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Transcript of Theater History
6.Thought of Theme Around 335 B.C.E Aristophanes wrote one of the first comedies, Lysistrata, a humorous tale about a strong woman who leads a female coalition to end war in Greece. Greek actors wore masks to both help
display emotion as well as project their voices afar.
This displays the ancient greek's vast knowledge
about engineering. The origin of the mask is unknown but it most likely originated around the beginnings of the Greek theater. Around 486 B.C.E The first theaters in Greece were extremely well engineered. Each were arc in the right direction so that sound could be traveled throughout. Sophocles wrote
one of the first tragedies, Oedipus,
during the time period of 497 and 406 B.C.E. Many actors still perform Oedipus today. Despite being relatively close to Greek theater, Roman theater was much different. Roman theater was bloody, violent and for the most part real The Colosseum, where nearly every gladiator fight took place, was constructed in the year 80AD under the rule of Titus During the time of Roman theater, the Pariaktoi was invented. This was a fantastic invention. It was a pillar with three sides and on each side a different side was painted. This allowed for the saving of many materials. There is no exact recorded date of the creation of the Pariaktoi. In addition to gladiator fights, the Romans
sure loved their chariot races. The building where these races took place, the Circus Maximus (The large circle), was constructed in 329 B.C.E Laertius was one of the first people to start using stock characters. Here wrote a book called Ethical Characters containing a lot of stock characters in the year 230 B.C.E The Roman's also had a fantastically engineered theater. It had maximum acoustics and plenty of room for the actors when they weren't on stage. The first theaters were built in the beginning of the Roman theater era. 10th Century Medieval Theater Medieval theater used different moralities to define it's plays and what type of person each actor was interpreting. Each person was dominated by one certain morality and their character revolved around that morality. Each play had great meaning as well. The major contributions of the Medieval theater are the use of the vernacular, spectacle, stage direction and the use of farce. Prior to Medieval theater, all drama was performed in Latin or Greek, however Medieval theater evolved to the use of the vernacular about 1200 A.D. In approximately 1400 A.D., the dramas were performed with spectacle, meaning they no longer depended exclusively on the spoken word, but incorporated music, dance, costume and set design. The spectacle of the later Medieval theater made it necessary to have detailed stage directions. A sample of documented staging drawings and directions remain from the 15th-century morality play "The Castle of Perseverance". This served as a basis and was referenced many times in later theater. Morality plays emerged as a distinct dramatic form around 1400 and flourished until 1550. One of the most interesting morality play is "The Castle of Perseverance" which depicts mankind's progress from birth to death. There were also a number of secular performances staged in the Middle Ages, the earliest of which is "The Play of the Greenwood" by Adam de la Halle in 1276. 1400-1650 The Italian Renaissance During the time of the Italian Renaissance, theater changed drastically. It went from a rehearsed scripted plays into complete comedic, improvised scenarios in an art called comedia dell'arte. Compagnie, or companies, were troups of actors, each of whom had a specific function or role. These compagnie traveled throughout Europe. Some famous troupes of the Golden Age (1580–1605) are as follows: Gelosi, Confidenti, Accessi. These companies would often learn about the town they were visiting before hand to make their performance more funny and appealing to that specific audience. Ludovico Ariosto wrote one of the most memorable comedies during this time period, despite most of the acting being improvisation, called Orlando Furioso in the year 1532. During the time of the comedia dell'arte, a form of comedy was developed called "Lazzi". Lazzi in a sense is slapstick comedy. It is the base of many modern day slapstick comedies such as "The Three Stooges" or " Tom and Jerry" By the mid-16th century, specific troupes of commedia performers began to coalesce, and by 1568 the Gelosi became a distinct company. Commedia dell'arte is notable in that female roles were played by women, documented as early as the 1560s. 1660-1700s Restoration Restoration theater was made up of the belief of comedy of manners. The people during this time period believed that your body was up of four humors: Bile (bad temper, anger) Blood (strength, viciousness) Water (flowing, easy going) and Mucus (sickness, disgust). Each character in the performances of restoration theater revolved around one of these humors. In the early 1700s, women were finally allowed to act in formal theater for the first time. Before this every woman character was played by a male. The oldest evidence of a proscenium arch is found in a drawing made around 1560 by Bartolomeo Neroni, but it is believed that this arch was a temporary structure. The proscenium stage is also know as the picture frame stage, because the audience observe the action of the play through the frame of the proscenium arch. During the Restoration period, both male and female actors on the London stage became for the first time public personalities and celebrities.Documents of the period show audiences being attracted to performances by the talents of particular actors as much as by particular plays, and more than by authors (who seem to have been the least important draw, no performance being advertised by author until 1699). estoration comedy peaked twice. The genre came to spectacular maturity in the mid-1670s with an extravaganza of aristocratic comedies. Twenty lean years followed this short golden age, although the achievement of Aphra Behn in the 1680s is to be noted. In the mid-1690s a brief second Restoration comedy renaissance arose, aimed at a wider audience. The comedies of the golden 1670s and 1690s peak times are extremely different from each other. estoration comedy peaked twice. The genre came to spectacular maturity in the mid-1670s with an extravaganza of aristocratic comedies. Twenty lean years followed this short golden age, although the achievement of Aphra Behn in the 1680s is to be noted. In the mid-1690s a brief second Restoration comedy renaissance arose, aimed at a wider audience. The comedies of the golden 1670s and 1690s peak times are extremely different from each other. estoration comedy peaked twice. The genre came to spectacular maturity in the mid-1670s with an extravaganza of aristocratic comedies. Twenty lean years followed this short golden age, although the achievement of Aphra Behn in the 1680s is to be noted. In the mid-1690s a brief second Restoration comedy renaissance arose, aimed at a wider audience. The comedies of the golden 1670s and 1690s peak times are extremely different from each other. Restoration comedy peaked twice. The genre was popular in the mid-1670s with a lot of aristocratic comedies. Twenty years followed this short golden age.. In the mid-1690s a brief second Restoration comedy renaissance arose, aimed at a wider audience. The comedies of the golden 1670s and 1690s peak times are extremely different from each other. Charles II was an active and interested patron of the drama. Soon after his restoration, in 1660, he granted exclusive play-staging rights, so-called Royal patents, to the King's Company and the Duke's Company, led by two middle-aged Caroline playwrights, Thomas Killigrew and William Davenant. 1850s-1930s Realism During this time period, theater changed drastically. People began wanting a more realistic theater. With this wanted, realism began. Realism represents everyday life and excludes no subject matter Stanislavski, a russian theater director, devloped the method of acting for realism in 1930. Henrik Ibsen, the man often credited with the creation of realism, wrote one of the most famous realism plays of all time, "A doll's house" in the year 1879. Theater by: Josh Kotzker
period 3 Raisin in the Sun is a realism play by Lorraine Hansberry that debuted on Broadway in 1959. It is about a black family's struggles during 1950s while living in Chicago. "George Bernard Shaw" was an English realism writer who wrote many plays such as:
Arms and the Man (1894) – about love and war and honor.
"Major Barbara" (1905) – a munitions manufacturer gives more to the world (jobs, etc.) while the Salvation Army only prolongs of the status quo.
"Pygmalion" (1913) – shows the transforming of a flower girl into a society woman, and exposes the phoniness of society. The musical "My Fair Lady" was based on this play. Anton Chekhov was a Russian realism writer who wrote:
"The Seagull" (1898).
"Three Sisters" (1900) – we did the show here last year; about three sisters who want to move to Moscow but never do.
"The Cherry Orchard" (1902) 1564-1660 Elizabethan Perhaps one of the most well known types of theater, Elizabethan theater is constantly studied and debated. The main driving force of this theater was one man. William Shakespeare. In the early 1590s, Shakespeare wrote his first plays: "Richard III" and "Henry IV" plays about different kings of England The Globe Theater was a theater in London associated with William Shakespeare. It was built in 1599 by Shakespeare's playing company, the Lord Chamberlain's Men, and was destroyed by fire on 29 June 1613. A second globe theater was built in the year 1614 but closed in 1642. Shakespeare was not the only great play write during the time of Elizabethan theater. Christopher Marlow 1564 - 1593,Francis Beaumont 1584 - 1616, John Fletcher ?- 1625, Thomas Middleton 1580 - 1627 and
Thomas Kyd 1558 - 1594 were all great play writes during this time aswell. Queen Elizabeth, the main supporter of Elizabethan theater, Died on 24 March 1603 (of blood poisoning) - she was nearly70 years of age 1930-1960s Modern Modern Theater is very different that regular theater. It mainly revolves around the audience and makes them the star. Nicolas Bataille directed the premiere of "The Bald Soprano" on 11 May 1950 at the Théâtre des Noctambules, Paris. "The Bald Soprano" is a great representation of modern theater. Eugene Ionesco wrote "Macbett" 1972, a free adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth. Eugene made plenty of other absurdism plays aswell. Guerrilla theatre,(a special type of modern theater) is an acting event originated in 1965 by the San Francisco Mime Troupe. The group performances aimed against the Vietnam war and capitalism, sometimes contained nudity, profanity and taboo subjects that were shocking to some members of the audiences of the time. Many of them were arrested for doing it. Augusto Boal born 16 March 1931 and died on 2 May 2009 was a Brazilian theater director, writer and politician. He was the founder of Theater of the Oppressed, form originally used in radical popular education movements. Antonin Artaud born 4 September 1896 and died4 March 1948, was a French playwright, poet, actor and theater director. Antonin focused on theater of cruelty and had some really weird plays.