CLEP Humanities : Identifying Styles of Theater

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for CLEP Humanities

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Identifying Styles Of Theater

Who were the co-writers of the hit broadway musicals The King and I, Oklahoma!, and The Sound of Music?

Possible Answers:

William S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan

Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman

John Kander and Fred Ebb

Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II

Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe

Correct answer:

Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II

Explanation:

The Broadway stage musical gained prominence in American culture throughout the 1940s and 1950s, largely thanks to the works of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Their Oklahoma!, from 1943, was the first musical to fully integrate songs and music into the play's story. The duo had further Broadway hits with 1951's The King and I and 1959's The Sound of Music.

Example Question #2 : Identifying Styles Of Theater

The composer who wrote the operas The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, and The Magic Flute was __________.

Possible Answers:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Carl Maria von Weber

Giacomo Meyerbeer

Ludwig van Beethoven

Gioachino Rossini

Correct answer:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Explanation:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a pioneering composer in a number of genres, but pioneered new realms for opera with his compositions. Don Giovanni and The Marriage of Figaro restructured and transformed Italian opera, while The Magic Flute helped pioneer opera in German.

Example Question #3 : Identifying Styles Of Theater

Which composer wrote the music for the comic-opera HMS Pinafore?

Possible Answers:

Richard Rodgers

Frederick Loewe

Frederic Clay

Arthur Sullivan

Stephen Sondheim

Correct answer:

Arthur Sullivan

Explanation:

Arthur Sullivan helped pioneer English language comic operas with his writing partner, the librettist W. S. Gilbert. Gilbert and Sullivan became immensely popular on both sides of the Atlantic in the last decades of the nineteenth century writing works like HMS Pinafore, The Mikado, and The Pirates of Penzance.

Example Question #3 : Identifying Styles Of Theater

Which of the following playwrights is NOT considered a writer in the style known as "The Theater of the Absurd"?

Possible Answers:

Luigi Pirandello

Edward Albee

Eugene O'Neill

Eugene Ionesco

Samuel Beckett

Correct answer:

Eugene O'Neill

Explanation:

The "Theater of the Absurd" was a dramatic movement begun by figures like Samuel Beckett and Luigi Pirandello in the 1920s that subverted and exploded theatrical conventions regarding settings, storytelling, and character development. This style was developed as a reaction to the hyper-realism of playwrights like Eugene O'Neill and August Strindberg. The movement was hugely influential, with playwrights of the next generation like Eugene Ionesco and Edward Albee picking up the mantle for themselves.

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