Theatre Styles Notes by xuyuzhu


									ADA3MI/4MI – Ms. Vieira

                                   Theatre Styles
   Provided much of the new interest in theatre from the 16th through the 18th centuries
   Performed by professional troupes specializing in comic improvisations
   Troupes mastered the art of playing out their comic scenarios
   No fully composed play scripts – just plots based on comic intrigue
   Lazzi were special humorous bits of stage business, usually set apart from the main action
   Actors memorized set speeches, such as declarations of love, hate and madness – they
    also learned stock jokes, songs, exit speeches and comments
   All characters were stock characters representing two social classes: the upper class and
    the servant class.
   Characters were identified by their costumes and by their masks; the innamorati and
    innamoratae did not wear masks.

   From 17th Century Japan ->
   Spectacular costuming and makeup
   Initially borrows plots and scripts heavily from existing puppet theatre (joruri)
   Popular with the common people
   Focus on historical events, moral conflicts, love relationships
   Unique staging including a footbridge through the audience and after 18th C. rotating
    stage and trapdoors

   After the Elizabethan Era that ended with the formation of a republican government -
    1600’s and 1700’s
   Women appeared as players for the first time
   Theatre buildings had roofs
   Audiences were seated on level floors
   Stage floor was raked (sloped upward away from the viewers)
   Elaborate scenery and mechanical equipment came into use in England

   Cultural movement during the 1800’s
   Rejected neoclassical rules and suggested that genius creates its own rules
   Focused on emotions, sentiment and imagination
   Elaborately staged and used supernatural elements
   Heroes were independent and defended individuality
      Common theme was the gulf between human beings’ spiritual aspirations and their physical

   Anti-realist movement between 1880-1910
   Writers believed that drama should present the mystery of being and the cosmos—the
    infinite qualities of the human spirit and inner meaning of life
   Symbolic images rather than concrete actions would be the basic means of communication
    and represented emotions, ideals, and values
   Characters were figures representative of the human condition
   Stage pictures had only the bare essentials necessary to evoke the dramatic universe
   Themes were chosen from myth or fairy tales and used poetic language and a deliberately
    artificial style of staging

   Mid-19th Century
   Based views on contemporary scientific theory
   Aimed to present ordinary life as accurately as possible – no theatrical sense – in the
    extreme “slice of life” and “real flies on real meat”
   Showed how human beings act in response to forces of nature and society that are
    beyond their control
   Subject matter emphasized the boredom, depression, and frustration of contemporary

   Late-19th Century movement
   Replaced the artificial romantic style with accurate depictions of people in plausible
   Writers refused to make simple moral judgments or to resolve dramatic action neatly
   Presents life as it actually is; characters talk, dress, and act as people in ordinary life do
   Actors attempt to become their characters; living their lives in real room with the
     audience spying on them through the invisible fourth wall
   Ushered in modern theatre and revolutionized contemporary theatre in every aspect,
     from scenery, to styles of acting, from dialogue to makeup

   Philosophical doctrine developed after World War I
   Rejects traditional beliefs
   Writers believe there is little meaning to existence, that God does not exist, and that
     humanity is therefore alone in an irrational universe
   An individual must accept responsibility for his/her own actions
   Emphasis is on freedom and the moral responsibility of the individual and shows a distrust
     of philosophical idealism
      Disillusionment
      Plays are based on traditional cause-and-effect logic, and the characters are
       recognizable, fully developed human beings

    Began by Bertolt Brecht
    Reactions in the 1920’s and 30’s to an over-emphasis on artistic illusion and aesthetic
     emotion in theatre
    Believes that theatre should serve a social purpose of educating audiences
    Narrators are often used to comment on the dramatic action
    Political drama intended to appeal to reason rather than emotions that uses a journalistic,
     non-emotional style that incorporates signs, projections, films, etc.
    Attempts to distance the audience from the action and characters—“alienation effect”—
     in order to allow them to concentrate on a play’s message
    Epic theatre usually deals with history or foreign lands, covers a long time, shifts locale
     frequently, has intricate plots, and includes many characters

   Genre of the 1950’s and 60’s
   Stage conventions were abandoned in order to present a view of the world as meaningless
    and incomprehensible
   Believe that much of what happens in life cannot be logically explained; it is ridiculous and
    absurd and presents human existence as futile
   Plots do not have traditional structure
   Characters are not realistic and they usually fail to communicate
   Setting is frequently a strange, unrecognizable locale
   Dialogue seems to make little sense and the language is unreliable
   Writers are highly individualistic

Theatre: Art in Action – secondary school theatre textbook
Stage & Screen – secondary school theatre textbook

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