THE100: TELEVISION FILM AND THEATER Spring 2020 Session 04

they were watching up th TV the
university to Vegas nope hello and welcome back to theater 100
television film and theatre my name is Naomi Buckley and I am the instructor
for this course we are in session four and I do and remind you that as always
today as opposed to the week I was sick we are usually live and online and if
you’d like to call in and talk with us today you can do so at 3:00 102 nine
eight seven three three zero or you can type in a question or a comment to ask
th TV live at of course if you do type in or call in today you’ll get
extra credit this week is just regular extra credit not double like last week
but always worth it for you to accrue those extra credit points to provide a
little cushion for later today we’re going to be looking at theater spaces or
another word for that is stages or scenery and we’re gonna be talking about
that and then in the first part of the broadcast we are going to be looking at
doing some theater history and looking at restoration theater before we do
either of those things today I do want to get to our question of the day so
your extra credit opportunity what do you think would be the best staging
format to see a play in proscenium arena or thrust and why do you why would you
want to use one over the other so if you’d like to type in or call in to
answer that question day you can get some extra credit as always even if you
just have a comment or a question that you’d like to add into the the broadcast
a day will give you extra credit for that – we just love that you’re watching
and we want to encourage you to participate and you never know your
comment or question might lead to other people comments and in questioning or
something new that I might share as well alright as usual I do want to just
remind you that this week is a fairly normal week you’re going to have a quiz
on Sunday you’re gonna have your discussion board due on Sunday and so
just like the week’s previous you’ve got the lecture than the discussion board
and the quiz that are all due on Sunday this week that
this week we are going to be going over Raisin in the Sun and that week is going
to be a little bit different I would honestly suggest that you kind of go
ahead in our assignments page look ahead into that assignments page and just take
a peek at what the assignment for the week is if you haven’t bought Raisin in
the Sun yet you need to go on Amazon Prime and one day prime that because
you’re gonna need it in order to do your assignment for next week and your
discussion board everything so what we go over in class next week in terms of
Raisin in the Sun is going to be abbreviated we’re not going over you
know we’re not reading the whole play in class we certainly don’t have time for
that we’re not watching the whole play in class so if you don’t have access to
the play it’s going to be problematic for you so please make sure that you
have access to that and you’re able to get to read it so that next week by
Sunday can do all the things you need to do and have those assignments in on time
alright so today we’re going to be talking about restoration theater which
is also takes place in the 18th century it’s centered in London and the UK and
it’s really an example of kind of like the pendulum of history and how things
swing back and forth how audiences as well as political bodies swing back and
forth throughout history so I it’s it’s got an
interesting history there the restoration because it started out with
the Puritans and the English Civil War so back in 1642 uh there was a civil war
there was a clash in in England there was a clash between two warring
ideologies the tradition of the monarchy that had been around at that point
furred obviously some several hundreds of years kings and queens who had ruled
England and a group of people that wanted to start a Commonwealth and it
was driven by religious ideology it was driven by a group of people called the
Puritans and the Puritans are a Protestant base group of people so
what does that mean well the Protestants as opposed to Catholics and opposed to
the Church of England which was kind of like Catholic light at the time believed
that in if you’re not familiar with Catholicism kind of all the Catholic
structures so they definitely believed in God and they believed that there was
a Jesus and they believed in the Bible and they believed in the old and the New
Testament and they believed in the crucifixion of Christ but the Catholics
also believed in a host of saints they believed in the the mother Mary being
you know a saint as well they believed in this certain sacraments that people
had to do in order to get into heaven and those sacraments or if we can think
of it maybe as devotions things that people needed to accomplish in their
life in order to secure their place in heaven had become really pretty
elaborate at this point in time maybe not quite as elaborate as they had been
in the previous as you know hundred years but certainly much more elaborate
than we would consider today even with good Catholics I’m certainly there were
the basic sacraments of you’re supposed to get married you’re supposed to have
kids you’re supposed to go to confession you’re supposed to go to church and Mass
and all those things and pray but there were lots of other things too
there were pilgrimages that usually people were supposed to go on these kind
of journeys that you would take to certain holy sites throughout the UK and
then there was tithing money that you were supposed to give in order to as a
sacrifice to God right and regular tithing at the church in fact there had
become a practice at this point in time in which there was also you pain to give
confession rights we get forgiven of your sins and so there certainly was a
level of corruptness that existed at this
and time as well it’s good probably good to mention that the the English had
separated from the Catholic Church right so when Henry the eighth’s decided that
he wanted to divorce his first wife and the the Catherine of Aragon and the Pope
said no way I’m not gonna grant that annulment basically because they didn’t
have divorce but an annulment of the marriage Henry decided to break away
from the Catholic Church and start his own church the Church of England but the
Church of England was really pretty much just like the Catholic Church right they
followed all the same ideas so the Puritans were a Protestant religion that
believed one of the key differences between the Protestant religion and the
cat’ the Catholic religions as well as the Church of England was that the
Protestants believed that everyday people could have direct connection to
God and everyday people could pray to God on their own they could confess
their sins to God on their own they could read the Bible and interpret it on
their own and they could have a personal relationship with God that did not
require these intermediary things they didn’t require a priest they didn’t
require penance they didn’t require any of these things you could do this on
your own as just as an individual right at the time the Catholic Church believed
that that was heretical the Church of England had a much more lenient view of
it because again they’re like Catholic like but still there was it was
Puritanism which is Protestantism is just some another form of Protestantism
was a real challenge to the hierarchy and the power that was represented by
the church right the church had accrued all this power religion have accrued all
this power over time and the monarchy was aligned primarily with this the
these these power structures in fact drew their a lot of their power from
aligning themselves with these power structures and so Protestantism and
pretty much all of its forms was considered by the Catholic Church and by
many of the monarchies throughout Europe a really really big threat and
considered heretical what does that mean well it means that it’s so again
what they believed were the teachings of the Bible and of the church so as to be
heresy and heresy was punishable by death so it’s a hanging crime as we
might say right so the Puritans looked upon the monarchy and the church that
they align themselves with as being corrupt as being too secular
they believed that the monarchy had allowed too much secularism into the
country and that they were allowing the country to kind of go down the tubes
because they were not following what what the Puritans believed were the
teachings of God and that they had become power-hungry and greedy and the
Puritans were there to stand up against that and to enact their own ideas and
beliefs into England and so there was a civil war there was a fight within the
country between those people who were with the monarchy the monarchists and
the the rebellion who were with the Puritans and wanted to establish
something called a Commonwealth well in that battle the Puritans one and they D
throned the king at the time who was Charles the first and they executed him
and his wife I believe as well and some of his family and the rest of his family
in his court actually were able to flee to the south of France to Normandy and
lived there in exile for many many years so the Commonwealth the all of England
became under the Commonwealth and James Cromwell was the leader of the
Commonwealth and he was a Puritan himself and so he became the head of the
state and and he ruled for you know many years in that capacity while he was
ruling in that capacity the they enacted a lot of laws that were in line with
what they believed was the direction they wanted the country to go so we we
know that they came into power because they believed that the monarchy become
too secular and corrupt and greedy and so part of
the things that the laws that they enact it had to do with leading the country
and creating laws that conform to the types of religious beliefs that they had
and why is that important well it’s important because the Puritans believed
that theater in fact any form of entertainment that was not glorifying
God was sinful and so even though if we look
right before this period right we’re literally right before this period we
get the Elizabethan era right and we get this flourishing of theater we get the
Renaissance we get the flourishing of theater and the arts and specifically
theater inside of England this is when people like Shakespeare were writing and
we had the Old Globe and the rose and all those things there is a real swing
against all of those things and in fact theater is outlawed so the Puritans
outlaw theater it’s not just theater that they all are they outlaw a bunch of
things right but public performance in general is outlawed and the theaters are
closed down they are shut down and if you want to perform anything it has it
goes into this underground right so they prevented any kind of public
performances of theater from being performed in England for 20 years
basically there was some loosening and lack singing of that towards the end of
Cromwell’s life he became a little older and they felt was you know less
important and so people did still certainly not openly there weren’t any
public theaters the theaters did not reopen the people became a little less
worried about advertising them their performances in the meantime what had
happened was that while England was going through these these growing pains
and there was a whole switchover in terms of power in the structure of the
state in England the center of theater moved to France so just across the
channel over into France and who should be happened to be living in
the South of France but the exiled son of the king charles ii and Charles grows
up in the South of France is a great picture of him experiencing what was a
Renaissance of French theatre it’s called a French neoclassical period
right that happens and this really becomes a flourishing of theater inside
of France this is where people like Moliere are writing famous play char to
is you know written during this time and there’s a real flourishing of the
theater in France and this is where Charles grows up so in the mean time
back in England cromwell dies and his son comes to power but the people that
are in the the around you know the the body politic and the old politicians and
the old courtiers and all that they have been plotting for a while to bring the
monarchy back so cromwell’s death is a perfect opportunity for that his son who
comes to power after him James is not nearly as smart or well-liked and
certainly doesn’t have as much political sway and cachet as his father did and so
they see this as a perfect opportunity to kind of enact this coup and bring
charles ii back sneaked him back into the country in the dead of night which
is exactly what they do and have him horde ordained and crowned king with a
religious person presence to ordain matt so that it’s ordained by god so they can
be recognized fully as a king of england and and that’s exactly what they do so
they enact this coup and they bring him back across the channel in the dead of
night and absolute secrecy they have him crowned and ordained and
then they depose of james i don’t believe they kill him they just send him
out into exile and they remove all of the people that were part of his
government and they restore the monarchy to you
and that is why as you can see at the bottom of our screen and our lower
thirds here the chyron says that this is called the restoration well that’s why
it’s called the restoration is because the monarchy had been absent from
England for 20-some odd years and when it’s finally brought back and the
monarchy is restored to the throne we call that restoration so as soon as
Charles gets back one of the things that he does is he lifts the ban on theater
Charles had been living in the South of France this is where he grew up he
became a man in the South of France and he had been exposed to all the courtly
delights that the theatre had to show and he certainly wasn’t going to have a
country in which there was no theatre present and so he reopened the theatres
he lifted the ban and so we see an immediate resurgence of theater inside
of England but the tone and tenor of the type of theatre that gets produced here
becomes really really different from what had come before one of the other
important things that Charles does it’s not immediate but it pretty quickly
after he arrives back is he also lifts a ban on a long-standing ban on women on
this stage so in France it had been a quite a women had been allowed on the
stage for a very long time in fact they were one of the first people to allow
women on the stage and so Charles had grown up seeing women be on the stage
and to him it was not at all odd or immoral or improper to see women on the
stage to see actresses and so he like I said almost immediately also lifts the
ban on that and women are now for the first time in the history of England
allowed to perform on the stage along with male actors so England has lived in
this puritanical under this puritanical government for 20-some odd years under
the fear of punishment for all kinds of things right there was no public
performances law there was no singing public singing unless it was to God
right there was no public dancing allowed there were no
this was no theater you could get in a lot of trouble be put in the stocks or
you know worse if you were found to be doing any of these things very very
strict very religious community that that was being created in the
Commonwealth and when Charles is restored you can imagine just like
teenagers young adults who for the first time have their freedom that England
goes crazy all the stuff that they couldn’t do before it suddenly now they
can do even women are allowed on this stage and so the types of performances
that we see that come out of this era out of the restoration are preoccupied
with all the things that we see teenagers and young adults preoccupied
with right preoccupied with sex preoccupied with a debauchery drugs and
drinking and parties and all these things all the plays are primarily
comedies and when you go to see these shows it’s really just about having a
lot of fun and laughing right so one of the first things that we see on the
English stage is a play called the country wife it’s a perfect example of
the type of theater that’s we see throughout the restoration period 1675
it’s got an opening scene would that shows a total preoccupation with sex
like every other word that they’re saying even if you if you read it now
you wouldn’t get it because they’re using words that don’t resonate with us
now that represents certain body parts or puns for sexual acts that we wouldn’t
get now because we don’t call it those things but the whole entire scene is
basically that it’s one giant sexual pun and it’s follows the story of a guy who
is goes out to the countryside and decides to that he’s going to seduce all
these wives of all these rich husbands that live out there and the way he’s
going to do it is going to be by pretending that he’s a eunuch the eunuch
would have been a man who has had a certain part of his body removed I don’t
want to be too graphic and is considered almost like a female
because of it right so completely non-threatening someone who’s you know
not interested in sex at all because he’s been neutered basically right and
and so he goes out pretending he’s a eunuch and uses this as a ploy to
actually get in to bed with all of these the wives of these husbands it’s a very
similar plot to a play that probably Charles would have seen when he was
living in the South of France called Tartuffe and this was written by Moliere
and this is a play about a man who does a very similar thing he goes out to the
countryside to sleep with a bunch of rich wives and how does he get his way
in the trust of all these husbands well he says he’s a priest and he pretends to
be the most devout priest that you’ve ever seen and so he convinces everybody
that he’s the most holy man so of course he would never do anything like this and
then he proceeds to seduce every single one of these women so these kinds of
stories became hugely popular and people loved watching them on the stage so
there was this new intimacy in the stories that was reflected in the
intimacy of the theaters themselves theaters moved completely indoors so we
had every theater that we had at the time was moved indoors they were lit
primarily by here’s a great picture they were lit by candlelight they as a result
of the mean indoors they sat a lot less people than they would have before an
open-air theatre can sit five will goodness the way that the Elizabethans
packed them in a thousand to two thousand people and indoor theater like
this could see probably half of that so the audience’s became smaller as a
result of that the ticket prices went up right because we have less seats now so
boys still have to make the same amount of money so we got us all the seats for
more right and one of the effects that this had was to create theater that was
less for everyday people and more for the rich and the aristocrats and so the
other thing that we see in theater from this time is it tends to focus on that
class of people people who have because those were the people that were
going to see the shows they were the ones that could afford to see it and so
they of course enjoyed seeing themselves on the stage the theater grows the word
were also not just there to watch the shows this was an event this was
something excuse me that was a whole evening thing right most of these shows
were not you know now if we go see a show two hours that’s a pretty long play
we get an intermission right these plays four sometimes three sometimes four
hours when you add it in the music that would be in between and the
entertainment that would come before this was a whole evening of
entertainment right and this space was designed to encourage that and in
addition these spaces did not have lighting in fact there was just no
concept in the way that we have now of an specific you know like an audience
space that’s separate from the player space and a fourth wall and that the
audience is supposed to be quiet while the performers are performing right that
it was that’s a very very modern concept and certainly did not exist at this
point in time so we’re indoors and everything is lit by candles or usually
these plays start around 4:00 when the Sun is still out and we open these
windows on the side that’ll allow and in the back of the theater which allow all
the daylight in and then when it comes dark in one of the intermission breaks
we light all the candles in the space and that’s how we get light into the
space so but there was no way to just light the stage or just light the house
right and it kind of let you know even when you would have hundreds of candles
it’s still fairly dark and dim with candlelight so this is a space in which
everything is lit the audience is lit and the actors are lit at exactly the
same level and so people would go there to socialize and to oftentimes to meet
try to meet somebody in fact the way I usually like to
describe it is that going to the theatre was much more akin to something like we
would think of today is like going to the club or going to a bar right then it
was to what we experienced today in the theater right so we would
go to the theater it would be a whole evening affair for hours probably we
would show up early for the early entertainment there’s people walking
around selling food and drink right and I don’t just mean water
I mean beer and wine there’s people selling oranges and turkey legs and all
kinds of things inside everybody’s there they’re dressed to the nines you’re
dressed in your best clothes because you’re there to attract a mate or a
partner or something people are drunk and high right because things like what
we call snuff is was very very popular at the time and it’s basically just
cocaine right and it was not illegal to do this so you know people took drugs on
a regular baby worn illegal and they drink alcohol and they you know this is
this was the experience of this entire space and in the process of this some
actors are gonna get on the stage and they’re going to perform and just in the
same way that if you were at a concert or at a bar or a club where there was a
band performing yeah you’re there to watch the band or the the performer but
you’re also there to socialize and to see be seen and to see others right so
there’s a very raucous atmosphere very much unlike what we consider you know
the way the theater is now where we go in and we sit down and we’re very polite
and quiet and there’s no food or drink allowed inside of the theater and no
camera you know like me this is very very structured and and there’s all this
etiquette that we follow now but this just really wasn’t the way it was it was
a very lively place it was I mean I think if you walked into it it would
just feel chaotic almost and people were often not even paying attention to what
was happening on the stage and because actors and the audience there was no
idea of a fourth wall right this idea that the audience and the actors should
ignore each other and pretend like you know were separated by this invisible
force what that didn’t exist actors frequently talked back to
audience members and audience members free
we talked to the actors if they thought the actors weren’t doing a very good job
they might shout something at them right if the actors thought that somebody was
being particularly loud doing it during their special monologue they might shout
at them right so there was an interaction that just simply obviously
doesn’t exist today in terms of audience and actor or performer interaction
another thing that comes out of this time period because of that kind of
interaction and something you might be familiar with is if any of you have
watched cartoons and you see you know or there’s a lot of things that show this
right somebody is performing and they’re doing a really bad job and suddenly they
start getting pelted with Tomatoes right Rotten Tomatoes in fact that’s why that
website that reviews films is called Rotten Tomatoes right well where that
comes from because obviously I’m sure none of you have ever seen that happen
in real life well that comes from this time period because people were sat in
these theatres and food was being served and what kinds of food would be served
well you’re not gonna eat soup you don’t have a table right you just its things
you can hold in your hands so think about the things you eat if you go to
see a baseball game or you go like you know to a place where there’s not tables
it’s got to be things that you can hold in your hand so things like a turkey leg
we’re fine right but also a lot of self-contained fruits so oranges apples
bananas tomatoes things that you can hold in your hand and you can eat right
without needing you know a plate and all these other things and so if there was
an actor on the stage that the audience particularly didn’t like felt was doing
a really bad job or they just didn’t have a good relationship with they would
literally take the food that they had in their hand and they would throw it at
the actor that was on the stage and they would Pelt it at them until that actor
left so this actually comes from a real moment in time where this was a very
very common practice of audience having this very different relationship with
the performers and food being an integral part of that whole experience
and this is what would really really happen
and so in these theaters as I said they were much smaller they were about 500
seats which was again if we look back just less than a hundred years before
the Elizabethan stages could hold a thousand two thousand people there’s a
much much smaller space and um a time in which men often outdid women in the
terms of like the elaborate clothing that they would wear and everybody again
was just very very dressed up in terms of the style of clothing and when you
you know it’s like again today if you go out to a club or a bar whatever you’re
gonna put your your nicest hottest clothes you know the thing that you
think makes you look the best and this is exactly what these people were doing
everybody was dressed up to the nines because it wasn’t just about sitting in
a dark space where nobody could see you it was about sitting in a space where
everybody could see you in fact that’s the whole reason why you were there you
were there to meet other people to be seen by other people and you want it to
look your best right so not only were women for the first time performing on
this stage but women playwrights were contributing as well so even though
their plays were basically all about the same things they were writing about all
the same kinds of sexual situations that the men were writing about for the first
time we actually get women who are not only just allowed onto the stage but
allowed to participate in the writing of these stories so people like Aphra Behn
and Susana Central Eve wrote plays that were very popular and these were also
plays about seduction they were about the latest fashions they were about
witty repartee and social gossip and featured you know
clear-cut characters often kind of stereotypical stock characters just in
the same way that the men did well there is a wonderful play that was written
about this time period called stage Beauty which was then turned into a film
and this play and then film is about a woman who works as a seamstress and
costumer for a very very famous male actor
at this important turning point in history it’s in the restoration period
it’s when charles ii is now restored to this around and he’s lifted the ban off
of women performing so let’s just take a second and imagine what that would been
like up into this moment aside from the fact that theater had been banned and
people had to do it in this underground way for 25-30 years right
not only that but women for the whole of english history had not been allowed on
the stage so although females roles have been
played by men and in fact this was like a specialty certain male actors would be
chosen early on when you joined an acting company you would be chosen early
on if you do they thought you had the right characteristics to play the female
parts and there was a whole skill to it right you know you had to try to emulate
the way a woman was now of course everybody knew you weren’t a woman but
that was the craft that was part of it right that was the acting of it was that
you had to convince people just like you they also knew you weren’t a really a
king or you weren’t really Falstaff or any of these things you were there to
convince them that you were so there’s a real craft and there were booklets
written about it how to perform female parts how to do it effectively like what
are the the I don’t think we see in this clip but it’s in there there were these
things called the seven poses of subjugation right there were these these
gestures that men playing female parts could use in order to enhance their
femininity on stage and it showed certain things right in certain ways
that they were supposed to move and hold themselves and use their voices in order
to perform these parts so here we have this whole group of men who become very
very famous playing female parts and are so good at
it that sometimes they even go out in public dressed as the as females right
and I wouldn’t say that this is necessarily like cross-dressing per se
but it is if you were famous looking like one thing right you’d become very
famous looking at like one thing if you walked out not looking like that thing
you know no one’s gonna recognize you but if you like that attention and you
want to be recognized and you need to go out looking like the thing that you’re
famous for right so it wasn’t necessarily that these men were a
homosexual or transgendered although I’m sure some of them were but it was simply
that they had created their whole career and their whole celebrity was based
around this particular persona and it was actually socially acceptable for
that to happen it was not considered wrong or taboo was more wrong in taboo
for women to be on the stage doing this so in order for them to you know kind of
reap the benefits of their celebrity they often went out dressed as their who
their persona was right so um this story follows it like I said a female customer
who is a seamstress for one of these very very famous men who is famous for
playing female parts and in the course very quickly in the course of the story
Charles lifts the ban on women being on the stage what we find out is that the
hid the female seamstress her whole dream she wants to be an actress she
loves the theater this she’s only a seamstress because women aren’t allowed
on the stage she’s desperate to get on the stage and to play these roles and so
when the ban is lifted she tries her hand out at it and she’s not very good
at first but she really wants to become better and so she sort of enlists this
guy who’s so good at playing female roles for help with acting and there
comes a strange relationship that develops between them because as women
are allowed onto the stage what happens is all the men who are playing these
female roles fall out of favor because we can now recognize that they’re just
you know fakes they’re not they’re not really women why would I want to watch a
man playing a woman when I could just watch a woman playing woman she’s gonna
do a better job right and it’s just fascinating too because they people had
never seen women on the stage so there’s a spectacle
ass back to it so these men who had made their whole career out of this we’re
slowly becoming out of out of favor and then almost didn’t really know how to
play the male parts as well because it’s not what they did and there was a lot of
I’m sure struggle for them and we see that struggle in the story that happens
in stage beauty and and kind of like the development of that and how this all
comes to fruition through the relationship between this male actor and
this woman who’s trying to become an actress so we’re going to actually watch
a little clip from the beginning of this film and one a couple things I want you
to pay attention to one is that this the space itself the way the theater looks
right secondly is the interaction between the audience and the performers
because we’re going to see way more of that then we would in our modern theater
third the style of acting that we see presented which is really different from
the style of acting that we’re used to today so let’s be thinking about that as
we watch this little clip from stage Beauty but I like review she wakes who’s there with fellow high
Desdemona will you come to bed man have you prayed
tonight Desdemona I am milord if you bethink yourself of any crime
unreconciled as yet to heaven and grace solicit for it straight alas my lord
what do you mean by that well do it and be brief I will walk by I would not kill
thy unprepared spirit no heavens forfend I would not kill thy soul but I so loved and gave thee hmmm wonderful what the it’s it’s fine
that that that’s the the clip that I wanted to show but what happens
immediately after that moment is that the audience just erupts in applause and
and whistles and shouting they think that the performance that the man clean
Desdemona has done is so fantastic and it becomes
so raucous that actually the the actor who’s supposed to be dead now actually
has to raise their hand up and do something like this that indicates hey
guys you need to be quiet because there’s still more of the play right so
what were some of the things that we saw there well clearly a man playing a
female part this from Othello by Shakespeare playing the part of
Desdemona now when Shakespeare would have had this
play performed when he was living and this play would have been performed that
he wrote there also would have been a man playing the role of Desdemona
because again no women were allowed on the stage so we see a man dressed as a
woman playing this part right we also see a stage in which there isn’t a lot
of depth and we’re gonna be talking about stages today so I just want to
point this out everything is pushed either right at the proscenium frame or
on to the apron and that was very typical for this time period and we feel
like a sense of caen that there is a condensing right there
isn’t a lot of depth to what’s happening there’s the bed but you could see that a
fella can’t walk around the bed right everything is shoved kind of into that
upstage space and the playing space is really in this downstage area and on the
apron and there’s also a two dimensionality to kind of the way that
the the scenery itself is composed right there’s what we would consider very very
stylized and kind of dramatic and over-the-top acting right there’s a
point at which the actor who’s playing Othello kind of does this kind of a
gesture even shake the hands like that and you know the the putting of the
pillow is so unrealistic all these things right I think rather than
thinking of it as being unrealistic it’s better to think about it as it being
highly stylized right highly theatrical and this would have been a form that
would be very very familiar to these audience members they would not be
comfortable with the realistic style of acting that we have today right in fact
even though if you ever watched this film it’s really interesting there at
the very end of the film we get a scene that is the mirror of this scene right
so it’s the same scene in Othello except Claire Danes who plays the the female
sees seamstress you saw behind the scenes mouthing all Desdemona’s lines
Claire Danes is plain Desdemona and the character who is playing Desdemona in
the version we just saw is now playing Othello right and they do the same and
it starts out in a very similar way to what the way we saw this scene very
theatrical very stylized and then at some point it kind of it evolves into
something much more realistic and when they do this the Suffocation’s moment it
feels very realistic and frightening almost and there’s a reason for that I
won’t give it away there’s also some really character driven reasons why that
happens but the audience watching it is aghast and when the Desdemona character
player played by Claire Danes actually dies it isn’t this weird stylized like
hand thing that happens right with their you know it they think it might be real
and somebody actually starts crying because they think that they have
actually witnessed someone be murdered in front of them right and and then
something happens and they realized that it was actually all staged and it wasn’t
real but now that would have never really happened on a stage from this
time even once women got on the stage who is minimes so many a hundred years
away before really realistic acting became in
vote but the point is is that the audiences at the time wouldn’t have even
been prepared for that they would have no concept of or even why you would want
to do something like that on this stage right so this kind of elevated style is
in the same way that we think of poetry when you read a book of poetry you don’t
just want it to be common words and common constructions that you’re used to
hearing in your everyday life when you read a poem or you read a book of poetry
you expect there to be elevation the words should be prettier the
constructions should be more elaborate and fluid and they have a sense about
them that this is bigger than life this is bigger than everyday language and
that is exactly what people went to the theater to see at this time right acting
wasn’t supposed to be just like everyday life it was supposed to be bigger than
that it was supposed to be more beautiful it was supposed to be more
elaborate and that was how they interpreted it was in this very what we
now consider over-the-top and overly dramatic you know way of doing things
well once this period is kind of over actually Charles the second Charles
actually lives for quite a long time he ends up dying we get a swing back in the
opposite direction again right so we had this puritanical era with a Commonwealth
we swing away from that with Restoration theater into kind of this very body very
off-color period of time where we’re doing all kinds of crazy things on the
stage and then we see a complete swinging back that happens again in the
18th century with bushwa drama and again with the Victorian morals coming in so
the laxity of morals gave way soon to the swing of the power should pendulum
in the other direction towards the use of theatre to use the lives of the
middle-class so now instead of focusing on the upper classes we’re going to
focus on the middle class and a concern for material things but also a big
concern with morality and and what we what the the time period thought was as
proper morals and and ethical behavior of the middle class
right so plays like the careless husband which
revealed a true depth of a wife’s love for her husband these plays were often
very very sentimental they were often predictable which now
nowadays we would call them predictable for the time they were just highly
structured yeah and the theaters themselves then also grew much bigger so
part of those changes were because things had gone so one-way and so now
we’re kind of swinging back it’s a balances out and another thing
that was driving this was a growing middle class during this time we’re
looking at the time period of the Industrial Revolution we’re looking at a
time period in which more and more people are entering the workforce and
able to earn a decent living the middle class is growing more of these people
are now able to afford tickets to go see a show so who are we gonna put on the
stage just like we did with the aristocrats we’re gonna put the middle
class on the stage and we’re gonna focus on good morals the nuclear family all
these things that we think the middle class wants to hear about so there were
also domestic tragedies in which characters were punished for mistakes
and sentimental comedies in which lovers were rescued from misfortune because
there’s such a huge portion of the population that’s actually going to see
these these shows now one second we get a lot of other things happening as a
result right so instead of a theater being able to hold 500 we see theaters
now in this time period that grow to hold a thousand people sometimes 2,000
people at a time these aren’t enormous theaters and so theaters are making a
lot of money off of these shows right and of course there’s still you know
hierarchy in terms of seating as there has always been going all the way back
and the meaning that the people that have the more money and can afford the
better tickets get to sit closer to the stage of the people that don’t have to
sit farther away or sent more uncomfortable seats right
but there are all kinds of things that result from the fact that we have a
really large middle class going to see these shows because there are heated
battles over the price of admission so for instance you know the Covent Garden
riots there was a theater in comic Garden that had closed down for a period
of time and was renovating the inside of the theater to make it better right so
the seats would be better and all this the boxes so if we can just make we’ll
just go to a quick close-up of this just so we can see what the boxes look like
of this image can we go fullscreen on this image maybe there we go um so if
you see what should be your left the people that are seated in the side looks
like the wall those are called box seats right and the more they are on the stage
the more expensive they are right this is actually a cartoon from the Covent
Garden riots so the what you see in this you you don’t really see the whole
theatre right so the you see the orchestra but what would be right and
back of the orchestra would be the floor seats those are some of the cheapest
seats and then further back even cheaper and then you get some usually riser
seating behind that but the box seats are the ones that are the most expensive
ones and they’re the better seats to have right even nowadays box seats are
the good seats right so the people who could afford those box seats were
obviously rich people and what this theater did was as they were renovating
they they had to raise they raised their ticket prices to pay for the renovation
but where they put the extra cost was in the cheaper seats so they raised the
price of the cheaper seats and where the middle-class people would be sitting and
they left the box seats prices the same as they had been before
well this felt incredibly unfair to the people who would be sitting in those
regular seats the middle-class people because here they were the entire
theater had been renovated including the box seats and then they were stuck with
the bill okay the middle-class people is like
right in terms of taxes the middle-class people are the ones stuck with the the
bill for everything else well all the other people get to just enjoy the
benefits and not have to pay any of the taxes for it right so there was a riot
there was a giant riot about this and they closed down the theater and they
rioted inside of the theater and people actually got hurt people a couple people
died as a result of these riots people were very very upset about this it
became so bad that the theater owners actually collect aside closed down the
theater and then recapitulate it to the audience as well they should have right
and spread the cost of the renovation across all of the seats including the
expensive seats right this was not the only time that this happened but it
really just shows how important the middle these these everyday people have
become and how many people were able to afford to go to the theater and again
you might be thinking well what a classy time and everyone’s going in a theater
and seeing all these shows but you also have to remember this is a time in which
there is really very little other things that are around to entertain you you
don’t have a phone you don’t have a TV you don’t have radio you don’t have any
of these things the only way you’re gonna find entertainment is two ways
you’re gonna sit at home and entertain yourself by playing the piano which is
why so many people played an instrument during this time right playing an
instrument of some sort and singing telling stories to each other reading a
book or you’re gonna go out and you’re gonna go to the theater you’re gonna go
see music you’re gonna and that requires you to leave the house right so in a
world in which there’s very few forms of entertainment available to people the
ones that are available and the the access that everyday people have so them
become very very important so nowadays maybe a corollary would be something
like imagine you know it’s always such big news when like Netflix raises their
prices or Disneyland raises their prices on something right I mean certainly we
don’t have riots about that but it is a similar feeling right why these are the
things that are in my realm of how I entertain myself and now you’re making
it more expensive for me to do that right and it is in the same way that
these people were very upset about the cost of their entertainment
forms being encroached upon alright it’s also a sign that now the everyman is the
one who really is in control and it’s kind of navigating what happens in the
world the theatrical world as opposed to the aristocrats the the middle class are
the ones who kind of going to dictate the stories that they want to see
dictate the ticket prices and all that because they’re the the majority body
that’s really going to see these shows the Drury Lane theater was a really
important theater in London that it’s still around today one of the few from
this time period that is still in operation and this is really where we
see I mean this is you can even just see it from the picture the size of this
theater expands to hold over 2,000 people this is a massive massive theater
in fact for now nowadays this is almost too big you know you almost wouldn’t
want to have stage performance in this space because it’s so enormous and the
people that are sitting at the back really can barely see the actors on the
stage or even in the top levels of those boxes but this is the type of space that
you need it to hold the audience’s that we’re coming to these types of shows you
can imagine sitting in a space like that this is much more like a sporting event
right than it is going to what we think of theater today even our big space here
on campus only holds 454 people I mean that’s a fraction of what we see being
held in these bigger theaters at the time and there was a huge desire for a
spectacle people want it to see fires floods earthquakes real animals these
stages were enormous you could bring things like elephants were brought onto
stage and like ships there’s a story of a play that was performed where they
actually created something so that they could flood the stage and they had like
almost a full-size reproduction of a ship’s hull on this stage there was all
kinds of things that were happening as we get later into
the 18th century we had something known as an elevator or shifting stage and
this is where we get a three level stage it’s pretty impressive and amazing where
we can shift you would have this set right and then this stage is really an
elevator so you can press a well it’s not a button it’s a dolly system right
you you pull the rope and the entire stage goes up let’s see if we can go
back to me just you can see what I’m saying
right the entire stage goes that scene moves up right and underneath there’s
another whole entire stage right and then when we’re done singing that that
one goes down and the next one comes and then when we’re done that one goes down
and there’s one above that so there would be three tiers and this is the way
they could play different scenes or it change locations dramatically and we
could have really really radical and different things happening it is a
moment in time that harkens back to the Romans and they’re Colosseum’s and the
sort of spectacular events that they would do and use in those Coliseum
events and we’re really we have these enormous audiences that you know it’s
like a blockbuster film when you’ve got enormous audiences and even though all
of them are only paying a little bit that adds up to a lot a lot a lot of
money right it’s why you can do a film like Avengers infinity war that cost
millions of dollars to make right well why because millions of people are gonna
see it and even though they’re gonna just be paying a little bit each that
really adds up and so we know that we’re gonna make a profit in the same way this
was the blockbuster era of a theater and they were doing all of the similar
things in terms of spectacle live horses on stage all kinds of crazy things
happening on stage to keep those audiences coming in and paying those
ticket prices to see these shows this is also an era in which the genre
all the subgenres that we have today or many of them evolved out of so
when you think of pirate film like Pirates of the Caribbean or you think of
science fiction or horror or any of those things those genres evolved even
medical drama right out of this era before that it really was comedy
romantic comedy drama tragedy those were like the two big things but this really
this era is where we get so much of those subgenres flowering out and
becoming a thing we have a lot of people think of the 18th century a melodrama
and Victorian theater as being kind of you know I don’t know boring but like
very stereotypical and ridiculous and certainly it was but there is so much
that we owe to this period of time in terms of spectacle in terms of the
subgenres that we have now in terms of structure storytelling structure the
types of structures that we use today for storytelling all come out of this
era and it is in part because we had these enormous audiences and all this
money flowing into this part this way of entertaining people that we get all the
things that we see flourishing and becoming film later on right and the
stories that we get to enjoy now all right well that brings us through
restoration and all of the 18th century melodrama and Victorian theatre in terms
of our little venture into theatre history I thought I wasn’t going to take
a break but I think I am going to take a little break if we could just take a
five minute break because we have some other things to go over I’m in the
second part of our broadcast today we are going to be talking about stages and
types of stages and looking at the different type of theater spaces
remember that we don’t need a flashing on the screen again but just remember we
are live and online so maybe be thinking about the question you want to ask or if
there’s something you want to answer the question that I posed to you today for
your extra credit the second half of the broadcast is a perfect time to do that
but let’s just take a quick five-minute break and then we’ll come back and we’ll
today’s broadcast so I’ll see you back here in five they were watching up two
huge TV a state university in Vegas go the feeling I had when I was here as a
student was that I could do anything sure keep
striving and keep reaching high but at the same time also lift up those around
you I want to get up and work hard to change things for the future to make
things better how do I make my passion come to life how can I share that
experience how to shape and engage the community get hands-on into making a
difference my name is Makonnen my name is Johnny my
name is Samantha and I’m a Toro don’t waste time with negativity instead
surround yourself with people who share the same goals as you if you believe it
you can do it we’re watching of teenage TV University
Vegas go hello and welcome back to theater 100 television film and theater
so today I’m in the last part of our broadcast we are gonna be talking about
the audience and theater spaces and how theater this the shape of the theater
the way the theater is designed actually impacts our experience of the the
performance so I do want to remind you we are live and online and I want to
remind you of our extra credit question for today our phone number is three one
oh nine two eight seven three three zero if you’d like to call in and answer and
give a comment or a question you can also type in it as the HCV live at and our question for today is what do you think would be the best
staging format to see a play in proscenium arena or thrust and why would
you use one over the other you can always feel free to type in or call in
with another question or comment but let’s use the rest of our time here to
go over the spaces and start thinking about that so what are the areas of a
theatre space well composed inside of the theater space is obviously when we
look at the proscenium stage which is one style of stage we have the fourth
wall we have the orchestra we have boxes with the fly loft and the wings but
let’s go back and let’s talk about what is a proscenium so there are different
types of theatres the proscenium is the one you may be the most familiar with
and the proscenium theatre is a picture frame theater with a proscenium arch
through which the audience watches the actors and the basic purpose is illusory
and requires designed scenery so behind me you see an example of a proscenium
stage right one of the things you see here is to your left that’s where the
audience sits and then we see right in front of this stage is where the
orchestra would be if we have musicians that’s
where we put them they play music from that space they are semi concealed from
the audience then we see the proscenium frame that is that border that goes all
the way around the playing space right it almost looks like a picture frame it
frames the stage and that is where the proscenium stage gets its name on the
side here because we are looking at it kind of with this cutaway version this
is not what an audience would see if we can make that wall disappear which is
what this image does we see that we have above this stage some things that hang
and that’s called the fly loft that’s the area where scenery can be hung or
flown in from it’s also where light lights hang and we see in this
particular this is an old-style stage we have three different drops which are
intended to create a sense of depth to this stage and they are hung on battens
which are flown out of the fly loft meaning that there’s a space above there
where they hang on beams if we had electrical lighting we would also have
those hung on something called electrics that hang in that space as well and
shine light onto the stage where we look now where you see that ladder if you can
see in that first space between the proscenium frame and the first set of
drops there’s a little ladder it looks like a man or a bucket or set something
studying at the top that space right there is called the wings right so this
is so this is space on the stage left or right either the left or right side of
the stage where the audience cannot see but where there is space for you know
offstage things to happen oh we also see here on the bottom you can see actors
waiting in the wings right so that’s what it means to wait in the wings it
means to wait in this offstage space on the left or the right where the audience
cannot see but we’re actors and and technicians are free to move and do
things in a way that’s out of you from the audience so good we can come away
from that photo now so um we kind of we just talk through while looking at that
picture most of the the spaces so again let’s just give a more technical
definition of the wings against that offstage space left and right so left
and right saij areas or narrow standing pieces of
scenery or curtains those curtains can also be called legs that stand parallel
to the proscenium and form scenery or masking for the sides behind the arch so
behind that picture frame space good here’s another image to give us a kind
of overhead view and all the machinery is obscured behind the walls and flats
right so again it’s a space here we can see this is now like an overhead view
let’s look at the very top of your screen that represents the back wall of
the stage and then if we look down at the bottom of the screen that’s where
the audience would be sitting facing forward to look at the stage the two
little blocks of rectangles that have diagonal lines drawn on them are
representing the base feet of the proscenium and we look through that
picture frame to the stage and then we can see that those base feet at the
proscenium obscure what is our left wing right our wing stage left and our wing
stage right and this is where again technicians may stand in that space
actors wait and stand in that space scenery may be set in that space that’s
gonna get wheeled out in a moment right lots of things that we don’t want the
audience to see that helps to create the magic of theater but we do we want to
remain unseen until we want them shown to the audience and so the wings are
really important part of the theatrical space they allow us to create kind of
you know entrances for actors as well as really magical things to happen on you
know as things are brought on and off the stage so Teatro Farne se M it’s
probably one of the first proscenium arches in the world this is in Italy and
we get the proscenium stage from the Italians the next people to adopt it
were probably the French and then it spread all over Europe and it grew out
of the use of prospective painting right the idea that we could paint in such a
way to create a false vanishing point we could use forced perspective to create a
sense of depth on the stage that did not actually exist in real life Giacomo
Torelli was one of the first people to create a
set for a proscenium stage and the this is an example of it and the
Renaissance ideal was for the audience to watch from the other end of the
theatre oh I’ve never seen this color image guys really nice thus separating
them from the four that is really I’ve always only ever seen that black and
white one um so they perfected this style of painting and I think this
actually this color image really shows how it works this would have been a
painted flat so just a flat canvas right you can even get the same effect just
from seeing it on the screen behind me it feels like that dot dot image draws
back and there’s all this depth to the image and if this was a stage it would
feel like this stage was really really big and long but actually it’s just this
image is created through the use of perspective force perspective right
where we create the things that are supposed to be closer to us are bigger
and then we draw through the use of geometry we draw a vanishing point that
comes at the very back and then things get progressively smaller as they head
towards that back area and it allows us to feel as though there’s a sense of
elongation and space and three-dimensional three dimensionality
that does not actually exist so when we move forward in time all the way forward
in time and into the end of the 18th beginning the 19th century we see that
the Moscow Art Theatre actually perfects this idea they take it a step further
they take it out of just painting 3d sets they create real 3d sets and they
still use the proscenium but they create three-dimensional sets that have real
depth and real height and all of that and we also have box sets that come into
play that have three whole walls right when if any of you go and see seven
guitars which is playing on our main stage opening this weekend on Friday
February 14th and playing in through until next weekend you’ll see a
beautiful beautiful box set in a unit set and it fills it’s on a proscenium
stage and it just fills the stage really really beautifully and it has natural
depth because it’s actually three dimensional right we don’t have to
hate that it’s three-dimensional it really is three-dimensional and the
depth is created through through the realistic three dimensionality of it
right so we get that through there another important aspect of our modern
stage which we talked about a little bit when we were looking at stage beauty is
the idea of the fourth wall and the fourth wall is a really important term
it’s a modern term it did not evolve until the late 18th century early 19th
century and it came out of the fact that realism was becoming the dominant form
of theater at the time so what is the fourth wall the fourth well is the idea
of an imaginary wall that actors were to believe existed at the proscenium line
to increase their naturalistic plane but it’s not just an idea that exists for
actors it actually impacts the audience as well right because the audience also
pretends that there is an imaginary wall at the proscenium line which we can see
here right there’s the fourth wall this set is all behind it and we just imagine
that there’s this invisible wall there that and we just magically get to look
through it as the audience so what does that mean well it means that audience is
today behaved very differently than they would have in the restoration period or
in the Elizabethan period there was no concept of a fourth wall in the
Elizabethan period when people were performing Shakespeare there was no
concept of a fourth wall in the restoration period in the French
neoclassical period for hundreds and thousands of years there was no concept
of a fourth wall the very modern invention so it not only changes the way
the actors perform it asks them to pretend as though they are really doing
this thing and there’s no audience watching them and they should be as
naturalistic as humanly possible while still being able to communicate their
lines so the audience can hear them and see them but it also requires that the
audience sit quietly and also buy in to this imaginary situation right so that
we also pretend as audience members that we are just peering almost being like
peeping toms came through this invisible wall and we
should be quiet because we don’t want to disturb these people who are living this
real experience on the stage right we don’t want to let them know that we’re
here and there are certain acceptable things we can do like we can laugh if we
think something’s funny or we can applaud if we like something we can
quietly gasp right but we shouldn’t shout at the actors
right we shouldn’t say things to the actors that breaks this whole entire
reality that we’ve created that there’s this wall separating us if we alert them
to the fact that we’re here then suddenly like the whole magic ends right
so it’s a really interesting way that we have constructed our modern theatre
because it requests our willing suspension of disbelief in a really a
way that no other audience has ever been asked to behave inside of the theatre
and it necessarily creates a relationship between the actors and the
audience that is really really different from almost any other point in time we
are as performance today probably more disconnected from our audiences than any
other moment in time right because we are asked as performers to completely
ignore the audience almost right we acknowledge them like this much but
the rest of the time we’re supposed to pretend that you’re not even there and
the same thing for the audience they’re supposed to sit quietly and not alert us
to their presence and so you get this very very different relationship that
really has not existed until recent history well let’s move on and let’s
talk about some of the other ways that stages might be concerned composed so
then the next one that we’re going to talk about is arena theatre which is
also called theater-in-the-round and this is a theater with a plain space
in the center of a square or a circle with seats for spectators all around it
usually this stage is raised or the audience is raised so that we can
actually see the performance that’s happening the advantage of this is that
it provides a lot more intimacy with the performers as well as with the audience
there’s a better view for everybody usually and it’s got low design
requirements and the reason for that is that we have to limit all of our scenery
to being about and furniture pieces to being about two feet tall otherwise if
an actor steps behind a piece that’s too tall there’s going to be a portion of
the audience that isn’t going to be able to see them right so in these kinds of
spaces we have very very low scenic requirements what happens is that the
space the play becomes dominated by the the costumes and the lights and it’s a
really really unique way to watch a show obviously some of the very first spaces
that were like this were the Greeks the Romans also had arena staging the
Coliseum’s are a perfect example of that excuse me but we do have stages that are
like this to the Guthrie which is here in Southern California is a stage that
is in the round it’s a modern stage that operates in the round that is it’s it’s
preset is this kind of in the rounds there we go the Guthrie is a perfect
example of something that seeks to sort of replicate that style it’s not true
360 degrees but it’s very much akin to what the Greeks had in terms of the
style of arena seating that would be we have it on almost all the way around us
right the advantage of this style which you can see here this is the Guthrie is
that with this partial arena seating we still get to have some walls in the back
right so we get kind of the benefits of the round without having to have no real
scenery at all right and we still get to the intimacy and we get lots of great
viewing angles for the audience real like I said real intimate setting where
you feel like you’re kind of in the space with them but we we also get to
have some walls in the back which can be nice in terms of really creating
theatrical magic so obviously the theatre of dionysus one
of the theaters that we saw back there began with that circle even though again
this is more of a thrust as well as the one the Gus
is more of a thrust as well and we kept that for a really long period of time
when we move into medieval drama they do a similar thing with the pageant wagons
where you this is a fairly a good example we’ve got one of the wagons
there where the scenes would take place what would happen is there’d be a whole
bunch of those wagons and they would circle them in a semicircle and the
audience would sit around those wagons and watch the different scenes take
place a different scene on each wagon all right the next stage that we’re
going to talk about is a thrust theater this is a combination of proscenium and
arena which is what we saw in the Guthrie right and this is where audience
sits on three sides enclosing a stage which protrudes into the center now you
can have it shape like this which is kind of like a partial arena stage right
or you can also have a different kind in which it’s the part that thrusts out
isn’t circular like that it’s more like a square it’s a rectangle that thrusts
out into the audience and we can see that in actually in the Elizabethan
second at the Elizabethan stage the globe the Old Globe Theatre was a
classic thrust stage so here we see audience still seated around three sides
we have a kind of a proscenium esque stage at the back but what we really
have is this stage that juts out into the audience space and that’s really
where most of the plane takes place right that’s where most of the action
and the acting takes place and this is actually a drawing I’m not sure if it is
of the old globe but it’s of obviously an Elizabethan Elizabethan stage and if
you go to the new Old Globe the Sam Wanamaker theater which is a
reproduction of what they believe the globe look like what you’ll see is this
thrust stage if you’re actually watching a play audience stands all around that
thrust right so the intention is not that this thrust would stand there alone
and people only sit in the galleries which are those seated areas the
intention is that that space thrusts out directly into the audience and the
audience surrounds it on all sides so what are the advantage
of that style style of stage well we get two advantages like I said with the
Guthrie we get the advantage that we do get to have some back wall right that
allows for concealed entrances and exits and some scenery but we get the intimacy
of what is more an arena style stage right we get audience and performers
being right up with each other and kind of almost on top of each other and that
the the playing space itself is jutting out into the audience to kind of
increase this connection so the Swan theater which is what we just saw right
so that that was not the globe but is a famous sketch from the Elizabethan era
and it shows that platform of stage thrusting out into the yard and of
course the old globe was exactly yes so this is the Swan I had a feeling it
wasn’t the globe and so this is the Swan and it juts out like that but the globe
really was built all the theaters from that time we’re built in a very very
similar fashion one of the sad things about the globe is that even though it
is the most famous of all those stages it is the one that we have the least
amount of information about in terms of how it was actually constructed so again
if you ever go back to the Sam Wanamaker theater that’s what it’s called now but
it’s really just the new old globe it stands not where the old globe really
stood stands probably I think 500 feet away from where the old globe actually
was it’s right on the Thames but the way they constructed that was through a
variety of ways because there are no drawings there’s no ground plans or
anything they had to reconstruct the the theatre from what we saw they had
drawings of the Swan they have a really really detailed description of what the
globe looked like and then they had drawings of also other contemporaneous
theaters and other drawings like there’s a big drawing of Elizabethan England
like a map almost that was drawn that was contemporaneous and you see the
globe in there it’s a very very tiny but they used all that corroborated all that
a historical source material together to try to kind of get a
and they’ve done a really fantastic job and I’m sure that it looks if not
exactly like it looked very very close so Shakespeare’s Globe as well as the
Spanish Corrales were also designed in this way so these are you know the three
main types of stages that you’ll come into contact with in terms of were you
going out and seeing theatre in a real-world setting
proscenium stages which have the picture frame around it a thrust stage which is
kind of like this arena half arena style with the stage thrusting out jutting out
into the audience space and then a true in the round or true arena space where
audience is seated all the way around a circular Center where the plane spaces
or sometimes a square Center right these aren’t the only types of stages that
exist but these are the three main types that exist so we’re just going to kind
of quickly go through what are the rest of the types and I’ll try and say a few
words about each of them but these are really much rarer less common if you do
get to see some theater in this space they can be really beautiful and unique
experiences but they’re not the ones that are predominant when we go to see
theatre and professional spaces and then just as a little note guys today we are
gonna we’re not going to be here for the we’re about five minutes away from
ending today our lecture today is just the hour and a half we had less to talk
about as opposed to last week and the week before that um so today we will be
ending at around 1:30 just so you know alright so what are some of these other
spaces well created and found spaces that’s one style of space that we can
have what does that mean I actually did a show right out of college where we
used a found space so we did a play called I never saw another butterfly
it’s supposed to take place in a bunker right and we actually had a bunker so
that we’ve performed it in we were in San Pedro we went to for McArthur where
they actually had a space that we could use and we rent it it used to actually
be a military space and we put chairs in it with risers and we made it
into a theatrical space so a found space is basically a space that’s already
existing that we turn into a theatrical space through the use of em playing
theatrical lights in and and platforms and all kinds of things so that it can
be turned into a playing space and that could be all kinds of things it could be
a park it could be a room like this it could be a classroom it could be
anything non theater buildings so corners front
theater is known for using it’s a theater company here in LA for using non
theater spaces and turning them in to theatrical spaces they did a show I if
I’m remembering the name of it right it’s Prometheus Unbound and it was a
story about steel workers in the middle of the country and they actually went
and performed it in an abandoned steel factory right and they turned this
abandoned steel factory into a theatrical space right so this is a
space that was never intended to have theater performed inside of it and
through their imagination and hard work they turned this into a space there’s
amazing pictures of that if you ever get a chance to see it there are adapted
spaces so there are spaces that maybe weren’t intended to be a theater space
at first but then we do a lot of things we renovate we bring in grids and we can
turn them into theatrical spaces there’s street theaters so we can literally just
create a stage and perform a theater and it doesn’t mean on the street
necessarily it might mean on the sidewalk or it might mean like in a park
somewhere it might mean you know in a public space somewhere where theater
isn’t typically seen we can create a theatrical experience in one of those
spaces as well multi focus environments these are really really interesting very
very rare to see but they do exist and this is where things might be happening
in multiple locations so we did something similar to this some years ago
here on our campus we did a play called everyman the musical and we did it was
it’s a multi focus but it’s also a mix of site-specific where we started out in
our proscenium theater then we divided our audience into three halves and then
each portion of that audience walked to a different location
inside of the theater and watched a different portion of the play in
different orders is a very ambitious thing we did and so some of them were
outside behind the theater some of them are in our small theatres some of them
were up in our lobby in this one this wall area we took people to all these
different locations to see different things true multi focus is where you’re
all in one space but you turn your focus because at certain points in time maybe
the actions happening in front of you but then suddenly actions happening
behind you and you’ve all got to turn around to watch that action so this
doesn’t happen in a space that has fixed seating right because if you imagine if
you’re in a fixed seating place where your chair is literally bolted to the
ground and suddenly action is taking place behind you you now can’t watch
that without standing up and turning around so these kinds of spaces that’s
why it’s so rare to seeing them is because it’s usually a repurposed space
and you have your audience either on stools or benches or you have them stood
and it can’t take place for very long because again asking people to stand for
more than several minutes can be very difficult so but it’s where I might be
watching something in front of me and then something is happening behind me I
have to turn around to watch that and then something is happy at my side and
now I’m in a turn to watch that finally we also have something called an
all-purpose Theatre space also called a black box and this is something we also
have here this is a space which is literally just a black broom usually
with a booth where we have all of our you know are controlling our light board
and all that but that even that can be moved around and we can repurpose the
space we have a multi-purpose grid on top and we can repurpose the space so
that we can do proscenium we can do theater in the round we can do tennis
courts seating we can do anything we want inside of that space all right guys
whew so today we have gone over restoration
and 18th century theater we have talked about theater stages and space
and the types of spaces that you’ll commonly see as well some uncommon
spaces and stages and like I said next week we’re gonna be going over Raisin in
the Sun and this week just to remind you again you have your traditional
discussion board that you need to do I did get to grading all the ones for the
first two weeks I haven’t created the third week yet I usually tend to do them
at two weeks at a time somebody had to email me and said that I
missed theirs don’t worry I’ll go back and fix that sometimes I make mistakes I
always go back and fix them just alert me to it and your tests on this chapter
and the next week we’re going to be going onto Raisin in the Sun all right
so guys we covered everything today I do see that someone typed in but we really
don’t have time to go over it so I’ll make sure to take your name down Diana
and you will get your extra credit and we’ll be back next week with a raisin a
Sun thank you for tuning in and we will see you next week

Tags:, ,

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *