By Zander Brietzke

ISBN-10: 0817315713

ISBN-13: 9780817315719

Is theater relatively lifeless? Does the theater, as its champions insist, particularly supply a extra intimate adventure than movie? if this is the case, how have alterations in cinematic ideas and applied sciences altered the connection among level 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 normal arguments within the film-versus-theater debate. utilizing widely recognized variations 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 must range besides. He contrasts either level and movie productions of, between different works, David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross, Sam Shepard’s True West, Edward Albee’s Who’s scared of Virginia Woolf, Margaret Edson’s Wit, Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, Tennessee Williams’s Cat on a scorching Tin Roof, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, and August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson. In interpreting the twin productions of those works, Brietzke reveals that cinema has certainly stolen a lot of theater’s former thunder, by way of making drama extra intimate, and visceral than so much reside occasions.
 
But theater remains to be very important and concerns tremendously, Brietzke argues, although for purposes that run counter to a few of the virtues typically attributed to it as an paintings shape, similar to intimacy and spontaneity. Brietzke seeks to revitalize perceptions of theater by means of tough these universal pieties and supplying a brand new severe paradigm, person who champions spectacle and simultaneity because the so much, no longer least, vital components of drama.

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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. There are remarkably few plays that experiment with altering chronologies, while such techniques are standard practice for the cinema.

Despite the variety of shots that may require a separate style of acting, more melodramatic or more intimate, the majority of shots are what Tucker calls the “intimate” theater style which translates, not coincidentally, into the standard style of realism. Such shots are perfect for capturing the facial responses of actors and their visible reactions, what’s vital for Caine, within the intimacy of the shot. It’s very difficult to gauge how tall an actor is in a film because the entire body is rarely visible in context with surroundings and, more importantly, with other characters.

Wilson begins his book in the same key as he ends it: “At the heart of the theater experience, therefore, is the performer-audience relationship: the immediate, personal exchange whose chemistry and magic give theater Revaluations of Virtues / 11 its special quality” (19). It is very difficult to know what “chemistry,” “magic,” and “special quality” are, and yet the theater world is filled with such empty medieval rhetoric. Milly S. Barranger, another Introduction to Theater author, upholds the party line of liveness and immediacy in the fifth edition of Theatre: A Way of Seeing: “It is theatre’s immediacy that makes it different from other arts.

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American Drama in the Age of Film by Zander Brietzke


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