Chapter 5

What happened to religious dramas during the Renaissance?
Plays on religious subjects were banned in England and across Europe.
What were the characteristics of the professional theatre that was born during the Renaissance?
It had secular subjects.
It existed to make money.
Plays had to be performed often.
It had to have a varied and large stock of plays to perform.
It had to have a large performance space.
The performance group or company had to own and control their own costumes and scenery.
Actors and production personnel had to be full-time employees.
Why did acting companies need patrons?
Patrons sponsored the company and then the actors became "servants" of the patrons. This kept them from being considered masterless vagrants subject to arrest.
What acting company did Shakespeare belong to?
The Lord Chamberlain's Men---later the King's Men.
Who played female roles in the Elizabethan theatre?
Boy apprentices. Woman did not appear onstage until 1661.
What was the purpose of the proscenium arch?
It served as the "picture frame" for the scenery depicted behind it. It orginated in Italy.
What changes in the stage did Italy pioneer?
Italy pioneered the movement away from an architectural stage and towards a representational stage.
How was Italy able to make its staging changes?
They were able to do so primarily with their innovation of perspective drawing.
What other stage design changes did Italy introduce?
They created the elements of the raked stage.
What were the characteristics of the Italian commedia dell'arte?
The actor was the most important element; each actor always played the same character.
Plays could be performed everywhere.
The script was a scenario--an outline of situations.
Dialogue was improvised by the actors--this is where improvisation comes from.
The company had stock characters: lovers, masters, servants.
What are the characteristics of neoclassical drama?
All plays were either comedy or tragedy and never mixed.
Tragedy treated royalty and nobles.
Comedy treated the middle class and lower classes.
Characters behaved according to their social status,gender, and ethnicity.
All plays had five acts.
Time, place, and action were important.
Plays adhered to "poetic justice"---punished the wicked and rewarded the good.
How were the Greek, Roman, and Elizabethan stages alike?
They used a formalized architectural façade as their background for plays.