Medieval and RenaissanceTheater “Oh, how fine it is to know a thing or two.” -Moliere
Classical Theater (Greek & Roman theater) in its form and function pretty much died out in the Dark Ages - Theater needed to be reinvented…
MYSTERY CIRCLES AND PAGEANTS You might want to take note of this picture as I’m pretty sure you will be doing something very similar, very soon.
Medieval Theater Religion & Ritual: Just as in Classical Theater, Medieval Theater began in the church as ceremony - usually in the form of chanting Music: Most original Medieval dramas had a lot of music in it (Gregorian chant) some were all music Pageant: a raised wagon platform that carried actors who were acting out a section of a story. Mystery Cycle: a group of pageant wagons put together to form a long story, usually from the Bible
Pageant Plays Style: Despite their religious content these plays were performed in a lively, energetic and entertaining fashion. Often times sections of the story would be left out to make sure that the energy and life in the story would be felt throughout the performance Interlude: This was a small break in the story to perform a sketch and to give the actors in the pageant a break. These interludes were wildly funny and filled with physical comedy. “Sketch vs. Skit” What’s the difference?
The Chester Mystery Circle (1375) Fall of Lucifer Creation and Fall Noah’s Flood Lot, Abraham, & Isaac Nativity Shepherds Three Kings Lazarus Entry into Jerusalem Betrayal of Christ Passion Crucifixion Harrowing of Hell Ressurection Ascention Heaven
Storytelling • What began as simply reciting the story turned into an exciting dramatic presentation • It was of the utmost importance not simply that the words were said - but HOW they were said • Focus became on speaking skills and presentation STORYTELLING IS THE ART - VOICE IS THE TOOL Intonation - High or low sounds in the voice Articulation - How clearly you speak Resonation - Is your voice able to be heard? “DAY OF THE READER” Example
THE RENAISSANCE THEATRE SPACE YOU DO NOT NEED TO COPY THIS DOWN JUST UNDERSTAND THAT AT THIS POINT THE THEATRE SPACE MOVES INDOORS - THAT WILL BE ON THE TEST…I PROMISE.
THE RENAISSANCE THEATRE Buildings: Ornate architecture with great columns and intricate arches and sculptures. Sets & Backdrops: It was common for famous painters to come and paint sets. Raphael was said to have painted several backdrops for a production. Perspective: This was a tool used, for the first time during this time period, to indicate things that were closer and things that were further away in distance
Types of Renaissance Theater Intermizzi • A show combining music, amazing spectacle, and great elaborate sets • Mythological events portrayed in tableau “tableau” - French for posed position “picture” Opera Seria • Beginnings of today’s opera • Some spoken word - mostly music FIRST APPEARANCE OF TODAY’S ORCHESTRA PIT
Types of Renaissance Theater Commedia dell’ Arte • Translated means “theatre of the professional artist” • Encourages inventiveness, lightness, and is fun • Improvisation around the same general plot with stock characters but no fixed script or dialogue • Dates back to 1570 • Plays stock characters were well identified by their costumes, colors, and the masks they wore. • The word “zany” comes from this art form and is used to describe the servant characters from this genre of theater
Types of Commedia dell’ Arte Characters Pantalone:Old man, Columbine’s father or husband Il Dottore: Pedant, know-it-all Il Capitano: Swash-buckling soldier, braggart Arlecchino: Comic servant, Columbine’s lover Pulcinella:Comic servant, humped-back, crooked nose Columbine:Female maid servant, Arlecchino’s lover Pedrolino: Comic servant, clown Mezitino: Comic male servant Scapino: Comic male servant, crafty, quick footed Scaramuccia: Comic servant