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FINAL EXAM REVIEW THEATER 2007 FIRST SEMESTER Deus Ex Machina – “god from a machine”, a resolution device in classic Greek Drama, intervention of supernatural forces (usually at the last moment) to save the action from its logical conclusion Commedia Dell’arte – take well-known character types and simply rearrange combinations. Broadway – High-profile for profit theatre, small group of people makes profit, has to be 500 or more seats. Awards are Tonys. Off-Broadway – Also for profit, but smaller scale, 100 – 499 seats, used to be experimental but now part of the establishment Awards are “Obie” awards – village voice Regional Theater – Professional but not-for-profit. Grant funding (NEA, Ford Foundation) Long-term contracts for actors, subsidies allow more daring choices. “Fourth Wall” – convention, in a proscenium –arch theater that the audience is looking into a room through an invisible fourth wall PLAYWRIGHTS Harold Pinter – (Birthday Party) Born in London in 1933. Trained at Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Feigned nervous breakdown and left. Actor, director, screenwriter, playwright. Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005. Influences are Chekhov, Kafka, Samuel Beckett. Letter to Pinter about Birthday Party. Pinter’s dramatic universe – “we don’t understand everything that happens in life, why should a play be any different. Sam Shepard – (True West)- (born November 5, 1943) is an American playwright, writer and actor. He was born Samuel Shepard Rogers in Fort Sheridan, Illinois. His many works are known for being frank and often absurd, and for having an authentic sense of the style and sensibility of the gritty modern American west. Shepard is also a respected actor of stage and motion pictures. Sam Shepard worked on a ranch as a teenager. After high school he briefly attended college, but dropped out to join a traveling theater group. He avoided the draft during the Vietnam-era by claiming to be a heroin addict. Caryl Churchill – (Top Girls) Born 1938. Attended Oxford. Began writing plays at college, radio dramas in 1960’s. Top Girls won Obie in 1982. Areas of focus: 1) Societies exploitation of the weak 2) Traditional values vs. contemporary plurality
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3) Historicization/anachronism. Actors may play multiple roles, may also be cast cross-gender August Wilson – (Fences) (1945 - 2005) Fences (1987) won Pulitzer Prize and Tony and The Piano Lesson (1990) won Pulitzer Prize. Fences is part of a 10- play cycles. Each play is set in a different decade. Each play provides a view of the “black experience in the 20 th century” Athol Fugard (Master Harold and the Boys) Born 1932 in South Africa. Collaborated (sometimes illegally) with black actors and writers. Master Harold is autobiographical. Naomi Iizuka – (36 Views) born in Tokyo in 1965. She was educated in the US.
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This note was uploaded on 04/16/2008 for the course THEA 11000 taught by Professor Utz during the Spring '08 term at Ithaca College.

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