Theatre Appreciation

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All My Sons
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Arthur Miller (1947)
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An American Daughter
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Wendy Wasserstein (1997)
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Brighton Beach Memoirs
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Neil Simon (1986)
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Mr. Marmalade
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Noah Haidle (2004)
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Marisol
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Jose Rivera (1992)
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Picasso at the Lapin Agile
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Steve Martin (1993)
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What is a significant difference between live theatre & film
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every performance is different & unique
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for the audience, theatre is a group experience. One thing that may alter a theatrical event is the:
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Psychological make up of a group
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The transitory nature of the theatre exists because:
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of the immediacy of the experience, the feedback & energy loop among the actors and the audience & once it is finished it only lives in memory
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Being a good theatre critic requires that we
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try to understand what the artist was doing, evaluate the effectiveness of what the artist was doing & decide upon the ultimate worth of the production
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A critic might offer background information about the
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playwright, subject matter of the play, and the style of the production
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No matter how knowledgeable a critic is about theatre, much of what he/she writes about is simply opinion
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TRUE
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Knowledge of the play or playwright is never necessary for a successful theatre experience
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FALSE
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When a person watches a play, it is expected that he/she will ignore his/her own individual memories, emotional scars & private fantasies
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FALSE
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Embedded: Live
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Tim Robbins
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Who came up with “The Willing Suspension of Disbelief”
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Samuel Taylor Coleridge
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Who believed that the actor & the audience are all that is needed for the act of theatre to be engaged
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Peter Brook
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Who is the playwright that believed in the “immediacy” of theatre
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Thornton Wilder
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Who wrote about art as a creation of signification forms symbolic of human feeling
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Susanne Langer
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Engaged Theatre
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Drama that aspires to promote dialogue and social justice through performance. It is a broad category that includes community-based theatre, theatre for social change, prison theatre & political theatre
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Important creators of “engaged” theatre in the 20th/2st century
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Hallie Flanagan, August Boal & Reverend Billy
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The political and military authorities can manipulate the media to control public opinion
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Embedded: Live theme statement
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Who are the masked characters in Embedded: Live supposed to represent
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The chief advisors to George W. Bush
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Aesthetic distance
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the objectivity involved in the experience
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“Don’t you try & go through life worrying about if somebody like you or not”
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Fences
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“Thus conscience does make a coward of us all”
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Hamlet
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“How come you ain’t ever liked me?”
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Fences
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‘Who knows not where a wasp does wear his sting? In his tail?”
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Taming of the Shrew
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“…what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil”
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Hamlet
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Large expanse of fabric hung at the back of the stage, often painted with a landscape or lit to represent the sky
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Cyclorama
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The immense area above the stage from where lights, scenery, and other items can be flown in or out
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Fly Space
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The blueprint or map of the setting for the play created by the set designer
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groundplan
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a small, tin cutout placed in front of a lighting instrument to create special lighting effects
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Gobo
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the area on either side of the acting area that is out of sight to the audience
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Wings
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Person who manages the shop and stage space, and builds and installs the sets
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technical director
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a set designer needs to collaborate with whom on the following list?
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lighting designer, costume designer, technical director, and the director
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One main purpose of lighting design is
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to illuminate and highlight to create mood
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a lighting designer needs to deal directly with whom
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set designer, costume designer, technical director, and the director
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one important function of costume design is
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establish time. place, style, and mood of the production
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costume designer works with
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line, shape, silhouette, color, fabric & accessories
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actor training includes
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training the vocal instrument, body & the mind
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Russian director/ teacher devised first complete acting system. Tenets of this system include emotional memory, subtext, action, objectives & the “magic if”
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Konstantin Stanislavsky
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analyzing a role, an actor decides on his/her character’s primary goal. what is this called
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super objective
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Playwright creates the spoken text. Who creates the sub-text?
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the actor
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What did Meryl Streep indirectly say in her quote?
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its important to thoroughly research a role and study a character’s behavior
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What was August Wilson’s lifetime project?
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to write one act plays representing African American life for each decade of the 20th century
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Why did August Wilson choose the title Fences?
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fences are symbolic of the characters’ relationships that we see bond and break
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how does knowledge about design elements of a production influence your understanding of a theatre event?
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design supports the themes, establishes time & place, as well as evoking symbolism
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Who developed the first realistic acting theory
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Konstantin Stanislavsky
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Taming of the Shrew
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William Shakespeare
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Fences
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August Wilson
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Hamlet
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William Shakespeare
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Death of a Salesman
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Arthur Miller
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Setting of Death of a Salesman
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Willy Loman’s house in New York; flashbacks to past and present
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King Oedipus
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Sophocles 429 BCE
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Radium Girls
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D. W. Gregory
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Time of Radium Girls
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1918; 1920’s
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Time of Fences
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set in the 1950’s & 1960’s
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Dramatic Action Statement
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x struggles against y for z
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Willing suspension of disbelief
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we throw reality out the door; we accept what will happen; we willingly do this
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what is transitory?
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changing; never static; not the same twice
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Perpetual present tense
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always in present tense
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4 way feedback
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audience to performer; performer to audience; audience to audience; performer to performer
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Director and author of Empty Space
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Peter Brook
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who is the protagonist in King Oedipus?
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King Oedipus
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What is the exposition
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what happens before the play; background information
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Linear (Climatic) play
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few character; one setting
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Episodic (Epic) play
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lots of sub plots; lots of characters; lots of settings
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What is a plot?
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a selection and arrangement of events from a story
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what is a story?
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a full account of an event, or series of events
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What are the 6 elements to dramatic action? (Aristotle)
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1. Plot 2. characters 3. theme 4. language 5. spectacle 6. music
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Proscenium Arch Stage
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raised platform framed by arch; seen from front only
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Thrust Stage
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acting platform surrounded on 3 sides by seating; brings audience closer to action; more intimate
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Arena Stage
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no platform; open stage at floor level; seating on all sides of the stage; most intimate; restricted scenery due to sightlines
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Flexible Stage
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experiments with actor/audience relationship; arrangement changes from production to production; can be indoor, outdoor, large or small; outdoor stages called Environmental Space
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Black Box Stage
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can be arranged in any of the four theatre spaces
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actors enter and exit from what?
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vomitoria
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Goethe’s criteria
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understanding, effectiveness and ultimate worth
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good set designs create appropriate environment for action of the play
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supports director’s production concept, reinforces playwright’s theme, creates mood & atmosphere, stages the story & makes interpretational statement
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set designers give building plans to whom to build?
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technical directors
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Who does the tech director hire to build the sets
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painters, carpenters, welders, interior designers, etc.
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place in the play where the playwright begins the plot
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the point of attack
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play that is structured with a tightly-woven linear plot, few characters, and a plot that begins late in the story
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climatic
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the hero or heroine is an extraordinary person and/or person of social stature: a king, queen, a general, a nobleman, etc.
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Traditional or Classic tragedy
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the situation becomes desperate and the protagonist makes desperate choices that seal his/her fate
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Modern Tragedy
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play speaks to the larger questions of life
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Both classic and modern tragedies
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the protagonist accepts responsibility for his/her actions and show a willingness to suffer and an immense capacity for suffering
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Traditional or Classic Tragedy
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highest level of professional, commercial theatre in the U.S
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Broadway
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in commercial theatre, investors are called
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angels
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professional non-profit theatres often have a troupe of resident actors that are known as
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Regional Professional theatres
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off-off Broadway shows are usually produced where?
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wherever inexpensive space is available, where artists feel free to do new, experimental work, where there are fewer than 199 seats
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not-for-profit status for a theatre means what?
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the theatre gets a legal (501c3) tax break
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in non-for-profit theatre, what do we call the person with business responsibilities similar to those of a commercial theatre producer?
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executive director or managing director
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most common approach to directing a script which usually sticks to the original dialogue but may change stage directions, time, or place
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Translator approach
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dramaturg
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literary consultant to help with the contextual and historical research for a production of a play
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blocking a play involves
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the position and movement of actors on a stage
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casting a play involves
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the selection of actors for specific roles
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what is the music writer called?
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composer
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dance written by who?
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choreographer
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Ingredients of a musical
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directors, designers, performers
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Jerome Kern
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Showboat (1927); 1st musical comedy with serious subject matter; 1st integrated cast on Broadway
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Oklahoma (1943)
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Richard Rodgers; introduces dance narrative; duo goes on to be most prolific musical writing team
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Westside Story
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1957; dramatically intentioned dance
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Hair
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1967; first hit “rock” musical
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sweeny todd
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1979; first successful dramatic musica

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