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UWEC - THEA 125 - Class Notes - Week 8

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UWEC - THEA 125 - Class Notes - Week 8

School: University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire
Department: Theatre
Course: Intro Theatre-History
Professor: Jennifer Chapman
Term: Fall 2018
Tags: trfiles, americanmusicaltheater, minstrelsy, ziegfeldfollies, burtwilliams, american, and Realism
Name: Intro to Theater History Week 8
Description: american musical theater, minstrel shows, burt williams, trifles
Uploaded: 10/28/2018
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background image American Musical Theater (10/22/2018- 10/26/2018)     musical theater is uniquely american  - evolved out of lower class entertainments    
americans invented musical theater, everything else is imported from Europe 
 
- musical theater is  commercially driven​​ by ticket sales   - this drive to sell tickets leads to big leaps of change   - change is often politically charged    
during this time, realism is happening in western europe and russia  
​​americans travel to the moscow art theater to study with stanislavski  - learn about historical specificity, sets, costumes 
- when actors return to america, they are appalled by the folly shows  
 
artists work in new margins  - write and create publications   - become journalists, dramatists, and playwrights    
musical theater is rooted in:  
- ziegfeld follies   - ethnic performances in nyc   - minstrel shows   - george m. cohan (yankee doodle dandy)    
commercial: 
​​for profit (commercial theaters pay taxes)   - often must make choices in order to convince investors to back their shows   - producers back money for a musical to be produced   - shows often had a single star   - show to show, broadway touring shows    
regional: 
​​non-profit (tax exempt)   - interested in making money from shows to pay actors, create sets, and have reserve money)   - must show all their money was put into the theater   - borrows  subscription​​ from little theater movement (people pay money upfront to see future  shows)   - more experimental than commercial, can choose a season with big selling shows and some that 
might not sell as many tickets  
 
ziegfeld: immigrant, very important producer  
- looked for acts in his show in ethnic and minstrel shows   - acts for white audiences    
vaudeville acts: 
​​travelling performances, perform as a collection of acts   george m. cohan:  ​​came up with dances for broadway shows, seed for modern day dances   greeks believed in elevation of beautiful poetry  - idea of beauty changes dramatically with realism  
background image - (realism tells the truth) sometimes the truth isn't beautiful   - musical theater was not beautiful poetry, but beautiful women, beautiful sets, and beautiful 
songs  
- celebrates beauty in a unique way   - some musicals are not beautiful ( ​​book of mormon: shows darker parts of humanity)   
1904: no education laws 
- kids are not required to go to school  - george m. cohan's only education is in the theater   
cohan brings ethnic folk dances to broadway 
- not high class dances  - self taught   - from the poor, working class  - invented dances to make money   
working class invented to sell tickets  
- form embodies the american spirit and american dream    
 
trifles: 
​​first example of american realism    
ethnic performances: 
​​vaudevillian, immigrants performing for their community   - cohan: style of dance we see today    
minstrel show: 
​​white people dress as an imitation of another racial group to make fun of them   - black face, stereotypical, offensive performances   - minstrel chorus in ziegfeld follies   - african americans gain entrance to the stage through minstrel shows    
burt williams: 
​​first professional black actor  - did minstrel shows in order to gain entrance to the stage   - cakewalk dance   - people in the 1900's had a very different perspective of race in america    
BLACKFACE IS THE ONLY WAY FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS TO GAIN ACCESS TO THE STAGE  
- blacks watching minstrel shows thought "we can do that better"   - white people wrote minstrel scripts    
burt williams: 
​​first professional POC   - portrayed a clown    
burt williams turned his clown character into a wise man  
- made  people think  - people laughed and felt for him    
actors threaten ziegfeld with quitting because they didn't want to perform with burt  
- can easily replace white actors, can't replace burt 

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School: University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire
Department: Theatre
Course: Intro Theatre-History
Professor: Jennifer Chapman
Term: Fall 2018
Tags: trfiles, americanmusicaltheater, minstrelsy, ziegfeldfollies, burtwilliams, american, and Realism
Name: Intro to Theater History Week 8
Description: american musical theater, minstrel shows, burt williams, trifles
Uploaded: 10/28/2018
4 Pages 82 Views 65 Unlocks
  • Better Grades Guarantee
  • 24/7 Homework help
  • Notes, Study Guides, Flashcards + More!
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