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Lecture 1

THAR 201 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Telling Stories, Oedipus Complex, Sphynx Cat

Theatre Arts
Course Code
THAR 201
Evleen Nasir

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Performance and Ourselves
1 What does it mean to perform?
Performing for entertainment
You perform in everyday life
1.1 Do you TAMU students perform?
1.2 When do you perform?
Do you have to be aware you are being watched to perform?
o NO
o Everyday actions are performances
Our society has told us men are allowed to take up more space than women, women are told
to be little
o Women! Take up more space!
1.3 What are the stakes of your performance?
Performance is not just entertainment
2 Why do humans perform?
Societal standards
Performing is what creates and makes our humanity
Through performance we exchange emotion and feeling
Feeling, sharing feelings, and being able to express those feelings makes you human.
2.1 How does watching or participating in a performance make us
Several different emotions: weird, romantic, awkward, excited, scared, etc.
Origins of Theater
3 Ancient Greece
Dithrambs- he goat songs
o Telling stories singing songs
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o They did this to honor Dionysus- the god of wine, fertility, and theater
Thespis- 6th century BC
o Stepped out of line of the singing story tellers, and started to act as a character
o Actors are called thespians
Theatre Competitions
o People came to the city of Dionysia in the 5th century BC
Only three remaining playwrights we have today: extent tragedies
o Aeschylus: 525-455 BCE
Created two characters and a chorus, created conflict
o Sophocles: 495-406 BCE
o Euripides 480-406 BCE
3.1 Types of Drama
o Tragic
o Bad/sad things happen
o Meant to teach a lesson
o Meant to be funny
o Often makes fun of the current political situation
o Wore cod pieces that looked like erect penises
o They were burlesque, raunchy shows
o Sex/porn
3.2 Theatre and Democracy
508 BC- World’s first democracy
o Greek’s created first democracy
Athenian Citizenship
o Required for voting rights
o Male
o 18 years of age
o Had to prove you were not a slave
o When Athens was at its highest population, only 7.9% were considered citizens
o Had to serve two years in the army
o Citizens attended these regular meetings talking about stuff
The Council of 500
o Chosen within the assembly by luck randomly
o The council of 500 was kind of like Congress
o Issued decrees, took them to the assembly, debate would ensue
The Chorus
o Greek chorus in Greek drama served as a teaching tool
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