VCE Drama - Epic Theatre
Terms in this set (23)
Epic Theatre - Ideology
Brecht believed that people were desensitised due to the war and that there was no point trying to make them feel. He decided to try instead to make them think and designed his theatre to create an intellectual response. Epic Theatre dramas are didactic and the spectator's role is to create social and political change of their own. Brecht believed that all people were corrupt living in a capitalist world and was a firm Marxist (Communist). Brecht aimed to remind the audience that they were watching a constructed play and not real life. He felt that realist drama pacified audiences and turned them into spectators rather than active participants.
Disjointed time sequences (Epic)
Events of the play are spread out over long periods of time and jump forward and backwards using a number of different settings
Non-linear plot that deliberately lacks cause and effect in action
Socially motivated expressions using actions and body language to show social class and relationships between characters, a movement or pose with a symbolic meaning relating to social or political motivations. Demonstrates the attitude of the character.
Distancing contemporary events by placing them in the past, showing similarities and differences between past and present situations which encouraged the spectactor to seek change
'Defamiliarisation' or 'making things strange' effect. Employed through many different conventions to distance the audience from the action and characters to encourage intellectual thinking. Often referred to as alienation.
Breaking the fourth wall to tell the audience what has happened or what will happen
Direct address (Epic)
Breaking the fourth wall to directly address the audience in character
Fragmentary costume (Epic)
Symbolic pieces of costume to represent the whole. Eg. A jacket and a bayonet over theatre blacks to represent a soldier. A torn, dirty jacket over theatre blacks to represent a lower class character. Often showed the role/function/class in society.
Visible lighting equipment (Epic)
Estranges the audience and makes it known that it is a play not reality
White flooded lighting (Epic)
Detaches the audience through lack of emotional/mood lighting
Signs used for narration, commentary or scene setting
For narration or commentary
Limited or contrasting emotions (Epic)
To estrange the audience
Spoiling dramatic tension (Epic)
Through narration, actor as chorus and placards to take away emotional responses to events such as deaths or tragedies
Strong political or social message (Epic)
Focus on society being represented through plays, not necessarily about single characters or people
Using character types rather than names (Epic)
To represent society
Political song (Epic)
Songs were used to deliver the social/political message
Stylised movement (Epic)
A mix of realistic and non-realistic movement, gestures and gestures from Asian theatre to remove emotion and create symbol
Fragmentary set (Epic)
Sets often used one to represent a whole, ie. one tree to represent a forrest
To neutralise emotion (juxtaposing emotional content of song with tone of song)
Fun/satire, grotesque stereotypes and caricature. The audience is invited to laugh at the characters and condemn what they stand for. There is usually a contrast to a sympathetic character to assist in creating a political statement.
The Expressionist movement was centred around a political message and mechanical, non-naturalistic movements and plot lines. This is what inspired Epic Theatre originally.
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