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Theater and Society

In: Film and Music

Submitted By jmc100220
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Theater and Society
More than Meets the Naked Eye Theater is far more complex than people often perceive. It encompasses more than actors prancing on stage in costumes and reciting lines to an audience. The subject matter of any performance can be humorous, political, informative, provocative, heart-warming, or even thought provoking; the performance can even be delivered in various ways, but the uniform theme to all types of theatrical performances is that they involve more than meets the eye. I'm not referring to the behinds the scene work of a production, but rather that theater involves things beyond the obvious words spoken on stage. Any good actor knows that in order to properly represent a character, the role must be felt at the heart and acted out through true emotions, facial expressions, movement, and your entire body language. The reason that words are not enough to convey the message to the audience is because they are always at least subconsciously aware of everything going on in front of them. The human subconscious takes note of thousand of things unbeknownst to our conscience mind. We see, hear, sense, and feel so many things that subtly lead to our overall experience or opinion. Theater is no exception. Theater acts as a tool that can be brought to life by the actor, director, playwright and so on. In the right hands theater can be a very powerful instrument. The legendary Augusta Boal demonstrated this concept to a new level. Boal believed that the theater was a way to represent yourself, but as a more conscious version of yourself. He taught his method to countless numbers of people, who in turn used it to voice their opinion. Boal used theater as a way to fight the injustice going on around himself, his fellow countrymen, and the world. Augusta Boal proved that to speak was not always enough. To perform was powerful because it involved putting your mind, body, and soul into reaching one goal. James Baldwin, like Augusta Boal understood that as powerful as words are, they can often be enhanced. I took his quote as a way of linking love to theater. To love someone means more than saying those three little words. Your actions must show what you can not say. It is never enough to just say the words unless there is proof behind them. Love entails the entire being of your existence, not only bits and pieces of yourself. Just as love cannot be proven by sweet nothings, artists of all types must work to show the deeper meaning of their work. Theater and love alike must be felt deep at heart, not simply heard. Our classwork over mob theater is a larger example of these principals. It forced us to consider the who, what, when, where, and why of theater. To me, these questions are all asked in an attempt to better understand and reach the audience. What is the point and significance to your message? Who is your message focused at? Where is the ideal location to deliver the performance? When are you going to make the most impact? And most importantly, why are you giving the performance? Without knowing your answers to these questions, it becomes much more difficult to fully utilize the aspects of acting. Mob theater involves a large group of people acting as one unit to shock and awe the previously innocent bystanders. As a famous saying goes: “What you do speaks so loud I can't hear a word you say”. Well, in mob theater, it is the actions and the reason, the emotion, the purpose behind the performance that truly strike the onlookers. Theater may be an art form, but it is not only an art. It is a psychology, a business, a science, and so much more. Psychology cannot explain all the phenomenon of the mind. A corrupt and inefficient business can spit profits, while one struggling to get by may be a solid institution. Sciences rely on tools and instruments to enhance human capabilities and further our understanding of this crazy, amazing world. Likewise, theater resides deep within the mind and soul, with more complexities than good and bad performances, and just like any science, it cannot be fully understood by a glance of the bare eye.

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