Journal Entry 11/7/17:
The inspiration behind our commedia dell’arte came from thinking about middle school social and relationship dynamics. We started out by picking a setting for our piece and casting all of the actors into roles which would enhance the piece. Then, we started working on how the physical characteristics of each character and began figuring out how our characters move and behave. I think that both the hardest and easiest part of our piece was speaking in Grammelot. While it was hard for us to start using it, once we got into the swing of the scene, it became noticeably easier for us to use Grammelot instead of having to memorize lines. We decided on a few key aspects that we would like to incorporate in our piece before we started acting through it (Brighella and Harlequino would lead Doctore and Pantalone into the room where Magnifico and the young lovers would be standing around a table, Harlequino would accidentally pull the chair out from under Pantalone, and at one point the Second Actor and Actress would dive across the table while reaching for one another), but kept the grand majority of the piece open for actors’ interpretation and as such, it ended differently each time.
Journal Entry 11/6/17:
I believe that the answer to the question of "To what extent is imagination a fundamental requirement for participation in theatre?" is dependent on the role of the person participating. For instance, I think that for the roles of set designer, props mistress, and actors, imagination is absolutely necessary in order to give a unique an individual interpretation of the text. However, I think that some roles involved with theatre require much less imagination, such as lighting directors and sound directors. I mean this in the sense of those who are told exactly what the director is wanting for a production and have no freedom over which sounds to chose (if they are purchased from an official soundtrack rather than having to research and chose the best sound effects) or which color of gels to use in the lights. I think that for the majority of the roles in a theatre production, imagination is a necessity that cannot be replaced by simple directions, but must used to decide things for ones' self, yet there are roles within theatre that are much less imagination-heavy that are more reliant on direction rather than personal interpretation.
Journal Entry 10/16/17:
I believe that the social function of theatre is to allow the audience to witness the telling of stories in a way that is different from simply spoken word or physical movement. Along with the creation of theatre, came a way for actors to physically embody a story, drawing the audience into the story as was not experienced in simple verbal storytelling. By doing so, plays are able to broaden the discussion of serious issues witnessed in plays, so that they are not restrained to just the literate or those who are well informed on current or past events. With the creation of theatre, there came an introduction of a form of entertainment that was for everyone, that did not require any prior knowledge, other than the same base language. I believe that the time and place that I set Lysistrata in for my practice director’s notebook embodies this idea, as not many people (at least to my knowledge) are that knowledgeable about the role of women in France in World War II, so my setting will allow for the audience to gain insight into the event with no prior knowledge of the time needed.
Journal Entry 9/25/17:
In the past week our class has been looking at the play Lysistrata, written by Greek playwright Aristophanes on the subject of the Peloponnesian War. While my gut instinct with this project was to look at how this play could either be set in World War I or World War II in America, I realized that using the USA as the setting for the play would violate the "can travel to in 24 hours rule" that was apparent in many plays in Ancient Greece. It was while following this line of thought that I began looking into the possibility setting Lysistrata in would be France during World War I. When researching WWI, I found out that in France, women were being encouraged to have children due to the low birthrate that was apparent when a large portion of their men were away at war. I believe that this could be used within the play Lysistrata because while the actual act of holding sex back from men may not seem as serious nowadays as it may have in Ancient Greece, that with the pressure to have children in order to increase the population , it gives the women of France a certain amount of power over the government that they might have not otherwise had.
Journal Entry 9/18/17:
Last week when our class was learning about the history of theatre within different countries and cultures, I became interested in how the Romans flooded the coliseum to have mock sea battles called “naumachiae.” Said battles were created to create a spectacle surrounding the success of military naval battles, such as Julius Caesar’s campaigns in Gaul and Egypt. Naumachiae became popularized during the rule of the Roman Emperor Titus, which brought about the creation of flat-bottomed ships that were smaller versions of Roman warships. Many of these reenactments were dramatized depictions of the battle between Athens and Syracuse, in which they would create an artificial island in the center of the flooded arena for the land battles that would take place during the naumachiae. The walls that are currently in the “performing area” were only added once the mock naval battles had lost popularity and had come to a halt during the rule of Domitian. I found it interesting that while there was no physical evidence of these battles nor any artistic renditions from the time, that we were able to know about them due to a few writers that mentioned it in their works.