CLEP Humanities : Answering Other Questions About Theater

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for CLEP Humanities

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Answering Other Questions About Theater

The 1948 play A Streetcar Named Desire was a popular hit written by the playwright __________.

Possible Answers:

Arthur Miller

Edward Albee

Tennessee Williams

Sam Shepard

Henrik Ibsen

Correct answer:

Tennessee Williams

Explanation:

A Streetcar Named Desire was one of the biggest hits of the Broadway season of 1948, and helped further the careers of its director Elia Kazan, its star Marlon Brando, and especially its writer Tennessee Williams. The drama about a factory worker and his wife hosting her Southern belle sister won Williams a Pulitzer Prize for Drama and was later made into a successful film, also directed by Kazan and starring Brando.

Example Question #2 : Answering Other Questions About Theater

What is the name of the Samuel Beckett play where two men wait for a third man to appear throughout the whole play?

Possible Answers:

A Streetcar Named Desire

No Exit

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Waiting for Godot

Death of a Salesman

Correct answer:

Waiting for Godot

Explanation:

Beckett, who helped define the "Theatre of Absurd," wrote Waiting for Godot without ever actually bringing the title character onstage. Instead, the two main characters, Vladimir and Estragon, argue about Godot, each other, and the meaning of life without having the unseen Godot interfere.

Example Question #3 : Answering Other Questions About Theater

The playwright Anton Chekhov wrote which of the following works?

Possible Answers:

Pygmalion

Waiting for Godot

A Long Day's Journey Into Night

A Doll's House

The Cherry Orchard

Correct answer:

The Cherry Orchard

Explanation:

Anton Chekhov, born in Russia in 1860, was one of the pre-eminent playwrights of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Working closely with the director and acting theorist Konstantin Stanislavski, Chekhov's focus on subtext and tightly wound narratives proved highly influential in worldwide theater circles. One of his best known plays and a key example of his style is The Cherry Orchard, a play about a landed Russian family dealing with their newfound poverty.

Example Question #4 : Answering Other Questions About Theater

Elizabethan theater had none of what modern aspects of theater performances?

Possible Answers:

a proscenium arch

All of the other answers

extensive costume changes

stage lighting

full sets

Correct answer:

All of the other answers

Explanation:

Elizabethan theater, the era of Shakespeare, Marlowe, and Johnson, was rather crude in its stagecraft. The stage was a platform that jutted into the audience without a proscenium, and extensive costumes and sets were not present. Additionally, lighting the stage was essentially unheard of, but sound effects and certain special effects were possible, particularly explosions and fire.

Example Question #5 : Answering Other Questions About Theater

The opera cycle known as The Ring of the Nibelung was written by __________.

Possible Answers:

Georges Bizet

Giuseppe Verdi

Benjamin Britten

Richard Wagner

Gustav Mahler

Correct answer:

Richard Wagner

Explanation:

The Ring of Nibelung, commonly known as the "Ring Cycle," is the most famous composition by the German opera composer Richard Wagner. Written over twenty-six years, the four pieces that make up the cycle, The Rhine Gold, The Valkyrie, Siegfried, and Twilight of the Gods, all feature many of Wagner's signature elements: a mythic story, melodramatic devices, and a challenging score.

Example Question #1 : Answering Other Questions About Theater

The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical featuring The King of Siam as a character is __________.

Possible Answers:

Carousel

South Pacific

The King and I

The Sound of Music

Flower Drum Song

Correct answer:

The King and I

Explanation:

The King and I is a musical retelling of the story of the real life Anna Leonowens, who was governess to the children of King Mongkut of Siam. The 1951 musical was one of Rodgers and Hammerstein's largest hits, and was subsequently made into a film starring Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner.

Example Question #7 : Answering Other Questions About Theater

What is the Stephen Sondheim musical that takes inspiration from Roman comedies and satires?

Possible Answers:

Gypsy

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

West Side Story

Sunday in the Park with George

Company

Correct answer:

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Explanation:

Stephen Sondheim based his 1962 musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum on the Roman comedies of Plautus. The play, set in Rome itself, centered on the humorous machinations of a slave. The play was another success after his previous work Gypsy and West Side Story, and got turned into a film also featuring the play's star Zero Mostel.

Example Question #8 : Answering Other Questions About Theater

Who is the actor, playwright, and theater owner who repopularized Shakespeare's plays during the eighteenth century?

Possible Answers:

William Davenant

Samuel Foote

Samuel Johnson

David Garrick

Thomas Bowdler

Correct answer:

David Garrick

Explanation:

The fortunes of the plays of William Shakespeare underwent a severe cratering during the Restoration era of the late seventeenth century. The era's over-the-top performances and focus on farces made Shakespeare's works seem out of place. David Garrick, the preeminent actor and theater impresario of the eighteenth century in England, introduced a naturalist style and new effects in stagecraft which also helped repopularize the work of Shakespeare.

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