Drama in europe



1 (2)
Numero di pagine:4
Formato di file:.doc (Microsoft Word)
Download   Anteprima
drama-europe_1.zip (Dimensione: 5.62 Kb)
trucheck.it_drama-in-europe.doc     27 Kb
readme.txt     59 Bytes


The origins
In ancient Greece, drama was a collective and ritual phenomenon. The word “theatre” comes from the Greek verb theàomai, means to watch. The origins of tragedy and comedy lie in the solemn chorus accompanying the sacrifices and in the procession organized by the citizens to propritiate fecundity in nature.

The tools of drama
Performance= A piece of writing that is intended to be acted in a theatre.
Act= A part of a play in which the action remains in one places for a continuos period of time.
Comedy= A play which is amusing.
Stage= The area in a theatre where actors perform.
Play= the action of entertaining other people by dancing, singing, acting or playing music.
Stage directions= Descriptions or instructions in the text of a play explaining how it should be
Playwright= a person who writes a play.
Audience= the public at a theatre.
Scene= a part of a play.
Tragedy= a play that ends sadly.

Drama in England
Medieval drama developed from liturgical cerimonies. The Clergy had always tried to convey the chief
events of the cristian religion to people by means of dramatic performances. In the 16th century music was
introduced into churches. Little by little, processional and scenic effects were added. All of this
produced a gradual evolution form liturgical drama to Miracle and Mistery plays. Latin was slowly
replaced by the vernacular. As the miracle plays grew popularity, (perfomance inside churches became
more and more difficult), so the plays began to be performed out of doors (in open spaces of the town).
Because of the English climate, performances had to take plays at the time of the year when the weather
was fine, so the favourite period became that connected with the first of Corpus Christi (June, summer).
Miracle plays are grouped into four cycles: Chester, York, Conventry and Wakefield. The language was
english and the setting typically medieval. The various roles were acted by towsmen. There was always a
comic touch present. So that as many people as possible could see it, each play was repeated several times
in different parts of the town, with the help of a pageant. It was a carriage on a wheels in the form of a
small house with two vertical rooms. Little by little the performance of the plays was acted by the guilds
under the management of the municipal authorities. When the guilds became responsible for the
performances, the actors began to be carefully selected and trained.

Drama in the Elizabethan age
Elements which made possible the development of drama:
-the theatres were open to everybody, as there was no distinction between the taste of the court and that of
the general public, and admission prices were relatively low.
-plays could be understood even by people, who were unable to read and write.
-the theatre-going habit, which can be traced back to medieval performance, was widespread.
-moralities and interludes were still a living memory.
-there were a great number of talented playwrights.
-the theatre was patronized by the court and the aristocracy.
-the language used was more alive and direct than that of poetry and prose.
-the theatre was, both inwarldy and outwarldy, a true mirror of society.
Each class played a part which was connected with its individual social status and it was considered sinful
rebel against it. Society had to mirror the divine order of the universe (macrocosm), inside which man
(microcosm) had to rispect a precise ladder at the top of which was God.
Mane and Nature
This idea of social order was the basis of the world view present in the Elizabethan theatre. Drama derived in the
first istance from breaking of this order. The new Elizabethan hero replaced the allegorical character and
provided new material for drama. The strict relationship between the laws of man and those of Nature was
strongly emphasized.
The use of metaphors was widespread in the Elizabethan theatre which, being normally in verse rather than prose,
had borrowed them from poetry together with blank verse, which became in turn the verse from most frequently
used for place.
Up to 1576, plays were acted above all at inns on a platform raised in the yard. These performances were so
successfull that, in 1576, James Burbage (actor and carpenter) decided to build the first public playhouse outside
the town walls,calling it “the theatre”(the most famous theatre outside the town walls was the Globe).
The Globe
The Globe was built in 1598;in 1613 it was destroyed by a fire,eventually rebuilt and definitvely closed in 1642 by
Puritans.After about four centuries the Globe was rebuilt by the american actor Sam Wanamaker and reopened in
August 1996 with Shakespeare’s the two gentlemen of Verona.
The theatres were designed as large wooden structures,circular or octagonal in shape with three tiers of galleries
surrounding a yard and open to the sky. Into this yard there projected a roofed stage raised about five feet from the
ground. Behind this was a curtain, wich could be drawn, thus revealing a second stage for smaller scenes. Over the
back of the outer stage there was a third space (the upper stage) used by musicians or to represent a balcony. The
characters enter and disappeared through two doors on either side of the courtain or through a trap-door opening on
the floor of the outer stage. Simple objects were enough to symbolize a place or the role of an actor. Useful
indications were also given in the lines of the play by the actors.
Performances usually began at two o’clock in the afternoon and lasted for little more than two hours. To go and
stand in the yard cost a penny to sit in one of the galleries two pennies. The nobles usually sit on the stage
(it cost twelve pence). In this way:
-The audience’s attention was concentrated on the play.
-The playwright was able to introduce as many scenes as he wished,as there was no scenary to change.
-The audience were personally involved in the performance.
-There was intimate comunication between audience and actors.
Actors were usually very well trained professional, able to play more than one role. They were also skilled in dancing
and fencing and capable of recreating on the stage the confusion of a whole battle. They also had to be very clever at
rhetoric since the closeness of the audience meant that slightest detail of voice or gesture was noticeable. All actors
had to have also a patron, whom they usually found among the nobles or in the person of the queen herself.