Arts and Music

Crash Course Theater

Welcome to Crash Course Theater! Are you in drama club? Want to know about the history of theater? Maybe learn some theater history? Have a lot of fun? This is the series for you! We learn about the history and workings of the dramatic arts, together.

Zola, France, Realism, and Naturalism

12m 6s

This week, we're back in Europe to learn about Realism and Naturalism. In the 19th Century, playwrights like Eugene Scribe, Alexandre de Dumas Fils, and Emile Zola remade the French theater, first with Realism, and later with Naturalism. What are those things? Watch and learn.

Episodes

  • Zola, France, Realism, and Naturalism: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Zola, France, Realism, and Naturalism

    S1 E31 - 12m 6s

    This week, we're back in Europe to learn about Realism and Naturalism. In the 19th Century, playwrights like Eugene Scribe, Alexandre de Dumas Fils, and Emile Zola remade the French theater, first with Realism, and later with Naturalism. What are those things? Watch and learn.

  • Race Melodrama and Minstrel Shows: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Race Melodrama and Minstrel Shows

    S1 E30 - 13m 4s

    We’re continuing our discussion of nineteenth-century American theater with a look at some upsetting parts of the US's theatrical past. In the nineteenth century, race and racism contributed to a unique and troubling performance culture, which helped create and spread racist stereotypes that are still with us today.

  • North America Gets a Theater...Riot: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    North America Gets a Theater...Riot

    S1 E29 - 12m 7s

    It's lights up in America! This week, we're headed to North America. We'll look at Native American storytelling traditions, the theater that Europeans brought along starting in the 17th century, and how theater developed before and after the American Revolutionary War. Also, a terrible Macbeth rivalry which culminates in a full blown theater riot.

  • Hrotsvitha, Hildegard, and the Nun who Resurrected Theater: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Hrotsvitha, Hildegard, and the Nun who Resurrected Theater

    S1 E9 - 11m 1s

    When last we saw Theater, it was just making its way back in the West, by sneaking a little drama into the Easter mass. In today's episode, we're talking about Hrotsvitha, the cool 10th century nun from Lower Saxony who was maybe the first playwright of the new era of theater. She wrote comedies with a moral message, and influenced future heavy hitters like Hildegard of Bingen.

  • The Rise of Melodrama: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Rise of Melodrama

    S1 E28 - 11m 34s

    In the 18th century, audiences were ready for some really dramatic theater. Like, a dog dueling a man type of dramatic. In London, only two theaters were licensed, but entertainment entrepreneurs figured out that musical entertainments weren't subject to the same restrictions. So, incidental music was invented, and the melodrama was born. And then switched with another infant. And so forth.

  • Why So Angry, German Theater?: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Why So Angry, German Theater?

    S1 E27 - 11m 9s

    Theater had a slow start in Germany, mainly because Germany wasn't a thing until *relatively* recent times. After Germany finally became a unified state, it had a couple of really important theatrical movements. We'll talk about Sturm and Drang, as well as Weimar Classicism. We'll also get into the work of the greatest German playwright, Goethe, and look at his play Faust in the Thought Bubble.

  • England's Sentimental Theater: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    England's Sentimental Theater

    S1 E26 - 11m 37s

    This week, we're headed back to England to learn about Sentimental Comedies. They weren't that funny, but they were definitely sentimental. The people of England were shaking off the Restoration hangover, and bawdy plays no longer had a place. In fact, there wasn't a place for much of any drama, as only two theaters were licensed to present plays. Rules and regulations everywhere, y'all.

  • China, Zaju, and Beijing Opera: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    China, Zaju, and Beijing Opera

    S1 E25 - 10m 51s

    This week we're headed to China to learn about the ancient origins of theater there. We'll look at the early days of wizard theater (not a typo), the development of classical Chinese theater, and the evolution of Beijing Opera.

  • All Night Demon Dance Party - Kathakali: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    All Night Demon Dance Party - Kathakali

    S1 E24 - 10m 13s

    This week, we're headed back to India to learn about the all night dance shows that culminate in killing a Demon (metaphorically): Kathakali! This form arose in the Kerala region of India, and tells traditional Indian stories, but with really remarkable makeup, hand positions, and dance moves.

  • Japan, Kabuki, and Bunraku: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Japan, Kabuki, and Bunraku

    S1 E23 - 11m 51s

    In Japan, under the Shoguns, there's couple of really interesting types of drama on the scene. Kabuki is a sort of successor to Noh, with wilder stories and more action. And Bunraku is straight up high intensity puppet theater. Mike tells you all about how the Samurais got themselves into trouble watching bawdy theater shows in Edo.

  • Pre-Columbian Theater, Spanish Empire, and Sor Juana: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Pre-Columbian Theater, Spanish Empire, and Sor Juana

    S1 E22 - 11m 6s

    This week, we're headed to the Americas to learn about the theater that existed there prior to the arrival of Europeans, how the theater of the Spanish influenced it, and the impact of Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz, playwrighting Spanish nun extraordinaire.

  • Molière - Man of Satire and Many Burials: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Molière - Man of Satire and Many Burials

    S1 E21 - 11m 11s

    This week on CC Theater, Mike Rugnetta teaches you about the greatest playwright of Renaissance France, Molière. We'll talk a bit about early French theater design, and the kingly love of theater that Louis the XIII and XIV shared, and look at Molière's Tartuffe in the Thought Bubble.

WETA Passport

Stream tens of thousands of hours of your PBS and local favorites with WETA Passport whenever and wherever you want. Catch up on a single episode or binge-watch full seasons before they air on TV.

Similar Shows

Poster Image
ART21: show-poster2x3

ART21

Arts and Music