8.4- Post Modern Theatre


More outstanding Playwrights

Traditional theatre in the Postmodern world still has stellar playwrights
Here are some famous playwrights you should become familiar with

Tom Stoppard (British) b. 1937
Popular work: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
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Neil Simon (American) b. 1927
Popular work: The Last of the Red Hot Lovers
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Sam Shepard (American) b. 1943
Popular Work: Fool for Love
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David Mamet (American) b. 1947
Popular Work: Glengarry Glen Ross
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John Guare (American) b.1938
Popular Work: Six Degrees of Separation
Optional video:

Performance Art

It’s not theatre — or is it?
The best I can do for this unique art form is to describe to you my first experience with performance art.


Optional Video:

Laurie Anderson (American) b. 1947 American
Popular Work — O Superman
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Karen Finley (American) b. 1956
Popular Work — Shut Up and Love Me
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The Theatre Spectacle


In order to compete with television, film and video theatrical performances turned to the spectacular.

Grand multimedia extravaganzas that could only truly be experienced live with extravagant ticket prices ranging from $50 to hundreds of dollars.

Phantom of the Opera
The Majestic Theatre in New York was partly rebuilt in order to accommodate 96 trap doors, tons of props and a crashing chandelier to create a live theatre spectacle

Royal Shakespeare Theatre

  • Cutting edge technology
  • Fantastic sets and costumes
  • Imaginative visual effects like those found in television and video
  • And it’s all live.
  • Island on Second Life

Cirque du Soleil

  • Fantastic sets, costumes, makeup and lighting effects
  • Circus apparatus, acrobatics, drama contortions
  • Combined with live music, dance and acting

Blue Man Group

  • Originally an off broadway performance
  • A worldwide phenomena
  • Music, comedy and a multimedia theatrical performance

Percussive musical performances on found sound instruments
Combined with dance, costumes and a theatrical set

2 Responses to “8.4- Post Modern Theatre”

  1. Chet writes:

    As far as playwrights, Neil Simon–anything he’s done, period, end of story. I have never been so entertained and thoroughly enjoy his work.

    Likewise, I have been delighted by Cirque du Soleil after experiencing a performance (walked into the tent standing right next to Rick Springfield — he’s TALL). Also, I cannot wait to see the Blue Man Group live in Vegas someday — and guarantee that I will not fall asleep during that performance.

  2. Chet writes:

    By the way, I thought Blue Man Group was born as a marketing gimmick of IBM, that evolved into the off-Broadway act they developed?