Study "Theatre / Opera / Play" Essays 1-54

123. . .Last ›
X Filters 

Metamorphosis of Opera in South Africa Thesis

… ¶ … metamorphosis of Opera in South Africa. We also present the metamorphosis of opera in other parts of the world in order to contrast the transformation with the one observed in South Africa. In out analysis we discuss how… [read more]


Voice of American Opera. Opera Quarterly, 23 Article Critique

… ¶ … Voice of American Opera." Opera Quarterly, 23 (1): 81-95.

First published online: July 2, 2008. doi: 10.1093/oq/kbn005

According to Anne Midgett's essay "The Voice of American Opera," American opera is losing ground after decades of gaining respect and popularity. For many years, American operatic training was renowned throughout the world, after overcoming initial European reservations about the nation's ability to produce high-quality singers. However, American vocal training has devolved, rather than evolved and American singers have lost their famed versatility and power. European schooling has grown more competitive; American training less so, particularly given the rise of opera companies that have fueled the growth of vocal departments in conservatories. The demand for 'recordable' voices have also produced a less expansive and powerful voice.

Even what constitutes American opera itself -- the setting, director, composer, or source -- is vague. Opera houses seen reluctant to advertise themselves as such, fearing that they might be tainted with charges of elitism, and now often produce musical theater as well as the classical opera repertoire. American composers may indeed be American, but tend to use relatively conservative artistic and musical techniques, and evoke an earlier sensibility rather than challenge it.

This may also be a symptom of the need to create opera that is well-suited to the recorded medium. Many listeners are unwilling to commit to hearing a full opera. More domestic and harmonious operatic music, the kind that is listened to as a distraction, rather than as a source of emotional involvement, has…… [read more]


Humanities in Western Civilization Term Paper

… Humanities in Western Civilization

The human condition is a complex field - one that in fact requires many different fields of knowledge. The different fields of knowledge that take for their object of study what it means to be human… [read more]


Theoni v. Aldredge Term Paper

… Theoni V. Aldredge

Discussion of Theoni V. Aldredge: One of America's Most Gifted Costume Designers

According to one admirer, Theoni V. Aldredge is one of America's most gifted costume designers. To date, her stage credits have included "I Can get… [read more]


Planning Design of Hospitality Facilities Term Paper

… Planning and Design Hospitality

The Sydney Opera House is one of the most photographed buildings in the world. It has received many architecture and design awards and it is one of the most striking design features in Australia, and one… [read more]


Opera Feng Yi Ting at Spoleto SC Term Paper

… Chinese Opera

Kung Fu and Feng Yi Ting

Western audiences may not be intimately familiar with the sights, sounds and conventions of Chinese opera. However, as the American premier of renowned composer Guo Wenjing's Feng Yi Ting at this spring's Spoleto Festival reveals, many of the themes will be recognizable to experienced theatre-goers. A story steeped both in true Chinese history and in the mythology of its dynastic heritage, Feng Yi Ting combines the traditional love-triangle intrigue often seen in western operatic theatre with pointedly Chinese instrumental flourishes, vocal stylings and cultural references. In addition to the familiarity of such themes, western audiences may have some sense of context for the broader imperial implications symbolized by the struggle between the two male protagonists. Certainly, my own interaction with Chinese culture, largely channeled through my childhood love for vintage kung fu theatre and cinema, would demonstrate the recurrence of themes such as internal familial rivalry, female treachery and their far-reaching impact on whole kingdoms.

Perhaps this mix of both the familiar and the culturally enlightening is at the root of the opera's considerable critical appeal. Charleston, South Carolina's annual 17 day Spoleto Festival, which celebrates the arts both in a local and international capacity, has received praise for its inclusion of Wenjing's work. According to Moore (2012) "while providing performances of the highest caliber, Spoleto Festival USA maintains a dedication to young artists, a commitment to all forms of the performing arts, a passion for contemporary innovation, and an enthusiasm for providing unusual performance opportunities for established artists." (Moore, p. 1)

Quite certainly, Feng Yi Ting qualifies as an unusual performance, at least to the present audience. Wenjing ably conjures the look and feel of courtly life during the great Han Dynasty but held up against a sonic backdrop that betrays decidedly western and contemporary classical conceits. These more traditional operate arrangements were, however, punctuated by the inclusion of Chinese instruments such as the pipa and erhu. (Giovetti, p. 1)

In addition, the sometimes shrill but always animated vocalists provided a texture that was both undeniably Chinese in its tonality but also pointedly distinct from the operatic traditions to which western audiences are more generally accustomed.

Still, as with any given kung fu movie made somewhat distracting by its halting dialogue or awkwardly phrased subtitles, the tension, intrigue, violence and sexuality tend to convey otherwise universal feelings. So denotes the promotional website for the Spoleto Festival. The festival's producers describe "an empire at stake; two powerful men in love with the same exquisite, inscrutable woman; and a plot that will change the course of history. Feng Yi Ting is not only a profoundly operatic story, it is the historically true account of Diao Chan, a woman of legendary beauty and the central figure in a dangerous rivalry between aristocrat Dong Zhuo and his godson, General Lu Bu." (Spoleto Festival U.S.A., p. 1)

This is a theme that will also resonate with fans of works by Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee and other… [read more]


Theatre Today and Term Paper

… I read recently how some of the Supreme Court Justices argued that racism no longer exists in the United States, which, when asking many Americans do not agree with. A play like "Doubt" is still relevant in the present because it makes people reevaluate and reassess these issues. Plays, theatre, and other forms of art have the ability to help people consider their attitudes and behaviors. Plays can help us trace the trajectory of social issues to really see and feel how far we have come as a culture and society, or not.

Theatre today should continue to build upon the strong tradition of storytelling upon which it is founded. Theatre today for me has quite a challenge and reputation to live up to. There has got to be simplicity -- the elements of good drama must be present and clear. There must be compelling characters, a simple story told in and interesting way, and a structure to the play that is easy enough to follow, but yet again, is intriguing. Theatre for me achieves these balances and blending of elements very well. I do not like theatre with lots of extended monologues. Even in Shakespeare, which a playwright known for monologues and soliloquies, there is a balance between quick banter, short scenes, and longer speeches. I do not like plays with tons of scene changes. Numerous scene changes work in film, which is an entirely different medium. Therefore, I like plays that understand the restrictions of the form, but at the same time, takes risks in how they push the boundaries of what can be done on a play, on stage, as part of the theatrical tradition.

I found the selection of plays for the course to be strong, though I did not personally enjoy them all. I learned more about how it is unnecessary to personally enjoy something in order to find value in it or to learn about playwriting, storytelling, and history. Besides telling stories, plays are a way to share history in a more interactive way. People enjoy many of the aspects of production in seeing a play, and those who read plays engage their imaginations as well as the writing on a more personal level.

Theatre today has its work cut out for it. Theatre for me has a lot of high and dynamic standards to uphold. I think this is partially because we live in a world with many options for entertainment, most of which involves media technology. The theatre has to work very hard to draw and keep audiences and good theatre does this despite all the competition for attention provided by other forms such as the Internet, films, video games, television, and other forms of live performance such as concerts and musicals, which can be considered a form of theatre. Some of the other media forms that I enjoy actually incorporate the techniques of good theatre, which likely at least partially explains why I like those other forms, too.… [read more]


Opera Review of Igor Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex Term Paper

… Opera Review

In Oedipus Rex, Igor Stravinsky is telling a classic tale from Greek mythology. This is achieved by discussing the various challenges. Oedipus is facing, in his quest for discovering a murder. During this process, he is able to… [read more]


Theater Ballet Essay

… Theater/Ballet Reflection

It seems if that were true, you could do some border and shading option on word to get rid of it.

I see nothing but the text.

I was truly impressed after attending a recent performance of Mikhailovsky's Ballet Flames of Paris at the Segerstorm Center for Performing Arts in Costa Mesa, CA. The Segerstrom Theater is exactly what a theater should be. The structure itself is awesome and inspiring. I found the architecture so beautiful and modern that it made the whole theater experience unforgettable. The theater is fairly large with four levels of seating. My party was located on the Orchestra Terrace, which is technically the second level. I thought our seats were great. The sound and lighting were excellent from my vantage point. I had an unobstructed view with what I considered to be just far enough back so I could see the expressions of the dancers, and see the scene unfold from both sides in a single view. This ballet was a fast-paced production that moved through five scenes in three acts, all in two hours and ten minutes. Had it not been for the informational program the ballet put on an hour before the curtain went up, I would have gotten lost in the story line.

What is most interesting about the plot of this particular piece is that it is essentially political in nature. It was composed shortly after the Russian Revolution which took place at the start of the 20th century. During that time, the arts in Russia were making a dedicated effort to place the context of their own revolution within the wider sphere of political upheavals that had taken place in history. Thus, this work depicts the French Revolution, and the triumphant taking of the Tuileries by the Marseillais. The ballet tells the tale of a pair of peasants who are insulted by the French aristocracy and witness the assault of their father who attempts to intervene. That opening sequence serves as a case study for the type of French arrogance and abuse of power that the peasants seek to overthrow, and do so with a dramatic, tragic finish.

My overall impression was this was an absolutely incredible performance. As a dancer I know how difficult it is to do a triple. But these dancers did triples in the air and landed cleanly on their feet every time they attempted one. Their technical prowess is a reflection of the many years they have spent in training, and which was typified by the efforts of the lead characters. Quite simply, there are a number of…… [read more]


Turandot Spectacle, Exoticism, Intricacy Essay

… Still, the comic aspects of the play are quite strong and contribute significantly to the transport of the audience and the high theatre of the piece.

Comedy comes in many forms, and a play can be very comic or humorous without being considered even a remote example of high theatre. In Gozzi's Turandot, however, much of the humor is derived by the size, stature, and scope of the characters and plot events. Sometimes it is purely because things are so grandiose that they become comic, and at other times it is because of the simplicity and baseness that even characters involved in such high society display that creates humor. one example of this type of comedy comes in an exchange between Brigella and Truffaldino: "BRIGELLA: Think of your own mamma. If she hadn't got married, where would you be? TRUFFLADINO: That's a lie. My mamma never got married at all, and I'm here just the same" (I. vii.). This line is not simply comic because it references sex, extra-marital sex, and because it plays of Birgella's assumption as though it were true ignorance of the birds and the bees, but also because these characters would not be expected to be discussing something so base in such a candid manner. This type of comedy is very similar to farce and other high comedy, transporting the audience through their laughter and through their acceptance of a slight alienation, and high theatre is achieved again.

Conclusion

Gozzi's Turandot is a triumph of high theatre and commedia dell'arte. Helping to bridge the gap between older and more modern drama through a realistically rooted script, this play still manages to truly transport an audience through its use of spectacle, exoticism, the intricacies of its plot, and its comedy. This is high theatre at its finest.

References

Gozzi, C. Turandot. Accessed 4 March 2011.

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/26730/26730-h/26730-h.htm

Opera America. (2012). Gozzi and his Turandot. Accessed 4 March 2012.

http://www.operaamerica.org/content/education/learningCenter/details.aspx?id=10

0&id2=100… [read more]


Exoticism in 19th and 20th Research Paper

… The finished opera was a work of finely-drawn characters, relentless development to the tragic climax, beautiful Italian verse and dialogue, and an exotic and affecting musical score (New York City Opera Project, n.d.; Metropolitan Opera, 2011).

"Madama Butterfly" premiered at La Scala in Milan on February 27, 1904 and was roundly denounced as a "fiasco," chiefly due to the premiere audience, which apparently resembled a modern-day "Maury Povich" audience of heckling pro-and-con factions. While it is difficult to know exactly why the audience and critics were so hostile, several possible reasons have been identified: the opera was rehearsed in secrecy, which alienated a hungry press corps; the second act was unusually long, including Butterfly's entire vigil and straining the audience's powers of concentration; treachery, in which hecklers were deliberately planted in the audience.

The next morning's written reviews were also devastating, with headlines such as "Puccini hissed," "Fiasco at La Scala," and "Butterfly, Diabetic Opera, The Result of an Automobile Accident." Due to the negative reception on both opening night and in written reviews, Puccini returned his 20,000 lire fee and revised the opera, premiering it again on May 28, 1904. It is reported that Puccini never fully recovered from the ravaging premiere reception; however, the revised opera survived its initial "lynching" to become a classic example of masterful Exoticism (New York City Opera Project, n.d.; Metropolitan Opera, 2011).

5. Conclusion

Travel to foreign continents exposed Western Europe to new, intriguing cultures, moving "westerners" to simultaneously imitate and adulterate "eastern" cultures in Exoticism. A prejudiced outgrowth of European and American encounters with foreign cultures, Exoticism nevertheless enhanced Western art forms of the 19th and 20th Century. Among those biased models were the "exotic geisha" imagery of the Far East and the "earthy Spanish gypsy" imagery originating from the Middle East. Those pervasive images and the Western fascination with them created escapist original source material that was borrowed and embellished to create some of the finest operas of the modern art world. Georges Bizet's "Carmen" and Giacomo Puccini's "Madama Butterfly" are notable examples of "exotic" portrayals that blossomed from and heightened original source material to become classic, enduring masterpieces.

Works Cited

Boyd, A. (n.d.). Exoticism. Retrieved from The Imperial Archive Web site: http://www.qub.ac.uk/imperial/key-concepts/Exoticism.htm

New York City Opera Project. (n.d.). New York City Opera Project: Carmen | Madama Butterfly. Retrieved from Columbia University Web site: http://www.columbia.edu/itc/music/NYCO

The Metropolitan Opera. (2011). Carmen | Madama Butterfly. Retrieved from Metropolitan Opera Family…… [read more]


Technology in Musicals Musical Theatre Dissertation

… However the insertion of the new technology into theatres actually created jobs for people such as theatrical technicians. Each of the areas of production including lighting, sound and scenery were components in the computer controlled revolution that took place in… [read more]


Relationship Between Opera Composers and Librettists Term Paper

… ¶ … Opera Composers and Librettists

Da Ponte and Mozart

Although there are a lot of elements involved in making an opera beautiful, the relationship between the composer and the librettist is particularly important, given that the artwork's success largely… [read more]


Relationship Between Opera Composers and Librettists Term Paper

… ¶ … Opera Composers and Librettists

Relationship Between Mozart and Da Ponte in their Collaborations

The production of an opera requires the collaboration of multiple individuals who specialize in their particular artistic media. Those individuals at the forefront of the… [read more]


English French Theatre Similarities and Differences Research Paper

… ¶ … English French Theatre

Similarities and Differences in Spectacle

It is difficult to define the differences between French and English theatre in the seventeenth century. In both cases, Italian set design and technology had a great impact. Both French… [read more]


Theatre - An Art Term Paper

… Theatre - an Art and a Reflection of Our Real Life

Ask yourselves when did you attend a theater lately? What play was performed? What was the topic? How did you enjoy the production? What feelings provoked to you effectively seeing the play "live"? Did the play have an impact on your thoughts and perspective of life? Did you find something that fits with your ideas about life or was it similar with something that happened in your real life in the past or with what is happening even now? Did the play made you doubt about your opinion regarding one thing or another from everyday life? Every one of us should have introspection about what represents theatre in our lives.

The goal of theatres is not only to present literature in a dramatic way, but it is an art which explore and express ideas, concerns, doubts, hopes of humankind. Performing a play means words, gestures, mimics, feelings expressed live and, especially a communication level directly with the audience. I stand this opinion having in mind the origin of the word "theatre": theatre or theater (from French "theatre," from Greek "theatron,," meaning "place of seeing"). Theatre is the "branch of the performing arts concerned with acting out stories in front of an audience using combinations of speech, gesture, mime, puppets, music, dance, sound and spectacle -- indeed any one or more elements of the other performing arts."

Theaters around the world are dedicated to presenting theater as an art form. Usually, the plays chosen for production engage audiences in an introspection and philosophical examination of the complexities of contemporary life (Newsletter of The Wilma Theater). A wonderful performance of a fantastic play is one of the most rewarding and climactic experiences a culture can provide. A society will always provide themes for people to write and perform a play about what's ruling in the real life. Thus, theater influences and is influenced by the society in which it is created and plays performed in theatres reflect profound ideas from a society.

Plenty theatres around the world prides themselves in presenting quality theatre, by bringing plays with fresh, surprising, contrasting and sometimes challenging perspectives and points-of-view from real life. "I suppose that theater uses more of the actual substance of life than any other art" wrote Athol Fugard in the 1960s and 70s, in his extensive notebooks. Movies are interesting, but there is nothing like the thrill of a live performance of a play on the stage. As Athol Fugard says, theatre uses flesh and blood, sweat, emotions, human voices, real pain and real time.

Sometimes plays reflects and is bound with life experience - Athol Fugard's My Children! My Africa! correlates with previous experience that Athol had in 1956: he worked as a clerk in Johannesburg Court and this experience opened his eyes to the injustice of apartheid. Further more, different life-experience became an inspiration for later plays (for example, in 1935 Fugard moved with his family in Port Elizabeth… [read more]


History of Musical Theatre Term Paper

… Musical Theatre is almost as old as America itself. From the 1700s to the present day, the stages across the United States have come alive with the voices and instruments of dramatic, romantic and comedic musicals that have delighted audiences… [read more]


Phantom of the Opera Term Paper

… But even though the performance itself has a tired quality, and the orchestra and scenery overwhelms the performer's talents, going to see "Phantom" at this point is not so much about what goes on stage, but being part of a theatrical experience. Tourists whisper, and children push and pinch one another, squealing first with anger when the Phantom is first unmasked unseen, then shriek with horror when Erik unmasked again for the benefit of the audience's view.

This is not musical theater any more, but spectacle. The emotions of the music and the broadness of the character come careening upon one's skull like the chandelier that falls in the first act. Why do die hard fans continue to go was the answer pressing upon my mind when I sat there, but I know the answer -- no matter how corny the production, the ideal of beauty and the redemption of the beast as a story still has a visceral, comforting power -- a warm McDonald's hamburger for the heart on a cold, emotionally…… [read more]


Beggar's Opera, Written by John Term Paper

… " (I.viii) (P. 58)

Despite the fact that there are many improbable elements in Gay's work, his characters are sufficiently human to keep the audience interested. This is part of the effectiveness of his satire. Human beings are used as… [read more]


Lion King Not Knowing Essay

… Lion King

Not knowing quite what to expect from the Disney theater production of The Lion King, I entered the Hollywood Pantages Theater with an open and optimistic mind. The sumptuous Art Deco interior of Pantages swept me off my feet immediately as I sat down in my seat and browsed the program. Reviews of the Broadway musical have been overwhelmingly positive, and there was every reason to assume that Hollywood casting and crew would be every bit as impressive and professional as the reviewers were saying. A play like The Lion King depends especially heavily on costume and set design as well as choreography. In spite of some initial reservations I had about how Disney could transition from the incredibly successful film version of the story and translate the animation to the stage, I came out feeling perhaps more moved and enthralled than I ever could be from an animated film.

It all started at the beginning with the "Circle of Life" by Elton John and Tim Rice. Dancers encircled audience members, not as animals stalking prey but as creatures enacting the keywords of the song related to how all life is interconnected. We will be finding ourselves in the magical coming-of-age tale about becoming a man and assuming tremendous responsibilities as "king" of one's people. The theme of empowerment is conveyed through movement, sound, spectacle, and rhythm, rather than with words. I was brought to tears with "Circle of Life" alone, and those tears returned at the curtain close. The Lion King will run in Los Angeles until January 14. I doubt even the new 3D version of the animated movie could beat the exceptional theater production. In the theater, we are part of the circle of life. The audience is right there, inside the fantasy dimension of the animals.

The musical was designed and directed by Julie Taymor, the Tony-award winning maven. Taymor is responsible for the stunning costumes that cinch the Lion King's role in theater history. It is no wonder The Lion King has also won six Tony awards ("Disney's The Lion King Plays Holidays at Hollywood Pantages, Beg. Tonight," 2013). Having a costume designer direct the play is a critical matter for productions like The Lion King, which are dependent more on visuals than on script or dialogue. Dance numbers are not typical, as the dancers must perform on stilts and with heavy costumes that impede movement. In spite of the costumes, the dancers seemed as lithe and graceful as the animals they are casted to represent. Animals in packs and individual animals were equally as captivating.

The sheer effort that went into the costumes would have been enough to wow. Puppets and masks are finely crafted with attention to detail but also a visual continuity. An Art Deco appearance is evident in the overall theme of the design, evidenced by the angularity of many of the masks. In spite of the great diversity of animals and creatures, as well as set design and… [read more]


Opera Rigoletto Essay

… Opera

Of all the ways I have thus far encountered Rigoletto, my favorite has been Jean-Pierre Ponnelle's film version. There were certainly elements of his Rigoletto that I appreciated, not least of which was the opportunity to see Luciano Pavarotti play the Duke. Moreover, I appreciated some of the grotesque dimension that the director added to the original Verdi version. However, I got even more out of the new and more unabashed adaptation of Rigoletto currently staged on Broadway. The new Rigoletto adds a comic dimension to the original by blending Rat Pack references with the original drama. There are points to the production that are frankly annoying, which was my instinctual reaction to the Vegas dancers. Yet gradually as the show progressed, I started to "get it." Director Michael Mayer reinterpreted Verdi's opera for an audience already familiar with the original. Mayer relies on the archetypes, of the licentious womanizing Duke, the lovestruck lady, and the concerned jocular father. These archetypes are what make Rigoletto compelling as a story in the first place; while the music is what keeps me coming back again and again.

After encountering the opera in a purely audio format, I was prepared for the emotional nuances in the tragedy. Turning the tragedy into a farce, as in the case of the Mayer production, had an interesting impact on the audience. Some loved it, and cheered wildly because something in the whimsical production touched them. It might have been because of the level of familiarity embedded in a Vegas-style production, coupled with modern-day references that rescue the opera from being tied down to its historical epoch, costumes and all. Perhaps the audience on the cheering side are more interested in how directors like Mayer take liberties with classics like Rigoletto, and which elements they choose to remain faithful to; in this case surprisingly little. As unfamiliar as…… [read more]


Art Cinema and Theatre Essay

… The concept of identity becomes a major source of ambiguity in Persona. Elisabet Vogler is unwilling to accept her identity as a mother and wife, nor can she bring herself to accept this identity, however, Alma is more than willing to assume these roles. Bergman presents these two women as though they were two parts of a whole, yet neither knows her role nor does she know what makes up her identity (Persona). He is able to demonstrate how the women's identities merge into one through a split screen shot of their faces, which portrays the women as one person (Persona).

In "The Theatre of the Absurd," Esslin presents similar arguments about theatre. Like art cinema, the theatre of the absurd aims to break away from traditional narrative. Esslin argues absurdist plays "are living proof that the magic of the stage can persist even outside, and divorced from, any framework of conceptual rationality" (Esslin 4). Additionally, many of these works embrace the absurd, which Ionesco defined as something "which has no purpose, or goal, or objective," a definition that echoes art cinema (4). Esslin also comments on how the theatre of the absurd depicts the world as "an incomprehensible place," which one could argue imbues the style with a sense of realism. The spectator is forced to interpret what they see from what they know and not what they are told (5; 13). The theatre of the absurd also relies on ambiguity, which is created through a playwright's use of language and action. These two elements aim to "penetrate to deeper layers of meaning and to give a truer, because more complex picture of reality" (12). However, unlike art cinema, the theatre of the absurd heavily relies on action because "[l]anguage can be discarded altogether" (12).

Despite the differences in medium, Bordwell and Esslin contend art cinema and the theatre of the absurd share several similar characteristics that ultimately aim to break away traditional definitions of classic cinema and theatre.

Works Cited

Bordwell, David. "The Art Cinema as a Mode of Film Practice." Film Theory and Criticism:

Introductory Readings. Eds. Leo Baudy and Marshall Cohen. New York: Oxford

University Press, 2009. Print.

Esslin, Martin. "The Theatre of the Absurd." The Tulane Drama Review. The MIT Press: Vol. 4,

No. 4 (May,…… [read more]


Authors Brief Biography and Short Story of Theatre Research Paper

… ¶ … Dylan Thomas was born in Swansea, Wales in 1914. He was already publishing poems in his teens, including many for which he would become famous. After Swansea was bombed during World War Two, he relocated to London and worked as a screenwriter. He returned to Wales before the end of the war and then after the war worked for the BBC. He was established as a poet at this time, but needed these other jobs to earn a living. He died in New York while on a tour of America, as touring to read poems was one of his main sources of income. He was 39 when he died.

Arthur Miller was born in 1915 in Harlem. He worked producing plays and in 1949 he opened Death of a Salesman on Broadway. This would be the work for which he was best known, and it was a multi-award-winner. He would leave his first wife to marry Marilyn Monroe, and around this time he had problems with the House of Un-American Activities Committee, an event he turned into The Crucible.

Walt Whitman was born in 1819 in the New York area. He came to writing after working as a printer. By age 17, he became a teacher on Long Island, before becoming a journalist. He experienced the slave trade on a visit to New Orleans, something that would change him, but he did not fight in the Civil War. He first published Leaves of Grass in 1855. He mostly worked as a clerk and in hospitals, rather than from writing. He died in 1892.

August Wilson was born in 1945 in Pittsburgh to a black woman and a white man, the latter of whom was usually absent. His experience as a black person in an all-white school and at times in predominantly white neighborhoods was a critical influence for him. He mostly worked at menial jobs but by 1965 he had begun writing poetry. He was influenced as well by Malcolm X and became involved in theater. He won a Pulitzer Prize for Fences. He passed away in 2005 in Seattle, where he had moved and become involved in local theater.

Seamus Heaney was born in 1939 in County Derry, but the family moved a lot when he was a child. He would travel to Derry and Belfast and eventually to the Republic. Much of the inspiration for his work came from the Troubles in the 1970s and 80s. He worked primarily in education to support his family. He would eventually gain positions at Harvard and at Oxford and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995.

Tennessee Williams was born in Mississippi in 1911. He began writing when the family moved to St. Louis, but it was after he moved to New Orleans that he wrote A Streetcar Named Desire. In 1944, he debuted The Glass Menagerie, which was an acclaimed play. By the 1960s, he was tackling more delicate social matters with his works, and this was… [read more]


Real Inspector Hound Tom Stoppard Term Paper

… In The Real Inspector Hound it is not the actors that are slaughtered by their underappreciated understudies, but rather the critics who are killed off. By referring to the role of the critic as being one of power, Moon not… [read more]


Exoticism in Nineteenth and Early-Twentieth Term Paper

… Verdi is reported to have additionally been "tapping into a vogue for epic opera on the grandest scale, a concept that had already been popularize by Meyerbeer with L'Africaine in 1865 which was forgotten for the most part at the… [read more]


Exoticism in 19th and 20th Term Paper

… S. -- Japan political relationship." (Shepard, "Cinematic realism, reflexivity and the American 'Madame Butterfly' narratives," Page 60)

The exotic in western culture and in 19th and 20th century opera representations often refers to objects and people that are Asian and… [read more]


Theater of the Opressed History Term Paper

… The noted limitations speak to the weaknesses noted in the study. There is an underlying assumption that theatre would be a viable solution for all those seeking to become empowered. However, as researchers note, each women or individual does not have a propensity for theatre and as such is a limitation of the study. Secondly, because community theatre tends to have a low financial threshold, budgetary constraints may have adverse implications on the success of the project. Lastly, because community theatre is a group project, individual levels of empowerment cannot be effectively measured. There is also concern as to the generalizability across cultures as the study was conducted in Israel. There is no evidence to suggest that such an undertaking would be successful with a group of women representing other countries. As such, the results of this particular study may not be generalizeable to a larger audience, and it may be gender specific since this study focused exclusively on women as the oppressed group.

Bibliography

Boehm, A., & Boehm, E. (2003). Community theatre as a means of empowerment in social work: A case study of women's community theatre. Journal of Social Work, 3. 283-300.

Erven, e. (2001). Community theatre: Global perspectives. London: Routledge.

Gutierrez, L. (19940. Beyond coping: an empowerment perspective on stressful life events. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 21(3), 201-219.

Itzhaky, H., & Gerber, P. (1999). The connection between universal values and empowerment: implications for social work practice. In W. Shera and L. Wells (eds). Empowerment Practice in social work: Developing richer conceptual foundations. Toronto: Canadian Scholars' Press.

Jackson, S. & Morris, K. (1999). Family group conferences: User empowerment for family self-reliance? A development from Lupton. British Journal of Social Work, 29(4), 621-630.

Lee, J. (2001). The empowerment approach to social work practice. 2nd ed. New York:

Mda, Z. (1993). When people play people. London: Zed Books.

Miller, L. (1979). Creativity and identity: Social drama and social action. Articles in Community Work, 14, 242-248.

Rappaport, J. (1987). Terms of empowerment/exemplars of prevention: Toward a theory of community theory, American Journal of…… [read more]


Mozart's Operas Term Paper

… Mozart's Operas

An Analysis of the Operas of Mozart

The opera was Mozart's favorite mode of artistic expression and he composed twenty-two of them in varying shapes and sizes before his death in 1791 at the age of 35. The… [read more]


Musical Theatre From Research Paper

… Perhaps the most important element that should be carried over from musical theatre to film is the aspect of character personality. After all, Sarah Brightman originated the popular role of Christine Daae in Phantom. Without these personalities, the characters of the musical would fall flat, no matter how well the songs are produced. This is where the success factor really lies when it comes to the translation of musical theatre productions to film productions. Unfortunately, with the high-quality performance created by the likes of Brightman and Michael Crawford (as the Phantom), the stone-like performances given by Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum could not hold a candle to the original. Likewise, the majority of the cast of Rent seem lackluster and the originals have lost their usual stage presence when translated on film. On the other hand, it is clear that even with the altered cast, personalities such as Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia! And the likes of Richard Gere, Renee Zellweger, and Catherine Zeta-Jones in Chicago lit up the stage and brought about the old "razzle dazzle." So is this truly an element that should be regarded as an important aspect of translation? Definitely.

"All elements of the integrated show -- words, music, lyrics, dance, staging -- work together to further the narrative" (Edney). Such necessary elements (song integrity, setting relevance, and character personality) allow the audience to experience the magic of the story in a different set of angles. While the musical stage will always hold a captive audience, placing the same story -- with the same songs, the tone, and the embodiment of the character roles -- on film would also give fresh views of aesthetic storytelling. There is no denying the fact that the film gives a wide array of instant scene changes and a broad spectrum of costume usage and cut scenes that allow the film to be enjoyable to an interested audience. Certainly, these film methods have completely flattered Chicago in such a way that the film production has become even more acclaimed than the original theatre performances. It would then follow that with the proper transition, a film production of a musical theatre performance could also garner wide success and an even bigger audience than just the musical theatre crowd.

References

Chicago. Dir. Rob Marshall. Perf. Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renee Zellweger, and Richard Gere. Miramax Films, 2002. DVD.

Edney, Kathryn. "Resurrecting the American Musical: Film Noir, Jazz, and the Rhetoric of Tradition in City of Angels." Journal of Popular Culture 40.6 (2007): 936-952. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 7 June 2011.

Kenrick, John. "What Is a Musical?" Musicals101.com - The Cyber Encyclopedia of Musicals. 1996. Web. 07 June 2011. .

Mamma Mia! Dir. Phyllida Lloyd. Perf. Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard, Dominic Cooper, Julie Walters, and Christine Baranski. Universal Studios, 2008. DVD.

Rent. Dir. Chris Columbus. Perf. Anthony Rapp, Adam Pascal, Rosario Dawson, Jesse L. Martin, Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Idina Menzel, Taye Diggs, and Tracie Thoms. Columbia Pictures, 2005. DVD.… [read more]


Opera Composer Librettist Collaboration Term Paper

… Opera Composer

Telling stories through music and song is something that "predates history and appears to be universal" (Berger 2000). All one needs to do is a give a group of people around a campfire a guitar and -- even today -- they will shortly be telling stories through song (2000). What will culminate from these songs is a mood that will be either joyful or sad. From this idea of the campfire to the idea of just one single story that is dotted with interludes is just a short jump away. Two lovers meeting (happy song), they were so in love (sweet song), they have problems and so they break up (angry song), the two are devastated by the loss (sad song) (2000). Berger notes that the possibilities and the variations are limitless and the best part is that any style of music can be put to those variations.

Opera manages to blur the lines of the narrative and comment (the part between the songs). "Italian opera is simply a different animal from the rest of the world's narrative music traditions. It sprang out of a desire to find, explore, and revel in the music of speech. The beauty of song was something of an afterthought" (Berger 2000). but, music is universal. The biggest problem that Anglo-Saxons have with Italian operas come not from the music (as it is universal) but from the "cultural perceptions about the meaning and value of words" (2000).

This is where Verdi comes along. He had no interest in the theories and dogma that some of his contemporaries had for opera -- for example, Wagner, who could not stand having his work referred to as operas; he much more preferred the term "music dramas" (Berger 2000). Verdi was interested in only what he like and he would get rid of the rest. He was practical in the manner of country people and when he went to the operas in Milan for the first time he began to see many problems as well as strengths in the bel canto format (2000).

The key point is that Verdi was able to transform the possibilities of those conventions into a thrilling theatrical genre that event he best bel canto composers, such as Rossini and Bellini, hardly imagined possible. He did this by working with the human situations within a drama rather than by painting the individual words (Berger 2000).

After Verdi's Nabucco, Verdi was the center of attention in Milan. Nabucco was later presented at the Vienna Opera, but Verdi returned unimpressed with the country -- or for travel, in general (Berger 2000), as well as underwhelmed by Merelli's presentation of Nabucco in Vienna (2000). Shortly after this return home, Venice's Teatro la Fenice made Verdi an exciting proposition for a new opera and introduced Verdi to Francesco Maria Piave, "a neophyte jack-of-all-trades in the theatre and a budding librettist. Verdi accepted enthusiastically" (2000).

Piave was the stage director of La Fenice and his…… [read more]


Opera French Opera- the Collaboration Between Quinault Term Paper

… Opera

French opera- the collaboration between Quinault and Lully

The existence of operas is largely owed to the good cooperation that takes place between composers and librettists, with the latter writing the text on which the artwork is based on… [read more]


Comparative Study of Hwang's Play and Puccini's Opera Madama Butterfly Research Paper

… Transformation of Colonialism in Madama Butterfly and M. Butterfly

As the curtain falls on Act III of Giacamo Puccini's Madama Butterfly, the sobbing words of Lt. B.F. Pinkerton echo through the hall, "Butterfly, Butterfly, Butterfly," with the pentatonic tones of… [read more]


Opera: New Orleans Opera's Don Giovanni Essay

… Opera: New Orleans Opera's Don Giovanni have enjoyed operatic music for as long as I can remember, but had never attended a live opera until a few years ago. I found the experience less than wonderful; the effect of the lyrics being projected both took me out of the story and made me realize how trivial some of the things people were singing about really were. It was with some apprehension, then, that I agreed to accompany a group of friends to the New Orleans Opera's production of Don Giovanni on November 14 at the McAllister Auditorium. The first thing I noticed was the size of the theatre, which was much smaller than I was expecting. I was even more surprised by the opera itself and how much I enjoyed it.

First, there is a big difference in Italian and German opera. The only other live opera I've seen is La Boheme, and Mozart's Don Giovanni has a very different sound. There was an aggressiveness to the music and some of the singing that really appealed to me. What struck me the most,…… [read more]


Philadelphia Dance Theater it Is an Interesting Term Paper

… Philadelphia Dance Theater

It is an interesting fact that the state of Philadelphia has more than thirty excellent and dynamic Dance Companies, and theaters as well, and some of the nations' oldest dance theaters are in existence in the state today. These theaters are based in Philadelphia, and they tour globally. For example, the Pennsylvania Ballet is today celebrating its fortieth year of existence, and the Group Motion Dance Company and the Philadelphia Dance Company are today preparing for their thirty fifth anniversaries. Although all these theaters and dance companies have been growing through a number of changes over the years, its artistic view point is as strong as it ever was. However, it must be noted that the newer and later hip hop dance companies are thriving in Philadelphia as well, and one reason for this is the nurturing type of nature of the Philadelphia Dance Community as such. (Group Motion Press Room, Kick up your Heels)

The Philadelphia Dance Theater includes modern ballet, jazz, tap dancing, modern dance forms, flamenco, African-American, Indian, and other types of folk and ethnic dance forms. Philadanco, or the Philadelphia Dance Company, is already at the performing end of another ballet named the 'Horse's Mouth', and this is also reputed to be a first arte performance by Philadelphia's young artistes. This year's performance of the 'Nutcracker' by the Philadelphia Dance Theater, just like its previous ones, would allow families during the Holiday Season a few hours together to enjoy, uninterruptedly, the magical world created for them by the choreographers and the directors and the performers of the play. (Group Motion Press Room, Kick up your Heels) The Dance Theater of Pennsylvania today is more than twenty seven years old, and it still continues its traditional practice of staging beautiful and timeless ballet productions. The 2005 to 2006 season is under way today, and this is the season in which the Nutcracker is generally staged. (Dance Theater of Pennsylvania)

The Dance Theatre of Pennsylvania is a non-profit, and a regional ballet company that was formed in the year 1978 by the famous and renowned Marilyn Budzynski. Based in Pennsylvania, this dance theater serves Buck County and other surrounding areas, and it was established with the basic mission of providing extremely valuable pre-professional stage experience for dancers and also for, more importantly, offering quality and affordable dance performances to the country, where everyone would be able to view them and enjoy them tremendously. (About Dance Theater of Pennsylvania)

The Philadelphia Theater Company, presently in its thirtieth year of inception, was founded in the year 1974, as mentioned earlier, as the Philadelphia Company, by Robert Hedley and Jean Harrison. This Company was one of the first of the city of Philadelphia's performing arts companies, which was in fact able to produce bold and dynamic and innovatively new work, with young dancers. The Philadelphia Theater Company in fact also invites its audiences to take part and actively participate in its developmental process, a standard that was set… [read more]


World Theater History Term Paper

… Roman Theatre History

Theatre has been an important part of every civilization empires. People did not have much entertainment in their lives back then and this was the only form of entertainment which would bring them away from the daily… [read more]


World Theater History Term Paper

… ¶ … Theater History

What better way of receiving knowledge and experience from our ancestors is there, if not the theater? Language, civilization, myths, the ways different societies were structured, cloths and mentalities and so many other things about mankind can be found out through theater. Isn't one of the main purposes of the theater precisely, education?

Starting with the ancient Greeks, Sophocles, a playwright, politician and priest, is considered to be "the greatest playwright in ancient Greek theater," in any encyclopedia. Who hasn't heard of Oedipus and Antigone? Euripides, with his "strong women characters," like Hecuba, Electra, the Trojan Women, Iphigeneia and Helen, and others are not only among the first to have composed a playwright, but can be considered historians as well. Their playwrights were not serving purposes at their times, but they are still highly valuables to us nowadays.

We should not forget about the Romans, too. Even if greatly infleuenced by the Greeks, they are another source of inspiration to every one of us, today. Roman culture and habits are to be found out about in the works of Plautus and Seneca, for example.

Theater played also an important part in the Middle Ages. It is true that most of the playwrights were inpired by the Bible, but theere are interesting things to be found out about it, too. The plays were performes by amateurs in wagons on wheels. Thus, the history of world theater goes on through the Middle Ages.

Comedia dell'Arte with…… [read more]


Elizabethan Theater Elizabethan Theatre Term Paper

… Around the pit consisted of three galleries, and it was one above the other, the topmost of which was roofed with thatch. (Costumes and Sets in Shakespeare's Theater)

If one was to return back in time and attend a play… [read more]


Opera Italy Is the True Birthplace Term Paper

… Opera

Italy is the true birthplace of Opera, where the form shifted and developed over several centuries. From the Latin word opus, meaning "works," Opera has always entailed a dramatic combination of music, singing, stagecraft, and dancing. The earliest operas were composed and performed for a wealthy court audience. As the art form matured, composers tailored their works for the general public and incorporated satirical elements that often mocked the nobility and aristocracy. Nevertheless, the origins of opera remain rooted in an educated community.

The earliest known operas were composed by Jacopo Peri, including the first documented opera called Dafne. Florence was the initial hotbed of opera, where in conjunction with Rennaissance revival of the classical arts, composers like Peri created Italian stage dramas to enact ancient Greek plays. For instance, Peri's 1600 piece Euridice is based on the myth of Orpheus. Contemporary and subsequent composers also took to the tradition of reviving the classics and most early operatic themes were based on classical Greek and Roman themes and settings.…… [read more]


Kabuki Theater Term Paper

… Kabuki, a traditional form of Japanese theater, and American theater significant impacted each other. Kabuki formed in the early 1600s in Japan, and strongly reflects the social and gender stratification of the Edo era in which it originated. Three main groups of kabuki plays, the dance-drama, historical drama, and domestic drama make up the majority of kabuki theater that are adapted either from puppet theater, or no or kyogen dramas, or plays written specifically for kabuki. Tokyo's Shochiku Company is one theatrical group that his impacted American theater by presenting kabuki in the heart of the U.S., in Texas. Theater of diversity, as seen in the differences between American and kabuki theater, improves relations between different people through exposure to different cultures and traditions.

Kabuki originated from the popular culture of the townspeople. In contrast, other Japanese art forms such as No (a form of theater where actors wear masks, and speak and sing in monotonous tones) had their origins in higher social classes (Japan-Guide.com). In early Kabuki history, actors were considered social outcasts and stage managers were known as kawara kijiki, which means 'riverbed beggars' (Spencer).

Kabuki has its origin in Japan's Edo period. The form can be traced back to performances by female shrine dancer Okuni in a dry riverbed in 1603. The dances performed by Okuni and her fellow female dancers combined religious dances and folk dance. Okuni's performances became highly popular, and many troupes soon imitated the style. Performances became increasingly risque and boisterous, and women were banned from performing in 1629. In 1652, a brawl between two samurai competing for the attentions of a young male actor spurred authorities to ban young men under the age of 14 from appearing in kabuki (Spencer).

In time, the absence of women from kabuki resulted in the presence of the onnagata acting role, in which largely adult men would play the roles of women (Spencer). Early in the history of kabuki, both men and women acted in kabuki plays. However, during the Edo period, the Tokugawa shogunate banned women from acting in the kabuki (Japan-Guide.com). Even today, women do not participate in kabuki plays, although their participation is no longer illegal (Japan-Guide.com). Notes the University of Texas at Austin, "the art of onnagata had become such an integral part of kabuki that, if deprived of this element, the traditional quality of kabuki could be lost forever."

Through the next hundred years kabuki grew in popularity. The Genroku period of 1688-1704 saw strong growth in the popularity of the kabuki form of theater. Play quality improved greatly, largely by the hand of writer Chikamatsu Monzaemon. In time, kabuki became popular with all classes of Japanese. In 1714, a high-ranking female official was discovered having an affair with a principal actor. In response, the government closed all theaters for three months (Spencer).

In time, acting as a profession lost its social stigma (Spencer). Kabuki remained popular throughout the centuries, and still draws large crowds, even though it has lost some… [read more]


Othello Costumes Designing Term Paper

… There is a pair of leggings-trousers-what? that looks like a polyester panel print, not something woven as fabrics were then. And another pair, tucked into boots, appears to be fabric no better than denim.

The hairdressing of the women is… [read more]


Stanislavsky Constantin Term Paper

… S.S.R. were a high price to pay.

Throughout the thirties Western artists came to visit the aging director. Joshua Logan, George Bernard Shaw, Harold Clurman, and Stella Adler all visited the Russian during the latter years of his life. Each of them would take away tidbits of experience and technique which they would then bring back to their own countires.

Stalin recognized the Moscow Art Theatre and Stanislavsky as a potential threat, he was aware of some of Stanislavsky's leftist beliefs, but the man had brought a great deal of honor to Russia as an artist; not only that but he was becoming old and feeble. As a result, Stanislavsky was allowed to leave the country and visit the spas of Russia, Germany and France while working on his productions of opera's, ballet's, and plays. Most of Stanislavsky's last years were spent working on his last book, An Actor's Work on Himself. In 1938, Stanislavsky died.

After the great theatre artist passed away he was treated as a national hero. Stanislavsky's death allowed Stalin to take full advantage of both the reputation of the Moscow Art Theatre and it's famous founder. It was tremendously important to the dictator to show the world that Russia had a powerful cultural heritage. Stalin wanted to show that his country was the most powerful in the world, and the exploitation of a valuable theatrical history was a part of that.

Stanislavsky's work will continue to be studied and respected by theatrical scholars for the foreseeable future. The Moscow Art Theatre, now completely free of all restrictions, still produces high quality work and upholds the cultural heritage of Russia.

Bibliography

Staislavski, Constantin. An Actor Prepares. New York: Theatre Arts Books. 1936.

Brockett, Oscar G. The History of Theatre. Massachusetts: Allyn and Bacon. 1991.

Meyerhold and Stanislavsky: Art and the Politics in the Russian Theatre." Russian Theatre Website. http://rutheater.home.att.net/stana.htm

Konstantin Sergeyevich Stanislavsky." King Norton Boys. http://www.kingnortonboys.bham.sch.uk/sujects/drama/pages/stanisl.pdf

Jones, Gareth. "The Real Truth about Russia at Last." The Daily Express. 3 April 1933.

Chambers, David and Pesochinsky, Nikolai. "The Fall and Rise of Meyerhold." American Theatre. January 2000. Vol. 17. No. 1. Pg 24-28.

Cohen, Robert. Acting One. California: McGraw Hill. 2002.

Cohen, Robert. Theatre: Brief Version. Mountain View: Mayfield Publishing Company. 2000.

Cohen, Robert. Acting…… [read more]


Uncle Tom's Cabin - Fiction Term Paper

… "5

The North primarily used images of the brutality of slavery in their depiction of Stowe's chronicle. Both in text and drawings the Union drew on the grotesque physical evils of slavery to rally support for Emancipation. The power of… [read more]


Cclu's Theater Problem Capstone Project

… Logan Theater Project

The performing arts are an integral part of any one person's development. Any substantial education system address the human need to express itself in an artistic manner and with emotional content. Secondary education systems are meant to… [read more]


Michael Bennett Difiglia Research Paper

… He had the tendency to be symbolic and serious (Les Noces, 1965). The work that was done by him in the later part of his life was more abstract unlike the ones he did in his earlier life which were… [read more]


Politics of Ideology in Brecht's Life of Galileo Term Paper

… Brecht was a great man of theatre and devised plays that both enlivened and relaxed audiences into breaking the illusion of story. His characters brought a means of expression that he used to reach people in a manner that promoted detachment by opposing sound and image. Brecht's dramatic technique as applied to his play "Life of Galileo" is apart of a theory of theatre known as 'Epic Theatre'. Epic theatre is an anti-illusionist theatre opposite of the concept of Aristotelian's 'Theatre of Illusion'. It is in understanding 'Epic Theatre' that comprehend his dramatic technique.

He had many ways to apply his technique. One way would be his use of long pauses. This causes the audience to reflect and think about what was happening in the play. An example of this is in "Life of Galileo": "GALILEO: How will you get through the winter without jacket? (Pause. Galileo arranges the lenses on the sheet with the sketch)" (Brecht 2008, 10) Long pauses also put the audience back into reality to notice anything else besides the actors on stage. They might notice the set or the reactions from other audience members promoting further contemplation.

Another technique is harsh lighting and empty stages. Having bare stages accompanied by harsh light allow the audience to focus on the words being spoken, and not necessarily on the aesthetics of the stage. Elaborate costumes and soft lighting although beautify a play, may detract from the goal of absorbing the words of the play. Harsh lighting also gives audiences a chance to see the realism of the actors. They can see the nervousness in their faces, the tired expressions. It allows for a more organic and thought provoking experience.

Brecht sought to awaken people from the fiction that he rights. He did this through placards announcing the change of scenes so as to bring the audience back from the story. He felt that getting too engrossed in a story detracts from the point of writing a play in the first place, and that to express an idea, a concept. Brecht felt the need to express his political as well as mundane views through his work and wanted others to interpret it from his work.

Brecht also introduced in his characters the concept of anti-hero. "Life of Galileo" has a direct mentioning of this as Galileo discusses with Andrea the need for a hero: "Unhappy is the land that breeds no hero.' No, Andrea: 'Unhappy is the land that needs a hero.'" (Brecht 2008, 58) His reasoning behind the anti-hero was his desire to create alienation or distance within the audience to the play. An article by Millman addresses this. As indicated on the American Conservative Web site: "Brecht's notion of the epic theatre was founded on the concept of theVerfremdungseffekt, usually translated as alienation or distancing effect. This was Brecht's rebuke to Artistotle's theory of drama, founded on the concept of catharsis, an emotional purging that takes place through identification with a character when he comes to… [read more]


Bob Fosse Susan Stroman Michael Bennett Musical Theater Choreographers Essay

… ¶ … Choreographers (Bob Fosse, Susan Stroman, and Michael Bennett) and the Impact of Their Work on the Dance Style on the Broadway Stage Today

Bob Fosse, Susan Stroman, and Michael Bennett have all left distinct influences on the dance style of the current Broadway Stage. In each case, they deployed techniques that were unusual, in many cases borrowing from disciplines or cultural influences that are distinct from the actual theater tradition. Additionally, they worked in some cases in disciplines that were distinct from the Broadway stage, and in some ways this broadened the scope of the Broadway Musical genre. For example, Bob Fosse was not only known for his choreography on the stage but also in the Hollywood musical. Because of their ability to incorporate innovative techniques into the setting of the Broadway Musical, one can consider Fosse, Stroman, and Bennett to be pioneers of theater.

Bob Fosse was part of an earlier generation than Stroman and Bennett, although it should be noted that Bennett died extraordinarily young and he and Fosse both passed away in 1987. As someone who was born in the 1920s, Fosse was influenced by the German cabaret culture that was popular in Germany through the era of the Weimar Republic. Prior to Fosse's emergence, the Broadway Musical had been conservative and it was considered uncouth to incorporate material that was risque or subversive. However, Fosse is largely responsible for a shift in costuming in which outfits became significantly more sexually assertive and often subversive. One of the foremost examples of Fosse's style can be seen in the 1972 film musical Cabaret, for which he also served as director. The narrative of the film explicitly incorporates cabaret culture (as the title alludes), and there are suggestive outfits, striptease, and gender-bending within the film (Cowser Jr.). The dance style of the film reflects the same bold style that characterizes Fosse's Broadway musical style, with numerous bodily gyrations, knees that are turned inwards, and substantial amounts of horizontal movement. As a result, his productions are filled with substantial amounts of movement and visual spectacle, resulting in an overwhelming sense of dynamism the likes of which had rarely been seen previously.

Susan Stroman also utilized a novel choreography style, borrowing from elements of storytelling and other art forms. Stroman often deploys elements of fantasy and magic in her productions, as evidenced by her production of Crazy for You in 1992. She also differs from Fosse in that the music is to some degree subordinated to the visuals, as Stroman is fond of simply using recorded music. It has been argued that Stroman is in some ways more of a storytelling than a choreographer, and that she has supplied narrative to an artistic discipline that is often predicated predominantly around the musical…… [read more]


M Butterfly Creating Honor Book Report

… Rather than an avoidance of problems, suicide in this light is a confrontation of the problems faced, and a means of taking control where control does not otherwise exist. In this way, Gamillard is making the most active, productive, and honorable choice he can make, accepting the fact that his lover is permanently gone and thus accepting the ultimate emptiness of his remaining years, and rather than remain this essentially empty vessel he simply gives the vessel up. It is undoubtedly a result of the power and depth of his love for Song that suicide presents itself as the primary if not the only viable option, but it is not simply out of pain for the failed nature of this love but rather a recognition of the pointless nature of the pain and of continued existence -- his death can be beautiful, but his continued life would be nothing but misery.

In this, as in the suicide itself, Gammillard again echoes the protagonist of the opera Madame Butterfly, and it is through this that he quasi-succeeds -- again, in a highly symbolic sense -- at reuniting with his lover in his arms once more. Song is also associated with the opera lead, for concrete as well as abstract reasons, and thus when Gamillard evokes and image of Madame Butterfly herself he is uniting himself and Song in this symbol. The two of them are present in the same space through the shared symbol of Madame Butterfly, and through this Gamillard succeeds in all of his stated goals at the beginning of the play. He is reunited with his lover, he has found some semblance of honor, and he has created a very new ending that evokes old endings but adds a very important twist.… [read more]


Economics Regarding the Concentration Article

… "[footnoteRef:8] [8: Schmidt, 1993. ]

The Society of West End Theatres does not directly acknowledge Billington's assertions about the condition of musical theatre on the West End. Their primary view seems to be that as long as the West End theatre district generates revenue, there is no problem, only success.

The West End has its problems, but it also has its answers. Smith agrees:

"In the golden age of musical theatre, it was the popular music of its day. Today, the traditional musical is, like opera, more of a niche pursuit. It needs to reinvent itself if it is to have a vibrant, popular future. You might even argue that plundering the back catalogues of pop groups such as Abba and the Spice Girls are one way forward (TV casting is another), and the best of these have no problems attracting large audiences. Of course, there is a hard core audience of musical theatre aficionados who will visit good quality, traditional musicals like Betty Blue Eyes. But if new musicals are to find the large, popular audience required for a sustained West End run, they need to engage with popular forms of music, not sounds and forms that hark back to a long-distant golden era. And, if you look at the composers behind Matilda, Bridget Jones and Swallows and Amazons, maybe the future's not quite so bleak as all that."[footnoteRef:9] [9: Smith, A. 2011. How do you solve a problem like the West End musical? The Guardian, Available from http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/theatreblog/2011/sep/22/musical-betty-blue-eyes-closure. 2012 February 20. ]

Smith acknowledges both poles of the spectrum in this debate. He offers examples that support the Society of West End Theatre views and examples that would appease

Billington. The business of theatre continues to boom and also fluctuate to this day.

What is hopeful for change is the open discussion and consideration for theatre in general.… [read more]


Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry Research Paper

… Raisin in the Sun

In 1937, when playwright Lorraine Hansberry was just seven years old, a mob arrived at the Chicago home she shared with her parents and three siblings. The tension was terrible as the white neighborhood "improvement association"… [read more]


Luciano Pavarotti Introduction to Opera Research Paper

… Luciano Pavarotti

Introduction to Opera- in the 19th century, one of the most popular forms of entertainment for the elite and common person both was opera, particularly in Italy. Opera stars were the equivalent of modern television and movie stars;… [read more]


Liar Sparkling Dialogue and Dazzling Visuals Reaction Paper

… Liar

Sparkling Dialogue and Dazzling Visuals the Shakespeare Theatre Company's the Liar at the Lansburgh Theatre

Listening to the buzz of the audience during the intermission gives one a pretty good impression of the value of this new…well, new again…play. David Ives' updated and translated version of the seventeenth-century French Farce the Liar by Pierre Corneille does not offer fodder for deep introspective conversation, nor does it inspire animated conversation on current social issues over glasses of red-wine clutched in the hands of the fur-clad matrons in attendance. Instead, titters, chuckles, and outright guffaws could be heard from the moment the house lights came up until the final subduing of the audience as seats -- and the action resumed. There is high comedy in this play, and very little else, but when the pure comedy itself is as masterfully crafted and as universally entertaining as it is in this play nothing else is rally necessary, and in fact would only serve as a distraction.

Seeing a play called the Liar in the heart of the nation's capital, a mere two blocks from the International Spy Museum and less than two miles away from the White House and other major seats of the federal government, might carry certain connotations and expectations. Check these with your coat and leave them outside the theatre proper, however, and let yourself enjoy the ride. Corneille's story revolves around a French gadabout who is simply incapable of telling the truth, recently landed in Paris to find himself a wife. A set of mistaken identities, some purposeful and some otherwise, ratchets up the hilarity of the situation and the hyperbole of the language to a fevered pace.

In the tradition of a true French farce, lovers' triangles and quadrangles abound, though they are not always known to by the characters involved; Dorante, the eponymous protagonist of the play, woos one woman with his magnificent falsehoods while believing that she is actually her friend, and these two women willingly engage in perpetuating this perception with wonderful innuendo in some especially memorable scenes. Dorante's servant, in the meantime, is in love with one of a set of twins -- played indistinguishably from each other by the very same actress -- and he can never seem to tell which one he is talking to. Despite these convolutions, the plot is actually relatively simple, and even if you get lost at some point the dialogue remains engaging and humorous enough to make the plot considerations almost non-essential.

This is not to disparage Corneille who was, it must be acknowledged, working within the constraints of French Restoration-era comedy, which is not especially known for the depth of its social value or the real consequence and import of any of the actions or characters within the plays. His characters are well-crafted and truly memorable, though they have lain forgotten by the theatre and literary world for quite some time, and without this foundation it is certain that Ives would not have been able… [read more]


Pinter Absurd the Violation of Aristotelian Convention Research Proposal

… Pinter Absurd

The Violation of Aristotelian Convention and the Establishment of the Theatre of the Absurd in the Major Works of Harold Pinter

In this study, the violation of traditional (Aristotelian) dramatic convention and structure in the works of Harold Pinter is explored. Specifically, the plays the Room, the Birthday Party, the Caretaker, and the Homecoming are analyzed to illustrate the major points of divergence in the conception of plot and character between the Aristotelian model and the theatre of the absurd as seen in Pinter's work. The several similarities that exist between Aristotelian drama and the theatre of the absurd are also identified and explored.

Though Pinter was not considered one of the founding playwrights of the theatre of the absurd, his work has generally been included in discussions of this mid-twentieth century theatrical movement by subsequent scholarship. As such, marked differences can be shown to exist between Pinter's dramatic construction and conventions and those described by Aristotle in his Poetics, which formed the foundation of dramatic convention and construction for most of Western history. The differences observed in the theatre of absurd, and specifically in the works of Pinter, do not constitute a mere break with Aristotelian convention, however, but rather the establishment of a new set of conventions and practices purposefully and consciously meant to make new points and establish new meanings (or lack thereof) in the theatrical works of the mid-twentieth century.

One of the aims of this study would be to establish these principles, meanings, and conventions insofar as they can be identified in the works of Harold Pinter, with reference to other plays of the genre and an examination of scholarship related to the theatre of the absurd as a whole. The individual plays examined and the specific elements of their construction, however -- especially character and plot, as these concepts are central both to Aristotelian drama and the theatre of the absurd -- will serve as the primary method of entry into this investigation. Through the examination of specific details in the Room, the Birthday Party, the Caretaker, and the Homecoming, an understanding of the basic conventions of the theatre of the absurd as identified in scholarship can be achieved.

Language is also an essential aspect of the theatre of the absurd, as Is evidenced in the Room and the Caretaker especially. The nonsensical language that Pinter employs in these plays, especially the single words and phrases uttered seemingly at random by certain of the characters, mark the breakdown of communication that is a hallmark of the theatre of the absurd and at the same time renders Aristotelian drama impossible. The fluidity and impermanence of identity and thought that is seen in the theatre of the absurd, and especially in the works of Harold Pinter, make the construction of plot -- the central element of a successful play according to the Aristotelian model -- impossible to conceive in traditional terms. Setting and time become essential to meaning, but do not influence plot.

Objectives… [read more]


Edward Gordon Craig Term Paper

… Edward Gordon Craig: The Master Designer

Theater is an impermanent art, yet the name of Edward Gordon Craig lives on. Not so long ago, the idea of a designer being influential in a theatrical production would have been incomprehensible. Now,… [read more]


Globe the Development of the Globe Theater Term Paper

… Globe

The Development of the Globe Theater

To understand how Shakespeare's original audiences observed his plays, it is necessary to understand the structure and the style of the original venue in which these dramas, comedies, histories, and romances were performed. Unlike the proscenium arch theaters that we are accustomed to, Shakespeare's plays were performed 'in the round,' a tradition that dates back to plays being performed in the courtyards of inn houses (Burgess 79). Shakespeare clearly wrote his plays with an eye upon such a performance space. All of his plays rely upon a highly interactive relationship between the audience and actors, as is exemplified in the use of soliloquies, for example, where the actor is often in dialogue with the audience as he shares his thoughts aloud. The beginning of many of Shakespeare's plays, like "Romeo and Juliet," start with fights or quarrels, to settle the noisy audience down. At the Globe, there was no opening of the curtain or dimming of the lights, as in an enclosed theater. There was no artificial light at all, and plays were performed mid-day in the open air.

Elizabethan plays were staged in a very 'bare bones' style, with little in the way of scenery. This explains why scene changes occur so fast and fluidly in Shakespeare's plays. To hold the attention of the audience, characters walked on and off quite quickly and there was no need to change backdrops or move a great deal of furniture. It also explains the ornate quality of the language -- characters create the scenery with their words, rather than rely upon sets -- there were no set designers at all, in fact, at the Globe! However, plays did often use props such as canons, and the use of the trap-doors enabled characters to be 'buried' like Ophelia in "Hamlet," and for spirits and demons to come up from beneath the stage ("James Burbage," Elizabethan Era, 2008). Not all of the special effects were successful, however: "The [first Globe] gallery had a thatched roof. (Thatch consists of straw or dried stalks of plants such as reeds.) During a performance of Henry VIII on June 29, 1613, the Globe Theatre burned down after booming canon fire announcing the entrance of King Henry at Cardinal Wolsey's palace ignited the roof" (Cummings 2003).

The original Globe Theatre was a wood building with plaster exterior walls joining at an angles to form a central oval, surrounding the cobblestoned arena of the groundlings, the common people who paid a few pennies to gain entry, while the three galleries protected from rain and sunlight were for the higher-paying, more aristocratic customers (Cummings 2003). Visually, it resembled a small Greek or Roman amphitheatre, with the addition of the higher stage (Cummings 2003). The Globe stage was raised four to six feet from ground level and was covered by roof supported by pillars so the actors did not get wet during performance if it rained. The costumes worn to show that a character was… [read more]

123. . .Last ›
NOTE:  We can write a brand new paper on your exact topic!  More info.