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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
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
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
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
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
An art movement of the early 20th C, in which the artist sought to go beyond realism into superrealism
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
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
The 4 "R"s
1. Read, Read, Read (the script)
2. Research (the playwright, the script, the time period)
Appia and Craig
Created the "New Stagecraft"
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:
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)
1. Flats (used for walls)
Costume Design Options and Tools
Neutral--costume that doesn't make a specific statement
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
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
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
1. Who am I?
2. Where am I?
3. What am I doing?
4. When does the action take place?
The character's overall goal of the entire play
What they hope to accomplish by the end of the play
The way in which the character goes about achieving their super-objective
Induction vs Threat
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
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
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
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
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
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
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