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WHAT IS REALISM ●realism was a combination of the arts and science, which meant the performance needed to be verifiable.●Response to the “artifical” romantic●●Theatre about real, normal life, with real normal life conflicts.●Mirror of the audience: focused on human behavior○Emphasis on how real people respond to tough decisions●Presents everyday language as short, succinct and direct. ○Revealing of character, especially when coupled with character●The over realist sets are supposed to help the audience relate easier●1820-1914●After the 1860s, many plays incorporated different types of social events into the shows●meant as a way for the audience to connect with the overall arc of the stage performance. ●As the times changed so did the realism●Realism in the last half of the 19th-century began as an experiment to make theater more useful to society. The mainstream theatre from 1859 to 1900 was still bound up in melodramas, spectacle plays (disasters, etc.), comic operas, and vaudevilles.●But political events to reform some political systems led to some different ways of thinking. Political Events●Revolutions in Europe in 1848 showed that there was a desire for political, social, and economic reform. ●The many governments were frightened into promising change, but most didn’t implement changes after the violence ended.
●Technological advances were also encouraged by industry and trade, leading to an increased belief that science could solve human problems. ●But the working classes still had to fight for every increase in rights: unionization and strikes became the principal weapons workers would use after the 1860s—but success came only fromcostly work stoppages and violence.●The common man seemed to feel that he needed to be recognized, and people asserted themselves through action.Playwriting●Well-Made Play--Scribe and Sardou (1820's-30's) devised this technique of playwriting. It was embraced by Ibsen and other realists.●Plot contains secrets known to audience, but withheld from certain characters. The secret is revealed and this is the climax. ●Here the antagonist is revealed. ●The protagonist has dignity restored, and receives his reward.●There is careful attention paid to exposition, usually the entire first act at minimum. ●After this the remainder of the plot use contrived entrances (a womanwalking in on her son with the maid), exits, and props (such as letters) to increase suspense.