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UWEC - THEA 125 - Anti-Realism - Class Notes

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UWEC - THEA 125 - Anti-Realism - Class Notes

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background image Presentational: breaks the 4 th  wall; actor faces and speaks directly to the audience Representational: actors don’t acknowledge the audience – they’re acting out the 
play as if it were real life. 
Anti-realism is still part of the modern era.  Anti-realism (1915-1945) - Reaction to realism  - Artists starting to question realism. “There is a truth in me that I don’t have 
language for” like truth one cannot see. 
- When a play poses a question to the audience and then answers it for them 
(catharsis, e.g. Oedipus the King) then the play is not honoring the audience 
members’ truths. Catharsis is a problem. 
Some forerunners (in art) to this movement  -          Symbolism: has to be a representation of something. E.g. The Kiss (1908) by  Gustav Klimt. Rejects the idea that there is a relationship between perception
and representation. Attempts to represent “truth” through imagination, 
spirituality, and subconscious. Suggesting that a photograph doesn’t tell the 
whole truth, because it doesn’t display feelings/emotion/spirit as well as art 
does. Suggests that “truth” is not something observable but exists in what is 
NOT seen. Attempts to capture a feeling beyond what the objects/characters 
represent
- Expressionism  - Surrealism  - Futurism/Dada  Anti-realism says that truth is singular and knowable – but suggests that truth is 
something we cannot see. It does not challenge the idea that truth is knowable or 
that truth is singular. 
In the modern era, every truth is singular - E.g. “Man” used to refer to all people Six Characters in Search of an Author (quiz) - The setting: An empty stage. The empty stage is a representation. The 
Characters laugh and scoff when the actors attempt to play them, “that’s not 
what I said!”
- Play is about the irony that theatre is supposed to be an examination of truth 
yet everything in a play is fake. 
- Madame Pace: The Stepdaughter’s employer. Prostitution ring. To support 
family w/o enough money. Stepdaughter somehow winds up serving the 
Father. 
- Why is the mother dressed in black mourning? Her lover died. That’s why the 
father came back, to support his children, but drama ensues. 
background image - How does the little girl (“the Child”) die? She drowns in the fountain.  The  problem with catharsis is that it makes someone else answer the main 
question for everyone. No individual thought
- What 3 figures are left on stage at the end? The Father, Mother, and Son.          Characters                         Actors/manager/rehearsal                                                                 Spectators   Stepdaughter (when she runs offstage in the final act) Most of Pirandello’s plays question reality because his mother was a paranoid 
schizophrenic.
Six Characters in search of an Author - We can use Aristotle’s ideas about tragedy to examine the play (even plays 
that don’t use any of Aristotle’s elements of tragedy may still be examined 
under the lens of Aristotle’s elements):
- Plot - Character: Aristotle said characters have to make sense. Characters in Six 
Characters have generic names and don’t always make sense. 
- Ideas: Aristotle said the debate of the play must be both rational and logical. 
The debate of Six Characters is “who’s truth is more truthful?” which is 
actually a rational debate. 
- Visual Metaphor Forms of Anti-Realism: Symbolism Expressionism - Argues that truth needs to come from the artist’s feelings. Art should come 
from within the artist. Not someone else’s objective worldview. 
- The artwork will force you to feel something - Ex: The Scream (1893) is an expressionist painting - A response to widespread anxiety about humanity’s increasingly discordant 
relationship with the world and accompanying lost feelings authenticity and 

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School: University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire
Department: Theatre
Course: Intro Theatre-History
Professor: Jennifer Chapman
Term: Fall 2018
Tags: Anti-realism
Name: Anti-Realism
Description: Lecture Notes
Uploaded: 11/13/2018
4 Pages 69 Views 55 Unlocks
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