American Drama in the Age of Film by Zander Brietzke

By Zander Brietzke

Is theater relatively useless? Does the theater, as its champions insist, particularly supply a extra intimate event than movie? if this is the case, how have alterations in cinematic thoughts and applied sciences altered the connection among degree and picture? What are the inherent obstacles of representing three-d areas in a two-dimensional one, and vice versa?
American Drama within the Age of Film examines the strengths and weaknesses of either the dramatic and cinematic arts to confront the normal arguments within the film-versus-theater debate. utilizing widely recognized variations of ten significant performs, Brietzke seeks to focus on the inherent powers of every medium and draw conclusions not only approximately how they range, yet how they must range to boot. He contrasts either degree and movie productions of, between different works, David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross, Sam Shepard’s True West, Edward Albee’s Who’s frightened of Virginia Woolf, Margaret Edson’s Wit, Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, Tennessee Williams’s Cat on a scorching Tin Roof, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, and August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson. In examining the twin productions of those works, Brietzke unearths that cinema has certainly stolen a lot of theater’s former thunder, via making drama extra intimate, and visceral than so much reside occasions.
But theater continues to be important and issues drastically, Brietzke argues, although for purposes that run counter to the various virtues generally attributed to it as an artwork shape, akin to intimacy and spontaneity. Brietzke seeks to revitalize perceptions of theater via tough these universal pieties and supplying a brand new severe paradigm, person who champions spectacle and simultaneity because the so much, no longer least, vital parts of drama.

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My chief complaint against theater arises when it tries to present subject matter in the same way as the other media and can’t do it as well. 10 / Chapter 1 “For the theater to survive the 21st century,” lamented critic Clive Barnes of the New York Post, “it will have to do what it singularly failed to do in the 20th century: take note of its competitors, and not attempt to do badly what they can do better” (“Theater Must Do”). Film and television are more “worldly” media than theater and are therefore better equipped to present realistic portrayals of human lives and events.

In the theater, however, the human figure attracts primary focus. In the cinema, the camera moves and everything else moves with it. On the stage, though, the audience sits still, and only the actors move and attract attention (I’m not counting the occasional falling chandelier or hovering helicopter that may land on American stages). ) designed to fit in the dollhouse. The human figure contrasts with the surrounding scenery, and historically this has been one reason why the actor has performed in front of scenery and not around it.

A fine actor in film, Artaud’s artistic credentials as a director are limited to a few productions, most notably Shelley’s The Cenci. 9 Although it is possible to see how Shelley’s play would lend itself to radical production ideas, Artaud discovered that it was quite difficult to discard words altogether and that an established plot provided a structure with which to work. While Brecht agrees with Aristotle that “narrative is the soul of drama” (Brecht on Theatre 183), he argues that the method of construction should be wholly different.

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