Download Chapter 15 - School of the Performing Arts

Survey
yes no Was this document useful for you?
   Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Document related concepts

Improvisational theatre wikipedia, lookup

Development of musical theatre wikipedia, lookup

Theatre of the Absurd wikipedia, lookup

Actor wikipedia, lookup

History of theatre wikipedia, lookup

Medieval theatre wikipedia, lookup

Augsburger Puppenkiste wikipedia, lookup

Theatre wikipedia, lookup

English Renaissance theatre wikipedia, lookup

Theatre of the Oppressed wikipedia, lookup

Theatre of France wikipedia, lookup

Federal Theatre Project wikipedia, lookup

Transcript
Chapter 15 – Viewpoints
VLADIMIR: Moron!
ESTRAGON: Vermin!
VLADIMIR: Abortion!
ESTRAGON: Morpion!
VLADIMIR: Sewer-rat!
ESTRAGON: Curate!
VLADIMIR: Cretin!
ESTRAGON: (with finality)
Crritic!
—Samuel Beckett, Waiting
for Godot
Chapter Summary
• Critics often add fresh dimensions to our awareness and
appreciation of theatre.
• They acquaint readers and audiences with both good
and bad productions.
• At best, they hope to connect the truly good work with
audiences and to preserve it for future generations.
Criticism
• Two kinds of criticism:
– Drama criticism:
• Comments on written text from literary and
cultural-historical-theoretical perspective
– Theatre criticism (theatre reviewing):
• Deals with plays-in-performance
• Critics are real force:
– Critic from New York Times has power to close a
show with a bad review.
Audience as Critic
• Watching a play raises questions:
– Is the world a stage?
– Were the actors convincing?
– Were costumes appropriate?
– Were sound effects too loud?
• Audiences are critics (they express opinions).
• Audiences bring at least four viewpoints to theatre:
– Human significance
– Social significance
– Artistic qualities
– Entertainment value
Audience Viewpoints
• Human significance:
– Theatre connects audiences with common humanity.
– Explores what it means to be human beings.
• Social significance:
– Theatre has inherent relationship to society:
• Audience = community.
– Theatre serves as an arena for discussing social and
political issues.
Audience Viewpoints
• Entertainment:
– Great theatre is always entertaining in some way.
– Even tragedy delights:
• Catharsis
• Thrills (ghosts, witches, murders, etc.)
– Theatre is a source of pleasure.
• Aesthetic significance:
– We know what we like and what we don’t like.
– As we see more theatre, we develop a deeper
awareness of sights, words, characters, actions,
actors, sounds, and colors.
The Professional Critic:
The Critic’s Job
• Reviews published in morning newspaper following
official opening-night performance.
• Stanley Kauffmann: critic is “a kind of para-reality to the
theatre’s reality”:
– Criticism should be good, whether it’s about good or
bad theatre.
• Power and, often, hostility of critics creates backlash:
– Checkhov: critics are “horse flies . . . buzzing about
anything.”
The Professional Critic:
Services Performed by Critics
• Recognize and preserve works of good artists for future
generations
• Publicists of the good and the bad:
– Separate wheat from chaff
• Help public decide which productions to see
• Serve as mediators between artists and audiences
• Serve as historians:
– Criticism as record of theatrical times
The Professional Critic:
The Critic’s Creativity
• Are critics more than failed artists?
– Good criticism sometimes written by second-rate
artists
– George Bernard Shaw expert critic, expert playwright
• Criticism a talent:
– Combines artistic sensibility, writing skill, insight,
knowledge of theatre
• Stanley Kauffmann: critic’s creativity is “the imaginative
rendering of experience in such a way that it can be
essentially experienced by others.”
The Professional Critic:
The Critic’s Questions
(c) Patrick Bennett /
Courtesy Seattle Repertory Theatre
• What is the playwright
trying to do?
• How well has he or she
done it?
• Was it worth doing?
A Scene from Seven Guitars by August Wilson
The Professional Critic:
Performance Notes
• Several journals publish critical descriptions of
distinguished productions.
• Provide records of productions.
• Offer impressions of trends in avant-garde theatre.
The Professional Critic:
Theatre Scholarship
• Majority of critics are university teachers and/or
professional dramaturgs.
• They analyze plays and productions within rigorously
researched critical contexts.
• Scholarly critics ordinarily write with a comprehensive
knowledge of a specific subject:
– Playwright
– Performance theories and practice
– Historical period
– Intercultural and/or gender studies
The Professional Critic:
Theatre Scholarship
• Works of great writers of dramatic criticism can be of
lasting literary value:
– Aristotle’s Poetics
– Harold Bloom’s Shakespeare: The Invention of the
Human
• New critical methodologies draw from variety of
disciplines:
– Linguistics
– Semiotics
– Structuralism
– Deconstructionism
The Professional Critic:
Critical Standards
• Developed after years of viewing theatre.
• Best critics remain open and flexible.
• Critic and director Harold Clurman:
– Whether the critic is good or bad doesn’t depend on
his opinions but on the reasons he can offer for those
opinions.
Working Critics
• Brooks Atkinson on Tennessee William’s A Streetcar
Named Desire:
– Wrote two reviews:
• After opening night
• Ten days later
– Both reviews:
• Streetcar didn’t address social issues.
• Solved no problems.
• Arrived at no moral conclusions.
• It was a work of art—audience sat “in presence of
truth.”
Working Critics
• Brooks Atkinson on Tennessee William’s A Streetcar
Named Desire:
– Organization of second review:
• Deals first with play’s truthfulness
• Williams’ “poetic language”
• Kazan’s directing and Mielziner’s scenic details
• Performances of the actors
• Williams’ career
Core Concepts
• For the professional critic, the play in performance is the
end product of the theatre’s creative process.
• At best, the critic enhances our understanding of the
production or theatre event by enabling us to read about
the theatrical experience from a perspective other than
our own or that of our friends.
• Theatre criticism—carefully weighed by the reader—
adds a new dimension to the discovery and
understanding of theatre.