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The Complete History of Theatre (abridged)

The Complete History of Theatre (abridged)

By Matt Thompson.

Product Code: CR5000

  • Full-length Play
  • Comedy | Farce
  • Cast size: 2m., 1w., up to 10 either gender.

    Livestream and Record & Stream Rights Available

Rights and availability
This title can be licensed and sold throughout the World.

* Please note the royalty rate listed is the minimum royalty rate per performance. The actual royalty rate will be determined upon completion of a royalty application.

$10.95 /script

Min. Royalty Rate: $90/perf

In stock


It’s opening night, and master playwright William Shakespeare, theatrical diva Sarah Bernhardt and the indelible intellectual Constantine Stanislavsky lead you on a wild and wacky journey through the history of theatre from Aristophanes to Emile Zola. This crazy cast of characters will transport you back in time as we relive the various elements of theatre from all parts of the globe. Explore the beginnings of Greek theatre, Aristotle’s Poetics, the fine art of Kabuki, the history of mime, the gladiators of Rome and speculation on the real author of Shakespeare’s plays. Along the way, the bumbling Shakespeare misquotes himself, Sarah Bernhardt can’t get over the sound of thunderous applause and Stanislavsky gets blown out of a cannon when someone says the name of “the Scottish play” in the theatre! Through a little perseverance and commedia dell’arte, the famous trifecta attempt to hold the show together, but when the producer appears onstage, things only get worse when the cast finds out they are trapped in a play within a play. With time running out on the theatre’s rental agreement, the trifecta pays homage to the world’s best-known and beloved plays and musicals by alluding to dialogue from Edward Albee, Bertolt Brecht, Samuel Beckett, Noël Coward, Anton Chekhov, Caryl Churchill, Henrik Ibsen, Arthur Miller, David Mamet, Harold Pinter, Sarah Ruhl, Sam Shepard, Neil Simon, August Strindberg, August Wilson, Thornton Wilder, Andrew Lloyd Weber, Oscar Wilde and many more all performed at breakneck speed. Near the play’s end, the cast realizes that the playwright hasn’t written an ending, wherein our iconic celebrities are forced to seek the audience’s help in finding a creative conclusion to the show. Just when it appears that all the drama is behind them, the reviews come in, and what the critics say surprises them. This interactive farce will keep you in stitches at every turn on a rollicking ride!


Livestream and Record & Stream Rights Available

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  • Status

    In stock

  • Type of Show Full-length Play
  • Product Code CR5000
  • Cast Size 4
  • Min. Royalty Rate $90/perf
  • Cost $10.95
  • Approx. Run Time 85 min


  • Target Audience Middle School | High School | College and Adult | Family (all ages)
  • Performing Group Middle School | High School | College Theatre | Community Theatre | Touring Group | Dinner Theatre
  • Genre Comedy | Farce
  • ISBN(13) 9781619591622
* Please note the royalty rate listed is the minimum royalty rate per performance. The actual royalty rate will be determined upon completion of a royalty application.

Customer Reviews

"This is a fast paced and funny show ... everyone who saw the show loved it! "
Review by Caitlyn Bryant, Liberty High School, Liberty, S.C.
"The Complete History of Theatre (abridged) was a fun show that worked well with the restrictions brought about due to COVID-19. The show provided many laughs for the audience."
Review by John Baker, York College, York, Neb.

Hints, Tips, and Tricks

"Like it says in the play it has great physical demands, a multitude of characters and a LOT of lines. I recommend starting earlier than you normally would so you can spend a week making sure your performers understand all of the references and jokes."
Tip by Caitlyn Bryant, Liberty High School, Liberty, S.C.

Media Reviews

“Madcap and pretty bonkers, yet strangely authoritative.” —San Diego Union-Tribune

“Will appeal to drama geeks and anyone in the mood for old-fashioned wacky entertainment.” —TalkinBroadway.com

“Slapstick reminiscent of a Monty Python sketch.” —TalkinBroadway.com

“Let legendary theatrical characters such as William Shakespeare and Constantin Stanislavsky entertain and inform you on your journey through the world's best-known lines and beloved plays performed at breakneck speed during a rollicking 90-minute ride.” —TheatreinSanDiego.com

“Theatrical greats William Shakespeare, Sarah Bernhardt and Constantin Stanislavsky take us on a wild and wacky journey through the history of theatre from Aristophanes to Emile Zola.” —PerformingArtsLive.com

“A rapid-paced, well-coordinated, fast and furious, no-time-to-take-a-breath shout-out of all the works of Simon, Williams and Pinter. The amazing show of aptitude and agility is worth the price of the ticket.” —San Diego Examiner

“Theater magic happens, as the troupe makes their lightning-fast way through thousands of years of playwrights, from Aeschylus to Albee, Ionesco to Woody Allen, Strindberg to Sondheim, Ibsen to August Wilson.” —KNSD Radio

Production Map

Location City State Opens Closes
Truckee Community Theater Truckee California 6/21/2024 6/23/2024


File Description File Format
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