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Cohen Chapter 10

Theatre Today

Terie Spencer

on 11 June 2014

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Transcript of Cohen Chapter 10

Theatre Today
A Global Theatre
Global exchange originally sparked by Industrial Revolution
For example, the Moscow Art Theatre touring the U.S. in 1920s
Recently, “Macaronic” theatre utilizes multiple languages
Demonstrates both hindrances and possibilities of increased communication
Theatre in the Late Twentieth Century
The 20th century was an age of violence and upheaval- world wars, cold wars, holocausts, sex, drugs, rock and roll...

AND- the technology to broadcast it all

Theatre directly—and sometimes physically— confronted audiences
A Theatre of Postmodern Experiment
Recycles or “quotes” other artistic forms in two primary ways:
A work of art that examines itself
Reflection of the past
Refashioning existing movements in new context
A Nonlinear Theatre
Rejects chronological order
Flashbacks, reverse order, sudden shifts in time
Innovations in chronology have become more commonplace and accepted
A Diverse Theatre
New voices apart from traditional white male artists of past
Female critically-acclaimed actors, directors, playwrights, and ensembles have risen in prominence
Racially diverse artists have developed cultural voices and unique contributions to theatre

Cross-gender and color-blind casting

New types of spectacular effects

Verbatim theatre
Uses oral histories and documents
from events as texts- even personal ads
A Dangerous Theatre
Previous “shocking” effects included nudity and profanity- now they're no longer shocking- Audiences have already become accustomed

Theatre more open to taking risks

New, potentially dangerous plays deal directly with controversy
While theatre is more accepting of dangerous topics, plays still generate controversy and, sometimes, horror
Artistic Trends in the 21st Century
Theatre of community
Created for and sometimes by a specific community
Dance theatre and Movement Art
Merges dance with narrative elements of theatre
Performance art
Utilizes values of visual arts in creating event
Solo performance
Attempts complex dramaturgy with single performer, oftentimes using autobiography
Theatre-Makers in the Theatre Today
New directors demonstrate expansion of theatre’s form and content
Peter Brook
Pushes boundaries by experimental stagings of classical and new drama
Robert Wilson
Extremely visual productions with rigorous experimentation of time and space
Julie Taymor
With roots in experimental work and international techniques, branched out to Broadway success with The Lion King
Difficult to generalize about theatre today- after all, it's our time and we're in it...

Those who do theatre are as concerned with the business aspect as well as the artistic

Who knows what will stand the test of time?
but definite trends are emerging
The nontraditional theatre forms of the past 2 or 3 decades: POSTMODERNISM
Late 20th Century Issues
sexual orientation
is anything new?
So many hundreds of monkeys
and they're all on Facebook
Postmoderism reflects on ourselves
and on the past
We've lost all innocence- we know too much
consequence of information overload?
the seeming randomness of arbitrary juxtaposition
raises questions without supplying answers
Influences even
musical theatre
Musicals that comment
on their form,
like Urinetown
Black theatre
Latino theatre
Asian American theatre
Gay theatre
Deaf theatre
An Open Theatre
Open to all visions, performers, methods, styles, audience/performer constructs

Audiences learn to accept new conventions
Technology a factor- small world
New York City
Broadway district- big musicals,
commercially successful plays, professional, union, for profit
Off-off Broadway

For profit theatre
business, profit to investors
Nonprofit theatre
eligible for grants, tax exempt donations
money goes back into the theatre budget

Professional regional theatre

Community (amateur) theatre
avocation- it's a hobby

Influenced by antirealism but without optimism
-Particularly indebted to Beckett and Brecht

Rejects possibility of meaning and analysis
-the art of the missing metaphor"
Full transcript