This list provides short definitions of theatrical usages which may not be familiar to all readers. The numbered references give the pages on which further information can most readily be found; they are not intended as an index to the book.

absurd, theatre of the  (30) Name given to plays of the 1950s and 1960s that abandoned realism and regular narrative for fantasy and disjunction; many were intellectually paradoxical or provocative. Eugene Ionesco and Fernando Arrabal were leading playwrights developing this form of theatre.

act  Major and distinct structural unit in drama. Customarily plays have from one to five acts; they are often devised to build to a strong conclusion so that an intermission may be taken between them. Time, ...

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