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Theater History: From the Beginning to the Bard

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Theater History

From live plays and musicals, to operas and puppet shows, even movies and television—the performing arts are thriving today with unprecedented forms of production, technologies, and talents. Audiences have access to productions and entertainments from countries and cultures world-wide.

The study of theater’s history gives us a better understanding of how it developed into its present state, and studying its past can not only remind us of former greatness, but it can also inspire new work by teaching us the great range of possibilities that await us in the theatrical realm. This class explores the various beginnings of theatrical performance up to 1700–from ancient Greek theater to the Italian stage of the Renaissance, to the unparalleled influence of Shakespeare, and the significance of so many other theatrical traditions from various cultures around the world.

No live classesview lessons on YOUR schedule. In general, expect 1.5-2.5 hours to work through the lesson plan each week, and an additional 2-5 hours working on assignments (it really depends what assignment your child chooses to do and how they manage their time). For classes with two levels, the material is the same for boththe depth of the assignments differs. Younger students should usually be placed in Level 1. Older students, or younger students who want more of a challenge, should be placed in Level 2.

Each lesson consists of a fully narrated PowerPoint presentation with images and videos to enhance the topics. Students will have access to our learning management system, Canvas, for viewing their lesson, printing worksheets, taking quizzes, viewing/submitting assignments, participating in discussions, and viewing grades/feedback. Read more details about class format.

Week 1: Greek Theater
This week will be an introduction to the performing arts and the Greek stage. Theater is in origin a Greek word. We will explore the major types of Greek drama: tragedy and comedy.

Week 2: The Italian stage
This week we will explore the styles of Italian theater, from Roman revivals to commedia dell- arte, whose troupes performed lively improvisational playlets across Europe for centuries. We will also explore the history of the Opera, the Baroque aspiration of integrating all the arts.

Week 3: London Theater
Arguably the most influential artist to the world of theater, this week will explore the life and work of William Shakespeare, as well as Elizabethan Tragedian Christopher Marlowe. This week will focus on the substantial significance of Elizabethan theater and the London stage.

Week 4: World Theater
The final week of the class will explore various world theaters, including traditional African performance rituals and theatrical traditions, such as the masquerade of the Egungun and the Alaarinjo tradition. We will also explore South and East Asian Theater, including Japanese Noh and Kabuki, Indian Sanskrit theater, and traditional Chinese theater, such as puppetry and Yuan drama.

Next Level Homeschool is a firm believer that not all learning should happen from behind a screen! That's why we give students the freedom to submit their assignments in the way THEY want to! We don't want regurgitation learning here. By allowing students to use their own talents, skills, and passions to complete assignments, they become even more engaged and retain the information. Why? Because now it's literally in their hands! We receive thousands of projects every year from our students: written reports, videos, models, posters, Scratch, Minecraft, Roblox, songs, poems, skits, drawings, sculptures, craftswe've seen it ALL! And WE LOVE IT!!

Click here to view just a few projects we've received from students who have taken this class and see what YOUR kid could be learning with Next Level Homeschool!

Course Features

  • Schedule Sep 5 - Oct 10
  • Activities History
  • Lessons 4
  • Suggested Ages 10-17 One Level
  • Time This class is currently closed for enrollments. Join our mailing list to be notified when enrollment opens.