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Drama 115


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Who is Sisyphus? And why is he important?
Punished to be tormented by rolling this huge boulder up a hill and starts this endless cycle of meaningless repetition. Represents this absurdist condition in which life is empty repetition and routine and it doesn't really lead to any achievements and real goals.
What is situational structure?
Unique drama of their own. Argues that there's no escape and no moving forward in life.
What is existentialism and when was it a prevalent belief?
20th century school of philosophy. Believes that there is no God force out there;
big rift between the individual and nature, society and his/herself.
What is absurdism and when was it a prevalent belief?
20th Century school of philosophy. One branch of existentialist philosophy; see life as very static; life is meaningless potentially pointless; life doesn't add up to anything in the end; darkness and ignorance.
What is the Theatre of the Absurd?
Does not reflect despair or a return to dark irrational forces but expressed modern man's endeavor to come to terms with the world in which he lives.
It attempts to make him face up to the human condition as it really is and free him from illusions that may cause disappointment. Face reality in all its senselessness. accept it w/o fear and laugh at it. Martin Esslin termed this.
Who is Jean-Paul Satre?
Brought philosophy of existentialism into existence.
Who is Albert Camus?
Chielf thought of Absurdism ("Forever I shall be a stranger to myself").
Who is Martin Esslin?
German critic who invent the term and book, "Theatre of the Absurd"
What are the 6 characteristics of the traditional theatrical practices?
plot, events, meaningful activity, communicative language, develops meaningfully, interpretive tools
What are the 8 characteristics of Absurdism?
situation, stasis, gratuitous acts (repetitive), impotent speech, no dramatic development, form equals, content, idea of inaction.
What are the 4 examples of Absurdism and who were they by?
Albert Camus, "The Myth of Sisyphus"
Rene Magritte "Not to be Reproduced" painting of a man looking into a mirror seeing only a reflection of his back.
Shakespeare, Macbeth
Eugene Inonesco "The Bald Soprano"
What is in "The Bald Soprano" by Eugene Inonesco?
Potentially honest perception of life without a rational basis; renewing the attempt to find their identity and to create something verifiable for themselves; lots of repetition and "mechanical puppets".
What are the 5 keys to Absurdity?
- Loss of metaphysical dimension
- Inadequacy of human reason
- Senselessness of human condition
- Everything either a mystery or meaningless
- Neither tragic nor comic
What are the 7 elements to Bechett's Dramaturgy?
- Situation over plot; events don't originate or conclude
- Characters closer to mechanical puppets.
- Activity becomes gratuitous
- Speech, like action, is impotent(ineffective)
- No discernable logic of development
- No external interpretive tools: form embodies content
- FOCUS: impenetrable mystery of the human condition.
What is said in Beckett's "The Unnamable" and what are the last words?
"you must go on, I can't go on, I'll go on"
last words: "look where?"
What is method acting?
Method acting is when actors or actresses try to actually live the life as your character rather than just playing the role.
What did Wilson write?
"Finding One's Song"
What are the 6 elements in Wilson's Dramaturgy?
- Poetic Realism
- Redefine the center of politics and race
- Explored structures of race, class, gender in America
- Personal and political worlds fused
- Characters preconceive themselves through moral choices
- FOCUS: Personal renewal through social action.
How does Boy Willie fit Wilson's Dramaturgy?
He has come and gone with the whole past of the ghost as a symbol of renewal.
What are some characteristics of Symbolism?
- Take a journey beyond reality
- Religion: spirit, silence, stillness, night, death.
- Inner journey: what's inside of us and what reflects us.
- FOCUS: Darkness and light
- Reject the fidelity to external reality.
What are two examples of symbolism?
"Frozen" ~Madonna (darkness and light contrast). World itself becomes transitive. Style of music is trance-like.
R.E.M. "Losing my Religion"
What is an example of expressionism?
"Express Yourself" ~Modonna "without no heart, you can't use your hand or your mind"
What two styles broke down Mona Lisa into two different interpretations and which two rebel against the old form of art?
Both Symbolism and Expressionism for both.
What 3 forms rebel against art entirely?
Futurism, Dadaism, Surrealism
What are the beliefs of the futurists?
Totally reject symbolism but totally against expressionism. Throws out the idea of plot and characterization.
Its all about the now and the future, and to embrace life fully (short, sweet, fast).
What are 3 examples of futurism?
"Ray of Light"~Madonna, everything goes at a fast pace.
"The Fast and the Furious"
"Bride descending the staircase" ~Futurist painting, everything is broken down..very abstract.
What are 4 characteristics of Futurism?
Speed, motion, simultaneity, progress
What is dadaism?
Nothing has a meaning. They invented anti-art, which is art w/o meaning. Art should be meaningless, potentially mocking, and destructive.
What is meaning of dada?
dada is a nonsense word, chose it for its complete randomness.
What was drawn on Mona Lisa by the dadaists?
a mustache and goatee...its challenging the idea of beauty.
what are 3 examples of dadaism?
- Macell Dushant's submission of an urinal as a work of art, called it a fountain.
- Film version of Beatles movie, Help; totally disconnected and breaking down and challenging everything.
- Play in which woman is dominant and man is submissive...distorting social norm.
What are the characteristics of dadaism?
What is Divo?
Modernist art students in early 70s that challenged everything that was going on.
What are 5 characteristics of surrealism?
Mind (on the surface it doesnt make sense but deeper down, it does make sense)
Spontaneity (write what pops in your head)
The unconscious
What are 3 examples of surrealism?
"The melting clocks": clocks melting in the desert
"Why not Sneeze?": birdcage filled w/ sugar cubes and a fish.
"Smash the Mirror" The Who/Tommy
What does "Bambi meets Godzilla" represent?
What style is "Apocalypse Now"?
What does Modernism mean when the word is broken down?
"just now", latin word "modo" means modern or just now
What does postmodernism mean when the word is broken down?
"after just now", late 50's to present.
What are the beliefs of postmodernism?
Builds on the modernist art but still challenges some of them. Characters are like onions w/ different layers to themselves.
what does fin de siecle mean?
end of the century.
What are the 3 postmodern principles?
Simulation/Virtual reality

basically mixing up all the different dramaturgy and putting in one piece
What can be conveyed from Tony Kushner's "Angels in America"?
Conscious recognition
Define libretto/librettist.
"little book", spoken scenes of dialogue
how song and dance fit into the overal story line
What are the 20th Century forms of music?
Musical revue
Musical comedy
Musical play
What is an example of an European ballad opera prototype in the 18th Century?
"The Beggar's Opera" John Gay (1728)
What is an example of an operetta in the 19th Century?
Vauderville, "Voice of the City" [variety shows]
What are the first two American musical and where was it shown?
The Black Crook(1866) and The Beggar's Opera
How did the transition of musicals go?
Went from singing to also dancing.
What are the functions of song and dance in a musical?
- Define setting
- Establish mood, tone, and atmosphere
- Propel plot
- Identify characters, relationships
- Emobody themes
- Bring inner life to the surface
- Crystallize a moment or emotion
- Mark significant points in action
- Effect transitions
- Provide commentary or relief
- Unify a work
Who wrote Rent?
Jonathan Larson
What was Rent derived from?
La Boheme by Giacomo Puccini

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