Drama and Theater Resource Guide

Drama and Theater Resource Guide

Comprehensive Learning Guide for Students and Teachers

Introduction

Drama and theater are so much more than mere entertainment. They are powerful tools for transmitting ideas and culture; for fostering empathy; and for viewing the world in different ways. The study of drama and theater include many aspects: storytelling and writing, artistic expression, public presentation, costume and set design and so much more. We put together this collection of resources to help guide you through your own exploration of drama and theater. Inside, you will find resources about the history and craft of drama and theater, teaching and study resources and theatrical production resources, among many others. With 10 sections and more than 50 individual resources, this guide is a great asset for students and teachers alike.

General Drama and Theater Resources

The following sites offer a grab bag of of great resources for anyone studying or teaching drama and theater.

Drama Resource

True to its name, this site is packed with drama resources, including articles, videos and more.

Theatre on a Shoestring

This is a comprehensive resource for putting on theater productions on a budget. It includes articles, play lists and synopses and more.

About Education: Plays and Drama

Come here for a wide variety of articles covering many drama and theater-related topics.

Varsity Tutors: Theater Resources

This site offers several drama and theater resources, from links to resources about theater costumes to information and tips for teaching drama to children.

Drama and Theater Study Resources

To aid in your study of drama and theater, we have compiled a list of resources that offer study guides, quizzes and flashcards.

SparkNotes: Drama Study Guides

This online tool provides study guides to dozens of the most popular dramas.

Quizlet: Drama Study Guide Flashcards

Make studying easier by printing these flashcards, which feature common terms related to drama and theater, and their definitions.

Study.com: Characters & Other Elements in Drama

This source provides a lesson sheet and quiz on the elements of drama.

Drama Vocabulary Quiz

Test your knowledge of drama-related vocabulary with these 24 multiple-choice questions.

Shakespeare Study Guide

Any drama and theater student will undoubtedly study Shakespeare. This source will help you study more efficiently with plots, analysis and study questions to Shakespearean plays.

Quizlet: Antigone and Greek Theater Study Guide Flashcards

Those studying Greek theater can benefit from learning common terms that are related to this time period. Print out these flashcards to prepare for your next test.

Drama and Theater Teaching Resources

Drama and theater education can open many worlds to students. They learn about writing and storytelling. They become more confident speaking and presenting in front of groups. They learn to be more empathetic as they try on different roles. And they learn about the discipline and teamwork it takes to put together a production. The resources below provide teaching tips, lesson plans, curriculum and more for drama and theater teachers.

Theatrefolk

This site offers a ton of theater teaching resources. Be sure to check out the Free Stuff page, as well as the blog.

Drama Notebook

This is a subscription service for drama teachers, but it provides a variety of free resources like games, plays for kids and a primer for teaching your first drama class.

Child Drama: Resources for Teachers

Come here for tips for teaching drama to kids, lessen plans and curriculum ideas.

The Drama Teacher

This site has all kinds of resources for the titular drama teacher. Find Information about genres and styles, lesson plan ideas and much more.

Drama teacher’s Network

Find articles, teaching strategies, lesson plans and more.

Drama and Theater History Resources

Drama as we know it originated in ancient Greece, where religious affairs were celebrated with music and dancing. Once actors and a chorus were introduced, plays became famous and spread throughout the world. Read more about the history and development of drama through these sources.

Theatre History

Come to this site for information on the history of the theater and drama of several time periods and cultures, including ancient, medieval, American, Asian and European and others.

The History of Theater

Starting with its ancient origins, this site takes you through the history of drama and theater, including the medieval the Renaissance periods.

History of Drama

Learn about important time periods in drama and major dramatic movements.

Greek Tragedy: The Invention of Drama

This fun resource uses the form of a Greek play to provide a brief history of drama.

Ancient World History: Greek Drama

Did you know that the word theater meant “a spectacle or sight to behold” in ancient Greek? Read more facts about Greek drama and its history.

Roman Theatre and Drama

Hosted by Northern Virginia Community College, this page covers the ancient origins of Roman drama and theatrical performance through the fall of the Roman Empire. Roman actors, theater design and other topics also are discussed.

Great Works of Drama and Theater Resources

While there are thousands of plays written around the world, there are some that transcend time. Read about the greatest works in drama below.

Romeo and Juliet: Entire Play

Romeo and Juliet is arguably Shakespeare’s most famous play. Read the full text here.

A Raisin in the Sun

Lorraine Hansberry was the very first playwright to explore the African American identity and challenges in American Theater. Find out why the author of this article believes that Hansberry redefined the term universality in art.

Importance of Being Earnest Text

Mocking Victorian England, Oscar Wilde was initially looked down upon by critics for its criticism of social institutions, such as marriage. However, today, this farcical comedy is one of the most well known plays in history.

Oedipus Rex

It’s not possible to mention famous plays without including at least one play from ancient Greece. This source claims that Sophocles’ Oedipus the King reveals much about the ideas and culture of society at that time.

Doctor Faustus

This play explores religion, the divided nature of men, the corruption of power and the conflict between Medieval and Renaissance values. Read more about how Christopher Marlowe managed to tackle such big concepts in one famous play.

Stage Acting Resources

If you would like to professionally focus on drama and theater, you can benefit from stage acting tips. See what the sources below can advise.

How to Act: Stage Stars Share Their Acting Tips

This source provides acting tips from actors, themselves. Read what advice Roger Allam, Miriam Margolyes and others have to give on this topic.

How to Be a Better Stage Actor

This article provides 14 steps with illustrations on becoming a better actor. Both beginners and professional actors may benefit from this advice.

Theater Acting – What You Need to Act on Stage

This acting school lists the four main skills you need to possess in order to act on stage.

Common Mistakes Beginning Actors Make

While the sources above mentioned what great actors should do, what should you avoid doing? This article and free, printable poster list common mistakes you should not do.

12 Tips for Learning Lines

A common problem many actors face is learning and remembering their lines. This source can help you overcome this problem with 12 tips.

Theater Production Resources

If you feel inspired by the great dramatic works you have read about so far, why not trying producing a drama yourself? The resources below can help you get started.

Production 101: The Basics

From how to conduct auditions to stage makeup tips, this is a comprehensive resource for anyone putting on a dramatic production.

Tips for New Directors

Check out this lengthy article by theatre education professor Michael Daehn for actionable tips on directing a play.

The Writing Center at UNC-Chapel Hill: Drama

This handout provides information about what drama is, and helps you learn to write about drama by exploring the differences between plays, productions and performances, and more!

How to Write a Dramatic Story

Tips and photos on writing and developing a story. Learn how to develop characters and a plot, and how to revise your story.

5 Ways to Create Conflict in Your Story

As drama centers on conflict, this article provides you with five ways to create a real conflict in your writing.

How to Format Your Script

Aspiring playwrights can benefit from this article, which provides the standard script format.

Playwriting 101: How to Write a Play

Jonathan Dorf, playwright and screenwriter, shares his strategies for writing a play.

Drama and Theater Blogs

Playwrights and those interested in drama and theater can benefit from knowing what’s happening in the theater world. These blogs can help keep you stay up-to-date with the latest plays, actors and playwrights.

Playbill.com

This is arguably the most famous theater blog, focusing on the New York scene. Fans and professionals can find news about play openings and theater jobs.

HowlRound

This blog is a great tool for aspiring playwrights as it provides a place for learning and feedback. Browse over think pieces and opinions of trends in theater.

2AMt

To network with others in the theater community, follow this blog. It encourages readers to participate in the discussion about theater.

English and Drama Blog

Curators who work with literary collections write this blog. Explore what they have to say about literature and theater collections from the1600’s until now.

That Awesome Theatre Blog!

Patrick Hurley, an MFA playwriting student at UCLA and editor at Life In LA, shares his love of theater in this blog. He provides text to plays, dramatic terms and other resources for students.

Drama and Theater Podcasts

Listen to what experts and lovers of theater and drama have to say on this topic with these podscasts.

Radio Drama Revival Podcast

Started in 2007 by producer Fred Greenhalgh, this podcast is an anthology of modern audio drama shows. Listen to over 250 hours of audio stories, as well as features and interviews.

Broadway Radio

This podcast features 15-minute conversations with technologist James Marino, writer Michael Portantiere and theatre critic Peter Filichia and others in Broadway, followed by reviews of new Broadway and Off-Broadway shows.

Theater People Podcast

Patrick Hinds hosts a long-form interview podcast with Broadway and Tony stars. Find out how they became famous, and get advice on breaking into the theater business.

Approaching Shakespeare

The University of Oxford presents lectures in the form of podcasts on Shakespeare’s plays. Learn how to understand each play through different approaches to sharpen your critical analysis skills.

Major Figures in Drama and Theater

Drama and theater flourished because of influential figures in this field. Who are they? Read the sources below to get acquainted.

Thespis

According to ancient tradition, Thespis, a poet from 6th century BC, is believed to be the first actor in a Greek drama. Hailed as the inventor of tragedy in 534 BC, he is said to have introduced the prologue and internal speeches into plays. Read more about his role in the history of drama and theater.

Aeschylus

Described as the “father of tragedy,” this ancient Greek tragedian introduced numerous actors into a play, therefore increasing the amount of conflict. Although he has written about ninety plays, only seven of them survive.

Aristophanes

This website explains that although this ancient Greek playwright is referred to as “the father of comedy,” the satire in his works may be more correctly regarded as slander.

William Shakespeare

Perhaps the best-known playwright throughout the world, Shakespeare has influenced theater and drama in many ways. From a unique dialogue to twists in the plot, learn how this major figure changed theater.

Alexander Ostrovsky

Ostrovsky is credited with being one of Russia’s playwrights who introduced realism into playwriting.

Oscar Wilde

At a time when art passively reacted to current events, Wilde held the opposite view, and introduced social criticism into his plays. This source will explain how Wilde forever changed Victorian theater.