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Copy of German Expressionism Theatre
Transcript of Copy of German Expressionism Theatre
people of Expressionism
The Cabinet of
What is "Expressionism" and Where did it originate?
What was happening in Germany during this time?
Expressionism (in theatre and film) was extremely important from around 1916-1921.
It was at its climax from 1918-1919.
During this time period, World War One was centered primarily around Europe, especially in Germany.
This may have been the reason for
the "rebellious" characteristics
"Often in Expressionism theatre, slight pauses and moments of silence were added at odd moments to add a "nightmare" effect to the play.
The plot and structure was often disjointed and split into different sections/episodes, each making a different point. This trait varied from author to author.
Characters often lost their individuality and were simply identified by nameless titles, such as, "The Mother", "The Son", and "The Father". These characters were stereotypes of their titles rather than unique and individual personalities, and represented a group as a whole, not specific people.
The dialogue was often different from normal conversation, it seemed very poetic and intense. "At one time it might take the form of a long lyrical monologue, and at another, of staccato telegraphese – made up of phrases of one or two words or expletives."
The style of acting was a deliberate abandonment of the realism of Stanislavsky. It avoided real human behavior, and tended to include more exaggerated and, sometimes, mechanical movements (like a puppet)."
By: Sam J.
Expressionism is a form of acting/theatre that "formed out of the same motive to rebel against the materialistic values of the older middle-class generation". It was the start of "both the reformist Naturalist theatre and the aesthetic Symbolist theatre".
Expressionism formed in Europe, mainly in the country of Germany. (It did, however, eventually spread to the United States.)
Expressionism thrived in art and architecture (throughout the world) from 1905 to 1920, especially in Germany.
The first full-length Expressionist play was The Son by Walter Hasenclever. It was published in 1914 and first performed in 1916.
The Student of Prague was one of the first expressionist films, which came
out in 1913.
As you can see
by the clip from "The
Cabinet of Dr. Caligari", the sets of these kinds of plays and films can be very abstract and dark. The costumes tend to be "elegant and proper", yet, in a way, creepy and ghost-like.
The makeup is very exaggerated and dramatic, adding a horrifying effect to each characters' face.
How the War affected Expressionism...
"Many of the German Expressionism artists had
served in the military during World War I. Two well-known German Expression artists, August Macke and Franz Marc, were killed; the people/artists that survived the war returned from the experience disillusioned, depressed, sometimes maimed and often shell-shocked. The Germany to which they returned was a country overwhelmed with major economic, social, and political problems.
The poverty and feeling of betrayal and humiliation that followed the signing of the Versailles Treaty affected everyone of the German society. Artists and citizens were ready to get rid of all of the old-fashioned ideas, and thus, Expressionism was formed. It became a new refined attitude that displayed the corruption of the upper classes
and the despair of the common man."
Georg Kaiser - German dramatist, most famous Expressionist works include The Burghers of Calais (1913), From Morn to Midnight (1912), and a trilogy, comprising The Coral (1917), Gas (1918), Gas II (1920)
Ernst Toller - a "German left-wing playwright", famous works include Transfiguration (1919), Masses Man (1921), and Hoppla, We're Alive! (1927)
Reinhard Sorge - a German dramatist and poet, most famous for his Expressionist play The Beggar (it won the Kleist Prize in 1912)
Walter Hasenclever - a German Expressionist poet and playwright, his first successful expressionist
play was The Son
Contrasted to Realism...
There are many aspects of Expressionism that are very different from Realism............
Setting: Bizzare shapes
Plot: Not connected
Characters: No individuality
Style: Mostly mechanical
Setting: Realistic building shapes and structures
Plot: Connected, each scene related
Characters: Individual personalities
Dialogue: Like regular, everyday conversation
Style: Flows, human-like movements
German Expressionist Theatre: The Actor and the Stage (Book)
Movements of "Evil/Scary" Characters
As you watch a few segments from this video, make sure you pay attention to the movements of the scary character (the one with a lot of make-up and tight clothes....) .
Architecture of Theaters