This course is a mix of individual and group activities requiring students to use both their analytical and creative mind. It gives students an overview on the Anti-Realism movement of the late-19th and early-20th century, and introduces them to some key theorists, playwrights, and theater makers involved in this movement.

Together we will guide students through the wild world of the “isms,” more specifically Symbolism, Dadaism, Surrealism, Expressionism and Absurdism. We will introduce students to various manifestos and theories as we track the characteristics of each of our five “isms.” As we combine analysis and creative exercises, students bring their entire self to process and prepare to design an ISM Theme Park project, which they will share with the class at the end of the course.

Course Outline

Lesson 0: Introduction 13:17
FREE PREVIEW
Lesson 1: Historical Foundations & Cultural Contexts 11:38
FREE PREVIEW
Lesson 2: Symbolism 7:25
Lesson 3: Dadaism 10:44
Lesson 4A: Surrealism Part 1 14:31
Lesson 4B: Surrealism Part 2 5:32
Lesson 5A: Expressionism Part 1 12:20
Lesson 5B: Expressionism Part 2 7:06
Lesson 6A: Absurdism Part 1 11:29
Lesson 6B: Absurdism Part 2 3:58
Lesson 7: Final Project 3:34

Join Today To Unlock This Course

Already a member? Log in here.

Standards Addressed

National Core Arts Standards


Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art - Grade HS Proficient

TH:Cn10.1.HSI.a - Investigate how cultural perspectives, community ideas and personal beliefs impact a drama/theatre work.

Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding - Grade 6

TH:Cn11.1.6.a - Identify universal themes or common social issues and express them through a drama/theatre work.

Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding - Grade 6

TH:Cn11.2.6.b - Investigate the time period and place of a drama/theatre work to better understand performance and design choices.

Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work - Grade HS Proficient

TH:Re9.1.HSI.b - Consider the aesthetics of the production elements in a drama/theatre work.

Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding - Grade HS Advanced

TH:Cn11.2.HSIII.b - Present and support an opinion about the social, cultural, and historical understandings of a drama/theatre work, based on critical research.

Common Core


California VAPA Standards (2019)


Prof.TH:Cn10 Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.

Prof.TH:Cn10 - Investigate how cultural contexts, community ideas, and personal beliefs impact a drama/theatre work.

6.TH:Cn11.1 Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.

6.TH.Cn11.1.a - Identify universal themes or common social issues and express them through a drama/theatre work.

6.TH:Cn11.2 Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.

6.TH:Cn11.2.b - Investigate the time period and place of a drama/theatre work to better understand performance and design choices.

Adv.TH:Cn11.2 Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.

Adv.TH:Cn11.2.b - Present and support an opinion about the social, cultural, and historical understandings of a drama/theatre work, based on critical research.

Georgia Performance Standards 2017 - Theatre Arts


Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Theatre Arts


MS 117.213 LIII - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding

B.1.E - apply knowledge of theatrical vocabulary and terminology.

HS 117.317 LIII - Historical and cultural relevance

C.4.A - evaluate historical and cultural influences on theatre.

Alberta, Canada


Theatre Studies Drama 10 (Greek, Medieval or Elizabethan, and Canadian)

1 - recognize theatre has evolved as a traditional art form

2 - recognize innovations in the theatre

Ontario, Canada