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Week 2 Notes

by: Amber Riggle

Week 2 Notes THEA 103

Amber Riggle
The Aesthetics of Theatre
Dr. Smith

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About this Document

Includes Class notes from 8/31 and 9/2, Podcast 2 (p. 1 & 2), Reading notes from p.95-101 and p.1-29.
The Aesthetics of Theatre
Dr. Smith
Class Notes
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Amber Riggle on Sunday September 6, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to THEA 103 at DCH Regional Medical Center taught by Dr. Smith in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 38 views. For similar materials see The Aesthetics of Theatre in Theatre at DCH Regional Medical Center.


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Date Created: 09/06/15
THEA 103 Aesthetics Class Notes 83115 0 Recap 828 Art Piece discussions 0 3 Kinds of ReactionsResponses Internal Response how does the art piece talk to me about me Political Response How does it relate to historicalcultural topics and issues Aesthetic Response The initial visceral response 0 Important things to Note from the class discussion 0 Aesthetic responses can be a consensus or can be completely different from person to person Consensus that the White Panel painting just pissed people off across the board Split responses of de ance and sadness towards the Banksy quotCancelled Dreamsquot graf ti 0 Note the historicalcultural context surrounding a piece of work TrainFlower image was set in the 405505 when the middle class viewed the world through quotrosetintedquot glass White Panel came out at the start of the Civil Rights movement 0 juxtaposition The sh skeletonwoman s gure both severe and soft 0 Process and Craft The Rainbow Braid image P95101 Reading Notes 83115 1 Introduction to The Poetics a Aristotle 384322 BCE i Plato39s Student ii Opened the Lyceum his own school 2 Comedy a quotAn imitation of persons who are inferiorquot b quotuglyquot but quotpainlessquot c Escaped publiccritic notice because it wasn t taken seriously d Crates and Aristophanes were major comic playwrights 3 Epic amp Tragedy a quotepicquot novel or poem i Not limited by time b quottragedyquot play i Limited by time no one wants to watch a 36 hour play c Traits of the epic novel apply to a tragedy play but NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND d Plays can have narration of action but novels can39t have action of narration i that just doesn39t make sense 4 Tragedy is a lmitating an action that is i Se ous ii Complete iii Has magnitude b Conveyed through language that is i Spoken andor sung ii With rhythm andor melody c Acted out not just narrated d Evoking pity or fear 5 Tragedy is made up of six things Plot THE GREATEST AND MOST IMPORTANT Characters Verbal Expression Language Thought Idea Visual Adornment Spectacle SongComposition Music i Tragedy cannot EXIST WITHOUT PLOT ii It39s the quotheart and soulquot iii Plot is important okay 6 The Six in order from mosttoleast important Plot Character Idea Language Music Spectacle 7 General Principles of the Tragic Plot a A plot isn39t quotcompletequot without a beginning middle and an end i Don t just go ending the plot wherever you want all willynilly ii Don t make the plot too long or too short 1 Goldilocks juuuuuust riiiiiighhtt b Must be plausible rather than a precise retelling of historical events i Comedies do this well c A Poet s main focus is the plot 8 Simple and Complex Plot a Episodic plots suck i They39re random and not plausible and just generally don39t make much sense ii I39m looking at you Rosencrantz amp Guildenstern b Plots shouldn39t be illogical and chanceeventbased iAgain looking at you Rose amp Guil cquotSimplequot Plot i Little to no peripety a term de ned in a bit and recognition rhrDonm rhrDonm LquotComplexquot plot iPeripety recognition or both LElements of Plot aquotPeripetyquot is a reversal in fortune both good and bad iSimilar to a plot twist b quotRecognitionquot is a revelation c quotPathosquot is a destructive or painful act Podcast 2 01 Notes 83115 0 Monty Python reference to start because why not 0 We quotwillingly suspend our disbeliefquot to follow TSmith39s imagination 0 Theatre doesn39t show actual life Theatre doesn39t have to be possible but it must be plausible 0 We willing suspend our disbelief every time we watch a super hero movie Alternate Universes It couldn39t happen here necessarily but it could happen elsewhere if c The Amazing Timeinator 0 Athens Greece approx 2400 years ago 0 The Grecian society was based on organization and scienti c investigation Aristotle o A very important philosopher 0 He turned his focus to the theatre in The Poetics The rst historical document on the subject of theatre o This means THEATRE WAS IMPORTANT Mainly just lecture notes Disjointed even contradictory at times Based on old contestwinning scripts by ancient playwrights Loses some of the liveliness and immediacy of a performance Mostly assessment of what makes a winning play 0 NOT advice or rules The Poetics are the basis of theatrical analysis today 0 All art is an imitation o Mimesis the urge as humans to imitate the world around us Why do we do this 0 We imitated our parents to survive biology To teach and learn social norms psychology 0 What is the difference between novels and theatre o Novels have narration while plays have action There are narrated plays such as The Glass Menagerie Choruse does the same in Greek plays 0 What is tragedy As Aristotle says and this is VERY IMORTANT o quotTragedy is an imitation of action that is serious complete and of a certain magnitude and the language is embellished with each kind of artistic ornament several being found in separate parts of a play in the form of action not narration through pity and fear affecting the proper catharsis or purgation of these emotions Four major points to hold on to 1 Time travel is plausible in the theatre of the mind 2 Aristotle39s Poetics are a mess they are the rst written document on the subject of theatre 3 Mimesis is inherent to all the arts 4 Novels have narration theatre has action Podcast 2 02 Notes 9115 0 The Six that compose theatre in order of mosttoleast importance 0 Aristotle didn39t say that theatre SHOULD be organized in this way but that all well writtenpopular plays WERE 1 Plot Action what happens The working out of a motive to its success or failure quotWholequot it has a beginning middle and an end quotSenousquot Logical it should make sense Believable i By willingly suspending our disbelief 2 Character a Subsidiary to actions i A tragedy can exist without characters but not without a plot ii ActionPlot gt Characters 1 If done the other way around it s chaotic and suclql iii Who a character is has nothing to do with feeling and everything to do with acUon 1 It39s what you do that de nes who you are deep 3 ThemeThoughtArgumentldea a An attempt to prove some thesis b AKA the moral of the story ThrDQDO39QJ i The playwright is making an argument c You can have a plot with characters without a thought or theme 4 Language a The conveyance of a thought through language i You have nothing to convey without a thoughttheme b Embellished with each kind of artistic ornament 5 Music a All Greek tragedies were accompanied with music b Similar to background music i It informs a moment of theatre c Tells the audience how to feel in a moment d The rhythm of the show i RhythmPace 6 Spectacle a Everything visual i Sets ii Lights iii Special FX iv Costumes b Can have a strong emotional effect but not important to the tragedy Would Aristotle39s opinions have been different if he had viewed the plays rather than had read the scripts alone Class Notes 9115 0 Critical Analysis Tips and Observations by Collin Hart 0 Visual Analysis is often easier than text analysis Different types of learners DO THE READING DO THE READING o Appreciate your Aesthetic Response but then set it aside to analyze You can come back to it later 0 Move away from the personal and subjective 0 Focus on the objective and factual The facts you present in your analysis should be indisputable Focus on what s actually there 0 Let the thing be the thing Accept it on its own terms Criticism does NOT equal judgement No no no no 0 THEN bring back your Aesthetic Response What39s the intention of the artists Is the piece effective in communicating that intention TIE CONCLUSIONS TO OBSERVATIONS It39s the 39So What of art 0 Movies That You Know Poll Results 0 Movies that you THINK everyone knows Titanic 44 Lion King 39 Harry Potter 34 Forrest Gump 32 Mean Girls 30 o What conclusions can be drawn from this data set The age of the group 19942004 We all come from different backgrounds 0 Makes up a very small portion of the 160Student class 0 Movies that we responded to favorably on a 15 scale Wizard of Oz 41 Forrest Gump 384 Titanic 351 The Breakfast Club 36 The Princess Bride 342 Ferris Bueller39s Day Off 331 o What conclusions can be drawn from this data set These are frequently played on TV and Net ix All feature at least 1 white male protagonist The Willino Su5pension of Disbelief o What isn39t necessarily believable in these movies The Wizard of Oz Suspended disbelief for most of the movie Titanic Jack could TOTALLY t on that oating wardrobe 0 Jack might have been able to survive in the water 0 Rose amp Jack would never have been able to out swim the down pull of the sinking ship The Lion King 0 Singing animals Enough said 0 ANY musical moment of spontaneous singing and dancing 0 Recap of the Podcasts Theatre is worth writing about MIMESIS O O 0000 P 129 Reading Notes Sometimes we want to punch children who mime LITERALLY EVERYTHING Theatre v Novels Performance v Narration The Poetics were lecture notes The Six Elements plot character idea language music spectacle Aristotle39s long quote on tragedy BREAK IT DOWN quotTragedy is an imitation of an actionquot 0 Shows the stuff that happens quotthat is serious complete and of a certain magnitudequot 0 Has consequences and doesn39t end randomly quotin language embellished with each kind of artistic ornamentquot Bettersaid than everyday speck quotin the form of action not narrationquot Selfexplanatory quotthrough pity and fear effecting the proper catharsis or purgation of these emotionsquot Tragedy causes us to feel what the charcters are feeling Triggering catharsis the release of emotion by the audience so they feel better 0 Like AFV Survivor and horror lms 0 Basically we re sick creatures who feast on the suffering of others 9315 0 What is Drama quotThe art of representing events that happened or that we imagine happeningquot 0 o What makes up drama Characters Action Thought Words Spectacle Music Audiences o Experienced on multiple levels at once Keep this in mind when reading scripts Not just words on a page but facial expressions and voices and motions etc Entertaining and educational 0 As Aristotle mentioned mimesis is kindof a big deal Mimesis is the imitation of an action 0 We approach drama knowing that what we see isn39t actually literally happening before us The actor playing Hamlet isn39t ACTUALLY dead 0 But when done well a play can make us forget that what we re seeing is fake o Helps us realize the potential in life 0 Drama and Ritual 0 Greek drama originated in honor of Dionysus god of theatre and alcohol Early plays emphasized the relationship between gods and humans Like Sophocles Antigone and Oedipus Rex 0 13th and 14th CenturyJapan had a drama form called quotNoquot 0 After the fall of Rome theatre rose again in Cathedrals of Europe in the Middle Ages 0 Drama The Illusion of Reality 0 Drama mirrors reality 0 Reality is presented in different ways Greeks spoke in verse and masks Medieval on wagons and carts with very good re special FX Elizabethan contemporary clothes with virtually no sets 0 Modern drama tries even harder to imitate real life 0 Seeing a Play Onstage 0 Drama is very powerful for the audiences They feel involved in the action onstage 0 Modern plays inside a darkened theatre Greeks outdoors in the morningafternoon Elizabethan outdoors in the afternoon Renaissance indoors with candles mirrors 19th century indoors with gaslights then later electricity Today computerized light boards 0 Being in the audience unites people together into a community 0 Theatres and their Effects 0 Greek Arenastyle theaters Very large and open Allowed for intimacy between the actors and the audience Rigid circular seating Used to emphasize social class and rank 0 Medieval theaters Performed in quotmansionsquot areas outside of churches Performances could process around the community Returning plays created a sense of stability in Europe Involved in religion 0 Actors would come into the sudience during performances Up close and personal 0 Elizabethan playhouses Wooden structure created an enclosed space without a roof Covered thrust stage Audience arranged by social class quotgroundlingsquot paid the least for SRO spaces around the apron Patron paid extra for seats in the wooden structure Made the space into a separate world 0 Proscenium theaters 19th and 20th century Separated actos from the sudience Created a frame where the actors performed Allowed for a more realistic experience by the audience 0 Made the audience a silent observer The Fourth Wall effect c As though the actors are in their own little world 0 Theater In The Round Antonin Artaud developed the 39theater of cruelty39 in the 205 Took away the safe distance between the audience and the sctors Forced the audience to deal with what39s happening around them Popularized in the 305 and onwards 0 21st century theater Eclectic Arena thrust proscenium and everything in between Even nontheatrical venues like city streets 0 Reading a Play 0 VERY different from seeing it performed 0 No right or wrong way to go about it o The Great Ages of Drama 0 Egyptian Scholars disagree of whether this is a thing or not The Abydos Passion Play 0 The story of Osiris a diety Murdered and dismembered by his brother Seth Put back together by lsis Osiris39 wife and sister The HebSeb Performed at the pyramid in Sakkara During 30th year of the pharaoh39s reign and every 3rCI year thereafter 0 Greek 5th century BCE is credited with rst dramatic era Publically funded thaters with playwriting festivals 1015000 people attended It was EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO THE GREEKS The wealthy would spend all day watching shows 0 Was a quotcultural necessityquot Important playwrights Sophocles Eu pedes Aeschylus Aristophanes Menander 0 Roman Wasn39t as important to the romans Fell in with other forms of entertainment Important playwrights Plautus Terence Romans preferred farces and humor 0 Medieval Greek and Roman in uence disappeared texts went unread for centuries The Church grew in power and in uence Drama eventually blossomed anyways First in monasteries Then in churches Then outside churches Guilds formed quotMysteryquot and quotMoralityquot plays 0 Renaissance Education became a thing So did modern Opera quotCommedia dell artequot improve comedy Elizabethan and Jacobean dramatic eras Christopher Marlowe quotDoctor Faustusquot Shakespeare Middleton amp Rowley39s quotThe Changelingquot Cyril Tournneur39s quotRevenger39s Tragedyquot John Webster39s quotThe White Devilquot 0 Ben Jonson39s quotThe Alchemistquot Masques aristocratic events featuring music dance and awesome costumes Meanwhile in Spain Lope de Vega wrote as many as 1700 plays 0 Pedro Calderon de la Barca wrote at least 111 plays 0 17th and 18th century PostPuritan England era Female actresses Yay Prince Charles brought back


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