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Theatre Appreciation (TH 122), Week 8 Notes

by: alybeverley

Theatre Appreciation (TH 122), Week 8 Notes TH 122

Marketplace > University of Alabama - Huntsville > Theatre > TH 122 > Theatre Appreciation TH 122 Week 8 Notes
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About this Document

These notes cover the class lecture(s) on space and design.
Theatre Appreciation
Karen Baker
Class Notes
theatre, Theater Design, TheatreAppreciation
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This 10 page Class Notes was uploaded by alybeverley on Thursday October 13, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to TH 122 at University of Alabama - Huntsville taught by Karen Baker in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see Theatre Appreciation in Theatre at University of Alabama - Huntsville.


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Date Created: 10/13/16
Theatre Appreciation Lecture on Space and Design STAGE DIRECTIONS: ● Directions are based upon the actor’s perspective, not the audience’s. ● Apron=downstage portion of the stage closest to the audience and in front of the Proscenium arch. Thrust Stages FEATURES OF THRUST STAGES: ● Sometimes called three-quarter staging ● Audience seated on three sides of the stage ● Original greek and roman theatres were thrust, as was Shakespeare’s stage. ● Allow greater intimacy, closeness between audience and performers ● Exists through audience called vomitoriums. ● Actors movements on stage is more natural - actors are able to walk around without worrying that their backs are to the audience or that the audience is unable to see them. EXAMPLES OF THRUST STAGES: The globe theatre is a thrust stage The guthrie theatre can be configured as a thrust stage The stratford theatre in canada Arena Stages FEATURES OF AN ARENA STAGE: ● Theatre in the round ● Audience seated on all four sides of the stage ● Circuses, sporting events, many theatrical productions that take place in large tents. ● By necessity, only a few scenic elements ● Vomitoriums are the primary or sole means to get onto the stage ● Directions use clock format vs. up/down/left/right EXAMPLES OF AN ARENA THEATRE: The colosseum is an example of an arena Theatres in the round, or arena stages, can be both small and large BLACK BOX/FLEX SPACE STAGES: ● Flexible configuration ● Large open area ● audience/stage relationship may be tailored to the production ● experimental /educational ● Lighting grid covers the space Found Spaces FOUND SPACE: ● Promoted by Artaud, Grotowskily intended to be a theatre space ● Free of preconceptions about theatre ● Street performers, professional companies, and experimental theatre EXAMPLES OF FOUND SPACES: ● Rooftops ● Factories ● Tennis courts ● By the lake, park with water AUXILIARY SPACES: ● Audience: lobby, restrooms, concessions ● Actors: dressing rooms, green room, rehearsal studios ● Scene shop: construction areas, paint shop, upholstery shop, storage ● Costume shop: construction areas, laundry, dye vats, storage ● Properties: prop and furniture storage ● Lighting and electrics: light bay, gel files, dead hung light grid or carts ● Booth: light and sound control, booth frequently doubles as sound studio MACBETH PROJECT (scottish play project) “Teams are given several possible found spaces and devise a production concept based upon the space.” ON THEATRE DESIGN Definition of “design”: the purpose of design is to help support the story, the director, and/or the playwright are trying to tell. Designers do this by controlling the environment and deliver information in an efficient way that will affect the audience’s emotional involvement. It is critical that all members of the design team work together towards the common goal. Process for All Designers: ● Read for general understanding - one sitting is best ● re-read - ask questions about the genre, plot structure, atmosphere, characters, specific script references ● Read again - script analysis for the year, time, geographic location, season, social context, and themes ● Production meetings ● Design - sketches, thumbnails, elevations, samples, etc. ● Execution Elements of Design 1. Line - every design starts as just a line, any type of line. 2. Shape - flat space enclosed in a line 3. Form - a 3D version of the shape. 4. Space - deciding what space is more useful to the type of play being presented 5. Color - can be used to provide contextual evidence as to the play’s content 6. Texture - also provides contextual ideas as to the play’s content/genre/meaning 7. Value - the lightness/darkness of things on stage Functions of Set Design 1. Define the theatre space - decide on where you want the play to be and what that type of stage will bring to the production 2. Create a floor plan - the outline of what is going to go on the stage, an architectural drawing. 3. Characterize acting space - deals with where the actors will reside on stage 4. Interpretive statement - what the producer/director wants the audience to take from the play, or the POV of the director and how he interprets the play. 5. Create mood and atmosphere - using the design to create a mood & atmosphere 6. Part of total design - getting together and making sure that all the design elements work together cohesively. Set Design 1. Platforms - for the actors to stand on. 2. Flats - built like platforms, but only with lighter wood due to the fact that they are usually placed on walls. 3. Drapery ● Scrim - if you shine light on it from one side, you can’t see anything - but if you shine light from the other side, you can see everything. You can paint on it. ● Grand Drape - literally, a grand drape. ● Cyc (cyclorama) - used to be one big curtain that would go along one side and come along the other side. Usually white, light blue where you can shoot different colors on it and make a background. 4. Decks - the stage 5. Wagons - like the ekkyklema TEST QUESTION: (props fall under set design) So, you want to be a set designer? 1. Theatre generalist - know a little bit about all aspects of theatre 2. architect 3. Visual artist 4. Interior designer 5. Painter - know how colors work together, color treatments, brush techniques 6. Sculptor 7. Art historian 8. Dramaturg - knowing how to research the play itself, finding details within the script and how the script fits in with history. Famous Set Designers EUROPEAN DESIGNERS Adolphe Appia-Swiss (1862-1928) ● Worked on Wagner’s opera. ● Hated painted sets, preferred greatroom theory Gordon Craig-English (1872-1966)/Director & Set Designer ● Brought the new stagecraft movement, preferred realistic set design AMERICAN DESIGNERS Robert Edmond Jones (1887-1954) “A setting is a presence, a mood, a great warm wind fanning the drama to flame. It echoes, it enhances, it animates, it says nothing but it gives everything.” ● Perfected the new stagecraft movement Jo Mielziner (1901-1976) ● Most successful and prolific broadway designer (250+) ● New stagecraft movement, realistic interiors ● Original designs for famous plays Ming Cho Lee (1930-) ● Excellent at greatroom design Costume Design ● Wearable scenery, helps the actor create the character ● Clothing can define and express character ● Establish time period ● Establish location ● Create visual balance - clothing should balance with the set design, not blend TEST QUESTION: (hair and makeup fall under costume design) Important Paperwork Create a costume bible ● Cast list ● Contact sheet ● Costume plot (what costume piece goes to what character) ● Action chart (what needs to be worked on next) ● Actor’s measurements ● Research ● Budgets ● Rental information Costume Realization ● pulled - costume stock, or costume closet ● rented/borrowed - rented or borrowed from other sources ● Bought - bought from another source ● Built - made from scratch Wig making and puppet making also falls under costume design, although puppet design is beginning to come into its own. Lighting Design Lighting Timeline: ● 1st light source - the sun ● 1st artificial light source - candles ● Oil - oil troughs were used in the theatre, in which wicks were placed along the troughs. Fires were common. ● Gas - eventually, you could adjust the amount of lighting using a gas table. ● Electricity (1st place in the theatre to use electric light was on the marquee outside the theatre.) Functions of Lighting 1. Visibility - the audience has to see what’s going on, always. 2. Control focus - telling the audience where to look based on lighting. 3. Reinforce the theme or mood - cementing the theme and the mood of the play with lighting 4. Establish realistic elements (day, night, scene by lamp light) - often using street lights, house lights, something commonly used in that specific situation or setting. Lighting Functions Achieved 1. Intensity 2. Color - reinforcing the theme or mood while maintaining visibility 3. Distribution - how are you going to spread out the lighting? Pattern, shape, focus, fixture choice, and location 4. Movement - physical movement or using cues, fades or bump-ups. Lighting Instruments ● Spotlight - swivel mounted instrument that can be pointed in any direction by the operator ● Ellipsoidal - easily manipulated versatile light with shutters ● Fresnel - a general lighting instrument with a “step” lens ● PAR’s (parabolic aluminized reflectors) - no les, the cover acts as a giant reflector ● LED’s (light emitting diodes) - modern lighting. No lens. Draws less electricity and can be in any color, this lighting method has the advantage. Expensive. Environmentals --Underscoring that helps establish a location. For example, if the scene takes place on a camp ground, there would be underscoring of crickets.


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