The essays gathered together in Volume 15 of the annual journal Theatre Symposium investigate how, historically, the theatre has been perceived both as a source of moral anxiety and as an instrument of moral and social reform.
Essays consider, among other subjects, ethnographic depictions of the savage “other” in Buffalo Bill’s engagement at the Columbian Exposition of 1893; the so-called “Moral Reform Melodrama” in the nineteenth century; charity theatricals and the ways they negotiated standards of middle-class respectability; the figure of the courtesan as a barometer of late nineteenth and early twentieth-century moral and sexual discourse; Aphra Behn’s subversion of Restoration patriarchal sexual norms in The Feigned Courtesans; and the controversy surrounding one production of Tony Kushner Angels in America, during which officials at one of the nation’s more prominent liberal arts colleges attempted to censor the production, a chilling reminder that academic and artistic freedom cannot be taken for granted in today’s polarized moral and political atmosphere.
For centuries scholars, philosophers, and practitioners have attempted to explain just what constitutes comedy, and though no one has come close to a definitive explanation, each attempt highlights some distinct facet of the genre--the genre that Woody Allen has said eats at the children’s table . . . even in the world of scholarship.
The essays gathered in Volume 16 of the annual journal Theatre Symposium illustrate well the range of material that falls under the heading “comedy” as it is played on stage.
Stanley Longman’s essay on “The Commedia dell’Arte as the Quintessence of Comedy” introduces us to the inhabitants of “Commediatown,” character types who are descendents of the Greeks and ancestors, it seems, of almost everyone who came after. Boris Senker, an eyewitness to Croatia’s evolution from communism to democracy, reports on the all-too-real "Commedia" stereotypes that have found their way onto the stage in his homeland.
Other essays address the improvisational nature of "Commedia"; the roots of laughter and the expectations inherent in presenting “old schtick” to a new generation; comedic technique, verbal and physical, in Molière; the use of the macabre to create humor in the "Théâtre du Grand Guignol"; the story of Henry Fielding, the theatre practitioner most responsible for the British government’s crackdown on subversive material, via the Licensing Act of 1737; Beckett’s theatrical connections to the comedy theory of Henri Bergson; and do-it-yourself (DIY) comedy--happenings, situations, gatherings—as practiced in British stand-up comedy.
Theatre Symposium: Volume 16 provides just a glimpse into the possibilities for comedy on the stage. If the past examples allow for extrapolation into the future, the position of comedy as a means of communicating problems and solutions for society’s woes is remarkably sound.
Outdoor drama takes many forms: ancient Greek theatre, open-air performances of Shakespeare at summer festivals, and re-enactments of landmark historical events. The essays gathered in "Outdoor Performance," Volume 17 of the annual journal Theatre Symposium, address outdoor theatre's many manifestations, including the historical and non-traditional.
Among other subjects, these essays explore the rise of "airdomes" as performance spaces in the American Midwest in the first half of the 20th century; the civic-religious pageants staged by certain Mormon congregations; Wheels-A-Rolling, and other railroad themed pageants; first-hand accounts of the innovative Hunter Hills theatre program in Tennessee; the role of traditional outdoor historical drama, particularly the long-running performances of Paul Green's The Lost Colony; and the rise of the part dance, part sport, part performance phenomenon "parkour"-- the improvised traversal of obstacles found in both urban and rural landscapes.
Stage properties are an often-ignored aspect of theatrical productions, in part because their usage is meant to be seamlessly integrated into the performance instead of a focal point for the audience. However, a skillfully used prop can augment the action, just as a malfunctioning prop can destroy the illusion of the scene. The essays in “Theatre Symposium: Volume 18” approach the subject of stage props from many angles, and include examinations of props in contemporary and historical productions, explorations of the cultural significance of specific props, and arguments about the nature of the prop itself.
The contributors illuminate many aspects of this largely ignored yet crucial part of the theatre. Kyna Hamill looks at props as a means to mark social status. Christine Woodworth addresses the challenges presented by using blood onstage, while Andrew Sofer discusses the use of prop corpses on the Shakespearean stage. Andrew Kimbrough moves from an examination of actors’ use of props to a consideration of audience response to performance. Other essays investigate specific objects or productions, and introduce provocative and original perspectives to the growing discussion about stage properties.
Normal0falsefalsefalseMicrosoftInternetExplorer4Despite a shared history and many common present practices, the relationship between theatre and film often remains uncertain. Does a close study of film enrich an understanding of drama on the stage? What ongoing connections do theatre and film maintain, and what elements do they borrow from each other? Does the relative popularity and accessibility of film lead to an increased scholarly defensiveness about qualities exclusive to theatrical performances? Do theatre and film demand two different kinds of attention from spectators, or do audiences tend to experience both in the same ways? The essays in “Theatre Symposium: Volume 19” present this dynamic coexistence of theatre and film, and examine the nature of their mutual influence on each other.
Bruce McConachie, in his contribution to the collection, “Theatre and Film in Evolutionary Perspective,” argues that the cognitive functions used to interpret either media arise from the same evolutionary foundation, and that therefore the viewing experiences of theatre and film are closely linked to each other. In “Robert Edmond Jones: Theatre and Motion Pictures, Bridging Reality and Dreams,” Anthony Hostetter and Elisabeth Hostetter consider Jones’ influential vision of a “theater of the future,” in which traditional stage performances incorporate mediated video material into stage productions. Becky Becker’s “Nollywood: Film and Home Video, of the Death of Nigerian Theatre,” by focusing on the current conversation in Nigeria, discusses the anxiety generated by a film and video industry burgeoning into and displacing theatre culture These and the six other essays in “Theatre Symposium: Volume 19” shed light on the current state of affairs—the collaborations and the tensions—between two distinctly individual yet inextricably related artistic media.
The audience is an integral part of performance and is in fact what separates a rehearsal from a performance. The relationship, however, between performers and the audience has evolved over time, which is one of the subjects addressed, along with the changing disposition of the audience itself and a number of other topics, in Gods and Groundlings, volume 20 of the annual journal Theatre Symposium. The essays in this volume discuss spectatorship in historical context, the role of the audience in the digital age, the early modern English
transvestite theatre, Annie Oakley and the disruption of Victorian audiences, and historical attempts to create ideal audiences. Edited by E. Bert Wallace, this latest publication from the largest regional theatre organization in the United States collects the most current scholarship on theatre history and theory.
Contributors To Volume 20
Susan Bennett / Jane Barnette / Becky Becker / Lisa Bernd / Evan
Bridenstine / Michael Jaros / Robert I. Lublin / Paulette Marty
Volume 21 of Theatre Symposium presents essays that explore the intricate and vital relationships between theatre, religion, and ritual.
Whether or not theatre arose from ritual and/or religion, from prehistory to the present there have been clear and vital connections among the three. Ritual, Religion, and Theatre, volume 21 of the annual journal Theatre Symposium, presents a series of essays that explore the intricate and vital relationships that exist, historically and today, between these various modes of expression and performance.
The essays in this volume discuss the stage presence of the spiritual meme; ritual performance and spirituality in The Living Theatre; theatricality, themes, and theology in James Weldon Johnson’s God’s Trombones; Jordan Harrison’s Act a Lady and the ritual of queerness; Gerpla and national identity in Iceland; confession in Hamlet and Measure for Measure; Christian liturgical drama; Muslim theatre and performance; cave rituals and the Brain’s Theatre; and other, more general issues.
Edited by E. Bert Wallace, this latest publication by the largest regional theatre organization in the United States collects the most current scholarship on theatre history and theory.
Cohen Ambrose / David Callaghan / Gregory S. Carr
Matt DiCintio / William Doan / Tom F. Driver / Steve Earnest
Jennifer Flaherty / Charles A. Gillespie / Thomas L. King
Justin Kosec / Mark Pizzato / Kate Stratton
That theatre is a business remains a truth often ignored by theatre insiders and consumers of the performing arts alike. The essays in Theatre Symposium, Volume 22 explore theatre as a commercial enterprise both historically and as a continuing part of the creation, production, and presentation of contemporary live performance.
The eleven contributors to this fascinating collection illuminate many aspects of commercial theatre and how best to examine it. George Pate analyzes the high-stakes implication of a melodramatic legal battle. Christine Woodworth recounts the difficulties encountered by British actresses near the turn of the twentieth century, while Boone J. Hopkins considers newly found images of Margo Jones along with the commercial appeal they represent.
The volume continues with articles that follow developments with ties to commercial theatre, such as the interplay between Broadway companies and regional theatres, musical productions in communist Poland, and the influence of Korean popular culture on theatre and the unique production arrangements that have resulted. Other essays investigate alternative concepts related to commercial themes with regard to audience interaction and the burgeoning world of geek theatre.
Edited by David S. Thompson, this latest publication by the largest regional theatre organization in the United States collects the most current scholarship on theatre history and theory.
The curtain rises on Theatre and Youth, volume 23 of Theatre Symposium with keynote reflections by Suzan Zeder, the distinguished playwright of theatre for youth, and presents eleven original essays about theatre’s reflections of youth and the role of young people in making and performing theatre.
The first set of essays draws from robustly diverse sources: the work of Frank Wedekind in nineteenth-century Germany, Peter Pan’s several stage incarnations, Evgeny Shvarts’s antitotalitarian plays in Soviet Russia, and Christopher Marlowe’s Dido, Queen of Carthage, whose depictions of childhood comment on both the classical period as well as Marlowe’s own Elizabethan age.
The second part of the collection explores and illustrates how youth participate in theatre, the cognitive benefits youth reap from theatre practice, and the ameliorating power of theatre to help at-risk youth. These essays show fascinating and valuable case studies of, for example, theatre employed in geography curricula to strengthen spatial thinking, theatre as an antidote to youth delinquency, and theatre teaching Latinos in the south strategies for coping in a multilingual world.
Rounding out this exemplary collection are a pair of essays that survey the state of the art, the significance of theatre-for-youth programming choices, and the shifting attitudes young Americans are bringing to the discipline. Eclectic and vital, this expertly curated collection will be of interest to educators and theatre professionals alike.
At a time when so many options exist for access to theatrical entertainments, it is no surprise that theatre practitioners and scholars are often preoccupied with the role of the audience. While space undoubtedly impacts the rehearsal and production processes, its greater significance seems to rest in the impact a specific location has on the audience. This volume delves into issues of theatre and space, traversing traditional theatre spaces such as the African Grove Theater discussed by Gregory Carr, Tony Gunn’s examination of Edward Gorey's theatrical designs, and George Pate’s reflections on Beckett's stage directors. Also highlighted are some decidedly innovative spaces, like those described by J. K. Curry in her examination of “Theatre for One” and modern uses of medieval sacred spaces as detailed by Carla Lahey.
Whether positive or negative in scope, meanings generated within theatre spaces are impacted by the cultural context from which they emerge—the ways in which space is conceived, scrutinized, and experiences. As a result, the relationship between space, theatre, and audience is diverse, complex, and ever changing in practice.
Addresses the ways that theatre both shapes cross-cultural dialogue and is itself, in turn, shaped by those forces.
Globalization may strike many as a phenomenon of our own historical moment, but it is truly as old as civilization: we need only look to the ancient Silk Road linking the Far East to the Mediterranean in order to find some of the earliest recorded impacts of people and goods crossing borders. Yet, in the current cultural moment, tensions are high due to increased migration, economic unpredictability, complicated acts of local and global terror, and heightened political divisions all over the world.
Thus globalization seems new and a threat to our ways of life, to our nations, and to our cultures. In what ways have theatre practitioners, educators, and scholars worked to support cross-cultural dialogue historically? And in what ways might theatre embrace the complexities and contradictions inherent in any meaningful exchange? The essays in Theatre Symposium, Volume 25 reflect on these questions.
Featured in Theatre Symposium, Volume 25
“Theatre as Cultural Exchange: Stages and Studios of Learning” by Anita Gonzalez
“Certain Kinds of Dances Used among Them: An Initial Inquiry into Colonial Spanish Encounters with the Areytos of the Taíno in Puerto Rico” by E. Bert Wallace
“Gertrude Hoffmann’s Lawful Piracy: ‘A Vision of Salome’ and the Russian Season as Transatlantic Production Impersonations” by Sunny Stalter-Pace
“Greasing the Global: Princess Lotus Blossom and the Fabrication of the ‘Orient’ to Pitch Products in the American Medicine Show” by Chase Bringardner
“Dismembering Tennessee Williams: The Global Context of Lee Breuer’s A Streetcar Named Desire” by Daniel Ciba
“Transformative Cross-Cultural Dialogue in Prague: Americans Creating Czech History Plays” by Karen Berman
“Finding Common Ground: Lessac Training across Cultures” by Erica Tobolski and Deborah A. Kinghorn
Stage costumes reveal character. They tell audiences who the character is or how a character functions within the world of the play, among other things. Theatrical costuming, however, along with other forms of theatre design, has often been considered merely a craft, rather than part of the deeply systemic creation of meaning onstage. In what ways do our clothes shape and reveal our habits of behavior? How do stage costumes work to reveal one kind of habit via the manipulation of another? How might theatre practitioners learn to most effectively exploit this dynamic? Theatre Symposium, Volume 26 analyzes the ways in which meaning is conveyed through costuming for the stage and explores the underlying assumptions embedded in theatrical practice and costume production.
THEATRE SYMPOSIUM, VOLUME 26
MICHELE MAJER Plus que Reine: The Napoleonic Revival in Belle Epoque Theatre and Fashion
Creating a Realistic Rendering Pedagogy: The Fashion Illustration Problem
ALY RENEE AMIDEI
Where'd I Put My Character?: The Costume Character Body and Essential Costuming for the Ensemble Actor
Embracing the Chaos: Creating Costumes for Devised Work
DAVID S. THOMPSON
Dressing the Image: Costumes in Printed Theatrical Advertising
Costuming the Audience: Gentility, Consumption, and the Lady’s Theatre Hat in Gilded Age America
The RuPaul Effect: The Exploration of the Costuming Rituals of Drag Culture in Social Media and the Theatrical Performativity of the Male Body in the Ambit of the Everyday
GREGORY S. CARR
A Brand New Day on Broadway: The Genius of Geoffrey Holder’s Artistry and His Intentional Evocation of the African Diaspora
On the [Historical] Sublime: J. R. Planché’s King John and the Romantic Ideal of the Past
A substantive exploration of bodies and embodiment in theatre
Theatre is inescapably about bodies. By definition, theatre requires the live bodies of performers in the same space and at the same time as the live bodies of an audience. And, yet, it’s hard to talk about bodies. We talk about characters; we talk about actors; we talk about costume and movement. But we often approach these as identities or processes layered onto bodies, rather than as inescapably entwined with them. Bodies on the theatrical stage hold the power of transformation. Theatre practitioners, scholars, and educators must think about what bodies go where onstage and what stories which bodies to tell.
The essays in Theatre Symposium, Volume 27 explore a broad range of issues related to embodiment. The volume begins with Rhonda Blair’s keynote essay, in which she provides an overview of the current cognitive science underpinning our understanding of what it means to be “embodied” and to talk about “embodiment.” She also provides a set of goals and cautions for theatre artists engaging with the available science on embodiment, while issuing a call for the absolute necessity for that engagement, given the primacy of the body to the theatrical act.
The following three essays provide examinations of historical bodies in performance. Timothy Pyles works to shift the common textual focus of Racinian scholarship to a more embodied understanding through his examination of the performances of the young female students of the Saint-Cyr academy in two of Racine’s Biblical plays. Shifting forward in time by three centuries, Travis Stern’s exploration of the auratic celebrity of baseball player Mike Kelly uncovers the ways in which bodies may retain the ghosts of their former selves long after physical ability and wealth are gone. Laurence D. Smith’s investigation of actress Manda Björling’s performances in Miss Julie provides a model for how cognitive science, in this case theories of cognitive blending, can be integrated with archival theatrical research and scholarship.
From scholarship grounded in analysis of historical bodies and embodiment, the volume shifts to pedagogical concerns. Kaja Amado Dunn’s essay on the ways in which careless selection of working texts can inflict embodied harm on students of color issues an imperative call for careful and intentional classroom practice in theatre training programs. Cohen Ambrose’s theorization of pedagogical cognitive ecologies, in which subjects usually taught disparately (acting, theatre history, costume design, for example) could be approached collaboratively and through embodiment, speaks to ways in which this call might be answered.
Tessa Carr’s essay on "The Integration of Tuskegee High School" brings together ideas of historical bodies and embodiment in the academic theatrical context through an examination of the process of creating a documentary theatre production. The final piece in the volume, Bridget Sundin’s exchange with the ghost of Marlene Dietrich, is an imaginative exploration of how it is possible to open the archive, to create new spaces for performance scholarship, via an interaction with the body.
As both a verb and a noun, the word voice has many meanings and functions on multiple levels, a phenomenon that is remarkably analogous to the practice of dramaturgy. Thus, the topic title Voice of the Dramaturg allows for the requisite flexibility and provides a unifying theme for the third volume of Theatre Symposium. This volume of the proceedings from the June 1994 joint meeting of the Southeastern Theatre Conference and the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs in Atlanta, Georgia, addresses the question, What is Dramaturgy? Part I includes the contributions of the six symposium participants and concludes with the roundtable discussion by panelists. Part II is composed of refereed papers. These papers range from the highly theoretical to the practical and pedagogical. They reflect the diversity of what dramaturgy means in contemporary theatre.
This collection of essays explores how drama can teach political principles and entertain at the same time.
Political commentary is possible through "variety" theatre, this volume contends. Compiled from the April 2000 Theatre Symposium held on the campus of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, this collection of essays
presents a compelling mix of theoretical and practical viewpoints from a broad diversity of scholars from around the country.
What remains to be learned about the political objectives of Brecht's Lehrstriucke? What political power is resident in the satirical humor of Dario Fo's drama? What can we learn from Mordecai Gorelik's political/artistic philosophy that might inform contemporary practice? What was the impact of political theatre on Broadway between the wars? Is Thornton Wilder's Our Town the play we've always imagined it to be, or does it challenge the politics of its time? What is the role of theatre activism in raising consciousness about gender politics? These are only some of the questions addressed by this lively, informative discussion.