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Theatre History

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Sadie Novak

on 28 February 2013

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Transcript of Theatre History

History Of the Theater The End It started with a Greek philosopher decided what theater, Aristole At this point, Rome had fallen and people were now preparing to die in the end of the world. Theater wasgreatly looked down upon because people were expected to be preparing for Judgement Day-not be having fun. However the theater was kept alive throughout the Dark Ages. The Industrial Revolution changed everything:
Gas lighting was introduced
Arc-;lighting followed
elaborate mechanisms were introduced
(fly-lofts, elevators, revolving stagess) Nineteenth Century For now... Origins of Theater Ritualistic Dancing Pantomime Diaglogue Sound Effects and basic and , , However, it lacked a Plot . In the 14th and 15th Cenutry, especially the tragedies, should contain. He came up with the Six Elements : 1)
6) Character In Greek Theater: Thought Diction Music Spectacle Plot Who creates Conflict? What does the play
mean? The Language fits
the tone and style
of the play. Who is Portrayed? Sound Elements of a play. Like,
sound effects, soundtrack, or chorus. Visual Elements of a play. Like, scenery, costuming, ect. And finally, the A play needed a beginning, middle and end. Aristotle structured his plot like this.... Exposition Rising Rising Rising Rising
Action Climax Denouement Thespis defined theater as the art of acting a part onstage with a dramatic impersonation of a person other than oneself. (534 BC. possibly an actor,
playwright or priest) Greek theater took place on hillside stadiums
called . Amphitheaters These plays included a chorus and
leader. Lines were chanted rather than spoken
and masks were worn to symbolize different
characters. High-soled boots were worn to add height. (introduced what theaudience should understand, feel, ect.) Greek Theater was defined by five Playwrights. They were: Aeschylus was most famous for his tragic trilogy "Oresteia". Sophocles was most famous for his trilogy "Oedipus Rex". He also was responsible for the concept of the third
actor. He also reduced the role of the chorus focused on interaction between characters the development of the character itself. Eurpedes employed a more natural, human approach in his plays. formal and remote than previous plays. The other two playwrights wrote . They were Comedies Aristopanes Menander Tragedies were more popular and universal In Rome at the same time the Greeks were declining their empire was on the rise. In theater, the Romans borrowed a lot from the Greeks. There were two forms of theater in Rome. Fabula Palliata was translations of Greek plays into Latin. The idea of the subplot was also introduced. Fabula Togata was native plays based on farce and physical humor. The majority of plays were this form.
More serious plays were written, but they were intended to be read, rather than performed.
At this point, the stage was raised and actors
became more expressive.
One of the greatest impacts Roman theater had
was lowering the esteem of the theater in
the eyes of the Catholic Church. Medieval World of Theater He also introduced the second actor. They were much less and . at the time and Aristotle said that they must be
imitations of real life and evoke emotion, such as
pity or fear, causing them to experience a
or a cleansing through extreme emotion. catharsis Comedies did not become popular until the decline of the Greek government. This type
of theater provided an outlet for the frustrations
of society. depended on topical humor and satire. Comedies Oedipus Rex Once upon a time... A man named Oedipus was walking down the down the road, when all of a sudden a chariot almost runs him over. Inside the chariot is an arrogant rich guy. The two fight and the rich guy dies. Oedipus continues his journey and reaches a Sphinx, who has been plaguing the city of Thebes, and requiring the answer to a riddle upon entry.. Oedipus guesses correctly, and ends up becoming the King of Thebes. He also marries a woman by the names of Jocasta, a cougar, and the recently widowed queen.

So, now, King Oedipus wants to solve the city's problems. Apparently Zeus and the Olympian gods are still angry that the previous king was murdered and the murderer had walked free and unknown. Oedipus vows to find the murderer and punish him regardless of who he is....even if he is a friend, or a relative or even he himself.

Oedipus requests for some help from a local prophet, an old guy by the name of Tiresias. The aging psychic tells Oedipus to stop looking for the killer. But this just motivates Oedipus more to find out the truth, Finally Tiresias is worn down and he tells Oedipus the story. The old guy says that Oedipus killed the past king. And that Oedipus is Theban born, and he killed his father, and then married his mother.

Oedipus is really freaked out about this discovery, especially because this wasn't the first time he had heard a prophecy like this one. When he was younger, living in another city, the city of Corinth, another soothsayer told him that he would kill his father and marry his mother. Upon hearing this, Oedipus had run away from his home, in hopes to save his family. Oedipus tells him to relax and that a lot of prophecies do not ever end up coming true anyway. Later, a messenger arrives, carrying a message for Oedipus - his father had died. This news seems to confirm that the prophecies can't possibly be true.

Oedipus is really freaked out about this discovery, especially because this wasn't the first time he had heard a prophecy like this one. When he was younger, living in another city, the city of Corinth, another soothsayer told him that he would kill his father and marry his mother. Upon hearing this, Oedipus had run away from his home, in hopes to save his family. Oedipus tells him to relax and that a lot of prophecies do not ever end up coming true anyway. Later, a messenger arrives, carrying a message for Oedipus - his father had died. This news seems to confirm that the prophecies can't possibly be true.

All is good, until a shepherd arrives in the city with a story for Oedipus. The shepherd tells him that when Oedipus was young, he found him, a teeny baby left for the wolves. The shepherd took him back to Corinth, where he was raised by adoptive parents. Oedipus finally realizes that the rich guy who almost ran him over and he ended up killing was the past king of Thebes and his biological father. Which means his wife is really his biological mother for real.

This is very shocking and bad news to the people of Thebes. His wife/mother, Jocasta, ends up hanging herself. And then Oedipus takes her pins from her dress and gouges out his eyes, Oedipus wanders around the world for the rest of his life as an example of man's folly. The End Medieval Theater Theatrical practices were kept up by street players, jugglers, and animal trainers - "stock" characters, ones that everyone knew and could recognize. Strangely enough, it was the Church that worked to
keep theater alive through the middle ages. This resulted from the churches
need to establish itself in the
community - a community still
steeped in pagan ritual and
superstition which manifested
itself in seasonal festivities. The church ultimately
linked its own religious
holidays with these
seasonal festivals and
began to use dramatic
form to illustrate the
stories underlying
these holidays. The priests would stand at various locations in the churches and act out
different scenes, often with a choir, And the audience would move to each scene, As the repertoire of the Church grew
to include the passion and crucifixion
of Christ, the Church was confronted
with the dilemma of how a priest
should portray Herod (who crucified
Jesus) The Church continued to
grow in division of opinion
to the worth of dramatic
interpretations, the members
of the congregation clearly
enjoyed them and were
moved by them. The dramas continued to
grow and moved out of the sanctuary and out into the open air. The members of town guilds began to contribute to these dramas which continued to grow. The plays became more popular and to make them more exciting, subplots were added and elements of humor. They moved them to Pageant Wagons that they could roll from one town to another to teach people. Many of the "mysteries" as they were called, could go traveling around at once. The wagon could store scenery, provide dressing room space, and space for the actors to wait offstage during performances. Eventually, it became tradition to stage religious plays in a more permanent location. A single stage with an elevated "heaven" and a "hellmouth" at the other end, usually flaming. In between were mansions that represented different points in the New Testament story. The Hellmouth became one of the most popular parts of the mansion stage because it used so many flashy special effects. Known as passion plays, mystery plays,
miracle plays and morality plays they
continued to their close connection with
the Church and church holidays, but began
to introduced the element of stock
characters. that were more contemporary
in nature. After the Protestant Reformation, theater became more secular. Interlude At the end of the 15th century, a the morality play was developed. It dealt with the moral problems, although, through more realistic and comic elements. This became know as the . The term might have denoted a short play or playlet. The term interlude is used to denote the plays which mark the transition between medieval religious drama to Tudor secular drama.
Henry Medwall's "Fulgens and Lucres" is the earliest extant purely secular play in English. Medwall belonged to a group of early Tudor playwrights.
From the Interlude, was the beginnings of English comedy and the the emergence of prose. Interlude The Renaissance and Reformation The Renaissance was a rebirth but really a rediscovery of the classical age in Europe. It affected the arts greatly all over. But the greatest amount in Italy, where classical Roman plays were revived. During the Protestant Reformation, the discovery of the classics sparked the development of the stage.
First in Italy, then in France and England and then the rest of Europe, In Italy, the first steps were taken to the development of the proscenium, or picture frame stage, that were are familiar with today. In England during the 15 and 16th century, stages entailed open courtyards of the inns to the stages of performances. These 'apron stages' were surrounded by galleries and were completely open They were so open that the audience not only sat in the galleries but on the stage itself. The emphasis was moved to dialogue, rather than
action. The plays still had a moralistic tone to
them, however, the themes of religious virtue were replaced by those of loyalty to the government and a stable society. The term 'play-maker' refers to the fact that the
emphasis was on the performers. rather than the
playwrights. Troupes of companies began to form and had a repertory of plays for performance. These companies were guild-like in their organization, with a group of owner actors. journeymen and hirelings. At this point the plays were based on simple plots or previous works, and a writer 'made' the work more technical rather than creative.
Writers avoided the classics, as they mostly revolved around religion. Europe was very much in disagreement over religious ideas and the classic plays only caused problems.
Writers began to write their original plays that were non-political and non-religious. Theater Companies So, now in history, the threat of plague was very immediate every where. This caused a lot of unease everywhere and along with the potential of civil unrest due to a few too many drinks, theater companies were often banned by authorities. By merchants, the Theater was viewed as an opportunity for lazy kids to take up apprenticeships and bum around all day. By the wives, it was viewed as the place for all the women of ill-repute to go and hang at.
These views led to the theater eventually being taken over the the state. Elizabethan The University Wits A group of young men, fresh out of college got to together with intentions of writing plays for a living. However, in doing so, the also ended up making Elizabethan drama more
literary and dramatic. William Shakespeare A playwright and actor, Shakespeare produced many great works that are timeless for their understanding of human nature. Shakespeare encouraged a more natural approach to performance and style of speaking, 16th Century Performances still
took in open air
theaters like this. The Republic and Restoration 1642 Parliament closed down the theaters in England
and until 1660, when a new king comes to throne, there is little drama that takes place in England. However, in France, theather was thriving well and had a lot of influence. Theater was beginning to focus more on scenery and spectacle rather than the plot or actors. Theater was also being designed for royal pleasure. It was also during this time when women began to appear onstage. Eighteenth Century At this point, a more natural form of speaking and acting was emphasized. It mimicked real life. David Garrick dominated the theater and was called a genius. His works grew movements of realism and naturalism and he banished the audience from the stage. Plays now dealt with ordinary people as characters.
This was a result of the philosophies of Voltaire and the growing desires for personal freedoms among the people. American theater began to develop. Theater companies now gave parts
to its members that were permanent.
Actors learned their characters and
specialized in them. Examples:

There was always the captain, a bold, arrogant yet cowardly man. And there were always the two lovers and the doctor....and so on. Each character had specific characteristics that were taken and learned and used in every play. Emphasis on action and spectacle. Theater grew greatly in America.
People had leisure time to kill,
better qualities and standards of
life. As population grew, so did
the Theater. American Theater was influenced by London Theater. It was evident in the style used and the obvious bits of English tradtions. America inherited the "star system' Actors became very socially respectable. Civil war minorly affected theater in America Twentieth Century The political movements of the "proletariat" were manifested in theater by such movements as realism, naturalism, naturalism, symbolism, impressionism, and, highly stylized anti-realism as society battled to determine the ultimate goals and meaning of political philosophy in the life of the average person. At the same time, commercial theater was advancing. It developed into popular forms of drama such as major musicals beginning with Ziegfield's "Follies" and developing into full out musical plays like "Oklahoma" In Technology, film was introduced. But the growing popularity of the theater was able to compete with this new innovation. Tragedy was greatly changed in its presentation. Serious drama was accompanied by serious acting, in the form of the Actor's Studio (founded in 1947).
The art of writing comedy was brought to a level of near perfection by Neil Simon (1927-).
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