What three elements do you need to make theatre?
actors, audience, space
What makes theater unique?
Illusion-experiencing for first time
Aliveness-living art form
Doubleness- humanness of characters and imaginary life; the stage in the theatre and as a fictional world
What is the objective of primitive ritual?
Primitive ritual was concerned with protection of the tribe
What is the object of ancient theater?
ancient theaters objective was to please and entertain
How did theater develop from Greek ritual?
NEED TO KNOW
action of the play
what happened before the play begun
used to build tension
the audience wonders what is going to happen, sees the characters set in motion—questions are answered one by one
when the action reaches its greatest tension—revelation is experienced by main character
stage directions and how the characters move—perhaps even the significance of their movements
message of the play
the drama reaches a conclusion and the characters understand the situation and they themselves better than they did at the beginning
between characters—plot depends on conflict
who is hero/villain? Who is just there as "functionary"?
the time and place in which the play takes place
verbal exchanges between characters
How is it integral to the plot?
purging of emotions, pity and fear
moment when character makes a critical discovery
the hero gets what he wants but what he wants turns out to be destructive
What were the four major festivals in ancient Greece?
1. "rural"/"small" Dionysia
2. Lenea in January
3. Anthesteria in February
4. City Dionysia in March
--- Lasted 5-7 days
---A wreath of ivy (to represent wine and the process of making it) and the goat (satyrs)
---Each submitted 3 tragedies and 1 satyr
What are the components of the Greek theater space? Be able to identify them.
1. Orchestra (circle in middle where chorus sings and dances)
2. Theatron (The seeing place (audience)/koilon)
3. Skene (scene house, serves as a backdrop for action)
4. Proskenion (raised stage where actors performed)
5. Ekkyklema (rolling platform; used to show interior scenes, i.e. houses)
6. mekane (machines used in creating elaborate effects on stage; deus ex machina (god from the machine) - sudden dramatic resolution)
7. parados- the entrance place for chorus (entrance from the right=city, entrance from the left=coming from the field/countryside
circle in middle where chorus sings and dances
The seeing place (audience)
scene house, serves as a backdrop for action
raised stage where actors performed
rolling platform; used to show interior scenes, i.e. houses
machines used in creating elaborate effects on stage; deus ex machina (god from the machine) - sudden dramatic resolution
the entrance place for chorus (entrance from the right=city, entrance from the left=coming from the field/countryside
---serious drama, protagonist of noble birth suffers from a series of catastrophes, humans at the mercy of:
---Moira-fate, stages of development in the tragic figure: purpose, passion, perception
Old Comedy (Golden Age of Greece)
--- farce, pokes fun at people with social and political power
---coarse, raunchy humor
---fantastical and improbable situations
---not restricted to one place
New Comedy (Hellenistic Period of Greece)
---refined commentary on the condition of society, shortcomings of middle class
---more reserved comedy
---doesn't poke fun of elite as much
---known for stock plots
---comedies of manner and intrigue
---concerned with the family
According to Aristotle what are the three classical unities?
Time, place, and action
Who are the famous Greek playwrights? What were they noted for? What plays did they write?
---1st actor to step from chorus
---first winner of Great Dionysus (534 BCE)
---"thespian" comes from his name
---introduced 2nd actor to intensify the conflict (agon)
---Father of Greek Drama
---introduced third actor
---wrote womens' roles
What types of costumes did Greek actors use during the Golden age of Greece and the Hellenistic period?
What was the purpose of the mask?
---Greek theatre originally only had one actor, so the masks allowed for the change of characters
---showed character emotions.
---allowed for voice projection across the entire theatron space, which was an issue before the masks began to be designed to amplify sound
What were masks made of?
cloth, wood, plaster
What are the dramatic functions of the chorus?
---To narrate the storyline
---give information about what happens offstage (violence, etc)
---to act as a collective for the audience when dealing with emotion
---commented on the action
---interacted with other characters
---described offstage action
---shared the audiences reactions to events
---provided spectacle (dancing and movement)
What changes took place during the Hellenistic period for actors?
---Mainly new comedy over tragedy
---Change in the space where actors performed from the ground floor of the proscenio to the first floor, one level higher than the chorus that remains at the orchestra
What major changes did Roman dramatists make?
---Elimination of the chorus
---Emphasis on eavesdropping and identical twins for comic effect
Who are the Roman playwrights and what types of dramas did they write?
--Comedies resemble modern musical comedies
the dialogue was sung
--Dealt with the trials and tribulations of romance
--Wrote Twin Menaechmi: the best known Roman comedy and 1st ancient play to be translated into a modern language and put on stage
--closet dramas: plays meant to be read and not performed
--based on Greek myths
--emphasized the supernatural, violence, motivation of Hamlet
--known for elegant language and subtle expression
--wrote 6 comedies
--1st orator to emphasize the body
What dramatic devices are employed in The Twin Menaechmi?
Who were actors in Roman Theater? What skills did they need?
specialized in one role for their entire lives
good voice for singing
most famous Roman comedic actor
most famous tragic actor
What are other forms of entertainment did the Romans enjoy?
Why did Roman drama decline?
---Rise of Christianity
---Disintegration of Roman Civilization
---Enter the Dark Ages
Medieval Drama (6th-15th century)
---developed by tropes
---started as monks singing in mass
---explain Bible to lower, less educated classes
---dramatize biblical stories (the mystery of Christ's passion)
---provoke thought of good "aura" behind religion
---used religious themes and characters to teach a lesson
---allegorical: gave abstract ideas or values a physical representation like "justice" "happiness" "funny"
---dramatize life of saints
---outside of church
---performed in mansions
How did drama reemerge in the Dark ages?
through tropes and church
Who were the actors in the Medieval Theater? Did they need any special skills?
groups of workers that banded together under a common trade, in this case acting; acting indicated professionalism and apprenticeship, well-respected medieval occupation
Special Skills of Medieval actors
---acrobatics, makeup, dance, a level of professionalism
---sometimes roles required them to suffer in accord with the character they were playing (Jesus Christ, Satan)
Who produced the plays?
members of the craft guilds
they became known as CRAFT or MYSTERY PLAYS
---Whom Seek Ye?
---most important trope
---performed at Easter Mass
---basis for the development of liturgical drama
---large, mobile setting for mansions (mystery, miracle plays)
---individual scenic unit for each play
---represented different locales in biblical stories and in scenes from the life of Christ
---mystery and miracle together known as a "cycle"
---elaborate machine that emits fire, smoke, fireworks
---typically used by the Devil in plays
Renaissance (14th-17th century)
---comedy of professional player
---highly valued because of high level performance
---simple, appeared to be improvised
---everybody wore masks but the young lovers
---contained stock characters (stereotypical characters)
astute servant and trickster
clever and witty
general plot for any given performance
comic routines (like "Who's on first?" skit)
---Characters whose actions are predictable.
---Recurring types of characters between plays. (ex. the omniscient maid)
---"frame" that surrounds the stage
---The most important and long-lasting development of Italian theatre design in the mid-1500s
Vanishing Point Perspective
---made it possible to show buildings and figures in their proper proportions to one another
---famous costume designer for masques
Elizabethan Theater (1567-1642)
---written for court with lots of singing and dancing
---performed in banquet halls with king/queen and the court participating
---high emphasis on spectacle
---costumes designed by Inigo Jones
---"The Lord Chamberlain's Men" --> "The King's Men"
---Tragedies, Comedies, History Plays
---first theatre was "The Theatre" built by James Burbage
---then moved to "The Globe"
---10 beats per line
---each line contains 5 feet
unrhymed iambic pentameter
---actors have one night to collect a percentage of the theater's profits
---every actor had the opportunity to have a share, each on their own night
---a character speaks to himself, relating his thoughts and feelings with the audience
---other characters are not on stage
---generally accepted as truth
---comment one character makes towards the audience
---other actors on stage but are "unable to hear" it
Who were the actors?
---highly skilled, intelligent, professional, lower status
---no women; young boys=females
known for role as clown
took over Kempe's clown role
---son of James Burbage
---managed many roles during his acting career
---famous for gestures
Asian Theater (1603-present)
---puppet plays (2/3 life size)
---3 handlers dressed in black
---chanters do all the text, characters and narator
---middle-class suffering and emotional longing
---female dancers began to give public performances
---elaborate make up, brilliant costumes
---women banned in 1629 (only men)
---stories about contemporary life
---three stringed instrument
---established rhythms of speech
---stimulated the emotions of the audience
Theaters close from 1642-1660
---short comic scenes or farces adapted from existing plays
---shortened versions of full length plays
---shorter means of performance entertainment to circumvent the restrictions
---Charles II was restored to the throne and reopened the theaters
---He had come to enjoy aspects of drama from France and incorporated them into English theater
---extraordinary characters who undertook extraordinary deeds
---themes of love and honor and lots of death
---rework Shakespeare plays with happy endings
Comedy of Manners
Comedy of Humors
Comedy of Intrigues
Comedy of Manners
realistic, satiric comedy concerned with high society
Comedy of Humors
one trait overshadows all others
Comedy of Intrigue
romance and adventure
Exagerrated, coarse comedy
played on emotions of the audience in order to arouse sympathy for character
When did actresses appear on British stage?
Aphra Behn=1st known woman dramatist on English stage
Famous cross-dressing breech role actress
Famous cross-dressing breech role actor
What were the theatrical changes in the Restoration?
---open year round indoors
---stage apron (allows intimacy between actors and audience)
---Long and Narrow Stage
---New realistic scene designs
---actors had more enters and exits from wings or in between back drops
Proscenium arch building
did not frame stage yet
had a pit raked with mid-priced bench seats, expensive box seats, and cheap gallery seats
17th and 18th century
---Permanent proscenium arch
---use of canvases and point perspective to create 3D background
---flat wings for a rapid change of scenery
---attempted to revive classical attitudes toward theater through symmetry, harmony, restrained wit, decorum, and verisimilitude
---thought > feeling
---strict unity of time and place
---no mixing of comedy and tragedy
---no deus ex machina
appropriateness of behavior
appearance of truth
speech by one character addresses other characters alone and the other characters are on the stage
a trick to garner applause
Roles in which women cross-dressed to play men and wore breeches (hence the name)
---18th century actor
---manager of Drury Lane
---known for his more "natural" approach to acting ("outside-in" method)