Study of Theatre's -isms

Topics: Drama, Reality, Art movements Pages: 2 (589 words) Published: February 3, 2015
Morgan Garner
Mr. Layton
Theatre Major
9 January 2015
Research Paper
For my senior project, I decided to study all of the genres of theatre. I do not mean movie genres like comedy, drama and sci-fi, but stage genres. These include absurdism, realism, surrealism, dada and many more. The genres that I have been studying all have a few things in common. They were all radical experiments with form, all blurred traditional artistic boundaries and were always influenced by scientific and/o technological advances. The most rejected genres of these movements were realism and naturalism. I have learned very much through this process such as the life’s some of the creative thinkers that changed theatre forever and the differences to look for in each play or work of theatre. I have come to the conclusion that without the distinct separation of each genre, theatre in general would be one large confusing mess of acting and misunderstanding. Realism was the first –ism to be created in 1850. Realism focused on what was truthfully and brutally the honest truth. The observer was usually forced to strive for impersonal & objective results out of the play. The only form of theatre known before realism was romanticism so the world was very scared to accept the new, scary kind of plays. Especially considering that the new style was not always perfect and nice, but sometimes sad and disappointing. Realism didn’t really catch on so only 20 years later, naturalism was formed. Unfortunately, naturalism did not do so well either.

In the 1880s-1900s, symbolism started to appear. This was a very significant step in the life of theatre and is still very often used today. The creators of symbolism believed that reality can only be expressed indirectly and through symbols. They used many medieval symbols and religious paintings in their plays as well as allegorical signs. Around the same time period is when impressionism made it’s short appearance. This movement was primarily seen...
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