Modern/ Contemporary Theater Modern Theater 20th century theater takes all forms previously accepted drama and experiments with them to create new drama Modern Drama genres:
Serious plays Musical theater Opera Comedies Others Experimentation key word to all Modern Arts Modern Drama Two American cities central to Drama: 1. New York 1.
2. 2. Los Angeles 1. Vaudeville Broadway Hollywood Two key 20th century playwrights: 1. 2. Tennessee Williams Arthur Miller
Vaudeville Series of separate, unrelated acts, often including, but not limited to: Poetry recitation Dramatic scenes/ Monologues Songs Dancers Comedians Trained animals Magicians Developed from saloons, bars, concert halls, freak shows, and other public entertainments
Vaudeville Performers would re-create same act day after day, year after year Allowed for security of professional actors, but little real money Perfecting the craft Popularity waned, so acts went with big money of Hollywood Made good money for a short time, but left with little to nothing No royalties
it big Charlie Chaplin English Vaudeville star The Tramp The Little Dictator
W. C. Fields All things considered, Id rather be in Philadelphia. Never work with dogs or children. Buster Keaton Old Stone Face The General the Marx Brothers Groucho, Harpo, and Zeppo Duck Soup Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, its too dark to read. I shot an elephant in my pajamas. What he was doing in my pajamas Ill never know. Vaudeville stars who made it big Jack Benny
Cheapskate stereotype Most popular radio/ television show of early media The Three Stooges Moe, Larry, and Curly Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck Abbott and Costello Whos on First routine Bob Hope Variety shows Road movies (with Bing Crosby) Thanks for the Memories Judy Garland Wizard of Oz Meet me n St. Louis, Louis
Vaudeville After invention of radio and popularity of Broadway, Vaudeville became a kind of minor league for Broadway/ Hollywood Many stars moved either to larger venues/ movies/ radio, retired, or went to the Borscht Belt
Effects of Vaudeville Screwball comedies Variety shows Saturday Night Live Late Night with Conan OBrien
Slapstick Stuck on You (Greg Kinnear, Matt Damon) Theres Something About Mary (Ben Stiller, Cameron Diaz) Liar, Liar (Jim Carrey) Improvisation comedy Whos Line Is it Anyway? Broadway
Most prestigious form of professional theatre in the U.S., as well as the most well known to the general public and most lucrative for the performers, technicians and others involved in putting on the shows Broadway Most Broadway shows are commercial productions intended to make a profit for the producers and investors ("backers"), and therefore meant to have open-ended runs, meaning that they may be presented for a varying number of weeks depending on critical response, word of mouth, and the effectiveness of the
show's advertising, all of which determine ticket sales Two genres of plays: Musical theater straights Straights Serious Drama Tennessee Williams Streetcar Named Desire The Glass Menagerie
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Arthur Miller The Crucible Death of a Salesman Tennessee Williams Williams won the Pulitzer Prize in Drama for A Streetcar Named Desire and for Cat on a hot tin roof. Streetcar Named Desire
Leading characters/actors: Blanche DuBois (JessicaTandy), Stanley Kowalski (Marlon Brando) Marlon Brando is one of the most important and famous actors of Modern Theater. Career lasted almost 50 years Famous for works like A Streetcar Named Desire, The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, and On The Waterfront. Streetcar Named Desire
The Plot follows with Blanche DuBois, who has deep family money, arriving at her sisters house. Stella, Blanches sister, is married to Stanley Kowalski and is carrying his child. Stanley who is physically and emotionally abusive towards Stella turns toward Blanche. In the end Blanche has a nervous breakdown from Stanley rapping her. Death of a Salesman
The most important part of the play was the theme of the American Dream Protagonist Willy Loman, who is over the age of 60, puts much of his time into saying how well his natural charm is and his uncanny ability to make friends has made him popular over the years. Wills life slowly spins out of control, and you notice this early through his impaired ability to drive. He soon loses his job (which did not make ends meet as it was). And now is supported on getting loans from his neighbor.
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