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Eastern Drama History of Drama.

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Presentation on theme: "Eastern Drama History of Drama."— Presentation transcript:

1 Eastern Drama History of Drama

2 Asian/Eastern Theatre
As the world’s largest continent, there are 1,000’s of identified theatre forms. Asian drama is almost never just spoken Chanted Danced Mimed Sung

3 Asian/Eastern Theatre
Asian drama that is just spoken is considered influenced by the West Imagery, rhyme, and alliteration are as important as dialogue and logic is in Western Drama More visual Reading plays not seeing them is an odd past time to the culture

4 Asian/Eastern Theatre
Brilliant costumes Thick makeup Elegant danced battle scenes Live instruments

5 Becoming an Actor Train through an intense apprentice system
Most are born or adopted into their trade Train from early childhood through early middle age

6 Today Western influence is evident
However, its near-universal consonance with folk history, ancient religions, and cultural myths is remarkable

7 Timeline Hindu (Theatre of India) began 500 B.C.
Chinese Drama began as early as 2000 B.C. Japanese Drama began in 6th century but was formalized in 14th century A.D.

8 Hindu Drama 500 B.C. - present
Golden Age of Hindu Drama B.C. Reflected caste system – people are classified by heredity Placed in caste when born and could not change occupations. No violent or improper actions permitted (including kissing, yawning, or sleeping) No mention of calamities like plague or war.

9 Hindu Theatre 96 feet x 48 feet
Divided equally into stage and auditorium 4 pillars, each with a different color Indicated where different castes could sit. Curtain or door divided stage in 2 parts, one for acting and one for dressing rooms Formal scenery was not used

10 Actors Actors relied on elaborate costumes Used Dance
Symbolic gestures Music Also relied on fixed characters: Clown Narrator

11 Language Plays were written and performed in Sanskrit
A language of higher castes Lower people spoke a hybrid of Sanskrit and local dialect Dramas were mostly for nobility, since lower castes couldn’t understand them.

12 Indian Epic Literature
Most plays were based on early Indian epics These epics were well-known to royals

13 Famous Indian Playwrights
Bhasa Kalidasa

14 Bhasa Most productive playwright Wrote in 4th century A.D.
13 plays survive “Father of Hindu Drama”

15 Kalidasa A.D. 373-415 Wrote Shakuntala, masterpiece of Indian drama
Subtitled as “The Fatal Ring,” or “The Recovered Ring” Wrote in lyric poetry

16 Shakuntala Story elements include: a secret marriage, forgetfulness caused by a curse, and a magic ring. Also included ideas from Indian philosophy, religion, and psychology. Serious and comic elements Performed today in play, opera, and ballet form.

17 Misc. Hindu information
May have been the first culture to permit women to act onstage Used mime elements with dance Hindu drama always ended happily

18 Chinese Theater 2000 B.C. - present
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Chinese Theater B.C. - present video

19 Early Chinese Theater Dates back to 2000 B.C., interpretive dancing became dramatic. Put on during ancestor worship and military celebrations. Not as a form of entertainment Audience included only the emperor, priests, and high court. Classical Language style

20 Ideal Chinese Drama Every play has a moral
Some short (30 minutes) others broken into acts which may not be the same story Singing actor (similar to Greek chorus)

21 Subjects Historical and contemporary
Rarely about love (marriages were arranged) but sometimes about faithfulness to husband Comedies Emperors who “save the day” Frequent scenes of violence, suicide, and torture. Good actor can accurately portray torture No matter all the violence, always end happily

22 Theatre and Costumes Little scenery No curtain
Costly, gorgeous costumes Heavy make-up

23 Actors Not considered high in society
Women forbidden until 18th century 56 actors in a troupe All actors must know plays—no prompter

24 Famous Plays Little Orphan in the House of Tchao The Sorrows of Han
Brought to France in 1735 Translated by Voltaire The Sorrows of Han The Story of the Magic Lute 14th century

25 Props Symbolic props: White paper from red umbrella = snow
Man with whip = riding on horseback Actor with flag = army Flag with wavy lines = river

26 Colors Every actor wore colors that signified a meaning
Red = faithfulness Blue = cruelty White = evil Black = worn by prop man to remain “invisible”

27 Propaganda Period Communists took over China after WWII
After 1949, the government rewrote many of the well-known classical plays to preach government policy

28 Japanese Drama

29 Early Japanese Drama Earliest records from Heian period (794-1185)
Court entertainments Juggling, skits, dancing Very few details and proof of theatre before this time.

30 Nō or Noh Drama Emerged in 14th century Formal and classical
Musical Drama Short, philosophical studies with poetry, dance, and music Series of sedate postures to express an attitude.

31 Noh Theater Wooden stage (18 ft. square) Audience sits on 3 sides
Pointed roof over stage with 4 pillars Polished floor with jars underneath for good sound.

32 Actors Actors enter from green room through a bridge (a narrow corridor). Each character bows as he enters Announces name origin purpose Chorus (6-8 men) sits at left and provides chanting background music.

33 Actors cont. 1500 professional Noh actors today
Begin at age 3 and study throughout their life Mostly men although a few women whose fathers are professional Noh actors have begun to perform

34 Scenery and Props Single tree tapestry hanging on back wall.
Common props: fan, boat, altar, well

35 Noh Costumes Silk was worn by all characters, no matter what station.
Cut of costume and make-up determined social class. Major actors wore wooden masks expressing stereotypical expressions.

36 Noh Masks

37 Noh Plays Characters based on literary or historical figures already familiar to the audience Traditionally an all day experience. Now, one Noh play, followed by a short Kyogen play, ending with another Noh 250 plays

38 Kyogen Comic interlude during Noh plays to break from depressing tones. Farce comedies without music and no masks. Usually included a summary of Act 1 Video-Short Noh with Kyogen

39 Kabuki The common man’s drama Began in 1600
Became a form of theater by 1616. Women banned from acting in it because of sexual advances. Men promoted the theater. More melodramatic and sensational than Noh theater—often rowdy Many different subjects

40 Kabuki Theater Wide platform
Characters enter from “flowerway,” a ramp from the back of the auditorium Trap door on floor for dramatic entrances and exits Revolving stages and the trap door have been borrowed from Western influence in recent years. Extravagant scenery

41 Kabuki Costumes Elaborate silk costumes
Thick, detailed make-up is used Wigs denote station, personality, and age. Wigs may weigh up to 25 pounds. video

42 Japanese Acting Mostly men Life-long study
Symbolic, artificial, rhythmical Every movement has a meaning

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