Research topic: History of theatre
The point of departure for the European or Western history of theatre is the Greek theatre festivals in Athens in the 5th century B.C., where tragedies, comedies and satyr plays were performed before large audiences.
This tradition was continued in the Roman culture. In the Middle Ages another form of theatre emerged, connected to the Church and Christianity, but there were also secular comedies and performances by jugglers. The theatre of the Renaissance and Baroque periods was inspired by the drama of antiquity, while in the Romantic Movement themes were taken from medieval history and myths. With realism at the end of the 1800s, contemporary problems were taken up for debate, but already at the beginning of the 1900s came reactions to realism with movements such as symbolism, expressionism and absurdism.
Present-day theatre is characterised by great diversity, in which older and newer forms exist side by side, often in untraditional interpretations and expressions. Research in history of theatre embraces many forms of theatre and deals with a broad concept of theatre without sharp boundaries between other cultural events which contain elements of performance and staging.
Theatre performances and theatrical events of the past are explored both with a focus on aesthetic means and artistic expression and in relation to social, cultural, economic and political conditions in the contemporary historical period. Research in history of theatre may also include studies of performers and professions within the theatre, such as actors and the art of acting, directors and the art of directing, scenographers and scenography.