How can we help?

You can also find more resources in our Help Center.

Intro to Theatre Final

STUDY
PLAY
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
Realistic playwright; Theatre Libre was a realist theatre

Strives for historical accuracy, ensemble, management of crowds
Objectives of Realism
1. Art must truthfully depict 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"
simple staging decisions

created by Appia and Craig in the 19th C
Production Team
Director
Stage Manager
Set, Costume, Lighting Designers
Any assisstants
The 4 "R"s
...
Appia and Craig
Stylists

the two designers that objected to a three-dimensional actor standing on a flat floor surrounded by acres of "realistically" painted canvas used in Europe in the 19th C

"New Stagecraft"
"Funnel" Theory of Collaboration
the script goes into the funnel (and all the ideas being put into the funnel), and the final product comes out of the funnel.

The process of deciding what the final product is is the funnel.
Lighting Design Options and Tools
...
Scene Design Options and Tools
...
Costume Design Options and Tools
...
Straight vs. Character Make-up
Straight make-up is make-up that corrects for the lights

Character make-up is make-up that alters the appearance to suit the character of the actor
Reviewer vs. Critic
Reviews watch the play and relate it for entertainment value. Critics look for entertainment, social significance, human significance, and artistic quality.
Responsibilities of the Dramaturg
...
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--the playwright freely makes changes to the script
Paradox of Acting
The actor has to be both the character and the actor

Dual consciousness
Outside-In vs. Inside-Out
Outside-In--the actor changes his/her appearance to look like the character, and then takes on the character's personality and traits

Inside-Out--the actor alters his/her personality and the appearance follows
Character Autobiography
...
Affective Memory
Emotional recall

Goes along with the sensory memory
Stanislavsky
founder of the Moscow Art Theatre (MAT) in 1898
Actor's Instrument
...
Group Theatre
...
Method Acting
...
Given Circumstances
Unchangeable facts about the characters
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 within the play.

I (want to, need to, must) action verb.
Tatics
"Beats"
The methods that a character uses to achieve his/her superobjective.

Induction or Threat
Postmodern Trends
Fragmented "Super-jumpy"
Non-linear "Random"
Anti-realist movement
Symbolism, Expressionism, Surrealism, Absurdist, Epic

Paul Ford's Theatre d'Art 1890
Evolution of Modern Musical
Musical Revue--review--1866 The Black Crook

Musical Comedy--Showboat

Musical Drama--Oklahoma!--Drama Ballet

Contemporary Musical--Wicked
Broadway and Off-Broadway
...
Regional Theatre Movement
...
Stock vs. Repertory
...
East vs. West
Eastern Theatre:
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--string, percussion, and singers

Simple backdrop, extravagant costumes, facial paint

Golden Age--13th C Beijing, Ming and Qing Dynasties--development of regional theatre--audience drawn from the common place, Pecking Opera--national Opera in China

300+ regional types, well known story with twist ending, 2-3 hours, four main character roles, actors must be trained very young, trained for one specific role
Kabuki
originate with women dancing in the river bed (prostitutes), censorship, onnagata (men playing women), Genroku period--move toward realism

three categories: Jiada-Mono (historical) Sewa-Mono (domestic) Shosagoto (dance), mie--stance at climatic moment

the art of song and dance, orchestra onstage, no singing

aisle down the center of the crowd, elevating platform, facial paint to signify characters
Noh
Started lower class, inspired by nature, ~600 yrs old, the art of walking, passed from father to son

only men performers, masks to convey character, rehearse together once

no scene enactment--use appearance and movements, not much dialogue, three kinds--Okina, Kyogen, and Kiri

Vocal chorus (no harmonies, no set pitch) and instrumental chorus (flute, small hand drum, large hand drum, large drum)

stage--four cyprus pillars and large roof, trees painted on back wall (spirits), narrow bridge for exits/entrances, Noh Shozoku (robes), costume defines character, osode and kosode, masks

250 different plays, based around shite (main male), concerned with revelation, not conflict, influenced by Shinto, Buddhism, Shamanism, samurai patrons, funeral rites, Kamigakari, and Chinese/Japanese poetry
Bunraku
Biwa storytellers and travelling puppeteers, Takemoto Gidayu, Chikamatsu, sewamono and love suicides, kabuki actors want puppet movements, puppeteers want realism, heads represent character types, three puppeteers, 1740s--height of Golden Age, 1966--National Theatre built, four performances and travelling show

thoughts/emotions pushed to limit, play begins with samisen solo, samisen--most popular, chanter interprets the text, memorizes text, samisen player conducts the play, samisen player and chanter sit to the left of the stage

samisen player and chanter sit on a revolving platform, kashira (head) determine who the character will be, kimonos (and sash, sash band, chemise, or collar), Omozukai (head puppeteer), Hidarizukai (left hand), Ashizurkai (foot)

only men, one or two rehearsals, based on history literature current events, 3 or 5 act plays