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    Theatre History Final

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    City Dionysus
    Civic, literary, and religious celebration where Authors would compete and present 3 tragedies and one satyr play. Lasted several days and normally occurred in March.
    Satyr plays
    Similar to burlesque, these short plays featured choruses of satyrs, were based on Greek mythology, and filled with drunkenness, brazen sexuality (phallic props), sight gags.
    chorus member who stepped out from the Chorus and began a dialogue with them – he spoke, they sang/chanted, first actor (thespian)
    hut at rear of space, changing room. Theatrical structure in Dionysus
    Deus ex Machine
    “god from the machine”: used as a contrived ending, Ancient Greece, a crane would lower actors onto the set as gods.
    first actors, came from Etruscan theatre.
    Never admitted as serious professional actors, looked down upon for crude and inappropriate street performances, did not wear masks and there were women mimes.
    “seeing place”, spectator seating in Ancient Greece, auditorium like seating.
    wrote 40 plays, 2 survive (the frogs). Was politically conservative, saw himself as a “teacher through comedy”
    Part of the structure of ancient tragedies, what we be known as a “scene/act” today, a good tragedy would have 5 episodes interspersed with 5 choral odes.
    The point in the play when all of the actors leave the stage and the chorus is left to address the audience directly (Ancient Greece)
    Born 342 BC, best known representative of Athenian New Comedy
    Happy Idea
    The first part in the structure of a comedy, what the play usually seeks to resolve
    Emotion evoked through pity and fear, one of Aristotle’s requirements for a good tragedy
    First type of theatrical play, contains 5 episodes interspersed with 5 choral odes, a prologos, parados, and exodus. 1-3 actors interacting with the chorus.
    1st in 46 BCE replicated sea battles requested by Julius Caesar on lake dug for occasion, involved 2000 marines and 6000 oarsmen
    He was credited with redesigning Greek Theatres (free standing, built on level ground). Incorporated curtains/Periaktoi
    De Architecturra
    Written by Marcus Vitruvius in 15 BCE, published in 1486. Instructions on how to build the new design of Greek theatres
    The Oresteia
    Originally published 458 BCE, written by Aeschylus, dramatizes the curse on the house of Atreus, contains themes of Justice, inherited guilt, role of gods, and civic pride.
    An important figure in the development of neo-classicism, especially in drama. It was his reading of Aristotle that led to a widespread adoption of a tight version of the Three Unities, as a dramatic standard.
    Time, Place, Action
    3 Unities
    Unity of time
    the action in a play should occur over a period of no more than 24 hours
    Unity of Place
    a play should exist in a single physical space and should not attempt to compress geography, nor should the stage represent more than one place.
    Unity of Action
    a play should have one action that it follows, with minimal subplots
    496-406 BCE: introduces the third actor, reduced importance on chorus and focused on individual actors, known as the most skillful in dramatic structure, wrote Oedipus (trilogy-ish), Antigone, etc.
    Wrote 9 plays (all survive), Interest in morality reflected in sensational deeds, Emphasis on violent spectacle, parallel to Romans’ taste for violence, Characters dominated by single emotional obsession/passion instead of tragic flaw or error in judgment;, Soliloquies, asides, confidants used regularly, His writing became a central part of Roman education – rhetoric
    Livius Andronicus
    First great Latin Dramatist. Involved in Roman tragedy.
    Written by Quintus Horatius Flaccus (Horace). 24-20 BCE: the only Latin treatise still in existence.
    An Italian Mannerist architect and author, one of the first that use the expression fine arts, the last few pages of the second book, “On Perspective”, contain three theatrical scenes (comic, tragic, and satiric) and a stage plan and cross section which were highly influential in Renaissance theater.
    Used to stage Liturgical Drama, scenic structure depicting locale needed for biblical tale; could be constructed or be in an existing area (e.g., an altar or a crypt); generally too small to be performed in, used as background locale; created multiple settings simultaneously visible
    Used to stage Liturgical Drama, a large central playing area, generally in front of the mansions which might circle around it.
    Quem Quaeritis
    Oldest extant trope, c. 925, (“Whom do you seek?”) 3 lines of dialogue which follows the Mary’s at the empty tomb. This was the first instance of Medieval religious drama and gave the church the inkling that theater could be used for good.
    Fabula Togata
    part of Roman comedy, stories based on Roman subjects (no plays survive)
    Artists of Dionysus
    277 BCE it was formed, a part of Hellenistic theatre, one of the first Theatre guilds formed for serious performers
    “leader of the chorus” in Ancient Greek plays
    3-sided flats, turn to indicate time of day and locations, used in Ancient Greek Theatre as scenery
    spectacular mansion wagons at opposite ends of playing area; Was where actors would exit to “go to hell”, intimidating and scary design
    One of the most famous Morality plays still performed. (Moralities were secular plays with allegorical characters which taught moral lessons to audience. Tbt to that great lego video in class).It’s an allegory about an Everyman’s journey to give his account to the Lord and learns what virtues are truly important.
    Feast of Fools
    Secular festival (Jan 6 or 13) from 12th-16th centuries given over to lesser clergy to openly mock their superiors, routine of church life, and presided over by “bishop fool”; an approved transgressive festival that satirized authority figures; role-playings contained seeds of farce and earthy comedy; Church approved.
    An improvised comic dialogue or action commonly used in the Commedia dell’arte.
    In Neoclassicism, “truth seeming” – what is truth? In drama – could represent only what could be reasonably expected in real life
    Teatro Olimpico
    A theatre in Vicenza, northern Italy, constructed in 1580-1585. The theatre was the final design by the Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio, is the oldest surviving stage set still in existence, one of the first (if not THE first) Proscenium arch stages.
    Proscenium Arch
    Arch framing the opening between the stage and the auditorium in some theaters.
    Leone di Somi
    Jewish-Italian playwright, director, actor, poet, translator, and treaiser. most remembered for having written the first ever treatise on the art of stage direction, which defines a precise methodology of play production, from the selection of a text through its performance. This work is entitled Four Dialogues on Scenic Representation.
    One of the most important principal characters found in commedia dell’arte. With his exceptional greed and status at the top of the social order, means “money” in the commedia world.
    Giacomo Torelli
    An Italian stage designer, engineer, and architect.[1] His work in stage design, particularly his designs of machinery for creating spectacular scenery changes and other special effects, was extensively engraved and hence survives as the most complete record of mid-seventeenth-century set design
    Terence Stage
    a continuous facade (wall) divided into a series of curtained openings, each representing the house of a different character (similar in concept to medieval mansions). The facade was at the back of a platform – acting space. Soon added perspective painting (1st known example of perspective painting in scenery was Ariosto’s The Casket in 1508).
    Chambers of Rhetoric
    14th cent. By 1500 there were approx. 160 in Netherlands, dramatic societies in the Low Countries
    Earliest known opera. Tells the story of Apollo falling in love with the nymph daphne.
    A Commedia Dell’arte Characters. Braggart, cowardly warrior who boasted of his prowess in battle and in bed; dressed in sword and cape and feathered headdress; freq. Unwelcome suitor to young women.
    University Wits
    Mostly students and faculty from Cambridge and Oxford University.
    A Theatre in London. Shakespeare was a Co-owner.
    Three methods for darkening stage
    1: Lamps were extinguished
    2: Open cylinders were suspended above lamps that could darken when lowered or brighten when raised.
    3: Mounted on rotating poles and turned in or away from visible portions of the stage.
    Elizabeth Carey
    One of Shakespeare’s contemporaries. She wrote The Tragedy of Mariam, which was the first English play by a woman. She was the 1st English woman to publish a play under her own name, and the first woman author to be the subject of a literary biography.
    A compliment; a short monologue or dramatic sketch that began every play until 1615 and aimed at securing good will from the audience, included singing and dancing.
    Interlude, short dramatic sketches performed in intervals between acts of plays; some sung, some spoke, some mingled the two.
    Greatest playwright of The Golden Age. Life is a Dream is his most famous play, this masterpiece of this Golden Age.
    Margaret Cavendish
    Playwright, poet, philosopher, writer of prose romances, essayist, tireless self-publicist who published under her own name when female writers published anonymously.
    Lope de Vega
    Most prolific playwright, 1st Spanish playwright to make a living at it. He declared in 1609 that he had written 483 comedias.
    He wrote around 800-1800 plays. 450 of his plays survive.
    Margaret Hughes
    1st Woman to act on the English Stage in the mid-1600’s.
    Character type of Commedia dell’arte best known as an astute servant and trickster, comes from the countryside. Is known to be a “dispossessed immigrant worker”. Servant in Commedia Dell’arte
    William Devenant
    The owner of the Rutland House. In order to avoid the strict laws of censorship in force in all public places at the time, he turned a room of his home, Rutland House, into a private theatre where his works, and those of other writers considered seditious, could be performed.
    Smock Alley
    1st Theatre built after restoration in Dublin. It was used as a church and it was the place where David Garrick (one of the most popular actors of the time) first performed Hamlet (as Hamlet).
    Aphra Behn
    1st Female dramatist to earn a living exclusively from writing. Former spy of Charles II and Royalist cause, politically conservative. She wrote the novel, Oroonoko.
    Licensing Act of 1737
    -A new attempt at regulating theatre in London.
    -Only two theatres were authorized to present “tragedy, comedy, opera, play, farce, or other entertainment for the stage for gain, hire, or reward.” An Act in London Parliament, ruling that All plays must be licensed. Drury Lane and Covent Garden were deemed the only two legit theatres. Many theatres closed due to this Act.
    -Lord chamberlain was in charge for licensing plays
    Comedie Francaise
    The world’s 1st national theatre.
    Louis XIV merged Moliere’s theatre company, the King’s Troupe, with the Marias company in 1679, and the group
    David Garrick
    One of the most prolific actors, playwrights, and Theatre managers in the 18th century. Performed Hamlet at the Smock Alley to critical acclaim. Though not considered a good playwright, he is credited with bringing Shakespeare to a contemporary (18th century) Audience.
    Robert Walpole
    Prime Minister for George
    -First prime minister of the English monarchy.
    -Was mocked by several satirical plays such as “Beggars Opera” and “Pasquin”
    -Instituted the Licensing Act to censor theater
    -Most sacred spot in Egypt.
    -Where Osiris was buried after his wife Isis found his parts and revived him
    -Some kind of performance relating to Osiris was performed here annually.
    Drury Lane
    A Small theatre, only holding 650 spectators. The stage included a proscenium arch and open platform on apron.
    All set changes were made in view of the audience
    Heroic tragedy
    -Popular drama during english restoration
    -dealt with extraordinary characters who undertook extraordinary deeds.
    -Dealt with themes of love and honor
    All about honor with happy ending and rhyming couplets. Had idealistic hero and maiden.
    Greatest tragic playwright. Phedre, his masterpiece/an adaptation of Euripides’ Hippolytus was his last play. Simple plots with complex characters.
    Susanna Centlivre
    She wrote, The Busy Body (1709), the most popular play of the 18th century in England. *Known as the most successful female playwright of the 18th century
    Amanda Bejart
    Famous Actress. her mother Madeleine co-founded, with Molière, the theatre company called Illustre Théâtre; daughter of Madeleine Béjart.
    Autos Sacramentales
    -Spanish, religious drama
    -This was the name given to any play presented at Corpus Christi
    -Combined elements of medieval morality and mystery plays and could be based on secular as well as religious sources.
    -Included supernatural, human, and allegorical characters.
    -Only requirement was that they underscore the validity of the church’s teachings.
    Chariot and Pole
    A system invented by Giacomo Torelli. In brief, this system involves flats mounted on long poles, which pass through slots in the flooring. 2-wheeled wagons, or “chariots,” that run on tracks under the stage.
    De Loutherbourg
    A Franco-British painter who became known for his large naval works, his elaborate set designs for London theatres, and his invention of a mechanical theatre called the “Eidophusikon”, meaning “image of nature”.
    The word comes from the French par and terre and literally translated means “on the ground.”
    An ancient Greek hymn sung and danced in honor of Dionysus.
    Comedy play by Meander, and the only play of his that has survived in its complete form. Won Meander the first prize at the Lenaian Festival in 317-16 BC.
    Morality Play
    As theatre transitioned from religious to secular drama, more actors gradually began doing these performances. They were secular plays with allegorical characters that taught moral lessons to an audience. The most famous play was Everyman.
    Wakefield Master
    Towneley Mystery Plays are a series of thirty-two mystery plays based on the Bible most likely performed around the Feast of Corpus Christi.
    Phillip Henslowe
    Built The Rose, the third of the large, permanent playhouses in London with John Cholmley
    Wagons used in religious dramas. 4 used in each play
    “Breeches Roles”
    Onstage female transvestism, either actresses playing women disguised as men or actually playing men/boys. Many plays contained lesbian subplots, when one woman unknowingly desires another woman who is disguised as a man. The the climax of the play, the characters were revealed by exposing their breasts.

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