Poor me! More I try to make this website user-friendly, more pages I have to make! "Script" directory serves two classes -- DramLit and Playscript Analysis. To make it simple, do read 20th century plays, if your are in THR413 Playscript. And -- Don't read dramlit, if you don't know much about theatre; start with 200X Files: Aesthetics, the core course.
If you have a few hours to write your paper for tommorow, don't read anything, write it.
If you didn't read anything ON Theatre, most likely you waste your time, surfing my pages. Why? Because I have notes only, you need to read books first. I have my pages for myself and I read "fat" books with "long words" and my students in my live classes for 3 months are required to do the same. If you are looking for "get it fast" -- you are in the wrong place. Nothing fast about knowing theatre. I say it, because I think I am getting used to the idea that the overall direction of the script.vtheatre.net is Playscript Analysis for Actors and Directors (where dramatic literature segment is only to give historical perspective). So -- everything must have practical applications: How Do I play Hamlet? How should I read and understand the play in order to direct Oedipus?
The Compact Bedford Introduction to DRAMA (Lee A. Jacobus) is a good textbook and I use it for THR215 Dramatic Literature. Please read plays -- and the critical texts!
Check the tests pages to have an idea, what kind of terminology you are expected to know.
Confessional (Russian tradition, I can't skip it even in the textbook): thanks to my students, after all they are the ones who wrote all my textbooks (read "The Book of Spectator"). Idid my experients on living beings! Like some nazy! I tried so many things in the classroom -- and they took it... Thanks, guys.
Now, the changes: I am thinking about renaming THR215 into "DramLit for Actors" and THR413 -- "Playscript Analysis for Directors".... Why?
WEB-CREDO: In what way my webpages could be useful = the manner I myself use them. I keep my notes, the important stuff I have to remember when I teach, direct or write. About Chekhov or Stanislavsky, Sophocles or Brehct, the principles and thoughts that need constant attention because they have no final answers, but endless questioning.
Long ago Hegel said that "trurth is a process" and I believe that being is becoming. So, I place some notes (and quotes -- to stimulate myself), something to remind me what is in focus, to help myself to stay focused... If reading those pages can help you as well, great. If not, fine. It helps me.
I try to limit myself, to the same names, the same titles. I believe that reading Shakespeare ten times is better experience than reading 10 new unknown plys. My webpages evolve without any specific plans, I made them and I workon them on the "need only" basis. You see, I do not have a "situation" page, I deal with this construct daily -- in class, on stage, on page... For actors, directors, writers? For myself!
Do I understand (dramatic) "situation"? Maybe more than my students... Well, I write it only to explain why I have my webpages and have so many. To explain what you can expect from the pages and me.
"What is dramatic? To many the answer will seem very easy: where various
persons are introduced conversing together, and the poet does not speak in
his own person. This is, however, merely the first external foundation of
the form; and that is dialogue. But the characters may express thoughts
and sentiments without operating any change on each other, and so leave
the minds of both in exactly the same state in which they were at the
commencement; in such a case, however interesting the conversation may be,
it cannot be said to possess a dramatic interest." Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature by August Wilhelm Schlegel (I will be using quotes from Schlegel in 2004 notes for class, ends with the German Drama XVIII c. Lecture XXX).
+ The Birth of Tragedy by Friedrich Nietzsche, Douglas Smith; Oxford University Press, 2000 (Dreaming... )
Let us glance back in brief summary of what we have so far considered: First, the "Preliminary: Orientation to Drama"--the dramatic and theatric and semantic elements in life that combine in the theater; the Drama, explored in its three dimensions; the interrelation of theater art and dramatic literature; the key terms "stageplay" and "drama" defined. Second, "The Playscript: Creation by the Playwright"--with particular emphasis upon the story elements of character, plot, and dialogue. Third, "The Stageplay: Production for Presentation"--considering the creative activity of the actors and other interpretative artists of the theater. Fourth, "The Play: Recreation by Spectator and Reader"--exploring in some detail the complex psychological responses of the playgoer to a stageplay and of the playreader to a drama. (124)
Part I. Craft (wright) and Part II. Art.
Part IV. Show.
Could we break the Chekhov's monologue into "Craft" and "Art"?
And "The Play"?
What about "The Stageplay"?
OLGA [embraces both her sisters]. The music is so happy, so confident, and you long for life! O my God! Time will pass, and we shall go away for ever, and we shall be forgotten, our faces will be forgotten, our voices, and how many there were of us; but our sufferings will pass into joy for those who will live after us, happiness and peace will be established upon earth, and they will remember kindly and bless those who have lived before. Oh, dear sisters, our life is not ended yet. We shall live! The music is so happy, so joyful, and it seems as though in a little while we shall know what we are living for, why we are suffering.... If we only knew -- if we only knew!
[ 3 Sisters, ending ]
Once I taught 200x Aesthetics class (I designed it) -- and although I don't teach it, I often come back to the thought that art (and theatre) is simple. "Love of Beauty" or "Love for Beauty" or even "Beauty is Love" -- all you have to do is to have love or appreciation for beauty (the same?). This is why I began with the monologue from Chekhov. With the mysterious "If we only knew -- if we only knew!" What does it mean -- the last line? How to understand it? I know that is the great ending, but I don't know why it's so good.
This is what will study -- the great, beautiful stories...
I started a new subdirectory Themes in order to reorganize the course in topical manner (in addition to the "normal" -- chronological timeline).
You see, I teach drama, because I love plays. I love that much that I even wrote a few myself. Of course, we know that theatre can exist without playscripts (Performance Study), but it's not the same. The great plays are the heart of theatre, without them it still would be "goat dances" ("tragedy" in Greek). If you can understand DRAMA, you will find you way in professional theatre. If you do not like plays, forget it!
Plays are not "normal" literature; the secret is that they are SCRIPTS (using special codes) and this is the language you have to learn.
Theatre = Text -- Director -- Actor
I use this basic formula in my classes and the order different in acting or directing class. It could be:
Theatre = Play -- Actor -- Director
Theatre = Director -- Play -- Actor
All depends on the playscript and directorial concept. But the script and analysis of it is always there. That's why I use those pages for all classes I teach. Also, I direct and I have to understand playscripts in order to communicate my and playwright's ideas to cast and crew... and to the public.
Well, there is understanding of drama and understanding of theatre! Drama is taught by English departments as literature, but in our case we study drama to perform, design, direct. This is a different type of appreciation; applications of the dramatic laws for different mediums, here we treat scripts as a "material" for further creation.
My webpages are not instead of the textbook, but in addition!
Beside THR215 Dramatic Literature (Shakespeare logo) and THR413 Playscript Analysis (Chekhov), I use this directory for periods, styles and theories of theatre. Do not confuse it with the Theatre History I and II!
Recommended: Modern Theories of Drama, George W. Brandt, Oxford
[ Questions in classes and for the class. Projected into the next lesson. ]