* glossary (new page ?) :

presentational vs. representational (theatre) : theatricality vs. realism : Meyerhold against Stanislavsky

2008 -- new :


Other PICASA albums-guides



"I'm not a teacher: only a fellow-traveller of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead - ahead of myself as well as you." --George Bernard Shaw MY glossary portal 07

Use theatre theatre termonology Theatre Dictionary: 3 levels

Existentialism proposes that man is full of anxiety and despair with no meaning in his life, just simply existing, until he made decisive choice about his own future.


general theatre glossary: 1 * 2 * 3 * 4 * 5


Dramaturg (new page) *
A dramaturg serves two primary roles:

(1) A production dramaturg:
In production, the dramaturg works primarily with the director but may also be a resource for actors, designers and technicians by sharing information and research on aspects of the script (e.g. historical, cultural, political content)
Prepares scripts for performance; this work may include analyzing and revising/editing scripts, adapting non-theatrical text into a script, translating scripts from other languages
May act as advisor to playwright writing or workshopping a new script; also may act as a liaison between playwright and director

(2) A resident dramaturg (i.e. resident to a theatre company or group):
Reads and assesses new plays
Consults with the artistic director on the development of artistic policy and repertoire
Supervises the public pronouncements of the theatre insofar as they reflect its repertoire and aesthetics (publicity, press release, etc.)


A-Effect: The Verfremdungseffekt, alienation or "distanciation" effect, is the primary innovation of Brecht's epic theater. By alienating the spectator from the spectacle, its devices would reveal the social gestus underlying every incident on-stage and open a space for critical reflection. Often alienation also means making the workings of the spectacle possible, and decomposing the unity of the theatrical illusion. Brecht called for the spectator's alienation to oppose the mystifying tendencies of the conventional stage, tendencies that reduced its audience to passive, trance-like states. The possible techniques of alienation are endless. Slight chances in pace, alternative arrangements of the players on-stage, experiments in lighting, gesture, and tone. The success of each scene in Mother Courage hinges upon these devices. For example, Courage's "Song of the Great Capitulation," when played without alienation, risks seducing the spectator with the pleasures of surrender rather than exposing the depravity in the submission to an unjust authority.

Inciting Incident: The disturbance that launches the conflict/resolution process of the play. It begins the root action of the play. It is not necessarily the first event of the play or need it be the first event of the broad conflict that may have existed before the action of the play. It is the event of the play that starts the forces of conflict moving. Kabuki-Style
^ This is DramLit "showcase" ^


Playwrighting Seminars * Drama is a prose or verse composition telling a story which shows life or character through conflict and emotions. It is usually performed by actors and actresses in a theatrical setting, but can also refer to pre-recorded television programs or opera.

* The Poetics or Poetics *


Spectacle (Show)

123 Composition:

Genre: Comedy, Tragedy, Drama

Chronotope: Space + Time

EXPRESSIONISM -- term used to describe works of art and literature in which the representation of reality is distorted to communicate an inner vision. The expressionist transforms nature rather than imitates it. [ In the drama, Strindberg is considered the forefather of the expressionists, though the term is specifically applied to a group of early 20th-century German dramatists, including Kaiser, Toller, and Wedekind. ]

How to Write? Don't miss -- 2005 THR215 Dramatic Literature: new Williams Pages = The Glass Menagerie ("Seven Scenes").


from biblio page: modern drama

+ books

+ references

+ links

+ list

[ script.vtheatre.net ]

[Critical Concepts] ***

Script, Dictionary

2004: each class directory has glossary page!

DRAMA: A composition, in prose or poetry, accommodated to action, and intended to exhibit a picture of human life, or to depict a series of grave or humorous actions of more than ordinary interest, tending toward some striking result. It is commonly designed to be spoken and represented by actors on the stage. [ Webster's 1913 Dictionary ]

Well-Made Play: French pièce bien faite

Play constructed according to strict technical principles that produce neatness of plot and theatrical effectiveness.

The form was developed c. 1825 by Eugène Scribe and became dominant on 19th-century European and U.S. stages. It called for complex, artificial plotting, a buildup of suspense, a climactic scene in which all problems are resolved, and a happy ending. Scribe's hundreds of successful plays were imitated all over Europe; other practitioners of the form included playwrights Victorien Sardou, Georges Feydeau, and Arthur Wing Pinero, who brought the form to the level of art with The Second Mrs. Tanqueray (1893). [ Britannica ]

New terms are introduced on "subject pages" in themes directory (new)


Besides the Six by Aristotle: Structure & Texture (a must)*

Some (new):

Dramatic Arc of the play >Line-by-line Analysis : Close readings find the beats of the play, as well as line beats.

Character development including:


super objectives

Play language, is it specialized, or heightened? Evidence of poetic language?

Is it written in meter? Do you see internal or external rhyme?

Logic of the world of the play

What are repeating themes or structures that are particular to the language of the play?

An exercise to look at the logic of the play’s language is to experiment and find connections in the lexicon (word connotation) that connects specialized language of the play.

Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work.

Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, or literary devices that can help to develop and inform the text's major themes.

Symbols are objects, characters, figures, or colors used to represent abstract ideas or concepts.


"Dramatic Question": A device to help clarify analysis. It is the question the play exists to answer. Often phrasing the dramatic question will illuminate the play so the root conflict and root action emerge clearly.

"Cycle of Action": A series of minor conflicts that contribute to the root action and lead to the resolution of the root conflict. Each action cycle is structurally much like the complete play in having an inciting incident, climax, etc.

"Dramatic irony": the words or acts of a character may carry a meaning unperceived by the character but understood by the audience. The irony resides in the contrast between the meaning intended by the speaker and the different significance seen by others.

[ to be updated I hope; for now use other glossaries ]

THR215 DramLit: An introduction to the analysis, preparation and dramatic reading of literature ( new glossary @ dramlit.vtheatre.net *

I.  Given Circumstances

  A.  Environment           
    1.   Geographical location, climate, etc.        
    2.   Date
    3.   Economic factors
    4.   Political factors 
    5.   Social/religious factors
  B.   Previous action
  C.  Polar attitudes of characters
  D.  Dialog
    1.  Choice of words
    2.  Choice of sentence structures
    3.  Choice of images
    4.  Characteristics, i.e, dialect, etc. 
    5.  Prose/poetry 
II.  Dramatic Action
  A.  Root conflict
  B.  Root action
  C.  Dramatic question
  D.  Cycles of action
  E.  Tempo
  F.  Mood
  G.  Climax
III.  Characters
  A.  Given circumstances (may relate to above)
  B.  History prior to entrance on stage
  C.  Attitudes (will relate to I.c above


* Theatre Chronology *

School/Movement   -   Expressionism 
Dates - Term coined in 1901 
     Big in Germany in the teens, extended into 20’s in the U.S. 
     Inside - Out 
     Finding a visual vocabulary to make internal seen to the audience 
     Takes symbolist motive and manifests its darker side or sociopolitical side 
     Dark reality - mechinization of society reflected on people 
     Interaction of environment and humans, social critique 
     Exploration of experience - show dark side psychologically 
     Society has a point of reference to the outside world, society IS the outside world 
     Characters- types rather than individuals, distorted visuals in  productions, usually everything on 
     stage seen from protagonist  view/psyche, pessimistic, society is the problem, individual has little 
Founder/Key Influences 
     Strindberg - who can be seen as the “father of all isms” by some 
Plays & Playwrights 
     Rice -Adding Machine - - the plot is shown in scenes (stations) rather than linear plot 
     development, characters are types 
     Toller - Man and the Masses - - society is the problem and people have little hope 
    Kaiser - From Man to Midnight - - messianic central figure 
Other Important Names 
     Vincent van Gogh,  Willem de Kooning, Edward Munch, Kokoschka 
For Future Reference 
     Shock of the New - for expressionist art 

School/Movement    -    Surrealism 
Dates -  Early 1900’s through 1930’s  
(plays written up until 1930’s) 
     Higher truth coming from within - that is the starting point 
     Interested in internal values/truths 
     The psychological logic of a dream expressed on stage 
     Interested in audience experiencing - engaged in pure thought 
Founder/Key Influences 
     Apollinaire - 1917 - coined term ‘Surrealism’ 
     Manifesto 1924 - Andre Breton 
         Breton tried to define surrealism - express actual function of thought 
     1929 - second manifesto 
     Journal - Surrealist Revolution 
Plays and Playwrights 
     Roger Vitrac, Phillipe Soupault, Charles Baron 
     Apollinaire - Breasts of Tiresias  Jaques Cocteau - Soluable Fish, If You Please, You Will 
     Forget Me, Wedding on Eiffel Tower 
Other Important Names 
     Breton - interested in tapping subconscious - automatic writing -  wanted to see if possible to 
     write without conscious brain interfering 
     Dali, Magritte  Surrealists embraced Picasso even though he was not a member of their circle 
For Future Reference 
     The Theatre in Dada and Surrealism - J.H. Matthews 
     Dada and Surrealist Performance - Annabelle Melzer

School/Movement   -   
 Marxist Theory             
Dates  -  1840’s to the present 
     “The liberation of the working class by the elimination of all classes  and therefore the 
        unaviodable class struggle of modern capitalism.” 
     “From each according to their ability to each according to their need.” 
     Karl Marx - Philosopher 1818-1883  *(blamed for having invented  communism)  He is the 
     father of Dialectical Materialism. 
     Hegel - phil., contributed greatly to rebirth of dialectic method.   Into dialectical idealism. 
     Dialectic but materialist 
     Feuerbach - phil., Hegel diciple.  Into metaphysical materialism 
     Frederick Engels - co-author of the Communist Manifesto 
     Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts - Karl Marx 1844 
     Communist Manifesto - Marx and Engels 1848 
     Das Capital: Volumes I, II, III - Marx 1867-94 
Plays and Playwrights 
     Revolt of the Beavers - Federal Theatre Project 1940’s 
     Measures Taken - Brecht 
     Emile Zola  Maurice Myerhold  G.B. Shaw 
     Had effect on Boal - takes structure of drama and turns it upside down in order to liberate 
    the audience, creating spect-actors. 
Other Important Names -- (Inspired by Marx) 
     Chaplin, Orwell, Stravinski, Hemingway, Gandhi, Darwin, Mao,  Einstein, Pavlov, Picasso, 
     Faulkner, Lenin, Freud, Tolstoi 
For Future Reference 
     see glossary of the masses 
     important - idea of surplus value 

School/Movement    -    
Dates  -   Started in 1913-14 
     One views how everything is made/constructed, the bare bones, nothing decorated on stage 
     Actor = worker, like a gym- everything serves the ‘acrobatics’ of the  actors 
     Simplicity, function, no mysteries, art in space, lots of architechtural influences, used poster art 
     with slogans 
     Art for the masses, Art is conscious 
Founder/Key Influences 
     Vladimir Tatlin (architect) 
     Began in Russia 
     Architectural influences 
Plays and Playwrights 
     Ostrovsky - The Storm 
Other Important Names 
     Picasso, rival: Kazimir Malevich, who did the “black canvas” 
     Myerhold - director, de-constructed the classics 
     Witkiewictz - Theatre of Pure Form 
For Future Reference 
     Look at Russian Theatre 

School/Movement    -    
Futurism  (Italian)         
Dates  -   Approximately 1909-1922 
     To create a theatre that is fundamentally nonrepresentational and  alogical 
     Experiences for own sake rather than for references, implications 
     Does not tell a story- stays away from character, abolish conventions 
     Anti-realism, speed, power, movement, force, pure abstraction,  simultaneous presentation, 
     originality-surprise, mechinization, improv 
     Audience involvement- (selling 2 or 3 tix for same seat in order to create conflict) 
     Assualt conservative older passeists 
    Glorification of war, speed, machine age 
Founder/Key Influences 
     Filippo Tommaso Marinetti 1876-1944 
     Reaction against symbolism, realistic theatre, or any theatre of  convention 
    Manifesto  13 published - 1st in 1909 
     Important one - “The Variety Theatre” by Marinetti, 1913 
     “The Futurist Synthetic Theatre” - 1915 
     “Theatre of Surprise” - 1921 by Marinetti and Canguillo 
Plays and Playwrights 
     Poetry readings- evenings of dynamic, synoptic declamation, pro-war  connection 
     Short plays - 10 seconds to 40 minutes called Sintesi 
     Marinetti - Le Roi Bombance, Simultaneita, Pouppees Electriques 
     Umberto Boccioni - Bachelor Apartment 
     Emilio Settimelli  Bruno Corra 
Other Important Names 
     Music- Luigi Russlo- created instruments, metalic rubbing sounds,  harsh and unnatural 
    Prampolini - designer 
     Piscator - puppets, many innovations in puppetry due to futurists 
For Future Reference 
     Futurist Performance - Michael Kirby and Victoria NesKirby 
     Pink Floyd - The wall (animation) 
*Note- Futurists: 
novelty theatre - to do with movement, power, 
more of a nonsensical playfulness compared to dadaists confrontational in your face tactics 

THE MAN    -    Antonin Artaud                 
Dates  1896-1948 
     Bureau for Surrealist Research - joined 1925, expelled 1926 
     Theatre Alfred Jarry in 1926-1929 
     Theatre of Cruelty - 1932 
     Elimination of spoken words, use of pure sound, gesture, and  movement 
     Artaud referred to as ‘father of ritual theatre’- used masks,  incantations, rhythmic movement 
     Concentrated on theatre’s ability to promote catharsis and disrupting the audiences rational, 
     western consciousness 
     Insisted theatre be used as language- concerned with developing and utilizing a calculated theatre 
     *Theories/projects remained largely unrealized during his lifetime 
Key Influences 
     Andre Breton and ‘The Surrealist Revolution’ 
     Jacque Riviere editor of Nouvelle Revue Francaise, Aurelian-Marie  Lugne-Poe director of the 
     symbolist Theatre de l’Oeuvre, and Charles  Dullin founder of Theatre de l’Atelier 
     Manifesto/Credo -  “to divest the theatre of all logic and verisimilitude;  touch and bruise the 
     spectator, thereby forcing involvement” 
     1st manifesto (of sorts)- Theatre of Cruelty- 1932  - “to make space speak” 
     2nd manifesto(ditto)- Theatre of Cruelty - 1933 
     Jet of Blood, Conquest of Mexico, The Cenci 
Other Important Names  - (influenced by Artaud) 
     playwrights - Ionesco, Pinter, Genet 
     directors - Peter Brook, Jertzy Grotowski 
     The Living Theatre - Judith Malina, Julian Beck in New York, (1951- late 60’s) were interested 
     in using physicality, tribal images, and challenging the audience 
For Future Reference 
     The Theatre and its Double - Artaud 
     Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty - Albert Bermel 
     Artaud and After - Ronald Hayman 
     Antonin Artaud: Man of Vision - Bettina L. Knapp 
     Antonin Artaud: Selected Writings - Susan Sontag 


Use other theatre dictionaries for now (other directories).

Specific theatrical elements like light, sound, movement, props and set. filmplus.org/thrtheatre theory

Theatre Dict. I

Brainstorm 20 points
Outline 20 points
Rough Draft 50 points
Final Draft 60 points
TOTAL: 150 points

Your outline should follow this pattern:
Thesis Statement
Thesis Statement
One character (list all the information you have about one character)
The other character (compare to the previous character)
Restate the main idea
Concluding thought ChekhovPages Oscar Lee Brownstein and Darlene M. Daubert's * Analytical Sourcebook of Concepts in Dramatic Theory * collects quotes from a number of authors and organizes them according to theme, e.g., "Catharsis," "Affect," "Three Unities." It's easy to criticize a book like this for not including X, Y, or Z, but it's pretty useful. It includes writers from antiquity to modernity. For Aristotle, they cite passages from De Anima, Metaphysics, Nicomachean Ethics, The Parts of Animals, Politics, Rhetoric, Poetics.
They don't, however, include anything by Plato.

Theatre w/Anatoly