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Cohen Chapter 1

What is the Theatre?

Terie Spencer

on 20 October 2017

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Transcript of Cohen Chapter 1

What is the Theatre?
the word THEATRE comes from
the Greek word
or '
seeing place
the HARDWARE of theatre: WHERE does it happen-
the playing space
it can be a building, a room, a park, anywhere
the SOFTWARE of theatre: the WHAT and WHO, the art and the people.
Two ways to look at the concept of THEATRE
What makes a theatre space?
all you need for a theatre
is a space to act
and a space to watch
the space can be anything from a rag rope separating the audience and the actors to the Fox Theatre
also part of the software concept of theatre
is the occupation of theatre-
the jobs that are done
the occupation includes:

Famous historical troupes:
whether it's a job or a hobby, theatre is work
lots of hours, lots of people
It's work but it's related to play
similar to sports
in some ways
amateur and pro
"child's play"
pleasure in observing the skill of the performers
specific sets of rules or conventions which limit the activity
performers capable of physical effort, self expression, technique, emotional involvement
performers must practice
depend on audience feedback
different than sports
in some ways too
plays are scripted
same beginning, middle and end
actors know how the show will end- Hamlet always dies
actors re-create and re-enact characters and situations
the occupation includes:
capturing the human spirit
searching for life's meaning
the occupation includes:
the occupation includes:

how is the character separate from the actor?
in the past: the mask
now: other theatrical conventions
but we (and the actor) still have a dual awareness of the actor behind the character
a performance requires an audience
but the theatre dynamic between audience and performer is unique. Sports, concerts, movies are not the same.
the live actors and audience sharing the telling of a story is immediate and unique.

a relationship is established!

the actors and the audience affect each other and make a one-of-a-kind experience.
and the troupe's vision
their mission statement- reason for being
the play
- the contribution from the playwright (and composer/lyricist too, if it's a musical)
two modes of performance for actors:

performers are aware of audience
(stand-up comedy,
talking/relating to the audience, asides)

The styles rise and fall in popularity
and are now often mixed

the company, or troupe
they form a collaboration
the play comes from a script, but the script is not the play.
The play doesn't fully exist except in performance.

The theatre is:
1. a playing space

2. what happens in that space
3. and the people who make it happen
in modern Western theatre, there are 4 types of playing spaces or stages
arena (theatre in the round)
black box (experimental)
1-the play itself
2-the company or troupe of people
3-their vision
4-their occupations
the collaboration may be short term (for one production) or long term
Cleveland Public Theatre, Cleveland, OH

Cleveland Public Theatre is an alternative performance company with a priority commitment to help develop original theatre artists from our area -- particularly those whose work is experimental in form and/or challenging in content. We are known as one of the nation's leading experimental & political performance venues, sponsoring much dance, music, poetry, and performance art as well as theatre.

CPT's intent is to utilize the performing arts to make the Cleveland public a more conscious and compassionate community. During this season we hope to inspire in all of us the willingness to explore new ideas and generate dialogues concerning class, the social order and economic justice.
Clayton Community Theatre, Clayton, MO

Provide fun and entertainment to the community in a theatrical venue;

Express artistic, civic and educational abilities and interests in our community;

Provide quality entertainment through theatrical productions;

Showcase local talent; and

Bring an enjoyable theatrical experience to our community.
Waimea Community Theatre, Kamuela, HI
Mission: To provide an outlet for creative community involvement, while seeking to produce quality entertainment
Looking Glass Theatre, Providence, RI
The mission of The Looking Glass Theatre is three-fold: First, to create participatory theater, to involve a core group of students physically, emotionally, and intellectually with actors prior to performance to present a collaborative effort. Second: to adapt contemporary prose and poetry to inspire the desire to read. Third: to create original material revolving around social issues and values pertinent to the lives of young people.
something besides just living-
examining ourselves and our world-
self reflection using form and content
Diderot's "paradox of the actor": the imaginary character must appear more real than the actual person
the IDEA of the mask remains
staged as if no audience is present-
the "4th wall" is in place

we tell stories you’ve never heard before

Exposed Brick Theatre is dedicated to telling the untold stories through theatre and performance art. We create opportunities for audiences and artists to grow beyond their own personal experience and view their world from new and multiple perspectives. By creating original work that dissects unexamined subject matter, we give voice to silenced issues and populations with the overall intention of fostering an authentic understanding across divides.
what is it?
this creates a paradox within the actor too- using your real self to create a person and situations that are not real: living truthfully in imaginary circumstances
most realistic plays are representational
to conclude:
and all performances are unique
Full transcript