The Theater

The Theater

The Theater

(Middle age, Roman Age, greek Age, , Elisabethan age) In the Middle Ages, the theater does not disappear but changes its purpose. The fathers of the church defined the theater as a thing to corrupt the souls of men, because of which many theatrical buildings were destroyed. the first form of medieval theater was staged in the monastery of Fleury, in 930 and it’s called quem quaeritis The place is trasformed, from the greek theatre to the church and square, subsequently due to the growing size of the audience; the playsbegan to be performed outside the doors, first in the courtyard of the church, then in other open spaces in the city . The jester represented a “multiple” being that contains the actor, the poet, the acrobat, the court animator, the musician, the singer of the shows, the dance master. There are three types of medieval representations: Mysterious works: on Christ or from the Old Testament; usually done in cycles • Miracle: lives of saints, historical and legendary Moral games: didactic allegories, often of the common struggle for the salvation of man (Everyman) The medieval theater was a source of entertainment and education for people who lived in the Middle Ages. Teatro Romano The first playwright was a liberator called Livio Andronicus in 240 BC. ● Unlike Greek theater, the civil or ritual connotation leaves the character of entertainment. For the Roman public, participation is motivated by fun rather than religious or political tension. Types of games Many Roman works came from the Greeks, sometimes reworked or mixed with some elements of the Etruscan tradition. Atellana The atellana, a popular farce of Campania origin was recited with masks and improvisation of the actors on a canvas. Comedy Roman comedies began to develop with the introduction of the musical element. The Greek comedy was called fabula palliata, while the comedy set in Roman times was called fabula togata Satire It was a mixed theatrical representation of dance, music and acting, later becoming the critic of society. Tragedy The tragic genre was also taken up by the Greeks. It was called fabula cothurnata (from the Cothurni, the high-heeled shoes of the Greek actors) or palliata (from the pallium, as for the comedy) . When the tragedy faced the themes of Rome at the time, with allusions to current political events, it was called praetexta (from the toga praetexta, bordered with purple, used for the magistrates). The Roman theater The Roman theater has a smaller orchestra, in fact it was half a circle compared to an entire circle (Greek theater). Another difference with Greek is that Roman drama did not use choirs. While the Greek theater was built on a hill, the Romans built theaters everywhere, even on plains, lifting the entire structure from the ground, so that entrances / exits could be built in the auditorium, as happens in large theaters and sports arenas today. Teatro Greco The Cult of Dionysus The first form of Drama was a religious rite which dates back to at least 1200 BC. In Northern Greece, in an area called Thrace, the tribes practised a Cult of Dionysus, the god of fertility and procreation. The Dithyramb The Dithyramb was an essential part of The Cult of Dionysus. The word means “choric hymn” sung and danced in honour of Dionysus during the festivals where they took part in real competitions of rites. The most important Greek tragedians are: • Aeschylus was to establish the basic rule of tragic drama. He invented the triology, a series of 3 tragedies tell a long story which makes dramatization. He introduced a second actor. • Sophocles introduced a third actor, increased the number of chorus members to 15. He introduced scenery and the use of the scenes. • Euripides was important for the realism and the attention of feelings, as a mechanism to elaborate the unfolding of tragic events. Amphitheatres Major theatres were constructed, notably the theatre at Delphi. The structure of Greek theatres Greek theatres were usually built on the natural slope of a hill, taking advantage of the terrain and acoustics. Seats were often cut into the hillside. The Greek theatres had a circular orchestra or “dancing area” for the chorus to sing and dance in. • Stone benches arranged in tiers and used to seat the audience. (entrance for the public) • Doors used by the actors to go to and from the backstage area and the stage. • Scene (entrance for the actors) • Space where the choir performed. (orchestra) • Platform where the actors The function of theatre The function of the theatre also changes from Greeks to Romans: • The function of Greek theater is to purify the spectator. The term ‘catharsis’ means precisely purification or calming of passions produced by poetry and especially by tragedy. Elizabethan theatre, also known as Renaissance English theatre was the dominant art form that flourished during and a little after the reign of Elizabeth I, who was Queen of England from 1558 to 1603. THE DEVELOPMENT OF THEATER In the Elizabethan era, plays took place in three different types of playgrounds: Inn-yards, amphitheatres and playhouses. CHARACTERISTICS OF ELIZABETHAN THEATRE Elizabethan theaters marked a heyday of English theater with such playwrights as William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, John Fletcher, Thomas Kidd and Ben Jonson Elizabethan Theater made natural and universal lighting. Shows were performed in the afternoon in open-air theaters or grounds. Those shows that were performed indoors were done to candlelight where audience and actors shared the same lighting. Elaborate Costumes Costuming in Elizabethan theater was elaborati e colorful. The most important playwright of Elizabethan Age was William Shakespeare Shakespeare’s biography GENERAL FEATURES OF A SHAKESPEAREAN PLAY Evolving scenes The progress of a Shakespearean play is usually linked to the gradual clarification of things which are left mysterious at the beginning. Themes are hinted at, but their real meaning becomes apparent much later. There is also a frequent contrast between scenes with many characters and scenes with few, scenes in public and in private, those full of action and those devoted to reflections. Shakespeare sometimes leaves some questions open so that we continue to think about the answer to the puzzle after the play is over. Structure The structure of the play was flexible. Shakespeare did not give great importance to the division between the acts. In the Elizabethan theatre there was no curtain fall between the acts and the plays were performed without an interval. Characters Shakespeare took his characters from all the social class, both from the rich class and the poor class (rustics, servants…). The family ties are one of the most important theme of Shakespeare. Moreover there are symmetrical correspondences between the characters, for example three lords and three ladies. Variety of Style Shakespeare used different levels of speech and action to portray his characters from different angles. As a matter of fact a character may change from everyday prose to solemn verse. He use also allegorical scenes.

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