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Roman Theatre Resources

Roman theatre is said to have begun around 240 B.C. Most Roman dramas were translations or imitations of Greek plays. While broader forms of entertainment such as athletic events, music, dance and chariot races played a pivotal role in Roman life, theatrical forms included mime and farce, with comedy being more popular than tragedy. Only some of the comedies of Plautus and Terence survive today, yet no tragic works have survived. Like the Greeks before them, the Romans performed plays at religious festivals in honour of their Gods. Roman theatres were huge architectural structures, of which several exist to this day.

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Collage Drama Resources for Students and Teachers

Collage drama normally involves original improvised material, group-devised through the act of playbuilding. The form often includes a number of different performance styles deliberately juxtaposing against each other. The narrative of collage drama is usually episodic, consisting of various scenes linked only by a common theme such as the environment, peer pressure, body image, or global warming. Collage drama is regularly used in the classroom and can exist purely as a process for learning or extend through to performance, if desired. This page consists of a number of playbuilding and collage drama resources for students and teachers.

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Theatre of the Absurd Resources

The Theatre of the Absurd began in Paris in the early 1950s with a number of European playwrights. Influenced by Jean-Paul Sartre’s notion of existentialism, Absurdist plays commonly consisted of illogical dialogue, cyclical plots that ended where they began, characters who lacked motivation, and a strong sense of timelessness. Most of the conventional rules of theatre were deliberately, sometimes shockingly broken. The existential view of man’s meaningless existence out of harmony with the world (in essence, “absurd”) was visibly portrayed in works of the movement, most notably in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot (1953). 

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Futurism Theatre Resources for Students and Teachers

The Futurism movement began in Italy in 1909 with Filippo Marinetti and The Futurist Synthetic Theatre Manifesto. Futurist performance evenings, known as ‘serate’, were a mixture of poetry readings, visual art displays, performed plays and most important of all, manifesto readings. The Futurist play was often frighteningly short (sometimes only a moment or two in duration).

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Atellan Farce Resources for Drama Students

Atellan farce, or Atellanae fabulae, was improvisational comic drama in Roman times originating in the town of Atella. As with modern farce, the Atellan farce was a form of low comedy aimed at entertaining the masses. The characters in Atellan farce each had their own mask and costume, similar to the stock characters of the Commedia dell’Arte centuries later. Atellan farce existed for over 500 years, eventually losing popularity around 200 A.D.

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Vaudeville Theatre Resources for Students and Teachers

Vaudeville arrived in America in the 1880s, becoming a hugely popular form of cultural entertainment for the next fifty years. Consisting of a series of short, non-related acts on a single bill, vaudeville’s eclectic list of variety performances involved anything from live animals, jugglers, magicians and singers to comedians, dancers, clowns, and female and male impersonators. The form gradually died out due to the competing medium of motion pictures. This page contains a collection of curated resources on the history and characteristics of vaudeville.

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