A play is a form of literature which consists of dialogues between characters and has theatrical performance purposes rather than just reading. Plays are usually performed on different levels including Broadway, Off-Broadway, community theatre, regional theatre, as well as school theatre. The term ‘play’ refers to both the written text of a playwright and its theatrical performance.
Different are the genres of plays, including comedy, tragedy, historical play, musical theatre, theatre of cruelty and theatre of the absurd.
Comedies are plays which have a humorous theme. These works usually describe unique protagonists, strange situations and sarcastic statements. Comedies date back to Ancient Greece and can be of three types: farce comedy, satirical comedy and restoration comedy.
Tragedies are plays characterised by the theme of death and disaster as the protagonists of these works normally have a tragic end.
Historical plays are works which narrate real historical episodes and became important during the theatre of William Shakespeare.
Musical theatre has been a popular style performed in the American colonies during the 18th century. This theatrical performance is characterised by the combination of songs, spoken dialogues, dance and acting.
The theatre of cruelty is a theatrical style which has been developed in 1940 by Antonin Artaud. This genre consists of representing emotions through the use of body instead of words.
Finally, the theatre of absurd is another theatrical gender which includes a metaphysical representation of the essential questions, as well as a refusal of rationality in human lives.
The person who originates plays is known as playwright or dramatist. The figure of playwright dates back to Ancient Greece and, over the time, it has become more important.
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