Theatre 1000 Week One Notes
Theatre 1000 Week One Notes Thea 1000
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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Summer Notetaker on Tuesday June 28, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Thea 1000 at East Carolina University taught by Dr. Jill Carlson in Summer 2016. Since its upload, it has received 67 views. For similar materials see Theatre 1000 in Arts and Humanities at East Carolina University.
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Date Created: 06/28/16
Theatre 1000 Experiencing the Play: Theatre has two meanings: it’s a place where you watch a production and an art form and discipline. Historical perspective: theatre is the foundation for all drama. Live performance: theatre is live which makes it different from watching a film. Social force: theatre is used for entertainment and to display timeless observations. 6 Elements of Drama: plot character thought diction music spectacle Plot: organized; includes beginning, middle and end. Exposition occurs in beginning; any relevant information that happened before plot. Middle includes the climax and complications; the end is the resolution. Characters: many different types Theatre in Today’s World: Characteristics of Art: three categories Literary, visual and performing Literary arts include novels, short stories and poetry. (sight) Visual arts include painting, sculpture, and photography. (sight) Performing Arts include theatre, dance, opera and music. (sight and sound) Characteristics of performing art: Requires creators and interpreters and an audience Elements of theatre: Performers: actors Directors: rehearses the actors and coordinates their actions Theatre space: stage Design: costumes, lighting, sets Theatre allows people to collaborate. Key terms: Director: person who rehearses and coordinates performers to ensure that they interpret the text appropriately. Global: having to do with any activity; political, economic, artistic, cultural- in which nations and people around the world relate and interact. Multiethnic/multicultural: referring to any nation, community, or group in which people of various ethnic or cultural origins or beliefs coexist and interact. Performing arts: Theatre, dance, opera and music. Film also partakes of the performing arts. Script: also text. Story, incident or event put into theatrical form. Theatre space: the place where performers and audience come together. 2 The Audience: Role of the audience Each performance is unique and occurs before an audience. Actors make the play a living thing in time and space. They have to keep going even if accident occurs. Theatre is live and unique. The audience can be encouraging to the actors with laughs or discouraging with coughing and rustling of programs. Even these slight differences can change how the actors carry on. Audience can participate vicariously through the imagination. We become involved and discover emotions. Willing suspension of disbelief: Putting aside all literal and practical considerations to enter into the world of drama and really get into the play. Ex. Peter Pan flying or believing characters are moving forwards and backwards in time Aesthetic distance: viewer must be in some sense separated from the performance and be aware that it is a work of art in order to experience its aesthetic qualities. Critic vs Reviewer Both observe theatre and then analyze and comment on it. The difference is that a critic usually have more knowledge of the history of theatre and how the elements make it one. Criticism can be to find fault or to understand and appraise. When criticizing, you should ask “What is the playwright or production attempting to do?” “How well has it been done?” “Is it worth doing?” Two types of criticism: 3 Descriptive: describes very clearly what is happening in the play. Prescriptive: offers advice and rules for what should be done. Key terms: Aesthetic distance: physical or psychological separation or detachment of audience from dramatic action, usually considered necessary for artistic illusion. Auteur director: a director who believes that his or her role is to be the author of a production. An auteur directors point of view dominates that of the playwright and the director may make textual changes and modifications. Creating the Script: The playwright creates the script and has a process: Selecting the specific subject of the play Determining focus Establishing purpose Developing dramatic structure Creating dramatic characters Establishing point of view Subject: Decide what aspect of human life to write about Focus: Shows what to focus on and how we view things Purpose: Can be meant for entertainment, to show the downfalls of a society Structure: must have structure just like a building Plot: the arrangement of events and order of scenes in a play. Action: a play must have action 4 Conflict: collision or opposition of persons or forces that gives rise to dramatic action Opposed Forces: people in conflict that are fiercely determined to achieve their goals and are powerful adversaries for one another Balance of forces: people or forces in conflict but must e evenly matched; must be roughly equal in strength and determination. Sequence in Dramatic Structure: Opening scene: starts the action and sets the ton and style for the play Obstacles and complications: Characters must move through a series of steps alternation between achievement and defeat, hope and despair. The outside forces that are introduced at an inopportune moment are complications. Crises and Climaxes: result of conflicts, obstacles and complications, characters become in crises. A play builds from one crisis to another and the final and most significant crisis is the climax. Two forms of structure: Climatic plot construction: aspects of play such as duration, locale, action and number of characters are severely restricted resulting in a contained or intense structure where little time passes. The plot usually begins late in the store, explaining the exposition (any information relating to the play that happened before the play began.) Construction is tight with no loose ends, very orderly and compact. The aim is to always make the events to inevitable that there is no escape until the last minute where Deus ex machina finds a way intervene to untangle the knot. 5 Deus ex machina: any plot contrivance used to resolve a play at the end Episodic plot construction: opposite of climatic plot. This type of play will cover an extended period of time, ranges over a number of locations. Scenes alternate from short to long and there is a large number of characters. A parallel or subplot is possible. This is a secondary plot that reinforces the major plot. Contrast and juxtaposition are used. Rather than moving in linear fashion, the action alternates. Short scenes to long scenes, public scenes to private ones, and comic scenes to serious scenes. The overall effect is cumulative, with an impression of events piling up. Other forms of dramatic structure include: Ritual as structure Patterns as structure Cyclical structure Serial structure Avant-Garde and experimental structure Segments and tableaux as structure Dramatic Characters: Extraordinary characters: heroes and heroines are extraordinary and larger than life. Representative or quintessential characters: embody characteristics that represent an entire group of people Stock characters: the stereotypical characters; the dumb blonde, conceited high school boy 6 Commedia dell’arte: dialogue was improvised around a loose scenario calling for a set of stock characters Characters with a dominant trait: one aspect of the character dominates, making for an unbalanced, comic personality. Often humorous. Minor characters: small roles to serves as a foil Narrator or chorus: narrator speaks directly to audience, commenting on the action. Chorus commented in song and dance on the action Nonhuman characters: many plays include nonhuman character that focus on drawing parallels with the human experience Juxtaposition of characters: using characters in a combination that brings out certain qualities in characters. Playwright will use a protagonist and antagonist to highlight specific qualities in one another. Protagonist: main character, the one whom drama is about. Antagonist: opponent of protagonist Key terms: Action: a sequence of events linked by cause and effect, with a beginning, a middle and end. Best way to unify a play. More generally the central, unifying conflict and movement through a drama. Antagonist: opponent of the protagonist in a drama. Chrous: in ancient greek drama, a group of performers who sang and danced sometimes participating in the action but usually simply commenting on it. In modern times performers in a musical play who sing and dance as a group. 7 Climactic structure: also intensive structure; dramatic structure in which there are few scenes, a short time passes, there are few locales, and the action begins chronologically close to the climax. Climax: often defined as the high point in the action or the final and most significant crisis in the action. Commedia dell’arte: form of comic theatre, in which dialogue was improvised around a loose scenario calling for a set of stock characters. Complication: introduction in a play, of a new force that creates a new balance of power and entails a delay in reaching the climax. Conflict: tension between two or more characters that leads to crisis or a climax; a fundamental struggle or imbalance- involving ideologies, actions, personalities-underlying a play Crisis: point within a play when the action reaches an important confrontation or take a critical turn. Deus ex machina: literally, “god from a machine” a resolution device in classic greek drama; hence intervention of supernatural forces-usually at the last moment- to save the action form its logical conclusion. Dialogue: conversation between characters in a play Dominant trait: found in certain theatrical character; one paramount trait or tendency that overshadows all others and appears to control the conduct of the character. Dramatic structure: the way a play is put together; the sequence of scenes, the rise and fall in the action, the conflict and crises, the resolution Episodic structure: also extensive structure. Dramatic structure in which there are many scenes, taking place over a considerable periods of time in a number of locations. Many episodic plays also use such devices as subplots. 8 Exposition: imparting of information necessary for an understanding of the story but not covered by the action onstage; events or knowledge from the past or occurring outside the play which must be introduced fore the audience to understand the character or plot. Minor characters; in a drama, those characters who have small, secondary or supporting roles. Theses could include soldiers and servants. Obstacle: that which delays or prevent the achieving of a goal by a character. An obstacle creates complications and conflict. Plot: as distinct from story, the patterned arrangement in a drama of events and characters with incidents selected and arranged for maximum dramatic impact. Protagonist: principal character in a play, the one whom the drama is about. Representative characters: characters in a play who embody characteristics that represent an entire group Ritual: specifically ordered ceremonial event Stock character: character who has one outstanding trait of human behavior to the exclusion of virtually all other attributes. Stereotypes Subplot: secondary plot that reinforces or runs parallel to the major plot in an episodic play. 9
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