theater

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This ppt contains details about how theater got started, about roman theater and etc. It contains brief information about all aspect of theater from ancient to modern.

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There is not an exact answer to this question but studies show that it has its roots in Greece. There are studies available today on theatre which can tell us very much about theatres… The information we do have comes from wall paintings, decorations, artifacts , and hieroglyphics that show the importance of successful hunts, seasonal changes, life cycles, and stories of the gods. Theatre emerged from myth, ritual, and ceremony. Early societies perceived connections between certain actions performed by the group or leaders in the group and the desired results of the whole society. These actions moved from habit, to tradition, and then on to ceremony and ritual. The formulation of these actions, and the consequent repetition and rehearsal, broke the ground for theatre. According to the mythologist Joseph Campbell, rituals are related to three basic concerns: pleasure, power, and duty.

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Modern Western theatre derives in large measure from ancient Greek drama, from which it borrows technical terminology, classification into genres, and many of its themes, stock characters, and plot elements. Theatre scholar Patrice Pavis  defines theatricality, theatrical language, stage writing, and the specificity of theatre as synonymous expressions that differentiate theatre from the other performing arts, literature, and the arts in general. Theatre today includes performances of plays and musicals. Although it can be defined broadly to include opera and ballet, those art forms are outside the scope of this article. The city-state of Athens is where western theatre originated. It was part of a broader culture of theatricality and performance in classical Greece that included festivals, religious rituals, politics, law, athletics and gymnastics,  music,poetry , weddings, funerals, and symposia. Participation in the city-state's many festivals—and attendance at the City Dionysia  as an audience member (or even as a participant in the theatrical productions) in particular—was an important part of citizenship. Civic participation also involved the evaluation of the rhetoric of orators evidenced in performances in the law-court or political assembly, both of which were understood as analogous to the theatre and increasingly came to absorb its dramatic vocabulary. The Greeks also developed the concepts of dramatic criticism, acting as a career, and theatre architecture. The theatre of ancient Greece consisted of three types of drama:  tragedy,comedy , and the satyr play

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Western theatre developed and expanded considerably under the Romans. The Roman historian Livy wrote that the Romans first experienced theatre in the 4th century BCE, with a performance by Etruscan actors. Beacham argues that they had been familiar with "pre-theatrical practices" for some time before that recorded contact. The theatre of ancient Rome was a thriving and diverse art form, ranging from festival performances of street theatre, nude dancing, and acrobatics, to the staging of Plautus's broadly appealing situation comedies, to the high-style, verbally elaborate tragedies of Seneca. Although Rome had a native tradition of performance, the  Hellenization  of Roman culture in the 3rd century BCE had a profound and energizing effect on Roman theatre and encouraged the development of Latin literature of the highest quality for the stage.The only surviving Roman tragedies, indeed the only plays of any kind from the Roman Empire, are ten dramas- nine of them pallilara - attributed to Lucuis Annaeus Seneca (4 b.c.-65 a.d .), the Corduba -born Stoic philosopher and tutor of Nero. Theatre took a big pause during 1642 and 1660 in England because of Cromwell’s Interregnum. Theatre was seen as something sinful and the Puritans tried very hard to drive it out of their society. Because of this stagnant period, once Charles II came back to the throne in 1660 in the Restoration, theatre (among other arts) exploded because of a lot of influence from France, where Charles was in exile the years previous to his reign.One of the big changes was the new theatre house. Instead of the types in the Elizabethan era that were like the Globe, round with no place for the actors to really prep for the next act and with no “theater manners,” it transformed into a place of refinement, with a stage in front and somewhat stadium seating in front of it.

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Medieval theatre Medieval theatre refers to the theatre in the period between the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century A.D. and the beginning of the Renaissance in approximately the 15th century A.D. Medieval theatre covers all drama produced in Europe over that thousand year period and refers to a variety of genres, including liturgical drama, mystery plays, morality plays, farces and masques. Beginning with Hrosvitha of Gandersheim in the 10th century, medieval drama was for the most part very religious and moral in its themes, staging and traditions. The most famous examples of medieval plays are the English cycle dramas, the York Mystery Plays, the Chester Mystery Plays, the Wakefield Mystery Plays and the N-Town Plays, as well as the morality play, Everyman. Due to a lack of surviving records and texts, a low literacy rate of the general population, and the opposition of the clergy to some types of performance, there are few surviving sources on medieval drama of the early and high medieval periods. However, by the late period, drama and theatre began to become more secularized and a larger number of records survive documenting plays and performances.   As the Western Roman Empire fell into decay through the 4th and 5th centuries A.D., the seat of Roman power shifted to Constantinople and the Eastern Roman Empire, today called the Byzantine Empire. While surviving evidence about Byzantine theatre is slight, existing records show that mime, pantomime, scenes or recitations from tragedies and comedies, dances, and other entertainments were very popular. Constantinople had two theatres that were in use as late as the 5th century A.D.

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The earliest form of the theatre of India was the Sanskrit theatre. It began after the development of Greek and Roman theatre and before the development of theatre in other parts of Asia. It emerged sometime between the 2nd century BCE and the 1st century CE and flourished between the 1st century CE and the 10th, which was a period of relative peace in the history of India during which hundreds of plays were written. With the Islamic conquests that began in the 10th and 11th centuries, theatre was discouraged or forbidden entirely. Later, in an attempt to re-assert indigenous values and ideas, village theatre was encouraged across the subcontinent, developing in a large number of regional languages from the 15th to the 19th centuries. Modern Indian theatre developed during the period of colonial rule under the British Empire, from the mid-19th century until the mid-20th. In order to resist its use by Indians as an instrument of protest against colonial rule, the British Government imposed the Dramatic Performances Act in 1876. From the last half of the 19th century, theatres in India experienced a boost in numbers and practice. After Indian independence in 1947, theatres spread throughout India as one of the means of entertainment. As a diverse, multi-cultural nation, the theatre of India cannot be reduced to a single, homogenous trend. In contemporary India, the major competition with its theatre is that represented by growing television industry and the spread of films produced in the Indian film industry based in Mumbai (formerly Bombay), known as " Bollywood ". Lack of finance is another major obstacle.

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The earliest-surviving fragments of Sanskrit drama date from the 1st century CE. The wealth of archeological evidence from earlier periods offers no indication of the existence of a tradition of theatre. The ancient Vedas (hymns from between 1500 to 1000 BCE that are among the earliest examples of literature in the world) contain no hint of it (although a small number are composed in a form of dialogue) and the rituals of the Vedic period do not appear to have developed into theatre. The  Mahābhāṣya  by  Patañjali  contains the earliest reference to what may have been the seeds of Sanskrit drama. This treatise on grammar from 140 BCE provides a feasible date for the beginnings of theatre in India. Sanskrit theatre 

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Traditional Indian theatre  Kutiyattam  is the only surviving specimen of the ancient Sanskrit theatre, thought to have originated around the beginning of the Common Era, and is officially recognised by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. In addition, many forms of Indian folk theatre abound.  Bhavai  (strolling players) is a popular folk theatre form of Gujarat, said to have arisen in the 14th century CE.Jatra  has been popular in Bengal and its origin is traced to the Bhakti movement in the 16th century. Another folk theatre form popular in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and  Malwa  region of Madhya Pradesh  isSwang , which is dialogue-oriented rather than movement-oriented and is considered to have arisen in its present form in the late 18th - early 19th centuries. Yakshagana  is a very popular theatre art in Karnataka and has existed under different names at least since the 16th century. It is semi-classical in nature and involves music and songs based on  carnatic music, rich costumes, storylines based on theMahabharata  and Ramayana. It also employs spoken dialogue in-between its songs that gives it a folk art  flavour .  Kathakali  is a form of dance-drama, characteristic of Kerala, that arose in the 17th century, developing from the temple-art plays  Krishnanattam  and  Ramanattam .

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THE THEATRE OF THE ABSURD The East At the time when the first absurd plays were being written and staged in Western Europe in the late 1940s and early 1950s, people in the East European countries suddenly found themselves thrown into a world where absurdity was a integral part of everyday living. Suddenly, you did not need to be an abstract thinker in order to be able to reflect upon absurdity: the experience of absurdity became part and parcel of everybody's existence. Hitler's attempt to conquer Russia during the Second World War gave Russia a unique opportunity to extend its sphere of influence and at the same time to 'further the cause of the Soviet brand of socialism’. In the final years of the war, Stalin turned the war of the defeat of Nazism into the war of conquest of Central Europe and the war of the division of Europe. In pursuing Hitler's retreating troops, the Russian Army managed to enter the territory of the Central European countries and to remain there, with very few exceptions, until now. The might of the Russian Army made it possible for Stalin to establish rigidly ideological pro-Soviet regimes, hermetically sealed from the rest of Europe. The Central European countries, whose pre-war political systems ranged from feudal monarchies (Rumania), semi-authoritarian states (Poland) through to a parliamentary Western-type democracy (Czechoslovakia) were now subjected to a militant Sovietisation. The countries were forced to undergo a major traumatic political and economic transformation. The West The Western Theatre of the Absurd highlighted man's fundamental bewilderment and confusion, stemming from the fact that man has no answers to the basic existential questions: why we are alive, why we have to die, why there is injustice and suffering. East European Soviet-type socialism proudly proclaimed that it had answers to all these questions and, moreover, that it was capable of eliminating suffering and setting all injustices right. To doubt this was subversive. Officially, it was sufficient to implement a grossly simplified formula of Marxism to all spheres of life and Paradise on Earth would ensue. It became clear very soon that this simplified formula offered even fewer real answers than various esoteric and complex Western philosophical systems and that its implementation by force brought enormous suffering. From the beginning it was clear that the simplified idea was absurd: yet it was made to dominate all spheres of life. People were expected to shape their lives according to its dictates and to enjoy it. It was, and still is, an offence to be sceptical about Soviet-type socialism if you are a citizen of an East-European country. The sheer fact that the arbitrary formula of simplified Marxism was made to dominate the lives of millions of people, forcing them to behave against their own nature, brought the absurdity of the formula into sharp focus for these millions. Thus the Soviet-type system managed to bring the experience of what was initially a matter of concern for only a small number of sensitive individuals in the West to whole nations in the East.

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Natyashastra The Natya Shastra is an ancient Indian treatise on the performing arts, encompassing theatre, dance and music. It was written during the period between 200 BCE and 200 CE in classical India and is traditionally attributed to the Sage Bharata .   The Natya Shastra is incredibly wide in its scope. While it primarily deals with stagecraft, it has come to influence music, classical Indian dance, and literature as well. It covers stage design, music, dance, makeup, and virtually every other aspect of stagecraft. It is very important to the history of Indian classical music because it is the only text which gives such detail about the music and instruments of the period. Thus, an argument can be made that the Natya Shastra is the foundation of the fine arts in India. The most authoritative commentary on the Natya Shastra is Abhinavabharati by Abhinavagupta. The text, which now contains 6000 slokas, is attributed to the muni (sage) Bharata and is believed to have been written during the period between 200 BCE and 200 CE. The Natya Shastra is based upon the much older Gandharva Veda which contained 36000 slokas. Unfortunately there are no surviving copies of the Natya Veda. Though many scholars believe most slokas were transmitted only through the oral tradition, there are scholars who believe that it may have been written by various authors at different times.   The document is difficult to date and Bharata's historicity has also been doubted, some authors suggesting that it may be the work of several persons. However, Kapila Vatsyayan has argued that based on the unity of the text, and the many instances of coherent reference of later chapters from earlier text, the composition is likely that of a single person.

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Impact of Natyashastra Natyashastra remained an important text in the fine arts for many centuries; so much so that it is sometimes referred to as the fifth Veda. Much of the terminology and structure of Indian classical music and Indian classical dance were defined by it. Many commentaries have expanded the scope of the Natya Shastra ; most importantly we may include Matanga's Brihaddesi (500–700 CE), Abhinavagupta's Abhinavabharati (which unifies some of the divergent structures that had emerged in the intervening years, and outlines a theory of artistic analysis) and Sharngadeva's Sangita Ratnakara (13th century work that unifies the raga structure in music).The analysis of body forms and movements also influenced sculpture and the other arts in subsequent centuries. The structures of music outlined in the Natya Shastra retain their influence even today, as seen in the seminal work Hindustani Sangeetha Padhathi by Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande from the early 20th century. The theory of rasa described in the text has also been a major influence on modern Indian cinema especially in the Malayalam Film Industry.

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Parsi Theatre The earliest form of the theatre of India was the Sanskrit theatre. It began after the development of Greek and Roman theatre and before the development of theatre in other parts of Asia. It emerged sometime between the 2nd century BCE and the 1st century CE and flourished between the 1st century CE and the 10th, which was a period of relative peace in the history of India during which hundreds of plays were written. With the Islamic conquests that began in the 10th and 11th centuries, theatre was discouraged or forbidden entirely. Later, in an attempt to re-assert indigenous values and ideas, village theatre was encouraged across the subcontinent, developing in a large number of regional languages from the 15th to the 19th centuries. Modern Indian theatre developed during the period of colonial rule under the British Empire, from the mid-19th century until the mid-20th. In order to resist its use by Indians as an instrument of protest against colonial rule, the British Government imposed the Dramatic Performances Act in 1876. From the last half of the 19th century, theatres in India experienced a boost in numbers and practice. After Indian independence in 1947, theatres spread throughout India as one of the means of entertainment. As a diverse, multi-cultural nation, the theatre of India cannot be reduced to a single, homogenous trend. In contemporary India, the major competition with its theatre is that represented by growing television industry and the spread of films produced in the Indian film industry based in Mumbai (formerly Bombay), known as " Bollywood ". Lack of finance is another major obstacle. The earliest-surviving fragments of Sanskrit drama date from the 1st century CE. The wealth of archeological evidence from earlier periods offers no indication of the existence of a tradition of theatre.

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Bengali Theatre Bengali theatre primarily refers to theatre performed in the Bengali language. Bengali theatre is produced mainly in West Bengal, and in Bangladesh. The term may also refer to some Hindi theatres which are accepted by the Bengali people. Bengali theatre has its origins in British rule. It began as private entertainment in the early 19th century. In the pre-independence period, Bengali theatres played a pivotal role in manifesting dislike of the British Raj. After the independence of India in 1947, leftist movements in West Bengal used theatre as a propaganda tool. This added some unique characteristics to the art form that still have strong effects. These groups differentiate themselves ideologically from commercial Bengali theatre. Music in Bengali theatre The late 19th- and early 20th-century theatres had their own Bengali music. This form was pioneered by Girish Chandra Ghosh ; the era of Bengali theatre before him laid the groundwork, and after his death Bengali theatre music became more experimental. During the era of Girish Chandra, all stage-plays included some form of traditional Bengali music, and dancer-singers who performed before and between the acts. Mythological plays would have Kirtan-anga songs, epics would include indigenous styles such as khyāmtā , and comedies and farcical plays often included tappā songs by Nidhu Babu . By the 4th century, when the Gupta had annexed the greater portion of Bengal, the Aryan culture of the upper Gangetic plain penetrated into the region. The flourishing trade led to the rise of urban centres patronising art and culture. In these urban centres , performances of classical Sanskrit theatre were part of cultural life, at least among the urban classes of the society. A few literary evidences strongly support this assumption. The most important of these is a Sanskrit play titled Lokananda by Chandragomi (6th century AD) who was a reputed Buddhist grammarian from Bengal. Lokananda is structured in four acts with a prologue. The play must have been popular, for I- Tsing states, 'people all sing and dance to it throughout the five countries of India.' Bengal was connected with the Aryan culture until the mid-8th century. During this period Harsavardhan of Northern India, Bhaskaravarman of Kamarupa , Yashovarman of Kanyakubja and Lalitaditya of Kashmir exerted influence

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Richard Wagner was an innovator who injected theatre with the contemporary trend toward realism, calling for many changes to take place in the theatre world. Wagner is probably best known for his concept of a new type of theatre structure--the festival theatre. He designed the structure to fulfill his ambition of a classless theatre. Famous throughout the world, the architectural design of the festival was fan-shaped, making all seats equal in sight lines, as well as equally priced. The theatrical evolution during this period included the emergence of the modern director. Germany's Georg II, Duke of Saxe- Meiningen was one of the most famous early modern directors. He produced plays that were the most historically accurate of the 19th century. He designed all the costumes, scenery, and properties used by his troupe. Georg also adopted the practice of long rehearsal schedules and the idea of ensemble acting. He created carefully blocked crowd scenes and family groups, which made a small number of actors seem like a large gathering. The United States' Belasco was another famous director known for creating realist plays and sets. He was also a noteworthy designer for his creation of the most modern lighting instruments of the time. Other designers were Craig who prominently featured drapery in his designs, and Appia , a Swiss designer who used three-dimensional scenery and used the stage floor as a part of his set.

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These are some of the following organizations working on international level:- ASSITEJ International Association of Libraries and Museums of the Performing Arts(abbreviated as SIBMAS) International Drama and Theatre Education Association UNIMA Union of the Theatres of Europe These are some of the organizations working to promote theatre culture in India: Bharat Bhavan Indian People's Theatre Association Nandikar Natyoshala Platform for Action in Creative Theater Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra

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