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The Story Of Pre Modern Drama Essay

1796 words - 8 pages

Theatre’s original root from Greece greatly expanded throughout the world by 1650 and was a mean of entertainment. In the year 1665, America experiences it first form of theatrical activity in Boston, Massachusetts and other heavy population centers. The performance art median experiences growth and change throughout its timeline. Playwrights shift from using the old methodical styled layout of neoclassicism to employ newer forms such as romanticism, melodrama, musical, specialty, naturalism, and surrealism. Theatre also adapts to reflect the numerous challenges, political, social and world events of specific time periods. Playwrights voiced the issues that were being left unsolved or ...view middle of the document...

An example would include Kern and Hammerstein’s Show Boat. However, later on in the year 1944, Rogers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! creates the landmark American musical by marrying together the elements of dance, music and book.
Meanwhile, as American theatre gained popularity, Henrik Ibsen’s writing career took off in 1850 with the publication of Catiline. His most signature play which is representative of this time period is A Doll’s House. His works helped the theatre transition from focusing on romanticism to center on naturalism. New scientific discoveries, political philosophies as well as the Industrial Revolution caused society to question traditional beliefs and values as well as the happy ending of romantic, melodramatic stories. Ibsen, the “Father of Modern Theatre”, perfected the form and impact of social realism by pressing current social issues to be covered within his works. The Lion of the North always unearthed questioned injustices of the time; however, he never provided answers to them. He purposely lacked in provision of a denouement within his plays. For example, in A Doll’s House the character Nora leaves her husband and child to find her purpose. This caused a large uproar and became titled as “The door slam heard around the world” because the play dared to question the social conventions of womanhood, relationships and gender roles. Moreover, Ibsen moved to eradicate the “happily-ever-after” endings of stories to allow the audience to come up with conclusions to the issues raised.
Henrick Ibsen is not the only modern playwright that would cause society to rise in objection. The English, Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw, the second most read playwright after William Shakespeare, was full of fanciful ideas regarding drama, discussion, the life force, the perfect human and evolution. Theatre was used to highlight the interests and priorities of individuals during the birth of modern drama. Shaw and his big ego captured the attention of audience members by coating controversial topics in humor and wit. During the year 1894, his play Arms and the Man premiered at the Avenue Theatre to expose the audience to the realities of the Serbo-Bulgarian War. For example, the character Bluntschli is a run-away solider who reveals to Raina the true nature of soldiers during combat. Soldiers are frightened of death despite the heroic nature society dubs them with. They will flee if given the opportunity to pare their lives, or will fight to their death to try and preserve it. Furthermore, Shaw incorporated his ideas of socialism, the Life Force and creative evolution within the play to help reiterate the period’s concern with conservatism.
Russian playwright Anton Chekov used his talents to highlight the nearing of revolution within his home-country. The events revolving around the publication of Chekov’s The Cherry Orchard in 1904 included Russia’s loss in the Russo-Japanese war, the Emancipation Reform of 1861, the introduction...

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