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Part of the Theatre History Curriculum

Unit 8: Restoration Comedy & 18th Century Theatre

Created by Drama Teacher Academy

We will travel through two time periods in this unit. First, we will explore Restoration Comedy in late 17th century England. When the Puritan-led Commonwealth failed and King Charles II was restored to the throne, theatre was also restored. The Comedy of Manners mocked the behaviour and loose morals of the upper class. The lack of theatrical works in the 18th century comes down to three things: playwrights tended to write for opera rather than theatre, censorship and control of theatrical content, and, more than anything, society of the day valued conformity over originality. In France and England, fearing attacks and mockery, the crown and the government passed laws that strictly censored theatre.

Standards Addressed

Overview
The overview lays out the objective, pacing, lesson structure, and assessment strategy for the unit.
Additional Attachments
1: Set the Stage for Restoration Comedy
In this lesson, students will be introduced to late 17th century England. They will complete a research project on the sociopolitical and cultural background of the era to set the stage for Restoration comedy.
Attachments
2: Restoration Comedy: Comedy of Manners
In this lesson, students will be introduced to Restoration comedy, specifically Comedy of Manners. Students will create scenes that “mock” a society group as comedy of manners does, explore wordplay, examine lines from comedy of manners plays, and reflect how the comedy of manners acts as a mirror to the audience.
Attachments
3: The 18th Century
In this lesson, students will be introduced to the turmoil of the 18th century. Theatre was extremely curtailed by censorship in this era. They will complete a research project on the sociopolitical and cultural background of the era to set the stage for a lesson on censorship in the 18th century.
Attachments
4: Censorship in the 18th Century
In this lesson, students will explore the impact of censorship on an era of theatre and create a theatrical moment using a specific censorship prompt.
Attachments
5: Culminating Activity
Decide how students will demonstrate their knowledge of the unit. A variety of activities are provided. You can choose to have all your students do the same activity, or allow students to choose how they demonstrate their knowledge. Rubrics are provided for each activity.
Attachments

Standards Addressed

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