Interactive flashcards help students review their knowledge of approximately 200 terms.

N - O
a form of drama that emerged in the southern provinces of China during the fourteenth century and has proven more influential to the modern Chinese stage than the classical zaju plays. A number of stock character types originated in early performances. Nanxi plays can contain a variable number of acts with multiple songs that draw upon regional folk music.
nataka plays
a classical form of Indian theater that dramatizes the plight of exalted heroes or royalty in well-known mythological or historical stories. Nataka plays are comprised of five to ten arikas , or acts, and contain a number of elements such as superhuman powers, love-affairs, and the conscious employment of rasas , or specific emotional stimuli and audience response. The theorist Bharata prescribes the elements of Nataka plays further in the Natyasastra , written sometime between 300 b.c.e. and 200 c.e.
a literary and theatrical movement that thrived in the late nineteenth century. Naturalist writers sought to depict life truthfully, objectively, and with scientific accuracy. Emile Zola notes in his Naturalism in the Theatre (1881) that "the physiological man of our modern works insists more and more imperiously on being determined by the setting and environment of which he is a product." In naturalism, the physiological disposition of a character is the focus of the drama, and heredity or physical environment dictates his or her fate. The concept of naturalism can also be applied to the way in which a play is staged. For example, a naturalist set may incorporate a real working fireplace or a faucet with running water. august strindberg described his play miss julie as a naturalistic tragedy.
a seventeenth-century movement, prompted by a renewed interest in the writings of Aristotle and other classical theorists, that lasted well into the eighteenth century. Neoclassical theory emphasizes three principles of tragedy. The first and most important is verisimilitude , defined as the quality or appearance of truth. The second principle emphasizes decorum , or the proper way in which characters should act on stage as dictated by their disposition and social standing. The last principle of neoclassicism is adherence to the "three unities " of action, time, and place as derived from a strict interpretation of Aristotle's emphasis in his Poetics on the importance of a singular action depicted in a plot confined to one revolution of the sun.
the area in a sanskrit playhouse that includes the backstage area and dressing rooms.
New Comedy
a form of Greek comedy written during the Hellenistic period (336-31 b.c.e. ) that focused on domestic issues such as love and familial relationships rather than political satire. In structure, New Comedies include a prologue, followed by a series of episodes and choral passages. Other characteristics of the genre include the frequent use of stock characters , disguise, and mistaken assumptions. The most celebrated writer of New Comedy is Menander (342-291 b.c.e. ).
noh drama
a form of Japanese theater developed by Kannami Kiyotsugu (1333-1384), head of one of the country's sarugaku noh troupes, and his son ZEAMI MOTOKIYO (1363-1443) . (The term noh means "skill" or "craft.") The stories of noh plays are drawn from mythology, legend, and history and are typically structured in two acts. The central character speaks in an elevated, highly literary verse. Other established roles include: the main character's companion ( tsure ); a third party ( waki ), frequently a priest, who encounters the main character in the first act; and a servant or commoner ( kyogen ) who speaks colloquially. An onstage chorus sings many of the characters' lines and narrates events within the dramatic action, while three or four onstage musicians accompany the play with flute and drums. The climax of a noh play takes the form of a ritualized dance. Noh drama falls into five categories: plays about gods; warrior plays; plays about women, or "wig plays"; miscellaneous plays, including plays about madness and plays about the present time; and demon plays, in which the main character is a good or evil supernatural being.
Old Comedy
a form of Greek comedy most likely produced during the fifth century b.c.e. The plays of aristophanes are the only surviving examples of the genre and it is unclear whether or not his work resembled that of his contemporaries. Aristophanic Old Comedies often revolve around a theme or problem in everyday Athenian life; in style, the plays present far-fetched or farcical situations, and they incorporate bawdy jokes and songs. In structure, Old Comedies are similar to classical Greek tragedy: first a choral entrance or parados , then the parabasis or presentation of an idea followed by an agon or debate, and finally a series of episodes that culminate in a scene called the komos , where the problem is resolved and the characters exit in happy revelry.
a play set to music where the dialogue is sung rather than spoken. The origins of opera date back to sixteenth-century Renaissance Italy, where a renewed interest in Greek music and its relationship to drama prompted the creation of dramatic work that was recited or chanted to musical accompaniment.
literally, "dancing place" (Greek), the semi-circular playing space in a classical Greek theater where the chorus and actors would perform.