Origins of Theater Through Medieval History

Rituals -- a practice or tradition done on a regular basis.

 Tragos -- "goat song" sung in yearly rituals of sacrifice from which we get our word "tragedy".

 Dionysus -- God of wine and fertility.

 Thespis -- The 1st actor who steps apart from the chorus to speak lines from whom we get our term "Thespians".

 Tragedy -- Serious dramas where the hero of high birth meets doom performed in spring.

 Sophocles -- Greek playwright of tragedies such as "Antigone".

 Satyr plays -- Obscene, crude pantomimes performed between tragedy trilogies in spring.

 Euripides -- Greek playwright of the only surviving Satyr

 Comedy -- Light-hearted dramas where the hero of low birth succeeds performed in winter.

 Aristophanes -- Greek playwright of mostly comedies such as "The Birds" or "The Frogs".

 Cothurni -- Platform shoes to make actors taller.

 Masks -- Large headpieces to indicate and exaggerate character.


Theatron -- The performance space built by the Greeks from which we get our word "theater".

 Aristotle -- A very smart man that wrote "The Poetics", a guideline to tragedy and comedy.

 Bear Baiting, gladiators, Christian executions -- Roman rituals and ceremonies as entertainment.

 Coliseums -- Place for Roman entertainments.

 Cycle and Passion Plays -- Religious plays of the medieval period used to teach the bible.

 Masques -- Secular entertainments performed for the rich during medieval periods. 

 Renaissance -- Time of Rebirth.

 Crusades -- Wars in the holy lands of Constantinople to convert "heathens" to Christianity.  During this time Christians are exposed to the ancient arts.

 Printing Press -- a machine to mass copy documents, previously copied by hand, which leads to a growth in education and wide spread communications.


Voice Production Vocab

Voice Production

I.     Being heard.

       A.  Volume - How loud or quiet 
       B.  Projection: To put forth the voice without shouting

II.   Breathing:  Regulating breath control

       A. Diaphram - The muscle between the lungs and stomach that effects breath control.
       B. Resonators - The spaces in the head and chest that play a part in voice production.

III.      Articulation: The clear precise pronunciation of words.

IV.       Tone:  The attitude carried by the voice. 

V.        Quality: The individual resonance and tonality of a voice (nasally, breathy, harsh, raspy). 

VI.       Inflection: The different emphasis given to words in a speech to create variety and meaning.

VII.     Frequency:  High/ Low

       A. Pitch - The relative highness or lowness of the speech.
       B. Range - The distance between the highest and lowest of a person's natural speaking voice.

VIII.    Focus: Clear concentration, staying in character and on task.

IX.      Speed
       A.  Rate: The speed of speech.  The general words per minute.
       B.  Pace: Timing of the speech. Finding appropriate pauses and places to speed up or slow down.

X.       Body Language: The movement or stance that the body takes that communicates without words.


Structure of Dramatic Literature Vocabulary

Setting -- Time and place of a play

Character -- All the persons involved in the story.

   Protagonist -- The main character of a play.

   Antagonist -- The person or force opposing the main character.

Plot -- The series of events or actions in the play.

   Preliminary Situation -- The starting of the play, explains who, where, when and why.

   Initial Incident -- First major event or conflict which the rest of the plot develops.

   Rising Action -- Events building on each other creating more conflict.

   Climax -- The turning point in action, the height of the crisis.

   Falling Action -- A decline of events after the action comes to its peak.

   Conclusion -- The outcome of events.

Theme -- A basic idea or purpose of a play.

Mood -- The emotional feeling of a play.

Spectacle -- The visual part of a play.

Dialogue -- The spoken lines of the play.

Tableau -- A freeze frame of action.

 Acts and Scenes -- the major divisions of a script equivilant to Chapters and sections of a novel.  Acts divide play into major sections while scenes change any time the setting of the play shifts.