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Melodrama and Naturalism.

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Bethan Hooton

on 7 November 2013

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Transcript of Melodrama and Naturalism.

Naturalism was brought in by Stanislavski who thought that Melodrama was unrealistic and unbelievable. As he thought this he set up the Moscow Art Theatre where he set up a new set of rules which every one of his actors had to follow.
In Naturalistic plays/shows there are a number of different plots.
There are many differences between Melodrama and Naturalism. Here are a couple;
Melodrama began in the late 18th century to early 19th century. It was influenced by the working class during the Industrial Revolution.
Plots/Shows/Characters of Melodrama.
The most common plot for a Melodramatic play is; A hero saving a 'damsel in distress' who has been kidnapped by the Villain.
Melodrama and Naturalism.
Melodrama was often performed in pubs; during the evening. This is because workers would have normally been working for long hours during the day and were looking to relax, and enjoy themselves.
Melodrama is over the top. The actions would be very stereotypical and not very realistic.
Melodrama plays consist of a constant theme of Good defeating Evil.
Some Melodrama shows include;
The Road Runner
and Betty Boop.
In Melodramatic plays there are three main characters; The Hero, The Damsel in Distress and The Villain.
Also the Hero usually has a side-kick which is used for comic relief.
Each character would act in a certain way, and use different gestures; which were overdramatic.
For Example The Villain might twirl his mustache when he appears on stage or might laugh evilly once he's tricked the Damsel.
In Naturalistic acting, characters are realistic and believable. Costumes will reflect the Characters personality.
Naturalistic acting is realistic and the audience are able to empathize with the characters.
Some Naturalistic shows include;
and Glee.
Characters in a Naturalistic show/play are complex. Most of the time at the start of the show/play you are unable to tell which character is the Hero/ Villain.
Naturalistic acting is most common now-a-days. Within TV shows and during Drama lessons in schools.
Here is a clip of 'Glee' To put it in perspective, I will explain what is happening in the scene. Right now they(the characters) are on lock down as they think there might be a shooter in the building as two gunshots have gone off.
Melodrama is over the top and stereotypical, whereas Naturalism is about making the characters believeable and realistic.
Melodrama plays use big lavish sets which make the story more interesting, whilst Naturalistic plays use sets which contribute well with the story and makes the story more realistic.
So in a nutshell;
Melodrama is about over the top gestures and stereotypical characters. It is not realistic or Believable.
Naturalism is about making the characters and plot as real as possible. It is believable and realistic.
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