Theater & Drama
Theater & Drama
Art is an expression of emotion. As they say, art is everywhere. Perhaps everything in this world is driven by art. It is already part of our lives. In other words art itself is an element of life. There are many forms of art; visual art, theater, multimedia, and the like. All of these are common even during the early century times. In fact art exist and has life, it never die, for if it dies it will never be called art. Theater is one of the common medium of art. It is an art in which there is no permanent image for every performance; an artist may vary his/her expression of the art.
Thus, this form is one of the most prestigious medium. Theater is one of the oldest and one of the most popular forms of entertainment (2007, Encarta. msn. com). In this form of art, an actor can perform on a space provided. Hence, a space for performance is called a theater. There are several elements of theater; text, space, and narrative. Text is one of the most common among them. In fact text is the main element of theater but even though it is the most common it is one of them most effective. Second is the space. This is to give dynamics on the scene.
Third is the narrative. Narrative is used to connect a story. It is also used to relate the story to the audience. Sometimes when a story is very long the narrative element will make the delivery of the story short by narrating to the audience what happened. These elements when used together are a strong foundation of theater performance. In fact these elements do not come in single form. They are fused and forms many variation. This is to ensure that a performance will have a different taste from time to time. This is to eliminate the tendency of a boring performance.
One time, I attended an acting workshop. It is on Rasa Box technique. The technique is to explore the emotion of the artist to come up with an acting that somewhat realistic. It is a technique where an artist will no longer use any subtext to be able to act a scene. Because often times the character’s experience wasn’t experienced by the actor, he/she sometimes recall his past experiences or borrow the experiences of other people to be able to feel or internalize the role. It is a hard job for the artist to recall or borrow experiences thus the technique offers a new style.
During that workshop we were taught and experience or ourselves the importance of text, space, and narrative. Not all the time text is useful. Sometimes space gives a great impact when used. For example the character is angry on one of the characters. He/she will shout or scream loud to show or emphasize the anger. Now try to imagine if the artist will not give any words but will just look at the other character for a long moment and will just leave. Thus the other example is much better compared to the first. Why, it is because the first one is the most common expression of anger.
In theater, the artist must be flexible to explore other expression of a particular emotion; but in reality emption is commonly mixed and this will give a better expression. I saw a performance last time. The title of the show was Uwahig but the Integrated Performing Arts Guild. It was also the show that was presented during the International Theater Festival. It is really amazing. Most of the artists did not use text but spaces and movement. The poet (narrator) relates the story in the form of a chant and song. The show started with the artist on the audience.
They creep, crawl and contract as if they were undergoing suffering. Then suddenly the lights slowly fade out and the artists start to cry in agony. In that moment you will feel how important are the elements of theater and how important to know when to use those elements. Then the narrator came out. She started with a chant. It is a chant where you will feel the sufferings of the people in that story. The she slowly came to silent. Her eyes looked at the other character. Then she starts narrating again. Those spaces make the audience comprehend and feel the story of that performance.
The performance ended with a narration: “And this is the start of the epic of mankind”. It is really effective. You will not feel boring when watching that show. Indeed it gives a true example on the right usage of the elements. In fact it is the right timing on the usage of those elements that makes the delivery of the story effective. One thing also that makes the text more effective is the addition of dynamics upon delivery. In theater or any performance, even in music, a loud sound is much appreciated when comes after a silence. In vice versa, a silence is much appreciated when comes after a loud sound.
That’s dynamics; the rise and fall of sound of the tone of sound or movements. Another performance I saw was the legend of a falls in one country. On near-the-end scene the Raja ran to catch the woman. To emphasize the running scene, the artist act as if running by stamping their feet in a slowly rising momentum. Then when the time comes where the woman was almost caught by the Raja, the Raja jump for her and then suddenly they were in slow motion. There were times when the Raja almost hold the hand of the woman but unfortunately loose the grip. The audience that time really screams for the woman.
They were as if the ones being caught. Well, that was an effective delivery. Dynamics makes the audience follow through the flow of the story. I have also an experience when I watch a theater performance where some of the usage of the text were ineffective due to the wrong timing and the often use of the style. In theater, when an image is already established, do not repeat the acting or the image. It will only give a boring performance and will ruin the impact of the show. It was a performance of a great novel and somewhat on one part of the story they improvise the delivery of the story.
They make it a comedy by dancing with the new novelty songs which makes it more comedy. But they were able to leave hole on that scene. They repeated the style trice and that makes the whole scene corny and ineffective. In that experience I learn that due to the fact that there are only few elements of theater, the artist should be responsible in making choices in what to deliver. The elements of theater make the performance. It is like a textile that is made up of many fibers. It is threaded in different variations to come up with a different style.
It is like eating that when you often eat the most delicious food it will no longer become delicious in someday. Variation makes the art alive; particularly the theater. Some of the artists who are concentrating on contemporary theater question the traditional use of the elements. Well, some of the traditional type of theater uses the elements ineffectively. Their delivery makes the performance boring. Before, traditional type of theater uses only single variation. When it’s a play, it’s only a play. The limited variation of the style makes it somewhat dead.
We cannot deny the fact that we are living in the new generation. The people are developing and thus the likes of the people develop too. In this generation, a typical type of theater performance might be ineffective. It is more beautiful to explore more on theater. It is like an experiment. The audience needs from time to time new style of performance. One Artistic Director ones said when they were exploring on the possible images of a new production that they are planning: “Our work must be like of that effective commercial on television; it gives new performance and taste”.
Well, I agree with him. Theater art is a growing art. Thus when you are stuck with your old style of art, someday your art will vanish. He was trying to imply that from time to time art must be updated. It does not mean that the performance will also be futuristic since we are now living in the future. What it means it that we will not rely on one form of style in theater arts. There is a theater arts group I knew that no longer exist. Their art die. One reason for that is they did not adopt or explore more on their art forms and rely only on the traditional ones.
They also did not explore more on the variations of the elements of theater arts. One example of their art performance is the typical play where mainly their artist use the elements of theater but one thing is lacking, the timing of when to used those elements. Another element of theater is the technical aspect; the lights and sounds. They are useful because it gives life to the performance. The lights make the scene realistic and the sounds add more life to the scene. In one performance o Cirque de sole lights and sounds play a vital role in emphasizing the scenes.
There were instances where the lights make the scene as if the scene is in the sky where the falling angel was seen. The angel looks as if it is really falling due to the enhancement made by the lights and the music makes gives more emotion on the scene. Many artists nowadays give emphasis on theater arts. Some feel it boring but many say that it is more difficult than film. I agree because in film an artist has several chances in revising his/her images and when the artist commits a mistake, there is a chance to correct it whereas in theater, there is no room for mistakes during performance.
Once a mistake is committed, it will not be corrected anymore. It will be inculcated in the minds of the audience thus one director of a theater company says: “commit mistakes with confidence”. That means that when you commit a mistake; make it appear to the audience that it is part of the performance. In general the elements and the right timing of using them make a performance beautiful. Work cited: Theater (2007). msn Encarta. Retrieved April 30, 2007 from http://encarta. msn. com/encyclopedia_761553217/Theater. html Integrated Performing Arts Guild. Retrieved April 30, 2007 from http://www. msuiit. edu. ph/ipag/