Theatre in Late 19th Century

Topics: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Theatre, Drama Pages: 5 (1632 words) Published: January 11, 2007
Theatre in the late nineteenth century was taking large steps to what we know today. The length of shows became longer. Copyrights were created. Repertory Companies became more popular. Theatre made advancements in all different areas. The companies were made up of designers, directors, and actors. They would come together for one year. Every person would be in charge of a different role. Because of these Repertory Companies tours were beginning to increase in great amounts. Actors were paid for one year or they were paid through the amount of time that the show ran. By this time audiences became more equivalent and democratic. In the late nineteenth century a system was created where a playwright would be paid for every work he wrote. This system was called the Royalty System. Now the worldwide copyright accord was invented to keep track of plays and their writers. It wasn't until this time that playwrighting became an advantageous occupation. Job opportunities were opened for more people on and off the stage. During this time, in England, William Shakespeare's playwright works were performed. William Shakespeare's plays contain many parts of a romantic drama—an extensive brush of action, short scenes, and a devotion to love and adventure. More advancement was being made with lighting. In the first third of the nineteenth century gas lamps began to replace candles and oil lamps. Because gas lamps were becoming so efficient gas tables were created. Gas tables were a group of valves used by the gasman to control the amount of light. This allowed dimming of the house lights, which forced to audiences attention to the stage. Lime light was also created during this time period. Limelight was the nineteenth century spotlight, which made a radiant pool of light that followed the actors. Heating calcium carbonate/lime to incandescence with an oxyo-hydrogen torch created this light. In the 1880's electrical light began to restore the gas lamp ( The most popular form of theatre at this time was melodrama. Melodrama contains an immaculate hero who was usually wrongly accused, and an evil black-hearted villain. Background music emphasized emotional speeches and the action sequences, just like in a film. The greatest excitement was the chase. The villain was often a banker or a lawyer. By the last act everything was cleared up. Melodrama attracted the largest popular audience in American theatre history.

Theatre was very successful in this time period. It was the nineteenth century's main source of entertainment. Many complicated advances were made. Theatre came up with different types of drama. The different plays they came up with developed a certain type of clothing. The different types of drama made a rapid increase in plays. Playwrights advanced their thinking patterns. They came up with new methods of writing. Plays were getting better and better.

One of the most popular plays of this time was Uncle Tom's Cabin, based on Harriet Beacher Stowe's novel and was dramatized best by George L. Aiken. Its themes of slavery, religion, and love connected with the audience. Other plays at this time were The Count of the Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas Père and Charles Fechter, The Lady of the Camellias by Alexandre Dumas, Faust by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, and Cyrano De Bergerac by Edmond Rostand. The Count of the Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas Père was not considered a theatrical success. It needed a cast of one hundred, it was written in twenty acts, and it took two days to perform. Charles Fechter, a nineteenth century actor/manager, created a more feasible variation. It contained a cast of twenty-four, nine scenes, five acts, and a prologue. This version was developed thirty-five years later. It was starring James O'Neill, and was first presented on the colossal stage of New York's Booth Theatre in February 1883.Johan Wolfgang Von Goethe's best play was Faust. It was the...
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