Theatre History & World Theatre

Learn about theatre history from Ancient Greek theatre to rock musicals. Discover non-Western styles of theatre from East Asia, India, the Middle East, Africa and more.

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Ancient Greek Theatre

Date Range: 550 BCE - 220 BCE

Ancient Roman Theatre

Date Range: 240 BCE - 476 CE

Ancient Sanskrit Theatre

Date Range: c.150 BCE - 1100

Medieval Theatre

Date Range: 401 - 1500

Topeng

Date Range: c.1000 - Present Day

Cantonese Opera

Date Range: 1100s - Present Day

Zaju

Date Range: 1279-1368

Noh Theatre

Date Range: c.1336 - Present Day

Kathakali

Date Range: 1500s - Present Day

Commedia dell'arte

Date Range: 1550 - 1750

English Renaissance Theatre

Date Range: 1562 - 1642

Spanish Golden Age

Date Range: 1580 - 1681

Khon

Date Range: 1600s - Present Day

Kabuki Theatre

Date Range: c.1603 - Present Day

French Neoclassical Theatre

Date Range: 1648 - 1789

Restoration Comedy

Date Range: 1660 - 1710

English Sentimental Comedy

Date Range: 1701 - 1800

Ta'ziyeh Theatre

Date Range: c.1760 - Present Day

Peking (Beijing) Opera

Date Range: 1790 - Present Day

Realism

Date Range: c.1870 - c.1960

Naturalism

Date Range: 1880 - c.1910

Symbolism

Date Range: c. 1890 - c. 1940

Experimental Theatre

Date Range: 1896 - Present Day

Expressionism

Date Range: 1900s - 1930s

Little Theatre Movement

Date Range: c.1910 - 1939

Harlem Renaissance Theatre

Date Range: c.1914 - 1939

Epic Theatre

Date Range: 1924 - 1950

Yoruba Theatre

Date Range: 1940 - Present Day

Theatre of the Absurd

Date Range: c.1947 - 1989

National Theatre Movement of Ghana

Date Range: 1957 - Present Day

Butoh

Date Range: 1959 - Present

Canadian First Nations Theatre

Date Range: 1960s - Present Day

Australian Aboriginal and Indigenous Drama

Date Range: 1968 - Present Day

Theatre of the Oppressed

Date Range: 1970s - Present Day

Early American Musical Forms

Date Range: 1800-1900

British Music Hall

Date Range: 1850 - 1918

Golden Age of Musical Theatre

Date Range: 1943 - 1965

Rodgers and Hammerstein Musicals

Date Range: 1943 - 1960

Stephen Sondheim Musicals

Date Range: 1954 - Present Day

Concept Musicals

Date Range: c.1960 - Present Day

Andrew Lloyd Webber Musicals

Date Range: 1965 - Present Day

Rock Musicals

Date Range: 1967 - Present Day

Jukebox Musicals

Date Range: 1970s - Present Day

Movie Adaptations on Stage

Date Range: c. 1980 - Present Day

Megamusicals

Date Range: 1980 - Present Day

Opera in the Classical Period

Date Range: 1760 - 1805

The Bel Canto Movement

Date Range: 1816 - 1840

19th-Century Opera

Date Range: 1800 - 1904