History of theatre – Rhinegold Publishing

History of theatre


The main aim of this scheme is for students to understand different periods in theatre history and to learn to perform in those styles.

As drama teachers we often cover a range of theatre styles and genres from different time periods at KS3, but it is helpful for students to be able to contextualise these styles in terms of theatre history. Learning about the origins of drama and how it has developed can help students to understand how modern drama has evolved and gives them an overview of theatre across the world, from many thousands of years ago to the present day.
Organised into six one-hour lessons delivered over six weeks, this scheme can then be followed by a more in-depth study of particular periods or plays. It is suitable for Years 7, 8 or 9 and can be tailored to the ability level of your students. There are opportunities to stretch and challenge within the lessons or develop lessons further in order to take more time than is suggested here.

In this scheme I have referenced and made use of some wonderful National Theatre videos that are on YouTube. These are very useful as they clearly explain and introduce students to key aspects of each style of theatre.

Learning objectives
Students will gain the following knowledge/skills during the 6 lessons:
  • An awareness of the first forms of drama
  • Turning rituals into drama
  • Understanding the importance of Greek theatre within drama history
  • Consideration of how the Church used drama to convey morals and messages
  • Have used example scenarios to create their own commedia dell’arte scenes and characters
  • Reflected on Shakespeare’s influence on modern drama
  • Thought about how more absurdist texts have contributed to today’s modern theatre.
Number of lessons: 6

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