About This Chapter
Contemporary Theatre - Chapter Summary
In this comprehensive dramatic arts chapter, our instructors discuss concepts related to contemporary theatre. As you work through the chapter's bite-sized lessons, you'll familiarize yourself with contemporary performance, American drama, broadway musicals, important contributors to contemporary theatre, performance art and much more. When you're finished with a lesson, try the accompanying self-assessment quiz to make sure you fully understand the information. The chapter is accessible at any time of day or night, and you can access it on any computer or mobile device. By the end of the chapter, you should be able to:
- Summarize the history of vaudeville, Broadway musicals and musical theatre
- Compare types of contemporary performance, theatre and performance art
- Analyze American dramatic plays
- Recognize the lyrical contributions of Stephen Sondheim to musical theatre
- Trace the development of playwriting, directing and diversity in theatre
- Evaluate examples of feminism and LGBTQ issues in theatre
- Discuss the life and works of Tony Kushner
- Describe the role of London and New York City in contemporary theatre
1. Vaudeville: Definition, History, Acts & Music
In this lesson, we'll explore the world of vaudeville as a form of entertainment, including how it developed and why it came to an end. We'll also become familiar with some key performers and the acts that made them famous.
2. Types of Contemporary Theatre & Performance
This lesson discusses the many forms of contemporary theatre and theatrical performance, including their characteristics and techniques. Many of these forms began in the past 100 years.
3. Types of Performance Art
In this video, we'll discuss a variety of different kinds of performance art in terms of their purpose, style and theme and the media used, along with the location or size of the audience. After, check your new knowledge with the quiz questions.
4. Analyzing American Drama: Techniques and Plays
Plays are often developed with the use of a number of literary techniques. This lesson explores the use of symbolism, motifs, flashbacks, and monologues in American drama.
5. Broadway Musicals: History & Shows
What is Broadway, and what makes a show a Broadway production? This lesson looks at the history of Broadway theater, what decides Broadway vs. off-Broadway productions, and today's most successful shows.
6. Musical Theatre: Types, History & Development
This lesson traces the history and development of musical theatre while also exploring different types of musicals that evolved along with the art form.
7. Stephen Sondheim: Lyrical Contributions to Musical Theater
Stephen Sondheim wrote some of the most celebrated lyrics in American musical theater. In this lesson, learn about his life and explore his style of writing, then test your understanding with a brief quiz.
8. Playwriting in Theatre: Development & Contributors
This lesson examines playwriting in the theatre. It looks at the beginning of playwriting in Ancient Greece and some of the most important contributors historically from 625 BC to today.
9. Directing in Theatre: Development & Contributors
The director is a relatively recent innovation. In this lesson, we'll chronicle the development of directing in the theatre and explore major contributors to this art.
10. Diversity in Theatre: Development & Importance
This lesson deals with the question of diversity in theatre. The development and importance of voices from multiple backgrounds are vital to reflect the diversity of our world.
11. Feminism in Theatre: History & Examples
In this lesson we'll discuss the how theatre has taken on the feminist movement. We'll explore how feminist theatre tells stories that advocate for women's rights as well as challenge the ways that stories are told.
12. LGBTQ Issues & Representation in Theatre
One of the amazing things about theatre is how it gives us a window into history. LGBTQ theatre is no different. In this lesson, we will take a look at the Gay Rights Movement and the evolution of LGBTQ theatre to see how history and theatre intertwine.
13. Tony Kushner: Biography & Plays
Tony Kushner is a Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, screenwriter, and author whose works have played everywhere from Broadway to HBO. Read on to find out more about him and a few of his most acclaimed works!
14. The Role of NYC & London in Contemporary Theatre
The lesson looks at London and New York City in their roles as the world's centers for contemporary theatre. Particularly, this lesson focuses on the variety of contemporary shows available in these two cities and how shows make their way to London's West End theatre district and to Broadway in New York
Earning College Credit
Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.
To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page
Transferring credit to the school of your choice
Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.