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Theatre Intro II - The Actor History and Craft I Ancient...

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The Actor: History and Craft I. Ancient Greece A. Religious festivals in honor of the god Dionysus B. Hypokrites: impersonator C. Dithyramb: long choral poems D. Thespis 6 th century B.C. Poet Stepped out of the chorus to interact with them. “Thespian” = Actor II. Acting Styles A. Presentational Denis Diderot Delsarte Codified gestures and movements i. Would be seen as overly dramatic by today’s standards and tastes. Common also in the Eastern theatre tradition i. Sanskrit theatre – India ii. Kabuki – Japan iii. No – Japan B. Realistic Konstantin Stanislavski of the Moscow Art Theatre i. Emphasized the internalizing of the character ii. Emotional recall iii. An Actor Prepares iv. Method acting Lee Strasberg and the Actor’s Studio i. Center of the American school of method acting ii. Marlon Brando, Anne Bancroft, Robert DeNiro, Dustin Hoffman.
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iii. American Inside Out vs. English Outside In C. Physical / Via Negativa Jerzy Grotowski of the Polish Lab Theatre i. Physically driven ii. Extremely disciplined iii. Wanted to strip away the actors’ masks to expose the pure primal core = Via Negativa iv. Towards a Poor Theatre III. Acting Craft (Based on Stanislavski’s method) Given Circumstances i. Who am I? ii. Where am I? iii. What time is it? Questions of Action i. What do I want? – Objective ii. What is in my way? – Obstacle iii. What do I do to overcome my obstacle? – Tactics Four Pertinent Skills of the Actor i. Simulating Character ii. Embodying Character iii. Virtuosity iv. Magic Five Actor Tools i. Voice ii. Speech iii. Movement iv. Imagination v. Discipline
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The Emergence of the Director I. Overview A. Definition 1. Modern Director: In American usage, the person who is responsible for overall unity of a production, coordinating the efforts of the contributing artists. He or She is in charge of rehearsals and supervises the actors in the preparation of their parts. The modern director often imposes his or her own point of view upon the text. B. Observation 1. Henry Irving said, "The theatre is bigger than the playwright, that its destiny is a higher one than that of the mouthpiece for an author's theses, and finally that plays are made for the theatre and not theatre for plays." II. The Beginnings - Greece A. 600 BC; The Dithyramb 1. A choral song describing the adventures of a god or heroic figure. 2. Large chorus who spoke in unison 3. The Chorus Leader i. Assembled the group, sometimes stepped out of the group for solo performances. B. 534 BC; City Dionysia 1. Festival in honor of Dionysus, included a dramatic contest between playwrights who would each write three tragedies and one satyr play (a type of comedy). 2. Leadership i. Archon: gov't official who chose the plays 11 months ahead of the festival.
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