Chapter 12 - pages 374-386.docx

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Theatre and dance
T D 301
Amy Guenther

Chapter 12 Reading pg. 374-386 Fundamental Elements of Structure • At the center of the drama are its characters and the stories they tell through their actions. Elaborations are added through plot, language, music, and spectacle. • Similar to the one’s Aristotle drew up – concentrated on tragedy (The Poetics) o Plot comes before character in his sequence of dramatic elements o To the five originals, he added theme (ideas) – “thought” • First 5 elements = completely interrelated • “thought” is the hardest to separate from them o Form (the arrangement of character, plot, language, music, and spectacle) is what creates meaning • Character o = The people in a play. The theatre is distinguished from other forms of storytelling because of the presence of characters onstage who are engaged in action. o Usually have remarkable qualities that draw the viewer to them (ordinary characters in extraordinary situations / extraordinary characters in ordinary situations) o They capture our attention/imagination and “take us with them” o What makes them compelling = will/determination -> Have overwhelming desires that propel them into action  Actors prepare for a role by looking at what their characters want/what their motivations are o Defined by their actions, motives, histories, lexicons, reactions/responses to other characters • Plot o = The sequence of actions that determines what happens in a play; the events that make up a play’s story o Closely related to character action; plot = spine of the play, made up of essential actions/incidents  Example components: Significant events, the sequence and pace of character entrances, confrontations between characters, changes in the situation, outcome of actions o Can be simple or complex o It is through what happens in the drama that playwrights shape their ideas and their worldviews  In realistic plays, causality is extremely important to plot structure (time/logic) – whereas other plays have more freedom to jump around • Language o = the dialogue of a play written from the multiple points of view of the characters. Dramatic language may be realistic or poetic o Although it’s not present in all forms of drama and many theatre practitioners have modified the centrality of words in the theatre, language is one of the greatest sources of vitality in theatre. o Defines characters by giving them authenticity/credibility o Some speak with camp (a linguistic form of parody), others with sarcasm, homely charm, anything to emphasize the way character behave/are or even how audience perceives time/place, character history  Everyone with own speech patterns, often very poetic, even if very subtly  Often very rhythmic (repetition) • Music o Aristotle ->musical accompaniments for the choruses and the chorus members themselves (chanted during tragedies) o Almost all form of theatre use music  Ex: Opera, Musicals, Chinese theatre with musicians on the stage o Used to create an atmospheric background, contributes to the story by created the desired feeling (queer situation, alienation, nostalgia, etc.) o Significant to the rhythm of a play o Songs play significant roles in the characters’ lives ( often, relationships or the characters themselves have a kind of theme song ) • Spe
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