History of Theatre, Brief Edition / Edition 1

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This is a brief edition of the most successful theatre history book on the market today providing a trimmer, less expensive, and more accessible paperback version. History of Theatre — Brief Edition provides the same full coverage of world theatre as the original. The histories of African and Asian theatre are given their own units, ensuring their unique developments will not be obscured within the coverage of Western theatre. Chapters have been trimmed to make them easier to cover but have also been revised to provide up-to-date and accurate information that is The History of the Theatre’s hallmark. This paperback edition is extensively illustrated.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205473601
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 9/27/2006
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 608
  • Sales rank: 382,175
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 10.40 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Table of Contents

All chapters end with “Looking at Theatre History.”


1. The Origins of Theatre.

The Theory of Ritual Origin.

Performative Elements and Functions.

Other Theories of Origin.

Ancient Egypt and the Near East.

2. Theatre and Drama in Ancient Greece.

The Origin of Tragedy.

Tragedy in the Fifth Century.

The Satyr Play.

Greek Comedy in the Fifth Century.

The Dramatic Festivals.

Play Selection and Financing.

The Chorus.

Music and Dance.

Costumes and Masks.

Stages and Staging.

Auditorium and Audience.

Athenian Theatre after the Fifth Century.

3. Hellenistic and Roman Theatre.

The Hellenistic Theatre.

Dramatic Theory.

New Comedy.

Actors and Acting.


Theatre Architecture.

Greek Mimes.

The Roman Theatre.

Etruscan and Oscan Antecedents.

The Roman Context.

Roman Festivals.

Drama under the Roman Republic.

Drama under the Roman Empire.

Production Arrangements.

Roman Theatre Architecture.


Actors and Acting.

Masks and Costumes.


The Decline of the Theatre in Rome.

4. Cross-Currents of Theatre History: Asian, Byzantine, and Early Western Theatre.


Sanskrit Drama.

Sanskrit Performance.


The Development of Chinese Literary Drama.


Early Professional Theatre in Japan.


The Byzantine Theatre.

The Rise of Islam.

Western European Theatre.

The Theatre, 500 to 900 C.E.

Monastery Theatre–Liturgical Drama and Comedy.

Theatre in the High Middle Ages, 1050 to 1300 C.E.

The Staging of Liturgical Drama.

The Feast of Fools.

Nonliturgical Drama.

5. European Theatre in the Late Middle Ages.

Performances outside the Church.

The Vernacular Religious Drama.

The Stages.


Special Effects and Machinery.

Audiences and Auditoriums.


Production Arrangements.

The Director.

Actors and Acting.


Secular Dramatic Forms.


The Morality Play.

Chambers of Rhetoric.

Interludes and the Advent of Professional Acting.

Tournaments, Mummings, and Disguisings.

Royal Entries and Street Pageants.

The End of Medieval Drama.

6. English Theatre to 1642.

Early Tudor Drama.

The University Wits.

Shakespeare and His Contemporaries.

Jacobean and Caroline Dramatists.

Government Regulation of the Theatre.

Theatrical Conditions.

The Public Theatres.

The Private Theatres.

Scenery, Properties, Special Effects, and Music.



Court Plays and Masques.

7. The Theatre of Spain and New Spain to 1700.

The Religious Drama.

Secular Drama.

Early Professional Theatre.

Lope de Vega and His Contemporaries.

Calderón and His Contemporaries.

Acting Companies.

Actors and Acting.


The Corrales.

The Stage and Scenery.

Theatre in the Americas.

Court Entertainments.

8. Italian Theatre to 1700.

Renaissance Drama.

Mannerism and the Beginnings of the Baroque.

The Neoclassical Ideal.

Intermezzi and Opera.

The Development of New Scenic Practices.

The Development of Theatre Architecture.

Machinery and Special Effects.

Music and Dance.

The Festival Context.

Stage Lighting.

Commedia dell'Arte.

The Decline of Italy.

9. French Theatre to 1700.

Theatre at Court and in Schools Prior to 1600.

The Public Theatre in Paris before 1597.

The Public Theatre, 1597—1629.

The Triumph of the Neoclassical Ideal.

Acting Companies, 1629—1660.

The Public Theatres, 1629—1660.

Scenic Practices in the Public Theatres, 1629—1660.

Italian Scenic Conventions at the French Court: Italian Opera, Machine Plays, and Ballet.

French Court Theatre: The Salle de Machines, Comedy Ballet, and French Opera, 1600—1700.

French Drama, 1660—1700.

Acting Companies, 1660—1700.

The Organization of French Acting Companies.

Theatre Architecture and Scenic Practices, 1660—1700.

The Close of the Seventeenth Century.

10. Asian Theatre in the Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries.



Beijing Opera.


Noh (or No) Drama and Kyogen.



Other Asian Countries.

11. English Theatre to 1800.

Theatrical Activity, 1642—1660.

The Reestablishment of the Theatre.

Acting Companies, 1600—1700.

English Drama, 1660—1700.

English Drama, 1700—1750.

Governmental Regulation of the Theatre.

English Drama, 1750—1800.

The Playwright.

Financial Policies.

Theatre Architecture.

Scenic Practices.

Costume Practices.

Actors and Acting, 1660—1800.

Audiences and Performances.

The Provincial Theatre.

Theatre of Colonial North America.

12. Continental European Theatre in the Eighteenth Century.

The Evolution of Italian Scenic Design.

Italian Drama of the Eighteenth Century.

French Drama of the Eighteenth Century.

Parisian Acting Troupes.

Actors and Acting.

Costume Practices.

Theatre Architecture.

Scenic Practices.

The Court Theatres of the German States.

The Jesuit Theatre.

The Early Public Theatre in the German States.

The Reforms of Gottsched and Neuber.

Acting Companies and the State Theatres.

Lessing and the Storm-and-Stress Movement.

Evolution of Staging in the Eighteenth Century.

F. L. Schröder and the Hamburg School.

Iffland and the Mannheim School.

Kotzebue and the Beginnings of Melodrama.

Goethe, Schiller, and Weimar Classicism.

Theatre in Russia to 1800.

13. Continental European Theatre in the Early Nineteenth Century.

The Theatre under Napoleon–Melodrama and Romanticism.

German-Language Drama after Napoleon.

Theatrical Conditions in German-Language Theatres.

French Drama after Napoleon.

Theatrical Conditions in France to the 1850s.

Directing and Acting in France to the 1850s.

Scenery, Costume, and Lighting in France to the 1850s.

Russian Drama and Theatre to the 1850s.

14. English-Language Theatre in the Early Nineteenth Century.

Trends in English Theatre, 1800—1843.

English Drama to the 1850s.

English Theatrical Conditions, 1800—1843.

Macready and Vestris.

Theatre in North America, 1781—1815.

The Expanding American Theatre, 1815—1850.

Theatrical Conditions in the United States and Canada.

15. English-Language Theatre in the Late Nineteenth Century.

Theatre in the United States, 1850—1870.

Theatre in the United States, 1870—1895.

Theatre in Canada.

Theatre in Australia and New Zealand.

English Drama, 1850—1890.

English Theatrical Conditions, 1843—1860.

English Theatrical Conditions, 1860—1880.

English Theatrical Conditions, 1880—1900.

16. Continental European and Latin American Theatre in the Late Nineteenth Century.

Russian Theatre to 1900.

Theatrical Conditions in Russia to 1900.

German and Austrian Theatre to 1900.

French Drama to 1900.

Theatrical Conditions in France to 1900.

The Theatre in Italy and Spain to 1900.

Theatre in Latin America to 1900.

17. The Beginnings of Modern Realism.

The Beginnings of Realism.



Zola and the French Naturalists.

Antoine and the Théâtre Libre.

The Free Bühne and German Realism.

The Independent Theatre and Realism in England.

The Continuing Tradition in England to 1914.

The Moscow Art Theatre and Realism in Russia.

The Theatre in Italy and Spain to 1914.

Theatre in the United States to 1917.

Major Technical Innovations, 1875—1914.

18. Modern Alternatives to Realism.

Wagner and the Nonrealistic Theatre.

Nonrealism in France.

The Revival of Idealism in France.

Appia and Craig.

Strindberg and Freud.

Nonrealistic Theatre and Drama in Germany.

Nonrealistic Theatre in England.

The Irish Renaissance.

Italy and the Futurists.

Russian Modernism.

19. Twentieth Century Theatre between the Wars.

English Theatre and Drama, 1914—1939.

Theatre and Drama in the United States, 1917—1941.

Theatre in Canada to 1940.

Theatre and Drama in Australia and New Zealand, 1915—1940.

Theatrical Conditions in the Soviet Union, 1917—1940.

German Theatre and Drama, 1918—1939.

Theatre and Drama in France, 1914—1939.

Italian Theatre and Drama, 1915—1940.

Theatre and Drama in Spain, 1914—1939.

Theatre and Drama in Latin America.

20. Continental European and Latin American Theatre in the Mid Twentieth Century.

International Developments.

French Theatre and Drama, 1940—1968.

Soviet Theatre and Drama, 1940—1968.

Theatre and Drama in Czechoslovakia, 1940—1968.

German Theatre and Drama, 1940—1968.

Theatre and Drama in Italy, 1940—1968.

Theatre and Drama in Latin America, 1940—1968.

21. English-Language Theatre in the Mid Twentieth Century.

English Theatre and Drama, 1940—1968.

Theatre and Drama in the United States, 1940—1968.

Canada to 1968.

Australia and New Zealand to 1968.

22. The Theatre of Africa.

Some Basic Issues and Problems.



Sierra Leone.





South Africa.

North Africa.

23. Continental European and Latin American Theatre in the Late Twentieth Century.

Soviet and Russian Theatre to 1990.

Theatre in Poland and Czechoslovakia to 1990.

German Theatre and Drama to 1990.

Theatre and Drama in Italy to 1990.

Theatre in France to 1990.

Latin American Theatre to 1990.

24. English-Language Theatre in the Late Twentieth Century.

British Theatre to 1990.

Theatre in the United States after 1968.

Canadian Theatre to 1990.

Australia and New Zealand to 1990.

25. Contemporary Theatre.

Theatre in Asia.

Theatre in Russia.

Theatre in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Theatre in Germany.

Theatre in Italy.

Theatre in France.

Theatre in Britain.

Theatre in Ireland.

Theatre in Canada.

Theatre in the United States.


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