- Resistance to theatrical activity by the Christian church in early America had the effect of keeping overt religious drama to a minimum. However, through the 19th century, Christian values were the unquestioned foundation of most plays, as exemplified by temperance dramas. Plays drawn from biblical sources and other aspects of Judeo-Christian religious history did not appear with any regularity until the turn of the century, although ministers, and the occasional rabbi, appeared as peripheral characters. Edward Bulwer-Lytton's Richelieu (1839), for example, a popular play with American audiences, portrayed the title character, but did not explore religious issues. Other British plays such as Henry Arthur Jones's Saints and Sinners (1895) and Jerome K. Jerome's The Passing of the Third Floor Back (1909) won some acceptance for religious drama, but when playwright Salmi Morse offered The Passion Play (1879), a retelling of Christ's final hours, some Christian clergy fought to suppress it because Morse was a Jew.The 19th century concluded with William Young's stage adaptation of General Lew Wallace's novel Ben-Hur (1899), which became one of the most popular plays of the time, perhaps more for its melodramatic components and onstage chariot race than for its religious story. A few other plays with religious themes appeared in the three decades following Ben-Hur, including Hall Caine's The Christian (1898) and Charles Rann Kennedy's The Servant in the House (1908). Religious stories were sometimes presented in pageants, a grassroots form of drama popular in the first two decades of the 20th century.The rising Yiddish theatre explored Jewish religious themes in many plays, particularly regarding the tensions emerging between the beliefs of the Old World set against modern American life. After World War I, these concerns filtered into popular theatre, most successfully in Anne Nichols's Abie's Irish Rose (1922), in which the interfaith marriage of a Catholic girl and a Jewish boy tests traditional values, and in Sampson Raphaelson's The Jazz Singer (1925), in which the son of a rabbi chooses a life on the vaudeville stage over the faith of his father. However, these plays, and others like them, did not probe beneath the surface of religious difference. A few notable religious dramas from Europe attracted audiences on Broadway, particularly George Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan (1923) and Max Reinhardt's lavishly presented pageant The Miracle (1924), as well as J. Frank Davis's reincarnation drama, The Ladder (1926), which, despite critical dismissal, became one of the longest-running plays of its era. The outstanding American dramatist of the 1920s, Eugene O'Neill, probed Catholic doctrine in several of his plays, most overtly in Lazarus Laughed (1927) and Days Without End* (1934). Religious dramas appeared on Broadway infrequently until the 1960s, after which the profound social changes of the era led playwrights to offer works depicting human striving for spiritual fulfillment and works critical of aspects of traditional religious doctrines.
The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. James Fisher.
Look at other dictionaries:
Religious Painting — Religious Painting † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Religious Painting Painting has always been associated with the life of the Church. From the time of the Catacombs it has been used in ecclesiastical ornamentation, and for centuries after… … Catholic encyclopedia
religious — adj 1 *devout, pious, pietistic, sanctimonious Analogous words: *faithful, staunch, steadfast, true: virtuous, righteous, noble, *moral, ethical: *upright, just, honorable, honest Antonyms: irreligious Contrasted words: ungodly, godless (s … New Dictionary of Synonyms
Religious ground motive — (RGM) is a conceptual construct of the reformational philosophy of Herman Dooyeweerd. Dooyeweerd saw four great distinct value systems that contested the general formative power over Western culture and civilization for within in comparison, say … Wikipedia
Drama film — A drama film is a film genre that depends mostly on in depth development of realistic characters dealing with emotional themes. Dramatic themes such as alcoholism, drug addiction, infidelity, moral dilemmas, racial prejudice, religious… … Wikipedia
Drama — For other uses, see Drama (disambiguation). Dramas redirects here. For the indie rock band, see The Dramas. See also: Theatre Literature Major forms … Wikipedia
Drama Prefecture — Infobox Pref GR name = Drama name local = Νομός Δράμας flag reg = Flag of Greek Macedonia.svg periph = East Macedonia and Thrace capital = Drama population = 106,371 population as of = 2005 pop rank = 35th pop dens = 30.7 popdens rank = 48th area … Wikipedia
Religious discrimination against Neopagans — Freedom of religion Concepts … Wikipedia
religious dress — Introduction also called vestment any attire, accoutrements, and markings used in religious rituals (ceremonial object) that may be corporate, domestic, or personal in nature. Such dress may comprise types of coverings all the way from… … Universalium
Religious Society of Friends — The Religious Society of Friends, commonly known as the Quakers, was founded in England in the 17th century as a Christian religious denomination by people who were dissatisfied with the existing denominations and sects of Christianity.… … Wikipedia
Drama Studio, University of Sheffield — The Drama Studio is a 218 seat studio theatre that is part of the University of Sheffield. It is housed in the former Glossop Road Baptist Church (opened in 1871), which was converted into a theatre in 1970 and also houses two rehearsal studios… … Wikipedia