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Theatre Exam 2


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Contemporary issues addressed in "Into the Woods":
- Marital Infidelity - The Prince (Cinderella’s) is not sincere. He just wants to see what he can get. - Single Parenting Issues - Abusive parents - War (who Started it?/the blame game) - Going through special ordeals to conceive a child. - Choosing not to have children - Children and how they listen to a parent’s advice/guidance. - The Wolf as a pedophile - A young girl arming herself in public to protect against strangers.
In "Into the Woods", the Wolf represents:
A pedophile
The director of both the original and the revival productions of "Into the Woods":
James Lapine
In "Into the Woods", the Wolf's costume included:
- Lifelike male genitals - Period style but contemporary leather cutaway coat
What did the director avoid during the revival production of "Into the Woods", and why?
The director avoided including visual references (the Wolf's male anatomy) and the pedophile concept, because there were actually two children cast in the play (Little Red and Jack).
Major Themes/Messages of "Into the Woods":
- Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it. - People are never happy with what they have. They always want MORE. - Be more grateful for what you do have. - "Family" support is very important to our well-being as humans on this planet. - Communication and Understanding is essential in real relationships. - Real life is nothing like a fairytale, so get ready for it.
In Act 1 of "Into the Woods", Little Red is the common fairytale image. In Act 2, however:
She wears a skin of the wolf and carries a knife.
A type of curtain used in Theatre all the time. When lit from the front it appears solid, and when lit from behind you see through it. Also used in smaller applications.
Two occasions in which Scrim is used in "Into the Woods":
1. To reveal Cinderella's mother in the tree. When the light came on inside you could see her, but she vanished otherwise. 2. Grandmother's house. When lit from the front it was painted as the house, but when lit from behind you could see the Wolf lying in Grandma's bed.
In Act 2 of "Into the Woods", Rapunzel's dress looks worn and torn because she was supposed to have been wandering through the desert. In theatre, this technique is known as:
An excellent performance technique of the Baker's Wife after "her fling" with Cinderella's Prince was:
When she had to hold for an extended applause. She remained completely focused on the action (of counting her paces) at hand but did not begin her lines until the applause had started to die down.
Unlike a traditional narrator in a play, in Act 2 of "Into the Woods":
The characters turn on the narrator, saying they don't like he way he has been telling the story.
More than _______ lighting instruments were used in "Into the Woods".
Film and TV are both:
Directors' mediums
Film performances are captured often ______ at a time. No sustained performance.
Essential for the successful stage actor
Intensive training
An actor's medium:
- All our behavior is actually imitative in nature. It is how we learn language. It is how we learn to interact with others. - Mimicry and comic impersonation vs. honest impersonation.
Types of Social Roles
- Husband - Father - Son - Professor - Designer - Subsets of those roles: how you play the role depends on who you are playing the role for.
Types of Personal Roles
- Abusive Husband or Father - Son Who Lies to Parents - Son Who Worships his Mother - The "Elitist" Professor - The "Caring" Professor - The "Detached" Scholar - The "Humble" Designer - The "Knowledgeable" Designer - The Classic Know-It-All Brother-In-Law - We are the roles we play in life. OR we become the roles we play in life. We play those roles naturally, and for the most part, honestly.
Theatre was initially part of a religious festival so the actors were highly regarded and respected members of society.
Actors First Union
Artists of Dionysus 277 BCE (during Hellenistic Period in Greece)
The two most prominent times in which women were not allowed to perform in theatre
- Ancient Greece - During Shakespeare's time in Elizabethan England.
Women could perform in Roman Theatre, but only in the lowest form, known as:
Was short spoken serious or comic, but sex and violence were performed literally by official decree.
In ______, many women had to be a relative (wife, daughter, mother, sister) of one of the members of the troupe.
In France, actors were denied by law the right to:
Christian Burial
The most famous French actor and playwright, who was buried in secret at night.
In 1895, this man was the first actor to be knighted:
Henry Irving
Greek Theatre & Asian Theatre
- Heavy stylized gestures. - Wearing masks and cathornous and prosterdina/progastrida. - All male actors - women played by boys prior to voice changing.
Early Performers
- Very formal both vocally and physically - "over the top" - Theatre was performed outside (no microphones obviously)
Western Theatre Renaissance through 19th Century
- Typically exaggerated performance style with "occasional" diversions. - This acting style a by-product of the physical space and the performance environment.
The Actor "Aside"
Designed to get the audience's attention
During Moliere's time; the practice of line delivery specifically to get applause.
Physical Demands of Classical Acting - Performer's Body
1. Ability to move easily and effectively. 2. practice/practice/practice 3. Relaxation, Freedom, and Control of all physical activity.
Vocal Demands of Classical Acting - Performer's Voice
1. Projection and believability 2. Understanding and handling language/speech 3. Breath control 4. Practice/practice/practice 5. Relaxation, Freedom, and Control of voice mechanisms.
Special Training & Techniques
Dance, fencing, combat, mime, singing, juggling, etc etc etc.
Getting the Job - The Audition
- Initial - prepared monologues/song or cold readings. - The Call Back - Accepting the Role
Getting the Job - Preparing for the Audition Process
- Numerous monologues prepared for variety of production styles and characters. - Movement & dance training. - Vocal training.
Getting the Job - Preparing for the Harshness of Theatre (Audition/Rejection/Lifestyle)
- Not being given the opportunity. - Not being cast is not a sign of lack of talent. - At highest ends of profession - 8 performances per week. Only Monday evening off.
A Performer's Responsibilities
1. Project the "inner life" of character 2. Combine or integrate Internal and External details of the character. 3. Speak clearly and project. 4. Move with ease and authority. 5. Wear costumes believably. 6. Convey playwright's & director's intentions. 7. Interact with other performers.
Throughout Theatre History "3" Main Challenges for Actors
1. Acquire skills, both physical and vocal. The craft of acting. 2. Make characters "believe" - always a sign of excellent acting throughout history. 3. Combine skills and believability - synthesis and integration.
Special Forms of Training
- Stage Combat - Broadsword, Fencing, Dagger, Quarter Staff, Hand to Hand, Found Objects, Falls - Dance - Jazz, tap, modern, period styles, stage movement. - Clowning - juggling etc., physical slapstick. - Improvisation - As audition method, performance method, rehearsal method. - Tai Chi Chuan - yoga, pilates, whatever works. - Eat healthy - Stay healthy
A style of playwrighting and theatre that production that became the popular norm in the late 1890s; real people, lifelike stories.
Constantin Stanislavski
- Co-founder of the Moscow Art Theatre - actor and director - Developed a system/method for actor training (a series of combined techniques for realistic acting)
Four Broad AIMS of Stanislavski's Approach
1. Make performers' outward activities natural and convincing. 2. Actors must convey the "inner truth" and believe the life of the character. 3. Make the life of the character on stage "continuous". 4. Develop a strong sense of "ensemble".
Stanislavski's Method Techniques: Relaxation
Must move and perform effortlessly - the believability of the character grows out of freedom of movement and relaxation.
Stanislavski's Method Techniques: Concentration and Observation
"Circle of attention" (focused action on stage); Allow actors to believe in the reality of their world regardless of audience presence.
Stanislavski's Method Techniques: Importance of Specifics
Never act "in general" (nervous businessman jingling change; out damn spot); flailing gestures and/or lack of focused movement leads to confusion/lack of clarity; actor must conceive of the "given circumstances" or details of a scene to understand.
Stanislavski's Method Techniques: Inner Truth
The internal-subjective world of characters - thoughts and emotions; the "magic IF" (one approach to inner truth). Each actor must ask these questions of their character and then believe wholly in the answers.
Stanislavski's Method Techniques: Psychophysical Action (REPLACED EMOTIONAL RECALL)
An appropriate physical action can generate the appropriate emotional content "in the moment" on stage.
Stanislavski's Method Techniques: Action on Stage
- What? Is the physical action? - Why? Is that specific action taking place? - How? Is the action completed and in what fashion is it completed?
Stanislavski's Method Techniques: Through Line (or Spine) of a Role
Super-objective (What above all does the character want?); Divide action into "beats" with intermediate objectives (what is the specific objective for each scene and group of characters within those scenes?)
Stanislavski's Method Techniques: Ensemble Playing
Listening is often considered the most important part of acting; Honest reactions can only come from listening.
Stanislavski's Method Techniques: Development of Voice/Body AND Integration of External/Internal Character Traits
Combining crafts and emotions most important function of acting inner and outer aspects of acting.
Given Circumstances
Every actor must understand EVERY RELEVANT FACT that influences their character’s behavior regardless of whether it is seen on stage.
Objective Hierarchy
What is your character’s Super Objective and what are all of your intermediate objectives based on the action of the play
An Actor must use their imagination to Project onto people and objects whether real or imagined qualities from your imagination that bring these things/moments/people to life.
What is it that prompts your character to take a certain action. All of your movements and physical actions must be motivated from within to make your performance believable.
Things that are implied but not really said – The movement and meaning of a play beneath the surface of words and dialogue
Inner Monologue
Sometimes referred to as “Interior Monologue” which are those thoughts flitting through our minds as we puzzle out how to live our lives; the sensations brought to us by our eyes, ears, nose, and senses of taste and touch; the feelings life evokes. It is each person’s "stream of consciousness."
An actor must be __________ at all times while on stage.
in the moment
the Emotional & Psychological Aspects of Character Development
the Physical and Vocal Aspects of Character Development
This is the “point of convergence of the muscular, emotional and intellectual impulses within our bodies” roughly located in the middle of our torso (not an exact physiological location but slightly different for every individual actor)
The Director
The person responsible for overall production unity. Coordinates the collaborative production team & works directly with the actors and in shaping and guiding the development & life of a production.
First True Director
George II – the Duke of Saxe-Meiningen (1874)
The leader of a Greek chorus; a professional dancer and singer.
The Director is responsible for:
Production unity and shaping the overall aesthetic impact of a production.
The Traditional Contemporary Director...
• Uses some of the Auteur Director’s approach • Primary function – find a play they want to work with • Bring the playwright’s vision to life in perhaps a unique and interesting way. • Many Directors specialize – Musicals vs. comedies vs. dramas
The typical production team:
- Stage Manager - Dramaturg - Choreographer - Voice Coach - Music or Vocal - Director - Fight Director
Director sometimes explains visions/feelings --- Don’t offer too much to actors early on (They must discover things on their own to make choices natural/believable)
Producer's Responsibilities:
1-Raising money to finance production 2-Securing Rights to the script 3-Dealing with Agents for Director/Plawright/Performers 4-Hiring Director – Designers – Stage Crew 5-Dealing with Theatrical Unions AEA (Actor’s Equity) IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) 6-Renting the Theatre Space 7-Supervising work of Box Office/Auditorium/Business Office 8-Supervising the Advertising 9-Overseeing the budget and week to week financial management of production
Box Office & FOH Staff (FOH = Front of House)
1-Box Office Manager 2-House Manager 3-Box Office Staff 4-Ushers 5-Custodial Staff 6-Guest Services
Drama set entirely to music – No spoken dialogue since even transitions between songs (Arias) are sung on pitch (known as “recitative”). Due to the heightened quality and difficulty of the music Opera is more typically connected to the realm of Music more so than Theatre
unlike Opera not entirely set to music there is spoken dialogue – Typically a romantic story set in some far off place – stories that are far removed from everyday issues and life
Musical Comedy
A form of Musical entertainment from the 1920’s and 30’s that featured a light comic story interspersed with popular tunes. You would often hear a popular song in more than one musical comedy as the music was not intrinsic to the story
Musical Theatre
A style that evolved out of Operetta but with more of a realistic basis for the stories – often but not always dramatic (Now the style almost defies description.)
Musical Revue
Sketches & Small Scenes or Vignette’s that are typically structured around the music of a single composer or at least a group of composers of a similar genre or era.
Juke Box Musical
Has virtually replaced the Musical Revue. This style musical takes existing popular music and writes a story around it by forcing the lyrics to fit the story. These are contemporary versions of the musical comedies of 20’s and 30’s
The Black Crook
(1866 Minstrel Show - precursor to musical theatre/operetta style) Actual Minstrel Show that incorporated French Dancers in performance when their theatre burned down...The combination of music dance and theatre became popular entertainment.
The Mikado (1885), The Pirates of Penzance (1879), H.M.S. Pinafore
A couple of influential American Musical Composers that were fascinated with the European Operetta - Victor Herbert & Jerome Kern
Naughty Marietta
(1910) An American Operetta First time story extended throughout entire piece
Early Musicals
Started to get somewhat more believable dialogue and a step closer to an actual “book” or “Libretto” Followed closely by Musical Comedy Style in 1920’s & 30’s although silly and a bit convoluted stories.
The American Musical came into being with composers & lyricists like...
Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Richard Rogers, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Ira Gershwin (lyricist), Lorenz Hart (lyricist), Oscar Hammerstein II (lyricist)
Created in 1927 by Hammerstein and Kern. Considered the American Musical which most established the Musical Theatre Form we recognize today. Also the first time that the music and lyrics were integrally related to the story.
Of Thee I Sing
1931. A satirical musical that related to Presidential Elections. Won the Pulitzer Prize.
Porgy and Bess
Serious book with Powerful Score. Perhaps produced most often as an Opera or by Opera companies. New revival of this production coming to Broadway in Summer 2008.
To "double"
To perform several parts in one play.
The first step. Actor must appear before the director, the stage manager, and others to present one or more scenes he/she has prepared.
The Stanislavsky System for Realistic Acting
1.) Make outward behavior natural and convincing 2.) Have the actor convey the goals and objectives of a character 3.) To make the life of the character onstage not only dynamic but continuous 4.) TO develop a strong sense of ensemble playing with other performers in a scene
Emotional Recall
Remembering a past experience in the performer's life that is similar to one in a play
The Evolution of the Director
The director did not exist before 1874 when George II began to supervise every element of the productions in the theatre in his realm
Theatre that shows human beings - often in wretched circumstances - as products of heredity and environment
Representation of an abstract theme or subject through symbolic characters, actions, or other elements of a production, such as scenery
Gives outward expression to inner feelings
Literary manager
Fitting performers into roles
Deciding when and where performers move and position themselves on stage
Technical Rehearsal
A run-through of the show from beginning to end, with all the props and scene changes
Dress Rehearsal
Full-scale run-through of the production. Performed as though an audience is present; no stops or interruptions and with full lights, scenery, costumes, and sound
Performance in front of a live audience for the first time. Performers discover which parts of the play are successful and which are not
Jobs of the Producer
1.) Raise money to finance the production 2.) Securing rights to the script 3.) Dealing with the agents for the playwright, director, and performers 4.) Hiring the director, performers, designers, and stage crews 5.) Dealing with theatrical unions 6.) Renting theatre space 7.) Supervising the work of those running the theatre, in the box office, auditorium, and business office 8.) Supervising the advertising 9.) Overseeing the budget and the week to week financial management of the production
When music accompanies onstage action
Vulgar "girlie" shows
Series of variety acts that make up an evening's entertainment
"Book" Musical
A musical that has a story which traces the fortunes of the main characters through a series of adventures with a beginning, middle, and end
Fiddler on the Roof (1964)
Believed by many to mark the end of the golden era of book musicals
Hair (1967)
Has no real story line and represented a radical departure from the book musicals that had dominated the scene for the past 25 years
Julie Taymor
Vibrant productions, The Lion King, has travelled to Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Japan, etc...
Musical Trend: Unprecedented Number of Major Revivals of Past Musicals
Chicago, Oklahoma!, Fiddler on the Roof, Kiss Me Kate
Musical Trend: Appearance of Fresh, Offbeat Musicals
Rent, Avenue Q
Musical Trend: Musicals Based on Films
Hairspray, Legally Blonde, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast
Musical Trend: Musicals Based on Stars/Groups
Mamma Mia!, Jersey Boys

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