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About David Wiles. This difference in even the basis of their names seems to implicate the moral superiority of women in a male run society. The entire play is based upon an Akan oral tradition called Anansesem folk tales. The main character of the play is Ananse the spider. The qualities of Ananse are one of the most prevalent parts of the play. Ananse is cunning, selfish, has great insight into human and animal nature, is ambitious, eloquent, and resourceful. By putting too much of himself into everything that he does Ananse ruins each of his schemes and ends up poor. He is written in an exaggerated sense in order to force the process of self-examination.

An Introduction to Greek Tragedy

Ananse is used as a way to spark a conversation for change in the society of anyone reading. The play tells of Ananse attempting to marry off his daughter Anansewa off to any of a selection of rich chiefs, or another sort of wealthy suitor simultaneously, in order to raise money. Eventually all the suitors come to his house at once, and he has to use all of his cunning to defuse the situation. Along with this, Mbuguous is used, Mbuguous is the name given to very specialized sect of Ghanaian theatre technique that allows for audience participation.

The Mbuguous of this tale are songs that embellish the tale or comment on it. Spontaneity through this technique as well as improvisation are used enough to meet any standard of modern theatre. In his pioneering study of Yoruba theatre, Joel Adedeji traced its origins to the masquerade of the Egungun the "cult of the ancestor". They created short, satirical scenes that drew on a number of established stereotypical characters. Their performances utilised mime , music and acrobatics.

In the s, the popular traveling theatre moved into television and film and now gives live performances only rarely. It utilised non-Naturalistic techniques, surrealistic physical imagery, and exercised a flexibile use of language. Playwrights writing in the mids made use of some of these techniques, but articulated them with "a radical appreciation of the problems of society. Traditional performance modes have strongly influenced the major figures in contemporary Nigerian theatre.

Ogun, he argues, is "a totality of the Dionysian, Apollonian and Promethean virtues. The proponents of the travelling theatre in Nigeria include Duro Ladipo and Moses Olaiya a popular comic act. These practitioners contributed much to the field of African theatre during the period of mixture and experimentation of the indigenous with the Western theatre.

The history of African-American theatre has a dual origin. The first is rooted in local theatre where African Americans performed in cabins and parks. Their performances folk tales, songs, music, and dance were rooted in the African culture before being influenced by the American environment. The earliest form of Indian theatre was the Sanskrit theatre.

Greek Tragedy

The earliest-surviving fragments of Sanskrit drama date from the 1st century. However, although there are no surviving fragments of any drama prior to this date, it is possible that early Buddhist literature provides the earliest evidence for the existence of Indian theatre. The Pali suttas ranging in date from the 5th to 3rd centuries BCE refer to the existence of troupes of actors led by a chief actor , who performed dramas on a stage.

It is indicated that these dramas incorporated dance, but were listed as a distinct form of performance, alongside dancing, singing, and story recitations. This would be as early as the 5th century BCE, but the event is only described in much later texts, from the 3rd-4th centuries CE. The Treatise is the most complete work of dramaturgy in the ancient world. It addresses acting , dance , music , dramatic construction , architecture , costuming , make-up , props , the organisation of companies, the audience, competitions, and offers a mythological account of the origin of theatre.

Sanskrit theatre was performed on sacred ground by priests who had been trained in the necessary skills dance, music, and recitation in a [hereditary process]. Its aim was both to educate and to entertain. Under the patronage of royal courts, performers belonged to professional companies that were directed by a stage manager sutradhara , who may also have acted. Certain sentiments were considered inappropriate for men to enact, however, and were thought better suited to women. Some performers played character their own age, while others played those different from their own whether younger or older.

Of all the elements of theatre, the Treatise gives most attention to acting abhinaya , which consists of two styles: realistic lokadharmi and conventional natyadharmi , though the major focus is on the latter. Its drama is regarded as the highest achievement of Sanskrit literature. Actors may have specialised in a particular type. The last was inspired by a story in the Mahabharata and is the most famous.

It was the first to be translated into English and German. The next great Indian dramatist was Bhavabhuti c. He is said to have written the following three plays: Malati-Madhava , Mahaviracharita and Uttar Ramacharita. Among these three, the last two cover between them the entire epic of Ramayana.

The powerful Indian emperor Harsha — is credited with having written three plays: the comedy Ratnavali , Priyadarsika , and the Buddhist drama Nagananda. Kathakali is a highly stylised classical Indian dance - drama noted for the attractive make-up of characters, elaborate costumes, detailed gestures, and well-defined body movements presented in tune with the anchor playback music and complementary percussion. It originated in the country's present-day state of Kerala during the 17th century [] and has developed over the years with improved looks, refined gestures and added themes besides more ornate singing and precise drumming.

Rabindranath Tagore was a pioneering modern playwright who wrote plays noted for their exploration and questioning of nationalism, identity, spiritualism and material greed. There are references to theatrical entertainments in China as early as BC during the Shang Dynasty ; they often involved music, clowning and acrobatic displays.

During the Han Dynasty, shadow puppetry first emerged as a recognized form of theatre in China. There were two distinct forms of shadow puppetry, Cantonese southern and Pekingese northern. The two styles were differentiated by the method of making the puppets and the positioning of the rods on the puppets, as opposed to the type of play performed by the puppets. Both styles generally performed plays depicting great adventure and fantasy, rarely was this very stylized form of theatre used for political propaganda.

Cantonese shadow puppets were the larger of the two.


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They were built using thick leather which created more substantial shadows. Symbolic color was also very prevalent; a black face represented honesty, a red one bravery. The rods used to control Cantonese puppets were attached perpendicular to the puppets' heads. Thus, they were not seen by the audience when the shadow was created. Pekingese puppets were more delicate and smaller. They were created out of thin, translucent leather usually taken from the belly of a donkey.

They were painted with vibrant paints, thus they cast a very colorful shadow. The thin rods which controlled their movements were attached to a leather collar at the neck of the puppet. The rods ran parallel to the bodies of the puppet then turned at a ninety degree angle to connect to the neck. While these rods were visible when the shadow was cast, they laid outside the shadow of the puppet; thus they did not interfere with the appearance of the figure. The rods attached at the necks to facilitate the use of multiple heads with one body.

When the heads were not being used, they were stored in a muslin book or fabric lined box. The heads were always removed at night. This was in keeping with the old superstition that if left intact, the puppets would come to life at night. Some puppeteers went so far as to store the heads in one book and the bodies in another, to further reduce the possibility of reanimating puppets.

Shadow puppetry is said to have reached its highest point of artistic development in the 11th century before becoming a tool of the government. During this era, Emperor Xuanzong formed an acting school known as the Children of the Pear Garden to produce a form of drama that was primarily musical. In the Song dynasty , there were many popular plays involving acrobatics and music. These developed in the Yuan dynasty into a more sophisticated form with a four- or five-act structure.

Yuan drama spread across China and diversified into numerous regional forms, the best known of which is Beijing Opera, which is still popular today. Today, the dramatic forms introduced or influenced by Spain continue to live in rural areas all over the archipelago. These forms include the komedya, the playlets, the sinakulo, the sarswela, and the drama. In recent years, some of these forms have been revitalized to make them more responsive to the conditions and needs of a developing nation. In Thailand , it has been a tradition from the Middle Ages to stage plays based on plots drawn from Indian epics.

In particular, the theatrical version of Thailand's national epic Ramakien , a version of the Indian Ramayana , remains popular in Thailand even today. In Cambodia , at the ancient capital Angkor Wat , stories from the Indian epics Ramayana and Mahabharata have been carved on the walls of temples and palaces. Similar reliefs are found at Borobudur in Indonesia. During the 14th century, there were small companies of actors in Japan who performed short, sometimes vulgar comedies.

A director of one of these companies, Kan'ami — , had a son, Zeami Motokiyo — who was considered one of the finest child actors in Japan. After Zeami succeeded his father, he continued to perform and adapt his style into what is today Noh. A mixture of pantomime and vocal acrobatics, this style has fascinated the Japanese for hundreds of years. However, alarmed at increasing Christian growth, he cut off contact from Japan to Europe and China and outlawed Christianity.

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When peace did come, a flourish of cultural influence and growing merchant class demanded its own entertainment. The men who control the puppets train their entire lives to become master puppeteers, when they can then operate the puppet's head and right arm and choose to show their faces during the performance. The other puppeteers, controlling the less important limbs of the puppet, cover themselves and their faces in a black suit, to imply their invisibility.

The dialogue is handled by a single person, who uses varied tones of voice and speaking manners to simulate different characters. Chikamatsu wrote thousands of plays during his career, most of which are still used today. They wore masks instead of elaborate makeup. Masks define their gender, personality, and moods the actor is in.

Kabuki began shortly after Bunraku, legend has it by an actress named Okuni, who lived around the end of the 16th century. Actors are trained in many varied things including dancing, singing, pantomime, and even acrobatics. Kabuki was first performed by young girls, then by young boys, and by the end of the 16th century, Kabuki companies consisted of all men.

The men who portrayed women on stage were specifically trained to elicit the essence of a woman in their subtle movements and gestures. It typically involves playful and grotesque imagery, taboo topics, extreme or absurd environments, and is traditionally performed in white body makeup with slow hyper-controlled motion, with or without an audience. There is no set style, and it may be purely conceptual with no movement at all. The roles of authority were now subject to challenge and subversion.

It also appeared as a reaction against the contemporary dance scene in Japan, which Hijikata felt was based on the one hand on imitating the West and on the other on imitating the Noh. He critiqued the current state of dance as overly superficial. The most popular forms of theatre in the medieval Islamic world were puppet theatre which included hand puppets , shadow plays and marionette productions and live passion plays known as ta'ziya , in which actors re-enact episodes from Muslim history.

Secular plays known as akhraja were recorded in medieval adab literature, though they were less common than puppetry and ta'ziya theatre. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Main article: Theatre of ancient Rome. Main article: Medieval theatre. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.

Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Main article: Commedia dell'arte. Main article: English Renaissance theatre. Main article: Spanish Golden Age theatre. Main article: Restoration comedy. Main article: Restoration spectacular. Further information: Neoclassicism. Main article: Nineteenth-century theatre. This section has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. Learn how and when to remove these template messages. This section needs expansion.

You can help by adding to it. May See also: Twentieth-century theatre , Timeline of twentieth-century theatre , and Musical theatre. See also: Yoruba literature. Main article: Theatre of India. Main article: Sanskrit drama. See also: Koodiyattam. Main article: Kathakali. Main article: Theatre of China. Further information: Zaju. Further information: Ramakien. Further information: Theatre of Japan. Main article: Noh. Main article: Bunraku. Main article: Kabuki. Main article: Butoh. Main article: Persian theatre. Theatre portal. If not attaining the quality and stature of the fifth-century 'classics', original tragedies nonetheless continued to be written and produced and competed with in large numbers throughout the remaining life of the democracy —and beyond it" , In addition, we also have the Cyclops , a satyr play by Euripides.

Some critics since the 17th century have argued that one of the tragedies that the classical tradition gives as Euripides'— Rhesus —is a 4th-century play by an unknown author; modern scholarship agrees with the classical authorities and ascribes the play to Euripides; see Walton , viii, xix. This uncertainty accounts for Brockett and Hildy's figure of 31 tragedies rather than There were also separate competitions at the City Dionysia for the performance of dithyrambs and, after —7 BC, comedies.

At some point Athens annexed Eleutherae—most likely after the overthrow of the Peisistratid tyranny in and the democratic reforms of Cleisthenes in —and the cult-image of Dionysus Eleuthereus was moved to its new home. Athenians re-enacted the incorporation of the god's cult every year in a preliminary rite to the City Dionysia. On the day before the festival proper, the cult-statue was removed from the temple near the theatre of Dionysus and taken to a temple on the road to Eleutherae. That evening, after sacrifice and hymns , a torchlight procession carried the statue back to the temple, a symbolic re-creation of the god's arrival into Athens, as well as a reminder of the inclusion of the Boeotian town into Attica.

As the name Eleutherae is extremely close to eleutheria, 'freedom', Athenians probably felt that the new cult was particularly appropriate for celebrating their own political liberation and democratic reforms" , This substitution, he suggests, produces a similar effect: "The 'historic' events evoked by the chorus, recounted by the messenger and interpreted by Darius' ghost are presented on stage in a legendary atmosphere. The light that the tragedy sheds upon them is not that in which the political happenings of the day are normally seen; it reaches the Athenian theater refracted from a distant world of elsewhere, making what is absent seem present and visible on the stage"; Vernant and Vidal-Naquet , For the laughable is a sort of error and ugliness that is not painful and destructive, just as, evidently, a laughable mask is something ugly and distorted without pain" a 30—35 ; see Janko , 6.

Whitesell Indiana University Press. A Companion to Golden Age Theatre. Retrieved 24 July Retrieved Hispanic Review. University of Pennsylvania Press. DiPuccio Communicating Myths of the Golden Age Comedia. Bucknell University Press. Garay University of Northern Colorado. Educational Theatre Journal. The Johns Hopkins University Press. Sullivan Juan Del Encina. Reichenberger October Wade May American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese.

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Greek Theatre Performance: An Introduction – David Wiles

Courses in Drama. Burningham Purdue University Press. Early Music. Oxford University Press. Bristol University. Nick Hern Books. Translation and Literature.


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Edinburgh University Press. Retrieved 28 February A Handbook to Literature 12 ed. See, e. German : Theaterpraktiker , French : praticien , Spanish : teatrista. Cambridge University Press.

Greek Theater Production - Classics - Oxford Bibliographies

History of the Theatre. Allyn and Bacon. Journal of Black Studies. Postcolonial Plays:An Anthology. Baumer and James R. Brandon ed. The literal meaning of abhinaya is "to carry forwards". Adejeji, Joel. The Cambridge Guide to Theatre. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. Baumer, Rachel Van M. Brandon, eds. Sanskrit Theatre in Performance. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, Beacham, Richard C. The Roman Theatre and Its Audience. Benedetti, Jean. Stanislavski: His Life and Art. Revised edition. Original edition published in London: Methuen. Brandon, James R. In Baumer and Brandon , xvii—xx.

The Cambridge Guide to Asian Theatre. Civilization in the West: Part 1 Prehistory to Brockett, Oscar G. Ninth edition, International edition. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Brown, Andrew. Cartledge, Paul. Counsell, Colin. London and New York: Routledge. Davidson, John. Duffy, Eamon. New Haven: Yale UP. Easterling, P. The Cambridge Companion to Greek Tragedy. Cambridge Companions to Literature ser. Falossi, F. London: Penguin. Goldhill, Simon. Goldhill, Simon, and Robin Osborne, eds. Performance Culture and Athenian Democracy. New edition. Gregory, Justina, ed.


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A Companion to Greek Tragedy. Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World ser. Malden, MA and Oxford: Blackwell. Grimsted, David. Melodrama Unveiled: American Theatre and Culture, — Chicago: U of Chicago P. Gurr, Andrew. The Shakespearean Stage — Third ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hume, Robert D. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Janko, Richard, trans. By Aristotle. Cambridge: Hackett. Kovacs, David. Ley, Graham. Chicago and London: U of Chicago P. McCullough, Christopher, ed. New Directions in Theatre Ser. London: Macmillan. New York: St Martin's P. Theatre and Europe — Intellect European Studies ser. Exeter: Intellect. McDonald, Marianne. The Living Art of Greek Tragedy. Bloomington: Indiana UP. McKay, John P. Hill, and John Buckler.