PREHISTORIC PERIOD 2000 B.CThe earliest recorded theatrical event dates back to 2000 B.C. with the passion playsof Ancient Egypt.
The story of the god Osiris was performed annually at festivals throughout the civilization, marking the known beginning of a long relationship between theater and religion.
At Abydos, every year for 2000 years this story was retold.But, although scholars have called it the Abydos PassionPlay, we can’t prove that it was acted out as a drama.
ROMAN PERIODAncient Roman theater was heavily influenced by the Greek tradition.
The Roman dramatists tended to adapt and translate from the Greek as writers in other literary genres did.
Of the hundreds of playwrights of ancient Rome, only a small percentage of plays have survived the passage of time.
GREEK PERIOD 326 B.CMost philologists agree that Greek theater evolved from staged religious choral performances, during celebrations to Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and fertility.
Great Dionysia, also called City Dionysia(534/531 B.C.), is an ancient dramatic festival in which tragedy, comedy, and satyric dramaoriginated; it was held in Athens
The tragic and satyr plays were always performed at the festival where they were part of a series of four performances(tetralogy)
PLAUTUS (254-184 B.C.)Said to be the Roman comedy master. He created over a hundred plays, many of which lampooned iconic figures within Roman society: the soldier, the politician, the clever slave, the philandering husband, and the wise but nagging wife.
TERENCE (195-159 BC)Terence's life story is an ancient tale of rags to riches. Terence was the slave of a Roman senator. Apparently, his master was so impressed with young Terence's intellect that he released him from his service and even funded Terence's education. During his adult years, he crafted comedies which were primarily Roman-styled adaptations of Greek playsby Hellenistic writers such as Menander
SÉNECA (54 BC-65 AD)Lucius Annaeus Senecawas a playwright, a lawyer and a Roman senator. He served under the sadistic Emperor Caligula.
During the playwright's lifetime he wrote tragedies, many of them re-inventions of Greek mythsof decadence and self-destruction.
“Phaedra”(54 AD)is a play by philosopher and dramatistLucius Annaeus Seneca, which tells the story ofPhaedra, wife of King TheseusofAthens, and her consuming lust for her stepson, Hippolytus.
MEDIEVAL PERIOD C. V-XVIn the Middle Ages, theater was reborn as liturgical dramas, written in Latin and dealing with Bible stories and performed by priests or church members. The most famous examples of Medieval plays are the English cycle dramas, the Chester Mystery Plays, the Wakefield Mystery Plays, as well as the morality play,Everyman(Late 15thCentury). One of the earliest surviving secular plays in English is The Interlude of the Student and the Girl(First performed 1300 AD).
RENAISSANCE PERIOD (1470-1520)Theatrical activities, particularly comedies, flourished in Italy, England and Spain during the 16thand early 17thcentury.
Among the dramatistsof the period, William Shakespearestood out as the greatest.
Aristotle'sPoetics, which defined the classical genres of tragedy and comedy, came to light in the 15thcentury.
The first significant comedy written in Italian wasCalandria (1506)by Bernardo Dovizi da Bibbiena(1470 -1520).
MODERN PERIOD (1830-1928)During this period, drama was not only performed live on stage but also enjoyed through the mediums of radio, television, and cinema.1830’s-The idea of wireless communication predates the discovery of "radio"with experiments in "wireless telegraphy" via inductive and capacitive induction and transmission through the ground, and eventrain tracks. 1927-Electronic television was first successfully demonstrated in San Francisco. 1928-The very first television drama was filmed in Schenectady.