Play (theatre)  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

(Redirected from Playwright)
Jump to: navigation, search
True portrait of Monsieur Ubu (1896) is a woodcut frontispiece for Ubu Roi. It represents Ubu, a fictional character from Jarry's eponymous play
Enlarge
True portrait of Monsieur Ubu (1896) is a woodcut frontispiece for Ubu Roi. It represents Ubu, a fictional character from Jarry's eponymous play
At the Theater (The Melodrama) (c. 1860-64) by Honoré Daumier
Enlarge
At the Theater (The Melodrama) (c. 1860-64) by Honoré Daumier
Theatrum Orbi engraving by Theodor de Bry from the chapter on Ars Memoriae in Utriusque cosmi maioris scilicet et minoris metaphysica by Robert Fludd
Enlarge
Theatrum Orbi engraving by Theodor de Bry from the chapter on Ars Memoriae in Utriusque cosmi maioris scilicet et minoris metaphysica by Robert Fludd

Related e

Wikipedia
Wiktionary
Shop


Featured:

A play is a work of drama, usually consisting mostly of dialogue between characters and intended for theatrical performance rather than just reading. The writer of a play is a playwright.

Plays are performed at a variety of levels, from London's West End and Broadway in New York City to community theatre, as well as university or school productions. A stage play is a play performed, and written to be performed, on stage rather than broadcast or made into a movie. Stage plays are those performed on any stage before an audience. There are rare dramatists, notably George Bernard Shaw, who have had little preference as to whether their plays were performed or read. The term "play" can refer to both the written texts of playwrights and to their complete theatrical performance.

Contents

Playwrights

A playwright, also known as a dramatist, is a person who writes dramatic literature or drama. These works may be written specifically to be performed by actors or they may be closet dramas or literary works written using dramatic forms but not meant for performance.

The term is not a variant spelling of playwrite, but something quite distinct: the word wright is an archaic English term for a craftsman or builder (as in a wheelwright or cartwright). Hence the prefix and the suffix combine to indicate someone who crafts plays. The homophone with write is in this case coincidental.

Early playwrights

The earliest playwrights in Western literature with surviving works are the Ancient Greeks, some of their earliest plays having been written around the 5th century BC. Such notables as Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes established forms that are still relied on by their modern counterparts.

While the most famous playwright in the English language is William Shakespeare, whose classic tragedies, comedies, and histories are still being performed hundreds of years after they were written, the term 'playwright' appears to have been coined by Ben Jonson in his Epigram 49, To Playwright, as an insult, to imply an inferior hack-writer for the theatre. He always described himself as a poet, since plays during that time period were always written in meter and so regarded as the provenance of poets. This view was held even as late as the early 19th Century. However, it later lost this negative connotation.

See also

Lists

Related topics





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Play (theatre)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools