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This page provides an in-depth discussion of naturalism and realism, and discusses a variety of writers, practitioners and plays which displayed these ideas.
Play: A Doll's House, Part 2
The first half of this episode of Theatre Talk focuses on the Tony-nominated play A Doll’s House, Part 2 in a conversation with playwright Lucas Hnath along with its Tony-nominated lead actors Laurie Metcalf and Chris Cooper. The play picks up 15 years after the end of the classic Ibsen drama A Doll’s House. Nora returns to the home she once shared with Torvald and events take an unexpected turn, in a theatrical work that also surprises audiences in both its style and tone.
A useful discussion of realism and naturalism in the theatre, the differences between the two and the position of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House.
Video: Identifying Realism in Drama
Realism in drama takes the form of familiarity; a comfortable street corner, an awkward conversation and a recognizable building are all examples of realism in plays. Identify realism in a theatre production, paying attention to familiarity and plausibility of the situation, with tips from an educator in this free video on general education.
An invaluable companion and resource for anyone studying drama, theatre or performance, Key Concepts in Drama and Performance is a quick, easy reference tool ideal for revision as well as offering in-depth considerations of key topics.
It includes discussions of Naturalism (pp. 109-111) and Realism (pp. 182-185).
The Methuen Drama Dictionary of the Theatre is an essential reference tool and companion for anyone interested in the theatre and theatre-going.
It discusses Naturalism (pp. 347-348) and Realism (p. 416).
The League of Youth (1869) was Ibsen's first venture into realistic social drama and marks a turning-point in his style. By 1879 Ibsen was convinced that women suffer an inevitable violation of their personalities within the context of marriage. In A Doll's House he portrayed the wife struggling to break free - this was unheard of at the time and Ibsen's play caused a sensation. Continuing the theme of tensions within the family in The Lady from the Sea, Ibsen put forward the view that freedom with responsibility might at least be a step in the right direction.
When A Doll's House was first published in 1879 it created a sensation. The play follows the ordinary life of a housewife. Gradually the tensions within her marriage become clear and build to a final, stunning action. The play is widely studied because of its sharp critique of 19th century marriage norms, and its feminist tendencies.