Greek theatre, Roman spectacles, medieval miracle plays, Chinese opera, Elizabethan comedies and dramas and historical plays, Japanese Kabuki--theatrical entertainment and art has been around for centuries. It is a product of imagination.
Sample some of the following activities to learn more about theatre.
The following are places to go (some real and some virtual) to find out about theatre.
Visit the home of the playwrite who wrote Long Day's Journey Into Night, The Iceman Cometh, Desire Under the Elms, A Moon for the Misbegotten, and Mourning Becomes Electra
Fireworks can possibly be considered theater or drama. They certainly are entertaining and exciting. Travel to any 4th of July celebration in the U.S. and enjoy a fireworks production.
Via PBS, travel to Masterpiece Theatre and watch productions based on the books of Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, and other notable authors.
Virtually travel to Broadway and to find out about the latest hit plays.
Visit the one-of-a-kind Globe Theater. The Globe Theatre was built in the 1570s, but it burned down in 1613 when a cannon ball which was fired as part of a play lit the thatched roof on fire. It was rebuilt and continued as a popular theater until the 1640s when it was demolished to make way for other buildings. Londoners built a replica of the original Globe in the 1990s, and it continues to be a venue for Shakespeare’s plays
Travel to the Sydney Opera House. It is one of the most recognizable buildings in the world. The building isn’t just for operas; it’s a theater for all the performing arts. The building was designed to look like a giant ship whose sails are blowing in the wind. The building contains over 1000 rooms with 5 different theaters, many practice halls, restaurants, and shops
Travel back in time to a vaudeville show. Find out about the history of vaudeville, why it was so popular, and what brought about its demise. You can hear some old recordings of vaudeville performers and there's even a video taken from an old recording
Meet Aeschylus. He is the Father of Greek tragedy. He wrote Prometheus Bound, Agamemnon, Eumenides, and The Libation Bearers.
Evita. Phantom of the Opera. Cats. Sunset Boulevard. Starlight Express. Get to know Andrew Lloyd Weber through his lavish musicals.
Meet Cole Porter. His popular musicals became a staple of Broadway.
Get to know Eugene O'Neill and his plays about "tormented families and people torn between wealth and noble ideals."
Meet William S. Gilbert and Arthur S. Sullivan. Gilbert wrote the words and Sullivan wrote the music for their numerous operettas.
Remember Helen Hayes. She is often referred to as The First Lady of American Theatre
Meet Henrik Ibsen, the Norwegian playwright and explore the secrets behind his symbolic plays
Get acquainted with J.M. Barrie. He is famous for his play, Peter Pan.
Meet Jean Baptiste Poquelin Moliere, the 17 th century French playwright.
Learn about Neil Simon, the prolific American comedic playwright
Make the acquaintance of Noel Coward who wrote plays for more than 60 years.
Get to know the author of the play, Death of a Salesman.
Spend time with composer Richard Rodgers and librettist Oscar Hammerstein and learn about their contributions to musical theatre.
Sing along with Stephen Sondheim and his popular Broadway musicals. As a young man, he studied with Oscar Hammerstein.
Meet Tennessee Williams. He wrote more than 60 plays, and all of them are set in the South.
Spend some time with the Tony Award winners.
Meet the old time stars of vaudeville
Spend some time with William Shakespeare. This site has a fun section called Magnetic Poetry where you get to rearrange Shakespeare's words.
Learn about Japanese Noh theatre. These plays are formal dance dramas and often have ghosts in them! Some Noh performances can last as long as 10 hours.
Learn about this traditional form of Japanese drama
These standards outline what every K-12 student should know and be able to do in theatre arts. Also, check out these Theatre Lesson Plans
Browse through dozens of links to prominent playwrights.
Find out who has won this annual award since 1917
Locate information about classical theatre, medieval and renaissance theatre, Elizabethan theatre, 17 th, 18 th, and 19 th century theatre, and contemporary theatre.
- Bolton, Reg. Showtime!: Over 75 Ways to Put on a Show. New York: DK Pub., c1998.
- Manning, Mick. Drama School. New York: Kingfisher, c1999.
- Muir, Kerry. Child's Play. New York: Limelight Editions, 1995.
- Wood, David. Theatre for Children: Guide to Writing, Adapting, Directing, and Acting. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, c1999.