The Theatre Experience Essay

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The Theatre Experience Non-Western Theatre Ritual – a ceremonial act connected with human life. Purpose of ritual To pass on traditions from one generation to another. To influence nature through a means known as sympathetic magic. To celebrate and commemorate rites of passage from birth to death. Nonwestern Theatre: From Ritual to Theatre Ritual Performed by priests or shamans. Based in myth, tradition, or religion. Audience is often participatory. Asks for sympathetic magic from nature. Distinctive Aspects of Non-Western Theatre Communal Binding Blurring of division between audience and performers Purpose: Heal, Honor, Mourn Diffused Focus Use of Elaborate Masks and Costumes Use of Dance and Music Non-Western Theatre Examples of Ritual Theatre Indigenous African ritual dance drama (i.e. Yoruba from Nigeria) Abydos from Egypt about the death and resurrection of the god Osiris Wayang Wong dance drama of Java Aborigine dances of Australia Creole theatre of Sierra Leone Khon theatre of Thailand African Theatre Pre-colonial Theatre Employed acting, costumes, music, storytelling, and dance. Often used masks. Audience participation required. Concerned with religion and community. Storytelling often involved impersonation and mime. Used “verbal scene painting”. African Theatre Masks Help actors to identify with the characters they represent Help the spectators to “see” the characters being portrayed or “channeled” Provide added symbolic meanings to the event African Theatre Colonial Forms With the invasion of Europe on the African continent - African forms of theatre were undervalued. English, Dutch, French and Belgium
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