Drama history timeline

  • 1000 BCE

    Ancient Greek Theatre

    Ancient Greek Theatre
    1000 BCE - 146 BCE.
    Greek theatre -
    They built and created the amphitheaters, these theatres where usually in a dug out in hills, with tired seating around the stage shaped in a semi circle. Majority of plays in Ancient Greece where based upon myths and legends. They somewhat usually involved a "chorus" who commented on the performance.
    Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, where all famous playwriters from the Greek period.
    Three conventions are the orchestra, the skene and the audience.
  • 1500

    Commedia Dell’arte

    Commedia Dell’arte
    Commedia Dell’arte -
    They value themselves on improvisation and they have a cast of very colourful costumes.
    It began in Italy and quickly spread through Europe.
    Conventions include, the use of masks, improvisation, physical comedy and recognizable character types (e.g strong man).
    Playwriters include Ben Jonson and William Shakespeare, however playwriters where not well known as it was very improve based.
  • Period: 1562 to

    Elizabethan style theatre

    1562 - 1642
    Elizabethan theatre -
    The theatre was open and the plays had to be done during the day, it began in England under the reign of Elizabeth the first.
    Some conventions of this theatre is an all male cast (no females), lots of soliloquies and asides during the play, presentational action play (involving the audience) and strong use of wordplay and puns.
    The most famous playwriter during this era was William Shakespeare, however John Fletcher and Thomas Kidd where also notable writers.
  • Period: to


    Late 1700s to early 1800s
    Melodrama -
    This era has a focus on inflicting strong emotional stories, it focused on stock characters with the hero always ending up with a happy ending. Melodrama originated in France and spread across Europe and into North America.
    Some conventions are an easy to follow plot, stereotypical characters, excessive music and sounds and setting.
    Playwriters include August von Kotzebue, René Charles Guilbert de Pixérécourt and Dion Boucicault.
  • Period: to


    1870s to late 1900s
    Realism -
    This movement began as an experiment to make theatre more useful for society and was a response to the romantic era of emotion. This movement began in France in 1860.
    Some conventions include text, design and performance, narrative structure and setting and design.
    The three most credited playwrights of realism are Henrik Ibsen, George Bernard Shaw, and Anton Chekhov.
  • Period: to

    Expressionism era of theatre

    Expressionism -
    This era of theatre began in Germany in the early 1900s, however it was popularized in the US, Spain and China. aimed to better mankind by portraying real life without false ideals or opinions added in.
    The conventions of expressionism include settings and design, expressing tormented emotions and broken into episodes.
    Three famous playwriters include Georg Kaiser, Ernst Toller and Reinhard Sorge.