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Category: History

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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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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Restoration Drama Resources

Restoration Drama commonly refers to plays performed in England in the late 17th century. Charles II restored the English throne in 1660, reigning until his death in 1685. Theatre historians usually extend the Restoration period to about 1700 or 1710. Works during this period were largely satirical (often bawdy) comedy of manners plays, mocking the social customs of the upper class.

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