Theatre 100 Exam #1.docx

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THEA 100
Rob Schneider

THEATRE 100 EXAM #1 Robert Edmund Jones  The Dramthic Imagination – book he wrote  Early 20 century  Traveled to Europe in a state of boredom  Revitalized American theatre  Theatre is a need to communicate more effectively WHAT IS THEATRE? Four Elements (that you need to make a theatrical event)  The Actor  The Audience  The Story  The Space Rebellion  Waiting for Lefty by Clifford Odets (1935)  Responsible for labor unions in this country  Middle of Great Depression Theatre is the one artistic art form that has changed history – constantly changing history throughout time Generations  Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller (1949) Love  A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Williams Shakespeare (1590) ORIGINS OF THEATRE Bharata Rami  Divine gift from Brahma  The Natya Sastra – Canon of Dance and Drama  The Ramayana and Mahabharata – Epic poems/stories Aristotle  The Poetics  Thespis and Dithyrambs  A contest the village people got together and chanted/sang – Dithyrambs  Just wanted to win a competition (singing) Robert Edmund Jones  Spontaneous Inspiration  Advantages of his Theory Joseph Campbell  Imitation  Fantasy  Ritual  Myth  Theatre THE TRAGIC IMPULSE Ogun’s Mysteries (Yoruba theatre) The Gomic Impulse Uzume’s Trance (Japanese theatre) THEATRE CONVENTIONS (“rules of the game”) Conventions in “Realism”  One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest  The willing suspension of disbelief  What do we agree to “believe?” Behind the Fourth Wall  Characters talk ONLY to each other Aside  One character talks to a character, then talks to the audience, then returns talking to the other character  Audience knows something the other characters do not Breaking the Fourth Wall  Characters are all aware that the audience is present and talks directly to them Masks  A guise, whether created of wood or make-up, that alters the actor’s face Soliloquy  When a character is alone onstage and speaks their inner-thoughts aloud. Outer directed monologue  When a character talks for a sustained amount of time to another character or characters. Song and Dance  When a character’s emotion becomes so heightened that they must sing Pantomime  The use of physical gesture, not sound, to convey an action STORYTELLERS AND STORIES Storytellers  Griots (male) and Griottes (female) (French Africa) – using voice and imagination  Sutradharas/Narrators (Sanskrit and Asia) – Inolia, through movement of puppets  Bards (Europe and the west) – famous: Shakespeare, usually they come with a guitar or a lute, musical instrument  Playwrites – uses pen/typewriter/written Stories  Medium (play, film, novel, etc)  Mode (traffic or comic)  Dramatic Action Dramatic Structure  Point of Attack (starting place)  Protagonist and Antagonist (conflict)  World of the Play (aka Given Circumstances) – what year, where, who is controlling society  Exposition (before) – facts about characters not opinions  Foreshadowing (upcoming events) Elements of (almost) all stories  Exposition  Inciting incident – action or event that makes this day different than any other  Rising and Falling action  Climax – final battle between protagonist and antagonist  Resolution – tying up all loose ends THE WORLD OF THE PLAY (Given circumstances) “Master Harold” …and the boys Harold Athol Lanigan Fugard  South Africa’s most prominent playwright  Caucasian  Anti-apartheid  An auto-biographical play – Master Harold – everything that happened in the play, happened in Fugard’s life  Takes place in Port Elizabeth, South Africa Apartheid and “Master Harold”  Land Reserve Act – all good lands goes to dutch, all bad land goes to natives  Population Registration Act – card that says ethnicity  Group Areas Act – section off ethnicities no mix of ethnicity  Pass Card Law  Suppression of Communism Act (1950) Steven Biko  Martyr  Get horrors of apartheid out to the rest of the world  Black is Beautiful  Beaten to death THE ACTOR What does an actor do? ACTion  Through the pursuit of action, character is revealed to the audience  TAKE RISKS  An actor’s tool is his/her body and voice – It is the actor’s job to take care of the instrument  Warming up – physically and vocally Konstantin Stanislavski  Russian director  Truth and objective  Created the Moscow Art Theatre  The Father of Modern acting  Wanted truth – have actors live truthfully under imaginary circumstances  Have actors look and seem real Sanford Meisner  Working off “the other”  Your action is to change the other person  Living truthfully under imaginary circumstances  “The other” is the scene partner Lee Strasberg  Project personal memories on the characters with emotional recall  Go experience what the character goes through  Very psychological Stella Adler  Script should be a suggestion  Bringing in personal objects will inform the story  Lots of research on the world of the play Character Analysis Given Circumstances  Facts, not opinions, about each major character. Includes gender, age, occupation, physical condition, relationships, etc. Super-Objective  What a character wants or needs that drives them through all or most of the play  Cap – when the objective is over Tactics/Actions  What is character is willing to do to achieve a goal  State as active verbs Motivation  Why? – opinion and not fact  Must be interpreted at times, as many characters don’t openly discuss their motivations Values  What a character believes to be true and not important  No character has “no values” Actor/Actress  Given Circumstances  Super objective  Tactic  Motivation  Values “MASTER HAROLD” …AND THE BOYS STRUCTURE “Well-made” structure  Chronological  Single plot  Usually “realistic”  Cause and effect (domino theory) Episodic Structure and M. Bufferfly  Dramatic Action always takes place in the present tense  Organizing principle (not “cause and effect”) – Juxtaposition (taking scenes out of order and putting them next to each other)  Why? Structure  The present = a prison cell in Paris  The story – 1960 to present  The suspense is knowing how it happened rather than what happened  Knowing the outcome, suspense is in how rather than what History of Madame Butterfly  Written by Puccini in 1904  Most performed opera in America  Pinkerton and Cio-Cio-San (US vs. Japan)  Cio-Cio-San is abandoned and commits suicide The True Story  Bernard Bouriscot  Shi Pei Pu  20 years, 1 child  Passed documents to see family  Universality – themes/ideas that resonate in the audience no matter where you are  When I believed it, it was a beautiful story  Happiness is so rare that our minds can turn summer salts to protect it GREEK TRAGEDY – Aristotle and friends… Ancient Greece  Male dominated – women should be seen and never heard  Warrior based  Theatre and religious ceremonies are linked  Time is how we view it  Emphasis on public  Going to the theatre was a religious experience  If you have a fight, go out in front of everybody and fight – entertainment, education, learning from other people’s arguments Aristotle  4 Century BCE  Dithyrambs  First big theatrical scholar  Thespis  Tragedy is a good man who commits a grave error  Wrote The Poetics – details what a good tragedy looks like and what a good comedy looks like The Poetics  2 books one lost,  1 Dramatic Theory  Plot, Character, Thought, Diction, Melody, Spectacle – essential to telling a Greek tragedy  Poetry is a medium of imitation The Stories  All use Gods or the idea of “fate”  A hero is utilized  Most stories use a definite “point of attack”  Men and Gods co-exist  Greek tragedy usually started before, in the middle of, or right after war Structure/Conventions of a Greek Tragedy  Prologue – information you need to get the story going – sum  Parados – Opening song that actors sang. Telling what story will be about in song  Episode – scene where people talk to each other  Ode – separate episodes  Paean – last song of the show in which the philosophy of the show is being summarized  Exodos – song actors sing on the way out of the space  Every actor wore a Mask – only men  Three actors  Space  Dedication to Dionysus – god of theatre and wine Aeschylus  Uses 2 Actors  Chorus is down to 12  Creates the trilogy  Writes The Oresteia Sophocles  3 actors  Chorus is now 15  Creates model for Aristotle’s definitions of Tragedy  Write Antigone and Oedipus cycle Euripides  Many characters and roles  Specific Social Questions  Pro Women  Psychologically complex characters  Writes Medea  One of the first pro women playwrights 3 Tragedians  Aeschlylus  Sophocles  Euripides  ASE’s WHAT IS STORI’S FAVORITE COLOR – PURPLE THE DIRECTOR Functions as director  Vision – have to have a vision of the story  Editor – director is the final word if it works  Traffic cop – makes sure people are moving where they’re supposed to George II The Duke of Saxe-Meiningen  The first director  Insisted on play-specific costumes, scenery, and props (realistic detail)  Abolished the star system  Insisted a production should be rehearsed as long as needed  Unified production concept (research and analysis)  One play was rehearsed for 4 and a half years Jerzy Grotowski  Conceptual director transformed the work  Poland  Add songs, spice things up Traditional director – says the story as told Conceptual director – spice things up, changing the script that is given to you Communicate  Designers  Actors  Choreographer  Musical Director  Audience  Playwright  Producers  Director is the central hub of communication  Casting – 75-80% of the directors job Asian Theatre Early Brilliance Sanskrit  Bharata and the Natya Sanstra (200 BCE)  Gift from Gods  Highly codified  Demanded: heightened language, music, and dance, symbolic costumes and must reflect the order of life  No concept of tragedy  Sanskrit came up with the concept of colors match emotions The Ramayana  Ram’s Journey  Divided into seven books ending with Ram’ final departure from the world  Follows one’s righteous path in life (dharma)  A highly religious experience The Mahabharata  The Great Tale of the Bharata Dynasty  The longest epic poem in the world (1.8 million words)  Textually changed to match regional performance  Discussion of the four Hindu points (dharma – just action, artha – purpose, kama – pleasure, moksha – liberation)  Creates the story within a story structure  Struggle for a dynasty  Show changes based on audience NOH  Japan, 1200s, only men perform  Celebrates wars and warriors  Epic performance times  Audiences are restrained and sit in a L shape formation  Heavy use of masks and color coding  Onnagata – a make actor that specializes in portraying female roles Kabuki  Invented by women, 1600s  The Japanese Theatre  Celebrates the common man  Was deemed too dangerous for women to perform, thus, men took over the performances styles  Most striking design, the nanamachi – theatrical space in a U shape  Emphasis on comedy  Magic and music are essential parts African Theatre Early Brilliance Origins  Egypt – Abydos passion (a celebration of the Sun gods) play – earliest known written description of performance: 2000 BCE  Osiris – Isis  Homecoming parade was stolen from African Theatre Characteristics  No time distinctions. Past, present, future – the same. Time as a lake – always gonna be present  No reality distinctions. Conscious, unconscious, spiritual co-exist. All experience has the same importance  No absolutes of good and evil Methodology (conventions)  Griots  Most important aspect of storytelling  Keepers of communal memory/history  Keepers of communal wisdom  Sing and tell the truth (not nec
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