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THEA 241A (3)

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Old Dominion University
Jennifer Baker

Joe Turner’s Come and Gone by August Wilson 9/18/2013 10:19:00 AM -Style- while there are some depictions of unrealistic events, such as Loomis’ possession and Bynum’s stories about his shiny new man and inner song, style of Joe Turner is based in realism. -Language- the language used in Joe Turner is realistic in nature and depicts that of the dialogue of the day. Each of the characters has a specific rhythm and speech pattern. The dialogue of the characters also reflects the accents that the characters would have had -Music- Music within this community seems to be a pivotal social catalyst. Many of the characters either play an instrument or sing -Spectacle- Most of the spectacle is related to the spirituality and religious qualities of the characters. Bynum is often performing what characters in the play refer to as voodoo activities. Themes -Female Characters- women’s roles Independent, self sufficient within the framework of the period. -Main central themes- Identity, migration/ travel, racial discrimination; Also family and inheritance, quest for self -Aspects of Joe Turner supporting oral tradition- Rhythm, language, pace, music (juba), familiar generations Elements of Drama- Dramatic Structure 9/18/2013 10:19:00 AM Drama is separate from fiction because expression comes from character action in Aristotle’s sequence of Dramatic Events- plot comes before character Organization of Drama within Time and Space - during some historical periods- plays were set to one day and time -long productions allow the audience to suspend time and become immersed in the world of the play ( used as a device by playwright/ director) The Internal Rhythm -interplay between conflict, rising tension and suspense -rhythm can also be a building of sensory experiences- culmination Conflict, Rising Tension, and Suspense - can occur between groups, institutions, governments, religion -internal conflict-within an individual character -progression from initial established conflict- to rising tension (heightened stakes, confrontations) –adding suspense (intensifying motivations) – climax/ resolution -Character- determination, desires propel them into moments, motivation/ objectives, obstacles to overcome-characters are defined by their words, movements, actions -Plots- spine of the play, essential actions and incidents, pace of the play, what happens within a play is how the playwright shapes their ideas -Language- not present in all forms of drama, source of vitality, dramatic language appeals to the audience’s imagination and sensory appeal, characters defined by speech patterns/ poetry -Music- Aristotle intended music as Greek Chorus chants, opera all text is sung/ and in Asian theatre, modern musicals alternate between text and song, use of music to underscore the action translates to film- very important -Spectacle- encompasses acting style to blocking/ movement of actors, scenic and special effect elements, enhancement of the experience, literally pulling a work of dramatic literature onto its feet, the ―fleshing out‖ Actors and Acting 9/18/2013 10:19:00 AM The Actor as Creative Artist -interpreter and creative artist -Imagination and Emotional Connection -Duality of Acting: Being and Pretending - Appearance of Truth Personality of the Actor -Mimic -Good Observer -Vivid Imagination Actor Transformation -The actor becomes more than an ordinary person when he walks onstage. -Provides a heightened sense of life to the audience -Projects a sense of character life that reaches the audience -Invents a world onstage that is shared by the audience’s imagination Acting Styles -Internal approach- Konstantin Stanislavsky Psychological Approach to Character; Also called ―method‖ acting -The external approach- language, movement, structure using imagination and analysis Improvisation -Spontaneous invention that goes beyond the scripted material to explore aspects of character or situation -May be used in a warm up before rehearsals or performance. Auditioning: Most grueling aspect of acting-facing rejection and lots of competition. -Monologue, two contrasting monologues, cold reading, singing and dancing, callbacks -Special talents- playing a musical instrument, juggling, stilt walking. Etc. Casting -Callbacks- can be several of them -Cast list goes up- producer negotiates terms of contract, stage manager contacts actors, date is set for first read thru, costume measurements Preparing for the Role -the rehearsal process -usually 6 weeks long in Educational theatre -usually 4 weeks in Professional Theatre- longer for a musical -Starts w/ table work- read thru of the script -Character analysis, background and historical presentations by the dramaturge - Rehearsals not normally onstage- taped out floor plan in rehearsal space, w/ substitute props. Acting in Film and Television -generally not shot in sequence -shorter scenes Asian American Theatre 9/18/2013 10:19:00 AM ―And the Soul Shall Dance‖ is a play that takes place in Southern California in 1935, in and around two small farms in the Imperial Valley. - It provides a glimpse into the Asian-American culture. - It presents an interesting comparison between Asian and American cultural norms and expectations. -depression era/drama California Alien Land Law The characters in this story represent two distinct generations: -Issei (Japanese born Americans) First -Nisei (children of the Issei) second -the conflict between the Japanese and American way of life is portrayed through the longing of the Muratas to return to their homeland. This conflict is embodied in an even deeper sense through the actions of Emiko. - The reality is that they must remain in America due to economic considerations. Muratas -Murata: 40 year old Issei farmer; he is a good husband father, and friend; although down on luck, maintains dignity and positive outlook -Hana: Issei wife of Murata; loyal and even tempered; desires to return to japan but is realistic about financial situation. -Masako: 11 year old daughter of the Muratas; represents Americanized values, sometimes to the displeasure of her parents Okas -Oka: 45 year old Issei farmer; neighbor and friend to Muratas; arrival of his daughter deepen an already bitter marriage with his second wife -Emiko: 30 year old wife of Oka; sister of Oka’s first wife; sent to Oka as a punishment for her dishonorable behavior; lost in a fantasy world of her youth Kiyoko: 14 year old daughter of Oka; her arrival elicits deep resentment and jealousy from Emiko; Kiyoko represents traditional Japanese values. Themes in the play Prejudice - There was much prejudice against Japanese-Americans in America, even before the war. -The play also shows prejudice of a more domestic kind, the very chauvinistic attitude of the Japanese men during this particular time toward women, in this story Japanese women in the family environments. This is most clearly embodied in the character of Oka in relation to Emiko. Tradition/Generation- Familial Structure -The contrasting lives of both families (accepted normalcy with Hana by oppressing the past vs. release and struggle w/ Emiko her future) Sexuality and gender (traditions, male/female characters) The meaning of ―memory‖ -dramatic structure of scenes with Masako (only character in every scene/ sometimes watches) -rhythm/ pace- speech patterns – voice -song- use of music/language -spectacle (style)- idea of Pantomime the characters illustrate the use of body language as a means of non-verbal expression- character driven movement-gesture Realism through use of objects -Kimonos- sexuality- longing for traditions/home -Hairstyles- Kiyoko’s permanent wave is a physical shift to assimilation- serves as a reminder to Emiko of ―securing‖ their stay -Food- Hana uses the traditional tea service, food as tradition to gather and celebrate family- making tea -contrast w/ the Oka’s house-lack of food, lack of nurture -use of cigarettes (not only poisoning of Emiko- but a rebellion against her husband (Japanese social structure)) Before the Director 9/18/2013 10:19:00 AM Playwright staged the production - cast the actors -staged the scene Lead actor stage the production -usually to make himself look the best -took the lead role
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