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Christina Smith

on 10 January 2013

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Transcript of Theatre

The Golden Age of Greek Theatre B.C. Theatre! Roman Theatre Medieval Age The Renaissance By Christina Smith Theatre Theatre has been around since the basics of mankind were formed- although, perhaps not the kind of performances we think of in today’s society. There are simple traces of dramatic origins dating back to as early as 8500 B.C. Theatre was found in tribal dances, religious organizations, festivals, and numerous other activities. The Golden Age was from 600 B.C. - 200 B.C. Athens was the "central city" for drama. The Theater of Dionysus was the most famous Athens theater, named after the Greek god of wine and fertility.

Productions took place during the day with one male actor portraying several parts. He would wear multiple masks. Actions were exaggerated so those in the back of the theater could clearly see them. The choir acted as the narrators, and the leader of the choir would occasionally interact with the actor and the audience.

The scriptwriter Aeschylus added a second actor, making dialogue on stage possible, and by 468 B.C., Sophocles established a third actor. The setup of a theatron had 3 main parts. The Orchestra was the platform which actors performed and the choir played. The Skene was the backstage area where the actors would adjust their costumes. They would paint on the front wall of the building to represent scenery for the performances. The Audience portion was an ascending staircase structure, and a typical theater could seat up to 15,000 people. The word ‘tragedy’ is derived from the Greek words ‘tragos’ and ‘ode,’ meaning “goat song,” possibly referring to the goats sacrificed for Dionysus. Tragic acts were intended to teach religious lessons. ‘Comedy’ was derived from the Greek word meaning party. Tragedy and comedy were never merged into one act, because playwrights believed tragic and comic plays were too different to be combined. Tragedy vs. Comedy Athens’s theatrical popularity suffered after their defeat in the Peloponnesian War. Fortunately, theatre continued in the Hellinistic Age. This period focused solely on comic theatre. The first Roman performance was in 365 B.C. Many believe that theatre ‘died out’ after the fall of the Roman Empire, but it was the church which kept it going during the Medieval Age. This was quite ironic due to the fact that the church caused theatre to be outlawed as the Roman Empire fell, yet churches found that the best way to teach an illiterate congregation was to perform the stories of the Bible for them. The congregation enjoyed these performances and was moved by the stories of the Bible. The Renaissance had less of an impact on theatre. But during this time, in Italy, the more modern version of a theater was developed. Often, authorities of larger cities would ban entry to those performing plays in traveling companies, afraid that they would be carrying the plague. 17th Century In 1642, Parliament shut down the theaters in England. Meanwhile, in France, they were beginning to focus more on scenery, costumes, and dance. Soon, theatre began to be designed exclusively for the delight of the royal families. It was at this time that women began to be accepted as actresses. 18th Century In the Eighteenth Century, plays commonly had ordinary people as characters. This was the result of the growing desire for freedom among the public. Playwrights were often underpaid due to copyright laws- usually earning from four to fifty dollars per week. The Industrial Revolution In the Nineteenth Century, there was a lot of good to come from the Industrial Revolution for theatre. As new ways of lighting were discovered, the quality of performances improved significantly. The first theater to use gas lighting was London’s Drury Lane in 1817. By the end of the Nineteenth Century, electrical lighting made its appearance on stage. Twentieth Century The people of The Twentieth Century had a vast love and appreciation for theatre, especially when it came to musicals. Technological advances permitted astonishing performances. The development of film led to an even greater admiration of theatre, as families could sit down in their own homes and watch their favorite performances as many times as desired. Community Theatre Community theaters were not too popular until the later half of the twentieth century. Most theaters were found in larger cities, but small-town drama lovers sought live theatre, and did not want to travel an hour or more just to see a show. Thus, amateur theaters began to be formed everywhere in the United States. These theaters all have the same goal; to perform and celebrate dramatic arts using the resources of their own community. One of the oldest continuing community theater groups is The Footlight Club in Boston, which was formed in 1877. My Survey My survey consisted of seven questions.
I interviewed 75 students at North Boone High School. “Are you interested in theatre arts?” I expected that less than half of the people would be interested, but was proven false. 50 people answered that they were interested in theatre, while 25 who responded were not. "What grade level are you in?" "Are you a female or male?" 45 students surveyed were female, while 30 were male. I surveyed twelve freshmen, sixteen sophomores, twenty-three juniors, and twenty-four seniors. “Have you seen a play or musical performed at North Boone High School?” I predicted that about 75% percent would say that they have. I was not too far off, as 57 students said that they have seen a performance, while 18 have not. "Do you prefer plays or musicals?" I expected that musicals would be more liked. Thirty-two students told me that they preferred plays, while forty-three said musicals. “Have you ever participated in a theatre program?” I guessed that over half would say yes. Confirming that theory, 44 students have participated in theatre, while 31 have not. “If you did desire to be in a play, which would you tryout for?” I assumed that most people would prefer backstage help, while less than 10% would try out for a lead. 23 students said that they would tryout for a leading role, 23 people for supporting role, and 29 for backstage help. What I Realized! More males disliked theatre than females.
People who are not interested in theatre tend to prefer plays and sticking to backstage help.
Students who are not interested in theatre are also less likely to have participated in theatre before.
Those who have never participated in theatre favor supporting roles.
Students who have participated in drama are more likely to have seen a performance at North Boone High School. Resources: http://www.glencoe.com/theatre/Timeline/timeline_content.html






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