Download American Drama in the Age of Film by Zander Brietzke PDF

By Zander Brietzke

Is theater relatively useless? Does the theater, as its champions insist, fairly supply a extra intimate adventure than movie? if this is the case, how have alterations in cinematic innovations and applied sciences altered the connection among level and picture? What are the inherent obstacles of representing three-d areas in a two-dimensional one, and vice versa?
American Drama within the Age of Film examines the strengths and weaknesses of either the dramatic and cinematic arts to confront the traditional arguments within the film-versus-theater debate. utilizing widely recognized diversifications of ten significant performs, Brietzke seeks to spotlight the inherent powers of every medium and draw conclusions not only approximately how they fluctuate, yet how they must range to boot. He contrasts either degree and movie productions of, between different works, David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross, Sam Shepard’s True West, Edward Albee’s Who’s petrified of Virginia Woolf, Margaret Edson’s Wit, Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, Tennessee Williams’s Cat on a scorching Tin Roof, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, and August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson. In examining the twin productions of those works, Brietzke reveals that cinema has certainly stolen a lot of theater’s former thunder, by means of making drama extra intimate, and visceral than so much stay occasions.
But theater continues to be very important and concerns drastically, Brietzke argues, although for purposes that run counter to some of the virtues ordinarily attributed to it as an paintings shape, reminiscent of intimacy and spontaneity. Brietzke seeks to revitalize perceptions of theater through difficult these universal pieties and providing a brand new serious paradigm, one who champions spectacle and simultaneity because the so much, now not least, very important parts of drama.

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Barranger, another Introduction to Theater author, upholds the party line of liveness and immediacy in the fifth edition of Theatre: A Way of Seeing: “It is theatre’s immediacy that makes it different from other arts. Theatre presents human beings playing fictional characters who move, speak, ‘live’ before us, creating recognizable people, events, and places. For a short time we share an experience with actors that is imitative, provocative, entertaining, and magical. Theatre’s living quality sets it apart” (5).

Film begins in the world, an immediately apparent fact borne out by a visit to any location shoot. Walter Benjamin, in his famous essay on art and technology, claims that the painter is to the cameraperson as the magician is to the surgeon. One lays on hands, the other penetrates the body. The painter makes up his subject out of thin air (like a magician) and applies various pigments to the canvas. Benjamin suggests that the painter (and, by extension, the playwright) extracts from the world in order to create the illusion of life in two dimensions.

All the famous and familiar techniques, the signs, the songs, the exposed theatrical trappings, are theoretically supposed to help the spectator see the play. The Aristotelian plots, as I described them earlier, attempt to deceive the viewer along the way in order to make grand revelations at the end. In such plots, the viewer, according to Brecht, gets swept away in the current of events and the machinations of the plot make all events seem inevitable. Such a theater repulsed Brecht. His interest in social and political change prompted him to create a style of theater in which the plot seemed in no way inevitable, but subject to the decisions and actions of particular characters in specific situations.

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