ANSWER THE FOLLOWING PERTAINING TO THE PERFORMING ARTS EXPERIENCE. USE BULLET POINTS – WRITE THE QUESTION, THEN PUT YOUR FULLY DEVELOPED DETAILED ANSWERS BELOW IT. FOR QUESTION (B) WRITE THE QUESTION THEN LIST PARTS 1 AND 2 INDIVIDUALLY USING APPROPRIATE FORMAT AND SUBHEADINGS WITHIN EACH PARAGRAPH.
A. WILDER QUOTE
Comment on the Thornton Wilder quote at the end – do you agree. What makes theatre different than other mediums?
B. PERFORMING ARTS EXPERIENCE
1. MAKE A LIST and describe EACH BELOW IT (A-H) the 8 parts of the performing arts experience that are contained in your course pack.
2. Describe your experience as an audience member when you attended a live theatre or musical theatre production in the past. LIST EACH HEADING THEN PUT YOUR RESPONSE BELOW IT.
A. What was the name of the show?
B. What was the name of the theatre?
C. What did the theatre look like?
D. What did you wear?
E. What if anything did you do after the performance?
F. Describe the audience response to what you saw.
Module 5. THE PERFORMING ARTS EXPERIENCE Attending a Performing Arts Event – Live Theatre – Music – Cinema A performing arts event can take place in almost any type of environment of presentational space; indoors or outdoors, formal or informal.
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Adobe Digital Editions – THEATRE 100: Introduction to the Theatre – 19317 File Edit Reading Help Library . E Module 5. THE PERFORMING ARTS EXPERIENCE Attending a Performing Arts Event – Live Theatre – Music – Cinema A performing arts event can take place in almost any type of environment or presentational space; indoors or outdoors, formal or informal. It is not limited to the presentation within a convention “theatre” format that has the audience static in one viewing area and the performers in a separate presentation area. There are specific types of performance events, by their very design, which engage the audience both orally and physically. It can be as simple as a magic show when the Magician asks for a volunteer from the audience or a more elaborate interaction where the audience becomes an integral part of the presentation. Such events can include improvised performances where the audience shouts out suggestions, multiple simultaneous staging moving the audience from place to place. Even the film medium can find itself immersed within an interactive matrix. Audiences experiencing the work, can provide through the use of internet technology immediate feedback to certain elements of the production including, plot, character, casting, direction, editing, use of music or simply the overall length of the creative piece as whole. This immediate form of feedback works its way into to an ongoing creative process and has a direct influence on the ultimate form the final work will take. A performing arts event, no matter the form, is at first glance a collective work of art or presentation representing the creative input of writers, directors, performers, designers, producer’s and ultimately the audience. This is not to say that all this input is applied in any democratic way. The success of most performing arts endeavors is centered within the sum total of their financial and artistic success. An actor who has a string of box office hits or artistic awards is going to be more involved in the creative process than a new comer. Therefore, the amount of collaboration in most performing arts creations depends upon the commercial and artistic weight of each collaborator. This collaboration can manifest itself in many ways. In the motion picture and film industry, there are often agreements between artists such as Producer, Star and Director that state essentially “we will work together on a given number of projects even though we don’t really know what those projects are at this moment.” Theatre and music producers often create projects around a star performer or director to ensure that they will be able to raise the funds to complete the work and ensure that they will have an audience. Let’s not forget the other players including the writers, designers and directors. They too, fit into the creative process developing the idea into a presentable format (writer), providing a certain framework and look for the presentation (the designers) and ultimately a point of view for the presentation (the director). But, where does the audience fit into this process? The audience in an integral player in the creative process that determines what is made and not made. The motion picture business has come to grips with this process head on with the sequel. It’s a very simple leap of calculation that states “if a successful motion picture like Harry Potter, Spider Man, Pirates of the Caribbean or Shrek made “X” dollars at the box office then we can conclude that the sequel (with similar title, characteristics and cast) will do as least as good as the original. The sequel must appear to be in some way bigger, more spectacular or better than the original. It’s looked upon as a build in formula for success and who doesn’t want success? But look at who determines what gets made into a sequel-the audience. If the original project results in poor box office revenue and the audience stays home the project will be considered a poor choice for a sequel. The same process can be observed in live theatre and in music in the form of the “revival.” Producers create star vehicles around well-known successful entities from the past. On Broadway, we can see very successful revivals of previous hits Musical concert producers have created their own version of the revival by touring famous successful performers of the past with performances like “Doo Wop Back to the Fifties Tour,” Crosby Stills and Nash, and of course the Rolling Stones. These types of creative collaborations exist because they are driven by the audience’s desire to experience them. A performing arts event then is a collaborative creative expression of an idea presented to an audience either in a live or recorded format. The performing arts event also provides a unique opportunity for the collaborative artists and an audience to communicate with one another on a personal level within the framework of the presentation. As we stated earlier, the presentation can take place at a conventional presentation space (i.e. 37 (40/130) Type here to search j O 9 . 1:53 PM 9/23/2019 Adobe Digital Editions – THEATRE 100: Introduction to the Theatre – 19317 File Edit Reading Help Library . E Theatre) or unconventional general open area that is inhabited by both the performers and audience. The presentation can combine any number of other forms of expression including dance, music, theatre, visual arts, television or cinema. However, with that said, one key difference between a performance and a visual arts exhibition is found within the individual audience member’s ability to experience each work independently and as part of a larger group setting. When we attend a play, a concert or film presentation, the creative work speaks to us on a personal and individual level. But at the same time as we experience it individually, we are also part of the larger experience of an audience. Both the individual personal and the larger collective experience are connected. If the audience is connected to the presentation, we somehow individually are carried by this energy and too become connected. This experience, most often, does not occur when experiencing the visual arts. It is purely a performing arts phenomenon because a group rather than an individual experience the work simultaneously. In addition, most performing arts events are presented in a specific narrative order that is experienced by the audience collectively. A visual arts exhibition can also be presented in this manner but can be exhibited as part of a larger collection with no specific order to the experience. Most live theatrical or cinematic presentations that rely on narrative structure to convey a specific theme, plot and character to an audience, do so by presenting the overall work of art in within a specific framework or form. The audience experiences the work within that framework in a specific order, setting and style. The audience is taken on a journey (which can be a physical one), which leads them through the work. It can be as simple as a live theatrical production starting with Acti followed by Act II or a cinematic presentation that begins with opening credits, to fade in followed by a linear cause and effect presentation of the story and characters leading to a climax and conclusion. In a musical concert setting, the narrative structure is often abandoned in favor of a more personal conveyance. The performing artist sets up each part of the song to the audience and thereby creates a sense of connection and order with the audience. However, within the framework of a visual arts presentation, the audience experiences the work on an individual level and is free to dwell upon or pass up a part of the work without losing the connection to the whole. However, the audience would have no role in determining the order or time length of the presentation as they would in a visual arts presentation setting. Lastly, one other key difference between attending a performing arts presentation and a visual arts exhibition is that each of these creative expressions engages our senses quite differently. Visual Arts Exhibitions primarily engage our sense of sight and touch. It is true that other senses can be involved but these are the primary factors of engagement for this type of presentation. On the other hand, a performing arts presentation engages our sight and auditory primarily. We see and hear the play, the film or the concert. This is not to say, that we are not able to get up on the stage and dance with the performers (touch), smell the scent of jasmine (smell) and drink the magic potion (taste). These are all possibilities that can exist in the presentation of a performing arts event. We have discussed such engagement of senses in production in live theatre including Tamara, Tony & Tina’s Wedding and Dionysus in 69 and in film “Smellovision” and “Earthquake” where all five senses were part of the audience experience of the work. Let us examine the order of a typical Performing Arts Presentation in live theatre, music and cinema: 1. THE PROMISE As we have discussed, the prospective audience can influence whether or not a creative project is made. To create a demand for a live theatrical, musical or cinematic event, a promise of what will be delivered is made to a prospective audience BE IN THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENS- 2018/19 Season Kungan I H MILTON This promise is delivered through promotional marketing, advertising, formal reviews and word of mouth which describes an event. The promise can be made pertaining to a star, a series of events, spectacle or excellent critical reviews that guarantee the quality of the presentation. The audie lectiv individually responds to this promise by purchasing tickets for a time, date and seat location for the event. Fuller DEAR Roof HANSEN ANASTASIA ABRONX TAL 38 41/130) Type here to search j O . 1:53 PM 9/23/2019 Adobe Digital Editions – THEATRE 100: Introduction to the Theatre – 19317 File Edit Reading Help Library . E The audience agrees to pay for the ticket for the time and space in return for receiving the promise of the performance. The price that is paid for a ticket is based upon a unique set of factors that can include the seats location in relationship to the performance space, the time of the performance and the unique characteristics of a performance. For example, a rear balcony seat is going to cost more than a sixth-row center orchestra seat because the latter is more centrally located and closer to the performance space. The audience member in this case will have a better location in which to experience the performance. The time of performance can also have an influence over the price of a seat and ticket. The off nights Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday may offer seats for a lower rate over Friday and Saturday evenings simply because the demand for seating at those times is less. In addition, a specific performance may possess a unique quality that will influence seat price. For example, if a star is performing a given number of evenings, those seats may be costlier than the normal run of the production. The audience member purchases a specific seat (with number and location) for a specific performance to be given at a specific time. There are also venues which still offer open seating plans in which seats are made available to the audience on a first come first serve basis. In these type of arrangements, the “early bird gets the worm.” If you arrive early enough, you can obtain the best seating location to receive the promise offered. Many musical performances, tag specific audience members with arm bracelets or cards hung around their neck which grants them access to particular areas of the performance. These “passes” allow audience members access to sectioned out areas (back stage, VIP etc.) as well as specific seating assignments. Lastly, before we leave this area it is important to mention that many cinema houses that for decades have offered open seating are now beginning to make specific seat locations available in advance. 2. THE GATHERING https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYPN-_dIDES Audience members both individually and collectively agree to arrive at a location, time and space to attend the performance and receive the promise that was made to them by the producer. The gathering of the audience usually takes place in an outside, lobby or courtyard which is separate from the performance space itself. The gathering place for the audience usually is large enough for the arriving audience to collect, talk and begins their transition into the performance area. The gathering area is also a place for commerce including ticket sales, pickups, merchandise sales, refreshments and the beginning of the transition process. With all that said, going to the movies is usually a quite different experience. Most audience members purchase tickets, perhaps purchase some refreshments and then proceed directly into the performance space. The multiplex experience has taken away the single purpose for attending the event. Usually in a multiplex setting there are several different films being presented fragmenting the arriving audience into as many groupings. The audience in these cases has one focus; to get to their seats and obtain the best location possible for their selected performance event. 3. THE TRANSITION The transition process transforms the reality frame of the audience members both individually and as a group from their own “outside the theatre concerns to the reality of the production. When we arrive at the performance location our thoughts may be consumed with having to park our car, whether or not we’re late, or something that happened to us during the day. The transition process wants to transform that reality into the reality of the performance the audience is about to experience. This is accomplished using transitional devices that can include: Para theatricals – usually performers located within the lobby or just outside the performing space that may or may not be related to the production. They can be singers, poets, mimes, musicians or improvisational performers whose performance contain some of the elements of the live performance but usually lack any in- depth character or plot. The idea behind the para-theatrical performance is to entertain the audience as it arrives at the performance. The para-theatrical in a sense is a cleansing agent that helps us forget where we came from and focuses our attention and senses to the performance at hand. Themed music – this can be live or pre-recorded music that plays in the background g the entrance of the audience into a gathering area, theatre lobby and seating areas. This type of ambiance transition serves to get the audience out the “everyday” mode to the reality of the imaginary world that will be played out upon the stage. The music played does not have to be directly related to the production itself. It can be music of the same 39 42/130) Type here to search j O 9 . 1:53 PM 9/23/2019 Adobe Digital Editions – THEATRE 100: Introduction to the Theatre – 19317 File Edit Reading Help Library . E period, emotional tone or not be related at all. The important thing is that the music serves as an auditory transition from the sounds of the “regular” world into the sounds of the world of creativity and fantasy. Lobby Displays (passive and interactive) – Passive displays can be in the form of posters, photographs from the past, and current or future productions. They are usually larger than life and serve to intrigue the audience and make them want to know more about the theatre, the play, concert or movie that is about to take place. In addition, lobby displays can also visually inform the audience about productions that are yet to come at that venue. They may be a combination of visual images and actual information about the future productions. A variation of the lobby display is the digital screen which can play a prerecorded spot, scenes from the current or upcoming productions, trailers of new movies or clips from interviews of well know actors, writers and directors. Interactive Displays are presented in a form that encourages audience interaction and can be in the form of interactive screens, environments, contests, tests of skill or live lobby presentations. In any case, the Lobby Display, both passive and interactive, serves a dual function as a transition device to get the audience into the mood and a marketing device informing the audience of future works to be presented at a venue. Lighting – The visual relationship of the ambient lighting of the space has a lot to do with letting the audience know that they are leaving their world behind and entering the reality of the presentation. This all starts the moment you enter the theatre space. The lighting should be exciting, different from the outside world and invite you in to attend something you never have experienced before. The lobby and transitional spaces of the performance venue must be dramatic and evoke an emotional response from the audience rather than just the lights up and down of an office or workspace. In addition, lighting is used both in the lobby area and the audience seating section of the performance space itself to signify the formal start of the performance either by flickering rapidly or dimming. This lets the audience know that the production will start shortly and that they should find their seats, quiet down and focus their attention toward the performance space. Cinematic Presentations have a variation on this procedure. The lights are dimmed within the performance space but usually not to begin the actual presentation. There usually is an “intermediate setting” for lights that has them at a lower setting than the lobby but not full darkness. During this period, audience members gradually find their seats (wither open or assigned seating) that a series of still advertisements are presented under recorded music. These advertisements can range from fast foods, restaurants, retail establishments or group discounts. Once the house darkens to black, the moving images begin, but even at this point the cinematic audience has is presented with a grouping of live advertisements and movie trailers of upcoming events. Themed Merchandise – For most live theatrical, musical theatre and music concert performances incorporate the retail sale of merchandise before, during and after the production. This merchandise can be in the form of expanded event programs that contain high quality printing and photographs of the cast and significant portions of the presentation. The venue also makes available themed clothing with logos and art from the production can include hats, tee shirts, sunglasses and costumes. The clothing identifies the audience member as a fan and commemorates the attendance. Other items can include musical CDs; cast recordings, interviews, autographed posters and any other memorabilia related to the production. These products, when purchased can aid in the transition of the audience reality to that of the play or act as a validation that the audience member has attended the production. They document for the audience that they were there and were part of the event. Cinematic presentations for the most part stay away from this practice unless the presentation is a premiere, one- time screening or connected to a specialized event. During the 1950’s and 60’s, movie theatres often released high profile films with major stars in a limited release. The films would be available only at specialized theatres in major metropolitan areas. At these “road show” screenings, the presentation would be treated as if it were a live theatrical production and audience members would be able to purchase themed merchandise. This practice has all but been abandoned in favor of the product tie in merchandise that is made available within the window of release of the film. However, this type of themed merchandise tie in is often associated with other types of products, such as a Shrek action figure would be available through the purchase of a fast food or soft drink. These may or may not be available during the audience transition period at each specific performance. In addition, certain products might be placed within the presentation and could be featured as part of the transition. An example might be a prop; set piece or car model featured within a film might be displayed in the theatre lobby. Warner Bros. used the new Bat mobile in its premiere of the Batman sequel “Dark Knight” (2008). 40 40 (43/130) Type here to search j O . 1:53 PM 9/23/2019 Adobe Digital Editions – THEATRE 100: Introduction to the Theatre – 19317 File Edit Reading Help Library . E 4. THE PRESENTATION The presentation of the work itself should be clearly delineated from the world outside. Once the actual performing arts event begins, a separate reality must clearly be established. It should say almost “this is magic time” and all the rules and expectations of the outside world have no relevance for the next two and half hours. Often in a musical theatre presentation, the orchestra plays an overture before the curtain goes up. This heightened rendition of the songs that the audience will experience during the full course of the production sets the stage for what is about to occur. However, it is not a mere reportage of what is to come, but more a heightened introduction of what will soon follow. The overture wants to pull the audience in and close the deal, so that when the actual production begins, the audience is with them one hundred percent. Nonmusical productions often play music (not as part of the transition) but as an integral component of the production to help set the tone and get the audience in the right frames of mind to experience the production. While most cinematic presentations do not offer a specific overture at the start of the production, the musical component sets the mood of the piece during the opening credit sequence. For example, in the motion picture Jurassic Park, the opening theme by John Williams captures the audience from the very start. The music pulls you into the world of dinosaurs and possibility. The presentation of the event itself is the core of the creative work. The audience is engaged intellectually, emotionally and physically by array of characters, plot, conflict, climax and resolution and it is all presented in a manner that is larger than life. As “real” as any one presentation wants to be, the reality presented must be one of a heightened nature full of spectacle. It cannot be just a mundane rehashing of reality mixing filled trivial details. Alfred Hitchcock is right on the money when he said that Drama is “Life with the dull parts cut out.” Audiences want to be engaged and intrigued and ultimately drawn into something that is much more than they would experience in their own everyday worlds. Even if the presentation has an intimate quality, ultimately, it should contain elements of emotional discourse and spectacle. Audiences don’t want to just see life, as they know it; they want to be taken away to somewhere else and engaged intellectually, emotionally and physically. If the performing arts presentation is missing even a little of these qualities, the audience will tune out and even worse walk out. 5. THE INTERMISSION https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqO0doQaWOM This is that magical slice of time placed between specific portions of a performance. Its live theatre and musical presentations, it can be placed between acts or can fall between scenes or sections of a performance. It can also be allocated to a section of time allocated to change performers, sets or locations. This is often the case in variety and musical types of entertainment where one group of artists is changed out for the next group of performers or musical group. The intermission in cinematic presentation has all but disappeared unless the run time is exceedingly long. However, during the golden age of cinema, the intermission was often placed between two films or in the case of the longer Road Show presentations in roughly the center of the film in a similar way Acts are placed at certain points in the theatre. Some performing arts presentations have more than one intermission. In the case of the Opera, there can any number of intermissions within the body of the operatic presentation. It should also be noted that intermissions or act breaks are not arbitrarily selected but often are written into the presentation and are part of the physical script. The intermission is also a time for the audience to take a break. Audience members can use this time to refresh themselves, get a drink or snack or use the restrooms. However, there’s a lot more that can happen at an intermission. During this break between any number of segments of a production, audience members have the opportunity to engage in on the spot informal criticism of what they have experienced up to that point within the presentation. This informal criticism is just that, it has no formal elements and can include almost any aspect of the production that the audience member chooses to discuss including acting, set design, music, setting, physical theatre conditions, run time and the behavior other audience members. While the informal criticism that takes place in the intermission has no direct effect on the production itself, this criticism can result in individual audience members reacting in a certain way when they return to the presentation or in some cases, they may choose to leave the performance before its completion. It should also be acknowledged that the intermission of any performance event is governed by the unique chemistry of the moment that can be influenced by the composition of the audience, the condition of the performance space, the outside world events taking place during the 41 41 (44/130) Type here to search j O 9 . 1:53 PM 9/23/2019
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