Modern theatre - GHS Foothiller Players Download

Transcript
MODERN THEATRE
1875-present
REALISM
• Everything onstage resembles everyday life; audience has a sense of
recognition in what they are seeing
• An attempt to portray lives of middle and lower classes.
• The anti-romantic movement in Germany, rise of journalism and
photography led to a more accurate portrayal of society.
• Rejection of the “well-made play” in favor of natural movement, dialogue,
and ordinary surroundings.
•
In 1892, George Bernard Shaw ( Irish playwright) attacked the formulaic “well-made”
play and wanted theatre to explore controversial issues.
• Ibsen and Chekhov lead the way for this style.
REALISM-PLAYWRIGHTS
Henrik Ibsen:
-Father of modern drama
-portrayed the middle class
-Drama should attack taboo subjects like social injustice
- controversial and complicated resolutions
- A Doll’s House, Ghosts, Hedda Gabler
Anton Chekhov:
-Character’s stories overlapped
-tragedy + comedy
-not overly melodramatic
-Individual are so uncertain of what will happen in the future that they
distract themselves with either routine or daydreaming
-The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, The Cherry Orchard
August Strindberg: -Characters showed neuroses, anxieties, destruction
-Bridged Realism Naturalism
-The Father, Miss Julie
NATURALISM
-Extreme form of realism; lower class was the focus
- Aimed to confront audience with social issues to influence reform
-Introduced sets that looked as real as possible
-Characters spoke in a natural way,
-Plausible storylines.
Influential Directors:
• Lee Strasberg (1931): The Group Theatre, “Method” acting techniques;
actors were to bring personal experiences and emotion to stage; actors
encouraged to blur barrier between personal life and onstage persona
• Stanislavski (1920): produced plays of Chekhov, created “the method”
and “magic if ”, emphasized action rather than emotion.
NATURALISM-PLAYWRIGHTS
•
Lillian Hellman (1934):One of the most significant female playwrights of
this time period. Wrote plays concerning social justice and controversial
issues. She was blacklisted from Hollywood for a time. Famous for The
Children’s Hour.
•
Tennessee Williams (1945): Characters cling to fragile illusions, only to
see them brutally shattered. Created fully developed characters who
were a challenge to contemporary actors. Wrote Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, A
Streetcar Named Desire, and The Glass Menagerie.
•
Eugene O’Neill (1946): Usually a tragic writer who used expressionism
and stream of consciousness. Interested in theatrical experimentation
and innovation. Wrote The Iceman Cometh, The Hairy Ape, and Long
Day’s Journey Into Night.
•
Arthur Miller (1949): Combined realism and symbolic expressionism in
exploring personal wealth versus personal value. Best known for Death
of a Salesman
MOVEMENTS AWAY FROM
REALISM & NATURALISM
Symbolism: Expression of inner truth rather than reality
Expressionism (1920): Action as seen through the distorted eyes of one character
-Representative characters (ex: Zero in the Adding Machine)
-Unrealistic dialogue (lyrical, disjointed phrasing)
-Distortion of reality, dreamlike, image based
-Developed in Europe around the time of WWI, particularly in Germany.
-Focused on tragic issues such as the horrors of war
Futurism: -Machinery/War idealized
-Confrontation with the audience
-ridicule of the past, esp. with regard to art
Surrealism: -Focus on the subconscious; dream worlds
MOVEMENTS AWAY FROM
REALISM (DESIGN)
Gordon Craig and Adolphe Appia (1902):
-argued against photographic representations of reality
-Craig devised the “unit set” (single representative set with many locales)
-Rejected 2-D painted scenery and embraced shape, shadows, and light
-Designed surreal stage sets which sought to capture the feeling of dramatic works
symbolically rather than realistically. Used outlines, forms, colors and lighting to
express atmosphere.
- Believed director should be in complete artistic control.
Vsevolod Meyerhold (1913):
-Exposed stage workings to remind audience they are watching a play
-Levels and stage composition important
-Constructivist settings (ramps, platforms, etc to create movement opportunities): Antirealistic movement developed in Russia before WWI. A stark and artificial design with
abstract forms.
-The Soviet Union regime then banned all modern art movements since they were not
useful for propaganda.
-Biomechanics: physically training the actor’s body
CONSTRUCTIVISM
ARTAUD DESIGN CONCEPT
NON-REALISTIC PLAYWRITING
AND WORLD EVENTS
Bertolt Brecht (1920):
- Epic Theatre: A reaction against artistic illusion and emotion in the theatre,
also known as Theatre of Alienation (Verfremdung effect)
- sought to use theatre to serve the Marxist social purpose of educating
audiences and shocking the elite class.
- Belief that theatre could create social change and reject realistic illusions
- Abandoned traditional techniques of stagecraft, they used artificial devices
such as posters, cartoons, and film to distract the audience from theatrical
illusion and allow them to concentrate on the play’s message.
• Brecht wanted audiences to observe the spectacle objectively without
connecting emotionally with the characters.
NON REALISTIC PLAYWRIGHTS
AND WORLD EVENTS
Theatre of Cruelty (bombard the audience’s senses)
-Antonin Artaud
-Multimedia
-Audience was the focus
• Totalitarianism stamped out theatre: Fascist and Communist
movements
Theatre of the Absurd and Existentialism:
-Post WWII Life is illogical, no God, humanity is alone
-Nonsensical language
-nontraditional plot structure
-circular plots (Waiting for Godot)
-Samuel Beckett, Edward Albee, Harold Pinter, Eugene Ionesco
ECLECTIC THEATRE
Poor Theatre
-Jerzy Grotowski
-Actors are central to the performance
-No scenery or effects
Eclectic Theatre: ex: Peter Brook (1960)-the play should dictate the
style of the production
• Influenced by Theatre of Cruelty & Epic Theatre, he produced
large scale energetic plays where actors played instruments,
sang, and performed acrobatics.
• Produced many of Shakespeare’s works in a non-traditional way,
• wrote The Open Door
• Any space can be a place for theatre.
OTHER CONTEMPORARY
PLAYWRIGHTS
Noel Coward (1924)
British actor and playwright who acted in his own plays and wrote
light comedies including, Blythe Spirit and Private Lives.
Neil Simon (1961)
One of the most prolific playwrights of the 20 th century. Portrayed
comedic elements of middle-class life. Also wrote screenplays.
Pulitzer prize winner. Plays include Brighton Beach Memoirs and
Rumors.
CONTEMPORARY PLAYWRIGHTS
Sam Shepard (1978)
American playwright & actor, his plays blend science fiction, the
American West and pop culture. Take place in non-specific locations in
the American Plains. The loner or drifter is often the protagonist. Wrote
Buried Child and Icarus’s Mother, among others.
David Mamet (1984)
His works deal with themes of the American dream, belonging and
authority. Many characters are tough, posturing men who speak simply
but melodically. Pulitzer prize winner.
August Wilson (1984)
Wrote about the hardships of the African-American experience due to
poverty and racism. Plays have been called a “chronicle of the African
American experience”. Won two Pulitzer Prizes, wrote The Piano
Lesson, Fences, and Two Trains Running, among others.
CONTEMPORARY PLAYWRIGHTS
Wendy Wasserstein (1988)
Her plays explored roles and predicaments of the modern American
woman. First woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for best play, wrote The
Heidi Chronicles, Uncommon Women and Others, The Sisters
Rosensweig, and others.
Tony Kushner (1991)
Wrote Angels in America, plays are political tragicomedies written with
compassion and linguistic verve. Exploration of philosophical problems,
moral responsibility and specific social issues, particularly regarding gay
issues. Pulitzer prize winner.
Anne Bogart (2000)
Along with Tina Landau, she created the training method of Viewpoints
utilizing time, pace, space, pattern, tempo, shape, and other
environmental and movement techniques. A unique way to re-examine
the rehearsal process placing the environment and movement of the
ensemble in relation to each other as the centerpiece of the training
technique.
MUSICAL THEATRE
-Began with a strong foundation in popular songs (“Showboat”)
1920-Black performers first appeared on Broadway
1930s-Federal Theatre Project employed thousands of African American actors, playwrights
and technicians https://youtu.be/-c7CPvoMKnU?list=PLTOjPVr-OdCEm9pdGtdyIjvHPyitBtapt
1940s-Rogers and Hammerstein:
Composer and Lyricist who ushered in the Golden Age of the American Musical,
revolutionized the musical by integrating drama, music, and dance. Their first musical was
Oklahoma! Also wrote South Pacific, The King and I, The Sound of Music and may others. “Oklahoma” was ground breaking in terms of unifying song, book, and dance
1957-Leonard Bernstein:
American composer, conuctor, and pianist who created symphonies, ballets and musicals
including Our Town and West Side Story.
1960s- Lloyd Richards is first Black Broadway director-went on to become the head of the
Yale School of Drama
1970s- Commercial African American theatre on Broadway incl. The Wiz
Julie Taymore (1995):
Broadway and film director best known for The Lion King merging the
musical with pop culture/commercial theatre.
-Revivals, off-beat musicals, film-based, musical group musicals, rock
musicals
Regional Theatres: Professional, non-profit, new plays & Classics; ie: The Old
Globe & La Jolla Playhouse
Off-Broadway: Began as experimental spaces for new plays, became more
popular, expensive and institutionalized
Off-Off Broadway: The “new” Off-Broadway; lower prices, experimental
Chicago: Steppenwolf and Lookingglass Theatres
London: Fringe Theatres (Alternative to the West End)