Lecture Notes


Theatre Compared with Other Art Forms


1.   Theatre reflects life, and in doing so gives us the opportunity to gain knowledge and broaden our understanding of other people.


2.   Theatre communicates through dialogue that is specific and conveys exact content.


3.   Theatre is temporal, which means that every performance will be different.


4.   Theatre directly imitates human experience by creating recognizable characters onstage.


5.   Theatre interprets life through the creativity of the actors, directors, and designers, who bring their own personal bias and background to each theatrical production.


6.     Theatre is one of the most collaborative of all art forms, bringing together the skills of many artists to create a total production.


7.     Contemporary Theatre is one of the most unlimited forms of art.  Despite      a certain frame work “the three act structure”, for instance theatre is

limitless in what it can convey.


Theatre as Imitation and Ritual


1.   Theatre artists often begin their work by imitating the world around them. This is called the mimetic instinct.


2.   Theatre is a ritual of entertainment that is rehearsed and presented for an audience.


3.   As children, our pretend play is a ritual in which we assume roles, follow loosely drawn rules, and perform for the entertainment of ourselves and others.


4.   As adults, we continue in our pretend play when we are called upon to fulfill certain roles in our relationships to others in hope of eliciting a desired response or action from our partner.


Theatre in Evolution


1.   Throughout history, theatre has reflected the political, social, religious, and economic themes of society.





1.  Plays that deal with common feelings and beliefs are said to possess universality.

2.  Theatre imitates and heightens life experiences.



The Role of the Audience


1.  Theatre differs from television in that it allows direct contact between actors and audience.



Why Audiences Attend the Theatre


1.  Audiences attend the theatre to he entertained; to he educated about the past, present, or future; to be confronted with a social problem; to learn about human nature; to reaffirm their beliefs; and, finally, to expe­rience emotion.


2.  The audience should learn about theatre as an art term so that they can

      judge a production on its own merits and benefit from what it has to offer.