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

tableau (plural tableaux)
a motionless dramatic scene created by actors to depict the appearance of a moment frozen in time. In nineteenth-century drama, tableaux were often used at the end of acts to highlight dramatic relationships and climactic action.
literally, "watching from the wall" (Greek), a stage device in classical Greek theater where characters would stand on the roof of the skene and describe battles and other scenes happening on the other side of the wall.
theater in the round
see arena.
the abstract message or concept that a playwright wishes to convey by uniting the dramaturgical construction of the play with specific motifs , actions, and images.
a word meaning "actor," derived from the name of the Greek tragedian Thespis who was the first to craft a character apart from the chorus in his tragedies. For this reason he is also credited as the "father of Greek tragedy."
thrust stage
a stage that juts out into the audience so that the seats are arranged on three sides of this extended playing space; this type of stage offers a variety of viewing angles for the audience.
in a classical Greek theater, the raised stone placed in the middle of the orchestra which was used as an altar or table in performance.
Tom show
after the success of George L. Aiken's 1852 stage adaptation of Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel Uncle Tom's Cabin , numerous attempts to imitate or burlesque the story were made. Many of these entertainments, now referred to as Tom shows, relied on racial stereotypes and missed the moral and social objectives of the original novel.
a form of drama that arose in ancient Greek culture, though its specific origins are still debated. The term tragoidia , from which the word tragedy evolved, refers to the ritualistic practice of dancing for the prize of a goat, or slaying a goat in honor of the gods. Tragedy may have grown out of a ritualistic practice to honor the god Dionysus. Some scholars believe that tragedy evolved from the dithyramb , an improvised choral ode with a traditional refrain. Though the mode and structure of tragedy has varied over the centuries to reflect the cultural beliefs and conventions of each age, the central dramatic conflict remains constant: the human being struggles to overcome some antagonistic force and is ultimately defeated. In classical Greek tragedy, the protagonist is a man of stature who must negotiate choice and his relationship with the gods for the good of his people, as in sophocles' oedipus the king . In modernist drama, tragedies often reflect the struggle of the middle class to overcome societal restraints or domestic conflict, as reflected in the work of henrik ibsen and later arthur miller .
the term used to describe a drama that incorporates both tragic and comedic elements. This hybrid form was popularized in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in such works as Giovanni Battista Guarini's pastoral play The Faithful Shepherd (1590) and the dramatic collaborations of Francis Beaumont (1584-1616) and John Fletcher (1579-1625). Plays written in this mode often featured tragic conflicts that resolve happily through unexpected--sometimes improbable-- plot twists. The term tragicomedy has also been applied to modern and contemporary plays that do not fit the traditional categories of tragedy and comedy . samuel becket's waiting for godot , for example, is subtitled "a tragicomedy in two acts."
literally, "goat song," the Greek word for tragedy ; the word was originally associated with the ritualistic practice of dancing for the prize of a goat, or slaying a goat in honor of the gods.
a musical passage that serves as an interpolation in a Christian religious service and elaborates on the liturgy. Tropes included the representation of religious figures in a call-and-response structure and became a traditional part of the Easter Mass during the Middle Ages. They are commonly cited as the first examples of mimetic performance within the church.