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Ch 6: Contemporary Theatre

About This Chapter

Learn or review the basics of contemporary theatre with this collection of engaging dramatic arts lessons. You can use the chapter as a textbook supplement, homework help tool or test preparation resource.

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

14 Lessons in Chapter 6: Contemporary Theatre
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Vaudeville: Definition, History, Acts & Music

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.

Types of Contemporary Theatre & Performance

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.

Types of Performance Art

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.

Analyzing American Drama: Techniques and Plays

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.

Broadway Musicals: History & Shows

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.

Musical Theatre: Types, History & Development

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.

Stephen Sondheim: Lyrical Contributions to Musical Theater

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.

Playwriting in Theatre: Development & Contributors

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.

Directing in Theatre: Development & Contributors

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.

Diversity in Theatre: Development & Importance

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.

Feminism in Theatre: History & Examples

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.

LGBTQ Issues & Representation in Theatre

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.

Tony Kushner: Biography & Plays

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!

The Role of NYC & London in Contemporary Theatre

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

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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