford: Oxford UP.
  • Johnstone, Keith
    Keith Johnstone
    Keith Johnstone is a drama instructor whose teachings and books have focused on improvisational theatre and have had a major influence on the art of improvisation.-Education:...

    . 1981. Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre Rev. ed. London: Methuen, 2007. ISBN 0713687010.
  • Ley, Graham. 2006. A Short Introduction to the Ancient Greek Theater. Rev. ed. Chicago and London: U of Chicago P. ISBN 0226477614.
  • ---. 2007. The Theatricality of Greek Tragedy: Playing Space and Chorus. Chicago and London: U of Chicago P. ISBN 0226477576.
  • Pfister, Manfred. 1977. The Theory and Analysis of Drama. Trans. John Halliday. European Studies in English Literature Ser. Cambridige: Cambridge University Press, 1988. ISBN 052142383X.
  • Rehm, Rush
    Rush Rehm
    Rush Rehm is an Associate Professor of Drama and Classics at Stanford University, California, in the United States. He also works professionally as an actor and director. He has published many works on classical theatre.- Bibliography :...

    . 1992. Greek Tragic Theatre. Theatre Production Studies ser. London and New York: Routledge. ISBN 0415118948.
  • 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. ISBN 978-0824813222.
  • Spolin, Viola
    Viola Spolin
    Viola Spolin was an important innovator of the American theater in the 20th century. She created directorial techniques to help actors to be focused in the present moment and to find choices improvisationally, as if in real life...

    . 1967. Improvisation for the Theater. Third rev. ed Evanston, Il.: Northwestern University Press, 1999. ISBN 081014008X.
  • Taxidou, Olga. 2004. Tragedy, Modernity and Mourning. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP. ISBN 0748619879.
  • 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. ISBN 0801835062.
  • 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. ISBN 0521787351.


External links