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Introduction To Theatre

Introduction to Theatre

Theatre: Dramatic literature or its performance;


drama
While elements of theatre date back thousands of
years, the Greeks truly established theatre and
drama as we know it today.
Why would theatre begin?
1. Preservation of culture
2. Payment to the gods/God
3. Entertainment
Theatre of Dionysius - Athens
Ancient Greek Theatre

The theatres were built in to hillsides and


designed so everyone could hear and see the
play
Ancient Theatres sat roughly 12,000 14,000
spectators (The United Center seats 22,00)
Greek Drama

Greek Drama fit in to 2 main concepts


1. Tragedy a play that ends in a funeral
2. Comedy a play that ends in a wedding
Greek Drama

Aristotle wrote a piece known as Aristotles


Poetics
In his writing he identified the six elements
of Theatre that are still applied today
6 elements of theatre

1. Plot
2. Character
3. Thought
4. Diction
5. Music
6. Spectacle
Plot
Def: The pattern of events or main story in a narrative or drama
There are seven elements to a plot line
Similarities and Differences in
Television, Theatre, and Film
Television Film Theatre

Prerecorded and edited Prerecorded and edited Viewed Live

Intimate Medium Large Casts Both

Viewed in small and Large screen suited for Actual presence of


often private settings mass audiences and actors helps establish
spectacle unique audience/ player
relationship
Television Film Theatre

Special effects can Special effects can Special effects are


appear realistic appear realistic limited

Requires least audience Requires some audience Requires the most


commitment commitment audience commitment

Mobile cameras enable Mobile cameras enable Settings limited and


the settings to be the settings to be audiences sightlines
realistic and in great realistic and in great must be considered
detail detail
Television Film Theatre

Can be filmed on Can be filmed on N/A


location location

Actual lighting, weather, Actual lighting, weather, Lighting must


and environmental and environmental approximate time and
conditions can be conditions can be conditions
recorded recorded

Flashbacks can be Flashbacks can be Flashbacks are harder


shown immediately shown immediately to convey
Television Film Theatre

The slightest movement, The slightest movement, Voice and gestures may
gesture, or sound is gesture, or sound is be exaggerated
easily recorded by the easily recorded by the
camera camera

Use of canned laughter Use of canned laughter N/A


stimulates the audience stimulates the audience

Computer graphics can Computer graphics can N/A


be used to create be used to create
illusions illusions
The Performance Space
Types of Stages
Proscenium Stage:
Like a picture frame.
The audience sits on one side to
watch the action through the
frame (also known as the fourth
wall).
Often, curtains hide the scenery
until the play begins.
Continued

Arena or In-the-round Stage:


The audience sits all around
it. The actors enter and exit
from the aisles or sometimes
from tunnels under the
audience.
Thrust Stage:
A combination of the arena and proscenium
stages.
The actors enter and exit through the
audience as in an arena stage and also
through doors in the rear-wall scenery as in
a proscenium stage.
Stage and Body Positions
STAGE POSITIONS ARE FROM THE ACTORS
POINT OF VIEW!!!

THE AUDIENCE
THE STAGE IS DIVIDED INTO THREE AREAS
ACROSS.

THE AUDIENCE
THE STAGE IS DIVIDED INTO THREE AREAS FROM FRONT TO BACK. UPSTAGE
IS AWAY FROM THE AUDIENCE AND DOWNSTAGE IS TOWARD THE AUDIENCE.
THE ACTOR COMES DOWN TO THE AUDIENCE.

THE AUDIENCE
THE ACTING AREA BECOMES A GRID
OF 9 AREAS.

Up Right Up Center Up Left

Right Center Center Left Center

Down Right Down Center Down Left

THE AUDIENCE
Actors Body Positions
Full Back

Right Left

Profile Profile
Right Left

Right Left
Full Front