THE-2000 Study Guide - Final Guide: Asian American Theater Company, Asian-American Theatre, Teatro Campesino

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25 Aug 2016
School
Department
Course
THE2000 Final
Major Ideas & Questions
Identity: Individual & Societal: How have you been conflicting identities at work this semester?
How has theatre responded to, complicated, or revealed new dimensions to these conflicts?
Theatre’s function: how does theatre influence, reflect, or respond to society? What role does it
play?
Why this play now? How is this show/company/idea relevant in this historical moment?
Resistance and critical thinking: how does theatre comment upon, support, or fight against the
“Establishment”? How does theatre encourage people to consider perspectives other than their
own?
Plays:
Angels in American (Tony Kushner) & Spotlight on Angels in America
oCharacters:
Louis Ironson: a “word processor” who works at the federal appeals court in
Brooklyn. Louis embodies all the streotypes of the neurotic Jew: anxious,
ambivalent, and perpetually guilty. Yet that guilt does not prevent him from leaving
his lover Prior when he contracts AIDS. Louis’s moral journey, from callous
abandonment to genuine repentance and sorrow, is one of the key maturations in
the play; his awakening of the responsibility parallels the awakening that the play
seeks to awaken in its audiences. Ouis’s idealistic faith in American democracy,
while often naïve or self-absorbed, is similar to the faith Kushner himself manifests,
so much so that some critics call Louis as a stand-in for the playwright
Prior Walter: The boyfriend that Louis abandons after prior reveals that he has
AIDS.
Joe Pitt: A Mormon, Rebublican lawyer at the appeals court, Joe grapples with his
latent homosexuality, leaving his wife Harper for Louis and being left in turn by
Louis. Louis is at first drawn to Joe’s ideology but ultimately turns on him because
he is a conservative and an intimate of the hated Roy Cohn.
Harper Pitt: Joe’s wife, a Valium-addicted agoraphobe trapped in a failing marriage
who hallucinated and invents imaginary characters to escape her troubles. The
perpetually fearful Harper obsesses about knife-wielding men and the ozone layer
as a subconscious stand-in for her own difficulties. But through an inexplicable
dream encounter with Prior, she learns that her husband is gay and begins to take
control of her own destiny.
Roy Cohn: a famous new york lawyer and powerbroker, Roy Cohn was a real-life
figure whom Kushner who adapted for his play. Most vicious and disturbing
character, a closeted homosexual who disavows other gays and cares only about
amassing clout. His lack of ethics led him to illegally intervene in the espionage trial
of Ethel Rosenberg, which resulted in her execution.
Belize: a black ex-drag queen and registered nurse, Belize is Prior’s best friend and
(quite againt Belize’s will) Roy’s caretaker.
Hannah Pitt: Joes mother, who moves from Salt Lake City to NY after Joe confesses
he is gay in a late-night phone call
Mr.Lies: a travel agent who resembles a jazz musician, Mr. Lies is one of Harper’s
imaginary creations.
Henry: Roy’s doctor, whom roy threatens with destruction lest he refer to him as a
homosexual. Eventually agrees to set down his official condition as liver cancer.
M. Butterfly (David Henry Hwang) & Spotlight on M. Butterfly
Los Vendidos (Luis Valdez & El Teatro Campesino)
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Readings/Viewings
Major Lecture Topics:
Asian and Asian American Theatre (Including Indian, Chinese, and Japanese Theatre)
US Theatre
Contemporary Theatre, Performance Art, Devised Theatre & more!
Latin America and Latin@ Theatre (including the specific case studies used in that lecture:
Gambaro, Boal, Yuyachkani, El Teatro Campesino, and Moraga, their histories, and the specific
examples)
Musicals, Broadway, & Beyond (Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off Broadway, Regional Theatre,
etc)
Theatre in Practice: think about the responsibilities or function, process, and ultimate goals of each
position. Be sure to review any historical information and key people as well!
Design Stage (stage shapes [proscenium, thrust, arena, black box]; types of designers; functional
design; different designers)
Stage Combat (including the different weapons)
Acting (Outside-in/Presentational; Inside-Out/Representational; acting vocabulary)
Backstage Tour of the Fallon Theatre (review video for important terms, theatre spaces/locations,
creative roles)
Diagrams:
Terms:
Actos
oSmall skits like los vendidos
oIlluminate social issue, satirize opposition, hint at solutions
Aesthetic Distance
oInformation for foreigners disrupts aesthetic distance
AgitProp
Alienation Effect
Inspired by Mei Lanfang
Astor Place Riot
oIssues about identity, nationalism, patriotism, citizenship
oEmbodiment of class division
Class isn’t supposed to exist in this country but it does
oBetween Edwin Forrest and William Charles Macready
oFirst time American militia fired on American citizens outside of war
oChoosing theatre to defend it, shows how important theatre is to the citizens
oDemonstrating and reinforcing how clear the class divisions in America have become
oSolidified class divisions
The Black Crook
oFirst musical ever
oAccidental musical
oJoined forces with melodrama
oHires Persian ballet dancers to make a spectacle
o5 ½ hours long
Blocking
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Book/Integrated Musical
oGolden age of American musical
oEx: Oklahoma!
oEmphasis plot and character
oEvery song forwards plot and character development
oMost of them are also optimistic and end happily
Bunraku
oPuppet theatre
oElaborate puppets
Show emotion better than huans
Actors and training
3 puppeteers per puppet
o1. First 10 year training (legs)
o2. Second 20 year training (left hand)
o3. Master 20 year training (head and right hand)
Only one seen by audience
Intricate puppets
3 feet together
Stage: grooves and ledges for everyone to fit on stage
Burlesque
o19th century
oStaple of entertainment
oZiegfeld follies
Spectacle driven
Elaborate productions
Focused in on female form and body
Incredibly expensive and successful
oWorking class entertainment
oStarted as parody
oAlways had some bare skin element
oLydia Thompson and the british blondes
Pioneer of burlesque movement
$370,000
Women would be in flesh colored tights and the clothing made the audience see the female
form
Concept/Fragmented Musical
oFocuses on theme or idea
oEx: Hair
oCharacters and plot developed as needed
oNon-linear
oDark musical, complex themes, dark endings
oOne sentence summary and if you go into more detail it gets confusing
The Cradle Will Rock
oThe federal theatre project
oFocused on unions and problems in steel industry
oTens and hundreds of thousands of steel industry workers
oSteel town US ran by Mister Mister
Owns everything
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