INTRO TO THEATRE
INTRO TO THEATRE THTR 1020
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Popular in Theatre
This 11 page Study Guide was uploaded by Ola Treutel I on Tuesday October 13, 2015. The Study Guide belongs to THTR 1020 at Louisiana State University taught by Staff in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 120 views. For similar materials see /class/222582/thtr-1020-louisiana-state-university in Theatre at Louisiana State University.
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Date Created: 10/13/15
Theatre Notes Aesthetics the branch of philosophy that deals with the nature and expression of beauty Commercial Theatre the type of theatre that like the majority of Hollywood screen entertainments has entertainment and profitability as its reason for existence Conflict the key to the movement of a story the element that qualifies a theatrical work as a play Cultural Theatre the type oftheatre that is designed to support the heritage customs and point of view of a particular people religion class country or community Drama a form oftheatre that tells a story about people their actions and the conflicts that result Experimental Plays a play that pushes the limits of theatre by eliminating the distance between actor and audience trying out new staging techniques or even questioning the nature of the theatre Historical Theatre dramas that use the styles themes and staging of plays of a particular historical period Literary Arts arts created with written language Medium the method substance and technique used to create a work of art Performing Arts arts such as theatre music opera and dance whose medium is an act performed by a person Pictorial Arts arts such as drawing and painting created by applying line and color to two dimensional surfaces Political Theatre theatre in which playwrights directors and actors express their personal opinions about current issues Subject what a work of art is about what it reflects and what it attempts to comprehend Spatial Arts arts such as sculpture and architecture that are created by manipulating material in space Theatrea performing art that is always changing and whose every performance is unique Values the principles standards and qualities considered worthwhile or desirable within a given society Bourgeois Theatre commercial theatre productions that like bigbudget Hollywood Film pursue maximum profits by reaffirming the audience s values Copyright a legal guarantee granted by the government to authors composers choreographers inventors publishers and corporations that allows them to control and profit from their creative work and intellectual property Corporate Funding money contributed to the arts including the theatre from companies of all sizes National Endowment for the Arts NEA the federal agency that disburses tax dollars as grants to fund cultural programs Parody the exaggerated imitations that are done for comic effect or political criticism Patrons individual contributors to the arts Public Domain the legal realm of intellectual property that is not protected by a copyright or patent and belongs to the community at large Royalty Payment payment to playwrights or their estates to exchange for staging a copyright play Writers for the Hire writers such as screen and tv writers who sell their words to production companies rather than retaining a copyright to them Blackface black makeup used by white performers playing African American roles as in minstrel shows CrossCultural Theatretheatre that joins contrasting ideas whether staging techniques or myths and rituals from diverse cultures into a single work in order to find parallels between cultures and promote cultural pluralism Culture the values standards and patterns of behavior of a particular group of people expressed in customs language rituals history religion social and political institutions and art and entertainment Enculturation the process by which we learn about our culture Ethnocentrism the practice of using one s own culture as the standard forjudging other cultures Harlem Renaissance an African American literary artistic and musical movement during the 1920 s and 1930 s centered in the Harlem neighborhood in New York City Minstrel Show stage entertainment consisting of songs dances and comic scenes performed by white actors in blackface makeup originated in the nineteenth century Multiculturalism the attempt to achieve a pluralistic society by overcoming all forms of discrimination including racism sexism and homophobia Pop Culture short for popular culture the fads and fashions that dominate mainstream media music and art for a period oftime Stereotypes generalized assumptions about people who are not like us Theatre of ldentity plays by and about a particular culture or ethnic group Theatre of Protest plays that criticize the policies of the dominant culture and demand justice Theatre of the People a type of theatre that provides a forum for everyday people to express themselves Yiddish Broadway the Jewish theatre district on Second Avenue in New York City in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century Aesthetic Distancethe audience s awareness that art and reality are not the same Bowdlerizeto edit out any vulgar obscene or otherwise possibly objectionable material before publication Censorshipthe altering restricting or suppressing of information images or words circulated within society Curtain usually the start of a show but can also be the end of a show or an act signaled by the raising or lowering the curtain Directors Note an article in a play s program by the director explaining what he or she intended to accomplish Dramatic Criticism a discriminating often scholarly interpretation and analysis of a play an artist s body of work or a type of period of theatre Fourth Wall an imaginary wall separating the actors from the audience an innovation of realism in the theatre in the mid1800s Group Dynamics the functioning of people when they come together in groups Licensing Act of 1737 an English law that gave the Lord Chamberlain the authority to censor plays Paper the House to give away free tickets to the families and friends of cast members in order to make it appear as though the play is popular Playwright s Note an article in a play s program by the playwright explaining what he or she intended to accomplish Presentational Theatre type oftheatre that makes no attempt to offer a realistic illusion on stage the actors openly acknowledge the audience often playing to them and sometimes even inviting members to attend Preview Performances performance if a play open to the public before the official opening night Realism the cultural movement behind theatrical realism it began around 1850 and popularized the idea that plays could be a force for social and political change Representational Theatre a style of theatre in which the actors attempt to create the illusion of reality and go about their business as ifthere were not audience present Reviews published or broadcast opinions of critics about whether a particular play is worth seeing Souvenir Programs programs sold at large professional performances that have more pictures and information about the production and cast than the basic program Willing Suspension of Disbelief the audience s acceptance of the quasireality of a work of art that enables the playwright director and actors to communicate perceptions of reality the term was coined by English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge Artistic Directorthe person in charge ofthe overall creative vision or goal of the ensemble often chooses which plays to produce who will direct and who will design also an ambassador to the community fundraiser and the theatres chief promoter Assistant Stage Manager A person who helps stage scenes and manage the production crew Call the time the actors arrive at the theatre Choreographer the person who creates the dance numbers for a play or musical or who teaches the numbers to the actors Concept Meeting an artistic gathering to interpret the playwright s script the director and designers brainstorm research and experiment with different set costume and light possibilities Costume Shop the sewing machines fabric cutting tables fitting rooms and laundry facilities needed to create and maintain the costumes for a theatrical production Cycloramaa large stretched curtain suspended from a ushaped pipe to make a background that completely enclose the stage setting Dramaturg a literary advisor and expert in theatre history who helps directors designers and actors better understand the specifics and sensibilities of a play and who can also help the playwrights find their voice Draper a person who after studying the costume designers drawings and renderings cuts fabrics into patterns and realizes the design Dresser a person offstage who helps actors make quick costume changes Ensemble the crews of technicians the assistants and the artists including Fight Director a specialist who choreographs stage combat from fistfights to swordplay Flat originally the woodandmuslin units that made up three walls of a room on stage made up three walls of a room on a stage now plain wall units as well as doors windows and fireplaces Ghost Light a single bare light bulb mounted on a portable pole left to burn all night in the middle ofthe stage as a safety precaution Greenroom a small room for actors waiting for their cues located just offthe stage and out of the audience s earshot House a theatre s seating area House Manager in charge of all the ushers deals with any seating problems and makes sure the audience finds their seats and the play begins on time Legs the curtains at the sides of a stage in a proscenium arch theatre Literary Manager the liaison between playwrights agents and the theatre who reads and evaluates new scripts also this person often writes grant applications to help support new play development and stage readings of news plays Mission Statement a theatre s purpose and key objectives which can include quality diversity and accessibility as well as the type oftheatre to be produced Movement Coach a specialist who instructs actors in various styles of movements Musical Director a specialist who works with the musicians and teaches the actors the songs for a musical Performance Report detailed notes to the actors and crew informing them of any problems that occurred and what needs to be fixed before the next performance Producer the person or institution responsible for the business aspects of a production they can be individuals who finance the production with their own money or who are in control ofthe investors money Production Meeting one of a series of meetings between a director and designers to discuss how to realize the production concept as well as the play s philosophy interpretation theme physical demands history and style Prompt Booka copy ofthe play on which the productions sound and light cues blocking notes and other information needed for rehearsal and performance are recorded Prop short for property includes set props Prop Check the prop master ensures props are placed where they need to be and that they are in working order Prop Master a person who finds and buys props for productions or designs and builds them also in charge of rehearsal props Prop Table a backstage table with each prop laid out and clearly labeled where actors must place their props before leaving the area Publicity Department people who promote a theatre and its upcoming productions Rehearsal Costume a temporary costume used during rehearsal so that the actors get a feel for the actual costume before it is ready Rehearsal Prop a temporary prop used during rehearsal to represent the real property that the actors will not be able to use until a few days before the play opens Rehearsal Report the stage manager s written report for the entire ensemble on how rehearsal went and about any concerns or ideas that affect the light set props or costume Repertory a group of plays performed by a theatre company during the course of a season Rigger a person who mounts and operates curtains sets and anything else that must move via the fly system above the stage also called flyman Running Crew everyone who helps out backstage during a play Scrims a curtain of open mesh gauze that can be opaque or translucent depending on whether the light comes from in front or behind it Set Designer the person who interprets a playwrights and directors words into visual imagery for a production usually has a strong background in interior design architecture and art history as well as theatrical conventions of various periods Sound Board Operator a person who runs the soundboard during the various sound cure throughout a production also ensures that all the speakers mixer amplifiers backstage monitor and intercom are working prior to curtain Sound Designer a person who synthesizes and records the sounds for a production and designs systems to amplify an actor or singers voice has a detailed knowledge of acoustics electronics digital music editing programs audio mixing boards and signal processing equipment microphones effects processors and amplifiers and sometimes writes and plays transition music or underscore scenes with mood music Stage Door the back door that actors use to enter and leave the theatre Stage Manager the most important assistant to a director the person who is responsible for running the show during the performance and helping the director during auditions and the rehearsal process by taking notes recording blocking and scheduling rehearsals Stagehand a person who helps shift scenery and generally sets up the play for the next scene Stitcher the person who sews fabric patterns together creating the full costumes and also builds or finds the rehearsal costumes Teasers the curtain that frames the top of the stage Technical Director the person who coordinates schedules and engineers all the technical elements of a production Vocal Coach a specialist who helps actors with speech clarity volume accent reduction or acquisition ad preservation oftheir voices for the long run of a show Action the characters deeds their responses to circumstances which in turn affect the course of the story Antagonist the character who stands in the way of the protagonists goals Back Story dialogue about what happened to the characters before the play began and what happens between the scenes and offstage Climax the point ofthe greatest dramatic tension in the play the moment the antagonist is defeated Closed Shop Union a union to which all employees must belong and which the employer formally recognizes as their sole collective bargaining agent also called the union shop Dark Moment the end of the middle section of a formula play when the protagonist fails the quest collapses and the goal seems unattainable Denouement the outcome of a play a short final scene that allows the audience to appreciate that the protagonist because ofthe preceding events has learned some great or humble lesson Dialogue the spoken text of the play the words the characters say Disturbance an inciting incident that upsets the balance and starts the action of a play by creating an opportunity for conflict between protagonists and antagonist Dramatics Guild of America the playwrights union in the United States and open shop union Enlightenment the protagonists realization of how to defeat the antagonist often related to the theme of the play Event an unusual incident a special occasion or a crisis at the beginning of a play that draws the audiences interest Exposition dialogue about what happened to the characters before the play began and what happens between the scenes and offstage also called backstory Genre a category of artistic works that share a particular form style or subject matter Major Dramatic Question the hook that keeps an audience curious or in suspense for the duration ofthe play an element in the beginning of a formula play that results for the disturbance and the point of attack OpenShopUnion a union in which membership is optional such as the Dramatist Guild of America Parenthetical a short description to help the actor or the reader interpret a particular line or dialogue Plot the causal and logical structure that connects events in a play Plot Structure the playwrights selection of events to create a logical sequence and as a result to distill meaning from the chaos of life Point of Attack the point in the beginning of a formula plot where the protagonist must make a major decision that will result in conflict Protagonist in an ancient Greek play the main actor now the central character who pushes forward the action ofthe play Rising Action the increasing power drama and seriousness of each subsequent conflict crisis and complication in a play Stage Directions notes that indicate the physical movements of the characters Subtext the hidden meaning behind a line of dialogue the real reason a character chooses to speak Theme a plays central idea a statement about life or a moral Writers Guild of America the closed shop union that represents screen and television writers Actors Equity Association the union that represents stage actors often shortened to actors equity or equity American Federation of TV and Radio Artists the trade union affiliated with the aflcio that represents talkshow hosts as well as announcers singers discjockeys newscaster sportscasters and even stuntpeople Blocking Rehearsal a series of rehearsals in which the director and actors work out the blocking or the movement of the actors on stage during a play Callback List during auditions a list directors keep of actors they want to call back for subsequent audition s as they narrow the field of candidates Cattle Call an audition to which anyone may come and be given a minute or so to perform forthe director also called open call Character Flaw an inner flaw that hampers a character s good judgement and leads the character to make unfortunate choices Cold Reading audition in which actors read from a script without any preparation Dark Night the one night ofthe week when a play is not performed and the theatre is closed typically Monday night Dress Rehearsal the final rehearsal when costumes and makeup are added before the play opens Emotional Memory an acting technique pioneered by Konstantin Stanislavsky in which the actor recalls the visual and auditory images or physical circumstances of a reallife event in order to relieve the emotions accompanying it Also sense memory or affective memory Empathy the ability to understand and indentify with another s situation to the extent of experiencing that person s emotions Equity Waiver an exception to Actors equity association wage standards that allows members to work for free in small productions Fatal Flaw character flaw hamartia Final Dress Rehearsal the last rehearsal before an audience is invited General Working Rehearsal rehearsals during which the director and actors work on individual scenes and concentrate on understanding the characters motivations emotions and personality Given Circumstances character analysis approach that begins with examining characters life circumstances their situations problems and the limits life has placed on them Can include general background such as upbringing religion and social standing as well as what happened to the character the moment before entering the scene Inner Conflict some sort of unfinished business that is so compelling that it handicaps the character until it is confronted International Phonetic Alphabet a system for transcribing the sounds of speech that is independent of any particular language but applicable to all language Magic lf a technique pioneered by Konstantin Stanislavsky for developing empathy with a character it involves searching for the answers to the question what would I do if I were this character in these circumstances Method Acting also know as the method this system of realistic acting was distilled by followers of Konstantin Stanislavsky and has been taught primarily since the 1930s in America Motivation the conscious or subconscious reason a character takes a particular action OffBook Rehearsal the rehearsal when the actors must have their lines memorized because they no longer have the script with them on stage RunThrougha rehearsal to go through an act or the entire play from beginning to end with as few interruptions as possible Screen Actors Guild the union that represents film and television actors Special Rehearsal a rehearsal for a special element such as fight scenes musical numbers dance numbers or dialects Stanislavsky System an individualized psychological approach to acting pioneered by Konstantin Stanislavsky also known as method acting Substitution replacing a characters emotions with unrelated personal emotions a technique used when the actor has not had the experience or emotional reaction of a characte Superobjective The driving force that governs a character s actions throughout the play Synthespian Digital actor created by computer animators Table Work The first step in the rehearsal process the actors read through the play while seated around a table Afterward the director and actors discuss the characters motivations and meaning and the designers may present their ideas to the cast Technical Approach Acting from the outside in concentrating on physical details Compare to method acting Tech Rehearsal Rehearsals that include the lights sound costumes more complex props and final set pieces Tragic Flaw An unchangeable trait in a character that brings about his own ruin Assistant Director A person who helps stage scenes and manage the production crew Beat A section of dialogue about a particular subject or idea the smallest structural element of a script Blocking The movement ofthe actors on stage during a production the technique the director uses to achieve focus and picturization Casting Against Type Casting an actor who is very different from or even the opposite of the type of person who would be expected to play the part Casting to Type Casting an actor who physically matches the role or who has a deep understanding of the character s emotions and motivations Colorblind Casting Casting actors without regard for their race or ethnic background Concept Production A production of a play dominated by the director s artistic vision or concept Creative Director A director who adds concepts designs or interpretations to a playwright s words Cross Gender Casting Intentionally casting men to play women s roles and women to play men s roles Didaskalos n ancient Greece a playwright who staged the plays he wrote instructing the performers and advising the designers and technicians Director The person who turns a printed script into a stage production coordinating the work of theatre artists technicians and other personnel Focus The actor action or spot on the stage to which the director draws the audience s attention French Scene A structural element of a play that begins with any entrance or exit and continues until the next entrance or exit GenderNeutral Casting Casting without regard for the character s gender Interpretive Director A director whose goal is to translate a script from page to stage as faithfully as possible Moscow Art Theatre A theatre company founded in the late nineteenth century by a group of Russian producers actors directors and dramatists Made famous by the plays of Anton Chekhov and the acting techniques of Konstantin Stanislavsky Picturization Composing pictures with the actors to reinforce an idea in the story a technique used by directors Production Concept The thematic idea symbol or allegory that conveys the tone mood and theme of a Play Profile An actor s position at a right angle to the audience halfway between open and closed Sharing Focus A position for two or more actors each with a shoulder thrown back so that the audience can see them equally Stage Area One of the nine sections of the stage labeled according to the actors point of view such as downstage right center stage or upstage left Stealing Focus Taking focus out of turn Triangulation A technique for drawing focus when three actors or groups of actors are on stage the person or group at the upstage or downstage apex ofthe triangle takes the focus See also focus Upstaging Taking focus out of turn Apron Also called lip the area of a proscenium arch stage that extends into the audience s side ofthe picture frame Arena Theatre A type oftheatre with the stage in the center like an island surrounded on all sides by audience also called theatreintheroun Basic Elements of Design Line dimension balance movement harmony color and texture Black Box Theatre A small theatre that generally holds fewer than a hundred people and has moveable seats so that audience groupings can be changed for every production Character Makeup Makeup that completely transforms the way actors look such as shadows wrinkles and gray hair to turn a young actor into an elderly character Computer Aided Design Programs used by set designers to create blueprints of set designs Costume Plate Drawings that indicate how a costume is shaped where seams and folds are how the costume flows and what fabrics are to be used Dimmer A computerized light board Dress Parade A tryout of the completed costumes by the actors for the costume designer and director so that necessary changes can be made before opening night Elevation3s The views of a set design from front and back Expressionism A style that shows the audience the action ofthe play through the mind of one character Instead of seeing photographic reality the audience sees the character s own emotions and point of view Floor Plan the blueprint of a set design that shows the view from above Fly System The elaborate network of pulleys riggings and counterweights that allows scenic pieces to be flown up and out of the audience s sight in a traditional proscenium arch theatre Found Space Spaces where theatre can be performed such as parks churches town squares basements warehouses gymnasiums jails subway stations and street corners Gel Sheets of colored plastic attached to the front of lighting instruments Gobo Metal cutouts placed on the front of lighting instruments to project patterns such as sunlight coming through the leaves of a tree on the stage Hand Props Any objects actors handle while on stage such as pens fans cigars money and umbrellas Lighting Plot A detailed drawing that shows the location of each lighting instrument on the hanging grid where its light will be focused its type wattage and the circuitry needed and its color Limelight in the mid1800s a gaspowered spotlight in which a jet of oxygen and hydrogen was ignited with small bits of lime Now the word means the center of attention Lip Also called an apron the area of a proscenium arch stage that extends into the audience s side of the picture frame Motivated Light Stage lighting that comes from an identifiable source such as a candle a lamp or the sun Nonmotivated Light Stage lighting that reinforces the mood of a scene but doesn t necessarily come from an identifiable or onstage source Proscenium Arch A formal arch that separates the audience from the actors or a theatre with such an arch Also called picture frame theatre Realism A style of theatre that attempts to seem like life with authenticlooking sets honest acting and dialogue that sounds like everyday speech Selective Realism A design style that mixes authenticlooking elements with stylized ones Set Decoration A prop that is part of the set and is not touched by actors Set Props Any prop that sits on the set such as sofas chairs and beds Sight Lines Audience members view of areas of the stage Simplified Realism A design style that suggests rather than exactly duplicates the look of a period Straight Makeup Makeup that does not change actors looks but makes their faces look more threedimensional and therefore more visible to the audience Surrealism A genre of theatre that emphasizes the subconscious realities of the character usually through design and often includes random sets with dreamlike qualities Symbolism A design style or theatre genre in which a certain piece of scenery a costume or light represent the essence of the entire environment Thrust Stage A theatre with a lip that protrudes so far into the house that the audience must sit on one of the three sides of the stage Vomitories Tunnels like those in sports stadiums that run into and under the tiers of audience seats to allow actors quick access to the stage Wings Areas out of the audience s sight from which actors make their entrances and in which sets are stored
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