Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Chesler, S. Alan

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Theatre Arts


One-act plays--History


Precious Stones: The Development of the One-Act Play, 1851-1916 provides a critical and historical perspective on the shift in the one-act play form, from the lightweight vaudevilles that dominated the genre in the eighteenth and most of the nineteenth centuries, to the mature and experimental partner of the full-length play in the theatrical revolution that occurred with the advent of Naturalism. Each of the chapters presents the major writers and plays of different countries that broke away from the standard format and helped create a new theatre. These chapters include material relevant to that particular country?s contemporary theatre. These chapters include: 1. The One-Act Play: An Overview: its history from ancient Athens through to farce and burlesque. 2. Vaudeville, The Theatre-Libre, and Comedie Rosse: the experiments in France by Scribe, Musset, and Antoine. 3. Strindberg and His Call To Arms. 4. German-Language One-Act Theatre: the contributions of Schnitzler, Wedekind, and Expressionism. 5. Russian One-Acts: the individual achievements of Turgenev and Chekhov. 6. The One-Act Play in England: the Symbolist play by Wilde, and the work of Sutro, Houghton, and Brighouse that was influenced by the Music Hall. 7. The Irish Literary Theatre and J.M. Synge. 8. From the Free Theatre to the Little Theatre: the American experimental theatre of Mackaye, Gerstenberg, and Glaspell. The final chapter assesses the various developments that arose in the one-act genre from each country, and how modem theatre is connected to these developments.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [134]-147)


147 pages




Northern Illinois University

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