Defines a type of drama in which characters are opposed as representing good and evil, and the moral good is tested, but restored by the hero, often under dire circumstances or predicaments
Play with characters that have a tragic flaw or error in judgement which causes them to fall from grace into ruin.
Criticism of society that challenges the status quo
A form of comedy that is heavily reliant upon physicality and slapstick comedy.
Camp or Send Up
Play in which serious dramas or characters are criticized.
Aristotle’s “The Poetic”
only extant literary work from antiquity that explores and analyzes dramatic form and structure
drama mixes formats and styles; often seen in postmodern works
Community Theatre (America)
Provides outlet for amateurs in community to perform, design, and build sets, or volunteer in another capacity. Usually made up of business folks and more aspiring talent that want to get experienced in acting onstage. Nonprofit organizations that rely on fund-raising and box office to survive. Often perform well-known musicals and comedies, but some include new plays as well.
Community Theatre (Europe)
Provides an outlet for interaction around issues germane to a particular community; and the resources and wherewithal to mount productions around these concerns. These are very popular in some emerging countries, like South Africa, as a means with changing social mores and increasing awareness.
Ethnic Theatres
Popular in the 19th century with the emigration of many groups into the United States, ethnic theatre attempts to preserve the language and values of a culture, including its symbols and stereotypes. Examples include Yiddish theatre, Italian-American theatre, German theatre. More recently, we find Latino-based companies emerging, as well as Asian-American companies. The Black Arts Movement of the 1960s attempted to further the civil rights breakthroughs through local theatres.
Grassroots Theatre
Theatre organizations that strive to affect social and cultural change and awareness. Cornerstone Theatre is a good example; also, may involve plays that address health or cultural problems in an entertaining way.
Guerilla Theatre
In-your-face street theatre with political themes. Often is initiated by a supposedly “real” interaction that is actually staged for maximum effect.
Resident Theatres
LORT or League of Resident Theatres establishes classifications according to size. Hartford Stage Company, Arena stage, and Intiman Theatre are all examples of these professional theatres that hold the highest standards of excellence and professionalism while serving their local communities.
Actor’s Equity
Union for all actors working under Broadway or Off-Broadway contracts. Stipulated by size of house, run of show, and other conditions. The union mandates specific hours for rehearsal and breaks, and guarantees many advantages for the actor.
Area in midtown Manhattan west of Broadway and mainly between Times Square and W48th Street, and east of 8th Avenue. Theatres in Broadway district are rented or leased but do not house permanent theatre companies.
Union for all technicians onstage or with electricians who run the shows, load-ins, setups, etc.
Long Run
The goal of most Broadway shows, to run profitably for as long as possible. Some hits like Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera have run over 20 years. The profit margin on a hit can be extraordinary in today’s market.
OBIE Awards
Best Off or Off-Off Broadway fare, as designated by the Village Voice newspaper.
Venues throughout Manhattan with seating limited to 500 spectators. Defined by types of union contracts offered. May be for profit or nonprofit based.
Off-Off Broadway
Mostly downtown Manhattan alternative to the above. Features cutting-edge performance groups, plays, and alternative forms of theatre. House is often very small, may be under 100 capacity, in some cases.
Tony Awards
Given to “best of” on Broadway; similar to Oscars in the film industry.
The practice of moving a show from a smaller house to a Broadway venue.
United Scenic Artists
Union for all designers in Broadway productions.