Rebecca: November 2012 Archives

Ze Outline

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Erik - Historical context of society


Allie - Historical context of theatre scene (plus introducing argument / stating thesis)


Rebecca - Introducing Holberg
1. Holberg has been named the foremost playwright of the 18th century in Scandinavia
2. Commissioned by Montaigu to write for Scandinavia's first public vernacular/national theater, the Green Street Theater, which opened in 1722.
3. Holberg's theatricality
-his use of exaggeration or heightening of a situation for comedic effect
-focus on audience - "it is not enough for the comic writer to study the ridiculousness of humanity" and be able to "chastise faults so that he amuses as well" but he must always envision the effect the play will have on the audience.
-he thought themes that were popular in other countries would be inappropriate in Scandinavia. For example, the highly romantic French plays he believed would not receive the same praise and acceptance from the Scandinavian audiences.
-National theater closed in 1725 due to bankruptcy but revived to perform Tartuffe, despite Holberg's objections that it wouldn't be relevant for a Danish audience (because of its Catholic influence)
4. In looking at his first play The Political Tinker which premiered 2 days after the opening of the Green Street Theater, Holberg quotes that the play "had the good fortune which all good comedies should have, namely that a flock of people became angry over it" but which also "kept the audience laughing from beginning to end."


Dan - As Holberg introduces "Political Tinker" and shares his thoughts
(you might wanna snag my point 4 because there is a nice quote about the play that you could work into your piece. feel free to move it)


SCENE FROM PLAY


Bree - Analysis of scene (how he distinguishes himself from Moliere in particular)


Dan - The disillusionment that caused Lille Gronadegade's bankruptcy in 1729 / Danish Comedy's Death


Erik - Brings home argument through a historiographical discussion
-mentioning that historians are impressed with the amount of work he did (27 plays in 5 years) as opposed to applauding him for truly accomplishing his goal of culture specific theatre. He was more like Moliere than he thought...
-his emphasis on audience self-recognition seemed to make his work "indigenous drama and localized comedy" however... (sorry just giving you some of the notes I have, feel free to scrap them)

Format of the Presentation

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Our presentation will blend the boundaries of lecture and theater by presenting an information packed look into the setting of 1720's Scandinavia.
Through dramatic representation we will explore the rise and fall of Holberg's "Danish Comedy". Using costumes, props and witty dialogue we shall wrap the audience's attention while simultaneously packing their brains with information.

--We will start the "scene" with a dialogue between some peasants, King Frederik IV, and Holberg.
--We will be borrowing elements from the object of our study; in fact we will be quoting both of the two plays we are focusing on (The Political Thinker and The Internment of Comedy) By the time our presentation rolls around we will have familiarized ourselves, not only with these two texts, but other texts as well, as to be sure that the selections we use are in fact representative of this type of theatre (as it will be our intent to use them as such). We will hopefully succeed also in couching these selections from the two plays into the context in which they were created, thus mitigating ethical dilemmas of how the text is used.
--Obviously all of these snippets of dialogue will be cited properly and included in our bibliography.
--We will assist our classmates in thinking critically by asking questions both at the onset and conclusion of the performance. We will attempt to discuss these questions as part of our piece, and ask for summaries at the end of the performance to elicit a critical discussion. The goal ultimately being to have presented a picture of a small section of the history of Scandinavian Theatre, not the whole picture. Thus piquing the interest of our audience.
--In regards to keeping our performance under 20 minutes. This is always a difficult thing, simply because you research and prepare lots of information, with the hope of providing a good deal of information (and having done enough work to received the grade desired, if we are honest with ourselves). The primary thing which we must do then, given the nature of the performance we wish to achieve, is to not include superfluous aspects to our performance. It must be streamlined and focus not just on performance aspects, but largely on content, because we will have a lot to say. Much as Aristotle ranks spectacle as last in terms of importance for a tragedy, so too must we rank it for our presentation. And of course we must rehearse prior to performance to ensure the time limit is respected.

-- In regards to the choices that went into making this decision, we all found that the types of classroom experiences that engaged us the most tended to be those that would either draw us into active discussion, or show us some aspect of a topic, in addition to simply telling us about it. Being able to watch a portion of a Noh performance comes to mind. Even while we may not have fully understood what was taking place, we needed the surrounding information and discussion to fill in some of the blanks, our attention was drawn in and eventually we had a greater understanding than if we had not been able to actually see a variant of theatrical performance, which was previously alien to us.

-- In short, we find active and interactive performance to be engaging, and assume that the visual imagery will also appeal to our theatrically-minded classmates. As a visual society, we feel our classmates will respond and recall these visual stimuli most effectively. While we are aware that a conventional lecture may convey information in the most direct fashion, we feel that we can appeal to the interest of our audience, use the format to supplement the function and still succeed in bringing about a considered informative presentation on this aspect of the history of Scandinavian Theatre.

Ludvig Holberg has been my primary topic of interest over the last week. In "The History of Scandinavian Theatre" he is mentioned as "the foremost playwright of the eighteenth century in Scandinavia." He came at a time of "revolution and enlightenment," which planted the seed for the development of the first national theaters in Scandinavia a couple decades later. The book describes the era as "a period of restless activity and growth" - which is making me curious about the political background surrounding this time. Although I have not read Holberg's comedies yet, I know they most definitely reference the societal structures of the time because the book quotes that "many people became angry over [them]." The author actually describes him as the true counterpart to Moliere, which says a lot about him as a politically-charged playwright. So the next piece in the puzzle will be to discover what exactly about eighteenth century Scandinavian society he was critiquing and commenting on through his plays.

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This page is an archive of recent entries written by Rebecca in November 2012.

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