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unc drama 015 terms


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fortified height or citadel of an ancient Greek city; hill in the center of Athens where the agora, a temple to Athena, and other important building were located – the Theater of Dionysus was situated; Parthenon was located here too;
a form of “speaking otherwise”, often used in medieval drama; a form of 2 stories, one a simpler story and then one of a secondary deeper meaning; teaches a lesson
a sloping gallery with seats for spectators (as in an operating room or theater) 2: an oval large stadium with tiers of seats; an arena in which contests and spectacles; are held; outdoors
greek god of sun and prophesy
– important greek philosopher, wrote on the structure of drama in Poetics; conception of the 6 basic elements of the play (spectacle, plot, character, thought, diction, music, spectacle) ; and catharsis
-- A piece of dialogue intended for the audience and supposedly not heard by the other actors on stage.
goddess of beauty, of military strategies, and of housework; lysistrata is a possible avatar
blank verse
– form of unrhymed lines using iambic pentameter; 10 syllables; natural, rhythmic, active, practical
A purifying or figurative cleansing of the emotions, especially pity and fear, described by Aristotle as an effect of tragic drama on its audience
city dionysia
the annual spring event held in Athens to honor the god Dionysus with the main component as a 3 day drama competition
climatic structure
structure of plays in which the main drama begins near the climatic period of the play
plays are a productive of many diverse individuals with a variety of previous experience; one of Aristotle’s qualities of theatrical experience
craft guild
– a form of union, during the Corpus Christi feast each craft guild would compete to perform the best drama; they had a specific type of play to perform per each guild
cycle / mystery plays
pulled out of biblical stories --- they are strung along like beads on a rosary; generally performed on mansion staging; union, separation, and re-union with god (themes)
-- the greek god of wine, revelry, fertility, male and female characteristics
– (gk: “song to the gods”) – sung and danced by 50 men to gods – precursor of male and female aspects
dramatic convention
rules and practices that are understood and used in dramatic productions by both the actors and the audiences; reflects time periods/temporal
– a given’s playwrights style
– greek root, to act or to do; where the word drama comes from
is the recognition and understanding of the states of mind, beliefs, desires, and particularly, emotions of others. It is often characterized as the ability to "put oneself into another's shoes", or experiencing the outlook or emotions of another being within oneself; a sort of emotional resonance
something transitory; drama, short lived; one of Aristotle’s ideas of drama
epic poetry
-- form of poetry that was usually read outloud; yet the narrator never broke into differnt characters
episodic structure
– found in midsummer’s nights dream; one of two forms of drama structures; leisurely plot, many characters; expansion time, setting, events; multiple narratives; web/network of experience: inter relationships
The god of love, son of Aphrodite
– the “back story” – information needed to understand the play
the feast of corpus christi
--- large European wide celebration of Jesus’ coming: this parallels the city Dionysian with both religious and political event with Drama as an important component
the globe
able to recognize this name; Shakespeare’s theater; octagonal in shape
character flaw or error of a tragic hero that leads to his downfall
lysistrata; the switching of conventional roles or narratives
the audience is more aware of what is going in the play; which gives them a omniscient characteristic
licensed theathers
required an official state license to open a theater building, reaffirms that the entire production requires a financial stake
– art that uses the idea of its own fictional nature to comment on the fictional nature of all life; purposefully being fictional reinforcing the similarities bt real and the non real; realized through voc, disguishes, use of plays within plays
an imitation of an action
morality play
collapse the eternal tie of the Bible to the life of a single individual
box set
3-dimension set; because of a new interest in the surroundings and creation of realism, this is the suggestion of a 3-dimensional set on stage which differed from the simple painted 2D stages of the past; aligned with the new interest to create a realistic point of view
finds expression in realistic works through attention to heredity, to the past;
dramatic closure
-- sense of a firm resolution at the end of the play; compaing the open ended plays such as the doll house where there are still many questions doesn’t have closeure
cast is a cast in which the principal performers are assigned roughly equal amounts of importance in a dramatic production]; this was a new focus on the ensemble performance as compared to plays revolving on one or two major characters; these other characters often lacked a central purpose, now however, the influences of realism will lead to all characters serving a primary dramatic function; it is more of a team production
doesn’t attempt that life-likeness; tries to look into the subjective world of the characters and discover their inner truths and inner perspectives; begins in Germany in the 1890’s and spread rapidly; the x-ray is discovered in France around this time and relates to the essence of expressionism; early 20th century literary movement in Germany that posited that art should represent powerful emotional states and moods. Expressionist abandon realism and verisimilitude, producing distorted, nightmarish images of the individual unconscious; examples: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligaria; characteristics include: a distorted or subjected truth, dreamlike/nightmarish, several types/abstractions, compressed, fragmented, telegraphic, emotional states
-- a short dramatic work that depends on exaggerated, improbable situations, incongruities, coarse wit, and horseplay for its comic effect; farce in latin means “to force” or “to stuff”, it deals with feelings of discomfort, embarrassment, inferiority, and they often make an impression, things don’t often work out, looks to exploit these social and physical fears and anxieties; it uses unusual concepts for humor and these often closely resemble real life; examples include: Charlie Chaplin, Saturday Night Live…; farce is closer to tragedy than to comedy; the characteristics of farce are: 1. broad, exaggerated style, 2. most extreme comic form, 3, anarchic, aggressive, subversive; 4. indulges fantasies and drives; 5. relieves anxieties and social pressures; 6. undermines conventional values; 7. no necessary harmony or renewal
the person responsible for a play’s interpretation and staging and for the guidance of the actors; the director arose during the 19th century; he is there to guide the actors, to make production decisions, and through him all dramatic aspects and decisions have to pass and be oked
-- Psychology] – exploring our unconscious which affects our choices and behaviors yet might not be under our controls
group theater
1931-1941 – The Group Theater; they reached the pinnacle of American theater practice using this new style in an American context
independent theater movement
theaters outside of the commercial system, from the time of Ibsen onward which took on these more dynamic and challenging plays; this was a change in the commercial practice of theather; with this new school of drama which was not entirely economic, the independent theatre movement was born; they were in every major city and the producers were looking for unique, challenging plays; characterized by smaller theater building, more concentrated audiences, the plays worked towards a target audience, and had a stronger pursuit of individual convictions and the message that they wanted to be said; the idea was to work outside of the status quo; in these theaters the plays : A doll House and Miss Julie were performed
Elia Kazan, came out of the group theater that brought the school of American method acting into prominence; he staged a lot of his plays in the theater and they were often transformed into Hollywood films; he explores the idea of an anti-hero or a protagonist
Carol Marx; whose philosophy is used in Epic theater; attempt to make the audience more conscious about our role in society
a suspenseful play filled with situations that appeal to the audience‘s emotions. Justice triumphs in a happy ending; the good characters (completely virtuous are rewarded and the bad characters (thoroughly villainous) are punished; the characteristics include: 1. popular, escapists, sentimental 2. clear-cut moralities 3. whole characters 4. external conflict 5. focus on plot 6. emotional appeal 7. restores status quo; the emphasis on these plays is on emotional experience; it came into importance in the 17th century and served to entertain the uneducated classes; examples include: star wars, Austin Powers…
method acting
– a naturalistic technique of acting developed by the Russian director Konstantin Stanislavsky and adapted for American actors by Lee Strasberg, among others. The method actor identifies with the character he or she portrays and experiences the emotions called for by the play in an effort to render the character with emotional verisimilitude; starts in the 30’s, takes hold in the 40s’ = used by Williams in his work ; this new system of actor training encouraged that actors connect with their roles, that they connect with their emotions, work on ways to control their bodies, all of which led to new variety in their works; the goal is a seamlessness bt an actor and their character, to bridge the gap bt one’s fictional self and one’s real self; examples: james Dean, Marlon Brando; sometimes incorporates ideas of Freud into these works; in 1947, an actors studio is opened by Lee Stratsberg to train actors in t
modo’ – just now; examples of modern plays (a doll’s house, miss Julie, mother courage, the Glass Menagerie, Happy Days)
moscow art theater
– school of Constantie Syadfd… the Russian school of method acting which brought it to America; it was founded in 1897; it toured the united states in 1923;
– this school is related to realism, but with many differences; this school was led by French writer Zola; they were fixated on the ideas of natural/heredity and environment as dictators of one’s behavior; the lack of free-choice; compared to realism who acknowledges these scientific ideals, yet accepts humans control over our lives; literary philosophy popularized during the 19th centuries that casts art’s role as the scientifically accurate reflection of a ‘slice of life’; Naturalism is aligned with the belief that each person is a product of heredity and environment driven by internal and external forces beyond his or her control. August Strinberg’s Miss Julie with its focus on reality’s sordidness and humankind’s powerlessness draws on naturalism; relating to heredity, that one is completely determined from one’s fate, heredity, environment, a lack-of free-will; rather an accident of family birth is one’s identity; this is a super realistic, scientific mode of looking at life
German philosopher, whose critiques of contemporary culture, religion, and philosophy centered around a basic question regarding the foundation of values and morality; Fredrich Nietzche says to move beyond the limitations of our environmental limitations, emphasizes the need to rise above all forms of our environment, mind, enclosing forces/etc.; proscenium
proscenium stage
-- or proscenium theater – a picture frame/painting; creates the illusion of looking in on a ‘different world’ ; clear demarcation between the world of the stage and that of the house; creates the illusion of the 4th wall – therefore the world on stage dosen’t acknowledge that there is an audience; (differs from that of Shakespeare), the audience is quietly observing the world; yet, creates difficulties for the playwrights: how do they get the exposition in, and the needed details for the audience? the arch was a arched structure over the front of the stage from which a curtain often hangs; it framed the action onstage and separates the audience from the action
used in the play topdog/underdog to show how content = form??
– in respect to Stringberg, moving away from Ibsen’s stable truths, rather for him it is more a fact of whom you are and the circumstances, different perspectives from different stances; one’s stance/position/class determines what they think is truth
in relation with well made play; Eugene Scribe; the French father of the well-made play
co-foundered Moscow Art Theater; began developing, based on the realist tradition of Aleksandr Pushkin, his famous "System" (often called the "Method", though this is an inaccuracy; method acting was developed from it). "The System" would later be adapted by Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler, Sanford Meisner, and many others in the United States. Stanislavski's System focused on the development of realistic characters and stage worlds. Actors were instructed to utilise their "emotion memory" in order to naturally portray a character's emotions. In order to do this actors were required to think of a moment in their own lives when they had felt the desired emotion and then replay the emotion in role in order to achieve a more genuine performance. He helped to develop a new school of acting, which is modern acting; he empahised maintaining characterization and illusion on stage;
Jewish American director, actor, producer, and acting teacher; co-founder of the group theater
-- unplanned actions, that appear to be an eruption of emotions as if it is genuinely happening; it seems as if the part isn’t played – initiated by Lee Strasberg; a level of meaning implicit in or underlying the surface of a text; this was a means of communicating new information, and also served to keep the audience focused; it was ‘something that was happening beneath the surface action, and was usually beneath the dialogue’; it marked the moving away from melodrama to creating realistic events on stage, while communicating information through body language; a way to communicate the subtle changes happening in the interior of the actors / characters; led to a greater variety of interpretations
-- the name that Strindberg uses to describe his plays; the attempt to get within one’s emotional soul; the combination of naturalism and the expressionist journey into the interior; he is distinct from Ibsen, in that the world is less linear, orderly than viewed from a realistic world,
well-made play
drama that relies for effect on the suspense generated by its logical, cleverly constructed plot rather than on characterization. Plots often involve a withheld secret, a battle of wits between hero and villain, a and a resolution in which the secret is revealed and the protagonist is saved; had a surface realism, formulaic values; Ibsen overturns this idea by going into deeper meaning; ment for entertainment
-- an influential French novelist, the most important example of the literary school of naturalism, and a major figure in the political liberalization of France; french father of naturalism
abbott and costello
the comic team who did the who’s on first comic sketch; in relation to absurdum; this comedy skit shows language used in a non-traditional way
-- question the audiences ability to view the world around us; questions what plays tell us?; question the western tradition of rationalism and humanism; the ability of
o faith or science to explain the human condition
o have the idea that humans never learn; can’t rise to the occasion to achieve real change
ballad opera
-- 1728; the great-grand daddy of the modern musical; beyond traditional high opera; made of folk songs with new lyrics to fit the show; example: The Beggar’s Opera; Took contemporary tunes and set new words to fit the tune of the show
o Taking familiar songs and setting new lyrics to them – use of popular music shifted popular taste away from high oprah to this new style; they were more acceptable to the audience; led to the shift away from dominant traditional musical forms
o Romantic; elevated language – different languages; 18th century
book musicals
the basic text of the musical and the dialogue; shorter; libretto??; contains a spoken dialogue
Albert Camus – wrote: the myth of Sisyphus; tries to capture the mystery of human life and adventure; being alienated from the truth about ourselves; ; one of the chief philosophers on absurdism; myth of sysiphysis vs. happy days; can use traditional forms to persuade these new ideas vs. theater of abusrdism which uses direct experience and new forms to get this across
: greek for ‘stamp’; the greeks thought that their lives were stamped, that they had a fixed way of how a person was; like a peach with a hard core; contradicts post-moderinist views of humans as onions with many layers and un unstable center
provides the vocabulary for dance and motion; the dance instructor
person working on the score – music in a musical
-- in contemporary art, is a means of critiquing unchallenged assumptions that lie behind; idea of a stable world – enable it to represent reality the way that it does
deliberate, strong contradictions that are a part of the characters; used in conjunction with Mother Courage play; : an approach / post modernism; the artist tries to make us more aware of underlying assumptions; that we don’t question; these works try to make us more conscious of what we are not questioning; ie. Topdog/underdog; central to dramaturgy of Bretcht; Marxist approach speaking of insoncistancies and contradictions of our world; mother courage; as she tries to save her familiy and is forced to betray this intention ; tries to trace out inconsistencies
-- Martin Esslin – in the early 1960s he coined the term, Theater of the absurd which described the commonalities bt the avant guard play wrights; these playwrights arrived at their own styles differently, and finding commonalities bt them
even if there is no higher power, these failures can motivate us to achieve higher meaning; a philosophy that questions the order or power of the universe; the pointlessness of existence? Suggest that we try to live our lives like it has meaning or just give up
the beggar's opera
by: John Gay (1728); this was a prototype of the European Ballad Opera; it took contemporary music and set new words and lyrics to fit the show; this was a decisive switch away from high opera that was traditional of this time and represented a shift away from dominant traditional music forms
the black crook
(1866); this was the first american musical; in incorporated a random mix of melodrama story line and song and dance; the song and dance served no dramatic purpose for they did not carry the action, express information, or tell about the characters; this play experienced raving reviews and soon thereafter, these characteristics were incorporated into drama with more purposeful approaches; – one of the first american musicals (1866); chessy melodrama in rehearsal with a ballet troup added into it; became a hybrid of music and dance and play – yet, no cohesion bt the styles
musical review vs. musical play
progression in musicals; starts with conflict (realistic) to use of music to use of dance
author of the Beggar’s Opera, in 1728
little book⬝ - the spoken dialogue of the musical, and the person how works on this part of the musical element; the structure of where the songs fall in the pattern of the piece
might be different from a composer; the person who does the lyrics for a musical
musical comedy
20th century; this musical has a plot, and the musical numbers are used to help explore characterization, it is entertaining and the music supports a stronger understanding of the lyrics; the song and dance have a little more importance than a musical revue; example: excerpt from The Good News
musical revue
20th century; this type of theater had little plot, used many variations on one theme; and adopted many styles from vaudeville; the song and dance have some, but not too much function ;ex: excerpt from the Great Zigfield ; hair? Example – gives an experience
musical play
: 20th century; the story line is a little more serious (approaching tragedy); the song/dance is used only when the characters need more than just speech, or to serve as an escalation of energy; the song/dance/dialogue is more integrated and more determined in use; used to bring the iner-life/ emotions / sub-text to the surface through music and therefore, the musical style is intimate and fragile; example: West Side Story
19th century; this form of musical theater had some strains of high opera – in that it was lush, grand, layered on romance; yet, it was more accessible than high opera; usually sung in English; ex: Rose Marie (1924), which was about an opera singer whos brother had been involved in a jail break and was trying to escape and her sister tries to help him and in the process falls in love with a monte
one of the three principles in relation to post-modernsim; maybe already has been said so now contemp. Artist recycle previous material in hopes of creating new things from it – is there anything new out there?
ART oppressed with defining art; art that is dedicated to art; in a post-modern play: characters getting to the heart of who they are; the self identifying the self ; topdo/underdog
rests and spells
thematic technique used in Topdog/Underdog; play writing technique; used to dictate the lengths of silence on stage; similar to musical scripts; the characters don’t have much interior life; - the silences in the play mark the inability of the brothers to project; and their confusing comes off as a conflict;
Jean-Paul Sartre – father of existentialism; wrote the play “No exit” ; existentialist philosopher
postmodern principle – the contemporary world seems almost like its own version of virtual reality
mythological feature, a mortal king that offended the gods and therefore his punishment was to push a bolder up a hill for eternity; provides a visual image of a never ending meaningless activity; the mascot for the absurdists; the mythological feature that was condemded to psuh the bolder – poster boy for abusrudism
singing in the rain
theater of the absurd
these plays thrust the audience into the experience along with the characters; seek to take away the middleman of human reason; to put the audience in the position of the characters; take away the use of irony; take away the idea and power of rational art, with no explanations; they offer the audience the glance of hope and the ability to endure
through-sung musical
No dialogue, all song and dance; uses concert staging; there is a story line, characterization, and the song are there to communicate to the audience; can use various story lines : layered style or binding the characters together; it is emotionally heightened to enable song and dance
– form: acyronom that is used ; musicals as a form of drama where as musical artists become more aware of the potential of using song and dance effectively-then in a musical play all of those elements are unified and connected; UNI: the form where the musical elements are unified, necessary and integrated
voice of the city”; 19th century; these play used music that was orientated toward more popular styles, they used contemporary vernacular; less sophiscitated; it attempts to give the audience an easy form of entertainment and usually consisted of a mix of comedy, skits, dance – a variety show; in composition these had no narrative, rather they were a series of independent acts that told their own story ;variety shows ; one of the influences on 20th century musical theater
o ex: Singing in the Rain – “Make’m laugh”
“alienation”, “distancing”, “estrangement” , “to make strange”

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