theatre of the renaissance (1400-1650). renaissance = meaning “rebirth”

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Theatre of The Renaissance

Theatre of The Renaissance(1400-1650)

Renaissance= meaning rebirthRenaissance in ItalyNot the best playwriting.Mostly influenced by Greek TheatreIntermezzi and PastoralsIntermezziShort plays depicting mythological tales.Presented between acts of full-length playsUsually comedies.Thematically related to the full length play they accompanied.Developed out of popular court entertainments.Often more popular than their accompanied plays.Disappeared in the 1600s.Intermezzi and PastoralsPastoralsImitated Greek satyr playsSubject matter: RomanceCharacters: Shepherds and mythological creatures who inhabit the forests and countryside.Unlike satyr plays, pastorals were not as perverted and bawdy in style.Usually deal with lovers being threatened and often at odds with each other.Although the action is serious, always a happy ending.OperaQuite dramaticCould be considered a form of drama, but is usually studied as a form of music.Completely sung.Spoken text of opera is called the libretto.Secondary to musicStories of opera moved from myth to history to contemporary fiction.Commedia dellarteItalian for, play of professional artists.Usually consisted of ten performersSeven menThree womenPrimarily staged comediesThrived between 1550 to 1750Lasted longer than Renaissance period.No written script.All improvised dialogueCommedia dellarteScenarios provided plot outlinesOver 1000 still survive.Commedia actors played the same stock characters most of their careers.Costuming also facilitated improvisationCommedia characters all wore traditional costumesHarlequins patchwork jacketDottores academic robesThis helped audiences recognize charactersRenaissance in EnglandUnder Henry VII and Henry VIII, interludes were present at court or house of nobility.Interludes- brief dramatic entertainments written and staged by professionals.School Drama became popularPlays written and presented at schools and colleges.Not for the general publicReflect Greek and Roman influenceLater cited for development of boys acting companies.Play wrights who provided boys companies with scripts were members of a group called University Wits.Members included:Christopher MarloweThomas KydJohn LylyRobert GreeneChristopher Marlowe (1564-1593)Son of a Canterbury shoemakerAttended Corpus Christi CollegeBy the time he graduated as an undergrad he was already a secret agentFirst drama he wrote alone: Tamburlaine the Great (1587)Queens council ordered to arrest MarloweCharged with atheismWas stabbed to death before arrestIn a brawl with Ingram Frizer

Marlowes writingFocused on dramatic poetryUsed iambic pentameterHas 5 beats2 syllables to each beatAccent on the second beat

Acting CompaniesThree categories of personnelShareholdersHired men or HirelingsApprentices

Shareholders The elite members of the companiesBought a percentage of ownership in the companyReceived a percentage of the profitsWere the main actors of the companies.HirelingsContracted for a specific period of time and for a specific salaryPlayed mainly small roles

ApprenticesYoung performers training for the professionWere assigned shareholdersReceived room, board, training and experience in hopes of becoming a shareholder.Often young boy apprentices were used to play womenMade them more significant to the company than hired men.Women ActorsNot allowedDebate over reasonsMost believe it was a continuation of the religious attitude of the Medieval period.Actresses were little better than prostitutesHowever, women actors were allowed in Italy for commedia dellarte


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