Middle Level ISEE Reading Practice Test 73

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1 The theater is one of the richest art
2 forms. The excitement of opening night
3 can be felt by the people waiting to watch
4 a performance and by the performers and
5 workers backstage waiting for the curtain
6 to go up. Live theater is thrilling because
7 no one really knows how well the play
8 will go until it is performed. Many people
9 collaborate to bring a play to life. There
10 are playwrights, directors, set designers,
11 costumers, lighting technicians, and,
12 of course, actors. If the performance is
13 a musical, the skills of a songwriter, a
14 choreographer (the person who composes
15 the dances), and musicians are also
16 required. The word theater comes from the
17 Greek theatron, which means "a place for
18 seeing." One concept from Greek theater
19 that is still seen in some plays today is the
20 "Greek Chorus." This consists of several
21 actors/characters watching the action of the
22 play (almost like the audience) and then
23 commenting on what they just saw with
24 either reactions or dialogue. Although most
25 people think of the theater in terms of a play
26 performed on the stage, theater has taken
27 on a much broader meaning in the modern
28 world. You may find yourself walking into
29 a theater with no seats in the rows. Instead,
30 you are seated among the set pieces, which
31 makes you part of the setting. Sometimes
32 theater may come to life on a street corner,
33 or in a classroom. The excitement of theater
34 is in its very nature—it is an art form that
35 changes as it is interpreted in different
36 ways by different people. That is probably
37 why the works of the greatest playwright
38 of all time, William Shakespeare, are still
39 performed and enjoyed today, both in
40 classic and new interpretations.

1. The best title for the passage might be

  • A. A Brief History of Theatrical Productions
  • B. Modern Theater: Adventures in Acting
  • C. Shakespeare: Our Greatest Playwright
  • D. The Excitement of Theater

2. According to the passage, the primary reason that theater is so exciting is that

  • A. it derives from a Greek custom
  • B. it is performed live
  • C. plays are often well written
  • D. there are so many people working on it

3. The passage suggests which of the following about modern theater?

  • A. It always draws great attention from the audience.
  • B. It has been interpreted in a more varied fashion.
  • C. It is less exciting than classic theater.
  • D. There are mostly Shakespearean plays performed.

4. The author's attitude toward theater can best be described as

  • A. admiring
  • B. ambivalent
  • C. apathetic
  • D. neutral

5. In line 1, the word "richest" is best understood to mean most

  • A. diverse
  • B. entertaining
  • C. terrifying
  • D. wealthy

6. The passage suggests that the plays of Shakespeare

  • A. are more often given new interpretations today than at any other time
  • B. are more popular today than during Shakespeare's time
  • C. have been performed in a variety of ways
  • D. will always be considered the world's greatest