THE 191 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Theatre Of Ancient Greece, Thrust Stage, Proscenium

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Published on 3 May 2016
School
Miami University
Department
Theatre
Course
THE 191
Professor
Page:
of 3
THEATRICAL SPACE AND ENVIRONMENT 2/4/16
How do theatrical spaces change as theatre conventions change – convention = current norm for something 
conventions are linked to cultural practice – what cultures value are based on what conventions are considered the norm
What are boundaries of theatrical space?
What does performance space tell us about values and culture?
“It ain't theatre unless its in a space artists have designated as a performance space” why is distinction important  audiences
need to know what they are watching is theatre; separates audience from performer; designating the space gives audience a
framework for how they should behave; creates expectations for the audience; framing expectations;
Function of theatrical space
Serves needs of performers and audiences
Establish rules of the performance
Reflect the values of artist and culture
Proscenium stage
Distinct separation between audience and performance
Realism theatre – theatre is like a scientific lab
Audience sees stage from one side; super traditional; like this classroom
Proscenium stage and realism  rose to prominence in 1800s Europe (essentialism; god dictates your fate; other say
individuals make choices; Darwin on evolution – survival of the fittest/natural selection/most desirable traits will live on and
we adapt and change based on our environment); asserts the power of individual choice; theatre can be like a scientific lab 
people are interested why and how we do what we do if people are lab then stage is experiment and audience are witnesses to
experiment
“Theatre is a lab” – what cultural values might this kind of theatre reflect?
Experimenting on stage
Can find truth about human nature thru art
Arena Stage
Sporting event; concert; large (maybe rowdy) crowds
Ancient Greek theatre
Theatre festivals meant to honor the gods
Theatre about catharsis – release of emotion (usually negative); civil engagement (people talk about life etc.);
assertion of male privilege
Racially marked
Art usually gives us insight to how privileged operated at that time
Location of theatre tells us how that area values it
Thrust stage
Stage juts out into audience – audience on 3 sides
Rose to prominence during Elizabethan era (Shakespeare)
Elizabethan era theatre
oTime of relative peace and stability
oTheatre was secular and became professionalized
oRise of Shakespeare
oTheatre people became professionals in their trade
YouTube video
The globe – everyone in the world is an actor
find more resources at oneclass.com
find more resources at oneclass.com
2THEATRE – SPACE AND ENV.
Interaction between public and actors
No women actors
Church critical of theater – nest of devil – outside city walls
Cheapest seats could be afforded by everyone
People throw things at actors if don’t like show
Audience close to actors and then participate – everyone involved in play
Puts on Shakespeare plays
Acoustics were super important – most expensive seats had the best sound
3 different elements – zodiac signs – heaven; stage earth and trap door to underneath = hell
Round shape increases participation
Architecture done with audience in mind
Strict and distinct division of class systems
Men had to play women – women not allowed on stage at the time – division of gender
Flexible staging: site specific performance
Black box
Artists create performance (or visual art) that enhances or emphasizes a space
Also used as an educational tool
Show the artfulness in things we don’t usually consider art
Hard to narrate and recreate
YouTube video – the trash project:
oLive music; garbage people doing their jobs
oSymmetry and coordination
oThe space was a big parking lot – was transformed into theatre
If you had to stage god of carnage what stage would you use – thrust – make it seem very realistic and make audience feel as if
they are actually there/apart of the show
Important conclusions
find more resources at oneclass.com
find more resources at oneclass.com
THEATRICAL SPACE AND ENVIRONMENT 2/4/16
Theatre spaces evolve with needs, values and technology
Space (location and set up) dictate both the experience and the importance of theatre within a community
Space reflects social hierarchies
Space disciplines audiences but more importantly reaches them
find more resources at oneclass.com
find more resources at oneclass.com

Document Summary

How do theatrical spaces change as theatre conventions change convention = current norm for something conventions are linked to cultural practice what cultures value are based on what conventions are considered the norm. Realism theatre theatre is like a scientific lab. Audience sees stage from one side; super traditional; like this classroom. Can find truth about human nature thru art. Theatre about catharsis release of emotion (usually negative); civil engagement (people talk about life etc. assertion of male privilege. Art usually gives us insight to how privileged operated at that time. Location of theatre tells us how that area values it. Stage juts out into audience audience on 3 sides. Elizabethan era theatre: time of relative peace and stability, theatre was secular and became professionalized, rise of shakespeare, theatre people became professionals in their trade. The globe everyone in the world is an actor. Church critical of theater nest of devil outside city walls.