Questions tagged [theater]

For general questions about plays and theatrical performances as works of literature. If your question is about a specific play, use the title and author tags instead.

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2
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1answer
34 views

What is the evidence for the width of the trap in the stage of Elizabethan playhouses?

Scholars of Elizabethan theatre agree that the stage in Elizabethan playhouses could have a trap door, for example in the Globe Theatre (built in 1699) and the Red Lion. In his study Shakespeare: The ...
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1answer
22 views

Which publication first defined the theatre convention of the fourth wall?

One of the questions on this site asks Do a lot of Shakespeare characters break the fourth wall? However, assuming a "fourth wall" in English Renaissance theatre appears to be anachronistic since ...
7
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1answer
65 views

How can we reconcile the bareness of Shakespearean stages with the complex stage directions of The Tempest?

I learned recently that in Shakespeare's day, stage dressing was often minimal. This makes sense given that there was a wide variety of theatre styles, the stages were often uncovered and surrounded ...
7
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1answer
120 views

Secondary literature on “The Warden of the Tomb”

The Warden of the Tomb is an expressionist play fragment by Kafka. Although incomplete, possibly extremely so, it's still decently long - about fourteen pages. Sadly (to me at least), as far as I can ...
4
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1answer
52 views

What was the play 5-10 years ago where all the dialogue consisted of generic words describing what might be said

This might have been a short piece rather than a full-length play; I heard about it in a news story. I don't remember any details, but the idea was that instead of actually speaking content words, the ...
2
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0answers
85 views

Larry Csonka and the Chocolate Factory confirmation of existence

(Note: Not sure if this is the right place to ask this question, but this link: https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/300800/where-can-i-ask-questions-about-a-broadway-show brought me here.) My ...
6
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0answers
82 views

Meaning of the slash (“/”) in dialog in Ernst Toller's “Die Wandlung”

I have to translate German playwright Ernst Toller's drama Die Wandlung. In this drama, Toller uses slashes in the dialogues of some characters to separate the sentences, like this: KRIEGSTOD: ...
5
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1answer
141 views

First English Renaissance play where women disguise as men?

In several of Shakespeare's plays, women disguise as men (for a variety of reasons). For example, In The Merchant of Venice, Portia disguises as a lawyer; Jessica disguises as a man when eloping with ...
5
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1answer
219 views

Tudor or Jacobean plays that are sequels to a Shakespeare play?

William Shakespeare wrote around 40 plays (depending on how the Shakespeare canon is defined). Except for some of his history plays (Henry IV, Henry VI) and possibly The Merry Wives of Windsor (not a ...
3
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1answer
51 views

Why is there so much emphasis on snack foods in the plays of Martin McDonagh?

Snack foods tend to be highly emphasized in McDonagh's plays, touched on in this article: "The Lord-Lieutenant’s Biscuit and the Irishman’s Spud: Ireland’s Iconic Snacks Blasphemed in Martin McDonagh’...
18
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1answer
1k views

When did men dressed as women stop being the norm in English theatre?

This excellent answer by Joshua Engel draws a comparison between men dressed as women in Shakespeare-era plays and perspective jumps in modern cinema: The audience would, of course, have been aware ...
7
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1answer
5k views

What's the difference between a five-act play and a three-act play?

Many stage plays - including all thirty-seven/thirty-nine of Shakespeare's - consist of five acts, while others consist of only three acts. (Are there any other common numbers of acts?) What's the ...