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Modern Theater

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1. Realism has become the dominant dramatic form, particularly in film and television. Discuss three ways in which theater is better because of anti-realistic elements.

With the firm backing of people like Tommaso Marinetti, anti-realist elements in theater such as futurism have always had considerable attention in society generally and in theater in particular.Realsim, with philosophical traces to people like Karl Marx and Charles Darwin, have waged a tough battle and modern theater seems to be getting saturated with realism. Realism is a later movement that had more strength in places such as Russia but it is now firmly at the center of theater in the world. Television and film are now full of realism and the claim is to give messages using real life situations so as to connect with the audience. But this is not always the case. Anti-realistic elements that have the counter-philosophy have a number of benefits.

To start with, the futurism, expressionism  and symbolism that form the anti-realistic sphere of theater have the quality of presenting riddles and puzzles to the audience that trigger their thinking(Turney).Symbolism in particular is quite effective when it comes to  triggering thinking in the audience. How does this take place? It is indeed very simple. The actors are allowed to employ items, words and actions that can only be related to the implied by thinking. Instead of performing the real act before the audience, a symbol is applied. The answer to the symbol is found by the audience. This has a number of benefits such as reducing audience passivity and assisting in message retention. Instead of watching the literal  and real act taking place and everything is ready to be witnessed and forgotten as it happen in most realistic-based theater productions, you are left with an image or a symbol that you take some mental effort to dissect and arrive at the message, which takes time to disappear from memory.

Secondly, anti-realistic film and television elements allow for creativity on the part of the producers, directors, script writers and other theater personnel. The potential of the mind is set free and therefore utilized accordingly to come up with interesting and educative material. Under this kind of setting, a message that would have been otherwise lost by presenting it in a not so interesting realistically based film can be easily passed over to the audience through the inclusion of interesting details that can keep the audience glued to their seats till the message is completely passed.

The third strength of anti-realistic theater is that it provides cast or actor flexibility. Complicated scenes can be easily enacted using imagined ideas .This allows for more convenience both in and out o f stage. The actors or the cast is given the freedom to use their imagination and awkward actions can be easily rectified.

2. Explain the link between globalization and the need for a director.

Globalization has made a mark in every part of human life. Theater not being an exception and today theater personnel work in a cross-national manner (Hugo, 2009).This makes the undertaking more complicated .The complication does not mean that the exercise is abandoned that it gets done with more care and more order. This is where a director comes in.

A director in theater that has gotten globalized has a number of functions to perform.

He starts by ensuring that the right set of professionals is in place. This means that regardless of where an actor comes from, the issue is whether or not they fit a particular role and therefore obtain the desired effect in the end product and send the intended message.

The director also maintains order in a globalized theater by working collaboratively with the producers and the other experts in theater.Here, people are assigned the right roles, duplication is avoided and contradiction is cleared if it is not what they want to send out to the audience. As a center of authority, the director also gives guidance in resolution of issues that emerge in the process of production and liaises with the non-production part of society in case of any matters that need attention.

Directors also play a key role in message preparation and design in theater so as to ensure that what comes out at the end of the day is balanced and fit for a globalized society. Unlike in the past when audiences were tiny and the plots simple, the modern day audience is wide and sensitive, thus calling for more scrutiny and care before the end product in form of a movie or any other theatrical production is taken to the audience. The huge financial implications that are part of the modern global theater are part of the reason for care because a mediocre production will lead to heavy losses.

3. Which design is more appropriate for modern theater: a thrust stage or proscenium stage? Give three points in support of your choice.

In the choice between a thrust and a proscenium stage, a proscenium stage is better. The following reasons are given for this choice.

First, a proscenium provides a single view meaning that the audience is forced to sit facing one direction. This kind of arrangement eliminates seating confusion and unnecessary turning that is a must in the case of a thrust stage. The members of the audience seating on the wings or sides in the thrust stage are always required to turn their necks whenever the cast members move to the front or to the back while on stage. For the proscenium stage, every member is looking forward at the stage and there is no necessity for turning.

Secondly, in a proscenium stage, the audience is able to focus on the stage since the view is from only one point or one area. Unlike the thrust stage that has three possible views that can lead to distractions and confusion, the proscenium stage avails a single viewing screen or space and this increases concentration on the side of the audience.

The third point in support of the proscenium stage is that it provides a cast area that assists in avoiding disturbances on the audience as well as to the audience in the event that something occurs on stage. In the case of a proscenium stage, any time a cast member falls or experiences anything funny, he or she is easily attended to without any commotion from the audience. This is not the same with the thrust stage whereby the cast is deep into the audience and in case of anything the audience can join and cause more confusion.

From these three angles, it is evident that a proscenium stage is better than a thrust stage.

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