THST 111 Key Terms

18th Century French Enlightenment Philosopher who wrote the Drame Bourgeois and the Paradox of the Actor. Responded to Rousseau's anti-theatricality. Movement>Emotion.
French philosopher and writer born in Switzerland
Opposed to the theatre altogether, believed it corrupted people.
Fete Gallante
a French term referring to some of the celebrated pursuits of the idle, rich aristocrats in the 18th century—from 1715 until the 1770s. Idyllic pastoral scenes, etc. Influenced The Dispute's aesthetic
Feeling the emotions in acting, acting as emotional genius, French Enlightenment 18th century
The Paradox of the Actor
Book by Diederot weighing sensibility and automata
Theatre as physical expression rather than sentiment. David Garrick 18th century
Drame Bourgeois
Middle class theatre in the 18th century, Diederot, Lillo
Blackface Minstrelsy
19th Century US Theatre, white men in blackface
Ira Aldridge
great Shakespearean actor in England, found too much prejudice/racism/bias (bigotry) in the U.S, this actor (July 24, 1807 New York City - 7 August 1867 Łódź, Congress Poland) was an American stage actor who made his career largely on the London stage. He is the only actor of African American descent among the 33 actors of the English stage with bronze plaques at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon.
African Grove
A theatre founded and operated by free African Americans in New York City in 1821. The African Company played with a black cast and crew to mostly black audiences. It was the third of at least four attempts to create a black theater in the city, and the most commercially successful. After a few years, city officials shut down the African Grove, because of complaints about conduct: conduct that was normal among working-class white New York theatre audiences of the time was considered unacceptably boisterous when displayed by blacks. It was a launching pad for famous African American actors.
Uncle Tom's Cabin
an 1852 novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe written to show the evils of slavery and the injustice of the Fugitive Slave Act. Adapted into various plays, strayed from original theme into racist plays
A play about Native American legendary hero , played by Edwin Forrest, attempt to establish American Nationalism to separate from British, early 19th
The term describes a type of literature that attempts to apply scientific principles of objectivity and detachment to its study of human beings. Unlike realism which focuses on literary technique this term implies a philosophical position
Theatre Libre
Theatre group started by Andre Antoine. Sold subscriptions to patrons. Focused on ensemble, not star system. Produced Realism and Naturalism.
Andre Antoine
Early proponent of naturalism, began the Theatre Libre, an experimental theatre which practiced strict recreation of real life on stage
Duke of Saxe-Meiningen
Prototype for the modern director, e, 1826-1914 one of the first modern directors, Demonstrated the value of a director who could unite all production elements into a whole. Historical accuracy, genuine materials, strong colors in scenery, rules against star actors, effective crowd scenes, nightly rehearsals. Ensemble more important than a single actor
Moscow Art Theatre
is a theatre company in Moscow that the seminal Russian theatre practitioner Constantin Stanislavski, together with the playwright and director Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko, founded in 1898. It was conceived as a venue for naturalistic theatre, in contrast to the melodramas that were Russia's dominant form of theatre at the time. Chekhov
August Comte
father of sociology; distinguished between social statics and social dynamics; published the book Positive Philosophy. 1848
Eugene Scribe
1791-1861, contributed over 300 pieces to Parisian theaters. came up with The Well Made Play formula. Determined that plot held the attention of the audience and that rambling character studies were of lesser interest. Paved way for some realism.
Maurice Maeterlinck
(1862-1949) Belgian playwright, poet, and essayist who wrote in French
-Nobel Prize in Lit 1911
-Themes of work: death and the meaning of life
-Important part of the Symbolist movement
-Inspired works of Faure, Debussy, Schoenberg, & Sibelius
Aurelien Lugne-Poe
Founder of French Theatre de l'ouevre "words create the decor"
Put on lots of Symbolist theatre, including Maeterlinck's work
Theatre de L'Ouevre
Founded in 1893, premiered Ubu Roi by Jarry in 1896
Alfred Jarry
a French writer.Best known for his play Ubu Roi (1896), which is often cited as a forerunner to the surrealist theatre. Symbolist influences. Nihilist.
a group active in the invention and application of new techniques in a given field, especially in the arts
an early 20th century artistic movement which was attracted to the directness, instinctivness and exoticism nonurban cultures
Rudolf Laban
a Hungarian dance artist and theorist whose work laid the foundations for Laban Movement Analysis and other more specific developments in dance notation. He is considered to be one of the most important figures in the history of dance.1920s-30s
Mary Wigman
Student of Laban. Most famous European modern dancer. Dramatic works- often wore masks and danced to silence. Toured US in 1930-1933. Remained in Germany throughout the war. Eventually opened a school there
Oskar Kokoschka
An Austrian artist, poet and playwright best known for his intense expressionistic portraits and landscapes. Wrote Murder Hope of Women. 1909.
Konstantin Stanislavsky
Russian actor and theater director who trained his actors to emphasize the psychological motivation of their roles (1863-1938) The Method.
Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko
Stanislavsky's mentor, has 18 hour conversation with him that led to formation of The Moscow Art Theatre (MXAT) in 1898, organized musical studio for MXAT that focused on the the singing actor and dramatic essence of the music, convinced chekhov to work with MXAT.
The concept and the complex techniques devised by Vsevolod Myerhold to train actors so that their bodies could be as responsive as a machine. Turn of the century
Serge Diaghilev
manager and director (1909-1929), formed the Ballet Russes, was director from l909-l929. encouraged innovation, experimentation and collaboration between great artists, musicians and choreographers
Ballets Russes
a ballet company established in 1909 by the Russian impresario Serge Diaghilev. Infamous for Rites of Spring.
New Negro
Idea that promoted "'Negro Nationalism' which exalted blackness, black cultural expression exclusiveness.'" 1920s
Racial Uplift
ideology centered on some of the following themes and views: self help, independent black institutions, education, political participation, positive images of blacks, respectability, etc. 1920s-30s
Zora Neale Hurston
African American writer and folklore scholar who played a key role in the Harlem Renaissance
Anti-lynching plays
works written mostly by women, focusing on the aftermath of lynching and its impact on the black family
• Attempting to reach out and stimulate the empathy of white omen
• Brings up many problematic questions: Should theater explicitly solicit empathy? Should it urge action? Can it do both? How?
Little Theatre Movement
Inexpensive, noncommercial, artistically significant plays in small, out-of-the-way theatres. In the United States, flourished from the mid-1950s through the mid-1960s.
Jean Genet
French writer of novels and dramas for the theater of the absurd (1910-1986) Showed heavy Artaudian influence with ritualized murder and oppression.
The Living Theatre
A famous twentieth-century experimental theatre using aesthetically radical techniques to shake up audiences about social and political issues; founded in 1946 by Julian Beck (1925-1985) and Judith Malina (b. 1926). Heavy Artaud influence. Used multimedia to immerse and shock the audience.
Jerzy Grotowski
one of the best directors of 20th century; "Polish Laboratory Theatre"; focused on actors instead of props/costumes/etc.; wrote "Towards a Poor Theatre". Is known for his use of Audience spaces. Artaudian influence. 1950s
Theatre of Cruelty
Antonin Artaud's visionary concept of a theatre based on magic and ritual, which would liberate deep, violent, and erotic impulses. 1920s.
a 20th century movement of artists and writers (developing out of Dadaism) who used fantastic images and incongruous juxtapositions in order to represent unconscious thoughts and dreams
a nihilistic art movement (especially in painting) that flourished in Europe early in the 20th century
the ideology that all human ethnic groups belong to a single community based on a shared morality. 1920s
Epic Theatre
form of episodic drama associated with Bertolt Brecht and aimed at the intellect rather than the emotions
Erwin Piscator
Epic Theatre. Worked at the Volksbuhnen and reflected concern for working class social problems. 1920s
Mei Lanfang
acclaimed for his portrayal of female characters, one of the first Asian artists to influence the development of Western Theatre, renowned in the Peking Opera. Turn of the 20th Century
German for ALIENATION EFFECT. Advocated by Bertolt Brecht as a means by which performers and audience could avoid undue emotional identification with a work- needed if the work is to have its intended intellectual and political influences.
learning and teaching plays that eliminate the separation of the actor and the audience; the audience becomes a collective, enacting the social experiment rather than simply watching it
a major function of Brecht's epic theatre. refers to physical actions which expose an underlying main social theme of a play.
The Berliner Ensemble
German theatre company established by playwright Bertolt Brecht and his wife, Helene Weigel in January 1949 in East Berlin. In the time after Brecht's exile, the company first worked at Wolfgang Langhoff's Deutsches Theater and in 1954 moved to the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm, built in 1892, that was open for the 1928 premiere of The Threepenny Opera (Die Dreigroschenoper).
an abstractionist artistic movement in Russia after World War I
Russian, worked with the Moscow Art Theatre/Stanislavsky. 1920-1930s he was a director/theatre artist. Eventually killed by Stalin. Biomechanics.
Landscape Drama
the idea of a play as a world without time, to be viewed as a simultaneous landscape rather than as a linear narrative
• One of Gertrude Stein's primary dramatic ideas, stemming from the disjoint she felt existed between audience and play due to the difference in emotions experienced at the same time
the attempt to replace theatrical linear time with theatrical simultaneous/static time through literary Cubism
• A technique often used by Stein in her plays
• Plays are not works of linear narrative
Samuel Beckett
(1906-1989) Irish playwright, novelist and poet, whose work is stark, fundamentally minimalist, and deeply pessimistic about human nature. His later work explores his themes in an increasingly cryptic and attenuated style. Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1969.
Play by Beckett.1963 work written by Beckett featuring a kind of twisted Greek chorus imprisoned within three urns and illuminated in turn by a single spot light
• Language, staging, and humanity all have very little meaning left
• Ultimate stripping down
The idea that human beings simply exist, have no higher purpose, and must exist and choose their actions for themselves.
Jean Paul Sartre
A French existentialist who said that people just "turned up" and that there was no God to help honest people. Also said "man is condemned to be free" and people had to choose their actions.
Theatre of the Absurd
A convention defined by contemporary critic Martin Esslin as "striving to express its sense of the senselessness of the human condition and the inadequacy of the rational approach by the open abandonment of rational devices and discursive thought." Plays in the absurdist tradition attempt to show the irrational and illogical aspects of life through absurd characters, dialogue, and situations.
Post-World War II intellectual movement and cultural attitude focusing on cultural pluralism and release from the confines and ideology of Western high culture.
Black Arts Repertory Theatre
organization created in 1964 by Amiri Baracka and other black artists
• Based in Harlem
• Indicative of the Black Arts Movement's attempt to create its own culture, separate from that of Western (white) culture
• For us, by us, about us, near us but to a much greater extent
Larry Neal
AA scholar of AA theater, Contributed to the Black Arts Movement of 1960's and 1970's.
Adrienne Kennedy
an African-American playwright She is best known for her first major play Funnyhouse of a Negro, and is also known for her surrealism in her plays.
• Originators of egungun
• Depicted in Death and the King's Horseman
• Had a cyclical view of the world (life, death, etc.)
• Oppressed in colonialized Africa
Walter Benjamin
originator of the idea of the angel of history
• Heavily influenced Tony Kushner
• Model of history that rejects models of progress
• Sees history heading towards a giant disaster