theatre exam #2.docx

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THEA 100
Rob Schneider

THEATRE EXAM #2 Study Guide 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 necessarily fact)  Responsible for maintaining the history of the community because they are not being written down  In African culture saying you want to be a griot is like saying you want to be a doctor/policeman/lawyer More conventions  Use of Music and Drums  Dance as a narrative  Call and response  No use of the fourth wall  “Education through entertainment”  Group affirmation  Collective Ownership  Drums are the most universal instrument known to man  Personification – giving inanimate objects human qualities Classical Comedy Comedy – to make you laugh Comedy  Comedy not equal to funny (necessarily)  Tragedy not equal to sad (necessarily) Aristotle: The Tragic Impulse  Tragedy: presents men as higher than they are  Comedy: portrays men as lower or worse than they are Old comedy – Greek, Ancient Greece  Plots not derived from myth and legend  Contemporary life  Slapstick action – physical element to it laughing at people getting hurt  Old comedy focuses on government and social institutions – makes fun of government and social  Scatological and sexual jokes – bathroom humor  Political satire  Language Aristophanes – 5 century BCE  Wrote great political humor  Hated everyone  Also attacked tragic writers of the time  11 of 40 plays survive intact, many fragments satire  Ridicules its subjects  Parody – making fun of artistic objects/subjects  Ironic humor  Often a means for provoking or preventing change  Exaggerates real-life situation to examine its faults Lysistrata (411 BCE)  Peloponnesian War – 430-404 BCE  413 disastrous defeat  404 – complete defeat  Aristophanes – 16 when started, 42 attend  Women withhold sex to win the war New Comedy – Rome  Late 4 century BCE  Fragments by Meander  Domestic  Romantic (kind of)  Influenced Rome (3 century BCE) Farce  Farce  Improbable  Define farce – illogical reaction to a logical problem  Exaggerated characters  Slapstick elements  Grotesque and unnatural  Often physical humor  Never verbal only physical Boulevard Comedy  1920-mid 1950  Blended new comedy and farce together Romantic Comedy  Quest of a pair of lowers to get together  Happy endings  Antagonist usually participates in final festival Commedia dell Arta An end to theatre…  New comedy  Christian Empire  Banned theatre – 1 thing they did. You’re executed for it  Hrosvitha (sister) – was a nun in Germany in 1200s – plays glorified god, becomes the first female playwright The Return of the Players  14 and 15 century??  Traveling troupes of families  First time we see women on plays, first time they can preform  Some women would be kidnapped, some were killed by missionaries, some raped Commedia dell Arte troups  Blended farce, satire, and romance  Topical theatre was important to commedia  Thinly scripted, mostly improvised  Masks – meant to exaggerate stereotypes  Women Commedia: structure  Scenario (scripted blue print)  Topical improvisation  Lazzi  Comic bits  Nothing to do with the story  Do in every commedia even if it has nothing to do about the story Pantalone  Miser  Financially driven  Sexually driven  Crooked nose  Money pouch Capitano  Warrior  Not brave  All talk no action Commedia characters  Innamorati  The lovers  “Lelio” and “Isabella”  Very dumb Zanni  “Arlecchino” – servant, slave to Lelio, smart  “Colombina” – driven by sex William Shakespeare Morality plays  Sister Hrotsvitha – Germany of the 900s  Pageant plays – like a homecoming  Celebrated God and the Bible Queen Elizabeth I  Daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn  Reign was a time of peace and prosperity  “The Virgin Queen”  Loved sports, music, and theatre  She likes comedy Shakespeare’s Early Life  Born in Stratford – upon-Avon, England-April, 1564  Father, john, a tradesman  Mother, Mary Arden, daughter of gentry  Schooled in Latin and Greek grammar and literature  Did he write his own plays?  Shakespeare was able to capture beautifully the low and high economic classes, didn’t believe he wrote his own plays  Mother is of higher class than father  90% of his plays are based on other sourced material, other plays, poems, books, etc. Shakespeare’s carrier  At 18, married Anne Hathaway, who was 26 (1582)  3 Children  1588: London  1594: Lord Chamberlain’s Men – company with 20 people, take turns  1600s = plague and theatres close  Hamnet – his son’s name  For 13 years, Shakespeare disappears Shakespeare’s Genres  The Globe Theatre  Comedies, tragedies, histories, romances  Plays often based on other works  Episodic in nature (includes subplots galore)  Shakespeare’s works published and read  Groundlings – couldn’t afford to see the play but were a
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