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10 months ago

[…] J. (2018). Realism and Naturalism Theatre Conventions. [online] The Drama Teacher. Available at: [Accessed 20 Sep. […]

1 year ago

[…] French theatre, in the form of Naturalism, to Germany. Naturalism put subjects on stage and explored them in their natural habitats. These character studies addressed taboo subjects such as poverty, […]

2 years ago

[…] Chekhov have been accessible on-line, the bulk being housed at Mission Gutenberg. As this largely lifelike and naturalistic physique of labor was almost all printed within the latter half of the nineteenth century, the […]

2 years ago

[…] administrators range of their method and use of favor. Stanislavski, Antoine and Craig dabbled in realism and naturalism, Brecht and Piscator cast a path with a brand new epic theatre kind, whereas Brook’s influences […]

2 years ago

[…] Chekhov have been out there on-line, the bulk being housed at Mission Gutenberg. As this largely life like and naturalistic physique of labor was almost all revealed within the latter half of the nineteenth century, the […]

2 years ago

[…] Chekhov were to be had on-line, the bulk being housed at Project Gutenberg. As this in large part realistic and naturalistic frame of labor used to be just about all revealed within the latter part of the nineteenth century, […]

2 years ago

[…] Chekhov have been obtainable on-line, the bulk being housed at Challenge Gutenberg. As this largely lifelike and naturalistic physique of labor was almost all revealed within the latter half of the nineteenth century, the […]

2 years ago

Would Surrealism also be an element of drama??

Mc Noelly
3 years ago

Thanks that was helpful. My A levels are starting in 12 days and I hope these information help me to achieve the best. Thanks.

Allen Culpepper
Reply to  Mc Noelly
3 years ago

Break legs and all!

Alexandra Friday
5 years ago

Hi can i ask you what source you used to reference the points about realism? thanks

Lina Walker
5 years ago

Hello, i am doing an assignment on the differences between neoclassical and greek theater. Did neoclassical theater practice naturalism and greek theater practice realism?

5 years ago

Hi Justin,

Hoping for some clarification on where Stanislavski fits into the two concepts..
Would you say that his system of acting was created to achieve naturalism, realism or would you place it in it’s own style?

Chinaza Nasco
6 years ago

Thanks so much for the clarification. It was really helpful.

6 years ago

This article has clarified so many unanswered questions regarding to Realism and Naturalism. Please keep up the good work. Thanks.

5 years ago

This reminds me about my school days in Bulgaria where most of our acting lectures is base on the Stanislavskys methods(the system). I am of the opinion for the who are not familiar with the Stanislavskys method should search for a book call:- Etica na Stanislavsky or Stanislavsky, the System, I believe those who are confuse whether Stanislavskys method is based on Realism or Naturalism will find all the answers their. Thank you.

6 years ago

Hi, this is really useful for my essay. May I ask the date that you wrote it so I can reference it in my essay. I would be very grateful.
Many thanks 🙂

Stan Dupp
Reply to  Justin Cash
4 years ago

I love your name!

6 years ago

Justin Cash thanks for the effort. I am a second year student of drama in Makerere university kampala Uganda about to sit my Forms of acting paper. I find it useful. I still would like to knkw if naturalism can be the same as if one says “non-realistic acting” is it?

June Alexander
6 years ago

Love it! Thanks for the help!

6 years ago

Thankyou!! This has helped me to prepare for my end-of-year drama exam, as one of the topics we are studying is realism and Stanislavski.

6 years ago

thanks this helped alot!!

6 years ago

This was supremely useful, thank you. My question is, can I assume that David Mamet’s play, ‘Oleanna’ sways more toward realism than naturalism? I need a set a text for a class on realism and would hate to get it wrong!

Favour Lawrence
7 years ago

These two terms (Realism and Naturalism) could be likened to Identical “very cute” teenage twins! (lol) Thing is, one however, is taller in height than the other. There remain still, slight differences between them… almost always confusing. Great work here Though! Your effort to explain and differentiate both has at least, solved a part of the dramatic puzzle. Gracias!

Kate Johnson
7 years ago

Thank you so much for this website. Your explanation is so clear and the after comments so helpful! You are a GEM!

7 years ago

Thank you for this article it is amazing! It helped so much with my homework and learning and understanding what realism is!

7 years ago

Hi, I’m still quite confused but mainly because I am trying to analyse a set text “A Doll’s House”. Does anyone know what category this play would be in? I’m so confused because some sources say realism, some say naturalism and some say both. In many study guides, naturalism in mentioned when addressing this play. Here it says realism but at the same time I can see A Doll’s House having aspects of the three unities, it takes place in Helmers House, mainly in the living room but then again the plot takes place beyond 24 hours which confuses me but then again the main plot is Nora and Helmer with Mrs Linde and Krogstad the subplot. With the three unities are there meant to be no subplots. There’s so many different answers on the same matter. Also the part when you spoken about serious manners, Nora considers suicide and even Dr.Rank takes his departure after realising he will die soon from a hereditary disease given to him by his father. So I’m confused because I could tick off boxes from both the realism section and naturalism section when analysing A dolls House. I really need help with this. Would it be both then? Hearing from anyone on this matter would be great.

omekede anderson
7 years ago

Thanks for clarifying the frustrating confusingly similar plays,i do have strong conviction now on differences

7 years ago

Thank you, Mr. Cash for writing this lovely article. Even after discussing these topics in my advanced college theatre history class, reading wikipedia articles and studying my notes, I still wasn’t quite clear on where the differences lie. I found this to be very helpful on clearing up my confusion.

Ellie S.
8 years ago

I found this website extraordinarily useful for distuigishing between the two. I have a quick question, do you know which source this bullet point came from: “triggered by Stanislavski’s system of realistic acting at the turn of the 20th century, America grabbed hold of its own brand of this performance style (American realism) and acting (method acting) in the 1930s, 40s and 50s (The Group Theatre, The Actors Studio)”? I would really like to read more about this, and I know you have a list of references at the bottom, but could you please tell me which one it came from? Thanks a lot!

Bright Bold Ogbonna
8 years ago

Thanks for the differentiation.It has gone a long way to clarify the tiny distinction between both concepts.

8 years ago

Mr Cash,

Can we see Stanislavski’s system of acting as a naturalistic acting in realistic play? I’m asking because to me the method developed by Stanislavski focuses very much on actor seen as a biological being, who explores the nature of real emotions through the body.

John Hartoch
8 years ago

Why does it matter?

If you want to analyse the drama in an academic way, it’s great to be able to write papers about things like this but what I read above is an encouragement, kindly meant, to ‘get things right’ and getting things right has little part in dynamic theatre. Style – ‘knowing what sort of play you are in’ – is important, of course, but the recognition of style doesn’t come from text books or artistic manifestos. It comes from watching, reading and noting the source material, and, most importantly from DOING it.

This sounds grumpy – it is – but what I’m getting at is what I see as an increasing academicism of Theatre in the education system and the dangerous tendency of young people to think they can make good theatre by following a set of rules because, by following that set of rules, they can get good exam results!

Look at Ibsen. Do you get it? If you do who the hell cares is it’s Naturalistic or Realistic? Does it suddenly become Naturalistic if it conforms to the unities or if a working class person walks on stage? Nit-picking distinctions make for good jobs for academics but have little to do with why the plays are alive and how they come alive.

8 years ago

Hi. As a theatre student about to embark on a research paper about Realism, this was an absolute blessing! I admit, I knew both theatrical forms were different but I wasn’t exactly clear on ‘how’ or ‘why’. You just cleared that up for me. So…thank you. 🙂

Daddy sunday sani(kidi)
9 years ago

First of all let me just say it will be very unic just like my man said,in order not to confuse the audience there should be concrate different between realistic and naturalistic drama or play,because to us student if there is no differs it confuse us more.

9 years ago

i love this stuff man like i love it a lot like so much mm yeah

9 years ago

Hi, I was just wondering if you could let me know the sources you used to write this information?

Alex Gordon
9 years ago

This is a good effort to distinguish between realism and naturalism, but even after reading it, I’m afraid still don’t see the difference. While the conception of a strictly ‘realist’ drama may differ from one that is strictly ‘naturalist’ as far as the author’s intentions are concerned, I still don’t think that, from an audience’s point of view, you would be able to see any perceptible difference between the two styles in performance. There is, as far as I am aware in the plays I have seen (including A Doll’s House and Hedda Gablar), no difference in the acting style or the settings between these two definitions, and everything I read on the ‘naturalism’ section I thought was interchangeable with the previous section on ‘realism.’ My intention is not to criticise your efforts in explaining these two frustratingly similar terms, but rather to ask… is there any noticeable difference between a realistic and a naturalistic drama from the audience’s point of view? Any further information on this subject would be greatly appreciated.

Kurtis Barker
Reply to  Alex Gordon
9 years ago

in all honesty, these two styles are very much alike. The most obvious differences are in realism there is still a distinct storyline, different scenes and timing can still be un believable. in Naturalism there can be no scene changes, and timing is true to real life. this usually makes a storyline harder to follow. because if a show only goes for 2 hours, they need to make the characters stay in the same location for 2 hours and still keep the audience interested

Reply to  Alex Gordon
9 years ago

I find it useful to think of realism as having a journalistic perspective (just the facts, human-interest angel, basically fictional journalism) and naturalism as having a quasi-scientific perspective (like a scientist observing humans as lab rats). Also, naturalism is much more influenced by determinism and tends to manipulate its plots to emphasize that humans-against-forces kind of scenario.