American Drama in the Age of Film by Zander Brietzke

By Zander Brietzke

Is theater quite useless? Does the theater, as its champions insist, fairly supply a extra intimate adventure than movie? if this is the case, how have adjustments in cinematic innovations and applied sciences altered the connection among degree and movie? What are the inherent barriers of representing 3-dimensional 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 traditional arguments within the film-versus-theater debate. utilizing widely recognized diversifications 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 should fluctuate in addition. He contrasts either degree and picture productions of, between different works, David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross, Sam Shepard’s True West, Edward Albee’s Who’s fearful of Virginia Woolf, Margaret Edson’s Wit, Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, Tennessee Williams’s Cat on a sizzling Tin Roof, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, and August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson. In analyzing the twin productions of those works, Brietzke reveals that cinema has certainly stolen a lot of theater’s former thunder, via making drama extra intimate, and visceral than so much dwell occasions.
 
But theater continues to be important and issues enormously, Brietzke argues, although for purposes that run counter to some of the virtues characteristically attributed to it as an paintings shape, akin to intimacy and spontaneity. Brietzke seeks to revitalize perceptions of theater by way of hard these universal pieties and delivering a brand new serious paradigm, person who champions spectacle and simultaneity because the so much, no longer least, vital components of drama.

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Antonin Artaud envisioned the theater as a cathartic assault upon consciousness and being. In his evaluation of one of the great thinkers of the twentieth century, Brook observes Artaud’s noble intentions for the theater: “Artaud maintained that only in the theatre could we liberate ourselves from the recognizable forms in which we live our daily lives” (Empty Space 53). The theater does something quite different, then, from cinema, whose photographic essence works upon human memory and cuts into the nostalgic revelry of everyday life.

Each one has to follow in sequence and be presented in its entirety. A cinematic treatment, on the other hand, can juggle four versions by cutting back and forth between each one. Similarly, while many films alter the temporal sequence of events between past, present, and even future, most plays adhere to chronological order. In part this is due to the fact that theater seems to need a building of events to achieve desired effects (such as catharsis), but more importantly it is because theater, once moving in a single temporal direction, finds it very difficult to reverse directions.

Artaud argues the loudest and most passionately against Aristotle and the narrative theater. In his most famous work, The Theater and Its Double, he argues persuasively that theater does not fundamentally concern dialogue. He seeks to replace the theater of words with one of sound, incantations, gestures, and movement in theatrical space. Instead of a canonical theater, reverential to the playwright and the written word, Artaud issues his signature phrase when he concludes that we should not dally with dramatic forms, but be “victims burnt at the stake, signaling through the flames” (13).

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