Drama 116 Final Reading Notes

Drama 116 Final Reading Notes - Drama in the Early and...

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Drama in the Early and Mid-Twentieth Century – pg 885-896 - Realist tradition in Drama had certain expressionist qualities o Symbolic actions in Miss Julie o Romantic fantasies in later plays of Ibsen - From early to mid 20 th century realism took a turn towards the surreal. - From Checkov (1903) to Beckett (1950), drama exploited realism, antirealism, and the poetic expansion of expressionism. - The Heritage of Realism o Realistic plays forced comfortable audiences to observe psychological and physical problems that their status as members of the middle class usually allowed them to avoid. o Susan Glaspel (1876-1948) wrote plays for the pleasure of having them read in her living room in Provicetown, MA. ( Trifles – abusive husband murdered) o Dadaism – blamed WWI on sensible, middle-class people who were logical and well intentioned but never questioned convention. o Tristan Tzara, Dadaist chief propagandist o By WWI motion pictures began to make melodramatic entertainment available to most people in the world, which left the theater open for more experimentalism. - Realism and Myth o Sigmund Freud’s theories of psychoanalysis stimulated a new interest in myth and dreams as a psychological link between people. o Carl Jung suggested that all members of a culture share an inborn knowledge of the basic myths of the culture. (collective unconscious) o Playwrights who used elements of myth in their plays produced a peotic form of realism that deals with a level of truth common to all humans. - Myth and Culture o Wole Soyinka, a Nigerian who was familiar with Yoruba culture and myth and had a formal English education, experimented with myth in drama. o Yoruba drama developed mainly from religious celebrations and annual festivals with music and dance. o Soyinka’s plays: The Strong Breed, A Play of Giants , concern themselves with African tradition and issues as well as myths that link cultures. - Poetic Realism o Abby Theater in Dublin, produced major works by John Millington Synge, WB Yeats, Sean O’Casey, and Lady Gregory. Lady Gregory: peasant plays concerned with the charming, amusing, and occasionally grotesque nature of peasant life. She also used Irish myth, seen in some of her most powerful plays ( Dervogilla and Grania ) John Millington Synge: also produced plays concerned with peasant life. ( Dierdre of Sorrows, Riders to the Sea ) o United States Eugene O’Neill: experimented with poetic forms of realism. ( The Hairy Ape, The Emperor Jones, Desire Under the Elms ) o Spain Federico Garcia Lorca: poetic realist ( House of Bernardo Alba ) - Social Realism o Social realism – realism with a political conscience; drama began awakening the government to the consequences of unbridled capitalism and the depressions that freewheeling economies produced.
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o Jack Kirkland’s Tobacco Road presented a grim portrait of rural poverty in America. o
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Drama 116 Final Reading Notes - Drama in the Early and...

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