Hot answers tagged

23 votes
Accepted

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

It started in the 1600s, and was a gradual process not a sudden one. By the Edwardian era, it was no surprise to the audience to see an actress on stage. Up until the 1600s, women had very few rights,...
user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

Would the chorus leader typically speak/sing along with the chorus in classical Greek plays?

I have some general advice when tackling questions about ancient literature, which is to always check primary texts. Secondary sources are vital for understanding and interpreting primary texts, but ...
user avatar
  • 39.1k
13 votes
Accepted

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

This is an excellent site discussing five-act structure in Shakespeare, containing a diagram and numerous examples. Essentially, the five-act structure can be broken down as: Prologue Conflict ...
user avatar
  • 3,940
12 votes

In musical theatre, what does "book by" mean?

The book the element of the musical that consists of plot, characters, and spoken dialogue. The book writer is the person who develops the plot, characters, and dialogue for the stage. These can be ...
user avatar
  • 15.3k
7 votes

What is the oldest preserved stage direction?

TL;DR: The history of the texts makes it impossible to be sure when stage directions, or even attributions to speakers, were added to Classical Greek plays. A possible (but doubtful) early candidate ...
user avatar
  • 39.1k
6 votes
Accepted

In musical theatre, what does "book by" mean?

It refers to the script, as in Wiktionary definition 6 or Merriam-Webster definition 6: The script of a musical or opera. Looking at the Wikipedia page for the Bonnie and Clyde musical: Bonnie &...
user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

First English Renaissance play where women disguise as men?

After some more research, I found the answer to my question. According to The Growth Of English Drama by Arnold Wynne (p. 176), [George Peele's play] Sir Clyomon and Sir Clamydes merits a passing ...
user avatar
  • 38.1k
5 votes

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

The bareness of the stage in The Globe and other theatre venues used by the Lord Chamberlain's Men and the King's Men should not be taken to imply that there weren't any other elements of stagecraft. ...
user avatar
  • 38.1k
4 votes

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

To my knowledge, the only Elizabethan or Jacobean play that is a sequel to a Shakespeare play is The Woman's Prize, or the Tamer Tamed by John Fletcher, a play that was first performed in 1609 – 1610. ...
user avatar
  • 38.1k
4 votes
Accepted

Play involving a writer being questioned by the police after children start dying in a way matching his stories

From Wikipedia: The Pillowman is a 2003 play by British-Irish playwright Martin McDonagh. Katurian, a writer of short stories that often depict violence against children, has been arrested by two ...
user avatar
  • 826
3 votes
Accepted

Secondary literature on "The Warden of the Tomb"

Below are a few references in English: S. Zhao (2012): "Kafka, Hamlet and the Modern Psyche's Ecology", Foreign Literature Studies, 34(1):152-159. From the abstract: "Shakespeare's Hamlet has special ...
user avatar
  • 38.1k
2 votes
Accepted

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

You might be thinking of this: Academy Award Winning Movie Trailer (2011), by Youtubers BriTANick (original video title Trailer For Every Oscar-Winning Movie Ever [2010]) It's not a play or a piece ...
user avatar
  • 63.1k
2 votes

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

This paper by Andrew J. Power gives a fairly comprehensive use of trapdoors in the Shakespearean era. It's worth noting that the trap would be used any time there is a need for a depression in the ...
user avatar
  • 2,420
1 vote

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

The reason why the concept is usually attributed to Denis Diderot is the following passage in his Discours sur la poésie dramatique, which contains the following sentences: Soit donc que vous ...
user avatar
  • 38.1k
1 vote

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

If you look at Morrison's "Bread and Butter to Boiling Oil: From Wilde's Afternoon Tea to the Beauty Queen of Leenane," New Hibernia Review, Volume 14, Number 3, Autumn 2010, you will see that ...
user avatar

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible