Anderson University Theatre History Modernism David Larson Dr DL 222
notecards for the final exam in theatre history 2
The three themes of this semester
theatricalism- turn the theatre inside out
community- sense of community within plays, theatres, actors, etc.
the great distillation- distill the theatre down to the essence
Death of a Salesman
individual vs society; expectations, the American dream
theatricality of the play: plays with time and nonrealistic representation (Ben the brother) flashback structure
family play- generation- codependency and control between Hamm and Clove
environment- it's all in one place
ending- it's ultimately about ending
Fires in the mirror
example of theatricalism: one person show- by the author leads to tighter communication. this is her idea; she's cutting out the middle man, writing it and giving it directly to us. there's no process or hand-off. we the conventions of the theatre; she's the same person and plays all these different people
objectivity and diversity: she pulls from different perspectives. she is an African American woman and plays a Jew and people entirely different from her and does it objectively.
street scene by Brecht: it's like street scene
Theatricalsim: they are speaking "irish" but not really.
culture at risk: what to preserve
Languages: Latin-dead language foreshadowing
act II scene 2: Scene with Maire & Yolland (example of theatricalism)
link with Irish theatre movement (it was written like 60-70 yrs after the movement about the movement)
scenic naturalism 1860s and 70s (realistic scenery)
Your environment impacts who you are
liked ideas of: honest acting,unity in costuming, scenic naturalism, moving away from melodrama
no Well Made Play: its about what's happening now. no linear narrative or gigantic sweeping characters but average Joes. lack of call for social change; people changing their circumstances, not creating these gigantic revolutions
Norway 1870s women in society: Norwegian playwrights examined women's place in society, family relationships, finances, and the struggle for self understanding in individual characters.
struggle for individuality 1880-1900
André Antoine- influenced him. opened the theatre libre (free theatre) strindberg did miss Julie there. Strindberg was also influenced by Zola
Plays: the father (naturalist play), miss Julie
intimate theatre: people could act like people instead of larger than life characters because of the small space
Strindberg butt heads with Ibsen. had differing views of women's role in society and marriage
playwrights: John Singe, Sean O'Casey, Yeats
abbey theatre: associated with Irish literary revival
irish nationalism: irish culture, political tensions, nationalistic pride fueled the theatre. some plays caused rebellions and riots
Link Irish culture to Translations
new theatre to America: Gladspell & Cook started Provincetown players. bringing a new theatre to America. Bringing over Stan the Man. commitment to American Writers; write this for America.
O'Neil: Great playwright that comes out of this period. his serious of 1 acts plays of the sea and other plays like "Bound East for Cardiff" and other new plays. paved the way for expressionistic theatre
Sense of community: sense of community about these players. they are committed to this beyond the commercial value; it's not about money.
caused a shift in focus from Stan's emotionalism to:
biomechanics: the actor becomes a machine reacting to others sharing space on stage; focus on PHYSICAL movement.; (also w/ Artaud and Grotowski)
symbolism: Used emotional realism and took pieces of Chekov’s approach.
circusization: crossing theatre with the circus
theatre of cruelty 1930s
Artaud was a theorist. (like Brecht) wrote theatre and its double.
primal instincts: distill to the essence of theatre. he believed we are restricted by the conventions we have. its about breaking down those conventions and starting from scratch with those primal instincts.
focused on the physical body
1920s and 1930s Marxist
german expressionism: epic theatre was a response to expressionist theatre which was all about the emotional rather than the realistic. Brecht disliked the shallow spectacle because it was all about how people felt. there was lots of German expressionism which was about subconscious stuff instead of social issues. epic theatre is the ultimate theatre of cause
Piscator: first to use epic theatre
alienation effect: alienate your audience & make them uncomfortable
gestus: how to use gesture to communicate the essence of the moment
1930s American Group Theatre
community: new plays for the 30s. a sense of community is reflected how people pulled together during the depression; Harold Clurman wants a spiritual union between the audience and the actor, and in the 30s in Paris Artaud wants the same concept. people being affected viscerally.
O'Detts: Main playwright for group theatre
Federal theatre project: for 4 or 5 years directed by Hallie Flannigan. the plays they were producing addressed problems in society and tried to offer solutions to them.
living newspaper (cradle will rock)
main idea: man looking at himself and how he cannot fix the chaos of life, and accepting that life is absurd
main contributors: Camus, Sarte & Joyce.
plays include: bald soprano, rhinoserous beckett waiting for godot, end game & no exit
angry young men
main idea: revolution in english theatre against censorship
Plays: look back in anger by Osborn "oh what a lovely war" by joan littlewood
Community: theatre workshop (a company of actors in the working class district). protest plays written against social conditions in England
African American Theatre
main idea: black arts movement."I can be black and be an American too"
plays: Dutchman and the slave by Amiri Baraka
progression: arch from Hansbury to Baraka to Wilson shows progression from universal black experience, to black people need to feel proud of who you are, to August Wilson who rebuilds black culture as it is represented theatrically
New York off broadway
Main idea: we are making our theatrical culture accessible to the artists for artistic reasons, not commercial.
important people: Joe Papp- started New York shakespeare festival & Public theatre. Jose Quintero started circle in the square & revived plays by Williams and O'Neil. Ellen Stewart- La Mama; created a theatre company
found spaces: venue becomes found spaces out of necessity
Theatre of Protest
60s to mid 70s performance group
main idea: didn't want spectacle; wanted to get back into the roots of theatre
people: scheckner & the living theatre (group)
community based: idea influenced philosophically by Artaud and Gritowski
regional theatre movement
main idea: developmental time for professional non-profit theatres.League of regional theatre people: Margo jones, early pioneer in Dallas. Tyrone Guthrie in Minneapolis.
impact: changed the culture of American Theatre; exists because of need for artists to escape the pressures of Broadway commercialism for greater artistic freedom
main idea: art form counteracts oppression; Anti-Apartheid (segregation/ racism)
People: Fugard- Afrikaner; influential in effort against Apartheid.