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Theatre 241 Study Guide

by: Tonisha Hurd

Theatre 241 Study Guide THEA241010

Marketplace > University of Delaware > Theatre > THEA241010 > Theatre 241 Study Guide
Tonisha Hurd

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The information is everything to study for the first exam
Western Theatre: Live on Stage
Study Guide
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This 6 page Study Guide was uploaded by Tonisha Hurd on Wednesday March 9, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to THEA241010 at University of Delaware taught by Carlsen,Allan in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 79 views. For similar materials see Western Theatre: Live on Stage in Theatre at University of Delaware.


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Date Created: 03/09/16
THEA 241 Study Guide Exam # 1 Spring 2016 What is theatre?  Communication, subjective, live, storytelling, conflict and resolution, education, course, transfer of information, entertainment, business, collaborative art form, interactive, building, holding mirror, scope (Theatre of War), soapbox, human experience, soapbox, opinion, place to see live performance, career, improvisation and etc.  Influenced by paintings on cave walls (Lascaux Cave Drawings) 17,000 yrs. ago o Told stories of hunting animals & rituals Beginning Foundations for Western Theatre  Started with GREEKS first & ROMANS second.  Greatest influences may have been the Greeks, Elizabethan th Renaissance, and 20 C. We will see. Evolution of the Greek Stage  Building Gobekli Tepe, 9600 B.C. —people came to it to ritualize  Early Greek Farmers – plowing the farming circle  Early Greek theatre started with poets writing for religious ceremonies — People were there and they built the place where the people were  Homer – stories go back to him  Thespis – stood on a cart, first to use one actor- won the first contest 534 BCE  Aeschylus – small circle theatre, gave us the second actor  Sophocles – gave us third actor, that was it for the Greeks  Euripides – larger circle theatre  The above is the correct time-line for these poets  Greek Theatre Tragedy (from the goat) - Gods, Catharsis, Flaw, Universal truths Early Greek Theatre  Dionysus – God of fertility, wine, sexuality, and patron of theatre  Choral odes – 50 performers all MALE  Thrashing circle to religious ceremonies think rites and rituals. Became dancing circle.  534 BC Athens first dramatic festival once a year  495-420 Pericles Golden Age at one point made theatre free to all Page 1 of 6 THEA 241 Study Guide Exam # 1 Spring 2016 Table of Contents Aspects of the Early Greek Theater  amphitheatre – the entire theatre  eccyclema – wheeled structure platform (think wagon)  theatron – area of seating,  periaktos – tri turned “seeing place” set piece  orchestra – “dancing circle”  mechana – crane, deus  thymele – altar ex-GOD  skene – stage house & our word  cothurnus – platform scenery shoes  proskene – front of stage & our  dianora – process of word proscenium thought  parados – chorus entrance, aisle  choragus – producer ways where the chorus could get  didaskolos – teacher or into the dancing circle director  hypocrit – leading actor  Oedipus by Sophocles (You are responsible for this play)  Characters: o Oedipus, Creon, Tiresias, Jocasta, Messenger, Shepherd, Servant, and Chorus.  Themes: o Dealing with anger, pride, hubris, and fate vs. free will  Plot: o Oedipus solved the Riddle from Sphinx, came to rule Thebes o King Laius, his father; Polybus, Merope his adopted parents from Corinth  Performance we saw in class: o Michael Gotch read Oedipus, and Michael and Elizabeth Heflin read Oedipus and Tiresias (blind seer), and Oedipus and Jocasta Amphitheatres  Amphitheatres sat 15, 17, 19 thousand, back row was 75 yards away  Acting declamatory, unrealistic, large gestures and in broad daylight, masks (no make-up not necessary) Page 2 of6 THEA 241 Study Guide Exam # 1 Spring 2016  Limited scenery, 3 actors or less up on the proskene, monologues for clarity (can see who’s talking) very little movement so as not to confuse audience  Chorus started with 50 men singing and chanting (eventually down to 12 to 15), and there were flutes, lute-like instruments and percussive sounds by instruments or performers or audience, and all violence off stage Aristotle  384-322 BC – greatest thinker of antiquity and “master of those who know” (says Dante)  Philosopher, scientist, wrote POETICS, study of literary expression, essay analyzing theatre, purpose of theatre also wrote about astronomy, physics, rhetoric, ethics, politics, biology, and botany, just to name some more.  Primary purpose of theatre is to provide pleasure and greatest pleasure is learning the truth  Organizing traits of theatre: Three Unities o Action, Time, and Place o Oedipus by Sophocles was the best example of the Three Unities according to Aristotle and best example of theatre Early Greek Theatre had 6 elements of theatre (when there were 4 elements on the periodic table, now 119, plus or minus): 1. Plot (story) 2. Characters (agents of action) 3. Thought/message/theme (Dianoia) 4. Diction (usage, vocabulary, assemblage of words, VERSE) 5. Music* 6. Spectacle** – in that order of importance *not necessary ** not necessary and least important Greeks used theatre to entertain, educate, communicate, and transfer knowledge, all to better themselves and their form of governance - democracy. Moderation, order, proportion, restraint. Walk the middle. Demo=people Greeks gave us – art, theatre (tragedy and comedy), philosophy, architecture, sculpture, Hippocratic Oath (medicine), Pythagoras (math), Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, democracy Page 3 of 6 THEA 241 Study Guide Exam # 1 Spring 2016 Timeline Greeks — Homer to Athenian democracy 800 to 510 BCE (300 yrs.) then to Roman take over 146 BCE at Battle of Corinth (364 yrs.) Greek timeline 664 yrs. (plus or minus) Timeline Romans Founding of Rome 753 BCE— 200 yrs. kings, 500 yrs. republic, 500 yrs. emperor Early Roman Theatre Writers  Romans – gave us practical achievements, law, engineering, architects (Roman arch), civil engineering (roads and aqueducts), military conquest and liked Greek culture laws governing marriage and inheritance  Livius Andronicus (260? – 200 BCE) o Captured Italian Greek from Tarentum in So. Italy but run by Sparta. Dramatist, epic poet brought to Rome to be a tutor; became a teacher of Greek and Latin o Translated many Greek works (Odyssey) into Latin o Father of Roman drama, Cicero and Horace considered him originator of Latin literature  Horace (65 – 8 BCE) o Like a Roman Aristotle, wrote Art of Poetry o Never mix tragedy and comedy (very prescriptive)  Tragedy about royalty and comedy about common people  Seneca (3 BCE – 65 CE) o Wrote tragedies and gave theatre types of characters corresponding to human experience: best known for these three plays Phaedra, Oedipus, Octavia  poor vs. rich; woman vs. man; ghosts, confidants, nurses to console or advise, and advisors. o More Euripides than Sophocles. Meant to be read in small settings & gatherings.  Plautus (254 – 184 BCE) & Terrence (185? – 159 BCE) o Comedies from Greek New Comedy (domestic situations, stock characters, common people) not Old Comedy of Greeks (satire of important and famous people) o Example: Plautus with Miles Gloriosus and Suckpot performed by Michael and Elizabeth. Also Professor Jackson read with Michael and Elizabeth and his part was Dodger. Elements of Roman Theatre • Domestic situations – particularly romance with stock characters Page 4 of6 THEA 241 Study Guide Exam # 1 Spring 2016 Braggarts, parasites, courtesans, lovers, overbearing parents, servants, and cases of mistaken identities. COMEDIES • The five act structure TRAGEDIES • Secondary characters/plot • The catalyzing figure of the ghost returning to provoke revenge • Violent and sensational plots —violence was brought on stage • In Rome, the head of an acting troupe was called Dominus, with 6 males. There were many troupes. Circus Maximus (entertainment and sensationalism) o could hold over 250,000 or ¼ of Rome’s population at the time o chariot racing, equestrian events, acrobatics, wrestling, prizefighting, gladiator combats, gymnastics, juggling, short comedic skits, mime, and pantomime. They had some of these events in arenas, or open-air structures for athletic contests and shows. Rome fell apart:  Barbarians  Christianity, and  Disintegration of Roman administrative structure. Middle Ages (approx. 500 to 1500 CE) o Nearly 1000 years no theatre built. Middle Ages 500 to 1500 CE, plus or minus o Dark Ages basically from 500 to 1000 CE o Muslim scholars preserved manuscripts of Classical Greece and the Romans. o Rise of Christianity – Christian church opposed connection between theatre and pagan religions, and that evil characters portrayed on stage taught immorality to audiences and any sexual content was bad. Toward the beginning of the Middle Ages we saw the following:  Traveling jugglers, minstrels, and mimes.  England had a pageant master and performers used wagons as platform stages in the squares. Page 5 of6 THEA 241 Study Guide Exam # 1 Spring 2016  Traveling groups used pageant wagons o Like parade floats or Rose Bowl floats, or mansions (French word for house) o These were individual scenic units  Some had a tiring house on a wagon (similar to the skene) o Was parked behind it for the actors to attire (change and/or get out of the elements) or retire to. Simultaneous Stage o Medieval practice o Placed all scenes on stage before the performance began Mystery or Cycle Plays o The York Crucifixion  From the York Cycle of Mystery Plays circa 1370 (?)  Was done by the pinners (makers of pegs for wood-joining)  Other craft guilds made up of silver smiths, leather workers, carpenters, bakers, cobblers, or lay people who belonged to religious organizations  Guild’s responsibility was to:  Finance the production  Store the sets and props  Page 6 of6


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