Art of Theatre Week 6 Notes
Art of Theatre Week 6 Notes THEA 11000
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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Janell Notetaker on Thursday October 6, 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 7 views. For similar materials see THE ART OF THE THEATRE in Theatre and Dance at Kent State University.
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Date Created: 10/06/16
SCENIC AND COSTUME WEEK 6 Theatre Design and Designers Theatre designers and technicians contribute to the success of a production In modern theatre, the design and its application to the stage are an integral component of theatre making Nonspoken language elements like: Scenery Lighting Costumes Properties Makeup and sound All tells a story just as spoken and written language would do Different Areas of Theatre Design Scenic Design Costume Design Lighting Design Sound Design Scenic Design The scenic designers produce visual effects on the performing space Objectives of Scenic Design Creating an environment for the performers and for the performance Helping to set the mood and style of the production Establishing the locale and period in which the play takes place Where appropriate, provide a central image or visual metaphor for the production Environment: The World of the Play and Characters The scenic designer reads the script to examine the world of the play including characters and their surrounds How do they speak How well do they move? What kind of home or office or outdoor setting do they occupy? What do they wear? The scenic designer finds ways to visually manifest these elements of the play’s environment Environment The actors and director can use the environment to heighten the comedic aspects of the play In Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple, the script calls for a realisticlooking New York apartment with many doors that slam and rooms that connect Style & Mood When deciding on mood/atmosphere and style, the designer needs to consider the degree of realism for the production SCENIC AND COSTUME WEEK 6 Realism has been a predominant style since the turn of the twentieth century and it is important for the scene designer to decide to what extent her or she should incorporate it A complete reduction of “reality” seems great in film but it should not always be the goal of the theatre production An example of nonrealistic set design is seen above in a production of Alice in Wonderland at Porthouse Theatre The entire set was painted white In an empty space with several doors on the upstage wall different locations are represented by adding small set pieces and props Location and Time Period Whether realistic or nonrealistic, a stage set might tell the audience where and when the play take place The set designer has to ask: Is the locale a saloon? A bedroom? A palace? The set could also indicate the time period Ambiguity of Location and Time Period It is also important to know that some nonrealistic or absurdist plays like “Waiting for Godot” consciously avoid suggesting the specific time period or location The Central Image or Metaphor In many cases, a designer tries to convey the central image or metaphor Central image or metaphor is an important part of the director’s concept it should be inspired by the world and/ or theme of the play In Mother Courage the central image is the wagon which Mother Courage pulls throughout the play The wagon contains commodities that Mother Courage sells to keep her family alive during the Thirty Years’ War The set designer would be responsible for creating a wagon which will work onstage and which will embody the main theme and idea of the play Costume Design In theatre, costumes convey specific meanings just like clothes in everyday life However, there are significant differences between the costumes of everyday life and theatrical costumes What do Costumes Tell Us About the Character? Stage costumes communicate the same information as ordinary clothes with regard to gender, status, and occupation Onstage this information is magnified because every element in theatre is the focus of attention SCENIC AND COSTUME WEEK 6 Objectives of Costume Design Costume Design should: Express the plays style Convey time period and location Show relationships among characters Convey a character’s status and occupation Express a character’s psychology or inner life Be consistent with the production as a whole Meeting Performers’ Needs No matter how attractive or how symbolic, stage costumes work for the performers, allowing them to do: Quick changes Specific character business To move in both period and style To engage in athletic activities such as combat or dancing The Consistency Costumes must be designed with careful consideration of the overall visual effect of the production Consistent with the Production as a Whole Early in production meeting, the director and designers make the choice to coordinate the color palate elements LIGHTING AND SOUND DESIGN WEEK 6 Different Areas of Theatre Design Lighting Sound Design Lighting Design Lighting can define: A stage area Create mood Indicate changes of scene Contribute many other effects to a theatre production Lighting in the First 2000 Years Theatre took place primarily outdoors during the daytime, for the first 2000 years Lighting Design: Candles and Oil Lamps Around 1600 theatre began to move indoors Candles and oil lamps were used to brighten the stage Lighting Design and Gaslights In 1803, a theatre in London installed gaslights, allowing some control of intensity and color Lighting Design and Electric Lights The era of imaginative lighting began when Thomas Edison invented the electric light bulb in 1879 Lighting Design in Modern Ages Incandescent lamps are safe and controllable Brightness or intensity can be increased or decreased The same lighting instrument could produce the bright light of noonday or the dim light of dusk Also by putting a colored film over the light, called a gel, color can be controlled Objectives of Lighting Design Objectives of Lighting Design include: Providing visibility Providing focus onstage and created visual compositions Assisting in creating mood and reinforcing style helping to establish time and place establishing rhythm of visual movement reinforcing a central image or metaphor Visibility On the practical side, the chief function of lighting is visibility The audience has to be able to see the performers’ faces and their actions onstage Focus By making one area of the stage dark and illuminating another, the lighting subconsciously directs the audience’s attention to certain characters or events on the stage LIGHTING AND SOUND DESIGN WEEK 6 Mood & Style Lighting is especially useful in creating or changing the mood or atmosphere of the play Blue light might communicate romantic mood or eerie mood A read light might represent the passion of the character Lighting can also emphasize the production’s style Ex lighting can be more imaginative, using a “shaft of light cutting through the dark Lighting Designer The process of lighting design, like the process of all of the designers, involves reading and analyzing the script Then the lighting designer needs to meet with the director and other designers to discuss ideas and the director’s concept The lighting designer usually attends rehearsals to see the blocking that the director and actors are creating and based on that, they will create a light “plot” or a chart designating the placement of the lighting instruments Next they work with the crew to hang and focus the light Finally, they write the “cues” Cues or sequence of changes that will be used in the production Sound Design Throughout history, music and sound have played a major role in theatrical productions from the Greeks to Shakespeare Three Functions of Sound Design Sound design “in recent years has become an increasingly important aspect of theatre It can be consolidated into three functions: Sound reinforcement Sound effects Creating or affecting the atmosphere or mood of the play Amplification A common, but sometimes controversial aspect of sound design is sound reinforcement or amplification Many people insist that using microphones is essential, especially in musical theatre when the audience needs to hear the singing over the sound of a large orchestra Consider that many of the greatest American musicals of the 40s and 50s were all produced without any sound amplification Today electronic amplification is a way of life in theatre Whether speech shall be amplified or should actors be appropriately trained to project their voices in even the largest playhouses, is still in question LIGHTING AND SOUND DESIGN WEEK 6 Can a play really sound realistic if the sound all seems to be coming from the direction of the person who is speaking? These are questions that directors and designers have to consider and make decisions together Sound Effects Examples In many plays, specific sound effects are demanded by the script: Doorbells Ringing telephones Clock chimes Thunder Rain Dogs barking Birds chirping CD’s and electronic resources exist, but often a sound designer will edit several sound clips together to create just the right effect Atmosphere & Mood This brings us to the third and possibly the most effective function of sound: influencing the atmosphere or mood of the play Think about all your different iPod playlist—you want to listen to the kind of music that fits the mood you’re in The sound designer works the same way, considered the atmosphere that is right for the play and supporting that with sound & music The music might begin before the play with the “preshow” It is often used in between scenes called “transitions” Music can lead both into and out of “intermission” and may transition out of the final scene of the play and into the “curtain call” A subtle, but effective use of sound is underscoring Underscoring when the music plays softly in the background while a character is speaking this is seen all the time in movies and on television Similarities/Differences In many ways, the sound designer works like the other designers He or she reads the play and discusses his or her ideas with the director One outstanding challenge lies in its invisibility Because sound design is aural, not visual like the other disciplines, it can sometimes be difficult to describe to the director or other designers Review: The Six Elements of Design In bringing her or his idea to fulfillment, all designers frequently make use of the following elements: Line Mass and composition Texture LIGHTING AND SOUND DESIGN WEEK 6 Color Rhythm Movement Designers commonly use these elements in discussing design choices with the rest of the team and the director They provide a common language to communicate artistic idea and they “contribute to the overall experience.” THE DIRECTOR WEEK 6 The “First” Theatre Director: Georg II, Duke of SaxeMeiningen The Theatre Director is a very important person in the creative process of a production The contemporary concept of the “director” did not emerge until the nineteenth century in Europe when the Duke of SaxMeiningen took his company to various cities, playing the roles of the director and producer Actors Directing Themselves Before Duke of SaxeMeiningen, in European theatre, “star” actors used to direct themselves Most times the playwright would take on the role of the director Duke Georg II of SaxeMeiningen’s design for The Prince of Hamburg Duke of SaxeMeiningen is considered the model for modern theatre director He paid attention to costumes, scenery, and props, eliminating the star system He introduced extensive rehearsals What does the Director Do? A contemporary director may choose the script Then the director needs to research the historical or cultural context of the play The director needs to discover the spine of the play Spinecould be called the main action For example, the spine of the play Hamlet could be revenge The desire for revenge causes Hamlet’s inner conflicts as he eventually exposes the political corruption in the kingdom Then decides on the style of the production Stylemeans the way a play is presented If the director chooses realism, then she needs to consider variations of realism such as naturalism, selective realism, and conventional realism The director might choose nonrealism as his/her style For example, she/her may choose expressionism as her style Expression became popular in the beginning of the twentieth century Gives external expression to inner feelings In Elmer Rice’s expressionists play The Adding Machine, the main character’s feelings are conveyed by a “cacophony” of shrill sounds, such as loud sirens and whistles Whatever style is chosen for the production; it must be supported on a consistent basis in “every part of the production.” When developing a concept, a director might consider: The period—in what time period should the play be set? The location—where should the play be set? The director is responsible for holding auditions and casting the actors THE DIRECTOR WEEK 6 After the actors are cast, the director works closely with them in rehearsal to guide their work and provide them with their “blocking” or their positions and movements on the stage Before and during the rehearsal process, the director meets with the designers on a regular basis This is to make certain the all the separate pieces of the production will come together in a cohesive way Different Spines Directors may discover different “spines” for the same play The iconic American director Harold Clurman said that “varied interpretations” are acceptable as long as the spine “remains true to the spirit of the play.” Spider Web as A Directional Concept A director might create his or her concept using a central image or metaphor An example, would be a production of Hamlet that envisioned Hamlet’s world as a vast spider web The motif of a spider web could be carried out on several levels: In the design of the stage set In the ways the performers relate to one another In details relating to the central image