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Performing Arts Trivia

Performing Arts Trivia Quizzes

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Whether you like to sing, dance, act, or play an instrument, there is something here for everyone!
113 Performing Arts quizzes and 1,582 Performing Arts trivia questions.
Ballet Ballet (31 quizzes)
Dance Dance (69)
  I'd Like to Teach the World to Fart!   top quiz  
Match Quiz
 10 Qns
Great Poll. You write a quiz about comedic styles and you want to start with a fart joke. One can only hope it all improves from here. Match the style of delivery with the type of comedy. Beware, some good and bad jokes ahead.
Easier, 10 Qns, pollucci19, Aug 27 21
pollucci19 gold member
Aug 27 21
815 plays
  Assorted Performing Arts   top quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
The performing arts covers many categories of theatrical skills. See how many of these facts you know. Have fun!
Easier, 10 Qns, Creedy, Oct 06 13
Creedy gold member
2931 plays
  What I Learned as a Theater Minor!   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
At Clemson University "GO TIGERS" I was a theater minor and learned many interesting things about the performing arts. Hopefully, you can recognize some of my important learning from the clues provided. Have fun!
Very Easy, 10 Qns, coachpauly, Mar 22 17
Very Easy
998 plays
  He's Behind You!   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Pantomime is a very British form of entertainment with a long history. What do you know about the traditions associated with it?
Average, 10 Qns, Plodd, Sep 30 13
2336 plays
  Be a Clown, Be a Clown   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
So, you're going to run away from home and be a clown for the circus? Here is a quiz on some clown history.
Average, 10 Qns, mlcmlc, Apr 24 11
mlcmlc gold member
1435 plays
  Trivia for Dummies   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Ten questions about ventriloquism.
Tough, 10 Qns, professorjon, May 19 19
May 19 19
3269 plays
  Kabuki Theater    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Kabuki is traditional dance drama art native to Japan. Kabuki has existed in one form or another for over 400 years. Modern kabuki is well known for its outlandish costumes and technical stage tricks.
Average, 10 Qns, foxbarking, May 22 23
foxbarking gold member
May 22 23
342 plays
  A Brief History of Mime    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
A true art performed by true artists. A professional mime can sometimes evoke more laughter from an audience, than a professional comedian.
Easier, 10 Qns, mixit, Mar 02 23
Mar 02 23
725 plays
  So, You Want to Be an Actor?    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
After nearly 40 years acting and/or teaching, here are a few simple things you MUST learn . . .
Average, 10 Qns, bitterlyold, May 29 24
bitterlyold gold member
May 29 24
1787 plays
  That's the Way to Do it!    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
The puppet called 'Punch' arrived in England from Italy in 1662 and is still seen regularly as children's entertainment on British beaches. The name of the quiz comes from a catchphrase uttered by Mr. Punch during his shows.
Average, 10 Qns, Spontini, Jun 12 16
302 plays
trivia question Quick Question
What is the first name of the man who falls in love with the princess in the original piece?

From Quiz "History of 'Swan Lake' "

  Mime - The World's Worst Art Form    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
No offence, but I hate mimes, with their strange white faces and silly "stuck in a box" routines. But how much do you know about this oddly persistent form of entertainment?
Tough, 10 Qns, Islingtonian, Jul 16 21
Jul 16 21
3173 plays
  "The Lion King" on Broadway -Costumes and Puppets    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
This quiz will test how much you know or can remember about the beautiful costumes, puppetry, sets and scenery found in the six-time Tony Award-winning musical "The Lion King" on Broadway and U.S. Touring productions.
Tough, 10 Qns, timwa4, Nov 19 11
1000 plays
  Don Juan in the Arts    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
The legend of Don Juan, the famous philanderer, has inspired many a work in all the arts. How many can you recognize?
Tough, 10 Qns, Wisetao, Nov 21 20
Nov 21 20
1575 plays

Performing Arts Trivia Questions

1. The first record of an appearance by Punch in the UK was made by which diarist?

From Quiz
That's the Way to Do it!

Answer: Samuel Pepys

He records seeing a show put on by an Italian showman in Covent Garden.

2. In college I joined the theater department. One of my first roles was Reynard in "Reynard the Fox". Which room did the actors congregate in backstage before making their entrance on stage?

From Quiz What I Learned as a Theater Minor!

Answer: Green Room

The "Green Room" is the waiting room or lounge used by actors and performers who are preparing to go on stage. In the early years of theater the green room was literally a green-painted room. One story suggests that the Blackfriars Theater in 16th century England had a green room and thus the name stuck through future generations. Some theaters often had multiple green rooms catering to actors of different seniority and status. Another oft-cited reason for the term green room relates to medieval dramas being performed on the grass of the village green. One other suggestion is that "green room" is actually a corruption of the term "scene room" which is a place backstage where scenery and props were held and also perhaps a waiting place for actors offstage.

3. Kabuki has its origins in 17th century feudal Japan. What shogunate ruled Japan when kabuki debuted?

From Quiz Kabuki Theater

Answer: Tokugawa Shogunate

The Tokugawa Shogunate was the last shogunate in Japan's feudal period, lasting from 1600 until 1868. The Shogunate ended when Tokugawa Yoshinobu, the last Shogun, resigned his position with no successor. Shoguns were technically military leaders and held all political power while the Emperor was ceremonial. With the resignation tendered to the Meiji Emperor, the Emperor was recognized as the head of government, although technically he was still just a figurehead.

4. The name of pantomime is derived from which language?

From Quiz He's Behind You!

Answer: Greek

The word comes from the Greek 'pantos', meaning 'all', and 'mimos', meaning actor. The name of pantomime originally referred to the performer rather than the performance, but the meaning gradually changed. The original pantomimes were popular in the ancient world, although no records remain of the original content.

5. The skill of acrobatics has been entertaining audiences for centuries. In the art of which ancient culture have acrobats been portrayed performing their skills on the back of bulls?

From Quiz Assorted Performing Arts

Answer: Minoan

The Minoan civilisation was at its height during the Bronze Age of mankind. It rose on the island of Crete and covered a time period from the 27th until the 15th century BCE. Part of Minoan religious culture centred around bulls and the art of bull leaping, and much of this ancient civilisation's surviving artwork depicts both male and female highly trained acrobats, many of whom were priests or priestesses, partaking in this unusual practice. Acrobatics evolved from that time over the centuries to become an entertainment spectacle with a focus on entertainment and theatrical enjoyment rather than any religious purpose.

6. What is an impromptu portrayal without rehearsal or preparation?

From Quiz So, You Want to Be an Actor?

Answer: improvisation

"Don't go to New York and study. Don't act. OK? Just, you know- do it. Don't act it, don't show it- just do it." That's what James Dean said to Dennis Hopper during the filming of the "Chickie Run" scene in "Rebel Without A Cause." Hopper wanted to know how Dean could "just do it," and asked Dean if he should go to New York to study acting.

7. The word, mime, comes from which early civilization?

From Quiz A Brief History of Mime

Answer: Greek

History shows that Pantomimos was the first to perform a version of miming. From the "mimos" section of the word has evolved words like mime, mimic, as well as imitate.

8. Approximately how many puppets and masks, in total, are used in "The Lion King?"

From Quiz "The Lion King" on Broadway -Costumes and Puppets

Answer: 250

According to puppet supervisor Anne Salt, who was part of the original behind-the-scenes crew for "The Lion King," there are over 250 masks and puppets used throughout the show.

9. "The Libertine" is a play about Don Juan. Who wrote it?

From Quiz Don Juan in the Arts

Answer: Thomas Shadwell

The date of the play was 1676. Shadwell later figured in John Dryden's "MacFlecnoe."

10. Which ancient civilisation began the art form of mime?

From Quiz Mime - The World's Worst Art Form

Answer: The Greeks

Yes, the Greeks gave us many things that are important and good. And they gave us mime. The first recorded example was a dancer called Telestes, who started miming in the middle of an otherwise enjoyable performance. History does not record what sort of objects the audience threw at him.

11. The character of Punch was originally called by what name?

From Quiz That's the Way to Do it!

Answer: Pulliciniello

His name may have come from the Italian 'Pulcino' meaning chicken, referencing the fact that he had a large beaklike nose and squeaky voice.

12. Though considered a traditional form of Japanese art, modern Kabuki has one major distinguishing feature which is in direct contrast the first Kabuki performances. What is this feature?

From Quiz Kabuki Theater

Answer: Original performers were all women and now kabuki is only performed by men.

From 1603 to 1629, both male and female roles in Kabuki were only performed by women. One of the early appeals of Kabuki was the often ribald performances by the cast. In 1629 it was made illegal in Japan for women to perform in Kabuki plays. Currently all male and female roles are performed by men, except in a few extraordinary cases.

13. The British pantomime has its roots partly in the traditional folk plays of the Middle Ages. By what name were the actors known?

From Quiz He's Behind You!

Answer: Mummers

The mummers' plays involved groups of actors travelling from house to house, or visiting public houses, to perform their plays. They involved disguises and battles between good and evil, themes which have found their way into the modern pantomime.

14. Buskers were referred to by this term from approximately 1860 in European countries. Up until this time however, by which term were these street performers usually known?

From Quiz Assorted Performing Arts

Answer: Minstrels

Busking is the art of performing in open areas in public places, sometimes excruciatingly so, and often times without any rehearsal at all. A good busker, however, devotes as much time to learning and perfecting his or her art as any performer in controlled environments such as theatres or circus rings. Other names by which buskers were known, and sometimes still are, include street performers, street musicians, troubadours and minstrels. The last two terms however refer more to a distant past, and are associated more with eras such as the Middle Ages in European history.

15. What is inside Zazu's neck that makes it so flexible?

From Quiz "The Lion King" on Broadway -Costumes and Puppets

Answer: A "slinky" toy

Puppet designer Michael Curry designed Zazu with a baby slinky inside his neck to enable the actor controlling him to create "wave-like" motions during certain scenes and increase the overall flexibility of the puppet.

16. This writer's "Don Juan, ou le festin de pierre" is the basis for a ballet of the same title. Who is the author?

From Quiz Don Juan in the Arts

Answer: Moliere

The opera was written by Gluck (1714-87) with scenario by Ranieri Calzabigi. Moliere's title means, "Don Juan, or the stone feast."

17. Which religion banned mime?

From Quiz Mime - The World's Worst Art Form

Answer: Christianity

I've never thought Christianity had a great deal to recommend it, but banning mime has to be one of the Christian church's finest moments. It seems they thought it was "indecent".

18. Punch was a bit of a ruffian. He often carried a stick split at one end which created an audible sound when used to beat opponents in fights. Still used today to describe a style of mock-fighting, what is it called?

From Quiz That's the Way to Do it!

Answer: Slapstick

A 'slapstick' is basically two wooden slats which produce an audible sound which would cause virtually no physical harm to anybody struck by it. Its origin probably goes back to Shakespearean times. Slapstick generally refers today to an exaggerated activity resulting in a humorous situation.

19. Helping out backstage, I was often responsible for all of the objects utilized in the play. By what name were these objects collectively known?

From Quiz What I Learned as a Theater Minor!

Answer: Props

A property, often shortened to the word prop, is any moveable and portable commodity utilized in the execution of a theatrical performance. For example, costumes, furniture, accessories, household goods, and even food are all considered as property in a theater production. The "Oxford English Dictionary" used the actual term "props" for the first time in 1841. However, the earliest accepted use of props in theater were likely the Onkoi hand-held masks used in Greek drama productions. The onkoi (comedy and tragedy masks) remain a symbol of the performing arts even today.

20. Due to its suggestive nature, Kabuki with all female casts was immediately popular. What was often an additional feature offered to audiences in early Kabuki?

From Quiz Kabuki Theater

Answer: Women performers were available as prostitutes

The suggestive and ribald performances were popular and the parts were played by prostitutes. The fact that the performers doubled as prostitutes was the major reason that women were legally barred from performing in kabuki theater. Rather than outlaw the prostitution practices themselves, the shogunate barred women from being actors.

21. In the early eighteenth century, productions with elements of pantomime were staged at the Theatre Royal in London. By which name is the theatre better known?

From Quiz He's Behind You!

Answer: Drury Lane

Both the Theatre Royal, in Drury Lane, and Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatre put on productions which included a serious performance to begin with, and finishing with a comic interlude. The early pantomimes were actual mimes, with no speaking, as only some theatres were licensed for speech. The performances were called 'dumb shows'.

22. Timon's puppet is an example of what form of ancient Japanese theater?

From Quiz "The Lion King" on Broadway -Costumes and Puppets

Answer: Bunraku

Timon is a classic example of Bunraku puppetry, where the actor externally controls a 2 1/2-4 foot tall puppet in front of him via rods and levers.

23. Alexandr Pushkin wrote this 1839 play, which inspired the opera of the same title. What is it?

From Quiz Don Juan in the Arts

Answer: The Stone Guest

The opera was first performed in 1872 by Alexandr Sergeyevich Dargomyzhsky, completed after his death by Cui and Rimsky-Korsakov.

24. "Ooh Professorjon, I like stories about the dummy being real. There was another episode from "The Twilight Zone" that featured a dummy named Caesar, who was alive. What does he do to his master"?

From Quiz Trivia for Dummies

Answer: Tells him how to commit burglary

In "Caesar and Me", Jackie Cooper stars as a ventriloquist who can't make ends meet so Caesar directs him so that he can commit several small robberies. He finally bungles a job and is turned over to the police by the bratty neighbor child, who then becomes the owner of Caesar. And they have big plans as soon as the young lady gets rid of her aunt.

25. In the mid 17th Century, Punch started to appear as a marionette. Punch's voice became even more squeaky due to the use of a reed in the puppeteer's mouth. What is it called?

From Quiz That's the Way to Do it!

Answer: Swazzle

A Swazzle (also known as a Swozzle, Schwazzle or Swatchel) consists of two strips of metal with a reed between them. With practice, passing air over the reeds causes it to vibrate, producing the rasping voice of Punch. By moving the tongue around, several different 'voices' can be produced for different characters.

26. In 1629, onna-kabuki, which was performed by all female casts, was banned due to eroticism and prostitution. For a short period of time, wakusha-kabuki took its place. What was the difference between onna-kabuki and wakusha-kabuki?

From Quiz Kabuki Theater

Answer: Onna-kabuki was all female cast, while wakusha-kabuki was cast with all young boys

Kabuki quickly accepted the banning of women from its performances and began to cast younger boys in all of the male and female roles. This may be because kabuki was originally performed by females, and younger males in Japan at the time looked somewhat similar to female actors.

27. British pantomime was a version of the Italian Commedia dell'arte, and was originally known by which name, a version of the name of one of the characters?

From Quiz He's Behind You!

Answer: Harlequinade

The traditional characters of early pantomime were Harlequin and Columbine, who was loved by Harlequin. Supporting characters were Pantaloon, usually portrayed as being Columbine's father, Pierrot and a clown. Harlequin's traditional costume included his diamond checked trousers, with Pierrot being dressed in white with his face in white makeup.

28. Juggling has been around for several thousand years. During the decline of the Roman empire, however, this art was banned. Why was this?

From Quiz Assorted Performing Arts

Answer: Jugglers were accused of practising witchcraft

The skill of juggling has been found depicted on various pieces of pottery and walls of tombs going right back to 2700 BC. In the early part of the Roman Empire it was still a popular means of entertainment, but when that empire began to decline, jugglers, known as gleemen then, were also a casualty. They were accused of being immoral and practising witchcraft. It would be several hundred years before they re-emerged as a form of public entertainment, and for some time after that, jugglers were mainly associated with circus acts. By 1947 an International Jugglers Association had been formed, and, by the year 2000, an annual World Juggling Day was being celebrated right around the globe.

29. Jean-Gaspard Deburau introduced the "pantomine blanche" to the art of mime. What is this?

From Quiz A Brief History of Mime

Answer: White face

Many early mimes felt more comfortable performing behind masks, however Jean-Gaspard found this interfered with his act, and therefore decided to paint his mask on.

30. This Spanish play, "Don Juan Tenorio" (1844) is traditionally performed every year on:

From Quiz Don Juan in the Arts

Answer: Halloween

The author, Jose Zorrilla y Moral, has Don Juan repenting of his evil lifestyle.

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