Theatre History Week 3
Theatre History Week 3 TH 3321.251
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Samantha Notetaker on Wednesday February 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to TH 3321.251 at Texas State University taught by Kevin Tyson Gates in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 25 views.
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Date Created: 02/03/16
Recap: Melodrama & Romanticism TEST TIP: The test on Monday should be studied for more than any other based oﬀ of the large quantities of new information. Melodrama: Background • Cultural changes in Europe, there are democratic revolutions, industrial revolution urbanization leads to what makes up cities themselves changing Revolutions (Rebellions) all throughout Europe in 1848 • Theatre numbers drastically increase between 1800-1850 Review of Pattern of Melodrama: • virtue under siege (pure hearted young damsel in distress) • bad guy gets poetic justice in the end • quick conversions, essentially character change out of nowhere (usually bad guy into good guy) • suspenseful plots with thrilling escape • comic relief in the form of a servant or ally of the hero • hero (very serious) • Lots of plot devices (abduction, coincidence, hidden papers, mistaken identity, hiding your identity) • Variety though novelty (novelty meaning spectacle or exotic locations) people work hard all day every day, they don't go to the theatre to learn or be enlightened, they simply want to be entertained • Lots of music, song, & dance • Pop culture's response to Neoclassicism People: • Rene Charles Guilbert de Pixerecourt (1773-1884)- playwright included dogs, such as The Dog of Montargis (1814) insisted on control over staging (he used large spectacle like running a train onstage or lava from a volcano) Romanticism • believes in a Higher Truth but it is too big for us to understand in its entirety, God is too vast for human mind to comprehend • all things are a part of one whole • inﬁnite variety is valued, rather than reducing it to a single form Neoclassicism is all about form, in contrast, everything is universal and hierarchical. We all ﬁt into a box where we are all the same. Romanticism says the opposite, inﬁnite variety. It doesn't have to be comedy or tragedy • Duality: human existence is body/soul, spiritual/physical/, ﬁnite/inﬁnite usually dualities that conﬂict with each other • Society is a corrupting force. Closer to nature is closer to God/Truth. the idea of the noble savage. Regardless of how much Europeans conquer these new lands and customs, theres is probably closer to the truth because they are closer to nature, and therefore God and the truth • emotion & instinct are more important than reason is (opposing the Enlightenment way of thought) • art gives us a look at the truth, which in turn, raises our awareness of what is potential • seeing the "Truth" requires Genius; so this means that the Artist is superior to the rest of the world. • August Wilhelm Schlegel (1767-1845)- published and founded magazine with brother in 1798 called Das Athenaum ‣ started debate about romantic ideas translated works of Calderon, Dante, and Shakespeare ﬁrst professor Sanskrit in Europe and translated Bagvadgida fueded with Kotzebue over silly plays ‣ wrote article entitled The Hyperborean Jackass in 1799 • Ludwig Tieck (1773-1835)- tried to put Romantic ideals on stage ‣ diﬃcult to put such esoteric qualities in the stage, you have to leave a lot out ‣ put fairytales on stage to satirize rationalism Uses "twilight" imagery in one of his plays. (as "the time when the logic of daylight meets the mystery and magic of night) so they became known as 'twilight men' ‣ mirrors Plato's idea of where night and light meet is where the truth is wanted more realistic acting used Elizabethan staging ‣ thrust ‣ Hired someone to look at the plans of the Fortune Theater, built in London during the Renaissance artist unity through a strong director (struggle through the late 1800s, because people who buy tickets come to see certain actors. This means star actors have a lot of power, so they will do what they want) Did Shakespeare with the Elizabethan staging Did Antigone with Greek-style staging. Kaiser Octavianus (1802)- most famous work, history of how Christianity took over in Europe. Set all through medieval Europe, like 400 pages long. Primary contributions: ‣ translating Shakespeare ‣ using Greek & Elizabethan staging Neoclassicism under attack: Summary • Melodrama- pop cultures response • Romanticism- high culture's response Romantic Theatre Impacts: • Romanticism had large impact on theatre, hard to translate from poetry and novels to the stage • rejection of Neoclassicism (not all of it, but some points of it) often keep the 5 act structure some call back to the ancient way of doing things, so they aren't neglecting all of it • Emphasize mood, character, and emotion=individual is valued • According to Schlegel: "plot is used by less skillful writers to keep action moving" essentially melodrama. None of the qualities of melodrama would have been typically used • lots of closet drama (designed to be read, but not really performed) and unﬁnished plays • elevates Shakespeare's reputation (largely due to Schlegel and Tieck, but it is adopted in other places as well) German Drama: 1800-1850 • Goethe's Faust considered to be the perfect example of the Romantic drama (Goethe didn't like Romanticism, ironically) essentially because these movements are just people looking back at trends years later • Ludwig Tieck experiments with staging and Shakespeare's plays. • Emergent forms start to come to the forefront Henirch von Kleist wrote The Prince of Homburg in 1811 ‣ based on real story, but then events changed to serve the playwright • Georg Buchner (1813-1837) dies before he turns 24 Wrote inﬂuential plays, but forgotten and then found and published 40 years after his death. ‣ Woyzeck (1837)- tragedy that preﬁgures what comes later. About a soldier who has a superior oﬃcer who sleeps with his girlfriend. Lots of murder, grit, pre-ﬁgures naturalism, realistic portrayal of characters, realistic acting ‣ Danton's Death (1835) ‣ Lenz (1835) novella which was one of the ﬁrst example of modern European prose. Would later be inﬂuential in the naturalist and expressionist movements. Performance In Germany: 1800-1850 • Increased spectacle, and historical accuracy • 5 generalized periods (if not done in the present period) 1. Classical 2. Medieval 3. 16th Century 4. 17th Century 5. Mid 18th Century Wednesday Notes: German Performance Continued: • Box sets were fully used by 1826, but they weren't prevalent until the 1870s. • A movement from ensemble acting to more stars (less Greek) the actors, as they gain acclaim will travel around to diﬀerent companies performing star roles in shows and companies will rehearse without them. French Theatre • Napolean rules France from 1804-1815 • 4 main state theaters, 4 minor theaters • Favors towards Neoclassicism • During Napoleon's rule, French translations of Schlegel's work was banned • The "elevated" versions of melodrama came to the forefront. unhappy endings higher brow language not made for lower classes anymore • Victor Hugo (`1802-1885) In his preface to his novel, Cromwell (1819), he wrote what became the French Romanticism's manifesto ‣ "Heaven preserve us from systems" ‣ calls for grotesque to be featured in theatre • "Sharpens the eye to beauty" • not everything is beautiful, if we want the stage to be like real life we have to show the ugly side of it too Wrote play called Hernani (1830). ‣ Romanticists ﬁght against the Classicists at the theatre. • Claques-seat people in the audience who respond how they are supposed to respond. Placed to help encourage other audience members to be engaged in what is happening on stage. ‣ breaks the unities (time, place, action) • giving less proper language to higher class • subplots • not in one constant location • not in 24 hours • mixing comedy and tragedy Play, Les Burgraves, fails in 1843 which symbolically signals the end of the Romanticism movement in France • Eugene Scribe (1791-1861)- writes short plays mixed with songs member of Academie Francaise (1834) wrote over 300 works (even wrote opera libretti) Most famous for his "Well-Made Play" (piece bien faite) ‣ essentially a formula for how to structure a play • "Well-Made Play"- late point of attack, there is exposition at the beginning, tight plot. almost immediate inciting incident almost too obvious with the exposition there is a secret that the audience knows but the main characters do not (quidproquo) conﬂict between hero and antagonist, will look like hero is going to win, and then there is a reversal of fortune and the bad guy comes out on top. a series of obstacles are faced by the characters "scene a faire"- "scene that must be done", where the hero wins and the secret is revealed fast denouement after the climax The Glass of Water (1842)-perfect example of "The Well-Made Play" Scribe "used all the tricks, all of the time... a consummate juggler." over-simpliﬁcation to say that he was formulaic in writing Performance Conditions in France to 1850: • Gas lighting used in 1822 • Playwrights would get royalty (10-15%) for each show • Hugo began to use the whole stage • Actors utilized furniture • Run of the show might last about 100 shows (by 1835) • Lines of businesses began to change to star actors. • Louis-Jacques Daguerre (1787-1851)- invented diorama, used panoramic sets and the audience would sit in the middle and revolve • Once you hit 1840, costuming was usually historically accurate star actors still existed so they would sometimes just wear what they want • 1855 led to 28 theatres in France English Theatre to 1850: • Licensing restrictions were lessened • 1800: 6 theatres • 1843: 21 theatres • An evening at the theatre might last upwards of 6 hours • Repitory of theatres expands • In 1843 the Theatre Regulation Act was put in place Prior to this, the Lord Chamberlain has control/licensing of every theater/play in London. He essentially does what he wants and has complete control. this act gave licensing to local authorities. He actually has to give reasons for why he will turn down a license for a play now. Essentially, the only change is to giving no reason, to any reason he wants. gives power to local groups rather than Lord Chamberlain, licensing can be liberal in certain areas censorship in England would continue into 1968. They could cut whatever they wanted, change or deny the play altogether English Drama • Romantic poets would write a few plays (Byron, Shelley) • Matthew Lewis (1775-1818) wrote gothic melodramas with elements of horror in them • Joanna Baillie (1762-1851) wrote a few published plays, but they were wrongly considered closet dramas. She was the most respected English playwright of the Romantic era. (closet drama-play to be read and not performed) • Elizabeth Inchbald (1753-1821) 19 plays that were performed (18 were published) • Jane Scott(1779-1839)- managed Sans Pareil Theatre and wrote over 50 stage pieces • Hannah More(1745-1833)- writing plays suitable for female students and sold over 10,000 volumes. TEST TIP: When women or minorities are mentioned, they are important and will be tested. Kembles: • acting dynasty that rules the English stage • John Philip Kemble (1757-1823) managed the Covenant Garden from 1788-1817. He started acting in 1776. From 1790 he was considered the greatest English speaking actor • Sarah Kemble Siddons (1755-1831) from 1782 was considered greatest tragic actress • Charles Kemble (1775-1854)- took over Covenant Garden when JP retired • Frances "Fanny" Kemble (18099-1893) wrote and translated plays. Noted for writing Notes on Some of Shakesepeare's Plays. • They are noted for their classical style (stateliness, dignity, and grace) • Edmund Kean (1787-1833) cared about emotions excelled at villains, didn't care about grace and nobility 1814, appeared at Drury Lane ﬁrst major English actor to tour the US from 1810-1812 1820s worked as "star performer" touring instead of working with a company • Ira Aldridge (1807-1867)- began his career with the African Company in NY got tired of being discriminated against so they would emigrate to England 1825, he had top billing in England and then went onto tour much of Europe played a critically acclaimed Othello • William Charles Macready (1793-1873) combined the Kembles dignity with Kean's passion know for his lengthy pauses (stop to collect thoughts before he began his speeches) managed Covenant Garden at one point and then Drury Lane later on. began to use speciﬁc blocking for actors and wanted actual acting during rehearsals ﬁrst to push for historical accuracy restored some of Shakespeare's texts (not a purist) has high standards as an artist, but not super ﬁnancially successful. • Elizabetta Lucia Bartolozzie Vestris actress, singer, dancer, managed the Olympic theatre coordinated design elements together shortens bill till it ended at 11 used box sets with real props high standards as an artist, but not entirely ﬁnancially successful. TEST TIP: Know her
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