web/video pages -- Theatre History5 [ 6 parts ]

... "Nowadays a theatre director is necessary in a production. Although this is the current trend, in the past the position did not exist. In 1800, the first directors appeared and accomplished to achieve the current status only in the beginning of the 20th century. Before that, the position was occupied by actors involved in the performance or by the playwright. Most productions consider the theatre director a vital part of the production and only few plays are put on stage without one."

thr history pages [list]


Directing : History
* Theatre Chronology * Directing in some form has always existed in the theater. In ancient Greece playwrights trained their chorus and actors, and medieval religious plays had either individual or group directors. During later centuries the stage manager was the forerunner of the director. In England, Madame Vestris and W. C. Macready were the first to place great emphasis on the importance of rehearsing, and they also introduced realistic scenery and acting techniques. The 19th-century interest in realism, coupled with far-reaching technical advances, made indispensable the director's function of integrating the various and increasingly complex aspects of play production. [The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed.]

Bibliography: E. G. Craig, The Art of the Theatre (1905) and Towards a New Theatre (1913); C. Stanislavsky, My Life in Art (1948); N. Marshall, The Producer and the Play (2d ed. 1962); T. Cole and H. K. Chinov, ed., Directors on Directing (1963); H. Clurman, On Directing (1972); E. Braun, The Director and the Stage (1982); W. Bell, Sense of Direction (1984); A. Bartow, The Dirctor's Voice (1988); D. Bradby and D. Williams, Directors' Theatre (1988); L. E. Catron, The Director's Vision (1989); A. Dean, The Fundamentals of Play Directing (5th ed. 1989); W. J. Robert, Directing in the Theatre (2d ed. 1993); J. W. Frick and S. M. Vallillo, ed., Theatrical Directors (1994); J. Luere and S. Berger, ed., Playwright vs. Director (1994); M. M. Delgado and P. Heritage, ed., In Contact with the Gods?: Directors Talk Theatre (1997).


  1. Introduction. Stage directing in the theatre before appearance of the stage director.
  2. The reform of the theatre on the threshold of XX century. Visionaries: Gordon Craig and Adolph Appia.
  3. The School of Realism and Naturalism: George II, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, Andrea Antoine, Constantine Stanislavsky, Otto Brahm.
  4. Symbolism in the theatre: Aurelien Lugne-Poe, Paul Fort, first experiments of Vsevolod Meyerhold.
  5. The synthesis of Symbolism and Realism: cooperation between G.Craig and C.Stanislavsky, V.Nemirovich-Danchenko.
  6. From Traditionalism to Constructivism and Bio-Mechanics: Vsevolod Meyerhold.
  7. The Synthetic Theatre: Alexander Tairov, Evgeny Vakhtangov.
  8. The Magic Theatre of Max Reinhardt.
  9. The Epic Theatre and its transformations: Ervin Piscator, Bertold Brecht and Giorgio Strehler.
  10. Traditions and Innovations of French stage directing: Jacques Copeu, Louis Jouvet, Charles Dullin, Gaston Batty, George Pitoeff, Jean-Louis Barrault, Jean Vilar, Ariane Mnouchkine.
  11. Theatre of the Cruelty: Antonin Artaud.
  12. Search in the different cultures: Peter Brook.
  13. Poor Theatre: Jerzy Grotowsky.
  14. The Third Theatre: Eugenio Barba.
  15. Avant-garde of XXth century on the stage: Dada, Surrealism. Happening, Performance, Living Theatre, Bread and Puppet etc.
Summary: The beginning of modern theatre was marked by the advent of realism and naturalism. The most realistic playwrights were Henrik Ibsen, August Strindberg, George Bernard Shaw, and Anton Chekhov; among the naturalist were Emile Zola, Gerhart Hauptmann, and Maxim Gorki. The controversial works of these playwrights were produced by independent theatres, which included Andre Antoine’s Theatre Libre, Otto Brahm’s Freie Buhne, J.T. Grein’s Independent Theatre, and Konstantin Stanislavski’s Moscow Art Theatre. One of the earliest reactions against realism was symbolism, and theatres like Theatre d’Art and the Theatre de l’Oeuvre were independent producers of symbolist plays. Among the designers who broke with the conventions of realistic theatre were Adolphe Appia and Edward Gordon Craig; directors who experimented with antirealistic staging included Vsevolod Meyerhold and Alexander Tairov. Eclectics, such as Max Reinhardt, strove to reconcile the contrasting styles, which were emerging in early modern theatre. Some writers like Ibsen and Strindberg, created both realistic and nonrealistic drama. America and English theatre, though primarily commercial in orientation, did have some experimenters.
Film Lessons for Stage Directors -- Film Analysis -- new page?

"The professional actors hated him because he found them untractable and unwilling to accept his ideas." THE GREATEST IMAGIST OF THE THEATRE Gordon Craig (death) Theatre Magazine, Vol. 29, No. 4. Ed. Arthur Hornblow. New York: Theatre Magazine Company, 1919. p. 218

Evolution of Modern Directing
Directing in some form has always existed in the theater. In ancient Greece playwrights trained their chorus and actors, and medieval religious plays had either individual or group directors. During later centuries the stage manager was the forerunner of the director. In England, Madame Vestris and W. C. Macready were the first to place great emphasis on the importance of rehearsing, and they also introduced realistic scenery and acting techniques. The 19th-century interest in realism, coupled with far-reaching technical advances, made indispensable the director’s function of integrating the various and increasingly complex aspects of play production.

from biblio:

Twentieth-Century Theatre: A Sourcebook by Richard Drain; Routledge, 1995

- Preface - Prologue - Part I: The Modernist Dimension - Introduction - 1: Alfred Jarry - 2: Adolphe Appia - 3: Gordon Craig - 4: F.T.Marinetti, E.Settimelli and B.Corra - 5: Enrico Prampolini - 6: Tristan Tzara - 7: Guillaume Apollinaire - 8: Walter Hasenclever - 9: Valeska Gert - 10: Stanislas Ignacy Witkiewicz - 11: Ivan Goll - 12: El Lissitzky - 13: Sergei Radlov - Notes - 14: Oskar Schlemmer - 15: Daniil Kharms - 16: Gertrude Stein - 17: Eugene Ionesco - Note - 18: Allan Kaprow - 19: Robert Wilson - 20: Tadeusz Kantor - 21: Richard Foreman - Part II: The Political Dimension - Introduction - 22: Bernard Shaw - 23: Sergei Eisenstein - Notes - 24: Ernst Toller - 25: Vsevolod Meyerhold - 26: Erwin Piscator - 27: Workers’ Theatre Movement - 28: Bertolt Brecht - 29: Athol Fugard - 30: Ariane Mnouchkine - 31: Judy Chicago - 32: HÉlÈne Cixous - 33: Carolee Schneemann - 34: Suzanne Lacy and Leslie Labowitz - 35: Edward Bond - 36: Charles Ludlam - Part III: The Popular Dimension - Introduction - 37: Gordon Craig - 38: Vesta Tilley - 39: Vsevolod Meyerhold - 40: W.B.Yeats - 41: F.T.Marinetti - 42: Vladimir Mayakovsky - 43: Grigori Kozintsev - 44: Blue Blouse - 45: Vsevolod Meyerhold - 46: Karl Valentin - 47: Bertolt Brecht - Notes - 48: Jean Vilar - 49: Armand Gatti - 50: Peter Schumann - 51: Dorothy Heathcote - 52: Dario Fo - 53: John Mcgrath - 54: Armand Gatti - 55: John Fox - 56: Kwesi Owusu - Part IV: The Inner Dimension - Introduction - 57: August Strindberg - 58: Adolphe Appia - 59: Gordon Craig - 60: Vsevolod Meyerhold - 61: LoÏe Fuller - 62: Isadora Duncan - 63: Wassily Kandinsky - 64: Constantin Stanislavski - 65: Paul Kornfeld - 66: Evgeny Vakhtangov - 67: Federico GarcÍa Lorca - 68: Antonin Artaud - Notes - 69: Judith Malina - 70: Jerzy Grotowski - 71: Louise Steinman - 72: Rachel Rosenthal - Part V: The Global Dimension - Introduction - 73: Antonin Artaud - 74: Bertolt Brecht - Note - 75: Enrique Buenaventura - 76: Errol Hill - 77: Luis Valdez - 78: Peter Brook - 79: Wole Soyinka - 80: Ntozake Shange - 81: Honor Ford-Smith - 82: Augusto Boal - 83: HÉlÈne Cixous - 84: Eugenio Barba - Notes


"In sum, the avant-gardes had the function of creating the primitive, or, better, primordial condition out of which is then born the creator found at the beginning of a new series" - Massimo Bontempelli

"Futurism was the pre-vision of all that (the imminent social and political crises, the explosions and catastrophes of history to come) within the sphere or art" - Leon Trotsky

"Humanity is going to know what the destiny of the human race is .... Along with the hymn to happiness, the dolorous and depressing ode... To lay bare with a brutal brush all the brutalities, all the filth, which are at the base of our society" - Gabriel-Desire Laverdant-

"Modern art is the expression of the lonely human being, of the individual who feels himself to be different, either tragically or blessedly different from his fellows" - Arnold Hauser

"The identifying signature of avant-garde art, all the way back to Bakunin and his anarchist journal L'Avant-Garde in 1878, has been an unremitting hostility to contemporary civilization." - Christopher Ines

from J.FRICK



2007 -- lesson 1 or 2?

thr-history [thr theory pages]


Theatre Directing History

Theatre History page is "CLASSES"
russian theatre : Stanislavsky & Meyerhold

by 1900, the term "director" was in wide-spread use and the primacy of director became clear – directors placed themselves at the center of production…

directing history [ Introduction to Theatre Online Course ]

History of Directing:

Product of Industrial Age and Realism.

Some of the director's functions done earlier by other personnel:

Ancient Greek: The "choregus" (head of the chorus) often directed / coordinated song and movement.
Playwrights probably staged the plays, and probably cast them.
We know too little to understand if they "unified" the production.
Roman: a wealthy citizen organized, but we still do not know to what extent they "unified."

Medieval: the "master of secrets" – a special effects expert (and there were many special effects in the medieval theatre).
"Keeper of the register" - the "register" was a master copy of the script – a "guild" (group of craftsmen) could hold on to the register and pass it on from generation to generation.

All were primarily managerial skill, rather than artistic…

With the rise of professional acting companies (during and after Shakespeare’s time (15-1600’s) – came the "actor / manager" (58).

Moliere (Jean Baptiste Poquelin) – a producer, director, writer.

David Garrick – actor/manager of the Drury Lane Theatre in London (from 1747-1776), which still exists today.
His innovations:
No audience members on stage (had been the practice for wealthier, higher status folks to be on stage during the performance).
"Natural" style of acting (though to us it would probably still seem stilted).
Importance of scene design.
Considered a director in his day, but term would not have been used (even today in Great Britain, the term "producer" is used instead…)

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (c. 1796-1807) [pronounced Gerrt'-uh]– Weimar Classicism — very strict, distrusted others’ talents.

Richard Wagner (1813-1883) [pronounced Vahg'-ner]-- theorist and composer – wrote operas that were fantastic, mythical, and patriotic– ran the Bayreuth Theatre [pronounced "Bye'-roit"] (1876-1883) (which still exists, run by Wagner’s descendants, and until a few years ago did does nothing but Wagner’s operas).

He wanted total control over the production, and focused on illusionistic theatre.
An important factor in the development of realism, also, but his operas were not at all realistic.

George II, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen (1826-1914) -- from 1870-1890, his theatrical troupe toured Europe -- known for unifying the productions.
Specialized in historical dramas.
Emphasized historical accuracy and realism (particularly in costumes and settings).
Emphasized a pictorial style – focus and composition – and was particularly renowned for his crowd scenes and "ensemble."

André Antoine (1858-1943) – Théâtre Libre (Free Theatre), Paris, founded 1886.

"Fourth-wall" realism — real beef onstage for slaughterhouse.

Otto Brahm (1856-1912) – the Freie Bühne (Free Stage) in Germany.

J.T. Grein (1862-1935) -- Independent Theatre, London.

Constantin Stanislavsky (1863-1938) – Moscow Art Theatre, 1898. With Vladimir Nemerovich-Danchenko (1858-1943) as co-founder.

Edward Gordon Craig – after 1020 – a designer – wanted "uber-marionettes" – so that he could control variables and unpredictability of actors – never realized.

Vsevolod Meyerhold (1874-1940)– a dictatorial style.

THUS – by 1900, the term "director" was in wide-spread use and the primacy of director became clear – directors placed themselves at the center of production…
David Belasco – American producer and playwright also.
Did popular plays – sensory spectacle (real food) – an eclectic approach – he used all approaches.

Max Reinhart (1873-1943)– German – authoritarian, eclectic.

Tyrone Guthrie (1900-1971)– Canadian – eclectic – in 1956 did Troilus updated to be set in England just before WWI.

Elia Kazan (1909- ) – Group Theatre in the 30s – mentor, critic, therapist of actor – used Stanislavsky’s "inner" "psychological realism" – Streetcar, Salesman. (New controversy regarding his 1999 Oscar for lifetime achievement because he named names to HUAC.)

New eclectics – Jerzy Grotowski (1933-1999[?]) (just died), Peter Brook, Richard Schechner

No real theories yet about these new directors or the changing face of director in modern theatre.

Meyerhold Pages [ list ]
Performing Arts Timeline [ take theatre history class ]

534 B.C. Thespis wins the first public contest for tragic poets in Greece, and the term thespian derives from his name. He also introduces masks, which become a staple of Greek and Roman theater.

525–385 B.C. The Athenian or Classical period introduces a dramatic era of tragic poets that includes Aeschylus (Agamemnon, 458 B.C.), Sophocles (Antigone, 441 B.C.; Oedipus Rex, 430 B.C.) and Euripides (Medea, 431 B.C.). Euripides, considered the first choreographer, incorporates dance into his plays.

350–250 B.C. The Hellenistic or Colonial period marks an era when comedy is preferred over tragedy. Old Comedy, buffoonery and farce that often attacks individuals and portrays the foibles of a social class, evolves into New Comedy, a more polished and refined humor that centers on the shortcomings of the middle class. Comic drama moves from politics and philosophy to everyday life.

C. 500–800 Theater is all but extinct in both the western and eastern Roman Empires during the Dark Ages because Christians oppose the entertainment.

C. 900 The church introduces dramatic performances to Easter services, acting out the story of the Resurrection. Ironically, the institution that discouraged theater is responsible for its rebirth.

1495 Everyman, the best surviving example of a morality play, is written. The morality play touches on large contemporary issues with moral overtones and describes the lives of everyday people facing temptation.

1489 Ballet is performed for the first time.

1550 Commedia dell'arte flourishes in Italy and Western Europe. Literally “professional comedy,” the theater form features improvisation from a standard script and stock characters. 1570 Count Giovanni Bardi debuts the Elizabethan masque, an aristocratic form of entertainment that features music, dance and elaborate costuming.

1576 The Theatre, the first commercial theater, opens in London. It is also the first Elizabethan playhouse.

1594 The Chamberlain's Men, the leading Elizabethan and Jacobean theatrical company of the day, is formed. William Shakespeare is the chief playwright and Richard Burbage its most famous actor. After 1603 the group is known as the King's Men. The Admiral's Men, the group that performs the works of Christopher Marlowe, is also formed and rivals the Chamberlain's Men.

1597 Jacopo Peri's musical fable, Dafne, often considered the first opera, is performed at the palace of Jacopo Corsi. Opera becomes the preferred entertainment of the aristocracy.

1598–1608 William Shakespeare writes Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, All's Well That Ends Well, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth and Anthony and Cleopatra.

1607 Claude Monteverdi's Orfeo, regarded as the first masterpiece in opera history, is performed and revolutionizes music by establishing a tonal system and giving the recitative a more flexible accompaniment.

1619 Teatro Farnese in Parma, Italy, uses the proscenium arch for the first time.

1637 Venice becomes the home of the first public opera house, the San Cassiano Theater.

1642–1660 Following the civil war of 1642, the Puritans close or burn down all English theaters and forbid acting.

1643 Molière incorporates an acting troupe called Illustre Theatre. Although initially unsuccessful with his troupe, Molière goes on to be one of history's most famous and enduring playwrights. His work includes Tartuffe (1664), Misanthrope (1666) and Bourgeois Gentleman (1670).

1660 Women start appearing in French and English plays. Elizabeth Barry and Anne Bracegirdle are among the pioneers.

1661 Louis XIV officially recognizes dance instruction by establishing the Académie Royale de Danse.

1665 William Darby's Ye Bare and Ye Cubb, reportedly the first English-language play presented in the colonies, is performed in Accomac County, Virginia.

c. 1670 Pierre Beauchamps codifies the five foot positions in ballet.

1681 Pierre Beauchamps and Jean Baptiste write Le Triomphe de I'Ammour, which features LaFontaine, the first woman to dance professionally in a ballet.

1685 Alessandro Scarlatti founds the Neapolitan School of Opera, which establishes the da capo, or three-part aria.

1689 The young women at Josias Priest's finishing school in Chelsea, England, perform Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, the first English operatic masterpiece.

1730 Romeo and Juliet, the first play by Shakespeare to be presented in America, is performed in New York.

1733 La Serva Padrona by Giovanni Pergolesi is performed in Naples, heralding the popularity of opera buffa or comic opera.

1734 French ballerina Marie Camargo stirs controversy when she raises dancing skirts above the ankle for greater freedom of movement.

1735 Ballet arrives in America. Englishman Henry Holt stages the first production for the amusement of the Charleston, South Carolina, elite. John Hippisley's Flora, the first opera performed in America, is also presented in Charleston, South Carolina.

1751 The first professional theater company in the colonies, the Virginia Company of Comedians, opens a temporary wooden playhouse in Williamsburg, Virginia.

1762 Christoph Willibald von Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice premieres at the Hofburgtheater in Vienna, marking revolutionary changes and reform in opera seria.

1766 The first permanent American theater building, Southwark Theater, is erected in Philadelphia.

1778 Milan's Teatro alla Scala, Italy's leading opera house and one of the world's most renowned, is built.

1786 Mozart collaborates with Lorenzo da Ponte on The Marriage of Figaro, which premieres in Vienna. He completes Don Giovanni the following year, and it premieres in Prague.

1816 Gaslighting is used for the first time in American theater at Philadelphia's Chestnut Street Theatre. Thomas Drummond invents the limelight, which is used in the same manner as the spotlight is used today.

1828 Minstrel dancing debuts with Thomas Dartmouth “Daddy” Rice appearing as Jim Crow in a song-and-dance act.

1830–1850 The Romantic period in ballet sees ballerinas making technical and artistic strides in the art form. Until this period, men dominated the stage.

1843 The Theatre Regulation Act of 1843 bans drinking in legitimate theaters. Many tavern owners take advantage of the situation and renovate their establishments to accommodate live performances.

1859 The French Opera House, the first great opera house in America, is built in New Orleans.

1865 Former circus clown Tony Pastor opens the first variety theater in New York.

1868 Lydia Thompson and her British Blondes bring burlesque to the United States.

1871 Giuseppe Verdi's Aïda premieres in Cairo, Egypt. The first collaboration of W.S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan, Thespis, is performed at London's Gaiety Theatre.

1876 The first complete production of Wagner's Ring, a titanic cycle of four musical dramas, opens the first Bayreuth Festival.

1879 Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, a revolutionary play that centers on the repression of women, deeply offends conservatives and thrills a newly awakened European conscience when it premieres at the Copenhagen's Royal Theatre.

1881 The first modern cabaret, Le Chat Noir (The Black Cat), opens in Paris. London's Savoy Theatre opens and is the first to be lit by electricity. Vaudeville debuts at Tony Pastor's New 14th Street Theater in New York.

1883 The Metropolitan Opera House opens in New York with Gounod's Faust.

1890 Modern dance emerges when choreographers and dancers begin to rebel against traditional ballet.

1900 Floradora opens at Broadway's Casino Theatre. It introduces the Floradora sextet, a predecessor to the chorus line.

1901 Founder of the Moscow Art Theatre, Konstantin Stanislavski formulates the revolutionary Stanislavski Method of acting, which requires actors to see and hear on stage as they do in real life, enabling them to react to theatrical situations in the same way they would in real life. He is credited with launching the age of the great director in modern theater.

1902 Claude Debussy introduces impressionism in Pelléas and Mélisande at the Opera Comique in Paris.

1904 The London Symphony Orchestra is established. Anton Chekhov introduces modern realism at the premiere of The Cherry Orchard at the Moscow Art Theatre.

1905 Isadora Duncan establishes the first school of modern dance in Berlin.

1907 Florenz Ziegfeld introduces his Ziegfeld Follies, the legendary musical extravaganzas.

1909 Serge Diaghilev opens the Ballets Russes de Serge Diaghilev, which begins the era of modern ballet and his 20-year reign as ballet's leading figure. Moving away from full-length works characteristic of Romantic ballet, he creates new, shorter ballets. Mikhail Fokine is Diaghilev's choreographer and is considered the most influential choreographer of the 20th century.

1911 Der Rosenkavalier, Richard Strauss's masterpiece, premieres in Dresden.

1913 Darktown Follies opens in Harlem and helps to make Harlem a black cultural center.

1915 Ruth St. Denis and her husband, Ted Shawn, establish the Denishawn dance school in Los Angeles, where Martha Graham and Doris Humphrey study.

1920 Eugene O'Neill's first full-length play, Beyond the Horizon, is produced on Broadway and wins a Pulitzer Prize, marking the beginning of modern American drama. Rising popular interest in African-American literature sparks the beginning of the Harlem Renaissance.

1921 The Cleveland Playhouse opens, becoming the country's first resident professional theater.

1922 Karel Capek's play R.U.R. debuts, introducing the word "robot."

1923 Harlem's Cotton Club opens and presents all-black performances to white-only audiences. Entertainers include Lena Horne, the Nicholas Brothers and Cab Calloway.

1926 Martha Graham, the American pioneer of the modern-dance revolt, gives her first New York performance, which features 18 barefoot, evocatively costumed dancers.

1927 The Broadway musical links with opera in Jerome Kern's revolutionary Show Boat. Dancer Isadora Duncan dies when her scarf gets caught in the wheel of a moving car.

1930 Jean Rosenthal, one of the greatest lighting designers in theater history, pioneers the concept of stage lighting.

1932 Manhattan's Radio City Music Hall opens.

1933 Sally Rand's fan dance is a hit at the Chicago World's Fair.

1935 George Gershwin combines black folk idiom and Broadway musical techniques in Porgy and Bess.

1943 Rodgers & Hammerstein's Oklahoma! opens and changes American musical theater by combining entertainment and serious subjects. Agnes de Mille choreographs the musical, capturing the essence of American folk dance. 1945 Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes premieres in London, which signals the rebirth of British opera.

1946 George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein establish the New York City Ballet. It makes its home at Lincoln Center in 1964.

1947 Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire opens at Broadway's Ethel Barrymore Theatre, with Marlon Brando as Stanley Kowalski and Jessica Tandy as Blanche DuBois. The play wins the 1948 Pulitzer Prize.

1950 Broadway classic Guys and Dolls debuts at the 46th Street Theatre and becomes an instant hit. The show ran for three years and became one of the Great White Way's longest-running shows, with 1,200 performances.

1951 Yul Brynner makes his first appearance as the king of Siam in Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I. Gertrude Lawrence costars (March 29).

1952 Jose Quintero's revival of Tennessee Williams's Summer and Smoke premieres at Broadway's Circle in the Square Theatre and is the first major Off-Broadway success. Merce Cunningham forms his own dance company.

1954 Robert Joffrey Ballet debuts.

1957 Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story debuts on Broadway and brings violence to the stage. Eugene O'Neill's A Long Day's Journey Into Night is produced posthumously and wins both the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize.

1958 Alvin Ailey establishes the American Dance Theatre.

1962 The first dance concert is held at New York's Judson Memorial Church, marking the beginning of the Judson Movement and postmodern dance. Judson dancers also introduce the use of a performance space instead of a stage. Judsonites include Meredith Monk, Trisha Brown and Lucinda Childs.

1966 The old Metropolitan Opera House is abandoned as the company moves to Lincoln Center. The new Metropolitan Opera opens with Samuel Barber's Antony and Cleopatra.

1968 The rock musical Hair opens on Broadway.

1971 The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts opens in Washington, D.C. with the premiere of Leonard Bernstein's Mass.

1974 Premier Russian dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov defects and joins the American Ballet Theatre.

1980 Mark Morris establishes the Mark Morris Dance Group in New York and is widely received as the most promising modern-dance choreographer of his generation.

1982 Cats opens on Broadway. Becomes Broadway's longest-running play.

1983 Harvey Fierstein's Torch Song Trilogy wins the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award and Tony Award for best play, marking the acceptance of gay theater.

1995 The Metropolitan Opera installs screens on audience seats that display captions, to attract a wider audience.

Notes on Directing ** [ theatre theory pages ]