"Theatre / Opera / Play" Essays

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Voice of American Opera. Opera Quarterly, 23 Article Critique

Article Critique  |  2 pages (505 words)
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¶ … 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]


Metamorphosis of Opera in South Africa Thesis

Thesis  |  35 pages (10,206 words)
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¶ … 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 the Apartheid era created barriers for black South Africans in Opera production. The barriers of different languages are also explored… [read more]


Humanities in Western Civilization Term Paper

Term Paper  |  13 pages (3,242 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 10

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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 are collectively referred to as "the humanities." The humanities are nothing new - they form an integral part of civilization… [read more]


Theoni v. Aldredge Term Paper

Term Paper  |  10 pages (2,995 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+

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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 it for You Wholesale," "Mr. President," "Anyone can Whistle," "A Chorus Line," "Annie," "42nd Street," "Dreamgirls," "Chess" and "The Secret… [read more]


Planning Design of Hospitality Facilities Term Paper

Term Paper  |  7 pages (2,133 words)
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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 of the few buildings of its nature that is still being used for its original purpose, as a theater and… [read more]


Opera Feng Yi Ting at Spoleto SC Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,258 words)
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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]


Opera Review of Igor Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,524 words)
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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 learn the truth about many things and how they have impacted his life. To fully understand what is occurring requires… [read more]


Theatre Today &amp Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (1,052 words)
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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]


English French Theatre Similarities and Differences Research Paper

Research Paper  |  5 pages (1,450 words)
Bibliography Sources: 6

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¶ … 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 and English took over the new Italian developments at different times. Campbell writes, "The foreigners who visited the English theatres… [read more]


Relationship Between Opera Composers and Librettists Term Paper

Term Paper  |  7 pages (1,857 words)
Bibliography Sources: 7

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¶ … 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 depends on it. In spite of the fact that the contemporary society is less acquainted with the factors behind an… [read more]


Relationship Between Opera Composers and Librettists Term Paper

Term Paper  |  7 pages (2,422 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+

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¶ … 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 production are the composer, who writes the musical score, and the librettist, who writes the lyrics to complement the score.… [read more]


Theatre - An Art Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (1,078 words)
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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]


Turandot Spectacle, Exoticism, Intricacy Essay

Essay  |  6 pages (1,652 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1

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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]


Phantom of the Opera Term Paper

Term Paper  |  1 pages (394 words)
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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]


History of Musical Theatre Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,528 words)
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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 of all ages. It is indeed a part of American heritage that continues and will continue far into the future.… [read more]


Exoticism in 19th & 20th Research Paper

Research Paper  |  6 pages (1,945 words)
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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

Dissertation  |  28 pages (8,072 words)
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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 theatres through America and Britain. The author explains that

"With scenery being the environment in the modern theatre, then the… [read more]


Beggar's Opera, Written by John Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,499 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1

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" (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 a metaphor for an inhuman, predatory society. The audience is inclined to sympathize with the low-life characters rather than condemning… [read more]


Theater Ballet Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (870 words)
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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]


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

Research Paper  |  5 pages (2,310 words)
Bibliography Sources: 4

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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 the Bonzo theme, and not a dry eye in the house. In the closing lines of David Hwang's M.Butterfly, Gallimard,… [read more]


Opera Composer Librettist Collaboration Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (995 words)
Bibliography Sources: 7

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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

Term Paper  |  6 pages (1,585 words)
Bibliography Sources: 6

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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 while the former adapt the respective writing to their perspective on music. Great works have been produced across time from… [read more]


Opera: New Orleans Opera's Don Giovanni Essay

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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]


Mozart's Operas Term Paper

Term Paper  |  8 pages (2,603 words)
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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 "great awakening" of Mozart's operatic achievement, however, comes in the final flourish of his life, beginning with Idomeneo (Cairns 2).… [read more]


Theater of the Opressed History Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (729 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5

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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]


Kabuki Theater Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,246 words)
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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]


Opera Italy Is the True Birthplace Term Paper

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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]


Elizabethan Theater Elizabethan Theatre Term Paper

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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 in Elizabethan theatre, one might immediately witness many attributes of the theatre's interior that would appear to be strange. The… [read more]


Philadelphia Dance Theater it Is an Interesting Term Paper

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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

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¶ … 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]


World Theater History Term Paper

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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 worries of work and household. Every theatre represents the culture and reflects the thoughts of that particular civilization and people.… [read more]


Authors Brief Biography and Short Story of Theatre Research Paper

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¶ … 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]


Opera Rigoletto Essay

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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

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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]


Real Inspector Hound Tom Stoppard Term Paper

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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 only comments on the impact the critic can potentially have, but also on the necessity for revolution in terms of… [read more]


Exoticism in Nineteenth and Early-Twentieth Term Paper

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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 presentation of the grand epic opera Aida. Verdi is reported to have "cornered the operatic market on the most popular… [read more]


Exoticism in 19th & 20th Term Paper

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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 African:

"The word "exoticism" relates, etymologically, to places or settings "away from" some vantage point considered normative, most often that… [read more]


Musical Theatre From Research Paper

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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]


Uncle Tom's Cabin - Fiction Term Paper

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"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 the visual spectacle opened the eyes of Northerners once ignorant to the evils of slavery.

The harsh Fugitive Slave Act… [read more]


Stanislavsky Constantin Term Paper

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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]


Othello Costumes Designing Term Paper

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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 period, however, right down to the pearls. Unfortunately, there are precious few other jewels, and unlike ballet, they could be… [read more]


Lion King Not Knowing Essay

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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]


Liar Sparkling Dialogue and Dazzling Visuals Reaction Paper

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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]


Luciano Pavarotti Introduction to Opera Research Paper

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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; plots, intrigues, singers, and composers were the elite. As an art form, opera has been part of the musical lexicon… [read more]


Pinter Absurd the Violation of Aristotelian Convention Research Proposal

Research Proposal  |  4 pages (1,096 words)
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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

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,708 words)
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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, in works such as "The Lion King," "Les Miserables" and countless other operas and art-house productions on the commercial and… [read more]


Globe the Development of the Globe Theater Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (1,054 words)
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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]


Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry Research Paper

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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" insisted the black family could not live there, as they were in violation of a "race restrictive covenant" (Gordon 121).… [read more]


M Butterfly Creating Honor Book Report

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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]


Classical and Contemporary Dancing Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (738 words)
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Likewise, both Kabuki and traditional ballet have certain stock characters or types, such as the main hero or heroine, and many members of the company specialize in such stock types, such as the prince of ballet theater, the older characters danced by members past their prime, or in the case of Kabuki, men who specialize in female roles.

Yet, as delineated in Chapter 7 of Jonas, changes in contemporary culture demanded that ballet theater change with the times. Classical dance gradually shifted from storied productions to less standard tales, from fairy princes and princesses to more symbolic works of fiction and nonfiction. The classical motions to tell the stories thus also, by necessity, became less pantomime-like and more expressive, even while retaining the continuity of the essential art of ballet. Chapter 7 of Jonas on Contemporary Dance tells of how modern dance created a new art form in response to ballet, yet was still contiguous with much of the evolving ballet tradition. Ballet itself responded to the evolution of modern dance with a freer and more expressive style.

Likewise, Kabuki theater was able to remain within the same tradition and retain the tradition's essential forms yet change its significance and modes of expression -- for example, to this day, all female parts are played by male impersonators in Kabuki theater, and there is a standard repertoire as there is in many classical ballet companies. But Kabuki Theater is no longer a purely popular art -- it too has changed, even as it has remained stylized, because the audience, as with all performance-based art, has changed.

Kabuki has become a vestige of Japanese culture, where before it was a popular art form.

Ballet is not regarded as a cultural relic like Kabuki. But it is no longer popular in the sense that it is performed in popular dance halls and theaters. Thus classical ballet has also changed -- changed with what the audience has come to expect, after the rise of modern dance, and changed, to include more popular means of representing dance through its parallel dialogue with modern dance forms.

Works Cited

Jonas, Gerald. Dancing: The Pleasure, Power, and Art of Movement. New York: Harry…… [read more]


Bob Fosse Susan Stroman Michael Bennett Musical Theater Choreographers Essay

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¶ … 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]


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

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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]


Economics Regarding the Concentration Article

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"[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]


Shakespeare and the Manner Term Paper

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In contrast we have all also seen that Shakespeare has written about the role of women who were of strong influence. But yet we still see that there is a hint of the way that women are looked upon as sex things. An example of this is seen in 'Twelfth Night', where Sir Andrew Aguecheek tries to court the wealthy and strong character, Lady Olivia. (2)

Compared to the technical theaters of today, the London public theaters in the time of Queen Elizabeth I seem to be terribly limited. The plays had to be performed during daylight hours only and the stage scenery had to be kept very simple with just a table, a chair, a throne, and maybe a tree to symbolize a forest. This made the playwright have to write in a vivid language so the audience could understand the play. Shakespeare's theater was far from being bare, the playwright did have some valuable technical sources that he used to the best of his ability.

A theatrical company in which Shakespeare belonged built the Globe Theater. The Globe Theater, was the most popular of all the Elizabethan theaters, it was not in the city itself but on the south bank of the Thames River. This location had been chosen because, in 1574, public plays had been banished from the city by an ordinance that blamed them for corrupting the youth and promoting prostitution. A playwright had to please all members of the audience. This explains the wide range of topics in Elizabethan plays.

Conclusion:

The initial part of Shakespeare's life was indeed very shaky even though he had a reasonably good education. He had some problems regarding his personal relationships that might have inhibited his approach to writing and acting. After he had three children, he left his home and went to London where his career blossomed in quick time. Though he faced criticism he still prospered a great deal and died a wealthy man. This is the biggest contrast to his simpler, younger days. (1)

Bibliography

http://www.gc.edu/faculty/dkuhlmann/shakecri.htm http://www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/twelfthnight/characters.html… [read more]


Mercy of Social Forces: Beggar Term Paper

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That our nobility to this date maintains the same morals and value that are appropriate to maintain the status quo and serve to their advantage.

A world in which the custodians of public trust turn a blind eye to the pilferages committed by minor thieves to serve as greasing to their grand design. The characters of The Beggar's Opera employ methods of profit making, just as every kind of position holder and scoundrel employed in the 18th century and still do. One can draw distinct parallels between the mischievous behaviors of the 18th century statesmen who had access to other people's money and trust, with the corporate raiders of today.

Then, as now, the misuse of public funds and the belief that money can buy everything transformed a society into two classes, the ones who take and he ones who take by force each certain to be doing the right thing and accusing the other of doing the wrong. False class divisions were set up based on monetary worth rather than praiseworthy attributes.

John Gay uses the hilarious parallel of Peachum, a 'fence' or disposer of stolen goods; Lockit, the chief Jailer and a collection of thieves and prostitutes, to make fun of a society set up by the greedy, the corrupt and the powerful. Only the poor man may believe in his own virtue, but if he doesn't have the cash to buy justice he must suffer for his crimes.

Love and sex are heavily ridiculed through out the play. Those of us who shake our heads in bewilderment at the adulterous ways of present day politicians and the aristocrats will find much to identify in this opera. The hilarious results of the Highwayman MacHeath's inability to restrict himself to one woman at a time are immediately familiar to the modern viewers. Marriage is seen as a hindrance, husbands and wives are there for convenience and comfortable living and once they have out lived their use are done away with. Money is the standard for measuring love. Sex in The Beggar's Opera is merely a business.

The Beggar's opera in the end delivers only this message. That man is not basically unscrupulous, but rather he is a victim of sadistic social forces and has only learned to be evil so as to conform to the social order to survive, and only the poor are made to suffer for their inadequacies. As the Beggar, the author of the piece states at the end of the opera that he would have shown that the poorer people have their vices to a degree as well as the rich; but they alone are punished for them. Alas, nothing…… [read more]


Michael Bennett Difiglia Research Paper

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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 more character or story led.

Robbins liked dancing to emerge from strolling or walking in a natural manner. This is… [read more]


Cclu's Theater Problem Capstone Project

Capstone Project  |  18 pages (4,590 words)
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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 provide a deeper and more profound impact upon a student's learning and the resources within any college or university is… [read more]


Gioachino Antonio Rossini Term Paper

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Rossini

Gioachino Antonio Rossini

The Italian composer, Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868) wrote thirty six operas, many of which are still performed and enjoyed today. These include the well-known the Barber of Seville (1816), La Cenerentola (1817), Semiramis (1823) and William Tell (1829). (Gioachino Rossini, a towering Italian composer of the Romantic era) He is also known for his sacred music, such… [read more]


Irish Writings Identify, Then Compare and Contrast Essay

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¶ … Irish Writings

Identify, then compare and contrast, the Irish nationalist ideal as manifested in the Irish Yankee and the Shaughraun. Be sure to be specific regarding each play's action, characters and themes (as well as the other elements of drama). Also take into account the author as well as the time period when the play was written. How… [read more]


Private Elizabethan Theatre Research Paper

Research Paper  |  13 pages (4,392 words)
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Greek and Roman

The Private Elizabethan Theatre

In 1558, when Elizabeth I came into power there were no specifically designed theatres in England. Collections of performers moved throughout the kingdom and acted in a broad variety of temporary performing places. They often had to build theaters and backdrops for a specific run of shows, and at times merely used an… [read more]


Shakespeare's Success as a Playwright While Playwrights Research Proposal

Research Proposal  |  7 pages (2,400 words)
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¶ … Shakespeare's Success as a Playwright

While playwrights have come and gone over the centuries, perhaps the most famous has been William Shakespeare. Although some modern authorities attribute his works to others, most agree that the Bard of Avon was in fact the prolific playwright responsible for numerous classic works such as "Hamlet," "Othello," "Romeo and Juliet," "King Lear,"… [read more]


Pinter, Theatre of the Absurd, & Aristotelian Conventions Thesis

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Pinter Pt.

Finding Aristotle -- and Pinter -- in the Twentieth Century's Theatre of the Absurd

Aristotle's Poetics laid the groundwork for much Western drama for the next two millennia. Like as flowed forth from ancient Greeks in many other areas of the arts and sciences, and indeed in a wide range of human endeavors, theatre and dramatic literature have traveled in a distinct and identifiable arc from the time Aristotle first codified the precepts of Greek tragedy (and comedy, to a lesser degree) to the present day, to the point that even deviations and rejections of Aristotelian drama must be seen in the context of this rejection. There is no simple avoiding of Aristotle Poetics in the work of the theatre, that is; his conventions are the conventions of Western theatre, at least insofar as the construction of drama, and any rejection or controversion of these conventions must be seen as precisely that.

The twentieth century saw more radical departures from the Aristotelian model of effective Western drama than any century since this model was established, and many of the various stylistic and political movements that he century saw were quite conscious rejections of the precepts of the Poetics. Other movements were less rigidly defined themselves, and thus less purposeful rejections of Aristotelian drama and more explorations of other possibilities in dramatic construction and presentation. The theatre of the absurd, though consciously used as a form of political and aesthetic disruption by many of it's practitioners -- Ionesco and Beckett, especially -- can be more firmly placed in this latter camp of exploration than in any explicit analysis and rejections of Aristotle's theories.

The degree to which conventions are broken in the absurdist genre, however, is still somewhat extreme. William Spanos, writing in the final decade of absurdist theatre's decline and twenty to thirty years after its heyday, observed a fundamental and yet incredibly profound departure from the concept of time and sequentialism as it exists in Aristotelian drama (and therefore the bulk of Western drama) by the writers of absurdist theatre. Reaching its height in the nineteenth-century's "well-made play," the plot that unfolds inevitably and organically as a product of previous action and time was seen by the practitioners of the theatre of the absurd as simply a (mis)appropriation of "the illusory teleological perspective of Western essentialist philosophy, which perceives and interprets human life from the end (in the senses of both termination and goal" [emphasis Spanos'] (346).

This undoubtedly places the theatre of the absurd in opposition to contemporary philosophical and aesthetic trends, but more importantly it laces the theatre of the absurd in opposition to the traditions that led to the modern philosophy of essentialism. That is, essentialism itself is a uniquely modern development according to Spanos, but one that extends in a direct line from the philosophies of Plato and Aristotle and through the Enlightenment and the rest of Western thought. Though there are new ideas and perspectives, there is no questioning or doubt of… [read more]


Lilian Baylis Birth of the Royal Ballet Thesis

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Lilian Baylis: Birth of the Royal Ballet

Lilian Mary Baylis

The Order of the Companions of Honour is a United Kingdom and Commonwealth of Nations Order. It was founded by George V of the United Kingdom in June 1917, as a reward for outstanding achievements in the arts, literature, music, science, politi

November 1937) was an English

England is the… [read more]


Midsummer Nights Dream Britten Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (1,095 words)
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Britten's Midsummer's Night

Midsummer Night's Dream by Benjamin Britten

Benjamin Britten got the plot for this opera from Shakespeare's play by the same name. In 1960 he, along with his companion, Peter Pears, presented it as a showpiece for his friends and for a wide variety of talents. It contains a largely spoken, theatrical part (Puck's), a boy's soprano choir, a large fairy who sings coloratura, a simple country bumpkin named Bottom whose head is turned into an ass' head by Puck, and romantic subplots. It is humorous and lyrical and a treat for the musical ear.

Throughout the opera, one is entranced by the many layers of not only plots, but musical activity. While one is amused by the fairy world, which is announced with harps, keyboards and percussion for atmosphere, the rustics being accompanied by a comical trombone, one is taken aback at the mechanicals, illustrated with brass and woodwinds, the regal court of Theseus which is announced with horns, then swooning with a love story accompanied by strings and wind instruments and flute music accompanying a man by the same name (Britten 1990).

Britten starts the opera in what was the second act of Shakespeare's play, but refers to what happened, so the audience does not feel anything is missing. The rustic folk, the fairies and the lovers are first presented in the woods around Athens and from there on the action never stops. The lead role of Oberon is sung by a countertenor, which is very rare, as leads are usually sung by tenors or basses. As the fairies appear, the well-known song, "Over hill, over dale" is heard, sung by Tytania's young boys' fairy choir. The strange relationship of Tytania and Bottom is the central romantic story that Britten chose to make the centerpiece of the opera. The dominating female fairy has a very difficult role to play, as she is attracted to Bottom, but is subject to Oberon and his accomplice, Puck, who make her life very difficult and her music hard to sing.

Oberon and Puck put the juice of an herb on her eyes that "will make or man or woman madly dote upon the next live creature that it sees. Be it on lion, bear, or wolf, or bull, on meddling monkey, or on busy ape" (Britten 2007). And this is the beginning of the mischief portrayed in the opera (Karadar 1). Needless to say, when Tytania awakes, she sees the rustic Bottom first, who has been given an ass' head, and falls madly in love with him, to his already aggravated consternation.

Throughout the play, the gods, demi-gods, and Greek heroes such as Helena and Demetrius, play and chase each other. Lysander, Helena, Hermia and Demetrius have received the juice on their eyelids while asleep, which makes them fall in love with the wrong person. And the last act is the most important, of course, where all of the intrigues are sorted out. Oberon takes the spell off of Tytania.… [read more]


Amadeus Mozart Term Paper

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Mozart

In 1786, the neoclassical characteristics of balance, discipline, restraint, unity and order were being replaced by the newer concepts of nature and the individuality of man, who took the form of the romantic hero appearing at the end of the 1700s. With revolutions about to begin, fueled by Rousseau, Montesquieu and Locke's writings about the rule of and by the people and about overthrowing monarchies, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, as a personality and as a composer, appeared in contrast to the rigid tradition previous to this era.

For example, in his masterpiece, "The Marriage of Figaro," Mozart brings the conflicts of his age into the musical arena as an opera. Figaro was created as an opera buffa, a comic opera popular during this time, a short, humorous entertainment inserted between acts of serious plays or operas. Stock players in these short operas were the clever servant, the miser and the fool. In "The Marriage of Figaro," Mozart used these stock players to pointedly attack the decadence of the aristocracy, usually successful in banning any comment on their extravagances. However, "The Marriage of Figaro" was so popular throughout Europe, that they could not squelch this searing critique.

Napoleon had called the…… [read more]


Fannie Brice Term Paper

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¶ … Life of comedienne Fanny Brice [...] her life and career. Barbra Streisand made Fanny Brice's life on stage famous in the film Funny Girl. Brice was a legendary performer in the 1920s and 30s, and performed on Broadway, in burlesque, and in the famous Ziegfeld Follies. She was one of the first successful Jewish comediennes, and she worked in the business for over forty years. People still remember Brice today for her wit and her outrageous characters. Her success is still a model of learning to change with the entertainment business as it changes through time.

Fanny Brice was born in New York City in 1891. Her parents were immigrants who owned saloons, and her real name was Fania Borach. She began performing early in her life, and aspired to be a serious actress, but her Semitic looks always forced her into character parts. In fact, while she often sang humorous songs with a Yiddish accent, in reality she did not even speak Yiddish (Editors, 2006). She was also tall and skinny, which made her stand out from most of the chorus girls of the time, who were more statuesque (Sorel, 1986, p. 81). In 1906, she won an amateur night contest at a famous vaudeville theater at the age of fourteen, and her career in the theater got its start. She dropped out of school after the eighth grade to concentrate on her career.

She worked as a chorus girl and in several productions throughout burlesque, and changed her name to Brice. Her first memorable role came in 1909 when she starred in "The College Girls" and sang a song by Irving Berlin called "Sadie Salome, Go Home," while parodying a famous dance from a Strauss opera. She sang the song in a Yiddish accent because that is how Berlin sang the song when he taught it to her, and her career as a Jewish comedienne was born. The number was a big hit in the show, and Brice learned how to make the audience laugh. She would capitalize on that for the rest of her life (Grossman, 1991, p. 27-28). Her biographer, Barbara Grossman continues, "Nevertheless, 'Sadie Salome' was more important in the long run. With Sadie, Brice created the first of her many memorable characters and discovered the performance style that would eventually become her signature, a style based on parody, dialect, and physical humor" (Grossman, 1991, p. 32). Florence Ziegfeld heard her performance, and hired her to work in his famous Ziegfield Follies, where she worked in the 1910s through the 1930s. Another writer states, "In 1910, she appeared in the Ziegfeld Follies and spent more than a decade in each of the annual Follies, which she supplemented with vaudeville and other work. Hers was a face that could traverse the range of emotions that vaudeville audiences found so enticing" (Epstein, 2001, p. 48). Fanny found a method of performing that worked for her and pleased her audiences. Whenever she deviated from that method,… [read more]


Dramatic Performance Andrea Chenier Essay

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Andrea Chenier

An Analysis of Umberto Giordano's Andrea Chenier in Geneva, 2011

Umberto Giordano's verismo opera Andrea Chenier was first performed a century after the French poet's death during the Reign of Terror. An exercise in Italian realism, Giordano's Andrea was a combination of Luigi Illica's "dramatically intense libretto" and the "exaggerated emphasis on effect at all costs" that characterized… [read more]


Andrea Chenier Though Umberto Giordano Essay

Essay  |  10 pages (3,388 words)
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152). In this way, one may claim that Andrea Chenier sets a revolutionary standard for itself that nonetheless allows for different interpretations and enactments, as this revolutionary standard is in each production "realized in a unique combination of dramaturgy, musical style, costumes, and staging" (Giger, 2008, p. 433).

In general, the Grand Theatre's production of Andrea Chenier fails to live… [read more]


Art Is "The Creation Term Paper

Term Paper  |  1 pages (423 words)
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It cannot be denied that such a production is art. Theatre is art.

The theatre doesn't have to be a musical in order for it to be art. Take Shakespeare, for instance. He was clearly one of the most talented playwrights of all time. His stories were works of genius, and the stage productions of his plays were very popular during the rebirth of the theatre in the Renaissance. Shakespeare took writing to another level with his couplings, monologues, and other literary devices. You cannot say that his writing is art unless you also include the production of these writings on the stage.

Referring back to the original definition of art as something beautiful or thought provoking, theatre is quite decidedly so. Just the mention of a few plays conjures up thoughts, images and memories for many who have witnessed them. But in conclusion, the one undisputed piece of evidence that clearly includes theatre as an art is the fact that the National Endowment for the Arts, which is federally funded by the U.S. Government, provides funding in the form of grants for theatres, and performing arts study programs throughout the U.S.

http://www.dictionary.msn.com/find/entry.asp?refid=1861695679&wwi=5210

http://www.arts.endow.gov/

15 Feb 2002… [read more]


Dance Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (795 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1

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Ideally, after watching such a living performance of innovation, one would take the alien back into a performance-based context, perhaps of the Alvin Ailey Dance theater or a Martha Graham modern dance company, to show that innovation in performance art is possible. The life of the people and the street and traditional and classical forms are in dialogue, rather than two strains of dance existing separately. Again, the main connection between the two forms is that movement creates meaning, both with the music, and adds meaning to the music. Composers create music for specific dance styles, although dancers match their motions, usually, to music in performance. In performance, there is more emphasis on replication and technical prowess, in play emotion and physical spontaneity come to the forefront -- but the two are always in balance, in motion, these elements can never disappear from any form of dance

Are these examples what make dance, then, the visitor would say? Not quite -- next, this alien would be taken to a wedding or another social occasion. There the alien would see people of all ages, some very technically unaccomplished, but all engaging in the social rite of dancing. Again, movement is important -- but the motions are less about proficiency or fun and spontaneity than what they say about an individual's participation in a culture and in a family. When the bride at a wedding dances with her father, it does not matter if the two people are perfect or even enthusiastic dancers, but it does matter that they do dance together -- and the fact that the bridge selects her father to be the first person to be her partner is revelatory about our culture and the institutions of marriage that still often conspire to imply that a girl is 'given away' by her father to a new life when she switches her allegiances from father to husband.

Thus, in dance, motion speaks the meaning -- but that meaning may be conveyed through a technically taught tradition, through emotional and social spontaneity, or through conforming to religious and cultural practices and institutions.

Works Cited

Jonas, Gerald. Dancing: The Pleasure, Power, and Art of Movement. New York: Harry N.…… [read more]


Farewell My Concubine Kaige Chen Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (1,838 words)
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Duan Xialou supports the modernization of the opera, to Dieyi's dismay. When Dieyi becomes a teacher of young students, Duan accuses his old-school methods as being no longer efficacious in the new society. "Go with the times!" he cries out to Dieyi.

On the eve of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in 1966, which was designed to "reconstruct people's mind," fire becomes a key symbol for transformation, destruction, and change. Dieyi burns the costumes he despises, as Duan and Juxian burn jade relics of the old society. Later he, Duan Xialou, and Juxian are ridiculed in public in front of a great bonfire, their lives at stake. Figures like Na Kun slander and rat out Dieyi, calling the three of them "reactionary" and "anti-party." Like the opera "Farewell My Concubine," the King, played by Duan Xialou, is being defeated by the Han invaders, played by the Communists. In spite of his being "bold and resourceful," he cannot escape his fate.

Farewell my Concubine ends and begins in 1977, ten years after the Cultural Revolution. Dieyi and Duan Xialou are reunited after more than a decade of being apart and are set to perform "Farewell My Concubine" in front of an unseen audience. As his final moment of retribution, Dieyi kills himself on the sword that the pair had been performing with since their early days in the Beijing Opera. Now all of the events of the classical Chinese opera have came to pass, as Duan screams his final farewell to Concubines Yu and Dieyi.

The film captures decades of cultural, political, and social turmoil in China and juxtaposes several layers of characters in play-within-a-play format. The Cultural Revolution eliminated the appearance of the old social stratification, but the lives of actors and prostitutes remain substandard. When Duan, Dieyi, and Juxian stand before their communist accusers, all three of them are ridiculed for being low life actors and prostitutes, a bold assessment of the failure of the proletarian revolution to instill social equity on top…… [read more]


Brodie the Broadsword Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (2,021 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+

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Brodie the Broadsword' is a play written by Alan Richardson, who is well-known for his numerous publications on various topics related to gender issues and issues of race, colonialism, and topics related to children. (Alan Richardson) Alan Richardson was born in Scotland and still lives there. He is stated to have caught the 'amdram bug' in the year 1969, after… [read more]


Balanchine to Petipa George Term Paper

Term Paper  |  10 pages (4,148 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+

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His themes would be very simple and easy to comprehend, and these he would combine well with the modern music of his time, and each of his ballet performances would be unique and known for their innovation and originality and simplicity of theme, as well as for their exclusiveness and their exquisite nature. Balanchine often called himself a 'craftsman', and… [read more]


Serbian Culture Theatre Among Serbs Term Paper

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Even today Popovic's comedies preserve their dramatic vitality and satirical topicality (Library of Serbian Culture, par. 78).

In 1850s and 1860s Laza Kostic (1841-1910) and Djura Jaksic (1832- 1878) gave Serbian Romanticist drama and theatre new poetic expression and a new type of drama hero, characterized by psychological dualism. The stagings of Kostic's tragedies Maksim Crnojevic (1869), in which the worlds of Serbian national epics and Shakespeare's tragedy were interwoven, and Pera Segedinac (1882), in which a tragedy from the history of Serbian people was interconnected with the burning problems of Kostic's time, were theatre landmarks (Library of Serbian Culture, par. 17).

At the end of the nineteenth century, the influence of French theatre strengthened. Before the World War I, this was the influence of Comedie-Francaise and Paris Boulevard theatres, rather than new theatre trends in France. Recent styles of European dramaturgy and theatre (Naturalism, Symbolism, Expressionism) - and not only French - were sensed in Serbian dramaturgy and theatre. Borisav Stankovic introduced new sensitivity and new poetic tones in the Realist approach into the already worn-out genre of popular folk plays "with singing," with his work Kostana (first performed in 1900), which has a cult following among Serbian theatres and audiences (Library of Serbian Culture, par. 86).

Physical Landmarks of Serb Culture

Prince Mihajlo Street in Belgrade with its neighboring blocks has been a subject of architects' interest for almost three centuries. During the Baroque urban renewal of Belgrade, between 1718 and 1739, the present main street of Prince Mihajlo was set up by the Austrians as a monumental architectonic border between German and Serbian towns. In the very proximity of this street, parallel to the watershed, they established the Great Square. On two facing sides of the square they constructed two representative buildings, Alexander's and Mauer's barracks. However, this square did not preserve its function for long. With the return of Turks in the second half of the eighteenth century and the first half of the nineteenth century, the Great Square was reduced to the Little Market. The orthogonal block scheme found itself in the clutches of an uncontrolled building of town sections. The third urban reconstruction of the most significant part of Belgrade, from 1867 to 1887, which was carried out according to the ideas of Emilijan Joksimovic, the first Serbian town-planner, finally strengthened the domination of symmetrical blocks, in the European way. Along with the Great Square, or Little Market, or King's Square, or Student's Square today, Prince Mihajlo Street, backed up against the Belgrade fortress, has been the dominant motif in the vista of the macro-environment of all of Belgrade (Library of Serbian Culture, par. 91).

Sculpture

Sculpture practically did not exist until the middle of the nineteenth century. Before that, it lived in the form of ecclesiastic ornamental and folk plastic art, but not as sculpture in the narrower sense. The reason for its late appearance lies in the fact that the Orthodox church, unlike the Catholic church, was intolerant of it. Thus, it… [read more]


Drama How Drama Can Capture Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (2,131 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+

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However, these staged dramas also incorporate some of the basest emotions, but they use them for motivation rather than education. Thus, the viewer of modern reality television shows may not be learning the moral message people like Shakespeare and Sophocles had in mind when they wrote their own dramas.

One constant in drama throughout the ages is the presence of women in drama, no matter the time or place. There are usually women players in drama, and they serve a variety of functions, from romantic interest to tense advocate to betrayer. Think of almost any great play, and at its center is a woman, either confusing the plot or helping to move it along. Where would Romeo be without his Juliet? Where would Hamlet be without his mother? Where would Anthony be without Cleopatra? Where would The Bachelor be without his Bachelorettes? Where would Punch be without Judy, and Tramp be without Lady? All these dramas have many common themes and elements, but they all have women at the center of the plot, and often they are the center of the dramatic situation, too. Audiences can usually empathize and identify with women, and so, they make the drama softer around the edges, unless they are as shrewish and demanding as Kate in "Taming of the Shrew." In addition, some of the greatest struggles of all time are between men and women, and certainly, modern life often boils down to disagreements and interactions between man and woman. Therefore, women serve a vital purpose in drama. They help the audience empathize with the characters, and they also exist often as a foil or an impediment to the males in the drama, creating real-life man/woman situations the audience can understand and learn from. While there are some plays that do not revolve around tensions and relationships between the sexes, most drama contains opposites, and the male/female relationship is certainly one of the most opposite and confusing in life. From mother and son to father and daughter, these relationships form the core of people's lives, and they usually form the core of the most popular and compelling dramas. Women are an integral part of life, and an integral portion of any truly successful drama.

Throughout history, dramas have been engaging, entertaining, and imminently popular. They show people at their very best, and at their very worst, and they involve the audience because they speak to the problems, concerns, and difficulties of the audience. Of course, not all plays are successful drama, but as one critic noted, "All the instrumentalities of the theater, including an audience, may be necessary to make a play a vital, living thing" (Hartley and Ladu 20). Drama lives, breathes, and grows in the minds of the audience, who take away new ideas and thoughts from great dramatic moments. When an audience walks away from the theater, or from their television set, they could be walking on air, or sobbing uncontrollably. They could be happier, wiser, or terrified, but they are… [read more]


Vaudeville and Popular Entertainment Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (734 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+

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Women were seen mostly as objects of beauty and desire, or ugly ducklings that could only make people laugh. There were female singers and musicians, but the main purpose of women in the theater was to make people laugh and show a little skin. This also helped give vaudeville a lurid reputation among many Americans (many found it far from the "legitimate" stage) (Bordman 159), and helped lead to its' eventual demise. Vaudeville simply outlasted itself, and failed to grow and change with the times. The material was broad and unsophisticated, and audiences moved on to other forms of entertainment, such as musicals, films, and plays. Vaudeville reached its peak between 1890 and 1910 (Mintz 19), when this form of entertainment was new, unique, and filled with a little mystique. After a while, the same type of entertainment each week grew old and unexciting, and the audiences moved on to other forms of entertainment. Vaudeville filled a void in theatrical entertainment during its' hey day, because few forms of entertainment catered to the working class in America. As motion pictures became more popular, they pushed out vaudeville as America's choice for entertainment. Vaudeville became predictable, while motion pictures were new, exciting, and always different.

In conclusion, vaudeville rose in popularity at a time when Americans had more free time and were looking for new forms of entertainment. It often utilized gross and obvious humor at the expense of an ethnic minority to get people to laugh. It also exploited women as sex objects with little else to recommend them. It began to lose its popularity as motion pictures became more popular, and audiences became more sophisticated.

References

Bordman, Gerald. American Musical Theatre: A Chronicle. New York: Oxford U.S., 1992.

Mintz, Lawrence E. "Humor and Ethnic Stereotypes in Vaudeville and Burlesque." MELUS 21.4 (1996): 19+.

Musser, C. "Edison Motion Pictures 1890-1900," 1997, p. 329; Niver, K.R. "Early Motion Pictures, 1985; F.Z. Maguire & Co. Catalogue, March 1898, p. 42.

Niver, K.R. "Early Motion Pictures, 1985." Edison Films Catalog, no. 105, July 1901, p. 49; AFI cat.: film beginnings, 1893-1910, 1995.

Early Motion…… [read more]


Choreography of Dreamgirls and a Chorus Line Movie Review

Movie Review  |  3 pages (930 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3

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Others suffer mishaps like Paul, who tragically re-injures his knee. One of the most interesting stories is that of Cassie, a former soloist who struggles to blend in with the rest of the cast. Cassie also has a personal history with the director Zach, who largely stands aloof during the production, passing cold judgment on the dancers as he ruthlessly eliminates those he doesn't approve of, one by one. Each dancer has a different physical style which then becomes subsumed in the final production number where everyone dances alike and loses their individuality in the eyes of the audience.

Bennett also tackled a show about backstage drama in the form of Dreamgirls, which tells the story of a girl group called 'the Dreamettes.' The Dreamettes are a girl group begun by Effie White that uses the group's success at a local talent show to garner worldwide acclaim. As the group's money and fame increases, so do its members' personal conflicts. Effie's role in the group is eclipsed by a prettier backup singer who eventually assumes her lead role. Effie is relegated to the background despite the fact she is clearly the best singer of the group. Because she is not conventionally attractive, she is cast out and replaced with another, prettier girl. Bennett uses the conventions of 1960s girl group singing, with their stylized and coordinated movements, to help reflect the conflicts going on between the Dreamettes (later renamed the Dreams) and to reflect the changing fortunes of the group. Their performances grow showier, more elaborate, and obviously sexual as Effie is gradually edged out of the group and they are put under the wing of professional management. One of the most poignant moments is when 'the Dreams' with their new replacement for Effie suddenly take over the stage after Effie sings her heart-wrenching solo "And I'm telling you." The glitter, glamor, and carefully coordinated mannerisms of their slim bodies writhing under their costumes are a stark contrast to Effie's raw power, honesty, and solidity.

A subtheme to Dreamgirls is the replacement of a traditionally 'black' style of R&B with a smoother, more commercial-sounding Motown quality, and this is also reflected in the dancing of the male groups and singers who are cultivated by their handlers to become more palatable to white audiences. Their dancing becomes showier, more presentational, and theatrical over the course of the show. Like A Chorus Line, once again a central theme of Bennett's philosophy as a choreographer shines through: dance reveals character and must tell a story (particularly stories about showbiz) versus merely be entertaining in and of itself.

Works Cited

A Chorus Line. Directed by Richard Attenborough, 1985.

Dreamgirls. Directed by Bill Condon, 2006.… [read more]


Gilded Age and Two Identifications Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (904 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3

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¶ … Rise of Entertainment during the Gilded Age

The Gilded Age marked a time of industrial revolution, growth, and prosperity. The Gilded Age sprung out of post-Civil War and post-Reconstruction and is defined by the rapid economic and population growth. Marked by the creation of the modern industrial economy, the Gilded Age saw the rapid rise of industrialists such as John D. Rockefeller, Andrew W. Mellon, Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan, and Cornelius Vanderbilt. It was also during this time that America saw the rise of expositions, amusement parks, and other entertainment outlets.

Expositions of the Gilded Age included the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, the World's Fair (World's Colombian Exposition) held in Chicago, the St. Louis World's Fair, and the Panama Pacific International Exposition. These expositions featured vast exhibition halls and were intended to display the latest technological marvels of the time. Many times, amusement parks were situated on the periphery of these expositions, and utilized new technologies to amuse and entertain the public (an Introduction to American Cultural Expression during the Gilded Age and Progressive Era). Of the first and most memorable amusement parks is Coney Island. Amusement parks encouraged innovations in the entertainment and industrial field and saw the development of rides featuring extreme drops and high speed rides meant to thrill passengers (Rutherford, 2000).

The Gilded Age also saw a rise in live entertainment, specifically in vaudeville. Prior to the Civil War, "American audiences boisterously voiced their approval or disapproval at theatrical performances by screaming, hollering, stomping, throwing vegetables and other missiles, or in certain instances even rushing the stage to attack performers or plead for encores" (About Vaudeville, 1999). Vaudeville grew out of the "culture of incorporation" of post-Civil War America,

and rose to prominence through organizational efforts, savvy business marketing, spending power, and an increase of leisure time among the white-collar worker. Vaudeville combined centuries-old traditions including the English Music hall, minstrel shows of pre-Civil War America, and Yiddish Theatre (About Vaudeville, 1999). Additionally, traveling entertainment became popular during this period. One of the most popular, and most enduring traveling shows was Barnum & Bailey Circus, "The Greatest Show on Earth," which featured both animals and performers (About Vaudeville, 1999).

The Gilded Age also so an increase in popular music as sheet music grew in demand among pianists. One of the venues in which sheet music was used was in traveling minstrel shows. Music was written and sold by both black and white musicians. The influence of black musicians was also heard in a new style of music called ragtime, which rose to prominence in the late 1890s (Ohl, 1996). Ragtime helped to establish a new genre of music which would later develop into jazz.

An increase…… [read more]


Ballet History Thesis

Thesis  |  12 pages (4,061 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 4

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Ballet History

Ballet is a form of dancing that is performed for audiences in a theater. Just like many other forms of dance, ballet may tell a story, express a mood, or simply be a sign of the music. A ballet dancer's technique and special skills often differ greatly from those of other dancers. Ballet dancers perform many movements that… [read more]

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