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Theatre History Rituals to Renaissance. Rituals - 38,000-5000 BC Oldest form of expression - storytelling Begins with primitive man as dance and rhythmic.

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Presentation on theme: "Theatre History Rituals to Renaissance. Rituals - 38,000-5000 BC Oldest form of expression - storytelling Begins with primitive man as dance and rhythmic."— Presentation transcript:

1 Theatre History Rituals to Renaissance

2 Rituals - 38, BC Oldest form of expression - storytelling Begins with primitive man as dance and rhythmic movement These rituals explained tradition, religion, why thing happen in nature Rituals evolved into pantomime - stories shown not told Oldest form of expression - storytelling Begins with primitive man as dance and rhythmic movement These rituals explained tradition, religion, why thing happen in nature Rituals evolved into pantomime - stories shown not told

3 Egypt B.C. “Pyramid” plays - religious plays about the deceased king’s soul being resurrected Coronation Festival plays - celebration of the new pharaoh Passion plays - murder of a king; battle, voyages, and a scary resurrection scene “Ra” plays - Ra ( sun god) fought Apophis (snake god) of the underworld. Ra always won. “Pyramid” plays - religious plays about the deceased king’s soul being resurrected Coronation Festival plays - celebration of the new pharaoh Passion plays - murder of a king; battle, voyages, and a scary resurrection scene “Ra” plays - Ra ( sun god) fought Apophis (snake god) of the underworld. Ra always won.

4 Greeks B.C. Performances grew out of religious festivals in honor of Greek God Dionysis Festivals (5-6 days) were held once a year in the THEATRON (“watching space”) which is where we get our word THEATRE All citizens were expected to attend Largest seated 1400 (1/2 population of Athens) Theaters were semi-circles built of stone into the hillside Performances grew out of religious festivals in honor of Greek God Dionysis Festivals (5-6 days) were held once a year in the THEATRON (“watching space”) which is where we get our word THEATRE All citizens were expected to attend Largest seated 1400 (1/2 population of Athens) Theaters were semi-circles built of stone into the hillside

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6 Greek Theatre (continued) Greek Theatre focused on TRAGEDY (issues of life, death, the gods) Actors all male/wore masks Chorus (12-50) acted out the story/life of the Gods together First producer/director/actor was THESPIS - “invented” acting when he steps out of the chorus to answer them --- this created stage dialogue Greek Theatre focused on TRAGEDY (issues of life, death, the gods) Actors all male/wore masks Chorus (12-50) acted out the story/life of the Gods together First producer/director/actor was THESPIS - “invented” acting when he steps out of the chorus to answer them --- this created stage dialogue

7 Greek Theatre (continued) - Playwrights Aeschylus - (525?-456 B.C.) “Father of Tragedy”; considered to be the first playwright Idea of the play is the most important thing - not the character Adds a 2nd actor Sophocles ( B.C.) Writes about right vs wrong, the idea that man can not solve all the problems in the world Focuses on character -- drives the plot Euripides (480?-406 B.C.) First “Modern” playwright Writes plays of characters in relation to society and mocks them Characters are realistic No chorus Aeschylus - (525?-456 B.C.) “Father of Tragedy”; considered to be the first playwright Idea of the play is the most important thing - not the character Adds a 2nd actor Sophocles ( B.C.) Writes about right vs wrong, the idea that man can not solve all the problems in the world Focuses on character -- drives the plot Euripides (480?-406 B.C.) First “Modern” playwright Writes plays of characters in relation to society and mocks them Characters are realistic No chorus

8 Roman Theatre - 6th century B.C. Borrowed from the Greeks and “improved” on them Less philosophical than the Greeks Actors/performers were called “histriones” Encompassed more than drama : acrobatics, gladiators, jugglers, athletics, chariots races, naumachia (sea battles), boxing, venationes (animal fights) Borrowed from the Greeks and “improved” on them Less philosophical than the Greeks Actors/performers were called “histriones” Encompassed more than drama : acrobatics, gladiators, jugglers, athletics, chariots races, naumachia (sea battles), boxing, venationes (animal fights)

9 Roman Theatre (continued) Pantomime/Mime - solo dance, with music (lutes, pipes, cymbals) and a chorus. Used masks, story-telling, mythology or historical stories, usually serious but sometimes comic Spoken Usually short Sometimes elaborate casts and spectacle Serious or comic (satiric) No masks Had women Violence and sex depicted literally Scoffed at Christianity Needless to say, the Church did not look kindly at Mime. Pantomime/Mime - solo dance, with music (lutes, pipes, cymbals) and a chorus. Used masks, story-telling, mythology or historical stories, usually serious but sometimes comic Spoken Usually short Sometimes elaborate casts and spectacle Serious or comic (satiric) No masks Had women Violence and sex depicted literally Scoffed at Christianity Needless to say, the Church did not look kindly at Mime.

10 Roman Theatre (continued) Theaters are free-standing buildings with stadium seating Large stages (20-40 deep and feet long) Could seat 10-15,000 people Stage covered with a roof (often Audience covered with a awning to protect them from the sun Trap doors common Around 78 B.C. a cooling system put in place --- air blown over streams of water Sand on the stage floor Theaters are free-standing buildings with stadium seating Large stages (20-40 deep and feet long) Could seat 10-15,000 people Stage covered with a roof (often Audience covered with a awning to protect them from the sun Trap doors common Around 78 B.C. a cooling system put in place --- air blown over streams of water Sand on the stage floor

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12 Roman Playwrights Titus Maccius Plautus ( B.C.) 130+ plays total Wrote comedy Extremely popular in his own time Lots of slapstick and dialog with short lines Publius Terenius Afer (Terence) (195 or 185 to 159 B.C.) Came to Rome as a boy slace, educated and freed 6 plays (all “survived”) More complex stories --- all from Greek originals Less popular than Plautus Lucius Annaeus seneca (4 or 5 B.C. to 65 A.D.) Wrote 9 plays - 5 adapted from Euripides Popularity declined and committed suicide in 65 A.D. Characters in plays dominated by a single passion Violence and horror onstage (unlike Greeks) Titus Maccius Plautus ( B.C.) 130+ plays total Wrote comedy Extremely popular in his own time Lots of slapstick and dialog with short lines Publius Terenius Afer (Terence) (195 or 185 to 159 B.C.) Came to Rome as a boy slace, educated and freed 6 plays (all “survived”) More complex stories --- all from Greek originals Less popular than Plautus Lucius Annaeus seneca (4 or 5 B.C. to 65 A.D.) Wrote 9 plays - 5 adapted from Euripides Popularity declined and committed suicide in 65 A.D. Characters in plays dominated by a single passion Violence and horror onstage (unlike Greeks)

13 Medieval Theatre ( ) Theatre is dead in Europe but active in Asia Traveling Troupes performed on wagons which opened to create a fixed stage - used props and costumes but in Europe no women performers 3 Types of plays performed Miracle Plays - enacted the lives of saints Mystery Plays - Bible stories sometimes also called “passion plays” Morality Plays - taught moral lessons - right vs wrong and the struggle between good and evil for the soul of Man Theatre is dead in Europe but active in Asia Traveling Troupes performed on wagons which opened to create a fixed stage - used props and costumes but in Europe no women performers 3 Types of plays performed Miracle Plays - enacted the lives of saints Mystery Plays - Bible stories sometimes also called “passion plays” Morality Plays - taught moral lessons - right vs wrong and the struggle between good and evil for the soul of Man

14 Italian Renaissance ( ) Built indoor theaters Church no longer “calling the shots” Commedia Dell’Arte - 1st form of improvisation; still traveling troupes that performed for $ from the crowd that gathered; plot summary learned by actors beforehand Considered to be the 1st “professional” theatre First in Europe to put Women on stage Built indoor theaters Church no longer “calling the shots” Commedia Dell’Arte - 1st form of improvisation; still traveling troupes that performed for $ from the crowd that gathered; plot summary learned by actors beforehand Considered to be the 1st “professional” theatre First in Europe to put Women on stage

15 English Renaissance ( ) Focused on the plays of Shakespeare, Marlowe, and Jonson Theatre saw an incredible burst of energy and talent -- 1 in 8 people regularly went to the theatre Purpose to entertain the rich. They got the good seats in the balcony and the poor stood below Roles were played by men (including women roles First time costumes fit the character Focused on the plays of Shakespeare, Marlowe, and Jonson Theatre saw an incredible burst of energy and talent -- 1 in 8 people regularly went to the theatre Purpose to entertain the rich. They got the good seats in the balcony and the poor stood below Roles were played by men (including women roles First time costumes fit the character

16 Shakespeare April 24,1564-April 24,1616 Noted to be the greatest playwright in history, although authenticity is questioned by many. He was an poet, actor, playwright, and producer Wrote 38 plays: histories, comedies, tragedies, and fantasies Balanced plot and character Noted to be the greatest playwright in history, although authenticity is questioned by many. He was an poet, actor, playwright, and producer Wrote 38 plays: histories, comedies, tragedies, and fantasies Balanced plot and character

17 The Globe Theater Built in considered “indoor” Thrust Stage 3 Stories high Audience Sits around the stage Little furniture Burned down in 1613 during a performance of Henry 8th Built in considered “indoor” Thrust Stage 3 Stories high Audience Sits around the stage Little furniture Burned down in 1613 during a performance of Henry 8th

18 The Globe today

19 The Globe Today

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21 French Renaissance ( ) Best playwright - Jean-Baptiste Moliere ( ) wrote comedies that focued on social “rules”; also called “Comedy of Manners” French Theatre had several rules Unities - time, place, and action had to be 24 hours or less Purity of Form - no mixing of Comedy and Tragedy “Verisimilitude” - the appearance of truth with the following categories - Reality (could happen in real life), Morality (teach a lesson), Generality (normal attirbutes), and Decorum (stereotypes) Best playwright - Jean-Baptiste Moliere ( ) wrote comedies that focued on social “rules”; also called “Comedy of Manners” French Theatre had several rules Unities - time, place, and action had to be 24 hours or less Purity of Form - no mixing of Comedy and Tragedy “Verisimilitude” - the appearance of truth with the following categories - Reality (could happen in real life), Morality (teach a lesson), Generality (normal attirbutes), and Decorum (stereotypes)

22 19th Century Theatre ( ) Naturalism ( ) The relationship between character and enviroment 2 important “creators” - Anton Chekhov (Russian playwright) and Konstantin Stanislavsky ( ). Both men demanded natural reponses from their actors. Psychological reactions of the characters could be more important than the situation itself. Stanislavsky created “The System” or “Method” acting - actor uses an “emotional memory” to create character/motivation. Naturalism ( ) The relationship between character and enviroment 2 important “creators” - Anton Chekhov (Russian playwright) and Konstantin Stanislavsky ( ). Both men demanded natural reponses from their actors. Psychological reactions of the characters could be more important than the situation itself. Stanislavsky created “The System” or “Method” acting - actor uses an “emotional memory” to create character/motivation.

23 19th Century Theatre ( ) Realism ( ) A style showing life as “it really is” reflects real life The FOURTH WALL is established as a result - the idea that the actors can see through an invisible wall into the lives of the characters. Henrik Ibsen ( ) Playwright who saw theatre as a means to challenge “mistakes” he saw in the society he lived in. Most famous play A Doll’s House helped pave the way for women to be seen as equals. Realism ( ) A style showing life as “it really is” reflects real life The FOURTH WALL is established as a result - the idea that the actors can see through an invisible wall into the lives of the characters. Henrik Ibsen ( ) Playwright who saw theatre as a means to challenge “mistakes” he saw in the society he lived in. Most famous play A Doll’s House helped pave the way for women to be seen as equals.


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