To study theatre history, it’s important that we also have a strong sense of the greater historical context in which it happens. Each week I will be including a video, article, and/or activity of some sort to help give greater context to the theatrical events we are exploring.
To get us started and for later reference, we will be creating a collective timeline on Padlet.
Assignment: Add to the Timeline
- Add any 2 Major World Events
- Add any 2 Theatrical Events
- Add 1 personal theatrical event
- Be sure to include your name
Our semester’s time period starts just after the end of World War II. The immediate aftermath of that war which shapes the next five weeks (or so) was a period that saw the decline of European Colonialism throughout the world, the rise of Communism in China and parts of South East Asia, the formation of the U.S.S.R., and the Cold War.
Below is the trailer for the 1951 film version of Tennessee William’s A Street Car Named Desire, originally staged in 1947.
A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, here restaged in 2014 by the Young Vic and recorded to air for National Theatre Live. Please watch the whole play. If you’d rather read the play, watch at least the first half-hour of this staging.
If you want to read or read along: Text can be borrowed from: https://archive.org/details/streetcarnamedde00will
If you are having trouble accessing the video, go to the Brooklyn College Library and click on databases. NTLive productions are available via the Alexander Street database.
Take a look at this Sample Post on Tennessee Williams in our Class Knowledge area.
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When you think of the term ‘realistic drama’ what kinds of plays and playwrights spring to mind? What sorts of plots or themes? In what ways might these dramas be both specific and universal? What response do you have to A Streetcar Named Desire? What questions do you have at this point? Take this space to write a paragraph or two.