teatr.us -- 2009

DRAMATURGY AND EXPERIENCE: "I have found a good deal of directing and acting experience to be as essential for a dramaturg as a background in literature, playwriting or theatre history." Anne Cattaneo 20

They must know theory; how else can they compare one script with another. How can they find "their" personal reading (interpretation) -- it's required, when you are on stage.

Twenty years from now we won't be able to get away without PM methods.

SHOWS: 12th Night
I struggle with the title of this act #3 -- Theory? Maybe, Message, Thought, Idea? Remember the third element of the STRUCTURE?


Part I. Craft
Part II. Art
Part III. Theory
Part IV. Play


In THR215 Dramlit -- only an introduction to the main theories of drama (mostly historical), in THR413 Playscript Analysis -- in depth (with the emphasis on Postmodern theories).


Let us imagine a rising generation with this bold vision, this heroic desire for the magnificent, let us imagine the valiant step of these dragon-slayers, the proud daring with which they turn their backs on all the effeminate doctrines of optimism that they may "live resolutely," wholly, and fully: would it not be necessary for the tragic man of this culture, with his self-discipline of seriousness and terror, to desire a new art, the art of metaphysical comfort—namely, tragedy…" -- The Birth of Tragedy

Theatre Theory


Part Three: Styles

"Styles"? Stay with me. I hope by Jan. 2004 we can get it right! The Theory segment of the course...

Playscript Analysis

Postmodern, POMO, PM? Well, your textbooks do not touch it yet, but by the time you will establish yourselves in theatre, POMO is be a common place. Trust me (as car salesmen like to say).

Dramatic Literature

2004: Breaking this directory into four parts could help THR413, but DramLit? Craft -- "well-made play" and Aristotle should take care of it. Art -- themes subdirectory was started for that purpose, to explain that ideas matter. But the part 3 (theory) -- what this is about?
[ Warning (students in my live class); if you still didn't write outline, or some pages for you last assigment -- YOUR own scene, do it now! The last part (4) is WRITING the scenes! ]

So, the Theatre Theory -- or -- What is Theatre?

It depends.

The century you live in (time), or the country (space). Also, it depends on you.

If you never saw live theatre (only 5% of Americans ever went to theatre), you never lived (my opinion) -- this is "theory" too: art is useless.

You think that theatre is silly -- theory again.

"Theatre is boring, but movies are great!" Serious theory. Film studies.

Shakespeare was a male! Feminism.

Shakespeare was white. Shakespeare lived in England. Shakespeare lived...

A lot of theories.

Why should we bother?

Because it helps to understand the plays. Understanding helps to act, direct or write plays.

Some methods (theories) are simple. Semiotics, for example. You can count the words Hamlet uses and compare with the words of Cladius -- structuralism.

You can read Hamlet from the Marxist perspective (if you know Marxism) -- you see many things which you missed without this POV.

Theory is a set of mind, another perspective, another take. If you want to do theatre, you better get theoretical.


So, what is theatre?

A performing art

A graphic art

A literary art (although sometimes not written down)

A popular art (entertainment) - diversion for a mass audience.


"The poetical as well as moral decline of taste in our time has been attended with this consequence, that the most popular writers for the stage, regardless of the opinion of good judges, and of true repute, seek only for momentary applause; while others, who have both higher aims, keep both the former in view, cannot prevail on themselves to comply with the demands of the multitude, and when they do compose dramatically, have no regard to the stage. Hence they are defective in the theatrical part of art, which can only be attained in perfection by practice and experience." [S] [ Methods page ]


Principles and Rules of Comparative Analysis
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