Introduction to Theatre - Chapter 002

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Theatre and Performance Studies

THE PLAY 11 September 2013 The Script The script is the basis for all future productions of the play. Drama is not theatre, yet it would be almost impossible to create theatre without drama. About Four Scripts Macbeth  Ancient Scotland  King Duncan, ruler selected by powerful thanes  Thanes are powerful Scottish noblemen  Macbeth = Thane of Glamis  Banquo is friend of Macbeth who helped win a battle in favor of king  Three witches meet the two, greet them and predict Macbeth will be promoted to the Thane of Cawdor and then become king and to Banquo that his offspring will become future kings  Macbeth becomes Thane of Cawdor  Duncan announces his son Malcolm will become the next king  Lady Macbeth sways Macbeth to murder Duncan in their castle  Malcom is suspicious and flees to Scotland  Macbeth orders a murder on Banquo and his son Fleance  Fleance escapes  Unhappy with the way Macbeth is ruling Scotland, Thanes from Macduff decide to oust the king  Macbeth sends murderers to kill Macduff’s wife and children  Lady Macbeth is ridden with guilt and dies  Macduff takes revenge and kills the king in battle  Malcolm takes the throne, bringing peace Our Town  Narration of a typical day in the town of Grover’s Corners in New Hampshire  Webb and Gibbs families  George Gibbs and Emily Webb are friends and neighbors, reveal excitement and awkwardness of growing up  Wedding of George and Emily  Town cemetery with the burial of Emily who died at childbirth  Joins and greets the dead characters  Asked to return to life to relive one day in her past  Realizes people never appreciate life until its gone  George weeps at her grave A Raisin in the Sun  Chicago in the 1950s  Youngers, African American family  Lena Younger = widow  Walter = Lena’s grown son  Ruth = Walter’s wife  Travis = Walter and Ruth’s son  Beneatha = Lena’s daughter  $10,000 from Mr. Younger’s insurance  Walter wanted to start a liquor store  Mother wanted to fund Beneatha’s college and move to a decent house out of ghetto  Walter is scammed $6500 when partner runs off  White people want to kick them out, they refuse and move in Rent  Video artist Mark and songwriter Roger  Maureen convinces Mark to help with sound system for show on Christmas Eve  Roger meets Mimi and fall in love  Tom is an ex-college professor and is mugged, meets Angel and fall in love  Bennyisanup-and-comingrealestateentrepreneurandplanstokickouthomelesspeoplesettled in his vacant lot  Mark catches a protest on video  Roger and Mimi separate  Angel dies of AIDS  Mimi returns half dead, reunited with Roger  Angel tells Mimi to return and live The Elements of Drama Plot includes how the story is told, what happens physically but also emotionally to the characters, and how the playwright unfolds the tale (IE: Story = Macbeth kills a king. Plot = Macbeth’s guilt turns to neurosisashesuspectsthosearoundhim).Aristotlestressesimportanceonplotandhowitshouldbethe focus.  Macbeth’s plot comes with physical action, having many twists and revelations  Our Town’s plot is more subtle and less physical, in which three days in the life of the town are examined  A Raisin in the Sun’s major plot point is a character making a vital decision  Rent’s plot hinges on coincidence and power of failure, bringing the lovers Roger and Mimi together Characters in a play are more than human figures, from the beginning of the play audience expects the characters to hold one’s interest, to capture not only our attention but our emotions. Most drama relies on fully developed characters with some depth to their portrayal. Modern plays seem to be about characters first and plot second, defying Aristotle’s order of importance. Best plays encompass empathy which involves an emotional commitment on the theatregoer’s part.  Macbeth’s character is larger than life and ambitious  OurTown’scharactersoftownspeopleinGrover’sCornersseem “normal”butenthrallusbytheir sincere human qualities  A Raisin in the Sun’s character Lena Younger fascinates us because of their quiet resolve and steady determination  Rent’s character of Angel is extroverted Theme is the primary idea behind a play, do not confuse it with a moral or lesson. It dives the plot and characters because it is an idea that is rich with complexity or dilemma.  Macbeth’s theme is notamoral taleabout what happens to overambitious people, it is about the self-destructive power of ambition and how it can affect nations as well as people  Our Town’s avoids overt villains and moralistic endings, Emily realizes the beauty of everyday life  A Raisin in the Sun’sYounger familymay be angered at the discrimination they face,yet it ismore than angry diatribe against racism  Rent lament the impact that AIDS and poverty have on s
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