Intro to Theatre Final

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Verisimilitude

Likeliness; the appearance of an actual reality (as in a stage setting)

Well-Made Play

19th C--a superbly plotted play, particularly by such gifted French playwrights as Eugene Scribe

Today--a play that has a workable plot but shallow characterization and trivial ideas

Andre Antoine and the Theatre Libre

Realist Director and Realist Theater 1887

Objectives of Realism

1. Art must truthfully depict the real world
2. Truth can only be obtained by direct observation
3. Only contemporary life can be observed
4. Observer must obtain objective distance
5. Art must illuminate social issues
6. Behavior is shaped by nature and nurture

Romanticism and Melodrama

Romanticism--movement away from neoclassic formalism toward out-sized passions, exotic and grotesque stories, and all-encompassing worldviews.
Survives today in grand opera and 19th C based musicals

Melodrama--Suspenseful, plot-oriented drama featuring all-good heroes, all-bad villains, simplistic dialogue, soaring moral conclusions, and bravura acting

Box Set

A stage set consisting of hard scenic pieces representing the walls and sometimes the ceiling of a room, with on wall left out for the audience to peer into. This set design was developed in the 19th C and remains in use in realistic plays

Symbolism

The first major antirealistic movement in the arts and in the theatre. Symbolism, which emphasizes the symbolic nature of theatrical presentation and the abstract possibilities of drama, flourished as a significant movement from the late 19th C to the early 20th

Expressionism

An artistic style that greatly exaggerates perceived reality in order to express inner truths directly. Popular mainly in Germany between the world wars, expressionism in the theatre is notable for its gutsy dialogue, piercing sounds, bright lighting and coloring, bold scenery, and shocking, vivid imagery

Surrealism

An art movement of the early 20th C, in which the artist sought to go beyond realism into superrealism

Epic Theatre

As popularized by Brecht, a style of theatre in which the play presents a series of semiisolated episodes intermixed with songs and other forms of direct address, all leading to a general moral conclusion or set of integrated moral questions

Theatre of the Absurd

A theatrical style that has been applied to the post-WWII plays of Beckett, Ionesco, Genet, and others.

Plays with unrealistic and illogical plots, repetitous and disconnected language, and unclear themes, reflecting a world in which humans "absurdly" seek meaning but never find it

"New Stagecraft"

Stagecraft of simplification

Resulted from Appia and Craig's objection to to a three-dimensional actor standing on a flat floor surrounded by acres of "realistically" painted canvas

Production Team

Director
Stage Manager
Set, Costume, Lighting, etc. Designers
Any assisstants

The 4 "R"s

1. Read, Read, Read (the script)
2. Research (the playwright, the script, the time period)
3. Render
4. Redo

Appia and Craig

Created the "New Stagecraft"

Stylist designers

Revolted against the scenic practices of the traditional European acting company

"Funnel" Theory of Collaboration

The script and all the surrounding ideas go into the funnel

The "neck" of the funnel is the director's concept for the of the play

The final product is what comes out of the funnel

Lighting Design Options and Tools

Things to consider:
1. Intensity
2. Color
3. Distribution
4. Movement

Use filters (gels) to control color

Use Fresnel and Ellipsoidal lights

Use globo (a patterned plate place in front of a lamp to cast a certain pattern)

Scene Design Options and Tools

Representational or Abstract (stylized)
Painted scenery (2-D)
Architectural (3-D)
Painted-Architectural (combination)
Fragmented/Suggestive
Draped
Projected

Materials:
1. Flats (used for walls)
2. Wagons
3. Scrim
4. Platforms
5. Cyclorama

Costume Design Options and Tools

Tailored--made-to-fit

Draped--Classical Greek/Roman

Neutral--costume that doesn't make a specific statement

Fantastical--fantasy based

Straight vs. Character Make-up

Straight--merely correcting for the lights

Character--used to alter the appearance to suit the character of the actor

Reviewer vs. Critic

Reviewer--watches the play for pure entertainment

Critic--looks for entertainment, social significance, human significance, and artistic quality

Responsibilities of the Dramaturg

a specialist in play construction and the body of dramatic literature, frequently engaged by professional and academic theatres to assist in choosing and analyzing plays, to develop production concepts, to research topics pertinent to historic period or play production style and to write program essays

Cohen's Critical Perspectives

...

Didaskalos

...

Playwright-Manager

...

Actor-Manager

...

Director-Manager

...

Directorial Concept

...

Interpretive vs. Generative

Interpretive--Playwright's work is faithfully translated to the stage

Generative--Director freely makes changes to the script

Paradox of Acting

The actor must be both the character they are playing and still be the actor

Dual Consciousness

Outside-In vs. Inside-Out

Outside-In--the actor changes his appearance, and the personality follows

Inside-Out--the actor gets in the mindset of the character, and the outward appearance follows

Character Autobiography

...

Affective Memory

Emotional recall

Goes along with the sensory memory

Stanislavsky

founded the Moscow Art Theatre (MAT) in 1898

Actor's Instrument

...

Group Theatre

created in 1931 to revolutionize not only American theatre but American acting

Method Acting

...

Given Circumstances

1. Who am I?
2. Where am I?
3. What am I doing?
4. When does the action take place?

Super-Objective

The character's overall goal of the entire play

What they hope to accomplish by the end of the play

Tatics

The way in which the character goes about achieving their super-objective

"Beats"

Induction vs Threat

Postmodern Trends

Fragmented "super jumpy"

Non-linear "random"

Anti-realist movement

Evolution of Modern Musical

1. Musical Revue--1866--The Black Crook
2. Musical Comedy--Showboat
3. Musical Drama--Oklahoma!--Drama ballet
4. Contemporary Musical--Wicked

Broadway and Off-Broadway

Broadway--the major commercial theatre district in New York

Off-Broadway--the New York professional theatre located outside the Broadway district

Regional Theatre Movement

...

Stock vs. Repertory

Stock--a character recognizable mainly for his conformity to a standard dramatic stereotype

Repertory--the plays a theatre company produces. a company's current repertory consists of those plays available for production at any time

East vs. West

East:

Music--chanted or sung NOT spoken

Presentational--masks--present archetype characters

Classical traditions are more important

Based on myths or legends many people were familiar with

Production trumps text

Acting value

Chinese Opera

6-7 musicians (instruments include string, percussion, and singers)

Simple backdrops, elaborate costumes, facial painting

began in 12th C, flourished under ming and qing dynasties, pecking opera (national opera in China)

over 300 types, well known stories with twist endings, four main types of roles, actors are trained for one specific role

simple sets, costumes dictated by tradition, based on tradition of Chinese mythology, love is popular theme

Kabuki

originally women dancing in the river bed (prostitutes), censorship, onnagata (males actors playing female roles), Genroku period

Jiada-Mono (historical), Sewa-Mono (domestic), Shosagoto (dance pieces), mie

the art of song and dance, orchestra on stage, actors don't sing

facial paint

Noh

started out for lower class, inspired by nature, 600 yrs old, the art of walking, passed from father to son

only men can perform, masks, only rehearse once together

performers don't enact scenes, use appearance and movements to suggest story, not much dialogue, three plays (okina, kyogen, kiri/kichiku), kata

Vocal chorus--no harmonies--no set pitch or scale, Instrumental chorus--flute/small hand drum/large hand drum/large drum

set--4 cyprus pillars and large roof, trees painted on the back wall, narrow bridge for entering/exiting, Noh Shozoku (robes), osode and kosode, masks (5 types--gods, demons, men, women, elderly)

influenced by Shinto, Buddhism, Shamanism, Samurai patrons, funeral rites, divine possession, and Chinese and Japanese poetry

Bunraku

puppet theatre

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