What Is Realism in Drama?

Realism in drama occurs when a play resembles real life, such as showing political events that occurred within a country. Depending on the era, these events were relevant to society, but until the late 1860s, these depictions were not common on stage.

After the 1860s, many plays incorporated different types of social events into their works. This action known as realism was meant as a way for the audience to connect with the overall arc of the stage performance. Many believe that realism was a combination of the arts and science, which meant the performance needed to be verifiable. However, as times changed, so did the overall design of realism.

The main goal is for the performance to match the speech and behavior of the time. For example, the speech patterns from the early 1900s are no longer a realist view for the 2000s. In addition to speech, technology plays a large role in modern theater. Most people who create realistic plays for Broadway can include items like televisions, cell phones, computers and tablets. They can also include details about political movements in other countries and depict the different lifestyles that are now commonplace, such as heterosexual and homosexual couples, in the plays they create.