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Chapter 1

MPAET-UE 60 Chapter 1: The Nature of Theatre


Department
Educational Theatre
Course Code
MPAET-UE 60
Professor
Joe Salvatore
Chapter
1

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Theatre should entertain, but not everyone finds the same things entertaining. Theatre is
an art, and art is not always comforting.
Even if you restrict the definition of theatre to just performances that involve storytelling,
you're still left with improvised scenes, pantomimes, vaudeville sketches, musical
plays—a variety of different types of performances.
Differing opinions about theatre's role in society - just entertainment or can provoke
thought or action about significant issues.
Audience affects theatre most clearly through the immediate feedback it provides the
performers: unintentional responses
It lets the director know if what they are trying to convey is clear enough
Intended laughter can lift the actors to greater effectiveness
Audience reaction is a major cause of variations in performances night to night
Special Qualities of Theater
Lifelikeness
Uses live humans beings to convey the human experience
Ephemerality
Each episode is experienced and then immediately becomes part of the past.
Objectivity
One comes to know characters both externally and internally through listening
and watching
Complexity of means
Draws on all of the other arts: literature, painting, architecture, sculpture, speech,
and music
Immediacy
Simultaneous presence of live actors and spectators in the same room
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