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THEA 104 Week 3 Notes

by: Kinsey Sturgeon

THEA 104 Week 3 Notes THEA 104

Marketplace > Ball State University > Theatre > THEA 104 > THEA 104 Week 3 Notes
Kinsey Sturgeon
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About this Document

Notes on story & action units, realism & truth, and O'Hara's Doll House analysis
Aesthetics 2
Dr. Michael O'Hara
Class Notes
theatre, aesthetics, THEA 104
25 ?




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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kinsey Sturgeon on Monday February 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to THEA 104 at Ball State University taught by Dr. Michael O'Hara in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see Aesthetics 2 in Theatre at Ball State University.


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Date Created: 02/22/16
Week 3 1/25-Major Action Units, Beats, and Story  The (in)Exact Definitions o MAU are nearly always marked by key developments in the STORY o Actions Units (sometimes called text beats) are whole and complete actions that mark key developments in the MAUs  Often a change in tactics  Multiple can be happening at once  Not everyone will agree on all of them  What units are NOT o MAUs and Units don’t follow the same rules or structures across all plays or scripts o MAUs and Unit’s don’t necessarily fall in the same places for all critics / scholars / artists o Units aren’t the story, the plot, or the characters, but rather are, like DNA, the structures that create them  Defensible MAUs o From the worksheet on Oedipus:  MAU 1=exposition to inciting incident  Process: typed every action as a simple, declarative sentence  Looked for patterns/themes WITHOUT regard to BMEs, then moved them into groups  Looked at new arrangement with an eye towards smaller Units that could be unified by a single action.  Revised sentences to see if they could defensibly fit into a larger BME structure  Settled on the Units you read, each unifies by a single action  What is “story?” o Story isn’t the plot o Story extends beyond the plot, and in a play, it must arise from the plot o Plot can’t be condensed or reduced. It is everything that happens. o Story, ironically, can be condensed and identified in a simple sentence  Measuring Plot and Story o What is the plot of Oedipus?  A group of Thebans pray outside the palace and beseech….  Story is all o Your ability to recognize and ID the heard of a story is perhaps the most important skill you’ll learn o There’s no one way to learn or do this skill; there are many ways to discover, interpret, & perform a story o Analysis must point to a story you can believe in, will sacrifice for, & is worth telling 1/27 – Realism & Truth  Questions & Discussion o Events and words v. actions  The plot is a string of things that happen 2  Dramatic action (MAU) arises from a series of linked events that together add up to a “wholeness of action.”  The plot events are literal.  The MAUs are essential. o What David Ball calls – Trigger and Heap!  Realism & Truth o Why concern ourselves with the “truth?” o “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” –Oscar Wilde o “All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.” –Galileo  Pre-Realism o Realism replaced Romantic Illusionism and remained the dominant form for over 100 years o Many artists contributed to the development of Realism o The three primary Pro-generators were: Scribe, Wagner, and Georg II o Eugene Scribe, French playwright:  Developed the idea of a “well-made-play” – later a bad thing  Used mechanical devices to drive plot  Most common forms of movies/television are derived from the structure of Scribe’s plays o Richard Wagner, German composer & playwright: 3  Advocated for unified art, incorporating all aspects of theatrical production towards a single idea, theme, or goal  Developed continental seating, eliminating a class structure in the theatre itself o George II, Duke Saxe-Meiningen:  Developed a “realistic staging” technique that’s still used today  Created large stage pictures  Sought an illusion of reality – looks real  Demanded lifelike acting  Put actors within stage  Advocated historical accuracy, whenever possible  Realism is actually a paradox: o All theatre, regardless of its time or place, seeks “Realism” o In other words, all ages sought to express or reflect human truth as they understood it o Label Realism originated c. 1850 in France, by 1860s tenets established and in the 1870s Ibsen is writing realistic plays o Ibsen combined the structures and conventions of Melodrama with Scribe’s “well-made-play” to create a new genre  The result is: o a melodramatic treatment of social issues; o realistic, illusionistic spectacle; o Scribe’s “ordinary” plots, tightly knit, cause & effect; 4 o Actions & characters that seem real and profound  Realism’s Purpose: o “To put on stage real life in all its sordidness so that a cure for social diseases may be found.” o Does this work? o Might it work?  Realism’s 4 Tenets o To depict truthfully the real, physical world o To tell the truth obtained thru direct observation o To portray only contemporary life o To strive for impersonal & objective efforts by the obsersver/author  Used to define Post-Modernism  Impossible to be objective  Henrik Ibsen, Father of Modern Drama o Initially a failure as playwright. Stage Manager/Director first success, so he had a practical apprenticeship o Realism controversial because Ibsen’s plays seemed to attack the very foundations of society. o Ibsen probed alternate ending to Doll’s House to prevent others o World wide acceptance and admiration granted after his death  Doll’s House – MAUs & Ideas o Possible emphasis on:  Gender  Character and environment 5  Psychological v interpersonal conflict  Anti-melodramatic structure  Story  Theatre creates truths 1/29  Homework 1 - Group evals (form in bb) due Monday o Sentences  MAUs in A Doll House o This analysis is not a “right answer.” o Other analyses will offer far different approaches to the play. o Most good analyses will be “in the ballpark” in terms of structural analysis. o Act I  MAU 1 - Exposition – Nora constructs the illusion – opening to Mrs. Linde’s entrance  MAU 2 – Inciting Action – Linde challenges the illusion – entrance to Krogstad’s entrance  MAU 3 – Complication – Krogstad threatens the illusion  MAU 4 – Rising Action – Nora repairs the illusion, exit to the end of Act 1 o Act II  MAU 5 – Complication – Krogstad exposes the illusion – opening to Linde’s entrance  MAU 6 – Rising Action – Nora delays the truth – entrance to the end of Act 2 6 o Act II  MAU 7 – Discovery/Reversal – Linde & Krogstad affirm the truth – opening to Rank’s entrance, 706-9  MAU 8 – Crisis – Rank, letters, and Torvald’s reaction = truth destroys illusion – Rank to Nora’s “Sit Down”  MAU 9 – Climax – Nora discovers her truth – “Sit down” to she leaves  MAU 10 – Resolution – Torvald discovers hope for truth – last 3 “lines” of the play 7


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