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Theatre Week 13

by: Jordan Rouse

Theatre Week 13 TA 110

Jordan Rouse

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About this Document

American theatre from 19th-20th century.
intro to theatre
Professor Ritter
Class Notes
theater, threatre, week, 13, week 13, 19th, 20th, century, playwright
25 ?




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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jordan Rouse on Thursday April 7, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to TA 110 at University of Kentucky taught by Professor Ritter in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 12 views. For similar materials see intro to theatre in Theatre at University of Kentucky.


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Date Created: 04/07/16
Theatre Week 13 Online Lecture  Late 19 and early 20 century  Popular past time  Still influences the current theatre scene  Eugene O’Neil Theatre during this period  End of 19 , first half of 20 century  Theater thrives during these decades  Wars and great depression during this time  Age of impressive growth  Something that provides value  Not until 1927 do we get first motion picture theatre  Vaudeville Theatre- o variety entertainment (number of short separate acts showcasing performers talent) o comedy, then magician, then o 1880s-1930s o Fined if you violated standards o No vulgar terms o Middle class appeal o Cultivated biggest names of the time o Loved by many Americans o Coast to Coast networks of performers, one vaudeville theatre to the next o Legacy today  America’s Got Talent  Tonight Show  Vaudeville theatre was rich in ideas and issues, including whether or not Government should fund the arts  Federal Theatre Project o 1934-1939, Government took part in only large scale funding of the arts o Roosevelt Administration created WPA( Works Project Administration) during the Great Depression to help get unemployed back to work o Small sliver of WPA went to FTP, employed around 10,000 people in states across the country, producing 1000 shows, heavily subsidized o Children’s theatre, African American units, wide ranges of plays: o only instance where government was directly involved o Program only lasted 4 years o Criticized plays of being left leaning, causing political fight o Living Newspaper plays- took stories from newspapers and dramatized them  Housing inequality, farm policy, actual important issues people delt with. o Hallie Flannagain  Progressive, interested in experimental theatre, key to success in theatre but was a controversial figure, Congress did not like her  Cradle will rock- about political problems she faced, play was shut down  Government  3 major American playwrights late 19 -20 century  Most famous and popular writers, wrote about American life o Eugene O’neill 1888-1953  Father was a famous actor James O’neill  Born on Broadway in a hotel  Well educated  Alcoholic  First American playwright to get attention abroad  Nobel prize for literature 1936  Wrote 25 plays, one comedy  Long day’s Journey into Night, released after his death, it was about family drama dealing with addiction and other social issues o Tennessee Williams 1911-1983  Critical acclaim and popular appeal  Psychological depth. Became the voice for emotionally challenged people in this time of America.  Born in Mississippi  Drug and alcohol along with problems being a homosexual  The Glass Menagerie (1944), A Street Car Named Desire (1948), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955)  Shift in acting training due to the fact that he studied acting and created more natural real characters. (method acting)  May plays were made into films.  Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor played in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.  Still has plays being reproduced today! o Arthur Miller 1915-2005  Plays examine American culture and social issues  Married to Marylyn Monroe for a few years  Deeply held beliefs about theatre’s place in society  He felt that society has destroyed the audience of modern American theater.  Used his plays to approach difficult issues in society  He wanted his plays to make people stop and think  All my Sons (1947), Death of a Salesman (1949), The Crucible (1953)  Wrote difficult probing plays.  Spent most of his life trying to find answers to the real problems that he saw around him.  Plays are still reproduced today. Class Notes:  Solo Performance  Anna Deavere o Famous performer  No need to pay other actor  Big name draws audience o Actor/playwright  Take people from history o Biography  Anne Deavere Smith o Actor, activist (political angle) teacher o Historical/cultural plays: builds around theme  Los Angeles 1992 o She does documentary theater/docudrama way she works  Interviewed 300 people, victims, prosecuted, outside, watching, opinions of professor that had no part of it  Multiple perspectives  She portrays each of the 50 characters  Does it verbatim in extreme detail  Believe language is important in identity  History of L.A. Race Riots o 1992 o Black men (Rodney King) speeding, Police officers beat him o Caught on camera o March 1991- Latasha Harlins (black), tried to buy orange juice, shot by Korean American (white) gas station owner o Reginald Denny- 4 Black men beat him to death  Saving Denny, he was taken to the hospital


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