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INTRODUCTION TO THEATRE STYLES!!!! The “isms”—romanticism, realism and naturalism.

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Presentation on theme: "INTRODUCTION TO THEATRE STYLES!!!! The “isms”—romanticism, realism and naturalism."— Presentation transcript:


2 INTRODUCTION TO THEATRE STYLES!!!! The “isms”—romanticism, realism and naturalism

3 ROMANTICISM  Cultural movement during the 1800’s  Rejected neoclassical rules and suggested that genius creates its own rules  Focused on emotions, sentiment and imagination  Elaborately staged and used supernatural elements  Heroes were independent and defended individuality  Common theme was the gulf between human beings’ spiritual aspirations and their physical limitations

4 NATURALISM  Mid-19 th Century  Based on views on contemporary scientific theory  Aimed to present ordinary life as accurately as possible – no theatrical sense– in the extreme “slice of life” and “real flies on real meat”  Showed how human beings act in response to forces of nature and society that are beyond their control  Subject matter emphasized the boredom, depression, and frustration of contemporary life

5 REALISM  Late-19 th Century movement  Replaced the artificial romantic style with accurate depictions of people in plausible situations  Writers refused to make simple moral judgments or to resolve dramatic action neatly  Presents life as it actually is; characters talk, dress, and act as people in ordinary life do  Actors attempt to become their characters; living their lives in real room with the audience spying on them through the invisible fourth wall  Ushered in modern theatre and revolutionized contemporary theatre in every aspect, from scenery, to styles of acting, from dialogue to makeup

6 SYMBOLISM  Anti-realist movment between  Writers belived that drama should present the mystery of being and the cosmos—the infinite qualities of the human spirit and inner meaning of life  Characters were figures representative of the human condition  Stage pictures had only the bare essentials necessary to evoke the dramatic universe  Themes were chosen from myth of fairy tales and used poetic language and a deliberately artificial style of staging

7 EXISTENTIALISM  Philosophical doctrine developed after World War I  Rejects traditional beliefs  Writers believe there is little meaning to existence, that God does not exist, and that humanity is therefore alone in an irrational universe  An individual must accept responsibility for his/her own actions  Emphasis is on freedom and the moral responsibility of the individual and shows a distrust of philosophical idealism  Disillusionment  Plays are based on traditional cause-and-effect logic, and the characters are recognizable, fully developed human beings

8 EPIC/THEATRICALISM  Began by Bertolt Brecht  Reactions in the 1920’s and 30’s to an over-emphasis on artistic illusion and aesthetic emotion in the theatre  Believes that theatre should serve a social purpose of educating audiences  Narrators are often used to comment on the dramatic action  Political drama intended to appeal to reason rather than emotions that uses a journalistic, non-emotional style that incorporates signs, projections, films, etc.  Attempts to distance the audience from the action and characters— ”alienation effect”—in order to allow them to concentrate on a play’s message  Epic theater usually deals with history of foreign lands, covers a long time, shifts locale frequently, has intricate plots, and includes many characters

9 ABSURDISM  Genre of the 1950’s and 60’s  Stage conventions were abandoned in order to present a view of the world as meaningless and incomprehensible  Believe that much of what happens in life cannot be logically explained; it is ridiculous and absurd and presents human existence as futile  Plots do not have traditional structure  Characters are not realistic and they usually fail to communicate  Setting is frequently a strange, unrecognizable locale  Dialogue seems to make little sense and the language is unreliable  Writers are highly individualistic

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