Chap9 - Chapter 9: Contemporary Theatre and Its Diversity...

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Chapter 9: Contemporary Theatre and Its Diversity Dominant (primarily white, middle-class) cultural standards have been challenged (since the 1960s) Efforts made: To open mainstream theatres to plays about groups previously marginalized or ignored To establish theatres to give these groups their own voices Companies and directors have championed radical change in theatrical conventions and in ideas about the nature and purpose of theatre
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Alternative Theatre Groups The Living Theatre (1960s) Epitomized rebellion against established authority Most extreme piece = Paradise Now Included nudity, obscene language, provocation of audience Blurred the boundaries between fiction and reality Company gained notoriety Tested limits of permissibility
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Alternative Theatre Groups The Bread and Puppet Theatre (1961) Used both actors and giant puppets to enact parables denouncing war and materialism The San Francisco Mime Theatre (1966) Performed satirical pieces promoting civil rights and other causes
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Poor and Environmental Theatres “Poor” Theatres Jerzy Grotowski, director of the Polish Lab Theatre Eliminated all theatrical elements considered unessential Hoped such elimination would lead to the rediscovery of theatre Concluded that only 2 elements are essential: actor and audience Known for methods of actor training Experimented with spatial relationships between actors and audience Theatre = Modern Tribal Ceremony Grotowski’s View:
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Poor and Environmental Theatres “Poor” Theatres The Open Theatre (1963-1974) Headed by Joseph Chaikin; based in NYC Work grounded in contemporary theories of role-playing and theatre games Concerned with transformation = a constantly shifting reality in which the same performer assumes and discards roles or identities as the context changes Reality as ever-changing Works developed collaboratively
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Poor and Environmental Theatres Environmental Theatre Richard Schechner Defined Environmental Theatre: Should take place in a transformed or found space The use of space is flexible Performance takes precedence over text Focus is flexible and variable Blends categories long treated as distinct: Acting space and audience space Performer and spectator Text and performance Sequentiality and simultaneity
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Multimedia, Happenings, and Performance Art Multimedia Joseph Svoboda Czech designer Best-known multimedia experimenter Polyekran = “multiple screen” Laterna Magika = use of motion pictures in combination with actors Multimedia experimentation popularized: Projected still images on multiple screens as scenic background Interjecting filmed sequences into dramatic action Manipulating volume, direction, quality of stereophonic sound Use of closed-circuit television
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Happenings Allan Kaprow
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This note was uploaded on 12/07/2011 for the course THE 1000 taught by Professor Chu during the Spring '10 term at Santa Fe College.

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Chap9 - Chapter 9: Contemporary Theatre and Its Diversity...

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