Posted by: rebeccact | December 15, 2007

Director Peter Brook

quiestla.jpgPeter Stephan Paul Brook

Peter Brook was born in  London, England on March 25th, 1925.  Brook jumped right into a  career in theatre. Shakespeare was his slight obsession and most of the plays he did were Shakespeare plays. He attended many schools including Oxford, Holt and Gresham’s School. He directed such plays as King John and The Lady from the Sea. He also assisted in directing Romeo and Juliet. In 1951 Brook married an actress and they had two children, a son and a daughter.

 

Brook worked on numerous films including Lord of the Flies, Hamlet and King Leer. For his great work he won many awards includeing two Tony awards and Two Emmys.

 

Over his life he also wrote seven well known and revered books.

 

 

Posted by: theteala | December 14, 2007

Tedeusz Kantor

Along with being a director Tedeusz Kantor was also a a painter in what was at the time Austria-Hungary. He was born in 1915 and died 1990 He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, graduating in 1939 during th Nazi occupation of Poland. He would later return to become a professor and a director of experimental theatre. Kantor’s first productions were with an under ground theatre company that preformed in people’s homes. After the second world war he dove into stage designing at the Helena Modrzejewska Old Theatre , mostly abstract scenery, which he contunied until the 1960’s. 1965 He lead a group of different artists and critics in creating the Cricot 2 theatre. Memorioalble plays there were The cuddle fish, Circus, Country House, The madman and the nun, Dividing line, and The Letter incorporated Kantors skill not only as a director but as a set designer and artiest.

http://www.jewish-theatre.com/visitor/article_display.aspx?articleID=478

http://www.culture.pl/en/culture/artykuly/os_kantor_tadeusz

http://www.ddg.art.pl/kantor/introduction.html

http://www.cracow-life.com/poland/tadeusz-kantor-krakow

http://www.poland.gov.pl/TADEUSZ,KANTOR,2029.html

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0268/is_6_39/ai_75577331

Posted by: ty50n | December 14, 2007

Mime and Commedia dell’Arte

Mime and commedia dell’arte was a popular form of European improvised comic drama in the 16th and 17th centuries, performed by trained groups of actors.  It involved stock characters and situations and influenced writers such as Carlo Goldoni and the Punch and Judy show. Mime and Commedia dell’Arte laid the foundation for a tradition of mime, strong in France, which continued with the modern mime of Jean-Louis Barrault and Marcel Marceau. With plots that undermine authority, commedia deals with servants tricking and swindling their foolish masters.

This form of theatre dominated the European theatre for three hundred years. I have just recently seen a play done in pantomime. This play was performed in the Chilliwack Art Council Theatre and was called Cinderella Up The Bean Stock.  The play involved characters from a number of different fairy tales.  Jack, from the Jack and Jill nursery rhyme, fell down and took his cow to the market while Jill was still in the hospital.  He sold his cow for a handful of magic beans and when he arrived home, his witch of a mother was very angry at him because he sold their only cow for a bunch of beans.  She smacked them out of Jacks hand through the open window onto the ground outside.  As Jack was going to the market to sell his cow, he bumps into Cinderella who is bringing home pizza; “It’s not Dellisio, it’s Delivery”.  Cinderella lives with her two ugly sisters, one of which is a conjoined twin.  One of her ugly sister’s is actually a man playing the part of a woman.  They continuously tease and call her names such as “Scullerella, and Sweeperella”, as she cleans and sweeps and works like a dog.  Jack climbs the bean stock and steals one of the giant’s pots of gold.  He meets his fairy godmother, also played by a man, and another fairy known as the “Pink Fairy”, also a guy with hairy legs and a pink tootoo with matching boots.  To make a long story short, Jack is actually a Prince and his father is the King – Elvis Presley and he lives happily ever after with Cinderella.

Cinderella Up the Bean Stock is an example of a pantomime because “Watt”, the servant man for Cinderella’s family, introduced the play by telling the audience to interact with the characters as they appear on stage.  We were told to boo and hiss at the ugly sisters and their mother.  We were also told to yell out “giant” when he appeared and the audience naturally laughed at the male characters dressed in brightly colored dresses, tootoos, and stockings.  Pantomimes are intended to be interactive and humourous and this play was all of that and more.

Posted by: teresacar | December 4, 2007

Now Playing…Christmas Productions around town…

Fellow Theatre 101 students—

If you are looking for a warm fuzzy production to put you in the holiday mood, there are several happening in Vancouver this month. Grab a loved one or three, and head into town for two shows—one of Christmas lights along the way, and the other from one of the links below:

 Disney’s Beauty and the Beast   Disney’s Beauty and the Beast 

December 6, 2007–January 6, 2008
at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage

 “Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme.” Brilliantly adapted from the Academy Award–winning animated film, this much-loved spectacle will thrill you with its show-stopping musical numbers, astonishing sets, and lavish costumes. 

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its-a-wonderful-life60.gif  It’s a Wonderful Life 

The Holiday Heart-Warmer   Nov 29–Dec 29  Granville Island Stage

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nutcracker.jpgMoscow Classical Ballet’s Nutcracker

Queen Elizabeth Theatre
on December 28, 29, 30 @ 7:30 pm
& December 29, 30, 31 @ 1:30pm

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this-wonderful.jpgTHIS WONDERFUL LIFE  by Steve Murray

November 29 – December 29

  • Wednesdays-Saturdays 8pm, Saturday matinees 2pm
  • Added Matinees Christmas Week
  • PAY-WHAT-YOU-CAN at the door! ($10 in advance)  
  • Talk Back Night – discussion with artists Friday, Dec. 7 

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oliver_2.jpg  

Oliver!

Nov 17 – Dec 15  at the Vancouver Playhouse

An excellent source of compassion, hope and redemption

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holly.jpg Merry Christmas Bruce and Class! It’s been interesting!…..Teresa Carosella

Goethe 

         Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe   (1749 – 1832)

       Harold Bloom describes Goethe’s work as seeming “remote from us as to seem archaic” and “to come from some other solar system than our own” (1).   Bloom suggests that his work has been distanced from the English reader through its translation.  What he wrote was poetry – even his plays were written like poetry – so it would be easy to understand why translation of his work is difficult. 

       I could spend a lot of time writing and researching Goethe’s poetry; however, I’m intending to focus on Goethe as a director.  His interest in theatre began when he was very young:

   “THE boy, Goethe, was a precocious youngster. At the early age of eight he had already acquired some knowledge of Greek, Latin, French and Italian. He had likewise acquired from his mother the knack of story telling; and from a toy puppet show in his nursery his first interest in the stage” (theatrehistory.com).

     This interest in theatre grew even more as he studied law at the age of 16.  Though he was sent to study law, “he apparently studied more life than law and put in his time expressing his reactions through some form of writing” (theatrehistory.com).   Following that, still studying law (but also the arts), he wrote some of his best works and was successful.

      In 1775, Goethe was invited to the court of Duke Karl August at Weimar.  There he was made manager of the Court Theatre (theatrehistory.com) and was director there from 1791 to 1817 “and steered it from comparative insignificance to national importance” (Sharpe 116).   Lesley Sharpe, in her article “Goethe and the Weimar theatre”, states that “Goethe’s major plays were not, on the whole, written with the stage in mind, nor did he take on the directorship of the theatre in order to put them on the stage, for they formed only a tiny part of his repertoire” (116).  Though he was not well known in the theatre for his composition, as a director he had a commanding presence “for he had the final decision on every detail, whether of subject, scenery or acting, and in later years a large arm-chair was reserved for him in the middle of the pit, applause being hardly permitted until he gave the signal for it” (theatrehistory.com). 

       His concern for his actors “led Goethe to set up classes for young actors” (Sharpe 125).  With these classes he began introducing new talent to the stage and made it possible for rehearsal times to be longer – “the actors were to remember that their playing should not imitate the real but express the ideal and that nothing ugly or unseemly should take place out of a mistaken sense of realism” (Sharpe 125).  He was very particular about everything that happened on stage and his classes also reflected that.  For example, actors were trained “never to speak to the back of the stage” and to always keep a good posture (Sharpe 126). 

       His intrest and involvement in the theatre began to drop as certain feuds with acting companies began to arise.  He finally resigned after permission was given for “a performer from Vienna named Karsten to present a French melodrama entitled Aubri de Mont-Didier’s Dog or The Forest near Bondy, which featured a poodle in a leading role” (Sharpe 127).      In short, Goethe’s own particular and demanding direction revolutionized the way we look at directing and theatre.

Read More…

Posted by: reaton | November 22, 2007

ahhh one last thing…

The information I used was from these sources

“The Wrold of Theatre” by Mira Felner and Claudia Orenstein

http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/ibsen.htm

Posted by: reaton | November 22, 2007

Henrik Sedin! No? Alright Henrik Ibsen..

Some people think Ibsen was one of the four greatest playwrights of the 19th century. He’s best known as the founder of modern prose drama, but how do you get to be so famous? Where did he start and what were his influences? That’s what I’m here for..

Henrik Ibsen was born in 1828 in a little town called Skien which was just south of Norway, his mother was probably his biggest artistic influence growing up. She was a painter and introduced him to theatre and fell in love right away. He wrote his first two plays in 1850 while in a “student factory” which was a school for hopeful college students, he wanted to be a pharmasist but failed the program and continued his writing instead. “Cataline” and “The burial ground” we his first of many plays to come from this top writer. One of the biggest productions that he wrote in 1881 was called “Ghosts” and it wasn’t big because it was popular, it was huge because it was extremely controversial. It was about the forbidden subjects of the venereal disease syphilis. It shocked the European audiences so much that it was banned and was never shown until a Scandinavian company picked it up and started showing it in the United States in 1882. But he wasn’t done there, he continued to write controversy like “An enemy of the people” which delt with a compact liberal majority and politics are always a sticky subject.

Ibsen was loved by many a young artists and freethinkers throughout Europe. Eventually smaller theatres started supporting Ibsen’s work and the subscription membership allowed these theaters to skip and hide the censorship laws that would have applied to the bigger theatres.  His new style of “Independent Theatre Movement” intrigued the new audience and we’ve been eating up anything he’s thrown at us since.

Posted by: reaton | November 21, 2007

Mardi who?

So when it comes to Mardi Gras what we all think about is funny masks and parties, but thats not what its all about. Did you know its actually a very religious holiday and it actually got a whole lot of people in trouble.

 

The exact origins of mardis gras have been disputed for a very long time from if it started in New Orleans, France or even Africa. Most of the information I found relates to the Mardis Gras in Rome when the Romans would take part “Lupercalia” which was known to be a circus-like festival in which they would worship the god Lupercus. When christianity was introduced to Rome rather than dissown the festival they decided to incorperate it into their religious beliefs. They changed it to a chance to celebrate before having to participate in lent. Everyone would dress up in masks and costumes so they could have one last hurrah and be able to act out of character. One of the best parts about Mardi Gras was that when everyone would wear masks it would make them equals, there were no rich or no poor, everyone was just there to have a good time.

Something very interesting happens to people when they put on a mask, they become a completely different person and that got a lot of people in trouble during the festivities. People everywhere of every age and background would start goofing off and caused a lot of trouble, because well no one knew who they were! Well it got so bad because people started wearing their masks outside of the days of festival and made a mess of things, eventually rules changed and anyone caught wearing a mask outside the days of Mardi Gras would get put away. They were considered “hooligans” and were not acceptable around town. The best part about it was that it wasn’t just younger people doing it, it was royals and respectable people who would act completely out of character and make a mess of themselves. At one point they wanted to cancel mardi gras and try and stop everyone from celebrating…well you can tell it obviously didn’t work because excitement of Mardi Gras spread like wildfire and its now celebrated all over the world.

Posted by: jonjazzysharky | November 15, 2007

Mime and Movement Theatre

When one thinks of a mime, what typically comes to mind are these:

 mime-time2.JPG

  mime-guy.jpgmarceaul2309_468x691.jpg

         Read More…

Posted by: megang | November 9, 2007

Collaboration: The Key to Good Direction

 images.jpg     Anne Bogart

“I’m not an inventor, I steal everything” – Anne Bogart

Ever since she was 15, American-born, Anne Bogart knew that she wanted to be a theatre director. While she did spend the early part of her career in Germany, Bogart has spent over 20 years in America “investigating what it means to be an American artist” (Irvin, 24).

Anne teaching at SITI

In The Saratoga International Theatre Instsitue,   co-founded in 1992 with Tadashi Suzuki, Bogart “works collaboritively with the comany incorporating her systems of stylized movement and visually compeling, non-linear storytelling” (Irvin, 22) Not only does Anne Bogart work alongside her actors,  she also relies heavily on the collaboration with the 4 company designers. each designer, whether it is sound, costume, set or lighting, has their own role witin the team; each has his or her time and place in the rehearsal process.

Collaboration is a key aspect of good direction. In order to create a masterpiece you must be able to work togther successfully. The collaboration of actors, designers, and the director is what makes Anne Bogart a success in Theatre. 

Sources:

Irvin, Polly. Directing for the Stage. RotoVision SA. East Sussex, 2003

Felner, Mira and Claudia Orenstein. The World of Theatre: Tradition and Innovation Pearson Education Inc. 2006

 

 

 

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