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Thea210: week of 9/5/2016

by: Grace Notetaker

Thea210: week of 9/5/2016 Thea 210

Marketplace > James Madison University > Theater > Thea 210 > Thea210 week of 9 5 2016
Grace Notetaker

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About this Document

These notes cover: structures of plays, characters, and dramatic language.
Introduction to Theater
John Burgess and Meredith Conti
Class Notes
theater, structure, Plays, characters, types, Dramatic, Language
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Grace Notetaker on Sunday September 11, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Thea 210 at James Madison University taught by John Burgess and Meredith Conti in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 14 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Theater in Theater at James Madison University.


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Date Created: 09/11/16
THEA210 – Week of 9/5/2016 - Wednesday Characters  Main Characters o Protagonist – hero o Antagonist – provides opposition to protagonist  Supporting/Secondary Characters  Bit Characters/Cameo o Have a few lines or are in a couple important scenes o Cameo = unexpected appearance by a well-known person  Supernumeraries o (i.e. an extra, a crowd, etc.)  Foils o Characters that have something similar in their background, but handle it differently o i.e. Sherlock and John  Analyzing Characters o External appearance  Fashion, clothes  Mannerisms, body language  Frowning or smiling, posture o Language  Accents, “y’all, y’inz”  Tone, cadence o Comportment, behavior o Interpersonal interactions  Relationships/groups  Descriptions by others  Character Types o Archetypical  Essential characteristic they embody  Cross-generational/cultural  i.e. Dumbledore and Gandalf  extraordinary people in extraordinary situations o Psychological  Deep characters with complex relationships and desires  3 dimensional: look/feel real to us  empathetic o Stock  “already made” and reusable  representative  generic (in a positive way)  defined by externals (i.e. class, job, gender) o dominant trait  one trait that they are known for and that drives their actions/behavior  usually a negative trait (i.e. jealousy, arrogance, etc.)  (i.e. Othello) o depersonalized  characters = shell 2  qualities/identities unknown  world has removed identity  search for meaning/purpose o deconstructed  doesn’t conform to expectations (expose stereotypes)  “identity is not skin-deep” 3 THEA210 – Week of 9/5/2016 – Friday  Dramatic Language o Goals:  To advance the plot  Emotion through text: sentence length, stage directions, tone  New term: stage direction  To express character  New terms: beat, subtext o Beat = pause o Subtext = implied meaning (i.e. “I don’t want you to worry but…)  To provoke/embody action  (i.e. the language used in the build up to a fight)  to compress emotion  (i.e. Romeo and Juliet)  to set mood, tone, and style  Devices: o Meter  i.e. iambic pentameter (10 syllables – stressed then unstressed)  penta = 5; 5 stressed and 5 unstressed  feminine ending, extra unstressed syllable at the end  new terms: verse, prose, stressed, unstressed o onomatopoeia – word that embodies a sound o alliteration – repeated constantans at the end o assonance – repeated vowels at the end o repetition – repeating of a word(s) o pauses/breaks  choreopoems – use pauses and breaks to create rhythm o failure of speech  (i.e. Samuel Beckett – Breath)  a play with no words, only stage directions  “nonsense words” 2 THEA210 – Week of 9/5/2016  *review: Purpose of Dramatic Structure o scaffolding o gives shape/form to a play o climactic structure – o Important Points:  Point of attack: when the play starts, when the curtains rise  Exposition: part of the play that gives you the back story  Inciting action: the beginning of rising action, moment when conflict arises  Rising action: tension rises through continuously arising sub-conflicts  Climax: point of highest emotional intensity  Falling action (denouement): after climax, return to stasis o also called – Aristotelean Plot (used by the greeks) o Note – there is no subplot because we only follow one character and, traditionally, the location remains the same throughout the whole play, and no time warps  Episodic Structure o Scenes work together, but are enjoyable separately (similar to a TV show)  “cumulative knowledge” o commonly used by Shakespeare o plot v. sub-plot  parallel plot: subplot that reinforces the main plot o Note: allows for us to jump from place to place  Circular Structure o Came about in the 1940’s (WWII) – a futile time period o Absurdist: group of playwrights who used circular structure to demonstrate the futility of life o All characters end where they began  Haven’t learned anything! No change in character! o i.e. Waiting for Godo  Serial Structure o Style developed in present day plays o Hard to map because of only small connections between acts o Most freedom in writing process o i.e. The Vagina Monologues Serial Structure Circular Structure Episodic Structure Climactic/Dramatic Structure 2


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