The Well-made play (French: pièce bien faite) is a dramatic genre from the 19 century theatre that Eugene Scribe codified and Victorien Sarou developed. In the well-made play, the exposition (revealing backstory) and the denouement (comprises events between the falling action and the actual ending scene of the drama or narrative and thus serves as the conclusion of the story) are really important.
The well-made play has 6 characteristics:
- late “point of attack”
- turning point -> change of status (at least 3 turning points)
- choreography of knowledge
- “strong curtains” – major revelation or reverasal of status
- “reincorporation” -> bourgeois + porsimanius (careful with their resources), creates intensity, use the item or knowledge you’ve set up
- “scene a faire” – obligatory scene – the scene that has to be done, resolving the problem for better or worse, resolving the issue
Henrik Ibsen, major Norwegian playwright of 19-th century and the most important playwright of the well-made play.