Theatre History 2 Final Exam
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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.
- moscow 1910-1920s
- 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
- 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)
- 1945-1960 Paris
- 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.
- introduces existentialism
- plays include: bald soprano, rhinoserous beckett waiting for godot, end game & no exit
angry young men
- 1950s-60s england
- 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
- 50s -80s
- 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
- 1970s -1990s
- main idea: art form counteracts oppression; Anti-Apartheid (segregation/ racism)
- People: Fugard- Afrikaner; influential in effort against Apartheid.
- Plays: Master Harold and the boys
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