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School for Scandal

In: Film and Music

Submitted By tarho
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Theatre History Many general characteristics of eighteenth century English comedy are clearly visible in The School for Scandal. Setting The Theatre There were many innovations in scenery, lighting, and costumes during this period. Possibly the most significant innovation was the enlarging of the theatres. This resulted in a difficulty for the audience in the back of the theatre to have a clear view of the action upon the stage and the hearing of certain scenes was rendered more than difficult. Consequently, actors had to adapt to the altered conditions, and their performances became louder and more vibrant. The stage lighting was bright, as most attention was focused on the actors and what they were doing. There was a very close link between the actor and the audience at the time. Many plays of the time include direct-address conventions such as asides, a presentational mode that permits an actor to share his thoughts and feelings with the audience. Theatres in the 18th century had stages with huge aprons which made it possible for an actor to play quite close to the audience, so he could deliver an aside as a thought shared with the public. It was not difficult for an actor to achieve confidentiality, but it did require considerable skill and practice on his or her part to seem confidential and yet reach out to everyone in the auditorium. The period saw an increased activity in the preparation of new scenes. Instead of the stock scenery of former times, fresh landscapes and architectural designs were prepared. By the late 1770s scene painting, which had come into being during the Renaissance, had reached the pinnacle of its development in a form which encouraged almost unlimited pictorial effects. The stages of the theatres during this period were decorated with painted perspective settings as well with props and furniture. The stage was...

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