Melodramax - Melodrama and 19 American Theatre th C The most popular form of theater in the late 19th Century Melodrama was the most popular theater

Melodramax - Melodrama and 19 American Theatre th C The...

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Melodrama and 19thC. American Theatre
The most popular form of theater in the late 19thCentury Melodrama was the most popular theater of the Industrial Revolution, an age where much of the population worked 6-7 days a week, 12 hours a day, in horrible conditions. Think about when reviewing the elements of the style.
Definition: drama in which many exciting events happen and the characters have very strong or exaggerated emotions: a situation or series of events in which people have very strong or exaggerated emotions
When one accuses a person of being Melodramatic, one is saying that person is overacting over overreacting, just as in a Melodramatic play. This is because the style of acting in Melodrama was over the top. What we would call “overacting” or “chewing the scenery”.
DelSarteDelSarte prescribed acting poses that were used in Melodrama so the audience always knew exactly what the character was feeling.
DelSarte’s style used a prescribed set of hand gestures and body movements to convey emotions (hand to forehead for dismay, clenched fist for anger, etc.). The vocal style of the actors would fit the movements (loud and declamatory).
The Plays There are some distinctive elements to Melodramatic playsMelodrama arose in Europe (specifically popular in France) in the late 18thand early 19thCentury, then moved to America. The most popular American Melodrama was Aiken’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” based on the Harriet Beecher Stowe novel.
Melodrama: Music Drama

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