For today's presentation, there was a wide variation of how groups went about presenting their topics. Starting off with my group, I thought we did a successful job despite on the challenge that we encountered. I thought we did a successful job of stating the obstacle that we tumbled upon and how we moved forward into our research. I also thought another success was explaining how the events that occurred within the Russian gap was also theatre but under a different light. Moving on to the other groups, the first one that jumps out to me was group 12. A success was the use of dimmed music in the background while the presenters were speaking, the consistent vocal tone that all the presenters used to take the audience back into their era, the reenactment of how theatre was, and interaction with the audience and giving us a sense of how theatre was like during the era that they researched. But on the down side to that presentation, at some points, I no longer paid attention to the person talking, but the people reenacting. Another success that a group did was having minimal bullet-points then verbally explaining the rest of the information in depth.
Throughout all the presentations, some intriguing information that lingered with me was the notion of presentation verses representation in theatre, how much outside theatre had impacted and helped formed theatre throughout historical context, and how largely theatre was used to push an idea and belief system unto the audience, also, the notion of pleasing an audience+instruction+effect on audience. But I wished I could have learned more about how the people went about tactics to knowing what the audience wanted.
Something that I found interesting about the presentations was how influential religion was in theatre and the language confliction whether it was because of the different interpretations on a word or a variation of language to convey a story which made it complex to understand. Something I learned was how different the meaning of theatre means for everyone. I always knew that theatre was different for everyone, but through these presentations, it broaden my lens on the different outtake on theatre. Something I wished I would have learned more was the meaning of theatre in each of the theatre history.
Something that worked well with the presentations was that everyone seemed to have a lot to say about their topic which seemed like they knew what they were talking about. What also worked was keeping the class entertained with their comic references because it kept everyone engaged.
What didn't work was when the presenters would speak while a clip was being shown because it was hard to hear them and hard to concentrate on both. Another thing was, at times it seemed like everything was being rushed therefore, it didn't seem important.
As we get closer to our presentation date, we have figured out who will be focusing on what. I will be focusing on how influential religion was and the uprising in 1648 of Russian theatre. There were multiple outside factors that impacted the Russian Theatre, however, Religion was one of the biggest, if not the biggest impact on how theatre in Russia came about. Before the uprising in 1648, religion was already established within their performances. Numerous plays revolved around stories from the bible. The reason why plays reenacted stories from the bible was to reinforce moral values and the religion. Performances of weddings, funerals, and sacrifice of an animal were performed. Greek Orthodox Christianity came into the picture in during the tenth century, and later in the Middle Ages, other rituals emerge.
For a long time, the Russian theatre went undocumented, but it wasn't until the 1648, that theatre came back into the picture. During this era, there were multiple clashes of culture that intertwined with one another in Russia, therefore, causing confliction an uproar in Russia.
Throughout my research in finding pre-1700 Russian theatre, it was difficult to find large amount of information that would go in depth about one specific area within our topic. The research that we had been discovering was only at the surface of what needed in order to dig deep. As we continued to bring our research together, we realize the huge impact religion played. We also wanted to see why there was a lack of documentation during the pre-1700s. Being that religion seemed to have a huge influence in crafting the Russian theatre, our group assign each other specific areas that we thought could further and deepen our scope on pre-1700 Russian Theatre.
My area of focus was Academies in Russia that were producing religious theater. With my findings, I found very little or things that were irreverent in what I wanted to focus on. Even googling up the name of academies did not help much either. I was reading a book called Russian Theater From the Empire to the Soviets. It talked about an academy called the Kievan Theological Academy. This academy did numerous biblical enactments divided into two parts: the religious representation and a scene from current life at the time. Many of these enactments took place at church. Some popular acts were Jesus on The Donkey, The Last Judgment, and Drama of the Burning Furnace. In the beginning of the 17th century, only the academic or school of drama of Catholic origin, introduced by Ukraine from Poland had trained actors/actresses. These plays would last for three to more acts. It was presented in first in Latin then Russian. The main focus of these plays was to enforce standardized religious views and moral values. Then the plays had no hell, only heaven and earth (yet this is still uncertain). Sometimes the cast would perform olays on the road and in return get food, drinks, and clothing. During the second half of 17th century, Tsar Alexey had reform theatre. Tsar's affiliation to theatre helped put theatre more in the spot light. First performance was on October 17, 1672.
Throughout my research, I have found that all of the information overlapped one another. One specific piece of information could not be discussed without religion; therefore, religion was something we knew that we had to discuss in our presentation. Another huge thing was the gap or as our group has been labeling it, the hole, it played a huge mystery in our research. Fitting the puzzles together on why our research was so difficult to find yet it helped us narrow our research.