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Realism and the Modern Theatre

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Title: Realism and the Modern Theatre Author: Kamala Kruszka Last modified by: LRodriguez Created Date: 5/19/2010 6:02:14 PM Document presentation format – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Realism and the Modern Theatre


1
Realism and the Modern Theatre
  • Introduction to the Study of Theatre
  • By K. Kruszka

2
Beliefs
  • A call to return the theatre to serious
    pursuits as opposed to the commercial interests
    of melodrama and comedy. Theatre shouldnt be a
    frivolous entertainment but serious, artful
    expression.

3
1850 - 1950
  • Rise in urban poverty and crime social problems
  • Charles Darwin and the Survival of the Fittest
  • Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis and the
    unconscious
  • Humanity was a the mercy of its environment, not
    in control at all

4
Realism in Theatre
  • Truth lies in the observable physical world
  • Truth can only be discovered through scientific
    observation
  • Art is to be for the betterment of humankind,
    with artist as scientist
  • Plays were set in contemporary times because that
    is all the playwright could observe firsthand.
  • Subjects were contemporary life and its problems.

5
Unity in design to create the illusion of reality
  • Setting was part of the play so actors used it
    rather than performing in front of it.
  • Details had to be three dimensional rather than
    painted if they were to appear real.
  • Actors blocked to resemble natural movement
  • Group toured Europe and became very popular and
    copied.

6
Realistic Blocking
7
Naturalism Andre Antoine
  • Created use of the 4th Wall
  • Had real objects onstage (trees, sides of beef)
    to further enhance the naturalism.
  • Actors should appear to be people, not actors and
    say lines conversationally.
  • Box sets used over wing and backdrop to show
    rooms

8
The Lower Depths by Gorki examined life in the
flophouse. All stage elements reflected this
setting.
9
Realism Becomes Dominant
  • Naturalism had an invited audience to avoid
    censorship, which limited popularity.
  • Naturalism difficult for audiences to follow.
  • Realism offered a style of reality that was
    watch-able and that audiences could appreciate.
  • Realism is still the dominant form of theatre,
    especially in the United States.

10
Chekhov and Stanislavski
11
Moscow Art Theatre
  • Chekhovs plays demanded a new style of acting
    that would teach actors how to create realistic,
    multi-layered characters while also being
    understood by the audience.
  • Stanislavski developed a method of acting, often
    called Realism, which trained actors for
    performing realism. It is the most popular
    training method today in the United States.

12
Stanislavskis Method
  • A system, still used today, where actors create
    characters through observation, sense memory, and
    personal observation.
  • The relationship between actor and director is
    one in which they find the play and its
    characters together through the rehearsal
    process.
  • Endowment, Objective, Inner Monologue

13
Playwrights
  • Heinrich Ibsen - Norwegian A Dolls House, Hedda
    Gabler
  • Credited with writing the first pieces of realism
    that attacked societys values.
  • Ibsens plays tackled issues of the
  • role of women, euthanasia,
  • morality of war and other
  • social issues.

14
George Bernard Shaw
  • English
  • Pygmalion, Saint Joan,
  • Man and Superman
  • Almost always wrote comedies that dealt with
    social issues of the times. Made realism
    accepted in England.

15
Americans
  • Eugene ONeill Long Days Journey Into Night,
    When Mourning Becomes Electra
  • Tennessee Williams A Streetcar Named Desire,
    The Glass Menagerie, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
  • Arthur Miller Death of A Salesman, The
    Crucible, All My Sons
  • Edward Albee Whos Afraid of Virginia Wolf, The
    Goat
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