Improvisational comedy is a bit like watching a flying trapeze act: the excitement comes not simply from the skilled moves of the performers, but from the danger inherent to the act. Except in the case of improv, there is never a net.
Frequently, the word “farce” is used to describe a ridiculous situation that did not end well, such as a political campaign or a sports finals match, but in the theatre world, farce means fast, funny and fun.
Let’s talk melodrama—cue suspenseful organ music, please.
Almost everyone thinks they know what melodrama is, but the art form has taken many shapes over the years, influencing (and being influenced by) everything from the morality and mystery plays of the Middle Ages to Italy’s commedia dell’arte.
“A Tale of Mystery,” by Thomas Holcroft, was the first English play to be known as a melodrama. It was Gothic, in keeping with what was popular in 1802.