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American Theatre. By Ä nna Williams. Drama. Most difficult writing style to learn. The Great White Way. NY Theatres. Most famous group of American theatres – Broadway 4 Groups Broadway Off Broadway Off-off Broadway Regional. Broadway.

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slide1

American Theatre

By Änna Williams

drama

Drama

Most difficult writing style to learn

ny theatres
NY Theatres
  • Most famous group of American theatres – Broadway
  • 4 Groups
    • Broadway
    • Off Broadway
    • Off-off Broadway
    • Regional
broadway

Broadway

Group of NY theatres on or near Broadway in Manhattan

More than 30 theatres

Ea. Seat more than 800 people

off broadway

Off Broadway

Established in 50’s

Beyond Broadway district

Seat less than 300 people

More experimental

Cheaper

off off broadway

Off-off Broadway

Group of 125 theatres

Often not-for-profit

Even more experimental

regional

Regional

Dramatic productions, especially yr-rd professional, outside NY City

i d like to thank all the little people
I’d like to thank all the “little people”
  • Small theatres produced any play, in any style, that commercial theatre won’t touch
  • Start new movements (realistic & absurd)
  • Against commercial theatre
comedy
Comedy
  • The main character overcomes major conflict & makes it humorous
  • Happy ending
  • Ex: Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple (1965)
tragedy
Tragedy
  • Main character never overcomes major conflict
  • Sad ending
  • Ex: Dale Wasserman’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (2001)
musicals
* Musicals *
  • Richard Rogers & Oscar Hammerstein
    • Collaborated on 10 musicals
    • Greatest achievement – uniting music & drama so songs advance plot & reveal characters
    • Hits include:
      • Oklahoma! (1943; Pulitzer)
      • South Pacific (1949; Pulitzer 1950)
      • Carousel (1945)
      • The King and I (1951)
      • The Sound of Music (1959)
realistic drama

Realistic Drama

“fourth wall” – wall removed so we can see the action

(percenium stage)

eugene o neill
Eugene O’Neill
  • 1st & most important figure in American drama
    • Put realistic drama on the map
  • 1936 – Nobel Prize in Lit.
  • Influences: August Strinberg, Henrik Ibsen, Anton Chekov
    • Slice-of-life technique
slide16

“People don’t go to the North Pole and fall off icebergs. They go to the office & quarrel with their wives & eat cabbage soup.”

-Anton Chekhov

realism in theatre
Realism in Theatre
  • Seen as a revolt against crude theatricalism
  • Theatre goes in cycles
    • Realism to theatricalism & back
tennessee williams 1911 1983
Tennessee Williams (1911-1983)
  • Playwright of our souls
  • Writing – delicate, sensuous, lush imagery, evocative rythms
  • Characters – often women/lost laides drowning in their own neuroses
  • Theatricalized realism w/ “music in the wings” or symbolic props
expressionist drama theatre of the absurd

Expressionist Drama(Theatre of the Absurd)

Revelation of characters’ interior consciousness w/o reference to logical sequence of events

beckett ionesco albee
Beckett, Ionesco, & Albee
  • Samuel Beckett & Eugene Ionesco founders
  • Edward Albee – most significant absurdist in U.S.
    • Unsympathetic examinations of the modern condition
    • Mix of theatricalism & biting dialogue
  • Plays static
  • Most one act
  • Ex: Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot (1954)
slide23

The End

Thanks to:

“American Drama”. Elements of Literature, 5th Course. Teacher’s Edition. Holt, Rhinehart, Winston. 2000. Pgs. 818-824

“Edward Albee”. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. September 9, 2007. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Albee

“Waiting for Godot”. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. September 9, 2007. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waiting_for_Godot

“Tennessee Williams”. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. September 9, 2007. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennessee_Williams