This non-fiction history of theatre starts in the 6th century BC, Theatre: Tradition & Ritual tells the story of how theatre began and evolved, its early pioneers and later masters, and how it has shaped world history and culture. It is a uniquely human tradition, and the theatre is a place where stories have been told for thousands of years, shaping the way we see and interact with the world. Its power continues to influence the culture: through movies and Broadway and popular music, through every possible iteration, the tradition of ritual and performance continues to give depth and dimension to the character of humanity.
Part 1 tells the story of theatre from its beginnings in Athens to its height all the way through its decline; part 2 continues the story into Elizabethan England and tells the story of the second great Renaissance in Western theatre, discussing the major playwrights of that period – such as Marlowe, Thomas Kyd, Robert Greene, and an obscure English playwright named William Shakespeare – also known as the greatest dramatist ever. Part 3 continues the story of theatre into the modern age, looking at the theatre scene in New York City and Paris, as those are the only theatre scenes I know enough about to fulfill the three-act structure of this thing.
Part 1 – Creating and Defining Form