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Renaissance Theatre

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Kirstin Wetzell

on 6 April 2016

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Transcript of Renaissance Theatre

The Italian influence became evident in 1641. The
Palais Cardinal
(now Palais-Royal) was built to be a proscenium-arch stage just like the Italian's. Including the same machinery to shift scenery (groove system, pole-and-chariot). After this they remodeled the first two theatres after the Italian ones, with proscenium arches.

The difference between the Italian theatre is the amiptheatre seating. Undivided gallery and bleacherlike seating.

Entertainment was revived through
the court. Louis XIV founded the
Comédie-Française
. It is France's
national theatre. It also has a
horseshoe-shape.
The first permenant theatre building constructed was the
Hôtel de Bourgogne
in 1548. It was made for the presentation of religious drama in Paris.
When religious drama was outlawed it became public to companies.







Long narrow building with a platform stage, the sole theatre for a century until the
Théâtre du Marais
opened in 1634.
A indoor tennis court converted - again long and narrow.

Molière
(Jean-Baptiste Poquelin) (1622-1673) most famous for comedy. Originally an actor, failed miserably until 12 years later he returned as an actor-manager and playwright of comedy.

Inspired by commedia dell'arte
he created The Tartuffe (1664),
The Misanthrope (1666), and
The Miser (1668). Exaggerated
characters making fun of
their eccentricities.
English Renaissance
France
Italian Renaissance
Spanish Golden Age
Renaissance Theatre
Renaissance means "rebirth" it refers to an awakening of the arts and learning in the Western World
A period stretching roughly from late fourteenth century to early seventeenth
(1400s-1700s)
Prevalent in Italy, England, Spain & France
Theatre blossomed in these countries
Different from Roman & Greek - focused on humans instead of the gods
Forms of Drama
Intermezzi
- short pieces of mythological tales; presented during the acts of full plays, thematically related to the play too. Popular in 1500s, but gone by 1600s
Leading the way was improvisational theatre,
architecture, and dramatic criticsm. Most drama is modeled after Greek and Roman plays. None of it left a lasting mark.
Pastoral
- imitation of Greek satyr plays following Greek tragedies; usually romantic comedy with happy endings; not overtly sexual like the Greek's plays
Opera
- Drama set entirely to music, every part is sung. Considered more of music than theatre.
No set text, inventing words and actions as they went along.
Only
scenarios
- plot outlines without dialogue written by the company members
Commedia dell'arte
Comedy of professional artists in the form of improvisational theatre from 1550 to 1750.
Ten performers - seven men and three women
Adaptable to play in town squares, in homes
or in courts
Performers played the same stock character throughout their careers
The popular personages were:
Pantalone
lecherous, miserly,
Venetian man
Dottore
an old man; foolish scholar; loquacious
Capitano
cowardly, braggart soldier
excessive of braggadocio
Zanni
Arlecchino (Harlequin)
numbskull but witty; impromptu;
basically a rascal
Innamorati
(Young Lovers)
naive; in love with being in love;
losing rationality
Columbina
Brighella
Pulcinella

Wear traditional costumes
Masks covering half of face
Chapter 13 Renaissance Theatres
Joseph S.
Kimberly S.
Kacy T.
Kirstin W.

Lazzi
- repeated bits of comic business
Think of it as a running gag

Slapstick
- refers to the wooden sword
Dramatic Rules: The Neoclassical Ideals
Critics rather than playwrights proved influential.
Italian critics formed dramatic rules -
known as
neoclassical ideals
.

These dominated dramatic theory for 200 years
.
Three unities
Unity of time
- Play should not exceed 24 hours
Unity of place
- in one locale
Unity of action
- only one central story (no subplot)
Dramatic Rules: The Neoclassical Ideals
Narrow genres
:
Tragedy with royalty - ends sadly
Comedy with common people - ends happily

Function
: to teach moral lesson

RULES
:
No chorus, No supernatural characters
No soliloquy


Theatre Production in Italy
Oldest surviving theatre built during Italian Renaissance - 1584.
Miniature indoor Roman theatre - 3,000

"Roman street" five openings that look like houses and shops in the distance
Teatro Olimpico
Elizabethan Theatre Production
Elizabethan Playhouses
Behind the platfrom is the
tiring house
, for actors to change costumes, and storing set pieces. The entrance was the basic scenic piece.
Second floor - balcony scenes
Third floor - musician's gallery
Private Theatres
Indoor spaces lit by candles and high windows.
"Private" in this context,
small
, not that certain classes are excluded.
Seating 600 to 750 spectators.

Elizabethan England
Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593)
Perfected the element of dramatic poetry. The "mighty line" by the power of his dramatic verse, his use of the iambic pentameter


The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus
Tamburlaine
Edward II

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
Renowned playwright of this era. Shakespeare left his family to move to London to become an actor than a playwright.
Senecan dramatic devices (revenge tragedy)
Powerful dramatic verse
Sources from Roman history and Italian literature
Episodic plot structure
Romeo & Juliet (1595)
Julius Caesar (1599)
Hamlet (1601)
Othello (1604)
Macbeth (1605)
A Midsummer's Night Dream (1595)
Twelth Night (1601)
Richard III (1592)
Public theatre
- between 1560s and 1642
Nine "open-air" theatres built outside London (to avoid government restrictions) Most famous is the
Globe Theatre
.

Elizabethan playhouse
: The Rose, The Globe, The Theatre



Raised platfrom on three sides by audience. Platform stage was neutral so it could be any set: bedroom, street, or battlefield
Between 1,500 and 3,000 person capacity.
Ground floor of stage was standing room only! "Groundlings"
Galleries - three tiered seating on all three sides of stage
One tier is the Lords' room

Fortune Theatre
Swan Theatre
Scenery
- No painted scenery, stages did not represent
specific locations. The episodic nature of plays performed would
need to be changed too rapidly.
Costuming
- not concerned with accuracy, typically wore
contemporary clothing (from their era) with emphasis on social classes.


Scenery & Costumes
English Actors & Acting Companies

Elizabethan acting companies - 25 members were organized on a
sharing plan
. No female performers so men had to play two or more roles.

Shareholders
- Elite members of the company receiving a percentage of troupe's payouts
Hirelings
- Actors contracted for a speficic period where they played minor roles
Apprentices
- young performers training for the acting profession assigned to shareholders

Theatre Spaces
Scaena
- the stage house surrounded by curved benches;
the semicirle is called the orchestra.

Each "alleyway" was painted to look like a scene in the distance -
perspective
painting.
The Spanish Golden Age (1550-1650)
Theatre Production in Spain
Spain had a powerful navy and became a
leading world power as nation.


Spain remained a devout Catholic country despite the rest of Europe in a Protestant Reformation.


Popular theatre flourished, it incorporated religious and secular forms (meaning both Catholic and Protestant)
England was Spain's chief rival in the late 16th to early 17th century, and there were similarties in their theatre production.
Unlike the English - Spain adopted the techniques of medival religious drama and contiuned to produce religious dramas throughout the "golden age" and even beyond.

Secular drama is nonreligious drama that was produced alongside religious ones, created by the same artists.
Spanish Drama
Secular drama & Comedia
Comedia
is a full-length secular play.

Dealing with themes of love and honor
Leading characters often minor members of nobility
Three acts: Like English - episodic in nature
Mix of serious and comic; very similar to melodrama
Compared to today as swashbuckling films, romantic novels, and telelvision soap operas
Lope de Vega
(1562-1635) born within a year of
Shakespeare. A remarkable playwright - one of the most profilic dramatists of all time. Said to have written 1,500 plays, 470 of them to have survived. Best known for
The Sheep Well
(1614).

Pedro Calderón de la Barca
(1600-1681) one of the most famous plays
Life Is a Dream
(1636)

Female playwrights in Spain: most of their work was not produced. Recent attention shows these women wrote comedias calling into question traditional gender roles and political authorities.
Major Playwrights
The
corrales
were constructed in courtyards: open air spaces with galleries and boxes. Temporary spaces, but eventually became permenant. Most famous spaces are in Madrid. The Corral de la Cruz, and the Corral del Prinicipe.

Held 2,000 spectators. 1,500 men & 350 women
Comparable to an Elizabethan playhouse.
Access through a street building.
"Patio" - the standing yard or sometimes with
benches.
Cazuela
- the back wall was the gallery for unaccompanied women (men are not allowed).
Boxes for government officials, clergymen, etc.
Commoners - elevated benches along the yard
Alojeria
- Refreshment stand for food and drinks
by the enterance
Spanish Acting Companies
Acting troupes consisted of 16 to 20 performers. These companies did include women, which contrasts with the rest of Europe's ideals.

The church did not like female performers and set restrictions on them - like they must be married or related to someone in the troupe.

Most companies were
compañías de partes
-
sharing companies similar to England's, but were organized by one manager.
Life Is A Dream
by Pedro Calderon de la Barca
Italy
Italy was not a unified nation, but a group of individual city-states. The center of cultural activity was in Italy.

Renaissance artists like Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) and Michelangelo
(1475-1564) were present.
Science - Leonardo and Galileo.


Italian Renaissance art and culture was influenced by the Classical Greeks.
"Proscenium-arch" stage (a rectangular frame) notably the Teatro Farnese in Parma.

Pit
- audience members stand on the house floor
Galleries
- the open bench seating
Box
- built into the walls of tiered seating, private and separate

The proscenium stage combined
with pit, boxes, and galleries was
new and innovative. It would later
become a standard theatre in the West.
Groove system
- tracks on the
stage floor allowed to shift
scenery. Painted canvases on flats "wings" in the tracks.

Pole-and-chariot system
The flat wings were connected by means of a pole, which ran through slots in the stage floor, to “chariots” that moved on rails parallel to the front of the stage. When the chariots ran to the centre of the stage, the flats were pulled onstage; a reverse movement pulled them off. The mechanics allowed all the wings to be changed by pulling a single winch
Theatre Spaces
France
French Neoclassical Drama
Renaissance theatre did not reach France until
the 17th century, later than Italy, Spain, and England.

Due to the religious civil war betwen Catholic
and Protestants; the war ended in 1594 due to religious tolerance.

French society flourished under
Louis XIV from 1643 - 1715.


French society was greatly influenced by
Italian Renaissance and adopted some of their theatrical innovations.
Pierre Corneille
(1606-1684) of tragedy.
His play
The Cid
opened in 1636 and was a huge success.This aroused opposition because it did not follow the neoclassical rules established by critics. It was still enormously popular.

Jean Rancine
(1639-1699) the other great writer of tragedy. He followed the rules of neoclassical drama.
His best known tragedy is Phèdre (1677) based on the play Phaedra by Euripedes. Queen who falls in love with stepson - he rejects her advances and she gets everyone else involved in it. Ends tragically.

Example of climactic plot structure; few characters and scenes and locations. Written in poetry.
Theatre Production in France
French Acting Companies
Similar sharing plan as the other countries. Except women could become shareholders.

Troupes spent little time on rehearsals, because plays could be revived at a moment's notice.
Called Elizabethan period because of Elizabeth I - the major political figure Elizabeth I for forty-five years (reign 1558-1603).

Language and literature flourished,
to which Elizabeth I delighted in,
so theatre was very imporant to
the country.
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