History of Drama In the media industry ( moving image)
What is Drama ? Drama is a type of literature telling a story , which is intended to be performed to an audience on the stage. Generally , while drama is he printed text of a play , the word theatre often refers to the actual production of the text on the stage. Theatre thus involves action taking place on the stage , the lighting , the scenery , the accompanying music, the costumes , the atmosphere. Drama as we know it began in ancient Greece. The first plays were religious affairs, with dancing and music. Then came a chorus, which eventually had a Leader, who was the first actor in the history of drama. Aeschylus, a playwright, invented what we now call drama when he wrote a play that featured two actors and a chorus, who symbolized the common people or sometimes the gods. Other important Greek playwrights were Sophoclesand Euripides. Most of what they wrote is lost.
Origin of Drama The origin of the drama is deep-rooted in the religious predispositions of mankind. Same is the case not only with English drama, but with dramas of other nations as well. The ancient Greek and Roman dramas were mostly concerned with religious ceremonials of people. It was the religious elements that resulted in the development of drama. As most of the Bible was written into Latin, common people could not understand its meanings. That’s why the clergy tried to find out some new methods of teaching and expounding the teachings of Bible to the common people. For this purpose, they developed a new method, wherein the stories of the Gospel were explained through the living pictures. The performers acted out the story in a dumb show.
The convention of the drama genre • Conventions of Drama: Drama's exhibits real life situations with realistic characters, settings and story lines. They portray journeys of character development and add intense social interaction filled with climaxes to keep the audience emotionally attached to the ongoing tension. • Also Dramatic conventions may be categorized into groups, such as rehearsal, technical or theatrical. Rehearsal conventions can include hot seating, role on the wall and still images. Technical conventions can include lighting, dialogue, monologue, set, costuming and entrances/exits. • The heart of drama is the conflict : conflicts include inner/outer realistic struggles depicting hardships , difficulty , and pain. Audience can relate to the characters , and a form of realisation at the end/happily ending.
Timeline of key developments Greek Theatre 550 BC - 220 BC -Derived in Ancient Greece- Masks commonly used for characterisation- Famous playwrights include Sophocles (496-406 BC) and Euripides (480-380 BC) Roman Theatre 240 BC - 476 Ancient Rome Main theatre form was farce (influenced by old Greek comedy) -Famous playwrights were Livius Andronicus (284-204BC) and Lucius Seneca (4BC-65AD) Medieval Theatre 401 - 1500 Liturgical Drama Comic characters used exaggeration Playwrights include Hrosvitha (935-1002) and Adam de la Halla (1237-1288)
Timeline Timeline Commedia Dell'arte1510 - 1650 'Comedy of the Artists'Originates from Roman Farce Playwrights include Carlo Goldoni (1707-1793) and Molière (1622-1673) who did not write Commedia but was greatly influenced by it in his own work.Elizabethan1576 - 1642 Started in EnglandClassed as English RenaissanceFamous playwrights include William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe17th Century French Neoclassicism1648 - 1789 Plays concerned with ideas and their effect on human beingsTheatres similar to todayFamous playwrights include Racine (1639 – 1673) and Moliere (1622-1673)
Timeline • Restoration Comedy • 1660 - 1710 • Mainly known for the comedies of manners • Centred on love • Famous playwrights include William Congreve and Oliver Goldsmith • 18th Century Sentimentalism • 1701 - 1800 • Behaviour became more restrained; interest in royal and high class circles reduced – the middle class became more aware of itself • Acting became more natural and lifelike • Famous playwrights include Richard Sheridan and John Gay • Australian Drama • 1788 • Started in 1788 • Lawler and Alan Seymour are among famous playwrights
19th Century Melodrama • 1801 - 1900 • Classed as the ‘Romantic Age’ • Melodramas are serious plays in which good and evil are clearly separated • Famous playwrights include Anthony Hope and Douglas Jerrold • Realism • 1860 - 1900 • Realists aimed to represent real life • Famous playwrights from the era include Henrik Ibsen and George Bernard Shaw • Naturalism • 1880 - 1940 • Believed that theatre should be like ‘a slice of life’ – lifelike scenery; costumes and methods of acting • In 1909 Stanislavski established the acting system that became the foundation for much of the realistic and naturalistic acting of the 20th Century – known as ‘method acting’ • Famous playwrights include Emile Zola and Anton Chekhov
20th Century Symbolism and Expressionism • 1890 - 1940 • Strongly fought against theatre being a social/political voice • Vocal work had greater emphasis on silence and static • Among the famous playwrights are; JM Barrie and Alfred Jarry • Epic Style and Didacticism • 1910 - 1950 • Films used as background scenery • Music to neutralise emotion rather than strengthen it • Famous playwrights include Jean Genet and Bertolt Brecht • Theatre of the Absurd • 1951 - 1972 • Traditional theatrical performances were rejected in favour of illogical speeches and events, characters that change into animals, inappropriate silences and in conclusion • Inanimate objects coming to life • Famous playwrights include Samuel Beckett and Eugene Ionesco • Eclectic • 1960 • Movement – total body as a communicator • Ideas – tend to be complex • Famous playwrights include Harold Pinter and Joe Orton