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Intro to Intro to Theatre

Intro to Intro to Theatre

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Intro to Intro to Theatre

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  1. Intro to Introto Theatre Professor: Melanie Blood TA’s: Maggie, Dan, Jason, Abby, Stephanie Section 1 MWF 11:30 Dramatic Conflicts and War

  2. Syllabus • Play texts • Performances • Online readings and lecture notes • 2 multiple choice tests, 25% each • Short reading quizzes, 20% • Participation in breakout sections, 15% • Small group projects due at sections, 15% • Extra credit opportunities, 10 pts max

  3. Origins of Drama • Cave paintings • Combined purpose: ritual and entertainment • Narrative structure • Conflict • Mimesis • Song and dance

  4. Mesolithic Uzbekistan Neolithic India Cave Paintings

  5. Why drama? • Create narratives • Enacting makes “real” • Humans learn through drama, as children and adults • Scopophilia • Mirror identification • Conflicts must be substantial, or not worthwhile

  6. Dramatic conflict and war • Dramatic conflicts need substance • War makes consequences of choices life and death • Justification for war • Construction of “enemy” • Arguments against war • Ethics of wartime actions • Responsibilities of leaders and individuals • Adjustment to peace, PTSD

  7. Artist, Medium and Process, Audience paradigm • Compare to other art forms • Individual artist vs. group • Primary and interpretive artists • Actor’s medium is self • Dialogue, representing action • Other media almost infinite • Process of group creation affects product • Audience is live and collective

  8. Representation of action Conflict required for narrative Multiple actors with live presence Live, collective audience Marshall McLuhan (1960’s) The Medium is the Message Drama effective art form for social problems

  9. Real vs. Unreal in Theatre • Real People • Real actions (ok some faking) • Real emotions (usually) • Some real objects • Live presence • Story, characters, situations and dialogue fictional, rehearsed • Special effects, lights, some scenery fake • Ritual repetition every night More is “real” vs. most art forms

  10. Plato’s Cave Book VII Republic Prisoners chained in a cave see only shadows on a wall of objects passing between them and a fire. This is real to them; and they play a game to name them quickly. One is released. Sees the objects casting the shadow, then exits cave. Jean Baudrillard’s Simulacrum “Simulacra and Simulations” Copies do not approach the original; name game not about “real” but we accept if for real. Eventually we can’t tell what is real and what a copy; all are simulations. Art and Reality

  11. Is there a clear Reality? Plato had to tell a story to explain his view of reality. He used allegory. It’s not true. Can we understand reality without art? Our senses are flawed. Our experiences are different. We all understand the world through narratives and images -- see any religion. Art can tell new stories. Or old stories in new ways. Or help us identify with someone different. Although framed as NOT real, it partakes of same slippage of simulations Baudrillard discussed.

  12. Live Theatre in US Today • Professional, for Profit: Broadway, some tours of Broadway shows • Professional, Not-for-Profit: Off-Broadway, Regional Theatres, many tours, some Off-off-Broadway • Semi-Professional, NFP: Off-off-Broadway, smaller regional theatres, most ethnic, identity-based and children’s theatre • Educational theatre • Community theatre • Performance

  13. For more on range of theatre in New York City, see End of first slideshow