|Ten minute plays. Let's get ours on the board here, under 'feedback' and then we'll bust each others chops to submit to a wack of theatres, and we'll see who can get theirs produced.
Here are some genres...I know I've missed some...and you are welcome to post below anything I've omitted. Why not pick a style you haven't tried before. Maybe take a play you have that isn't working, and rewrite it in a different style...or start from scratch.
When you've finished your play, post it in the feedback section with your name, and we'll see how everyone does.
On your Mark...get set....
The original sense of agitprop was 'agitation and propaganda on behalf of Communism', or 'a government agency or department responsible for agitation and propaganda'. The main current sense of the word is simply 'propaganda, especially socially or politically motivated propaganda appearing in literary works, films, etc.'; though the word often refers to political propaganda, it is not restricted to communist doctrine.
In military terms, the "advance-battalion" of an army that goes beyond the front lines to break new ground; in theatre terms, those theatre artists who abandon conventional models and create works that are in the forefront of new theatrical movements and styles.
BRECHT / BRECHTIAN
Brechtian theatre is a form of theatre which is unconventional compared to the stage performances we normally see. Bertolt Brecht believed that audiences should not be patronised into thinking what they see on stage is in fact real life but should be reminded that it is a play. This opened up into the characters being able to interact and talk to the audiences; this technique, also known as "breaking the fourth wall", is used in things such as Pantomime and is also used in films such as Alfie and programmes like Malcolm in the Middle.
Popularly, a funny play; classically, a play that ends happily; metaphorically, a play with some humor that celebrates the eternal ironies of human existence ("divine comedy").
Plays produced not on a conventional stage but in an area where the actors and the audience are intermixed in the same "environment" and where there is no precise line distinguishing stage space from audience space.
Theatre design and performance style which places greater value on emotion than realism. The trademark Expressionist effects were often achieved through distortion.
Form of comedy play originated in France, using fast-paced physical action and visual comedy more than humour based on language.
Shock theatre form originally from Le Grand Guignol theatre in Montmartre, Paris (opened in 1897). Specialised in portraying the macabre & gruesome to the delight and horror of the audience.
Originally a term for musical theatre, by the nineteenth century this became the designation of a suspenseful, plot-oriented drama featuring all-good heroes, all-bad villains, simplistic dialogue, soaring moral conclusions, and bravura acting.
Form of performance with no spoken words. Plot, character etc. are conveyed to the audience by movement and gesture. From the Greek Mimos.
An allegorical medieval play form, in which the characters represent abstractions (Good Deeds, Death, and so on) and the overall impact of the play is moral instruction. The most famous of these plays in English is the anonymous Everyman (fifteenth century).
The most common term referring to medieval plays developed from liturgical drama that treated biblical stories and themes. (They were also known as pageant plays in England, as passion plays when dealing with the Crucifixion of Jesus, and as Corpus Christi plays when performed in conjunction with that particular festival.) Unlike liturgical dramas, which were in Latin, mystery plays were written in the vernacular (English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Russian versions exist) and were staged outside the church.
An extreme form of realism, which advanced the notion that the natural and social environment, more than individual will power, controlled human behavior. Its proponents, active in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, sought to dispense with all theatrical convention in the search for complete verisimilitude: a slice of life, as the naturalists would say.
Physical theatre is a genre of performance which makes use of the body (as opposed to the spoken word) as the primary means of performance and communication with an audience. In using the body, the performer or actor will concentrate on:
The use of body shape and position
Rhythmical movement, pace and the energy of the body
Physical theatre can be distinquished from dance in that it tends to focus more on narrative, character and action. However, the boundaries between the two are rather blurred.
There are various styles and genre of physical theatre. These include:
Physical comedy — where the body is the primary means of comic creation
Stomp— where the body, with external objects, is used for its percussive potential
Some forms of puppetry
The most famous institution devoted to physical theatre is the Lecoq school in Paris. Students here follow the method of Jacques Lecoq, which developed out of his experience of mask work, commedia dell'Arte and his interest in the physicality of performance.
The general principle that the stage should portray, in a reasonable facsimile, ordinary people in ordinary circumstances and that actors should behave, as much as possible, as real people do in life. Although realism's roots go back to Euripides, it developed as a deliberate contrast to the florid romanticism that swept the European theatre in the mid-nineteenth century. See also naturalism, which is an extreme version of realism.
A play or other literary work that ridicules social follies, beliefs, religions, or human vices, almost always in a lighthearted vein. Satire is not usually a lasting theatre form, as summed up by dramatist George S. Kaufman's classic definition: "Satire is what closes on Saturday night."
Literally, a prop bat made up of two hinged sticks that slap sharply together when the bat is used to hit someone; a staple gag of the commedia dell'arte. More generally, slapstick is any sort of very broad physical stage humor.
SLICE OF LIFE
slice-of-life Pure naturalism: stage action that merely represents an ordinary and arbitrary "slice" of the daily activity of the people portrayed.
THEATRE OF CRUELTY
A notion of theatre developed by the French theorist Antonin Artaud (1896-1948). Artaud's goal was to employ language more for its sound than for its meaning and to create a shocking stream of sensations rather than a coherent plot and cast of characters. Although Artaud's practical achievement was slight, his theories have proven extraordinarily influential.
THEATRE OF THE ABSURD
The notion that the world is meaningless, derived from an essay, "The Myth of Sisyphus," by Albert Camus, which suggests that man has an unquenchable desire to understand but that the world is eternally unknowable. The resulting conflict puts man in an "absurd" position, like Sisyphus, who, according to Greek myth, was condemned for eternity to push a rock up a mountain, only to have it always fall back down before it reached the top. The philosophical term gave the name to a principal postwar dramatic genre: theatre of the absurd.
From the Greek for "goat song"; originally meant a serious play. The tragedy was refined by Greek playwrights (Thespis, sixth century B.C., being the first) and subsequently the philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) into the most celebrated of dramatic genres: a play that treats, at the most uncompromising level, human suffering. The reason for the name is unclear; a goat may have been the prize, and/or the chorus may have worn goatskins.
A play that begins as a tragedy but includes comic elements and ends happily. Tragicomedy was a popular genre in the eighteenth century but is rarely employed, at least under that name, in the modern theatre.
Last edited on Wed Aug 2nd, 2006 12:39 pm by Paddy