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Intro to Theatre, Study Guide for Exam 1

by: Rebecca Smith

Intro to Theatre, Study Guide for Exam 1 CO 1503

Marketplace > Mississippi State University > Communication > CO 1503 > Intro to Theatre Study Guide for Exam 1
Rebecca Smith
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These notes cover everything that is going to be on the test.
Intro to Theatre
William Stockstill
Study Guide
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This 11 page Study Guide was uploaded by Rebecca Smith on Thursday February 25, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to CO 1503 at Mississippi State University taught by William Stockstill in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 291 views. For similar materials see Intro to Theatre in Communication at Mississippi State University.

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Date Created: 02/25/16
Intro to Theatre Test 1 Study Guide Types of theatrical spaces  Arena o Audience is on all sides of the playing space o Entrances and exits for actors are located between the audience platforms in the manner of voms o Minimal scenery, low to ground o Actor has to keep on moving and project o Can pack in lots of people  Proscenium o The audience is positioned in front of a stage o Most common and youngest stage since 18 century o Allows for a presentational style of action and spectacle design o Details have to be bigger because of theatrical distance  Thrust o Combination of arena and proscenium o The audience is on 3 sides of the stage o Replacing a section of the audience is a staging are that allows for scenic elements, entrances, and exits o One of the oldest forms of theatrical presentation  Black Box o Flexible space theatre o Audience platforms can be configured in any way to suit the creation of multiple spaces o Comes with movable seating and platform  Found space o Find a space and do theatre in it o Benefits include different experience for audience and throws them off Elements of drama  Spectacle o Heightened reality o Skewed but relatable  Music o Vocal or instrumental o Creates moods and expectations  Character o Protagonist- we want them to succeed o Antagonist- working against protagonist  Plot o The story line  Thought o Idea behind the story/event o The “why” o Provides cultural importance to society  Diction o Vocal transmission of words to audience Protagonist  We want them to succeed Antagonist  Working against protagonist Origins of theatre--how it came about & theories  Oral tradition o Telling stories verbally to teach morals and history o Different ways to tell a story  Re-enactment (Egypt)  Poetry  Music  Dance  Hunter-gatherer ritual o Talking about spirits o Make up stories to explain nature  Community historian o Comes from oral tradition o Write down everything that happens o Is responsible for passing down history o Re-enacts history o Makes re-telling interesting by embellishing o Enlists people to act out while they narrate  Religious ritual o Re-enactment as a religious ritual o Thing people do as a group to worship gods or to appease spirits o Egypt  Abydos Passion Play  First recorded play  Re-enactment of Osirus ( dying and rising god)  Pharaoh plays the part of the god  Travels to perform at actual location  Performed every year for 2,000 years theatre vs. drama  theatre o The building  Drama o What we perform on stage Theatre vs. theatre  Theatre o The art form o Envelops both theatre and drama o Imaginary connection between audience and performance  theatre o The building Conflict  Makes story more interesting for the audience Elements of Theatre  Story o Loose plot or thought  Performance/actors o Actual actors translate story  Audience o Have to have one o Most important element Playwright  Come up with story and characters  Defines characters by stage directions, dialogue, and subtext  Subtext is the meaning behind the lines  Subtext is more prevalent in modern plays Subtext  Meaning behind the lines Objective vs. super-objective  Objective o What do characters want o How the characters act  Super-objective o What is their primary goal out of life o Made up of smaller objective Tone  Mood of play  Influences how the audience feels emotionally Theme  Main idea or lesson to be learned  Ideas behind the story Plot  The story line  What happens in the story Comedy vs. tragedy—aspects of each  Comedy o Protagonist succeeds o Happy ending  Tragedy o Protagonist fails o Someone dies Dithyramb  State sponsored religious festival  Celebrates Dionysus o Fertility o Wine  Phallika o Parade o State sponsored o Parade in honor of Dionysus o Giant phallus’s were carried by city officials o Giant party- everybody got drunk o Sacrifices of goats were made to the god o At the end of the parade were young boys  Phallus o Symbol of fertility  Sex o At climax you are closer to the gods  Dithyramb o Song sung to the god Dionysus o Military trained boys would form a chorus that had around 50 people in it o They would compete for best performance o Sing and dance to honor god Thespis  534 BCE  Thespis wins the dithyramb competition with a performance that he wrote and acted in  Regarded as the first actor  Stepped forward out of the chorus and narrated story to audience Structure of Athenian competitions  Government sponsored  Required attendance for all Athenian citizens  Requirements for playwrights o 3 tragedies o 1 satyr play o Each writer would get their own day in a competition for his plays to be performed  Choregos o Private citizen that provided all financial needs for chorus and playwright Greek tragedy  Tragoidia- goat skin  Considered the highest form of art  Subject o Ancient story or myth o Dealt with a separated class  Kings  Heroes  Characters o Hamaratia- tragic flaw o Hubris- pride, common flaw Satyr play  Satirical in nature  Chorus’s were dressed as satyrs with large erect phallus’s Greek actors  Males only  Masked actors with large bright costumes o Masks acted as microphones and had blank faces on them  Only 1-3 actors per performance that played all the roles Greek chorus  Same as dithyramb  The voice of the city and represents the audience  Role o Comment on the play’s action o Provide back story o Control the audience’s reaction Aristophanes/Lysistrata  Aristophanes o Only comic playwright we have plays from o Intelligently written scripts o Dealt with serious issues o Wrote first feminist plays that portrayed women that weren’t obsessed with drinking and sex in comedies  Storyline o Inciting incident- beginning, meeting with women representatives o Conflict- women want end to war o Solution- give up sex, take over treasury o 2 choruses- old men and old women banter back and forth o Crisis- women start missing husbands during middle of play o Lysistrata gets more serious at end o Compares government to making a wool suit, there are lots of steps to bring together citizens o Plan has spread everywhere and is working o Rod scene: woman teases man, plays with audience o Climax- not big, sudden ending Greek comedy  Subject matter o Social issues such as political and cultural issues o Similar to satyr plays  Chorus was usually non-human  Made fun of political figures o Who were usually in the audience  Raunchy and dirty  Different from Roman comedy in that it deals with actual current issues whereas Roman is just about escaping reality with sitcom ludi Romani  Ludi- state sponsored religious festivals  Ludi Romani given in honor to Jupiter each September  Established in 6 century o 364 BCE- performances began o 240 BCE- comedy and tragedy incorporated to worship gods Fabulua  Story of tale, modern fable Roman comedy  What we know of comedy from the plays of Platus  Farce o A zany comedy with lots of running and miscommunication  Humor o Dramatic irony  Romans wanted to escape reality and live in the moment  Eliminated chorus  Featured musical accompaniment under the dialogue  All the action takes place on the streets  Set is house fronts  Eavesdropping is common and causes many complications  Action is continuous and happening in real time  Situational comedy is comedy of character Stock characters o Character stereotypes o Roman examples  Young lovers  The pimp  Annoying warrior/prick  Courtesan  Old man  Free loafer  Cunning and tricky slave Roman tragedy vs. Greek tragedy  Roman tragedy was adapted from Greek originals  Greek tragedy o Violence/action not on stage o Told effects of action  Roman tragedy o Violence/action happens on stage o Showed effects of actions Use of theatre in the Middle Ages  The church brought back theatre to teach Christianity to illiterate common folk and convert uneducated pagans Mummers  Masked performers Jongleurs  Wandering poets Liturgical Drama  Short dramatic episodes acted out during mass  Inside the church  Often happened on/around festival/religious holidays o Like a passion play or nativity  The subject was Biblical stories  Playing space o Each scene the actors/monks would move to a different location o Alter o Choral stalls o Mansions  Performed by monks, priests, altar boys Mansions  Small booths containing a stage arranged around the nave of the church Pageant wagons  Booths with wheels on them that held scenic elements for the production  Lined up by each other or a circle to make a stage  Each wagon would often be sponsored by a guild and they would be responsible for the special effects  General atmosphere would be like aa festival or carnival  Church began to separate themselves further  Hell Mouth- demons came out of mouth of beast Morality play  Very popular form of medieval drama  Subject was salvation through stories o Not Biblical but inspired by Christian morals  Allegorical drama o Characters= moral qualities  Stories o We see the entirety of a character’s life from birth to death o Hero’s qualities or morals are attacked by sin o Good vs evil o Reward and punishment The Renaissance  Rebirth of civilization  Explosion of art, culture, travel centered in Italy after the fall of Constantinople in 1453  Reintroduction and gained interest in the classical World of Greece and Rome  Education suddenly became important to higher classes  Art is getting realistic and mathematical  Happened in Italy because monks smuggled art and plays from Constantinople to Italy University Wits  Collection of university professors  Acting troupes hired university trained writers  Came up with revenge tragedy  Have to connect aristocrats with working class Revenge tragedy/characteristics  Most popular form of pre-Shakespeare theatre  Took Seneca’s characteristics  Characteristics o Motive: revenge, either real or imagined  Playwrights are ingenious with how revenge takes place o Types  Sacred  Happens to hero, real motive  Animosity of ambition  Villain makes up story for revenge o Plot plays with gray area  Personal and political lines get blurred o Revenge degenerates the revenger  Either in madness (real or false), fury, or obsession o Action  Violent and sensational  Keeps lower class interested  Characters- common motives o Noble/courageous lover is murdered o Kinsmen avenge murder victim, is psychologically frustrated o Villain uses others to carry out villainy o Beautiful lady wronged and destroyed by circumstances Shakespearean tragic hero  Possess high rank in society  Has extraordinary talents  Tragic flaw  Faced with honor and dignity High Comedy vs. Low Comedy/Taming of Shrew  High comedy o Witty comedy  Low comedy o Slapstick  Doesn’t last long  Lots of bodily humor  Dumbshow o Play within a play; show before the show o Has nothing to do with the main plot  One of Shakespeare’s better comedies  2.5 plot lines in one play  Not produced anymore because of the ending o Wife should be submissive to husband  Allegorical characters o Katharina  Says what she thinks o Bianca  Witty, one type of woman  High comedy with low comedy thrown in  Performed fast Medieval tragedy vs. Renaissance tragedy  Medieval tragedy o Characters fall because of bad fortune, gods, or fate  Renaissance tragedy o Characters fall because of human error, their own flaws


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