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THEA 1206 Final: Theatre Final Outline (All Notes)

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Baylor University
Theater Arts
THEA 1206

Theatre Final Outline The Director • Ancient Greece – didaskalos (“teacher”), playwrights cast own plays • Medieval Period – misterium (“mystery plays”), dramatized Biblical stories, pageant master • Renaissance/Restoration – “actor managers”, codified social behavior, organizational capacity • Georg II: Duke of Saxe-Meiningen – lots of time & money, historical accuracy, realism, “Fourth Wall” • André Antoine – “Théâtre Libre”, naturalism, literally rehearsed with four walls • Konstantin Stanislavski – Moscow Art Theatre, system of realism, “living the part” • Late Modern Era – “auteur” ~ “author”, controller of all elements (director and author) o Richard Wagner – wrote and designed operas o Vsevolod Meyerhold – actors as “automatons” + acrobats o Edward Gordon Craig – übermarionettes, “puppets” The Director (4 Things) • (1) Crafts and maintains artistic vision through concept o Director’s Concept – central idea, image, or theme that unites every artistic choice • (2) Responsible for overall style, pace, and visual appearance • (3) Works with designers, composers, writers, choreographers, etc. beforehand and during the production process with the help of stage managers • (4) Works with actors to guide acting decisions and staging • ORGANIZATIONAL SKILLS + AESTHETIC SENSIBILITY Visual Storytelling • Composition – how bodies and objects are arranged in a performance space, also called “staging” o Provides focus; directors use tools such as levels & depth, lighting, and movement • Everything on stage serves to give the audience information: layout of space, set pieces, lighting choices, actor positioning (blocking), costumes Modern Theatre • Romanticism – idea of emoting, expressing emotion through exaggerated corresponding action • All of the different movements are marked by a search for TRUTH • Modernist Authors – Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein • Realism – everything onstage is created to represent observable, everyday life o Human behavior/motivation can be scientifically observed and studied o Box Set – 3 realistic walls with an imaginary fourth wall (real stuff on stage) “New” Playwrights • Henrik Ibsen (Norway) – tackled taboo social/moral issues, frequently censored • Anton Chekhov (Russia) – worked with Stanislavski, carefully detailed plots, no extras, tragicomedy • August Strindberg (Sweden) – wanted naturalism, fragmented/interrupted dialogue, later expressionism Reactions to Realism • Vsevolod Meyerhold – student of Stanislavski, auteur director, deliberate exaggeration/distortion of life, biomechanics, influenced by Taylorism and Constructivism • Bertolt Brecht – developed epic theatre, goal to entertain, educate and instruct, wanted to break hypnosis that realism put on audience, V effect (“making strange”) • Tennessee Williams – expressionistic style, poetic dialogue, psychological development of characters, strong dynamic female characters, southern settings (A Streetcar Named Desire) • Arthur Miller – lots of marriages (married Marilyn Monroe), HUAC investigated him (The Crucible) • August Wilson – African American, depicted black experience in America, influenced by famous black authors and the Black Arts Movement, ten-play cycle covering experience from 1900-2000 Contemporary Theatre • 1960s-Present – often breaks down distance between audience and performers, in search of REAL • Postmodernism – Performance Art, Metatheatre, Magical Realism, o Immersive Theatre – Audience is active participant o Performance Art – “concept based”, authentic connection between performer/spectator, can’t be repeated, captured, or purchased o Metatheatre – comments on itself and draws attention to its own production, done either through a ceremony, role-playing, references to reality, self-references to a drama, or a pl
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