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Huh? Theatre? The Basics! (Part 2)

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Other Forms of Theatre

In today's theatre, there are many plays that defy genre classification. Perhaps most do. But in year's past, scholars just had to put them into categories. Here are a few categories that we have not yet explored:

The History Play: Made famous by Shakespeare, these are plays whose main emphasis is a retelling or interpretation of history. Shakespeare wrote plays about British kings, for instance. Henry V, Richard III, Henry VIII and Richard II are all good examples. They aren't really tragedies, and they aren't really funny either. But they are good plays.

Children's Theatre: Theatre for, well, kids. Plots are usually more simple, but good children's plays appeal to adults, too. My favorite kind of play is a good children's play!

Interpreter's Theatre: Theatre adapted from other forms of literature. It usually features a narrator or storyteller and actors. This has several sub-categores such as narrative theatre: which only features prose, chamber theatre: featuring acting scenes with dialogue and narrators who bridge the scenes, and readers theatre: featuring performances that rely on narrators and extremely limited stage action.

The Circus!

Pantomime: Performances that feature no dialogue and rely on the body to communicate images.

Opera: Musical theatre that is almost all sung.

Puppet Theatre

There are many, many more...

Many different cultures have their own kinds of theatre as well such as the Japanese Kabuki Theatre and the Dance Theatre of Bali.

Copyright 2008, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource . admin. (2005, October 06). Huh? Theatre? The Basics! (Part 2). Retrieved January 08, 2011, from Free Online Course Materials — USU OpenCourseWare Web site: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons License