Chapter 10
2
Production of Aristophanes’ The Birds (Early Greek Theater) by the National Theater in London.
© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Co...
 We don’t know exactly how theatre
began, or where or when it originated
 We do know that the impulse to create
theatre ...
4
In Mali, West Africa, masked Dogon dancers in a traditional ceremony imitate a long-legged waterbird.
Strong theatrical ...
 Theatre and Culture:
Greek Theatre Emerges
 Greek drama was presented in honor of
Dionysus, the god of wine, fertility,...
 Theatre and Culture:
Greek Theatre Emerges continued
 Thespis, a performer, stepped
out of the chorus and became an act...
 Theatre and Culture:
Greek Theatre Emerges continued
 Theatre and Religion
 Greek theatre was intimately bound up with...
 Greek Theatre and Religion continued
 Annual festivals were held in honor of the gods, and theatre
became a central fea...
 Greek Theatre and Religion continued
 Organization of dramatic presentations was
undertaken by the government
 11 mont...
 Greek Tragedy
 Most admired form of drama
 900 tragedies were produced during the
5th century B.C.E.; only 31 survive
...
 Greek Tragedy continued
 Tragic Dramatists: Aeschylus, Sophocles,
and Euripides
▪ Aeschylus
▪ Considered the first impo...
 Greek Tragedy continued
 Tragic Dramatists: Aeschylus, Sophocles,
and Euripides
▪ Aeschylus (continued)
▪ His dramas de...
 Greek Tragedy continued
 Tragic Dramatists: Aeschylus, Sophocles,
and Euripides
▪ Sophocles
▪ Built on the dramatic for...
 Greek Tragedy continued
 Tragic Dramatists: Aeschylus, Sophocles,
and Euripides
▪ Euripides
▪ More of a rebel
▪ Conside...
 Greek Tragedy continued
 Tragic Structure
▪ Pattern and Plot in Greek Tragedy
▪ The opening scene
▪ The chorus enters
▪...
 Greek Tragedy continued
 Chorus
▪ Was a key and unique element of Greek drama. Characters
portrayed by chorus sang and ...
 Greek Comedy
 Part of the seven-day City Dionysia
was devoted to comedy until later in the
5th century, when a separate...
 Greek Comedy continued
 Old Comedy – Classical Greek comedy that pokes
fun at social, political, or cultural condition ...
 Greek Comedy continued
 Old Comedy – cont’d
 Unlike tragedies, Old Comedies do not have climactic
structure.
▪ Also ha...
 Greek Comedy continued
 New Comedy – Hellinistic Greek and Roman
comedies that deal with romantic and domestic
situatio...
© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 21
Parodos – In
classical Greek
drama, the
scene in which
the ...
GREEK MECHANE AND EKKYKLEMA – a conjectural reconstruction of Greek stage machinery. On the left, a crane used for flying ...
 Dramatic Criticism in Greece: Aristotle
 Aristotle wrote The Poetics – first significant work of
dramatic criticism. Sa...
 Later Greek Theatre
 Two centuries after Aristotle referred to as Hellinistic age –
had several developments
▪ No longe...
 Background: Rome and Its Civilization
continued
 Roman theatre borrowed freely from Greek
theatre, particularly Greek N...
 Theatre and Culture in Rome
 Popular Entertainment in Rome
 Romans enjoyed a variety of entertainments
▪ Chariot racin...
A unique Roman stage presentation was:
Pantomime – Originally a Roman form of entertainment
in which a narrative was sung...
28
The Roman Colosseum, an amphitheatre originally built in 70 to 82 C.E. that still stands today. The scene of
many spect...
 Roman Comedy: Plautus and Terence
 Plautus
▪ Dealt exclusively with domestic situations,
particularly the trials and tr...
 Roman Comedy: Plautus and Terence
continued
 Terence
▪ Style is more literary and less exaggerated
▪ Most of the dialog...
 Roman Tragedy: Seneca
 Most notable tragic dramatist
 His plays are different from Greek Tragedy in
that:
 Chorus is ...
 Dramatic Criticism in Rome: Horace
 Wrote “The Art of Poetry” on his theory of
correct dramatic technique and said:
 C...
 Theatre Production in Rome
 Roman festivals were under the jurisdiction of
a local government official, who hired an
ac...
 Theatre Production in Rome
 Acting companies had at least six members
 Acting technique emphasized detailed
pantomime ...
 Theatre Production in Rome continued
 Ground Plan of a Typical Roman Theatre
Scaena –
stage house
in a Roman
theater
35...
 Roman Theaters different from Greek Theater
buildings:
 Freestanding structures – all one building – with stone
stage h...
 Decline of Roman Theatre
37
A Roman mosaic depicting a gladiator battling a leopard. Such battles between humans and
ani...
 Decline of Roman Theater
 330 B.C. Emperor Constantine made two capitols –
Rome in West and Constantinople in East.
Con...
 Background: Medieval Europe
 Middle ages or medieval era: 500 to
1500 C.E.
 The church had suppressed theatre
 Import...
 Theatre and Culture in the Middle
Ages
 Liturgical drama – early
Medieval church drama, written in
Latin and dealing wi...
 Medieval Drama: Two types of religious
vernacular plays were popular:
Mystery and Morality Plays
 Mystery, or cycle, pl...
 Standard Dramatic Technique of Medeival
Plays:
 Take things out of their actual time period
 Mix different types of dr...
43© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
 Medieval Theatre Production
 Large-scale productions of mystery plays took place in
Spain, France, the Netherlands, Bel...
 Medieval Theatre Production
 Pageant master – During Middle Ages, one who
supervised the mounting of mystery plays
 Pl...
46
One form of staging for medeival religious plays was the pageant wagon, which could be rolled into a town or a
nearby f...
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Ch. 10 (8th Ed) Ch. 11 (7th Ed) Greek_Roman_Medieval Theater

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Ch. 10 (8th Ed) Ch. 11 (7th Ed) Greek_Roman_Medieval Theater

  1. 1. Chapter 10
  2. 2. 2 Production of Aristophanes’ The Birds (Early Greek Theater) by the National Theater in London. © 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  3. 3.  We don’t know exactly how theatre began, or where or when it originated  We do know that the impulse to create theatre is universal  Elements of theatre:  Storytelling  Imitation  Costuming 3© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  4. 4. 4 In Mali, West Africa, masked Dogon dancers in a traditional ceremony imitate a long-legged waterbird. Strong theatrical component of masks, costumes, repeated phrases, music and dance © 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  5. 5.  Theatre and Culture: Greek Theatre Emerges  Greek drama was presented in honor of Dionysus, the god of wine, fertility, and revelry  Greek drama originated out of the dithyrambic chorus, a group of fifty men who sang and danced a hymn praising Dionysus 5© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  6. 6.  Theatre and Culture: Greek Theatre Emerges continued  Thespis, a performer, stepped out of the chorus and became an actor ▪ Thespian: a synonym for “stage performer” ▪ Chorus: In Ancient Greek drama, a group of performers who sang and danced, sometimes participating in the action but usually simply commenting on it. In modern times, performers in a musical who sing and dance as a group. 6© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  7. 7.  Theatre and Culture: Greek Theatre Emerges continued  Theatre and Religion  Greek theatre was intimately bound up with Greek religion 7© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  8. 8.  Greek Theatre and Religion continued  Annual festivals were held in honor of the gods, and theatre became a central feature  City of Dionysia – Most important Greek festival in honor of god Dionysus and first to include drama. Held annually each spring in Athens  Included tragic drama in 534 BC and comedy in 487 BC  Lasted a number of days  3 days devoted to tragedies, and time set aside for 5 comedies  Also performed Satyr plays – one of the 3 types of classical Greek drama (along with tragedy and comedy), vulgar humor based on Greek mythology or history that included a chorus of satyrs (mythological creatures that were half man and half goat). On festival days in Athens, final play after three tragedies. 8© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  9. 9.  Greek Theatre and Religion continued  Organization of dramatic presentations was undertaken by the government  11 months before festival an appointed city-state official would choose the plays and appoint a choregus for each playwright.  Choregus – a wealthy person who financed a playwright’s work at an ancient Greek dramatic festival (like modern day producer)  Theatre and Myth ▪ Myth – story or legend handed down from generation to generation. 9© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  10. 10.  Greek Tragedy  Most admired form of drama  900 tragedies were produced during the 5th century B.C.E.; only 31 survive  All were from Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides 10© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  11. 11.  Greek Tragedy continued  Tragic Dramatists: Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides ▪ Aeschylus ▪ Considered the first important Greek dramatist ▪ Began writing at a time when theatre was performed by a large chorus of fifty men and a single actor ▪ In his own dramas, he called for a second actor, who could play different parts when he put on different masks ▪ This made true dramatic exchange between characters possible ▪ Reduced chorus to twelve men to make it more manageable 11© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  12. 12.  Greek Tragedy continued  Tragic Dramatists: Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides ▪ Aeschylus (continued) ▪ His dramas dealt with noble families and lofty themes ▪ Praised for their lyrical poetry, intellectual content and dramatic structure ▪ Master of the trilogy – in ancient Greece, 3 tragedies written by the same playwright, presented on a single day, that were connected by a story or theme.  His best known trilogy was Oresteia (458 BC) 12© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  13. 13.  Greek Tragedy continued  Tragic Dramatists: Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides ▪ Sophocles ▪ Built on the dramatic form that Aeschylus had begun ▪ Raised chorus to 15 men where it was to stay ▪ Added a third actor ▪ Became adept at dramatic construction  Good example is his play King Oedipus 13© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  14. 14.  Greek Tragedy continued  Tragic Dramatists: Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides ▪ Euripides ▪ More of a rebel ▪ Considered the most “modern” of the three ▪ Portrayed female characters sympathetically ▪ Used realism ▪ Mixed tragedy with melodrama and comedy ▪ Treated the gods skeptically 14© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  15. 15.  Greek Tragedy continued  Tragic Structure ▪ Pattern and Plot in Greek Tragedy ▪ The opening scene ▪ The chorus enters ▪ Episode between characters ▪ First choral song ▪ Alternation between character episodes and choral songs ▪ Final episode ▪ Exit of all characters and the chorus 15© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  16. 16.  Greek Tragedy continued  Chorus ▪ Was a key and unique element of Greek drama. Characters portrayed by chorus sang and danced and usually represented ordinary citizens. Served several functions: ▪ React the way audience might react ▪ Gave background information necessary for understanding the plot (exposition) ▪ Represented a moderate balance between the extreme behaviors of the main characters ▪ Frequently offered philosophical observations and drew conclusions about what had happened in the play ▪ The Plot of King Oedipus 16© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  17. 17.  Greek Comedy  Part of the seven-day City Dionysia was devoted to comedy until later in the 5th century, when a separate festival in the winter was added, devoted solely to comedy 17© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  18. 18.  Greek Comedy continued  Old Comedy – Classical Greek comedy that pokes fun at social, political, or cultural condition and at particular figures. ▪ Always makes fun of social, political, or cultural conditions ▪ Characters are often recognizable personalities ▪ Modern counterpart: political satire ▪ Only surviving Old Comedies were written by Aristophanes 18© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  19. 19.  Greek Comedy continued  Old Comedy – cont’d  Unlike tragedies, Old Comedies do not have climactic structure. ▪ Also have two scenes not found in tragedy: ▪ Agon – a scene with a debate between the two opposing forces in a play ▪ Parabasis – scene where chorus talks directly the audience members and makes fun of them 19© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  20. 20.  Greek Comedy continued  New Comedy – Hellinistic Greek and Roman comedies that deal with romantic and domestic situations ▪ Began in the 4th century B.C.E. ▪ Dealt with romantic and domestic problems ▪ Roman comedy is a direct outgrowth of this 20© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  21. 21. © 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 21 Parodos – In classical Greek drama, the scene in which the chorus enters. ALSO, the entranceway, or aisle for the chorus.  Theatre Production in Greece  Greek drama was staged in amphitheatres – large oval, circular, or semi-circular outdoor theatre with rising tiers of seat around an open playing area; Orchestra – A circular playing space in ancient Greek theaters; in modern times, the ground-floor seating in a theater auditorium. Theatron – where the audience sat.
  22. 22. GREEK MECHANE AND EKKYKLEMA – a conjectural reconstruction of Greek stage machinery. On the left, a crane used for flying in characters located on a side wing (paraskenion) of the scene building. On the right, a mecane higher up on the roof of the skene. The ekkyklema below was a platform on wheels used to bring out characters from inside the building © 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 22
  23. 23.  Dramatic Criticism in Greece: Aristotle  Aristotle wrote The Poetics – first significant work of dramatic criticism. Said tragedy deals with reversals in fortune and eventual downfall of a royal figure. ▪ Describes six elements of drama: 1) plot (arrangement of dramatic elements) 2) character (people represented in the play) 3) thought or theme (ideas explored) 4) language (dialogue and poetry) 5) music 6) spectacle (scenery and other visual elements) © 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 23
  24. 24.  Later Greek Theatre  Two centuries after Aristotle referred to as Hellinistic age – had several developments ▪ No longer original dramas – instead revivals of plays from the past ▪ Original drama less important and now focus on actor and acting ▪ Bigger masks, exaggerated headdresses and platform shoes made performers taller ▪ 277 B.C.E. – Artists of Dionysus formed ▪ Numerous theater buildings built and now were permanent – made of stone instead of from less permanent wood ▪ Theater continued to flourish, but no longer just Greek. Now influenced by Roman civilization. © 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 24
  25. 25.  Background: Rome and Its Civilization continued  Roman theatre borrowed freely from Greek theatre, particularly Greek New Comedy  The festival Ludi Romani, dedicated to Jupiter, became the first major Roman festival to incorporate theatre 25© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  26. 26.  Theatre and Culture in Rome  Popular Entertainment in Rome  Romans enjoyed a variety of entertainments ▪ Chariot racing, equestrian performances, acrobatics, wrestling, prizefighting, and gladiatorial combats ▪ Romans constructed stadiums to house these spectacles 26© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  27. 27. A unique Roman stage presentation was: Pantomime – Originally a Roman form of entertainment in which a narrative was sung by a chorus while the story was acted out by dancers. Now used loosely to cover any form of presentation that relies on dance, gesture and physical movement without dialogue or speech. 27© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  28. 28. 28 The Roman Colosseum, an amphitheatre originally built in 70 to 82 C.E. that still stands today. The scene of many spectacular events including bloody combats. These large arenas housed gladiator battles, chariot races and animal battles. © 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  29. 29.  Roman Comedy: Plautus and Terence  Plautus ▪ Dealt exclusively with domestic situations, particularly the trials and tribulations of romance ▪ Characters are recognizable ▪ Most of the dialogue was meant to be sung ▪ His comedies are farces 29© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  30. 30.  Roman Comedy: Plautus and Terence continued  Terence ▪ Style is more literary and less exaggerated ▪ Most of the dialogue was meant to be spoken ▪ Less farcical, with more emphasis on verbal wit 30© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  31. 31.  Roman Tragedy: Seneca  Most notable tragic dramatist  His plays are different from Greek Tragedy in that:  Chorus is not integral to the dramatic action  Emphasized violence on stage  Supernatural beings often appear in his plays  Had an influence on Shakespeare and other writers 31© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  32. 32.  Dramatic Criticism in Rome: Horace  Wrote “The Art of Poetry” on his theory of correct dramatic technique and said:  Comedy and tragedy must be distinct genres  Tragedy should deal with royalty  Comedy should depict common people  Drama should not just entertain, but teach a lesson 32© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  33. 33.  Theatre Production in Rome  Roman festivals were under the jurisdiction of a local government official, who hired an acting troupe  Dominus – leader of a Roman acting troupe who bought plays, hired musicians, got costumes, etc. 33© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  34. 34.  Theatre Production in Rome  Acting companies had at least six members  Acting technique emphasized detailed pantomime and broad physical gestures  Stressed beautiful vocal delivery  Admired performers who specialized in one type of role and refined stock characters  Facial expressions unimportant because wore full masks. Only mimes didn’t wear masks 34© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  35. 35.  Theatre Production in Rome continued  Ground Plan of a Typical Roman Theatre Scaena – stage house in a Roman theater 35© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  36. 36.  Roman Theaters different from Greek Theater buildings:  Freestanding structures – all one building – with stone stage house connected to the seating area  Orchestra was a semicircle instead of round – used for govnernmentt officials or flooded for sea battles  Stage house several stories high with an elaborate facade 36© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  37. 37.  Decline of Roman Theatre 37 A Roman mosaic depicting a gladiator battling a leopard. Such battles between humans and animals were popular during Roman Empire. © 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  38. 38.  Decline of Roman Theater  330 B.C. Emperor Constantine made two capitols – Rome in West and Constantinople in East. Constantinople became more important  476 C.E. Roman emperor overthrown by barbarian ruler and official downfall of Roman empire.  Rise of Christianity – opposed theater because: ▪ Connection between theater and pagan religions ▪ Thought evil characters taught audiences to be bad ▪ Sexual content offended them 38© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  39. 39.  Background: Medieval Europe  Middle ages or medieval era: 500 to 1500 C.E.  The church had suppressed theatre  Important to note that theater did continue in eastern Roman empire (Byzantium) until 1453  They preserved different forms of popular entertainment and important manuscripts of classical Greek drama 39© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  40. 40.  Theatre and Culture in the Middle Ages  Liturgical drama – early Medieval church drama, written in Latin and dealing with biblical stories  Vernacular drama – drama from the Middle Ages performed in everyday speech of the people and presented in town squares or other parts of cities 40© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  41. 41.  Medieval Drama: Two types of religious vernacular plays were popular: Mystery and Morality Plays  Mystery, or cycle, plays ▪ Dramatized a series of biblical religious events. Short dramas based on events of Old and New Testaments; Entertaining and often organized into historical cycles. Plays like Second Shepherd’s Play  Morality plays ▪ Used religious characters and religious themes to teach a moral lesson. More about the lesson. Plays like Everyman 41© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  42. 42.  Standard Dramatic Technique of Medeival Plays:  Take things out of their actual time period  Mix different types of drama – comedy and serious  They were the seeds of Episodic Plot Structure – numerous episodes, and expansive in terms of time, place and number of characters 42© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  43. 43. 43© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  44. 44.  Medieval Theatre Production  Large-scale productions of mystery plays took place in Spain, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, and England  Mansions – individual scenic units used for staging of religious dramas in the Middle Ages  Wagon-stages – low platform mounted on wheels by means of which scenery is moved on and off stage  Performers were amateurs  Some plays lasted for long periods of time 44© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  45. 45.  Medieval Theatre Production  Pageant master – During Middle Ages, one who supervised the mounting of mystery plays  Platform stage – neutral elevated stage with no proscenium (part of stage in front of curtain) Toward end of Middle Ages decline in religious theater because: 1) Weakening of Church 2) Secular qualities of drama finally overcame the religious material 45© 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  46. 46. 46 One form of staging for medeival religious plays was the pageant wagon, which could be rolled into a town or a nearby field. The wagon , or wagons, could be used as a stage, contained scenery and had a background area for costume changes. This might be what they looked like with the wagon having a platform with a cloth covering its lower part (where characters could emerge). © 2013 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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