Chapter 11

Chapter 11 - Chapter 11 Non-Western Theatre Three Stages:...

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Chapter 11 Non-Western Theatre Three Stages: Ritual, ritual theatre, and theatre. Ritual Theatre is an early form of theatre; it uses theatrical techniques such as song, dance, and characterization, but it was still firmly rooted in religion. Theatre is artificial. Aristotle—a play is an imitating of an action, not the action itself. Second, theatre usually has a story of conflict. Ikhernofret wrote of his participation in a ritual play in Abydos about the death and resurrection of Osiris, the god of fertility and the underworld. Western drama grew out of the theatre of Thespis in ancient Greece. This form of theatre passes from the Athenians to the Roamns to the medieval Europeans. Western theatres are sometimes called Aristotelian because it grew, at least in part, out of the ideas of the Greek philosopher Aristotle. Non-Western drama includes all other forms of drama, from the ancient ritual theatre of Africa to the traditional theatre of Asian to the shadow and puppet theatre of Muslim lands. Non-Western theatre can be difficult for Westerners to fully comprehend because of unfamiliar theatrical conventions and the haze of translation. Doesn’t attempt to re- create objective reality. Closely tied to ritual, and it uses color dance, song, and movements to exaggerate, stylize, and symbolically represent life. African Theatre: Myths, Rituals, Rites, and Celebrations African theatre into three periods: the pre-colonial times when African theatre was in its purest form, the colonial period when Western-style drama was introduced to Africa, and the postcolonial period when Western and non-Western theatre were fused into what has been called “Total Theatre”. A Circle of Participants: Pre-colonial Forms Pre-colonial African theatre grew out of ritual. It incorporated acting, music, storytelling, poetry, dance, costumes, and lots of masks to create a theatre that combined ritual and ceremony with drama. African ritual theatre encourages the audience to sing and dance as they formed a circle of participants that fused the two most important institutions of pre-colonial Africa: religion and community. Some label pre-colonial African theatre “nonliterate drama” or “pre-drama”, as if it were incomplete. *Spotlight* Masks and Theatre Although actors today in the West rarely wear them, masks have been important in ritual, religion, and theatre for thousands of years. Masks can help wearers enter an altered state or at least allow them anonymity as they take on the qualities of a different person, an animal or mythical being. Will Durant points out the word; “persona” signified the actor’s mask. – The part played by human beings in life and finally to mean human beings themselves. Some theatres still use the word
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This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course DRA 005 taught by Professor Munn during the Spring '10 term at UC Davis.

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Chapter 11 - Chapter 11 Non-Western Theatre Three Stages:...

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