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Poor and Environmental Theatres

“Poor” Theatres The Open Theatre (1963-1974)

  • Headed by Joseph Chaikin; based in NYC

  • Work grounded in contemporary theories of role-playing

and theatre games

  • Concerned with transformation = a constantly shifting reality in which the same performer assumes and discards roles or identities as the context changes

  • Reality as ever-changing

  • Works developed collaboratively

Multimedia, Happenings, and Performance Art Multimedia

  • Joseph Svoboda

    • Czech designer

    • Best-known multimedia experimenter

    • Polyekran = “multiple screen”

    • Laterna Magika = use of motion pictures in combination with actors

  • Multimedia experimentation popularized:

    • Projected still images on multiple screens as scenic background

    • Interjecting filmed sequences into dramatic action

    • Manipulating volume, direction, quality of stereophonic sound

    • Use of closed-circuit television

4/15/2009

Poor and Environmental Theatres

Environmental Theatre Richard Schechner

  • Defined Environmental Theatre:

    • Should take place in a transformed or found space

    • The use of space is flexible

    • Performance takes precedence over text

    • Focus is flexible and variable

    • Blends categories long treated as distinct:

      • Acting space and non-acting space

      • Performer and spectator

      • Text and performance

      • Sequentiality and simultaneity of focus and action

Multimedia, Happenings, and Performance Art Happenings

  • Allan Kaprow

    • Painter who pioneered happenings

    • Argued that in addition to the art objects on

display, the space and those who attend must be considered essential parts of the total artistic experience

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