History Of Theatre In The 18Th, 19Th, And 20Th Centuries Essay, Research Paper
The history of theatre in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries is one of the increasing commercialization of the art, accompanied by technological innovations, the introduction of serious critical review, expansion of the subject matters portrayed to include ordinary people, and an emphasis on more natural forms of acting. Theatre, which had been dominated by the church for centuries, and then by the tastes of monarchs for more than 200 years, became accessible to merchants, industrialists, and the less privileged and then the masses.
I feel that technology has a huge effect on the way people see the theatre. Technology has also had a huge effect on how people work in the theatre. When I talk of technology I mean television, computers, and the Internet. These three are great improvements to the theatre, and can also be a great hurt. Ever sense these things have come into play, the world of the theatre has not been the same. I feel there have been many other things that have impacted the theatre but not many has changed the way people get involved with the theatre like these.
Starting with the effects television has had on the theatre, they’ve been giant. Before television people would go out and see plays for entertainment, but now they sit at home. The theatre was the thing to do back in the day; it showed prestige and money. People would get all dressed up and go to the theatre and watch great works of art. The theatre could have been anything from plays to operas to the ballet. As the years went by starting in the late 50’s to early 60’s the theatre attendance started to fall do to the television. Getting a television in almost every home was huge to the theatre. This was the start of a drop in interest of the live arts and more to the pictures and the sounds
coming out of the little box in front of them. People know about the radio and some theatre was broadcasted over the airwaves but getting to see these broadcasts was amazing.
Today’s effects of television on the theatre are big in good and bad ways. The good thing television can do for the theatre is advertise and show clips from the play. People also like to hear what other people think and there are shows on television that will do that. Television can also show the plays in full, which can be good and or bad. The way it could be good is seeing the play on television could make someone want to see it live, than again once someone sees it they may never want to see it again. Another thing that goes along with television is a VCR if someone wants to see something bad enough they can go rent it or tape it for every time they want to see it in the future. Now there are even channels that are dedicated to showing only stuff from the stage.
This channel is called the Theatre Channel. The Theatre Channel is the first cable television network devoted to broadcasting theatre performances from national and international theatres. This channel’s objective is to bring the exciting world of theatre to everyone who purchases this channel. The Theatre Channels goal is to provide an original forum and venue for the theatre community as well as a medium through which a larger segment of the population can afford the opportunity to experience and enjoy quality theatre. I’m guessing this channel only comes on satellite or direct TV. This channel shows stuff like opera, one act plays theatre festivals, and children’s theatre.
Computers have also played a huge part in the theatre world. Computers can be used in image acquisition and manipulation, on 3D computer modeling of architectural and archaeological structures, and on applications of hypertext and hypermedia to teaching and writing history. Computers can also be used to look at costumes and make-up. Computers can be used to create playbills, scripts, and posters. Playbills can be made faster and with better designs and different types of writing. Where before they were made by hand and drawn, any mistakes must stay and be dealt with. Now on computers mistakes can be fixed and repaired with no problems. Scripts can be typed out almost mistake free and bolded or fixed to where only the lines of one person can be read. Posters can be made faster and done in many different styles. Posters don’t have to be done by hand (even though they may look better) a computer can do them. Computers changed they way people work on and off stage.
IBM was the first corporation to pursue research into how computers might be used in theatre production and research. With the help of IBM in 1979 Professors Jack Wolcott and Richard Devin received the first of many grants at the School of Drama. Professor Devin was responsible for introducing the computer into lighting design, drafting and general shop operations. Devin was also one of the first lighting designers in the US to use a lab-top during technical rehearsals to assist in the lighting of a production. Dr. Wolcott initiated several research projects with student to learn how the computer could be used as a research and teaching/learning tool in theatre history.
Let’s start talking about the Internet, the Internet is a great help to the world of theatre. Without the Internet I could have never got this done in the time I did. This is a source of knowledge, wonder, and excitement for everyone who wants to know anything about theatre. The Internet as more things about the theatre than any one person can handle and or obtain. With the net you can find out about plays being shown around the world. Tickets can be bought for any of this shows at any time, anywhere, and by anyone. The net can give information on any play or play right ever done. You can get information on any theatre department in the world.
Web sights can be found where you can order videos, books, and even scripts of the plays. Many, many things can be found about the writers, plays, and stages. If you want to find out how Northern Kentucky’s stage was set up for Oklahoma you can get on the NKU sight and see. If you want to see how the production of the musical Grease went when shown on Broadway I’m sure you could find a sight to see it. If you want to buy a book of the play you can go on eBay or book.com and they will have it to order. If you would like to find out William Shakespeare’s favorite type of ice cream I’m pretty sure you could find it. The net is a great addition to the theatre.
As I was looking up information for this report and I found a sight called The DPA Websight. The Digital Performance Archive traces the rapid developments taking place, which combine performance activity with new digital technologies. This covers anything from live theatre and dance productions that incorporate digital projections, to performances that take place on the computer screen via webcasts and interactive virtual environments. These Archives also collates examples of how computer technologies are being used to create, document or analyse performance. These can fall under any category from software applications for choreography and theatre design to specialist websites, e-zines and or CD-ROMs. The archive is a joint project between the Digital Research Unit of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at The Nottingham Trent University and the Media and Performance Research Unit, School of Media, Music and Performance at the University of Salford.
All these means can be determined as different types of goods and evils. There are many more goods than evils some would say, but I feel that television has had a greater downfall on the theatre than any thing. Computers have had a great impact on theatres and I feel that all they have done is made the theatre better and more entertaining for people like me who enjoy the lights and the action. I like what the Internet can do for people like me who know pretty much nothing about the world of the theatre and would like to know more.
I remember when I was in middle and high school going to NKU and the Taft theatre to see plays like Pippin and Snow White. I like seeing them live. I remember seeing a lot more plays in middle school, in high school in drama class we watch them on television and it wasn’t the same. I enjoyed going and seeing them live better than watching them, there seemed to be more intriguing watching them live. I remember a scene in Pippin where an actor was hung by his neck and for days I wondered how they did that. I though it was so cool and shocking. It toke me about three years before I learned how they did it. I also remembered in high school trying to read play and learn the lines to run them in class. That was hard. I really couldn’t do it very well. Well even in this class I couldn’t read the plays and understand what the hell was going on.
To finalize this paper I would like to talk about my feelings on what technology has done to the theatre. I think plays back then were great and done the way the Greeks did them with hard work and dedication. Today plays are also done with hard work, I know I worked on a couple of plays here. That was work and time. I still respect all the people who work as a stage crew today but not like the workers of the past. I feel technology has evened out everything it has its good sides and its bad sides. I like the way the theatre is run today but I would like to see what a play liked like about 50 years ago.