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Theatre History II, Week Eight

by: Hannah Levine

Theatre History II, Week Eight THEA 24200

Marketplace > Ithaca College > Theatre > THEA 24200 > Theatre History II Week Eight
Hannah Levine
GPA 3.887

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Notes on week eight of Dr. Dail's History of Theatre II
History of Theatre II
Dr. Chrystyna Dail
Class Notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Hannah Levine on Saturday April 2, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to THEA 24200 at Ithaca College taught by Dr. Chrystyna Dail in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 16 views. For similar materials see History of Theatre II in Theatre at Ithaca College.


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Date Created: 04/02/16
WEEK EIGHT 3.28.16 First Quarter of the 20 Century (Modernism): -Expressionism (esp. German), Futurism (esp. Italian), Dadaism, Surrealism -All unified by a rejection of the past -Rather than relying on historical tropes, we are trying to create something new and relevant to contemporary society; redefining modes of expressing and perceiving humanity -Reject the idea that art is definable by the scientific method; skeptical of Realism and the linear perspective of society it promotes -Believed the idea of a progressive society was inherently reliant on technology, which leaves you at the hands of materialism as opposed to humans (except for the Futurists) -Moderns were anti-linear; used parataxis (i.e. montage) -Also skeptical of Aestheticism and Symbolism on the grounds that they were too mystical and had no grounding in social change -Influenced largely by Freud, Jung, and their ideas of the subconscious development -Einstein’s theory of relativity (multi-view perspective, non-linear plots, cubes/spheres/cylinders, juxtaposition, theme/motif) -Essential that these artists are living through WWI, so they aren’t seeing any sense of organization or linear progression in their lives -Expressionism -First emerged in 1901 in French painting -Emphasizes inner feelings about objects/life -Belief that beauty resides in the subjective mind -Eventually made its way to Germany -Anti-industrialism and technology -Into the exploration of the subconscious -Wanted to artistically respond to/address social problems -Aggressively anti-realist -Belief that we as a society can move toward complete anarchy or complete harmony; the choice is ours -Simultaneously destructive and utopian/mystic and activist -Fundamental truth is found within the spirit, desires, visions, and soul of humanity -Had some strong female characters but also definitely created the femme fatale leading a man to something evil -German goals in 1905-1929 sounded weirdly like America in the 1960s; they failed -Berlin movement called “The Storm” -The Beggar (1912) by Reinhard Sorge was the first published Expressionist play -Unnamed protagonist called “the Poet” is combatting between youth and the older generation’s obsession with science and technology (older generation being represented by the Father); focuses on the struggle of a new man who longs for fulfillment despite society -IT’S FUCKING PIPPIN -Most significant playwrights: Georg Kaiser (1878-1945, From Morn to Midnight) and Ernst Tolle -“Message” centered -Typical a search or pilgrimage featuring a “Christ-like” central character martyred to materialism or hypocrisy; we travel through the protagonist’s eyes -Dialogue is typically telegraphic (short and sweet; concise) -Events are strongly subjective -Reduced to essentials (characters are generic; focus on gesture and pantomime with ability to evoke intense feeling); similar to/inspired Brecht -Really bizarre and distorted in terms of action and design -Dreamlike fantasy that can be ecstatic or nightmarish -Think Beetlejuice or like everything Tim Burton has ever done 3.30.16 Futurism: has a huge impact on every field in the arts, particularly in Italy -Violent, aggressive, and misogynistic -Unlike expressionism, the futurists were infatuated with the machine age -Technology, speed, and war were idealized -Actually despised anyone over the age of 40; anyone over 40 should just be dead -“We wish to glorify War – the only health giver of the world – militarism, patriotism, the destructive arm of the Anarchist, the beautiful Ideas that kill, the contempt for women.” -Anti-glorification of the past, especially museums and libraries -Makes sense considering 20 century Italy – they’ve never been particularly forward- thinking -F.T. Marinetti (1876-1944) -Son of a wealthy business man, educated in Italy and France, multi-lingual, has tons of expendable income, and really doesn’t want to work, so he starts his own arts movement -Wrote the first manifesto -Interested in creating Art of all kinds -Picture-poetry, kinetic sculpture, Bruitisme (dynamic sound), Sintesi (synthesis or synthetic drama; extreme brevity, discontinuity, abstraction, alogicality, and simultaneity) -Serate performed in evenings -Performed in cabarets, art galleries, and, sometimes, traditional theatre spaces -Contain a performance of manifesto readings, poetry, music, art, exhibits, and sintesi -Typically abstract, simultaneous, and ending in violence (because the audience was drunk and/or dissatisfied, which the futurists fully encouraged and even provoked) -People lost interest after the war when they realized being pro-WWI was just stupid -Futurist innovations: attempted to rescue theatre from its museum-like atmosphere; direct confrontation and intermingling between audience and performers; embracing of modern technology and creation of multimedia performances; simultaneity and multi- focus; anti-literary and alogical; breaking down distinct separation of the arts -So… it’s Donald Trump? 4.1.16 Dadaism: “dada” is, by definition, not definable -Translates to “hobby-horse” in French (the implication being that they flipped open a French dictionary, shut their eyes, and pointed to a word), but it could also reference the Slavic affirmative “da” or a German nonsense word meaning “mother”; regardless, it means nothing -Started by Hugo Ball, Emmy Hennings, Richard Huelsenbeck (all German), Tristan Tzara, Marcel Janco (both Rumanian), and Hans Arp (Alsatian) -Aggressively anti-war; Dadaism was, in large part, an active response to the war; that’s why then went to Zurich -Largely influenced by the aesthetics, but Dadaism mostly resembles Futurism in that it began as a literary movement and embraces simultaneity, noise poetry, etc. -Provocative and directly confronted audiences, but unlike the Futurists, the Dadaists had no agenda – the goal was for sense to escape into nonsense -The first Dadaist theatrical piece premiered in 1916 at the Cabaret Voltaire -Dadaist theatre really begins to emerge in 1920s Paris -Similar to Futurist theatre but more effectively blends nonsense with humanity (i.e. via costumes, etc.) -Final performance was in Paris in 1924 -Relâche, featured bright lights and bizarre simultaneous acts on stage -Half the audience left because, due to the title, they thought the show was cancelled -No specific artistic innovations since most of their stuff was also Futurist, but some big theoretical innovations: -Appreciation of the process of creation -Appreciation of artists as individuals of unrestricted freedom, combatting madness


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