How might 'Naturlism' be defined within theatrical context?

Topics: Theatre, Psychology, 19th century Pages: 2 (463 words) Published: December 4, 2013
How might ‘Naturalism’ be defined within theatrical contexts?

Movement in theatre developed late 19th century, presenting ordinary life as accurately as possible, influenced by novelists and playwrights such as Ibsen and Emile Zola. The idea of naturalistic plays was to portray harsh and gritty subject matters, which would emphasize the wrongs in contemporary life which would often be frowned upon and alienate 19th-century audiences. However, by seeing the wrongs in society there is a believe that people will try and better themselves. Naturalism existed only in it’s historical moments

Theatre imitating life. Naturalism brought science into the game, with more electricity in theatres, removal of audience, putting them in the dark as if they were eavesdropping. Importance of everyday and ordinary. Potential tool for improving humanity by showing the wrongs. Brought in the fourth wall, analytical distance. extending the idea to the imaginary boundary between the audience and the stage. Character is more important than plot/action. The model of theatre as scientific ideas and the idea that human beings are distinguished by society, like showing the subject as a product of social forces. Playing around with that idea, like Emile Zola did in his play “Miss Julie” dropping a high class girl into a test tube with a servant (lower class) of particular type/ character and see what happens.

Playwrights tried to get as far away from the theatrical side of plays, by using techniques such as making real time and fictional time the same. It would always be very accurately documented, especially social detail. Lineage or Heredity always played a big part and were controlled by the environments which would explain the behavior and status of the characters.

Naturalism showed a slice of life as it really is, without putting up a show for the audience you see a gritty unpleasant side of life which pays very close attention to detail and behavior, often including...
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