History of Theatre

Timeline created by the school fool
  • 200

    1200 B.C.E. in Greece

    1200 B.C.E. in Greece
    the "Cult of Dionysus" practiced ritual celebrations of fertility, which over time altered and became Spring rituals with theatre at the center of the celebration
  • 300

    600 B.C.E. Near Greece

    600 B.C.E. Near Greece
    The choros, originally danced in a circle by temple virgins, is the centrepiece of the developing Greek theatre.
  • 400

    534 B.C.E. Thepis wins drama compition.

    534 B.C.E. Thepis wins drama compition.
    Thespis wins the first public contest for tragic poets in Greece, and the term thespian derives from his name. He also introduces masks, which become a staple of Greek and Roman theater.
  • 500

    340 B.C.E. Epidaurus theatre

    340 B.C.E. Epidaurus theatre
    The theatre at Epidaurus is the earliest and best surviving example of a classical Greek stage and auditorium
  • Jan 1, 600

    350-250 B.C.E. Hellenistic or Colonial period is an era of Comedy theatre

    350-250 B.C.E. Hellenistic or Colonial period is an era of Comedy theatre
    In this era Comedy is preferred over tragedy. Old Comedy, buffoonery and farce that often attacks individuals and portrays the foibles of a social class, evolves into New Comedy, a more polished and refined humor that centers on the shortcomings of the middle class. Comic drama moves from politics and philosophy to everyday life.
  • Jan 1, 800

    500-800 C.E. Theatre all but died in Rome

    500-800 C.E. Theatre all but died in Rome
    Theater is all but extinct in both the western and eastern Roman Empires during the Dark Ages because Christians oppose the entertainment.
  • Jan 1, 900

    The Roman Catholic Church reinstated Theatre

    The Roman Catholic Church reinstated Theatre
    The church introduces dramatic performances to Easter services, acting out the story of the Resurrection. Ironically, the institution that discouraged theater is responsible for its rebirth.
  • Jan 1, 1170

    The first known mystery play is performed

    The first known mystery play is performed
    The play "The Mystery of Adam" takes place outside a church somewhere in France.
  • Jan 1, 1489

    Ballet was performed for the first time.

    Ballet was performed for the first time.
    Ballet is performed for the first time.
  • Jan 1, 1495

    A morality play that meets people on their level

    A morality play that meets people on their level
    Everyman, the best surviving example of a morality play, is written. The morality play touches on large contemporary issues with moral overtones and describes the lives of everyday people facing temptation.
  • William Shakespeare writes some of the greatest plays of all time 1598-1608

    William Shakespeare writes some of the greatest plays of all time 1598-1608
    William Shakespeare writes Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, All's Well That Ends Well, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth and Anthony and Cleopatra.
  • 1642–1660 Puritans banish Theatre.

    1642–1660 Puritans banish Theatre.
    Following the civil war of 1642, the Puritans close or burn down all English theaters and forbid acting.
  • Women start appearing in plays.

    Women start appearing in plays.
    Women start appearing in French and English plays. Elizabeth Barry and Anne Bracegirdle are among the pioneers.
  • Romeo and Juliet is performed in America

    Romeo and Juliet is performed in America
    Romeo and Juliet, the first play by Shakespeare to be presented in America, is performed in New York
  • The first "spotlight" is used in U.S. called the "Limelight"

    The first "spotlight" is used in U.S. called the "Limelight"
    Gaslighting is used for the first time in American theater at Philadelphia's Chestnut Street Theatre. Thomas Drummond invents the limelight, which is used in the same manner as the spotlight is used today.
  • Drinking banned from theaters

    Drinking banned from theaters
    The Theatre Regulation Act of 1843 bans drinking in legitimate theaters. Many tavern owners take advantage of the situation and renovate their establishments to accommodate live performances.
  • Cats opens on Broadway.

    Cats opens on Broadway.
    Cats opens on Broadway. Becomes Broadway's longest-running play.
  • The Wizard of Oz. opens on broadway

    The Wizard of Oz. opens on broadway
    The Wizard of Oz, based on the book by Frank Baum, opens on Broadway as a musical to huge success
  • Opera and Theatre mix

    Opera and Theatre mix
    The Broadway musical links with opera in Jerome Kern's revolutionary Show Boat. Dancer Isadora Duncan dies when her scarf gets caught in the wheel of a moving car
  • 1983 Homosexual theaters were accepted

    1983 Homosexual theaters were accepted
    Harvey Fierstein's Torch Song Trilogy wins the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award and Tony Award for best play, marking the acceptance of gay theatre.
  • Screens are installed into the back of seats.

    Screens are installed into the back of seats.
    The Metropolitan Opera installs screens on audience seats that display captions, to attract a wider audience
  • Terrorist take hostage a Theatre in Russia.

    Terrorist take hostage a Theatre in Russia.
    Chechen terrorists take hostage the entire audience of a Moscow theatre in an atrocity resulting in the death of more than 150 people