By Zander Brietzke
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"A attention-grabbing heritage of a superb outdated theatre. " - Hume Cronyn In September of 1901 London's New Grand Opera apartment flung open its doorways. Boasting a stunning inside layout, and with the main smooth degree gear on hand, the theatre used to be sufficiently big to house over 1,700 buyers and the most important traveling indicates of the time.
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Extra info for American Drama in the Age of Film
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.