Anti-Realistic Theatre, Historical Notes. "Anti" -- because of dominance (tyranny) of the Naturalism. High Modernism and Pomo experiments have long traditions of non-realistic theatre (Symbolism began the artist-oriented trends of the century, "Art for Arts' Sake").
Broadway Musicals? Yes, non-realistic. As much as "Sesame Street"!
Is Oedipus real? Or Hamlet? Theatre itself isn't real. Stage is the "formal" (organizing) principle...
The Theatre of Cruelty is a concept in Antonin Artaud's book Theatre and its Double. By cruelty, he meant not sadism or causing pain, but rather a violent, physical determination to shatter the false reality which, he said, lies like a shroud over our perceptions. He believed that text had been a tyrant over meaning, and advocated, instead, for a theatre made up of a unique language halfway-between thought and gesture. Antonin Artaud described the spiritual in physical terms, and believed that all expression is physical expression in space. [ wikipedia ]
* Naturalism and Realism provide the materials of the revolution + The amateurs improvise = East, Africa, Discovery of the World (WWI)
LOST PAGE! Originally had non-western traditions (Kabuki, for example. Oriental Theatre in principle 'non-realistic' -- that's why we admire so much its STYLIZATION). Also, see Commedia in Biomechanics directory.
Read Brecht Page or on Beckett and absurdism. Be carefull, too often "non-real" means nothing more that anti-naturalism (see Realism Page).
Realism (Webster) -- Date: 1817 (?)
1 : concern for fact or reality and rejection of the impractical and visionary
2 a : a doctrine that universals exist outside the mind; specifically : the conception that an abstract term names an independent and unitary reality b : the conception that objects of sense perception or cognition exist independently of the mind -- compare NOMINALISM
3 : fidelity in art and literature to nature or to real life and to accurate representation without idealization
.... From Plays of Pot to Plays of Characters to Plays of Ideas
Before Pirandello and After
1. Paul Fort; Theatre d'Art (1890), at seventeen
2. Re-establish poetry, imagery, fantasy, extravagence and superhuman
3. PETER PEN by Barrie (1904), Strindberg Dream Play (1902), Shaw's Man and Superman (1903), Alfred Jarry's Ubu Roi (1898)
4. Vsevolod Meyerhold: from Symbolism to Constructivism and Biomechanics
5. Electric lighting, technology and post-impressionism
The Theatre of "ISMS"
1. Appia (Swiss) and Craig (USA) 1902 -- Designers and Philosophers of Modern Theatre
2. Dalcroze (Swiss); Eurythmics (Rhythms in music and drama)
3. Dadaism; Tristan Tzara (1916), Jean Arp and Marcel Duchamp (French), Max Ernest and Hugo Ball (German); TRAVISTIES
4. Expressionism (Germany); 1920-24 -- Distorted line and exaggerated shapes and color: Medea, Cabaret
5. Futurism (Italy): 20th century Machinery
6. Theatricalism: Pirandello (Italy): What is real and what is not?
7. Theatre of Cruelty: Antonin Artaud -- "Truth hurts"
Theatre of the Absurd
Philosophy: Existentialism -- Existence Before Essence
1. Jean-Paul Sartre: No Exit -- Life is Hell
2. Albert Camus: Caligula (Hitler) 1957, Nobel Prize
3. Ionesco: Rionocerous -- Logic?
4. Duerrenmat: The Physicists -- Human Nature
5. Samuel Beckett: Waiting for Godot -- Death
6. Bertold Brecht: Mother Courage and Her Children -- Theatre of Alienation?
7. Harold Pinter: The Homecoming -- Animal Nature of Mankind
8. Sam Shepard: Buried Child -- The Family Unit - Attacking American Myths
Epic theater, also known as theater of alienation or theater of politics, is a theater movement arising in the early to mid-20th century, inextricably linked to the German director Bertolt Brecht. Though many of the concepts involved in epic theater had been around for years, even centuries, Brecht unified them, developed the style, and popularized it. It is sometimes referred to as Brechtian acting, although its principles apply equally to the writing and production of plays. Brecht later favored the term dialectic theater, to emphasize the element of argument and discussion. [wikipedia]
Kabuki plays are about historical events, moral conflicts in love relationships and the like. The actors use an old fashioned language which is difficult to understand even for some Japanese people. They speak in a monotonous voice and are accompanied by traditional Japanese instruments.
The kabuki stage (kabuki no butai) is a rotating stage and is further equipped with several gadgets like trapdoors through which the actors can appear and disappear. Another speciality of the kabuki stage is a footbridge (hanamichi) that leads through the audience.
In the early years, both, men and women acted in Kabuki plays. Later during the Edo period, the Tokugawa shogunate forbade the acting to women, a restriction that survives to the present day. Several male kabuki actors are, therefore, specialized in playing female roles (onnagata).
During kabuki plays, fanatic fans in the audience shout the names of their favorite actors in the right moments during short pauses - a phenomena that is not common during theater performances in the West. [ Mikado ]
Two ways to go: 1. philosophy (pomo-writers) + 2. culture (technology as message)
Kabuki plays are composed of certain varying elements that help it become so colorful and glamorous. These elements include: Story, Musical Elements, Dramatic Content, Dance, Costume, Make-up, Theatre Design, and Actor/Audience Relationship. Kabuki plays are about society in a particular period, historical events, moral conflicts, love relationships etc. and are performed using a combination of dramatic dialogue and dance, and accompanied by drums, flutes, stringed instruments called shamisen, and chanting. The Kabuki music also employs special spectacular audio-effects. The most exceptional among them is the sounding of wooden clappers signaling the opening and the closing of a Kabuki play. The actors/performers wear costumes that reflect the contemporary styles of the day. The costumes play a major role to emphasize the character’s role being portrayed by the performer, as they themselves are full of complexity and hidden meaning. Along with the costumes, make-up is also considered as an integral part of Kabuki performance. The theatrical designs have changed over a period of time, ranging from raised platforms on a riverbed to the modern day theatres having rotating stages and a whole range of gadgets. The last but not the least is the Actor-Audience Relationship as there are instances in a Kabuki play when an actor would come out of his role and address the audience directly.
... It is strangely ironic that Japanese Kabuki, an exclusively male preserve, a theater where women have been in the audience but not on stage for almost four hundred years, was created in large part by a woman and her female troupe. Okuni, who may have come from the shrine of Izumo and thus have had a background in shamanistic ritual and No, set up a temporary stage on the dry bed of the Kamo River in Kyoto around 1603, where she and her company performed slightly suggestive dances and skits. http://www.artelino.com/articles/kabuki_theater.asp
@1998-2001 script * Fall 2002 THR215 Dramatic Literature: subscribe to DramLit Forum *
Audience & Performance: Part of the excitement of watching Kabuki comes from the audience. During a play, the audience shouts the names of actors during short pauses. The timing of the shout must be just right. It's an interesting phenomena. Other interesting things to notice during Kabuki are the colorful and gorgeous costumes and make-up which the actors wear.
... You will also see people dressed all in black on the stage. They are called Kuroko, and their jobs are to take care of props and actors. When they appears on the stage, the audience is supposed to treat them as invisible. Also, the traditional Japanese music that accompanies Kabuki performances might interests you. The musicians rotate in and out of sight on the stage, which carries them.
For many centuries, the Eastern Hemisphere was itself divided into two distinct parts--the world of Asia and the world of Europe. We have been dealing up to now with the theatre of Europe, and may seem to have implied that no other existed. Quite to the contrary, however, Asian lands developed, independently, unique and highly civilized cultures, including remarkably advanced theatre. A form of drama, roughly paralleling that of ancient Egypt, was evidently extant in China about 2000 B.C. It seems to have been a dance-drama commemorating religious festivals, military successes, and ancestors, and was confined to the nobles and the priests. The epic period of Hindu literature began about the same time as the institution by Pisistratus of the Great Festival of Dionysus at Athens. The greatest Hindu playwright, Kalidasa, flourished about 350 A.D. Chikamatsu, the Shakespeare of Japan, was born about thirty-five years after Shakespeare's death...
http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=744567 On Stage a History of Theatre by Vera Mowry Roberts; Harper & Row, 1962
No and Bunraku
Donald Keene combines informative works on two forms of classical Japanese theater into a single volume. The No text looks at all aspects of this traditional theater form including its history, its stage and props, the use of music and dance in its performances, the plays as literature, and the aesthetics of No. Also discussed are Kyogen, the comic farces that are typically interspersed with the solemn No dramas.