Theatre 1000 Study Guide 1
Theatre 1000 Study Guide 1 Thea 1000
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This 5 page Study Guide was uploaded by Summer Notetaker on Tuesday June 28, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to Thea 1000 at East Carolina University taught by Dr. Jill Carlson in Summer 2016. Since its upload, it has received 32 views. For similar materials see Theatre 1000 in Arts and Humanities at East Carolina University.
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Date Created: 06/28/16
Theatre 1000 Study Guide 1 Art is a mirror or reflection of life; an extension or projection of how we live, think, and feel. Performer: people onstage presenting characters in dramatic action. Critic: someone who observes theatre and then analyzes and comments on it. In ideal circumstances, she is a knowledgeable and highly sensitive audience member. Director: the person who rehearses the performers and coordinates their actions to make certain that they interpret the text appropriately, intelligently and that it is exciting to watch Audience: people to watch the performance Playwright: person who writes script, chooses the story to be told, selects the dramatic episodes, picks the order in which they unfold and writes the dialogue for the characters. Willing suspension of disbelief: we put aside all literal and practical considerations in order to enter into the world of drama. Aesthetic distance: the viewer must be in some sense separated from the performance or object and must be aware that it is a work of art in order to experience its aesthetic qualities. Critic vs Reviewer Critic is more knowledgeable, specialized audience Reviewer has limited knowledge, large audience Criteria for Criticism: 1. What is being attempted? What is the playwright trying to do? 2. How well has it been done? How well has the attempt succeeded? 3. Is it worth doing? Was the attempt worth making? Climatic Plot Structure: all aspects of the play are limited: duration, locale, action and number of characters; construction is tight giving way for Deus ex Machina which means anything that is used to resolve a play at the end. Episodic Plot Structure: people, places and events drawn out over extended period of time, many scenes, lots of characters and may include a parallel or subplot. Contrast and juxtaposition occur: meaning action alternates between short and long scenes and serious and humorous scenes. This structure creates an impression of events piling up; characters fate is not determined by single action but rather many throughout the plot. Characters: Extraordinary characters: heroes and heroines that are larger than life; kings Representative or quintessential characters: three dimensional, highly individual, but at the same time ordinary. Represents a large group of people. Stock characters: not three dimensional. One outstanding trait of human behavior to the exclusion of all others. Stereotypes: dumb blonde Characters with a dominate trait: one aspect of a character dominates making an unbalanced and often comic personality. Minor characters: play a small part in the overall action. Often further the story, support or act as a foil character 2 Narrator or chorus: speaks directly to the audience, frequently commenting on the action. Chorus is the people who comment on the play by singing and dancing. Nonhuman characters: actors play animals or concepts to highlight the human behavior. Protagonist: principal character in the play Antagonist: opponent of the protagonist Genres: Tragedy: dramatic form involving serious actions of universal significance and with important moral and philosophical implication, usually with unhappy ending. Usually probe questions of human existence “why is the world so unjust?” Traditional tragedy: Tragic heroes and heroines; usually extraordinary character who symbolizes entire society. In traditional tragedy the universe seems to trap hero in fateful web. Heightened language or verse. Modern tragedy: Do no deal with kings and queens and are not written in verse. Some say they are not “true tragedies” Ask the same questions “why is the world so unjust?” Comedy: humorous drama whose characters, actions and events are intended to provoke amusement and laughter. Laughter is quintessentially human. Heroic Drama: serious drama that has heroic and noble characters and certain other traits of classical tragedy (such as dialogue in verse or elevated language) but differs from tragedy in important respects. Ex. Having a happy ending or basically optimistic worldview, even if the ending is sad. 3 Melodrama: historically means “song drama” or “music drama.” This came from the music played to accompany the action. Melodrama played on strong emotions of the audience: suspense, fear, nostalgia. Ex. Easily recognized stock characters, strong conflict between good and evil and good always wins. Suspenseful plot with a climax or cliffhanger at the end of each act or before a commercial break. Domestic drama: most of the plays deal with people from everyday life, usually members of a family in their own homes. This has replaced tragedy and heroic drama as the predominate type of serious drama. Tragicomedy: the point of view itself is mixed; the overall or prevailing attitude is a synthesis or fusion of serious and comic. What actors study: Actors train their bodies for many years studying: yoga, stage combat, alexander technique, tia chi, dance, laban, mask, and physical characterization just to name a few. Classical text is also a challenge for actors. The poetry must be articulated clearly and properly sometimes all in one breath. Actors study: articulation; breath control; dialects; projection; singing. Any performer who intends act in a revival of a tradition play (Shakespeare) must learn to speak and project stage verse, which requires much the same breath control as opera. The development of realistic acting: Serious attempts were made to refine craft of acting in a credible, natural style. Became even more important when the style of realism came about. 4 Realism: an attempt to present onstage people and events corresponding to those in everyday life. Three challenges to acting: 1. To acquire the many skills (both physical and vocal) that stage performances demand; to master the craft of acting. 2. To make characters believable. 3. To integrate the first two, that s, combine skills with credibility. The Stanislavski system: a technique used for realistic acting; before this system individual performers had achieved believability on stage, through their own talent; Stanislavski developed system to teach it and discovered that acting realistically onstage was extremely artificial and difficult. Stanislavski said the actor must believe in everything that takes place on stage. He developed serious of exercises and techniques. Wanted to help actors achieve: behavior that was natural and convincing; to create true to life, complex characters with wants and needs; to make the life onstage continuous and dynamic; to develop a strong sense of ensemble playing with other performers on stage. 5
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