Theater notes weeks 1-10
Theater notes weeks 1-10 TH 210
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This 12 page Bundle was uploaded by Ericka Villaseñor on Sunday June 5, 2016. The Bundle belongs to TH 210 at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo taught by M. Sitko in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 18 views. For similar materials see Intro To Theatre in Theatre at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo.
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Date Created: 06/05/16
PLAYS READ FOR CLASS Thom Pain (Based on Nothing) by Will Eno The one where the dude just kind of tells a story about his love life intertwined with a story about a little boy also intertwined with just random rants The Aliens by Annie Baker The one with the three guys, KJ, Evan, & Jasper and they hang out in the back of the coffee shop and then jasper dies Reading packet A (the Harold) Has to do with the game, it provokes group thinking for improve and its 9 scenes in total The Lonesome West by Martin McDonagh The one with the two brothers who are selfish and one kills the dad and the other is obsessed with the stove and figurines. Then there is a priest who is not a very good priest who kills himself and the girl who is in love with him. Reading packet B (Stanislavsky and Meyerhold) The two different styles of training actors, psychological vs the biomechanics. S is more towards focusing on the actor embodying the character through energy exercises and such (blend you identity to be the character). M focuses more towards the biomechanics such as focusing on the body by gymnastics and fencing to be able to perform any character. You Got Older by Clare Barron It is about a daughter who was fired from her job and goes back home to take care of her dad who has throat cancer. She encounters one of her older sister’s friend and they have a weird thing, then there is a cowboy who she imagines and fucks. Then her whole FAM are at the hospital after her dads surgery, they ring a gong hat represents he neat cancer. She moves out gets a job, then she calls her dad, his cancer came back. Reading packet C (Theater of Good intentions) (look at last page) Mac wellman pretty much just criticizes what is wrong with theatre during the 1980s. He gives his opinion on what we were used and just goes off on a rant of what does not work and why it does not work. He talks about how all characters are well rounded and are so predictable because of how they are portrayed. In addition, on how each evil character has to have their actions justified. A Map of Virtue by Erin Courtney Two strangers have this weird connection also with this bird statue and then they go to a party then they are kidnapped in the country. The people who kidnap them kill themselves after they runaway Reading packet D (Manifesto of futurist) The pleasure of being booed. Pretty much 10 reason why it is okay to be booed. Hookman by Lauren Yee The one where every guy is the hook man but it’s in her head because she accidently killed her friend in a car accident but also shows the reality of how women are treated such as when her roommate got killed but it was because “she and it coming” since she drank a lot and went out a lot. Reading packet E (Play reviews) Review of Thom pain, it is quirky, gives him 4 stars, it is a positive review. Kind of views it as bit of a comedy Review of the aliens, beautiful paly, positive review, reviewer viewed the play same way I did. Review of you got older, raunchy comedy, he more or less gives a small summary of the paly Review of map of virtue, the result is not a smooth, seamless work, but a tense, oddly paced, very inconsistent one. Exactly what it should be. Review of hookman, hopes that this play is a step forward to closing the gender gap in theater, I’m assuming it’s an overall positive review. An Octoroon by Branden JacobsJenkins It is about slaves being sold and this particular slave because she is a 1/8 black and is being sold but this one white person is in love with her and is out bid by some other person. It is also the play where you the playwright and what not discuss the play before hand and in between a scene. The Shipment by Young Jean Lee Starts with dancers dancing to FNT, fascinating new thing. Then it switches to a comedian. Gives the rundown of a typical comedian entrance to an audience. I am assuming he is black because he shits on white people a lot like a black person would as well as shitting on white people. He loves to talk about poop, but cannot in front of his wife. It then switches to a mom and Omar. Mama wants Omar to be a doctor but he does not, he wants to rap. A friend and grandpa come in and there interacts but it is not important. They discuss stealing and the friends depressing life. Then comes in drug dealer Desmond. He pushes him to sell drugs so he can pay his fare to get to the rapping competition. They talk about cats being evil because of their eyes and because Omar is allergic to them. Now they are selling drugs but no one buys, they approach crackhead john to ask why none is buying. There is new competition, she’s mama and she is shooting people in the face if they buy from anyone else. They confront mama, and mama and drug dealer Desmond end up shooting each other in the face. Then bad cop 1&2 come, plant all the drugs on Omar, he then goes to prison even though it is not his fault. While in prison he raps, a producer comes up to him and promises to make him a star once he gets out in two months. Then it is to a producing a music video, he meets Sashay, who wants to go on a date but Omar is not gay. He then gets addicted to drugs. He then prays to God because he has come to hate what he once loved. Then there is singing of a “dark center of the universe” by modest mouse. After this, it is not rapper Omar anymore or drug dealer Desmond. Now it is Thomas and Omar at Thomas place for a party. He is on time, they discuss what Omar doesn’t eat, no dairy, meat, alcohol, drugs, coffee, sugar, and grains. They then discuss how Thomas drinks a bottle of syrup and eat three candy bars before going to bed every night. Now Desmond shows up, he is very kept to himself, he gets a tequila sunrise, but says it taste like iodine. Thomas pulls Desmond to the side to discuss a thing. That when Thomasina and Michael appear because the door is open. They talk about Michael’s relationship with Shannon since they had a big argument. They talk about being alcoholics and going to AA meetings. Thomas makes everyone drink a double shot of scotch, then proceeds to sing happy birthday to himself. He is turning 30. He then proceeds to eat cake with his hands, and Thomasina asks if he is drunk. Thomas then wants to play the library game. No one else seems to into it. They then talk about Thomasina’s boyfriend, Johnathon, and then Thomas ask about the plastic sheet phase. Thomasina gets pissed off, and both Thomasina and Thomas throw low blows to each other because they used to date. Omar then says he is going to leave because he is being called a liar because they blamed him for saying Thomas is drunk, Thomas then proceeds to shout that he poisoned all the drinks and they were all going to die at 10:30. Omar then calls an ambulance even though they do not actually believe him. He then confesses he is “joking” and then they proceed to call cars to pick them up. Thomas then goes off saying he is lonely and is tired of making his bed an object and hates waking up alone. Then they deiced to stay and play the library game. Someone picks a book, shows the cover, tells the author’s name, and what kind of book it is then everyone has to make up a sentence that sounds like it would be in the novel. Then you vote on which one would actually be in the book. They play and go through two books, Sexual Anorexia picked by Omar and then Black Magic picked by Thomas. They then laugh about the sentences because they start with “The Negro believes” and then Omar is uncomfortable because they would not be doing this if there were a black person in the room. Then Desmond responds with: I guess that would depend on what kind of black person it was. End of paly. Love and Information by Caryl Churchill The play where it does not really have any specific characters. It is somewhat just telling people things that they should know but can hurt them by telling them. Knowing the true information, feeling loved for being told, and knowing the truth. It is a bunch of little different stories within each scene MIDTERM MULTIPLE CHOICE In Thom Pain, electricity killed the dog In Thom Pain, bees attack the little boy In The Aliens, Evan goes to Jewish Band Camp for a week In The Aliens, Evan gets a cookie from the coffee shop when he hears that jasper died. In The Aliens, Jasper does not allow KJ to have alcohol on 4 July In The Lonesome West, Coleman shoots Valene’s stove with a shotgun In The Lonesome West, Coleman killed his dad In you got older, the sense of smell is requires to recognize a Hardy Family member In you got older, Mae is a lawyer In you got older, Mac tells Mae that he used to pour boiling hot water on her boobs at her request. MATCHING Clare Barron wrote you got older Aristotle invented Poetics Meyerhold believed in Biomechanics Stanislavsky believed in Magic if Del Close created The Harrold Sigmund Freud believed in Psychoanalysis Annie Baker wrote The Aliens Mac Wellman wrote the Theater of Good intentions Martin McDonough wrote The Lonesome West Will Enno wrote Thom pain DEFINE 4 wall – it is the idea of looking at the stage and imagining a wall between the stage and the audience Upstage/Downstage it is the location of the stage to know where to move and to be during lines, where to place props. It is also the set of directions in where the character should move. The audience is in the downstage section ¾ thrust – it’s when the audience surrounds ¾ of the side of the stage Post dramatic theatre – it is theater that doesn’t believe drama is the driving point Proscenium arch – stage that is like behind a curtain and has an arch, like Spanos theater SHORT ANSWER 1. What is the basic structure of the Harold? What are all the parts and the sequence? What else do you know about the Harold and how it works? It is a game that helps the actors generate ideas and to build a group mind in a way they can engage the audience. Its 3 scenes with 3 sections to it, with a total of 9 scenes. There is one specified actor who makes each transition to the next scene and the rest follow a different actor each scene. 2. Describe two of the Commedia Del Arte stock characters. Include details about their mask, physicality, character traits, social status, personality and intelligence. Zanni leads with the nose; the mask has a long nose, like a pigeon a peasant, extremely curious and wants to please Magnifico – eagle mask, looks down on everything, leader of the city, the most powerful 3. Do you agree with Mac Wellman? What are 3 major arguments that he makes? Define the three arguments you have chosen and explain why you agree or disagree with each. American theater and its characters are Euclidean, meaning that they are all round characters and they are so cliché and typical. I do agree with it because now a day most characters on TV shows are so rounded and their actions are predictable. An argument he made was that characters have to have their bad actions justified. If a character kills a person or a dog, they must have had something bad happen to them during their childhood such as being abused or what not. Another argument he made was that plays about social issues do not arise until after that issue has been “fixed” or is not as huge of a topic anymore. I do agree with this because it is not until a revolution or stance with a social has died down, is when anyone decided to talk about it or take a public stance. It is not until after a law has passed that we decide to speak out loud about and accept it as a norm to talk about it when we could have done something about it beforehand. 4. What are the primary differences between the teaching philosophies of Stanislavsky and Meyerhold? What do you know about each of their styles for training actors? Do you prefer one? Stanislavsky believes in the use of psychology and Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalysis. He believes that character is in control and that the actor and director serves them. The use of imagination to be able to fulfill the character. Believes in more of the art form rays of energy, circle exercises. The actor must understand the feeling of the character to be able to identify as them. Meyerhold believes in the body, more physical approach to theater. He believes that actors must be in shape; focus on the body by doing gymnastics fencing and such. He believed in the use of biomechanical exercises to prepare themselves. He believed that the actor and director are in control and that the character serves them. He believes that there is 17 types of stock characters EXTRA NOTES FOR MIDTERM? Hyper efficient all the little things that point back to themselves Black box just a room with risers and seats Proscenium like spanos theatre. The part of the theater and stage are in front of the curtain ¾ thrust – it is when the audience surrounds ¾ of the side of the stage. Somewhat of a wraparound stage In the round, audience surrounds all of the stage Site specific go to specific location for the play Booth where everything is controlled. Affective cognition actor should imagine from characters life to bring the paly to life Physical object self – your body Locational self idea of yourself being a place Contained self psychological self, your true self Social self your character portrayed in public FINAL (EVERYTHINGAFTER THE MIDTERM) LINEAR DRAMATIC NARRATIVE Has a basic plot line. Beginning middle end. Start at Point A and follow a logical progression of timebound events that lead the characters to Point B. FUTURIST The revolution we need today happened 100 years ago. Emulate that passion and discipline in your own set of bold rules for a subject. Futurism can have most immediate influence it is undoubtedly the drama. Embracing the exciting new world that was then upon them rather than hypocritically enjoying, the modern world’s comforts while loudly denouncing the forces that made them possible. The birth of manifestos. POST DRAMATIC THEATER A number of tendencies and stylistic traits occurring in avantgarde theatre since the end of the 1960s It is striving to produce an effect amongst the spectators than to remain true to the text To describe plays with little or no drama Post dramatic theatre more specifically registers a dissatisfaction with drama’s two fundamental processes: the representation of the external world and the structuring of time Theater does not believe drama is the driving point It is a book by Hans Lehman that covers wide range of contemporary theatrical forms including devised work and live art from the 1960s. CRITISCM From Aristotle to NYT. The goal is to succinctly communicate the honest reaction to the major elements of the production. The judgments are based on the quality of the language, designs, acting and the general impact of the piece in dramatic terms. MINSTRELSY Meta theatrical showing string of puppets, not afraid to show what is real. the quality or force in a play which challenges theatre's claim to be simply realistic — to be nothing but a mirror in which we view the actions and sufferings of characters like ourselves, suspending our disbelief in their reality. It is the only US contribution to theater 1830, minstrelsy, white people colored themselves to be black actors 1896, first film 1850, black minstrelsy, black people as black actors 1900s, women and make fun of women 1910, vaudeville, low price cinema 1932, death of vaudeville Characters to know from Minstrelsy Mammy has the respect of both black and white people Sambo a skinny dumb lazy character Jim crow a happy performer Malapropisms using words in the wrong context (stump speech) making themselves sound dumb Zip coon cunning character, made a mockery of free blacks. Melodrama is a sensational dramatic piece that exaggerates the characters and appeals to emotions First is a dance or song, then pun filled stump speech, lastly a skit. TERMS with CLINT Flats a vertical back wall that is hollow Platform where actors can stand on Risers platforms that are built into a system Light board/ sound board computers that control the light and sound Moving light light that moves on an x & y axis Wings the areas of the stage that are out of the proscenium House where the audience sits Electrics 1&2 where the lights hang on Apron – part of the stage that goes out of proscenium Black box np fixed seating, literally a room with nothing but black Gel plastic hat changes the color of the lights Booth where everything is controlled, generally above house Fly system counter weights of how they bring items up and down on stage Green room little room where the actors hang out while they wait to go on stage\ Shop where they build the wall, props, and everything Grid all the pipes that make the grid. Upstairs where you all the things hang Model/ drawings/ drafts layers of designs and blue prints that are done to build the walls, Props, scenes, etc. House manager runs the lobby and ticket sales Fly space the room of what hold the fly systems, where all the things hang Stage manager runs the show, the practices, and calls the show Technical director executes the designs Spring floor cushion on the floor for support on feet VUADEVILLE 18601930 Variety entertainment show (like a talent show) Phrases such as “show time”, “big time” came out of this era Before cinema came about, modern times talent show COMEDIA DEL ARTE Magnifico – eagle mask, looks down on everything, leader of the city, the most powerful First actor – no mask First actress – they both take up a lot of space because they own it, the core of magnifico, she had a previous husband who died of mysterious incident that nobody questions, no mask to believe that they are real Pantlone the merchant, version of magnifico who lost his teeth, has many needs The doctor the man of learning knows everything but understands nothing, Columbina (in the middle) cunning as Brighella, playful as harlequino and as good with the money as pantolone, the mix of everyone Brighella the cunning servant, the logic character, welcomes the guest Harlequino stupid because he does not necessarily use logic, he’s a body character, playful The Captain full of swagger, will do anything to avoid a fight, he might be Spanish, Zanni leads with the nose; the mask has a long nose, like a pigeon a peasant, extremely curious and wants to please Pantalone and the doctor come out of magnifico; Brighella and harlequino come out of zanni THEATER OF GOOD INTENTIONS – MAC WELLMAN Political denials Euclidean character –symmetrical No discovery/ predictable Commercial invading imagination Each art pieces is unique Ethics vs guilt Things are not as they appear the world is deadly Theater is a pure mechanism for the manipulation of emotion Characters in American plays frequently do nothing and are incapable of any real action because actions by themselves are not considered dramatically important. The Euclidean Character must reveal an inner truth of the same kind about the personality in question; each trait must be perfectly consonant with every other trait. The people of my generation have grown up to be professional children; politically we pursue aims and goals that protect our special status and no others. We have embraced the anti intellectual tradition of our elders, but turned it inside out as the cosmetically enhanced mindless stare of the fashion magazines, and the everswelling trade in selfhelp commodities. Summary of the points. 1. Theater is a pure mechanism for the manipulation of emotions mostly warm fuzzy emotions. Anything other than this is unacceptable. We focus more on aesthetics than action. If a character does not have this appeal then they are considered flat. 2. We only portray the good in the world because we have no political denials such as race or poverty. Denial is the American context. The politics of denial engenders the poetics of gentility; that is, the theatre of good intentions. 3. Euclidean character is the most frequent character in each play. They are wellrounded character, they reveal the inner truth of the same kind about their personality in question and each trait is constant with each other. However, in all honestly they represent nothing because they are all the same. 4. All plays are shaped the same. Same number of scenes and the inclusion of the Euclidean character. Plays of our time are forgettable because the authors succeed in producing it to follow all the same intentions each play strives for. 5. Producers only produce plays that are the most simple minded for us to enjoy because we do not get out of our comfort zone. 6. Directors, dramaturgs, as well as playwrights, rarely seem interested in contemporary poetry or fiction, not to mention philosophy, history, or the plastic arts. 7. Since only "feelings" (ostensible emotions) are allowed moral dignity in our theatre, our perception of the ethical facts of life becomes strangely skewed. 8. The people of my generation have grown up to be professional children; politically we pursue aims and goals that protect our special status and no others
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