Theatre (or in American English theater) is a collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place. The performers may communicate this experience to the audience through combinations of gesture, speech, song, music or dance. Elements of design and stagecraft are used to enhance the physicality, presence and immediacy of the experience. The specific place of the performance is also named by the word "theatre" as derived from the Ancient Greek θέατρον (théatron, “a place for viewing”) and θεάομαι (theáomai, “to see", "to watch", "to observe”).
Modern Western theatre derives in large measure from ancient Greek drama, from which it borrows technical terminology, classification into genres, and many of its themes, stock characters, and plot elements. Theatre scholar Patrice Pavis defines theatricality, theatrical language, stage writing, and the specificity of theatre as synonymous expressions that differentiate theatre from the other performing arts, literature, and the arts in general. Theatre includes performances of plays and musicals. Although it can be defined broadly to include opera and ballet, those art forms are outside the scope of this article.
- 1 History
- 2 Types
- 3 Theories of theatre
- 4 Technical aspects of theatre
- 5 Theatre organization and administration
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes
- 8 Sources
- 9 External links
Classical and Hellenistic Greece
The city-state of Athens invented theatre. It was part of a broader culture of theatricality and performance in classical Greece that included festivals, religious rituals, politics, law, athletics and gymnastics, music, poetry, weddings, funerals, and symposia. Participation in the city-state's many festivals—and attendance at the City Dionysia as an audience member (or even as a participant in the theatrical productions) in particular—was an important part of citizenship. Civic participation also involved the evaluation of the rhetoric of orators evidenced in performances in the law-court or political assembly, both of which were understood as analagous to the theatre and increasingly came to absorb its dramatic vocabulary. The Greeks also developed the concepts of dramatic criticism, acting as a career, and theatre architecture. The theatre of ancient Greece consisted of three types of drama: tragedy, comedy, and the satyr play.
Athenian tragedy—the oldest surviving form of tragedy—is a type of dance-drama that formed an important part of the theatrical culture of the city-state. Having emerged sometime during the 6th century BCE, it flowered during the 5th century BCE (from the end of which it began to spread throughout the Greek world), and continued to be popular until the beginning of the Hellenistic period. No tragedies from the 6th century BCE and only 32 of the more than a thousand that were performed in during the 5th century BCE have survived. We have complete texts extant by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. The origins of tragedy remain obscure, though by the 5th century BCE it was institutionalised in competitions (agon) held as part of festivities celebrating Dionysos (the god of wine and fertility). As contestants in the City Dionysia's competition (the most prestigious of the festivals to stage drama) playwrights were required to present a tetralogy of plays (though the individual works were not necessarily connected by story or theme), which usually consisted of three tragedies and one satyr play. The performance of tragedies at the City Dionysia may have begun as early as 534 BCE; official records (didaskaliai) begin from 501 BCE, when the satyr play was introduced. Most Athenian tragedies dramatise events from Greek mythology, though The Persians—which stages the Persian response to news of their military defeat at the Battle of Salamis in 480 BCE—is the notable exception in the surviving drama. When Aeschylus won first prize for it at the City Dionysia in 472 BCE, he had been writing tragedies for more than 25 years, yet its tragic treatment of recent history is the earliest example of drama to survive. More than 130 years later, the philosopher Aristotle analysed 5th-century Athenian tragedy in the oldest surviving work of dramatic theory—his Poetics (c. 335 BCE).
Athenian comedy is conventionally divided into three periods, "Old Comedy", "Middle Comedy", and "New Comedy". Old Comedy survives today largely in the form of the eleven surviving plays of Aristophanes, while Middle Comedy is largely lost (preserved only in relatively short fragments in authors such as Athenaeus of Naucratis). New Comedy is known primarily from the substantial papyrus fragments of Menander. Aristotle defined comedy as a representation of laughable people that involves some kind of blunder or ugliness that does not cause pain or disaster.
Western theatre developed and expanded considerably under the Romans. The Roman historian Livy wrote that the Romans first experienced theatre in the 4th century BCE, with a performance by Etruscan actors. Beacham argues that they had been familiar with "pre-theatrical practices" for some time before that recorded contact. The theatre of ancient Rome was a thriving and diverse art form, ranging from festival performances of street theatre, nude dancing, and acrobatics, to the staging of Plautus's broadly appealing situation comedies, to the high-style, verbally elaborate tragedies of Seneca. Although Rome had a native tradition of performance, the Hellenization of Roman culture in the 3rd century BCE had a profound and energizing effect on Roman theatre and encouraged the development of Latin literature of the highest quality for the stage.
Post-classical theatre in the West
Theatre took on many alternate forms in the West between the 15th and 19th centuries, including commedia dell'arte and melodrama. The general trend was away from the poetic drama of the Greeks and the Renaissance and toward a more naturalistic prose style of dialogue, especially following the Industrial Revolution.
Through the 19th century, the popular theatrical forms of Romanticism, melodrama, Victorian burlesque and the well-made plays of Scribe and Sardou gave way to the problem plays of Naturalism and Realism; the farces of Feydeau; Wagner's operatic Gesamtkunstwerk; musical theatre (including Gilbert and Sullivan's operas); F. C. Burnand's, W. S. Gilbert's and Wilde's drawing-room comedies; Symbolism; proto-Expressionism in the late works of August Strindberg and Henrik Ibsen; and Edwardian musical comedy.
These trends continued through the 20th century in the realism of Stanislavski and Lee Strasberg, the political theatre of Erwin Piscator and Bertolt Brecht, the so-called Theatre of the Absurd of Samuel Beckett and Eugene Ionesco, American and British musicals, the collective creations of companies of actors and directors such as Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop, experimental and postmodern theatre of Robert Wilson and Robert Lepage, the postcolonial theatre of August Wilson or Tomson Highway, and Augusto Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed.
Eastern theatrical traditions
The earliest form of Indian theatre was the Sanskrit theatre. It began after the development of Greek and Roman theatre and before the development of theatre in other parts of Asia. It emerged sometime between the 2nd century BCE and the 1st century CE and flourished between the 1st century CE and the 10th, which was a period of relative peace in the history of India during which hundreds of plays were written. Japanese forms of Kabuki, Nō, and Kyōgen developed in the 17th century CE. Theatre in the medieval Islamic world included puppet theatre (which included hand puppets, shadow plays and marionette productions) and live passion plays known as ta'ziya, where actors re-enact episodes from Muslim history. In particular, Shia Islamic plays revolved around the shaheed (martyrdom) of Ali's sons Hasan ibn Ali and Husayn ibn Ali. Secular plays were known as akhraja, recorded in medieval adab literature, though they were less common than puppetry and ta'ziya theatre.
Drama is the specific mode of fiction represented in performance. The term comes from a Greek word meaning "action", which is derived from "to do". The enactment of drama in theatre, performed by actors on a stage before an audience, presupposes collaborative modes of production and a collective form of reception. The structure of dramatic texts, unlike other forms of literature, is directly influenced by this collaborative production and collective reception. The early modern tragedy Hamlet (1601) by Shakespeare and the classical Athenian tragedy Oedipus the King (c. 429 BCE) by Sophocles are among the masterpieces of the art of drama. A modern example is Long Day's Journey into Night by Eugene O’Neill (1956).
Considered as a genre of poetry in general, the dramatic mode has been contrasted with the epic and the lyrical modes ever since Aristotle's Poetics (c. 335 BCE)—the earliest work of dramatic theory. The use of "drama" in the narrow sense to designate a specific type of play dates from the 19th century. Drama in this sense refers to a play that is neither a comedy nor a tragedy—for example, Zola's Thérèse Raquin (1873) or Chekhov's Ivanov (1887).
Drama is often combined with music and dance: the drama in opera is generally sung throughout; musicals generally include both spoken dialogue and songs; and some forms of drama have incidental music or musical accompaniment underscoring the dialogue (melodrama and Japanese Nō, for example). In certain periods of history (the ancient Roman and modern Romantic) some dramas have been written to be read rather than performed. In improvisation, the drama does not pre-exist the moment of performance; performers devise a dramatic script spontaneously before an audience.
Music and theatre have had a close relationship since ancient times—Athenian tragedy, for example, was a form of dance-drama that employed a chorus whose parts were sung (to the accompaniment of an aulos—an instrument comparable to the modern clarinet), as were some of the actors' responses and their 'solo songs' (monodies). Modern musical theatre is a form of theatre that also combines music, spoken dialogue, and dance. It emerged from comic opera (especially Gilbert and Sullivan), variety, vaudeville, and music hall genres of the late 19th and early 20th century. After the Edwardian musical comedy that began in the 1890s, the Princess Theatre musicals of the early 20th century, and comedies in the 1920s and 1930s (such as the works of Rodgers and Hart), with Oklahoma! (1943), musicals moved in a more dramatic direction. Famous musicals over the subsequent decades included My Fair Lady (1956), West Side Story (1957), The Fantasticks (1960), Hair (1967), A Chorus Line (1975), Les Misérables (1980), and The Phantom of the Opera (1986).
Musical theatre may be produced on an intimate scale Off-Broadway, in regional theatres, and elsewhere, but it often includes spectacle. For instance, Broadway and West End musicals often include lavish costumes and sets supported by multi-million dollar budgets.
Theatre productions that use humour as a vehicle to tell a story qualify as comedies. This may include a modern farce such as Boeing Boeing or a classical play such as As You Like It. Theatre expressing bleak, controversial or taboo subject matter in a deliberately humorous way is referred to as black comedy.
TragedyTragedy, then, is an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude;
in language embellished with each kind of artistic ornament, the several kinds being found in separate parts of the play;
in the form of action, not of narrative;through pity and fear effecting the proper purgation of these emotions.
Tragedy refers to a specific tradition of drama that has played a unique and important role historically in the self-definition of Western civilisation. That tradition has been multiple and discontinuous, yet the term has often been used to invoke a powerful effect of cultural identity and historical continuity—"the Greeks and the Elizabethans, in one cultural form; Hellenes and Christians, in a common activity," as Raymond Williams puts it. From its obscure origins in the theatres of Athens 2,500 years ago, from which there survives only a fraction of the work of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, through its singular articulations in the works of Shakespeare, Lope de Vega, Racine, and Schiller, to the more recent naturalistic tragedy of Strindberg, Beckett's modernist meditations on death, loss and suffering, and Müller's postmodernist reworkings of the tragic canon, tragedy has remained an important site of cultural experimentation, negotiation, struggle, and change. In the wake of Aristotle's Poetics (335 BCE), tragedy has been used to make genre distinctions, whether at the scale of poetry in general (where the tragic divides against epic and lyric) or at the scale of the drama (where tragedy is opposed to comedy). In the modern era, tragedy has also been defined against drama, melodrama, the tragicomic, and epic theatre.
Theories of theatre
Having been an important part of human culture for more than 2,500 years, theatre has evolved a wide range of different theories and practices. Some are related to political or spiritual ideologies, while others are based purely on "artistic" concerns. Some processes focus on a story, some on theatre as event, and some on theatre as catalyst for social change. The classical Greek philosopher Aristotle's Poetics (c. 335 BCE) is the earliest-surviving example and its arguments have influenced theories of theatre ever since. In it, he offers an account of what he calls "poetry" (a term which in Greek literally means "making" and in this context includes drama—comedy, tragedy, and the satyr play—as well as lyric poetry, epic poetry, and the dithyramb). He examines its "first principles" and identifies its genres and basic elements; his analysis of tragedy constitutes the core of the discussion. He argues that tragedy consists of six qualitative parts, which are (in order of importance) mythos or "plot", ethos or "character", dianoia or "thought", lexis or "diction", melos or "song", and opsis or "spectacle". "Although Aristotle's Poetics is universally acknowledged in the Western critical tradition," Marvin Carlson explains, "almost every detail about his seminal work has aroused divergent opinions." Important theatre practitioners of the 20th century include Konstantin Stanislavski, Vsevolod Meyerhold, Edward Gordon Craig, Bertolt Brecht, Antonin Artaud, Luís de Sttau Monteiro, Joan Littlewood, Peter Brook, Jerzy Grotowski, Augusto Boal, and Dario Fo.
Stanislavski treated the theatre as an art-form that is autonomous from literature and one in which the playwright's contribution should be respected as that of only one of an ensemble of creative artists. His innovative contribution to modern acting theory has remained at the core of mainstream western performance training for much of the last century. That many of the precepts of his 'system' of actor training seem to be common sense and self-evident testifies to its hegemonic success. Actors frequently employ his basic concepts without knowing they do so. Thanks to its promotion and elaboration by acting teachers who were former students and the many translations of his theoretical writings, Stanislavski's 'system' acquired an unprecedented ability to cross cultural boundaries and developed an international reach, dominating debates about acting in Europe and America. Many actors routinely equate his 'system' with the American Method, although the latter's exclusively psychological techniques contrast sharply with Stanislavski's multivariant, holistic and psychophysical approach, which explores character and action both from the 'inside out' and the 'outside in' and treats the actor's mind and body as parts of a continuum.
Technical aspects of theatre
Theatre presupposes collaborative modes of production and a collective form of reception. The structure of dramatic texts, unlike other forms of literature, is directly influenced by this collaborative production and collective reception. The production of plays usually involves contributions from a playwright, director, a cast of actors, and a technical production team that includes a scenic or set designer, lighting designer, costume designer, sound designer, stage manager, and production manager. Depending on the production, this team may also include a composer, dramaturg, video designer or fight director.
The technical aspects of theatrical production are described collectively as "stagecraft". This includes, but is not limited to, the construction and rigging of scenery, the hanging and focusing of lighting, the design and procurement of costumes, make-up, sourcing of props, stage management, and recording and mixing of sound. Stagecraft is considered a technical rather than an artistic field, and it relates primarily to the practical implementation of a designer's artistic vision. This distinguishes it from the more recent, wider discipline of scenography.
Stagecraft may be implemented by any number of workers, from a single person (who arranges all scenery, costumes, lighting, sound, and organizes the cast) to hundreds of skilled carpenters, painters, electricians, stagehands, stitchers, wigmakers, and the like. This modern form of stagecraft is highly technical and specialized: it comprises many sub-disciplines and encompasses a vast trove of history and tradition. Regional theatres and larger community theatres will generally have a technical director and a complement of designers, each of whom has a direct hand in their respective designs.
Theatre organization and administration
There are many modern theatre movements which go about producing theatre in a variety of ways.
Theatrical enterprise varies enormously in sophistication and purpose. People who are involved vary from professionals to hobbyists to spontaneous novices. Theatre can be performed with no money at all or on a grand scale with multi-million dollar budgets. This diversity manifests in the abundance of theatre sub-categories, which include:
- Broadway theatre and West End theatre
- Community theatre
- Dinner theatre
- Fringe theatre
- Off-Broadway and Off West End
- Regional theatre
- Summer stock theatre
"West End theatre" is a popular term for mainstream professional theatre that is staged in the large theatres of London's 'Theatreland', the West End. Along with New York's Broadway theatre, West End theatre is usually considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world. Seeing a West End show is a common tourist activity in London. Total attendances first surpassed 12 million in 2002 and 13 million in 2007, setting a new record for the West End. Since the late 1990s there has been an increase in the number of famous screen actors on the London stage.
While most modern theatre companies rehearse one piece of theatre at a time, perform that piece for a set "run", retire the piece, and begin rehearsing a new show, repertory companies rehearse multiple shows at one time. These companies are able to perform these various pieces upon request and often perform works for years before retiring them. Most dance companies operate on this repertory system. The Royal National Theatre in London performs on a repertory system.
Repertory theatre generally involves a group of similarly accomplished actors, and relies more on the reputation of the group than on an individual star actor. It also typically relies less on strict control by a director and less on adherence to theatrical conventions, since actors who have worked together in multiple productions can respond to each other without relying as much on convention or external direction.
Producing vs. presenting
In order to put on a piece of theatre, both a theatre company and a theatre venue are needed. When a theatre company is the sole company in residence at a theatre venue, this theatre (and its corresponding theatre company) are called a resident theatre or a producing theatre, because the venue produces its own work. Other theatre companies, as well as dance companies, do not have their own theatre venue. These companies perform at rental theatres or at presenting theatres. Both rental and presenting theatres have no full time resident companies. They do, however, sometimes have one or more part time resident companies, in addition to other independent partner companies who arrange to use the space when available. A rental theatre allows the independent companies to seek out the space, while a presenting theatre seeks out the independent companies to support their work by presenting them on their stage.
Some performance groups perform in non-theatrical spaces. Such performances can take place outside or inside, in a non-traditional performance space, and include street theatre, and site specific theatre. Non-traditional venues can be used to create more immersive or meaningful environments for audiences. They can sometimes be modified more heavily than traditional theatre venues, or can accommodate different kinds of equipment, lighting and sets.
A touring company is an independent theatre or dance company that travels, often internationally, being presented at a different theatre in each city.
There are many theatre unions including Actors Equity Association (for actors and stage managers), the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC), and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE, for designers and technicians). Many theatres require that their staff be members of these organizations.
- Alternative theatre
- Black light theatre
- Culinary theatre
- Illusionistic tradition
- Employment in theatre
- List of awards in theatre
- List of notable theatre festivals
- List of playwrights
- List of theatre directors
- Outline of theatre
- Performance art
- Reader's theatre
- Theatre consultant
- Theatre for development
- Theater (structure)
- Theatre technique
- Theatrical style
- ^ Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 2011
- ^ M. Carlson, Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, , 2011
- ^ Pavis (1998, 345). Drawing on the "semeiotics" of Charles Sanders Peirce, Pavis goes on to suggest that "the specificity of theatrical signs may lie in their ability to use the three possible functions of signs: as icon (mimetically), as index (in the situation of enunciation), or as symbol (as a semiological system in the fictional mode). In effect, theatre makes the sources of the words visual and concrete: it indicates and incarnates a fictional world by means of signs, such that by the end of the process of signification and symbolization the spectator has reconstructed a theoretical and aesthetic model that accounts for the dramatic universe" (1998, 346).
- ^ Brown (1998, 441), Cartledge (1997, 3–5), Goldhill (1997, 54). Brown writes that ancient Greek drama "was essentially the creation of classical Athens: all the dramatists who were later regarded as classics were active at Athens in the 5th and 4th centuries BCE (the time of the Athenian democracy), and all the surviving plays date from this period" (1998, 441). "The dominant culture of Athens in the fifth century", Goldhill writes, "can be said to have invented theatre" (1997, 54).
- ^ Cartledge (1997, 3, 6), Goldhill (1997, 54) and (1999, 20-xx), and Rehm (1992. 3). Goldhill argues that although activities that form "an integral part of the exercise of citizenship" (such as when "the Athenian citizen speaks in the Assembly, exercises in the gymnasium, sings at the symposium, or courts a boy") each have their "own regime of display and regulation," nevertheless the term "performance" provides "a useful heuristic category to explore the connections and overlaps between these different areas of activity" (1999, 1).
- ^ Pelling (2005, 83).
- ^ Goldhill (1999, 25) and Pelling (2005, 83–84).
- ^ Dukore (1974, 31), Janko (1987, ix), and Ward (1945, 1).
- ^ Brockett and Hildy (2003, 15–19).
- ^ Brown (1998, 441), Cartledge (1997, 3–5), Goldhill (1997, 54), Ley (2007, 206), and Styan (2000, 140). Taxidou notes that "most scholars now call 'Greek' tragedy 'Athenian' tragedy, which is historically correct" (2004, 104).
- ^ Brockett and Hildy (2003, 32–33), Brown (1998, 444), and Cartledge (1997, 3–5). Cartledge writes that although Athenians of the 4th century judged Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides "as the nonpareils of the genre, and regularly honoured their plays with revivals, tragedy itself was not merely a 5th-century phenomenon, the product of a short-lived golden age. If not attaining the quality and stature of the fifth-century 'classics', original tragedies nonetheless continued to be written and produced and competed with in large numbers throughout the remaining life of the democracy—and beyond it" (1997, 33).
- ^ Brockett and Hildy (2003, 15) and Kovacs (2005, 379). We have seven by Aeschylus, seven by Sophocles, and eighteen by Euripides. In addition, we also have the Cyclops, a satyr play by Euripides. Some critics since the 17th century have argued that one of the tragedies that the classical tradition gives as Euripides'—Rhesus—is a 4th-century play by an unknown author; modern scholarship agrees with the classical authorities and ascribes the play to Euripides; see Walton (1997, viii, xix). (This uncertainty accounts for Brockett and Hildy's figure of 31 tragedies.)
- ^ Brockett and Hildy (2003, 15). The theory that Prometheus Bound was not written by Aeschylus adds a fourth, anonymous playwright to those whose work survives.
- ^ Brockett and Hildy (2003, 13–15) and Brown (1998, 441–447).
- ^ Brown (1998, 442) and Brockett and Hildy (2003, 15–17). Exceptions to this pattern were made, as with Euripides' Alcestis in 438 BCE. There were also separate competitions at the City Dionysia for the performance of dithyrambs and, after 488–7 BCE, comedies.
- ^ Brockett and Hildy (2003, 13, 15) and Brown (1998, 442). Rehm offers the following argument as evidence that tragedy was not institutionalised until 501 BCE: "The specific cult honoured at the City Dionysia was that of Dionysus Eleuthereus, the god ‘having to do with Eleutherae’, a town on the border between Boeotia and Attica that had a sanctuary to Dionysus. At some point Athens annexed Eleutherae—most likely after the overthrow of the Peisistratid tyranny in 510 and the democratic reforms of Cleisthenes in 508–07 BCE—and the cult-image of Dionysus Eleuthereus was moved to its new home. Athenians re-enacted the incorporation of the god’s cult every year in a preliminary rite to the City Dionysia. On the day before the festival proper, the cult-statue was removed from the temple near the theatre of Dionysus and taken to a temple on the road to Eleutherae. That evening, after sacrifice and hymns, a torchlight procession carried the statue back to the temple, a symbolic re-creation of the god’s arrival into Athens, as well as a reminder of the inclusion of the Boeotian town into Attica. As the name Eleutherae is extremely close to eleutheria, ‘freedom’, Athenians probably felt that the new cult was particularly appropriate for celebrating their own political liberation and democratic reforms." (1992, 15).
- ^ Brown (1998, 442). Jean-Pierre Vernant argues that in The Persians Aeschylus substitutes for the usual temporal distance between the audience and the age of heroes a spatial distance between the Western audience and the Eastern Persian culture. This substitution, he suggests, produces a similar effect: "The 'historic' events evoked by the chorus, recounted by the messenger and interpreted by Darius' ghost are presented on stage in a legendary atmosphere. The light that the tragedy sheds upon them is not that in which the political happenings of the day are normally seen; it reaches the Athenian theater refracted from a distant world of elsewhere, making what is absent seem present and visible on the stage"; Vernant and Vidal-Naquet (1988, 245).
- ^ Brown (1998, 442) and Brockett and Hildy (2003, 15–16).
- ^ Aristotle, Poetics, line 1449a: "Comedy, as we have said, is a representation of inferior people, not indeed in the full sense of the word bad, but the laughable is a species of the base or ugly. It consists in some blunder or ugliness that does not cause pain or disaster, an obvious example being the comic mask which is ugly and distorted but not painful."
- ^ Beacham (1996, 2).
- ^ Beacham (1996, 3).
- ^ Kuritz (1988, 305).
- ^ Brockett and Hildy (2003, 293–426).
- ^ a b Richmond, Swann, and Zarrilli (1993, 12).
- ^ Brandon (1997, 70) and Richmond (1998, 516).
- ^ Deal (2007, 276).
- ^ Moreh (1986, 565–601).
- ^ Elam (1980, 98).
- ^ a b Pfister (1977, 11).
- ^ Fergusson (1949, 2–3).
- ^ Burt (2008, 30–35).
- ^ Francis Fergusson writes that "a drama, as distinguished from a lyric, is not primarily a composition in the verbal medium; the words result, as one might put it, from the underlying structure of incident and character. As Aristotle remarks, 'the poet, or "maker" should be the maker of plots rather than of verses; since he is a poet because he imiates, and what he imitates are actions'" (1949, 8).
- ^ a b See the entries for "opera", "musical theatre, American", "melodrama" and "Nō" in Banham (1998).
- ^ While there is some dispute among theatre historians, it is probable that the plays by the Roman Seneca were not intended to be performed. Manfred by Byron is a good example of a "dramatic poem." See the entries on "Seneca" and "Byron (George George)" in Banham (1998).
- ^ Some forms of improvisation, notably the Commedia dell'arte, improvise on the basis of 'lazzi' or rough outlines of scenic action (see Gordon (1983) and Duchartre (1929)). All forms of improvisation take their cue from their immediate response to one another, their characters' situations (which are sometimes established in advance), and, often, their interaction with the audience. The classic formulations of improvisation in the theatre originated with Joan Littlewood and Keith Johnstone in the UK and Viola Spolin in the USA; see Johnstone (1981) and Spolin (1963).
- ^ Rehm (1992, 150n7).
- ^ Jones (2003, 4–11).
- ^ The first "Edwardian musical comedy" is usually considered to be In Town (1892), even though it was produced eight years before the beginning of the Edwardian era; see, for example, Fraser Charlton, "What are EdMusComs?" (FrasrWeb 2007, accessed May 12, 2011).
- ^ Kenrick, John (2003). "History of Stage Musicals". http://www.musicals101.com/erastage.htm. Retrieved May 26, 2009.
- ^ S.H. Butcher, , 2011
- ^ Banham (1998, 1118) and Williams (1966, 14–16).
- ^ Williams (1966, 16).
- ^ Williams (1966, 13–84) and Taxidou (2004, 193–209).
- ^ See Carlson (1993), Pfister (1977), Elam (1980) and Taxidou (2004). Drama, in the narrow sense, cuts across the traditional division between comedy and tragedy in an anti- or a-generic deterritorialization from the mid-19th century onwards. Both Bertolt Brecht and Augusto Boal define their epic theatre projects (Non-Aristotelian drama and Theatre of the Oppressed respectively) against models of tragedy. Taxidou, however, reads epic theatre as an incorporation of tragic functions and its treatments of mourning and speculation (2004, 193–209).
- ^ Dukore (1974, 31) and Janko (1987, ix).
- ^ Aristotle Poetics 1447a13 (1987, 1).
- ^ Carlson (1993, 19) and Janko (1987, xx, 7–10).
- ^ Carlson (1993, 16).
- ^ Benedetti (1999a, 124, 202) and (2008b, 6), Carnicke (1998, 162), and Gauss (1999, 2). In 1902, Stanislavski wrote that "the author writes on paper. The actor writes with his body on the stage" and that the "score of an opera is not the opera itself and the script of a play is not drama until both are made flesh and blood on stage"; quoted by Benedetti (1999a, 124).
- ^ Banham (1998, 1032), Carnicke (1998, 1), Counsell (1996, 24–25), Gordon (2006, 37–40), and Leach (2004, 29).
- ^ a b Counsell (1996, 25).
- ^ Banham (1998, 1032), Carnicke (1998, 1, 167), Counsell (1996, 24), and Milling and Ley (2001, 1).
- ^ Benedetti (2005, 147–148) and Carnicke (1998, 1, 8).
- ^ Banham (1998, 1194–1195).
- ^ Singh, Anita (8 July 2008). "TV talent shows help West End shows to record audience". Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/2268735/TV-talent-shows-help-West-End-shows-to-record-audience.html. Retrieved 17 January 2010.
- ^ Peterson (1982.)
- ^ Alice T. Carter, "Non-traditional venues can inspire art, or just great performances", Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 2008-07-07. Retrieved 2011-02-12.
- Aston, Elaine, and George Savona. 1991. Theatre as Sign-System: A Semiotics of Text and Performance. London and New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0415049320.
- Banham, Martin, ed. 1998. The Cambridge Guide to Theatre. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. ISBN 0521434378.
- Beacham, Richard C. 1996. The Roman Theatre and Its Audience. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP. ISBN 978-0674779143.
- Benedetti, Jean. 1999. Stanislavski: His Life and Art. Revised edition. Original edition published in 1988. London: Methuen. ISBN 0413525201.
- ---. 2005. The Art of the Actor: The Essential History of Acting, From Classical Times to the Present Day. London: Methuen. ISBN 0413773361.
- ---. 2008. "Stanislavski on Stage". In Dacre and Fryer (2008, 6–9).
- Benjamin, Walter. 1928. The Origin of German Tragic Drama. Trans. John Osborne. London and New York: Verso, 1998. ISBN 1859848990.
- Brown, John Russell. 1997. What is Theatre?: An Introduction and Exploration. Boston and Oxford: Focal P. ISBN 978-0240802329 .
- Brandon, James R., ed. 1997. The Cambridge Guide to Asian Theatre.' 2nd, rev. ed. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. ISBN 978-0521588225.
- Burt, Daniel S. 2008. The Drama 100: A Ranking of the Greatest Plays of All Time. New York: Facts on File. ISBN 978-0-8160-6073-3.
- Carlson, Marvin. 1993. Theories of the Theatre: A Historical and Critical Survey from the Greeks to the Present. Expanded ed. Ithaca and London: Cornell UP. ISBN 0801481546.
- Carnicke, Sharon M. 1998. Stanislavsky in Focus. Russian Theatre Archive Ser. London: Harwood Academic Publishers. ISBN 9057550709.
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