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by: Lily Herndon


Lily Herndon


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About this Document

Intro to Theatre
Danica Horton
Class Notes
theatre, Theatre 101, intro to theatre, intro to theatre 1101
25 ?




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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Lily Herndon on Wednesday September 21, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to THEA 1030 at University of Memphis taught by Danica Horton in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 4 views. For similar materials see Intro to Theatre in Theatre at University of Memphis.

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Date Created: 09/21/16
What is Theatre?  Has a live audience  Can be global, multicultural, historical  Can be interdisciplinary  Can be accessible  Professional o Commercial- Broadway, Off-Broadway, Dinner theatre (For-Profit); Large budgets o Regional- Professional, Non-Profit. Medium budgets  Semi-professional o Community- Less-experience, ‘community members’, volunteer work, little to no budget o Academic- Educational environment, practical teaching experience, smaller budget Biggest Difference is $$$ The Audience  What is our function? o Participation: Emotional, Mental, sometimes physical (interactive/immersive) o Suspension of disbelief  The makeup of the audience, past and present o Homogeneous vs. heterogeneous (people of similar or differing backgrounds)  Audience Responsibility o Behavior, Expectations, Etiquette: remove distractions such as alarms, phones, lights, talking, eating. These affect not only the performers but also your fellow audience members Theater Spaces  Creating the Environment o Changing the environment changes the mood/tone of the event o Feel differently in a formal vs informal, small vs. large o Size and location  Proscenium Stage (Proscenium/ Picture frame)  Elements o Framed o Played in one direction o “Fourth wall” if action is viewed from only one direction, it is as if the audience is watching the action through an invisible wall, we imagine we are the fly on the wall and cannot participate o Breaking the fourth wall: asides, takes, monologues, interaction  Thrust Stage  Extends to audience on 3 sides  Still maintains backstage area, generally hidden behind side with no audience  Arena stage (theatre in the round)  Audience surrounds the stage by all sides  Square or circle th  Removal of “4 wall” is necessary or invited  Set design are minimal or absent to allow for sightlines (audience view)  Alley Stage  Audience on 2 sides of stage facing each other  Typical of fashion shows  As in arena or thrust, blocking, lighting and furniture placement must be deliberate and planned carefully to avoid blocking sightlines  Found space Stage directions  Using proscenium configuration Theatre Genres 1. Tragedy a. Define b. Typical themes: suffering, meaning (or meaningless) of life, the human condition c. Developed in ancient Greece d. Most vivid characters e. Most nightmarish imaginings of stories become most influential f. Denouement ends with catastrophe; the protagonist is worse off than they were at the beginning of the story g. Ex. Romeo and Juliet 2. Drama a. What we typically refer to today when we speak of a piece that is not comedic b. Includes an incredibly wide array of sub-categories i. Vernacular Drama: Center around religious rituals ii. Melodrama: from the Greek, heroes and villains, external forces, overly-dramatic iii. Domestic Drama: most contemporary: deals mainly with family problems or problems that face those of middle or lower class characters. (does not always follow typical dramatic structure: maybe little or no resolution or denouement) 3. Comedy a. In general a play that is light in tone.. b. Characteristics i. Suspension of natural laws: probability, cause and effect, logic ii. Creative: shows the world not as it is but as it could be iii. Universal: characters are like everyday people iv. Topical: full of contemporary references and news of the day v. Denouement: protagonist ends up better off c. Forms i. Old Comedy, Middle Comedy, New Comedy: Classical Greek styles of the origins of comedy ii. Commedia Dell’ Arte: Form of comic improvisational theatre popularized in Italy and France from 16 - 18 centuries using loose scenarios for plot structure and utilizing stock (stereotypical) characters, most of which employ a half-mask iii. Farce: physical humor and stereotyped characters iv. Satire: irony and exaggeration; attacks and exposes folly and vice. May be used to attack specific figures (SNL) or more generalized hypocrisy v. Comedy of Manners vi. Domestic Comedy/ Situational Comedy Dramatic Structure Climax Rising action Crisis/ Oh Shit Inciting incident Falling action Exposition Resolution Denouement Read Titus Andronicus, by William Shakespeare The Director  To tell the story  To serve the playwrights vision  Collaborate with designers  Provide unified, cohesive vision of the world of play  Cast the play  Rehearse the actors  Create blocking (movement) for the actors  Process: o Choose a script o Read the script o Develop a concept o Meet with designers and production staff, develop design elements o Hold auditions o Cast the show o Rehearse the actors  Create blocking  Determine pacing o With all technical elements, present finished product (tech rehearsal, dress rehearsal, previews)  FIRST DIRECTOR: GEORG II SAXE-MEINEIGAN  History of Theatre o Greek chorus would rehearse under supervision of a leader for may weeks before performance to ensure unity o Actors in Medieval Theatre o Beginning during the Renaissance o Modern Theatre


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