Eastern Theatre

1700 - Present

During this time...

... Eastern countries had their plays discovered by European countries. The first discoveries were translations from the Asian dialects to English, and were deemed master peices. A couple of plays translated were "The Little Orphan of the House of Tchao", "The Battles of Kokusenya", "The Magazine of Faithful Retainers" and "Sakuntala."

...A couple new ideas, qualities, and standards entered the Theatrical world. There was the introduction of the Japanese Marionette plays, new morals displayed in plays, and women were allowed to preform in Indian plays. They also improved the quality of the plays since the Western countries were taking notice. They started to create things for awe and entertainment instead of tradition.

Art of Acting

In the plays there were actors and dancers. People in both high and lower classes watched the performances of the amazing performers, though a separate times of course.

Though, being an actor wasn't all applause and smiles. Performers had to go through rigorous training, learn from 100 to 200 plays, and not miss a step because each movement was a gesture for something. Directors were extremely strict, expecting nothing less than perfection. The only easy part in acting was the person who stood on stage, known as the "honorably invisible" hand handed out props to the performers.

Time and Place

The plays were normally held in a theatre, on a simple stage. It would also be held in a concert hall, outer court of a palace, and even on a memorable ground.

Plays were pretty short, so several would be preformed back-to-back for about 12 hours. Plays were also healed in the early morning and evening. The reason for the upper class to watch a performance was because of a lunar holiday, royal marriage, or the birth of a royal heir.

The Writing of the Plays

There was rarely a person who was exclusively a playwright. In some cultures, the priests were only allowed. In others, only authors of the highest respect were allowed.

By Brianna and Nathan


"The Drama of China." The Drama of China. N.p., n.d. Web. Jan. 2014. <http://www.theatrehistory.com/asian/chinese004.html>.

"The Drama of India." The Drama of India. N.p., n.d. Web. Jan. 2014. <http://www.theatrehistory.com/asian/bellinger001.html>.

"The Drama of Japan." The Drama of Japan. N.p., n.d. Web. Jan. 2014. <http://www.theatrehistory.com/asian/japanese002.html>.

Eastern Theatre Traditions

Watch from 1:24 through 3:04