History of Theatre Lesson Notes
Can be clock or fictional time, places vary (designed to meet needs), rituals might take place in one space or they might involve a procession with portions of the ritual being performed at various places along the way, elements can be combined, ritual and theatre employ the same basic elements as other human activities do but have dif purposes in mind and choose the particular form needed 4 each element and then organize them to achieve their purpose.
Rituals reflect society’s understanding Of its relationships to the powers that govern its well-being and its own interrelationships (include elements that entertain and give pleasure). Much that is found in ritual, also in theatre (must be actors/directors, both use performing and viewing areas, may use same elements but the distinction between them ultimately depends on their functions).
Explain the most significant theories of the origins of theatre: most widely known theory is championed by anthropologists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that envisions theatre as emerging out of myth and ritual (society becomes aware of forces that appear to influence or control its food supply and well-being, connection between actions performed by group and results it desires leads to repeat/refine/formalizing those actions into rituals, stories/myths grow up around a ritual, performers dress up, act out the myths. More info peg 2). Storytelling-relating and listening to stories are seen as fundamental human lectures (pantomime/impersonation/each role assumed by dif people), recalling can be elaborate, dance and song, imitate animals. Can be inspired by a great many performance-oriented activities without any of them being the source.
Outline the distinction between dynamic and static societies and how those qualities affect the development of theatre in each: a society can be dynamic and then become static, societies called primitive are ones that became static at an early stage of development, other advanced societies such as ancient Egypt become relatively static after a period of dynamism ND these ten to establish and perpetuate radicalized conventions that alter little over centuries of time.
Western myth-dominant concern is the relationship between two types of beings-god and humans-and the tension between the roles assigned to each, world came to be seen primarily from the human point of view-as a place of conflict, change, and progress-with humanity as the principal agent both for good and evil.
Eastern myth-people seek to transcend temporal limitations and achieve oneness with the mystery of being, in which all divisions-including human and divine-disappear, eastern IEEE encourages a conception of world order in which all duties/roles/ possibilities are fixed (doesn’t see reality as a series of constantly changing relationships as does the West but as a fixed state of being. Humanity cannot influence this being; it can only become one with it, to the eastern mind change and progress seem illusions and to the West mind they seem inevitable.
Recount and understand the basic history of theatre in ancient Egypt: Between 3500 and 3000 BCC, cities grew in Egypt, and they had formed an effective central gobo, was a major center of civilization (forms of writing ND elaborate moon aments were erected). Most information used in studies of ancient Egypt comes from the hieroglyphics, decorations and artifacts proved from great pyramids built as tombs for the pharaohs and in the temples dedicated to the numerous Egyptian Gods (many pyramid texts exists-depict dramas enacted by priests, death and resurrection of Souris and the coronation of his son, Hours).
Temple was usually considered the private residence of the god (through much of year, ordinary people participated in major religious rites only at second hand through the ruler and his priest- assistants). Egyptians maintained an advanced civilization for some k years and never developed theatrically beyond radicalized performances, repeating the same ceremonies year after year for centuries. Theirs was a society that resisted changes that might have led to an autonomous theatre.
Define the vocabulary terms and state their significance to theatre history: performance elements-activities which encompass most human transactions and make use of a number of common elements: time, place, sound, etc. How they are treated and for what purpose, distinguishes one kind of transaction from another. Ritual-a religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order (theory that theatre originated from this, stories arise from these and this leads to reenactments of them).
Cultural Darwinism-theory about evolution of biological species that theorists who came up with the ritual origination extended to include cultural phenomena-and consequently they assumed that human institutions including theatre, evolved through a process in which there was a steady development from the simple to the complex. They also assumed that societies that had evolved such autonomous arts as theatre were superior to those in which the arts had not been separated from ritual.
They also believed that, since all societies evolve through the same stages, those still existing primitive or less advance societies can serve as a valid evidence about how European culture had developed during its pre-historic phase. Abodes passion play-tells of the death and resurrection of Souris and the coronation of Hours (was the most revered of all Egyptian myths, historians interpret this as the libretto of a drama in which Hours, symbolizing the generated year spirit, was impersonated by the pharaoh, who performed it each year on the first day Of spring.
At Abodes, the most sacred spot in Egypt, some kind of performance related to Souris occurred annually from about 2500 until about 550 BCC. No text remains of it, but there are hieroglyphics and the Shorefront stone, in which he tells what he did during one of the celebrations, disagreement among scholars about his interpretations, was one of the most elaborate dramatic spectacles ever staged.
Notes: cultural biases always play a part in the study of history, developments and innovation attributed to Greek civilization actually could have originated in Northern Africa, many assumptions about history discounts pre-literate societies that may have developed performance practices of their own. Rituals of ancient Egypt are seen as the first theatrical activity, then Greece civilization led to advanced performances and more developments and rituals changed leading to autonomous theatrical activities that formed the basis for Western European drama. PDF notes) Lesson 2: Theatre and Society in Ancient Greece Explain the major theories of origins of Greek tragedy: Early Aegean violations had little to do directly with the development of theatre, but their indirect influence was enormous, for their gods, heroes, and history supplied the material for Homer’s (8th century BCC) Iliad and Odyssey and therefore for most Greek drama. Greek civilization that was to produce 1 SST great era of theatre-8-6th centuries. The Pariah Marble, in the Semolina museum at Oxford, credits Thesis with the invention of tragedy, the first form of drama, in 534 BCC (won a competition in Athens-City Dionysian).
Some say that he wasn’t first and this is because of the impreciseness in the original meaning of regarding (goat song) from which we get the word tragedy. The earliest still- extant account of how Greek drama originated states that tragedy emerged out of improvisations by the leaders of diathermy’s (Aristotle) -?ancient Greece passionate hymn in honor of Dionysus (god of wine and fertility). Said to have been given first literacy form by Orion of Corinth, who called his work tarragon and those who performed them tradition, who believed he was first.
None Of the theories about how the term originated provides important clues as to how the dramatic form we call tragedy developed. Might have developed out of dif rituals, or emerging from experimentation with such performance forms as recited stories/sung poetry/ and narrative dance (evidence is lacking). Major step was taken during late 6th century when first actor/ dramatist appeared, then a second actor added. Outline the distinctive staging and performance conventions of Greek theatre during the fifth century B. C. E. Prologue-provides info about events that have occurred prior to play, Paradox-entrance of chorus and intro them and give exposition and establish the proper mood, stamina-series of episodes which develop main action, exodus-concluding scene which includes the departure of all characters and chorus (point of attack is late in play, only final part traumatized, scenes Of death and physical violence are offstage-frequent use of messengers to relate what has occurred elsewhere, time of action is continuous and it occurs in a single location.
Most are based on myth, writers free to alter stories and to invent motivations, concentrated on the psychological and ethical attributes of their personages, added 2nd and third actors, having a chorus, scene painting, satyr plays-burlesque treatment of hydrology (often ridiculing gods or heroes and their adventures) the boisterous action occurred in a rural setting and included vigorous dancing as well as indecent language and gestures (served as aftertastes to tragedies providing comic relief from the serious plays).
Comedy-grew out of improvisations by the leaders of phallic songs, provided pop for considerable byplay and mockery between participants and spectators, mimes, commentary on contemporary society/politics/theatre/war. Dramatic festivals, Author held many roles (actor/trainer/composer/supervisor).
All actors were men, all actors wore masks, all actors played more than 1 role, much of the dialogue was sung or delivered as recitative, and dance was part of many scenes, emphasis on voice, facial expressions had no importance, focus on conventionalism, stylized, symbolic gesture movements. Music and dance-M accompanied passages of recitative and was used for special effects (flute important), dance was important-pantomime big chorus danced wildly at end of plays. Costumes adapted from those worn in everyday Greek life.
Stages and Staging-constructed on public land, stone risers for standing audiences, rectangular performance areas, orchestra was circular, scene buildings (scene)-one or more doors, an upper level, used as a background (temple, palace or other type of buildings), alter scenes-pinkies and perestroika, most tragedies occur in a single location, appears unlikely that illusionist was ever attempted during the 5th century as evidence is inconclusive. Limited amount of machinery available for special effects-crane, jellylike and machine, stage properties-altars In middle, not much furniture except couches.
Auditorium and scene separate architectural units. Explain the legislations between Greek cultural life and the theatre during the Golden age: Dramatic festivals-Greeks honored their gods through one or more annual festivals, four annual ones in honor of Dionysus during winter months, City Dionysus-commemorated the coming of Dionysus to Athens was held each yr and extended over several days, was a civic and religious festival, was a showcase for Athenian wealth and culture, open to all Greek world.
Competition for tragedy was added to this in 534 as an outgrowth of the diathermy competition, satyr plays then added, awarded prizes to winners judges were drawn, and then voted), then added prizes for actors and a victors sponsor also erected monuments to commemorate their victories. The Lenin festival added dramatic activities in 442 held at Dionysus theatre, Rural Dionysian-plays by traveling actors.
Authors of plays had to apply to the archon for a chorus, large share of the expense of play production borne by the chore, chosen by the archon from wealthy citizens who performed this duty In rotation as a part of their civic responsibilities, choruses-underwrote the training and costuming of chorus/paid the musicians/actors and supplied repertories. There were political advert to having sponsored the winning production.
Imagine how the period’s dramatic and theatrical conventions would affect the performance of Illustrate: look at essay, notes above, hysteria play and pas 19-27. Define the vocabulary terms, identify the people, and state their significance to theatre history: Postmistress-A tyrant, who redistributed land, promoted farming and foreign trade, made Athens the leading center of the arts, and established or enlarged numerous festivals, including the City Dionysian, which was to be the major home of drama.
Euripides-a playwright in the 5th century, wrote about 90 plays, was very popular but not highly appreciated because he introduced subjects thought unsuited to the stage and questioned traditional values, his characters often quested the gods’ sense of justice, dramatic method not clear, thought dangerous because of his ideas and artistically inferior because of his dramatic techniques, counterbalanced with realistic strokes in characterization, dialogue and costuming.
Orchestra-dancing place, earliest feature of the theatre of Dionysus, was the only original essential feature nice the audience sat or stood on the hillside, Was circular app 60 Ft in diameter. Old Comedy-first nine pays written by Aristotelian, all while Athens was in a protracted war against its greatest rival, Sparta, commentary on contemporary society, most events couldn’t occur in everyday life, but parallels with real life were clear. Classical Ideal- In Greek art and culture, the principles of reason, order, harmony, and balance were most highly valued.
These qualities have been associated with “classical” style throughout the history of art, music, dance, and theater. Artists from later periods in history ought to emulate what they believed to be the highest standards of aesthetics-?reason, order, harmony, and balance-?as established by the Greeks. These aesthetic standards have come to be known as the classical idea. Thesis-credited with the invention of tragedy, the first form of drama in 534 BCC, created dialogue, was the first actor/dramatist.
Aristotelian- comedic playwright in the fifth century, (old and middle comedies), most noteworthy characteristic was his commentary on contemporary society/ politics/theatre and above all the war with Sparta (Peloponnesus War). Scene-scene building, one or more doors, an upper level, became the background for action, could meet the demands of most plays. Dues ex machine-god from the machine, to describe any contrived ending (crane over usage for the appearance of gods).
Happy idea- the problem to be tested in Greek Old Comedy, usually established in the prologue. In Illustrate the happy idea is that the women should refrain from sex with their husbands until the war is ended, rather far fetched (sex strike to end war). Sophocles- famous playwright of the 5th century, introduced the third actor, wrote more Han 120 plays, won 24 contests, fixed the size Of the chorus at 15 members, first use of scene painting, increased emphasis on mind characters and reduced the role of the chorus.
Meander-Greek dramatist, best known rep of Athenian New Comedy, frequent winner at Leonia festival (not much in chi 2). New Comedy-began in 336, when Alexander the Great came to power during the Hellenic period (not much in chi 2). Ignored political issues and favored a more generalized concern 4 love/fin worries/ and familial or societal relationships. Dionysus-the Greek god of wine and fertility, was worshiped by any, son of Zeus and smell, reared by satyrs, was killed, dismembered and then resurrected (peg 16), story reps natural cycle of the seasons.
City Dionysian-commemorated the coming of Dionysus to Athens, is a civic and religious festival for whole Greek world, showcasing Athenian wealth and culture. (PDF notes). (self-check quiz) Lesson 3: Tragedy and Greek Dramatic Theory Explain Aristotle definition of tragedy and understand its component parts: A tragedy is an imitation of an action that is serious and complete and has sufficient size; written in language that is made pleasing.. ; presented by those ho act and not by narrative, exciting pity and fear and bring about the catharsis [purging] of emotions.
He writes that tragedy is an “imitation of an action” so that his readers recognize that what happens on stage is indeed an imitation of reality, not the real thing. His choice of the word action to describe what is being imitated is significant, an action is the process of producing an effect… Which takes time and involves more than 1 step. By choosing this word, he implies that time will pass in the course of the tragedy and that a series of steps will be employed to accomplish it (move of actors n stage, psychological action of the characters, whole play as a system of actions).
Says tragedy is serious, meaning that it deals with profound and universal problems, such as the struggle between good and evil, most show Pl in relation to forces greater than themselves , like the gods or fate, emphasizes that the material of tragedy isn’t trivial. Also writes that is it complete, should be a unified structural whole, with a begin, mid and end, should have an orderly arrangement of parts that is logical and satisfying (if any are removed, the whole is disturbed). Writes that tragedy deals with good Pl of high status, not servants or common people.
Tragic heroes-noble, possess moral elevation, status in com affects others MIM welfare, leaders or rulers, tragic flaw that causes downfall. Must be written in an elevated poetic style. By pity, he seems to mean something more like empathy or compassion for the characters on stage, audience should feel the injustice the hero suffers. By fear, refers not just to terror, but anxious concern, awe, reverence, or wonder, audience member fears for the welfare of the hero and their own welfare, the emotions of pity and fear aroused by the tragedy enable us to enter into the suffering of the characters and help us to see their failings in ourselves.
Play must allow 4 audience to be relieved Of their emotions, at end of a good tragedy order is restored. All tragedies have plot/ character/thought/diction/music and spectacle. Understand how Aristotle definition of tragedy can be applied to a play of the period like Antigen: excites pity and fear raises and lowers the audience’s emotions, takes time and involves more than 1 step, times passes, deals with a universal problem, deals with people of high status, tragic hero-Croon and maybe Antigen.
Imagine how Greek dramatic and staging conventions applied to the performance of Antigen: (do before midterm prep) Define the vocabulary terms in relation to Aristotle definition: Aristotle- a philosopher known for his treatises on logic and natural sciences, wrote the Poetics, defined tragedy The Republic-written by Plato, criticized Greek drama, saying it had a negative effect on people and should be banned from the ideal state because it aroused impure emotions The poetics-written by Aristotle in response to the Republic, is his exploration of literature, particularly dramatic literature, and is agonized as the 1st piece of dramatic criticism, formed the foundation for almost all DC written up to 20th century (defended drama). Hamster-means missing the mark/tragic flaw, Aristotle said all tragic heroes possessed this and were free from error leading to their downfalls. Plato- philosopher who argued for censorship and strict state control over drama (wrote the republic peg 34). Catharsis-means to purge or get rid of, Aristotle said tragedy results in the catharsis of such emotions that tragedies arouse and relive. (read PDF notes) Lesson 4: Theatre and Society in Ancient Rome Describe how theatre and drama developed in the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire: Theatre-http://innovation. NBC. Du/Eli/speediest/roman. Tm, borrowed Greek ideas and improved on them, year 240 BCC marked beginning of Roman theatre, Rome took over large Greek territories in which theatre had flourished, they were familiar with Greek art and theatre and regular drama was introduced to them, was dominated by variety entertainment more closely related to Greek mimes, encompasses acrobatics/trained animals/jugglers/athletic events/music and dance/ dramatic skits/short farces/full;length dramas. First theatre performance in 364 BCC (performers from Torture (Etruscan tradition), from improvised abusive and obscene dialogues exchanged in verses and with masked clowns at festivals). Also influenced by Telltale farce (275 BCC) featured stock characters doing short improve stories. Rome theatre was far more highly developed, varied and extensive than in any earlier culture.
Drama-began with Androgenic (around 240 BCC), Navies (235), Plateaus and Terrace, they eliminated the chorus, added musical accompaniment to the dialogue. Dominated by minor forms (telltale farce and mime performance) Explain the ajar staging and performance conventions of the Roman theatre: Performance- More speaking actors than Greeks, Chorus not used as often as the Greeks did, Actors played one part, Masks still used, Stock Characters embellished: series of stereotyped characters, used often in comedy, easily identifiable, anticipate behavior – reactions. Staging-all action takes place in street (scenes that would logically occur inside are placed outside).
Mime and pantomime were popular, built on level ground, stage was raised 5 feet (front placed on the diameter of the orchestra circle, size was determined by the heather (100-300 Ft in length, 20-30 Ft deep), awnings were introduced to protect crowd from sun, Illumination was provided by windows, basic scenic background was a science fronts (series of houses opening onto a city street, rep by the stage). Central doorway for principal parsonage, side doors for lesser characters, front curtain was introduced, automated theatre. Dominated architectural design of Europe and America for centuries, Romans added more realistic scenery to plays, Since Roman plays were about Greeks there was always an alter on stage.
Actors-histrionic, majority were male for only in mimes did women appear on stage. Comedy and tragedy-male actors, masks and doubled in roles, tragedy-delivery slow, comedy-conversational, costumes followed the Greek New Comedy (everyday Athenian dress). Describe the non-literary entertainments enjoyed by the Romans: oldest and most popular was chariot racing (races were included amount the events of several religious festivals, 4 main factions engendered bitter rivalries)-others were given in circuses built to accommodate the races: horseradish, mock cavalry battles, footraces, acrobatics, prizefighting, wrestling, exhibitions of lid and trained animals, and fights between animals or between animals and men.
Gladiator contests-funeral games given by private Indus (amphitheaters built for this) contests became more elaborate, accompanied by mood music and sound effects and costume and scenic elements, special schools trained them, females fought too, wild animal fights held there too (trained beasts), sea battles were most spectacular-amphitheaters sometimes flooded for this, machinery for raising and lowering scenic elements and performers became highly developed, were presented in festivals alongside lays. Analyze how Roman staging conventions might have affected the performance of Sedulous: scenic arrangements? Talking to crowd? Where did they hide? Not sure what to put…
Define the vocabulary terms, identify the people and state their significance to theatre history: Titus Musicians Plateaus-Roman comic writer, one of two surviving roman comedy authors, admired for his Latin dialogue, his varied poetic meters and witty jokes, best known for his farce, wrote Sedulous Lucid Anuses Seneca- wrote most of the existing Roman tragedies, famous for his works on rhetoric and hilltop’s and became one of the most influential men in Rome after his Pupil Nero was named emperor in 54 CE, was a major influence in the Renaissance (plays divided into 5 episodes, plays were models for the use of technical devices, used elaborate speeches, preoccupation with magic, characters dominated by single obsessive passion) Mimes- 21 1 BCC, was literary and nonliterary type, used to designate almost any type Of entertainment offered in the theatre, was a dramatic form that was shore quite elaborate and complex in its use of spectacle and large casts Scare irons- basic scenic ground in the roman theatre, facade was treated as a series of houses opening onto a street, rep by the stage Claque- organize body of persons who, either for hire or from other motives, band together applaud or deride a performance and thereby attempt to influence the audience, audience was free to come and go and express praise or condemnation publics Eternities Afar (Terrace)- born in 195 BCC, plots complex, adapted and combined in a single play more than 1 Greek origin sympathetic treatment of characters, one of 2 surviving Greek comics, everyday polite conversation for language in plays Vitreous- Roman arc rote 10 books on all aspects of architecture and engineering including theatres Pantomime- was a forerunner of modern ballet for it was a storytelling dance, under roman empire became very popular, a solo dark emperors and nobles often kept performers, usurped position of tragedy Machine- a mimic sea battle and the specially constructed basin in such a battle sometimes took place. These entertainments also took plat flooded amphitheaters. The opposing sides were prisoners of war or core who fought until one side was destroyed.