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Naturalism & Realism

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on 15 September 2014

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Transcript of Naturalism & Realism

This presentation will try to explain what the theatrical styles of Naturalism and Realism are and their differences.
Naturalism & Realism
The movement of naturalism began in the late 19th century/early 20th century.
first naturalistic play was written by Strindberg
and he sought to abide by the 3 primary principles outlined by Émile Zola and Zola's term for naturalism,
"la nouvelle formule".

The origins of naturalism
Faire vrai
Faire simple
Émile Zola's 3 Primary principles of naturalism
Stanislavsky, the
father of Naturalism
. The Russian practitioner decided that instead of the melodramatic plays that preceded his, he would create realistic drama. One main principle of his is the one of '
Given Circumstances
' -The
total set of environmental and situational conditions which influence the actions that a character in a drama undertakes
. T
he invention of
in drama to replicate real life can also be attributed to him
Famous Practionners
Translation: To do truth
In real english: The piece should seek to be as
as possible, and should seek to
mimic real human behaviour
and psychology, and their motivations and actions should be grounded in the
"natural" enviroment.
Faire vrai

Translation: To make big
Real english: In short the conflicts in the play and the issues that it raises should be of
'grand' significance
and not small or petty.
Photograph of the first production in Stockholm of August Strindberg's 1888 naturalistic play Miss Julie in November 1906, at The People's Theatre
Faire simple
Translation: to do simple

Translation: To do simple
Real english: This one 'simply' means, the
piece should be simple
-not complicated with sub-plots or lengthy expositions.
set must try to acknowledge the
period and style of the play’s setting
There must be some
attempt at realism
and accuracy. Attention must be paid
to detail.
EG, use a phone rather than miming
Traditionally, naturalistic plays would be
end on
where the
would imagine they
looking in through the fourth wall
Émile Zola
Émile Zola's works had a frankness about sexuality along with a
pervasive pessimism
. His naturalistic works
exposed the dark harshness of life
, including
, and
. As a result, Naturalistic writers were frequently
criticized for being too blunt.
Henrik Ibsen
Often called the
father of modern realism
, Ibsen also broke with convention by taking the everyday lives of his
audience as
subject matter
for serious drama. He is the most frequently performed dramatist in the world after Shakespeare. He
influenced many other playwrights
such as Ocasr Wilde and Arthur Miller.
Theatrical realism was a movement in
19th Century
theatre which tried to
portray human life realistically
. It shares many aspects with naturalism such as
ordinary speech and dull settings
differs in the amount of choice a character has.
In naturalism the
characters actions are dictated by external forces
whereas i
n realism the aspect of choice is greater shown.
The aim of realism was to
direct attention to the problems of ordinary life
unlike naturalism
it's 'faire grand'.
It's it's drama's people are seen as
victims of things larger than themselves
. Such as an ever developing world, characters were
often portrayed as impotent
unable to arrive at solutions
to their predicaments, it supposedly
represents what we human see
from our perspective.
Arthur Miller
Arthur Miller's most famous play 'Death of a Salesman' has very
notable realistic attributes
. The entire play revolves around a
protagonist of low-class
Willy Loman and in true realism fashion deals with a
depressing view of a tragic example of the '
human condition

Of all modern dramatists, Arthur Miller pierces most resolutely to the core of a problem. He does not flick over it or under; he attacks its heart.
” -J. C. Trewin
Objectives are extremely important for naturalistic acting. refer to
an inner drive
, something your character
needs to do to, or wants to get from,
another character.
Actors talk about objectives in the
verb form
: "I want to embarrass her." "I want to comfort her." The more
the verb.. the more vital will be your acting.
Examples of weak verb choices would be "
to explain..
" "
to tell..
" "
to ask.
" Stronger verbs: "
to lecture..
" "
to proclaim..
" "
to announce..
" "
to demand..
" "
to interrogate.
Weak verbs lead to generalized, stereotypical acting.
Practical Exercise:

Get into pairs

Give each other characters in a normal and boring scenario, e.g. sitting next to somebody in a coffee shop

Then you (without telling your partner) give yourselves an objective for the scene.

Act it out while you each seek to fulfill your potentially conflicting objectives.

Be prepared to show it to the rest of the class.
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