ART OF THEATRE WEEK 4 NONREALISM
ART OF THEATRE WEEK 4 NONREALISM THEA 11000
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Janell Notetaker on Friday September 23, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to THEA 11000 at Kent State University taught by James A. Weaver in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 4 views. For similar materials see THE ART OF THE THEATRE in Theatre and Dance at Kent State University.
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Date Created: 09/23/16
NONREALISM WEEK 4 Nonrealism Not long after realism asserted its presence as the dominant style of modern th theatre in the 20 century, a countermovement began. There are several styles of theatre Nonrealism expresses that fact that theatre grew out of realism because of being dissatisfied and because of its limitations. Symbolism symbolism is the first antirealist movement Began in Paris during the 1880’s Extended to all art forms including theatre, fine art, and writing Symbolism sought to capture the “inner” realities by means of abstraction, enlargement, and innovation. Ubu Roi Symbolism could yield a performance in which movement may be enigmatic. The space could be dreamlike, full of shadows, mists, and possibly mirrors. Costumes are draped and gauzelike. Music has a strong emphasis placed on the voice. Dialogue is rhythmic, poetic, with hypnotic use of cadence and intensity to build emotion Expressionism Expressionism a movement that flourished in Germany during WWI. Artist believed that art needs to move beyond the “real” and into the truth Plays are often highly subjective, the dramatic action is seen through the eyes of the protagonist and, therefore, may seem distorted or dreamlike. Many of the plays share common themes such as the dehumanization of the individual by society and the deterioration of the family in modern times The protagonist who is a Christ like figure, journeys through a series of incidents that seem to be unrelated. Characters are given titles, such as “man” or “woman” rather than names. The movement was shortlived, but its effects influenced much of the theatre that followed. Its ideals made it to the U.S. in some of Eugene O’Neill’s plays including: The Emperor Jones (1922) Hairy Ape (1922) Elmer Rice’s The Adding Machine (1923) Sophie Treadwell’s Machinal Futurism, Dadaism, Surrealism Futurism originated in Italy in 1909 futurists idealized war and the machine age futurists argued against the separation of performers and audience NONREALISM WEEK 4 believed the audiences should be confronted and antagonized sought seemingly illogical dramatic pieces Dadaism Originated in Switzerland in 1916 Dadaists felt that art should portray the madness that was going on in the world. Just like futurists, Dadaists wanted to approach and antagonize their audiences In contrast to futurists, Dadaists did not accept war or machines Surrealis Began in France in 1924 under the leader Andre Breton Considered an outgrowth of data Surrealists believed that the subconscious is the highest plane of reality and attempted to recreate it dramatically. Many plays seem to appear in a dream world Ex (Salvador Dali’s The Persistence of Memory, exemplifies the characteristics of the Surrealism movement.) Antonin Artaud (18961948 Theatre of Cruelty A Frenchman who had originally been associated with the surrealists. He proposed a “Theatre of Cruelty,” in the 1930s This meant that the audience members’ senses should be disturbed and challenged, not that the artists should be cruel to the audience members. For example, for contemporary purposes: a sound/light at a rock concert His theatre was extremely shortlived but had a major influence on the arts even up to the present day. Bertolt Brecht (189819 Epic Theatre Bertolt Brecht was a German who developed what he called “Epic Theatre.” His plays were epic in scope They cover a great deal of time, shift locations frequently, have intricate plots and many characters Brecht was a socialist and believed that theatre could create a climate for social change His goal for theatre was to instruct and he felt that, to do this successfully, the audience should not be emotionally swept away by the story He believed that production should for the audience to remain emotionally detached from the dramatic action so that they may watch critically, and not passively. To do so, he made sure the audience was aware that they were in a theatre To achieve this, there must be design elements, acting and through the frequent use of song and narration The Caucasian Chalk Circle One of Brecht’s major plays th Written in 1944, based on a 14 century Chinese play NONREALISM WEEK 4 Portrays a journey of Grusha, a maid, who rescues the Governor’s baby when he is left behind during a raid on the palace. Grusha flees and is finally captured years later and sent to trail to determine if she will have to return the young boy who she has raised to be his birth mother Azdak The judge who presides over the case is Azdak Uses the chalk circle to determine who the real mother of the baby is Brecht was very interested in analyzing humans’ good and bad natures that would manifest in capitalist society Brechtian Design Elements Some of the Brechtian techniques that the production used were: Projections: conspicuous, unrealistic props to show frequent changes in time and place Prologues Epilogues Direct address to the audience Note: the use of mirrors and stylized lighting to depict a stream Use of Music and Narration In Brechtian theatre, presentation of dialogue is very unique Dialogue could be mixed with narration and singing Brecht argued that music should be used to neutralize the emotions of the audience so that they think, rather than enticing them to be swept up “in an emotional, sentimental, bath of feelings. Symbolism in the play: the singer wore plain silk slops and were barefoot, for a practical and symbolic approach On the practical side: the women in the group played many different characters The slips: served as a base of the uniform, they would denote change of characters simply by adding a scarf, shoes or jacket. On the symbolic side: the slips were chosen by the director to embody a vulnerability that he saw as archetypally “feminine.” PostWar Theatre Art from this period, like the “de Kooning” painting, reflects the fears and anxieties of the postwar world Many haunting questions are left unanswered, like: How could the civilized world engage in a war that resulted in 35 million deaths? How could rational societies undertake genocide? Would the atomic bomb lead to the annihilation of the human race? Several experimental forms of theatre were born out of these unanswerable questions including Theatre of the Absurd NONREALISM WEEK 4 Theatre of the Absurd reflects the playwright’s impressions of an irrational world. Absurdism Life has lost reason Man has lost touch with his roots Laughter is the only coping tool for dealing with pain Life is spent filling time Plots are often circularthe plays ends exactly where it began Samuel Becke (Waiting for Godot) The most wellknown absurdist play is Waiting for Godot (1959) Irish born playwright who emigrated to Paris in 1928 Waiting for Godot On a small round at the base of a tree, beside a country road, two elderly men sit and wait for Mr. Godot. A man they believe can save them Beckett draws a clear paradigm of the human condition: Human decay Hopelessness Ignorance In spite of the ongoing cycle of vegetation symbolized by a tree As the two old men wait, they figure out through a young boy that Mr. Godot is coming tomorrow, so the two men wait.
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