BC THTR 1170 - Intro to Theatre Midterm Review

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Intro to Theatre Midterm ReviewHistory of Theatre – Ancient Theatre - 2500 – 3330 BC: storytelling, religious rituals- 500bc – first recorded drama- About the renewal of life, death- The Universals of Theatre: “living breathing interaction” between actors and the audienceo live, ephemeral, collective o Synthesis of many arts o Space, actor, observer (Peter Brook)- Post-modern movement: contradiction and instability, no grand scheme of meaning or universal understanding - Commercial Theatre vs. Not-for-profit theatre vs. Educational Theatre vs. Theatre for Therapy- Globalization: isolation of cultures going extinct, i.e. World Music- Multiculturalism – advocacy of extending equitable status, salad bowl- Assimilation – absorption of minority into the dominant culture- Special interest movements: o Vagina monologues – theatre for and by women, raise funds/awarenesso African American Theatre – Langston Hughes, The Negro Ensemble o East-West theatre – subtle racism towards Eastern culture/Asianso Theatre of Difference – gay/lesbianThe Audience Response- “active” – traditional, Shakespeare; “passive” – realism, “aesthetic distance” – admire work of art from a distance, every audience has their own personality (age, gender, etc)- Agitrop – agitation and propaganda: political theatre in Russia, news source (- Challenging the Audience – Bertolt Brecht – hoped to achieve distancing affect, end without resolution so that people can come up with their own solutions - Involving the Audience – Augusto Boal – Theatre of the Oppressed, “invisible theatre” to bring out the real issues and make people be a part of the play, social reform - Confronting the Audience – The Living Theatre, develop a topic out of themselves The Role of the Critic - Tell us what to see and what not to see, developing art form actively, develop intelligent audience, recommend ways to improve a play - Ways to criticize a play: issues relevant to society, play’s relevance to the individual (hopes and dreams), ultimate example of form (style), artistic value (Oedipus – greek, Hamlet – poetry), significant and entertaining to the audience - Can improve the play, artists can become critics, audience and critics can inspire actors/directorUnderstanding Plays - The story: all the events in the play; the plot: ordering and structuring of events to express the theme or POV, “spine of the play”- Aristotle and the Poetics – o Plot – moves the storyo Characters – “people of the play”o Theme – spine of the play o Diction – spoken part of the playo Music – the sounds of the play o Spectacle – visual elements of a play, patterns, etc.o Convention – elements are not what they are, but do represent something differento Willful suspension of disbelief, movement of the psycheo order of the performance – gathering, transition, exposition, conflict, climax, resolution, curtain call, aftermath- Dramatic Characterso Cultural values – Greek: man vs god, medieval: eternal life, 20th century: Freud - Qualities of a fine play o Credibility, intrigue, speakability, stageability, and flow, forming a coherent whole, richness/details, gravity and pertinence, compression, economy, and intensity Oedipus Rex: - Themes: Gods, follow the Gods- Tiresias – the “blind” prophet who knows everything- Tragic hero/flaw – hamartia/pride : Oedipus – thinks he can beat the Gods given fate - Sight vs. blindness – blind prophet, stabbing his own eyes, wishing to see his own kids - Characters: o Oedipus – make quick decisive actions w/o much thought, thinks highly of himselfo Creon – the queen’s brother, rules the country with equal power to the King, in the end actually does want the King’s seat o Jocasta – wife and mother of Oedipus, tries to prevent Oedipus from finding out the truth, fails, kills herself o Tiresias – blind prophet who tells Oedipus that he himself is the murder of his fathero Shepherd – who both witnessed Liaus’ murder and gave baby Oedipus to the messengero Messenger – was once a shepherd who received Oedipus, came with the news that Oedipus’ adoptive father is dead and that his mother is not his actual mother o The Chorus – singing/chanting, reactions to Oedipus, part of the play and audienceGenres of Plays - Tragedy (issues about human existence, morality, human relations), comedy (social comedy), tragicomedy (serious w/ happy ending), dark comedy, melodrama (overplaying it), farce, docudrama (social/political agenda), musical- Greek Tragedy – someone originally from a high place, someone that we can relate to, doesn’t deserve his misfortune >> heroic struggle is sure to fail (trying to go around God) >> reversal of fortune >> pathos >> pity and fear >> catharsis (realization that people are noble) - Medieval Period - religious, liturgical, Latin, kept in the city, moved to be more open - Neoclassicism – 14th century – back to classical style, forms of Greek tragedy, socially accepted norms, 5 acts, Shakespeare followed rules a little bit less, tragedy in the same form (Hamlet)- Romanticism – variety, mystical and supernatural elements (demons and ghosts were real), defiant of social norms, costumes and scenery had individual personalities- Comedy – unraveling of social problem, presenting it in a new way to view it: satire, farce, situation, romantic, manners- Tragicomedy – sad and mostly tragedy, until there is a happy ending - Melodrama – speaks directly to our emotions, mostly TV dramas and movies - Naturalism – extreme attempt to show life w/o dramatic alterations- Realism – presented in an objective way for people in the audience to make impartial opinions, presents the problem, then people make the analysisHamlet - Elizabethan tragedy – the cosmic order of gods and kings, defying the order; tragic hero is not the most perfect, flaw is a drastic error, lots of dead people- Shakespeare and the Globe Theatre – 1564-1616; end of Neoclassism, primary purpose: earn money, stock company/commercial company – owned by the actors instead of patrons- To be or not to be: to take action or not, will he have to die afterwards- Ophelia – girl that Hamlet gets made at, may have committed suicide, or just dies - Polonius – not a bubbling old fool, sends Ricardo as a spy - Gertrude – mother of Hamlet who married Claudius very soon after the King’s death - Elizabethan times: no political plays,

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BC THTR 1170 - Intro to Theatre Midterm Review

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