2008 -- PoMO : comedy = tragedy

GENRE (page) in dramatic literature

Why is it so important?

"Director's Take" [Interpretation)

Mixing genres (PoMo)



(establishing rules of the game)

... hamlet1.1 [ class/homework ]

floor plans [ forms ]


comedy : shows.vtheatre.net/wwwilde [ scenes ]

drama : 3 Sisters

postmodern : Beckett and After (Stoppard)

... comedy about tragedy -- R/G are Dead (2008)

and COMEDY about horror (Caligari)


2009 : Director's Mind [ Total Director ] -- regisseur : Story, Hero, Idea
"Stage Grammar" Drama is only a moment of swing between tragedy and comedy!

Featured Pages: Film-North on directing!

Comedy: we have four plays online to work with -- 12th Night, Mikado, The Importance of Being Earnest, Inspector General.

After you selected your scene, read the whole play!

Comedy and Comical pages in Theatre Theory -- a must!

What a struggle in class with the very idea of establishing genre of comedy (scenes from the Importance of Being Earnest)!




The terms presentational theater and representational theater are often used to describe two different approaches to accomplishing the goals of a production. A presentational style offers a performance with full recognition that the actors are at work on a stage, speaking and acting out a script with music, under lights, and in costumes. There is no attempt to disguise the fact that a theatrical performance is taking place to entertain or instruct audiences. Plays from ancient Greece and from the time of English playwright William Shakespeare are produced in this forthright manner, as are many modern experimental plays. Musicals and traditional Asian theater also fall into this general category.

A representational style of production evolved in Europe in the mid-19th century as writers, directors, and designers set about to show candid truths about ordinary existence within recognizable environments. Two movements—realism in the 1850s and naturalism in the 1870s—presented familiar characters in specific environments, such as living rooms, kitchens, or flophouses. The purpose of the detailed environment was to show how a person’s character and life choices are determined in part by environmental or social forces and in part by gender or genetic forces. Visual elements—such as clothing, furnishings, and stage properties—became very specific to the environment. Actors worked within a picture-frame stage—a stage separated from the audience by an arch or rectangular frame—with the understanding that the imaginary fourth wall of their environment was removed to allow audiences to look into the lives of the characters. Dramatists who pioneered the writing of plays for the new realist production style include Henrik Ibsen of Norway, August Strindberg of Sweden, Emile Zola of France, and Leo Tolstoy and Anton Chekhov of Russia.


Look, sometimes I feel light, sometimes I am down. When I face situations I do not know how to deal with, like death, for example, -- it's tragedy. A situation without exit. The opposite is comedy; when I look at my silly fears which are behind me. Chekhov: Farces & Love Letters -- Fall 2005

Script Analysis

Theatre Books Master Page *

Waiting for Godot

Genre(s) After Beckett

... Genre Analysis / Defining it

filmplus.org/thr/comedy and comical.

tragedy (theatre theory).

Genre Theory in film.vtheatre.net

Genre -- Comedy

Page to return in every unit, especially, last one -- The Whole Picture!

read -- script.vtheatre.net

2005: Farces by Chekhov

A genre is a division of a particular form of art according to criteria particular to that form. In all art forms, genres are vague categories with no fixed boundaries. Genres are formed by sets of conventions, and many works cross into multiple genres by way of borrowing and recombining these conventions. The scope of the word "genre" is usually confined to art and culture. In genre studies the concept of genre is often compared to originality. [wikipedia]

Aristotle speaks only about tragedy and comedy in dramatic poetry; so, we start with the comedy idea.

12th Night: 1-5-2 (opens new window for analysis)

Shakespeare (last part in your textbook + comedy, in our case; we will get to Hamlet later): how do we direct it?

Mikado: you have three sample scene in a shows directory: Act II, Finale and Scene

Go to WWWilde directory for scene from The Importance of Being Earnest. And Gogol for Inspector General.

What is DRAMA?

Hero & Conflict:
Tragic Character = above average (Man vs. gods, metaphysical) Situation
Comic = below (men vs. men, social)

Exposition (genre must be established)

[The word is used with various degrees of precision. Some, for instance, classify the novel as a genre, and consider the kinds of novels (Bildungsroman, picaresque, Gothic, and so on) "sub-genres." Others consider these specific kinds of novels genres, and consider the term novel a kind of catch-all. The adjective is generic.]

Directing 5. Genre Pages: Tragedy * Comedy * Drama * Tragic Comedy *

A French word literally meaning "kind". This is a type or style of art. Could be film, literature, painting, or music. [everything2.com search ]

* March 2006 -- 100 years since Sam Beckett's birth *

[ if you want real analysis of "genre concept," read Bakhtin ]

An Introduction to Genre Theory Daniel Chandler

Of course, you can mix genres, but you must know at any given moment where you are and how to play; when comedy -- the public must laugh, when tragedy -- cry.


Open the scene plain text into a new frame (or cut and paste) in order for you to write your own stage directing!

[ What if I need more help to work on my scene?

First, do your own search-research, this is a part of the job. Second, go to SHOWS directory and take a look at the notes I have. ]


The best is to do your work on the scene on your computer, because you will be redoing your mise-en-scene several times -- and it's easy to submit to the Directing Forum in electronic format.


How different the four comedies and how does it effect your conceptual exploration?
Next: WWWilde

"theatre" [ encarta ] -- Directors assume responsibility for the overall interpretation of a script, and they have the authority to approve, control, and coordinate all the elements of a production. Since the 1860s in Europe, the presence of a single artist guiding all artistic or creative aspects of a production has been an accepted practice. Before that time, leading actors, theater managers, and playwrights staged plays, dictated financial matters, and made decisions on casting, scenery, and costumes. As these artist-managers gave greater attention to creating a unified artistic product on stage, the role of the modern director took shape. The efforts of Duke Georg II of Saxe-Meiningen in Germany, Andre Antoine in France, and Konstantin Stanislavsky in Russia defined the modern director's role as the single artist responsible for all creative decisions, resulting in a production that is a harmonious and unified entity.
Today, the stage director collaborates with the playwright, actors, designers, and technicians to stage a carefully crafted vision of life based upon his or her interpretation of the script. In all events, the director is the controlling artist responsible for unifying the production elements. The director works intensely with actors in rehearsals, helping them discover their characters' inner lives and project their discoveries vocally and visually to the audience. Directors vary in how they approach the interpretation of the script and the rehearsal process, but the final goal is the unified production. Audiences today experience a production largely through the director's imagination, making the director as distinct a force in the modern theater as the playwright. Notable 20th-century directors include Max Reinhardt and Bertolt Brecht of Germany, Jean-Louis Barrault and Ariane Mnouchkine of France, Elia Kazan of the United States, Peter Brook and Sir Peter Hall of Britain, Giorgio Strehler of Italy, and Ingmar Bergman of Sweden.


http://www.lagcc.cuny.edu/laramie/presentational-theater.htm : Presentational theatre emphasizes theatricality and acknowledges the theatre as theatre – there is no specific illusion as to Locations and Settings [ movies are representational ]


Obvious examples of representational elements in a theatre production: 
a realistic set: a kitchen with real walls, a real oven, a real sink, and real pots and pans hanging on the walls; 
actors whose age, appearance, and gender corresponds to that of the characters they are playing; 
the time that elapses on stage is the same as the time that elapses for the audience. 
Obvious examples of presentational elements in a theatre production:
a bare set 
the actors turn to the audience members and address them directly; 
the characters speak in verse (as in Shakespeare); 
the characters break into song (as in musicals). 


Nature of Conflict:

Vertical (Yourself, God, Life) = tragedy

Horizontal (people) = drama / comedy


Hero (Aristotle):

Above Everage

[ samples -- monologue analysis? ]

... from script.vtheatre.net : http://condor.depaul.edu/~dsimpson/tlove/comic-tragic.html

Oscar Wilde: Comedy as Tragedy

Dramatic Structure: Comedy and Tragedy http://www.mala.bc.ca/~johnstoi/eng366/lectures/lecture1.htm

[ concept page ]



Genre in Design, Acting...