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Bunraku Puppet Theatre Teaching Resources

Bunraku (pronounced boon-rakoo) is a traditional Japanese art form involving puppets, music and narration. Bunraku first came to prominence in the 17th century and continues to be performed today. Puppet dolls typically measure two to four feet high and are manipulated by puppeteers visible to the audience. A small shamisen (three-stringed Japanase lute) provides musical accompaniment during performances along with the narrator (tayu) who voices the puppets as well as chants.

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Realism Theatre Resources for Students

Realism as a theatre movement emerged in Europe in the latter part of the 19th century. As a genuine theatre style, realism was a reaction against romanticism and the sensationalism of melodrama which dominated the stages of Europe and America for much of the 1800s. The realistic movement continues to influence theatre to this day.

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History Play Resources for Students and Teachers

A history play, also known as a chronicle play, is a dramatic work where the events of the plot are either partially or entirely drawn from history. It is also considered a theatrical genre. William Shakespeare wrote ten of these plays, each loosely based on an English monarch and the period in which he reigned. Importantly, these plays remain works of fiction, whether based on an historical figure or not.

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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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