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Theatre Exam 1


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Realistic Techniques: Language
Ordinary dialogue or conversation
Non-realistic Techniques: Language
Realistic Techniques: Scenery
Rooms of a real house
Non-realistic Techniques: Scenery
Abstract forms and shapes
Realistic Techniques: Lighting
Light onstage appears to come from natural sources -- a lamp in a room, or sunlight.
Non-realistic Techniques: Lighting
Shafts of light fall at odd angles; also, colors in light are used arbitrarily
Realistic Techniques: Costumes
Ordinary street clothes
Non-realistic Techniques: Costumes
Bright crazy costumes of a chorus in a musical comedy
Realistic Techniques: Makeup
The natural look of characters in a domestic play
Non-realistic Techniques: Makeup
Masks worn by characters in a Greek tragedy
Realistic Techniques: Acting
Performers portray people as they behave in daily life
Non-realistic Technique: Acting
Performers portray animals
Realistic Technique: Characters
Recognizable human beings
Non-realistic Techniques: Characters
Unreal figures (ghosts)
Realistic Techniques: Structure
Action is confined to real places, time passes normally
Non-realistic Technique: Structure
Arbitrary use of time
Realistic Technique: Story
Events that the audience knows have happened or might happen in everyday life
Non-realistic Technique: Story
Events that do not take place in real life but occur only in the imagination
What are audience expectations?
-To be entertained -To be moved emotionally -To be challenged to think
African American Theatre
Written by and for black Americans, and performed by black Americans; includes western theatre tradition and other tradition that traces its origin to theatre in Africa and the Caribbean; the 1950s saw an explosion of black theatre.
Hispanic Theatre
a. Nu Yorican Theatre (New York predominantly) b. Cuban American Theatre (Florida [Miami] predominantly) c. Mexican American Theatre (American Southwest predominantly)
Asian American Theatre
a. American Northwest predominantly b. Pan Asian Repertory has national presence
Feminist Theatre
Not radical feminist but woman's point of view changed writing dramatically
Lesbian and Gay Theatre
a. almost 50/50 split of gay viewpoint in mainstream b. Other half of 50/50 split intended for gay audiences
FRINGE THEATRE - Avant-Gard & Experimental Theatre
a-Gaia-Gaea b-Performance Art
Crossover Theatre
a-La Cage aux Folles, Angels in America (Gay to Mainstream) b-M Butterfly (Asian American Theatre to Mainstream) c-Plays by August Wilson
The Purpose of Theatre
⬢ To entertain ⬢ To probe the human condition ⬢ To provide an escape for audience ⬢ To prompt the Audience to Think (High Quality production will be balanced close to 25% in each category.)
In comedies an audience often thinks...
that the entertainment value is out of balance with other areas until after they leave the theatre and think more about the meaning behind the comedy.
To Find Fault (Criticize)
What John Q. Public in general thinks the word Criticize means.
To understand and appraise (Criticize)
It is far more important for the Theatre Critic to use this approach to their work.
"3" Criteria for Criticism
a – What is the Production attempting to do? b – How well has it been done? c – Was this attempt worth doing?
Descriptive Criticism
explains and describes the event and generally offers an opinion of quality and worth to the theatre goer. (Local newspapers, magazines, media)
Prescriptive Criticism
2A - Ideally trained background history and understands production values 2B - Mel Gussow of the New York Times writes criticism not just reviews 3 – NY Times Critical reviews can often (not always) make or break a show
Value of Audience Judgment
Audience must also be allowed to decide for itself.
Proscenium Theatre
A-Not the most common-BUT due to Movie/Road House similarity - it seems so B-Allows for Large Scale Stage Spectacle C-Some Audience too Close - Some Audience too Far Away
Thrust Theatre
A-Most Common throughout history B-Greatest combination of intimacy and stage spectacle
Arena Theatre
(Audience surrounds the action/playing space on all four sides) A-Intimacy not possible in other large spaces B-common to numerous Athletic Arenas throughout history
Flexible Spaces
A-Set up in whatever configuration is most appropriate for the play B-Typically smaller capacity for audience C-Often referred to as “Black Box Theatres”
Deus ex Machina
God from a machine
Sign, token, emblem, that signifies something else
When a solitary character speaks to the audience, expressing words in a hidden thought
Performers pretend to use objects that aren't actually present
Theatre of Fact
a movement that involved reenactments of material gathered from actual events
4 Things Audiences Bring to an Event
1.) Personal memories of individual members of the audience. 2.) Their awareness of the social, political, and philosophical world in which the play was written 3.) Their specific information about the play 4.) Their individual expectations
"Repertory" Companies
Companies that perform several plays on alternate nights, rather than one play every night
Shows that are produced wherever inexpensive space is avaliable - churches, lofts, warehouses
Avant-Garde Theatre
Theatre that breaks away from mainstream tradition
George Bernard Shaw
British critic and playwright. Reviewed the London theatre for several years in the 1890s and wrote about theatre for 50 years after that.
A person who serves a theatre company as a resident or in-house critic and literary manager
The House
The auditorium itself
The slant of an auditorium or stage floor
The Orchestra
The main floor where the audience sits
Fly loft
Located above the stage, holds the scenery
Counterweight System
system devised in which weights hang on a series of ropes and pulleys to balance the scenery
Side scenery

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