Toneel, Teater van Butrint

Toneel, Teater van Butrint


Teateronrus Tien onluste in die geskiedenis van die verhoog, 1601-2004

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Teater- en toneelontwerp in Amerika

Die eerste opgetekende uitvoering van 'n toneelstuk wat deur 'n Amerikaner geskryf is, was in 1690 aan die Harvard College. Die eerste permanente Amerikaanse teater is in 1766 in Philadelphia gebou, dit is gemaak van baksteen en nagebore Engelse geboue in rangskikking en algemene argitektuur. In 1752 arriveer Lewis Hallam, lid van 'n vooraanstaande teatergesin, met 'n groep uit Engeland, wat die begin van professionele teater in Amerika was. Die teater in Amerika vir die volgende 40 jaar was soortgelyk aan die Britse provinsiale teater, met eenvoudige stelle vir maklike reise, maar min stede kon nog teatergeboue bekostig. Teen die 1790's was groepe egter gevestig in Boston, New York, Philadelphia en Charleston, Suid -Carolina, en baie permanente teaters is opgerig.

Die eerste dekades van die 19de eeu het nie net die vermeerdering van speelhuise in die groter Oosterse stede meegebring nie, maar ook die uitbreiding van teater na binnelandse streke. Die grensgees is beliggaam deur Samuel Drake, wat die eerste geselskap in 1815 na die weste geneem het (na Kentucky). Drake het 'n verstelbare proscenium ontwerp wat in enige groot kamer opgerig kon word. Die voorste gordyn was 'n rolval (verlaag agter die prosceniumboog) en drie stelle vlerke (een elk vir buitekant, versierde interieurs en eenvoudige interieurs) en ses roldruppels (insluitend 'n tuin, 'n straat en 'n bos) het sy skilderagtige repertoire voltooi.

Na 1825 het New York City hoër standaarde vir teaterproduksie en meer teatergeboue as enige ander stad in Amerika. Alhoewel versiering en meubels 'n indruk van weelde skep, was die vroeë stedelike teaters in werklikheid vuil en besmet met rotte. Hulle het min of geen brandbeskerming gehad nie, en tussen 1820 en 1845 het nie minder nie as 25 teatergeboue afgebrand. Alhoewel die meeste produksies voorraadstelle en rekwisiete gebruik het, is daar soms 'n uitgebreide of spesifieke stel bygevoeg. Die belangstelling in historiese akkuraatheid was eers in 1830 'n groot kommer oor produksie, toe Charles Kean saam met sy Shakespeare -groep uit Engeland besoek het.

Gedurende die laaste derde van die 19de eeu was die algemene skilderagtige neiging na groter naturalisme, met veral klem op plaaslike kleur. Die belangrikste ontwerpinnovasies kom van die bestuurders van groepe wat permanent by 'n teater gevestig is. Een van hierdie bestuurders was Edwin Booth, wie se nuwe teater, wat in 1869 geopen is, verskeie nuwe konsepte in die Verenigde State bekendgestel het. Die belangrikste innovasie was dat die verhoogvloer plat was en daar geen groewe was nie. Hysbakke het vaste stukke uit die 50 voet werkruimte onder die verhoog opgehef, en vlieënde masjiene het ander stukke na die 76 voet se boonste ruimte beweeg. In Booth se nuwe teater het hy die voorskoot laat vaar en boksstelle amper uitsluitlik gebruik.

'N Ander belangrike bestuurder was Augustin Daly, wat die neiging tot realisme bevorder het. Terwyl die lede van sy groep tydens sy geskiedenis van drie dekades aansienlik verander het, was dit die beste voorbeeld van die permanente aandelemaatskappy in die geskiedenis van die Amerikaanse teater. Daly beklemtoon die eenheid van elke produksie en beheer elke element self. Sy eerste sukses, Saratoga, deur Bronson Howard, in 1870, was die eerste toneelstuk wat 'n realistiese beeld van die Amerikaanse lewe van die dag gegee het.

Steele MacKaye, wat ook gedurende hierdie tydperk aktief was, beklee 'n unieke plek in die teater as akteur, bestuurder, dramaturg, uitvinder en ontwerper. In 'n tydperk van meganiese uitvindings was produsente op soek na 'n manier om toneelveranderinge te bewerkstellig wat nie 'n onderbreking sou vereis nie. In 1879 het MacKaye 'n patent vir 'n "dubbele verhoog" ingedien, 'n funksie wat hy daarna in die Madison Square Theatre in New York City bekend gestel het. Hy het 'n hysbakplatform gebou waarop een toneel kan afspeel terwyl 'n vroeëre toneel hieronder gespeel word. Die nuwe toneel is toe net met sy eie verhoogvloer tot die toepaslike vlak verlaag, terwyl die vorige toneel agter dit teruggerol het.

Onder die ander meganiese innovasies van MacKaye was 'n opvoubare teaterstoel met kapstok, 'n skuifverhoog, 'n teaterventilasiestelsel, die eerste installering van 'n elektriese beligtingstelsel in 'n teater (1885), toestelle om wolk-, seegolf- en reënboogeffekte te produseer, die vervanging van oorhoofse beligting vir voetligte (wat sedert die vroeë barokperiode in gebruik was), en 'n proses vir die brandwerende natuurskoon. Om finansiële redes is sommige van sy meer grandiose skemas nooit uitgevoer nie. Byvoorbeeld, vir die wêreld se Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, ontwerp hy 'n 'Spectatorium' vir musiek-spektakel-dramas wat 'n hemelkoepel wat die verhoog omring het, 'n gordyn van lig, 'n glybaan vir toneelveranderings, en 'n ouditorium met sitplek vir 10 000 mense.

In 1896 vorm ses mans die Theatrical Syndicate, wat byna volledige beheer oor die Amerikaanse teater verkry het. Hulle was slegs geïnteresseerd in kommersieel winsgewende werke, soos produksies met kunstenaars met groot opvolginge. Die grootste opposisie teen die sindikaat kom van David Belasco, 'n vervaardiger en dramaturg. Belasco se doel as produsent was om 'n volledige realisme op die planke te bring, en dit is vandag moeilik om te besef hoe skouspelagtig hy hierdie strewe bereik het. In 1879, in sy produksie van Die passiespel, die verhaal van Jesus Christus van geboorte tot opstanding, het hy gereël dat 'n lewende trop skape op die verhoog gestapel word. Toe die akteur James O'Neill (vader van die dramaturg Eugene O'Neill), wat Christus gespeel het, voor Pontius Pilatus gesleep en met dorings bekroon word, het lede van die gehoor flou geword. En na die optrede, toe O'Neill deur die stad loop, sak mense op hul knieë en bid tot hom. Die toneelstuk wek so 'n godsdienstige waansin dat Jode op straat buite die teater aangerand is, en 'n hofbevel verbied verdere optredes.

Die krag van die Theatrical Syndicate was so groot dat Belasco in 1904 genoodsaak was om Convention Hall, 'n lekkende gebou in New York, vir sy produksies te huur. Tydens die eerste optrede was daar 'n hewige reënbui, en die gehoor moes deur die laaste daad sit met sambrele. Belasco se produksies het so gewild geword dat die sindikaat uiteindelik met hom 'n kompromie moes aangaan en sodoende hul wurggreep op die Amerikaanse teater verbreek het.


Kneehigh -teater sluit na 'veranderinge in artistieke leierskap'

Die bekroonde Kneehigh-teater het aangekondig dat dit gaan sluit, met verwysing na "onlangse veranderinge in artistieke leierskap" as een van die redes waarom dit onvolhoubaar geword het.

Kneehigh, gevestig in Cornwall, was deur die jare verantwoordelik vir 'n verskeidenheid innoverende, kleurryke en baie gewilde shows.

In 'n verklaring wat Donderdag op sy webwerf gepubliseer is, het Kneehigh gesê dat dit oplosbaar is en dat die finansiële stabiliteit daarvan beteken dat hy gedurende die hele pandemie van die coronavirus kon aanhou werk.

Maar dit het bygevoeg: 'Onlangse veranderinge in artistieke leierskap het vrae laat ontstaan ​​of Kneehigh hul visie in die toekoms kan handhaaf. Die trustees en die maatskappy het besin oor 'n moontlike nuwe toekoms, maar tot die gevolgtrekking gekom dat dit beter en meer verantwoordelik was om Kneehigh te sluit en 'n ordelike stilstand te verseker.

Alle produksies wat vir 2021 beplan word, is gekanselleer, lui die verklaring. Al die fisiese bates van die onderneming, insluitend stelle, rekwisiete en kostuums, word in ooreenstemming met liefdadigheidswet gegee.

Kneehigh is in 1980 gestig deur Mike Shepherd, wat as artistieke direkteur gebly het totdat hy in Maart uittree. Toe Shepherd vertrek, het die maatskappy aan die Stage gesê dat die einde van sy ampstermyn beteken dat hy 'n verslag moet doen en die toekomsplanne deeglik moet oorweeg ".

Sy vertrek het gevolg op die van Carl Grose, die adjunk -artistieke direkteur, in Januarie na 27 jaar by die onderneming.

Die regisseur Emma Rice was ook 20 jaar by die maatskappy, eers as akteur, regisseur en daarna artistieke direkteur voordat hy in 2016 vertrek om artistiek direkteur van Shakespeare's Globe te word, 'n werk waarin sy twee jaar lank gebly het.

Kneehigh se produksies, wat dikwels bekend gestel is vir hul lewensgevoel, sou 'n uitbundige komedie met weghol -romanse meng. Baie was gebaseer op mitologiese verhale, soos die Cornish -legende van Tristan en Yseult, die Hans Christian Andersen -sprokie The Red Shoes of Griekse tragedie The Bacchae.

Hedda Archbold, die voorsitter van die kuratorium van Kneehigh, het gesê: 'Die direksie wil erken dat dit 'n moeilike tyd vir die Kneehigh -span is. Ons wil hulle bedank vir die uitstekende werk wat hulle gelewer het en hulde bring aan hul passie en toewyding aan Kneehigh.

'Verlede Saterdag het die briljante Random Acts of Art sy laaste optrede gehad. Die projek was 'n hoogtepunt om af te sluit. Hierdie gewaagde, speelse, humoristiese en aanloklike kreatiewe werke het tientalle medewerkers regoor Cornwall byeengebring, en het die publiek baie geniet, sowel as aanlyn.

'Eklekties, anargisties, inspirerend en inklusief, het dit die gees van Kneehigh beliggaam wat ons die afgelope 40 glorieryke jare liefgehad het. Ondanks die uitdagings van die afgelope jaar, was dit 'n ongelooflike reis vol vreugde en vreugde. ”


Geskiedenis van The Curtain Theatre

Gretiger teatergangers dateer meer as 400 jaar gelede en het na Shakespeare's Curtain Theatre gestroom om die eerste opvoerings van toneelstukke te sien wat nou beskou word as die tydlose kenmerke van die Britse kultuur en internasionale literatuur.

Shoreditch, wat beskou word as die eerste teaterdistrik in die hoofstad, word vandag net so waardeer vir sy artistieke en dinamiese betekenis as in die 1570's toe The Curtain Theatre sy deure vir die eerste keer oopgemaak het.

Geskiedenis van The Curtain Theatre

Die Curtain Theatre het sy naam gekry van Curtain Close, die ommuurde weiding waarin die speelhuis gebou is. Dit was 'n buitelug -teater wat gedurende die somer gebruik sou word om die publiek te vermaak. Daar word vermoed dat dit tot 1000 mense gehou het, hoewel opgrawings van die terrein hierdie jaar meer te wete sal kom oor die samestelling van die teater.

Tussen die jare 1597 en 1599 was dit die belangrikste plek vir Shakespeare se toneelstukke totdat die Globe teen die begin van die eeu amptelik in Southwark voltooi is. Rekords van die bestaan ​​en gebruik daarvan verskyn tot 1622, maar daar word vermoed dat dit so laat as die burgeroorlog in die 1640's daar gebly het.

Shakespeare optredes

Shakespeare se waarnemende geselskap, The Lord Chamberlain's Men, het The Curtain Theatre gebruik om die dramaturg se vroeëre werke op te voer, waaronder Romeo en Juliet, en Henry V - wat waarskynlik hier in première was.

Die toneelstukke van Christopher Marlowe, insluitend sy 'Dr Faustus', is heel moontlik in die teater opgevoer, saam met Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy en Ben Jonson se 'Every Man in His Humor' - 'n toneelstuk waarin Shakespeare opgetree het.

Die enorme ontdekking

Die historiese betekenis van The Curtain Theatre is groot, aangesien dit vermoedelik die langste gebruiksrekord van al die Shakespeare -speelhuise in Londen het.

Alle fisiese spore van die teater het eeue gelede verdwyn, wat die presiese ligging daarvan onbekend gemaak het. As gevolg van die beplande wedergeboorte van Shoreditch, het die ontdekking van die oorspronklike speelhuis van Shakespeare die erkenning van die dramaturg weer aangevuur, en het dit nog 'n element bygevoeg aan die reeds ryk en oorvloedige erfenis van Shoreditch.

Die Oscar-bekroonde akteur, Eddie Redmayne, wat 'n Critics 'Circle Theatre-toekenning vir sy rol as Richard II in 2011 gewen het, het oor die ontdekking gesê:' Omdat die Globe en The Rose gehelp het om kulturele lewenskragtigheid in die stad te verleen, is ek opgewonde om te sien wat die verkenning van hierdie besonderse terrein sal opduik en na hierdie reeds briljante gebied van die hoofstad sal bring. ”

Argeoloë van die Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) het die terrein opgegrawe voor die bou van die splinternuwe landmerkontwikkeling, The Stage.

Vir diegene wat wil woon of belê in 'n gebied vol geskiedenis en toekomstige potensiaal, is The Stage in Shoreditch die perfekte plek.

Die ontwikkeling sal rondom The Curtain Theatre gebou en ontwerp word, wat sy ikoniese naam sal laat ontstaan. Inwoners van die opvallende ontwikkeling met 37 verdiepings kry maklike toegang tot die lewendige strate rondom Shoreditch High Street, insluitend twee kantoorgeboue en kleinhandelverblyf binne die ontwikkeling.

'N Teateratmosfeer sal voortvloei deur die ontwikkeling, aangesien The Stage die teater met sy eie doelgeboude besoekersentrum sal insluit.


Inhoud

In 1959 publiseer sir Tyrone Guthrie 'n klein uitnodiging in die dramablad van Die New York Times om gemeenskappe se belangstelling en betrokkenheid by 'n inwonende teater te lok. Uit die sewe stede wat gereageer het, het die tweelingstede nie net belangstelling getoon nie, maar ook gretigheid vir die projek. [1] [2] [3]

Frank Whiting, die direkteur van die University of Minnesota Theatre, het Guthrie aan die kunsgemeenskap in die Twin Cities voorgestel en gehelp om ondersteuning te versamel wat Guthrie oorreed het om sy teater in Minneapolis op te spoor. Met die hulp van die nuutgestigte Tyrone Guthrie Theatre Foundation het 'n geldinsamelingspoging meer as $ 2 miljoen ingesamel. Die nuwe teater is voltooi in 1963 betyds vir die opening van 7 Mei Hamlet. Gedurende die eerste seisoen van die Guthrie was bekende verhoogakteurs Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy en Zoe Caldwell en 'n groep jonger akteurs, waaronder George Grizzard, Ellen Geer en Joan van Ark. die teater wat hy tot 1969 gestig het, twee jaar voor sy dood. In 1966 word Douglas Campbell aangewys as artistieke direkteur.

Gedurende die sestigerjare het die Guthrie kritieke lof gekry in sy produksies van Henry V., St Joan, Kaukasiese krytkring, Drie susters en Die Huis van Atreus. In 1968 het die produksie van Die Huis van Atreus is onderweg geneem tydens 'n nasionale toer wat die eerste keer vir 'n inwonende teater was. [1] Die Guthrie begin ook in 1968 met 'n tradisie om toneelstukke op kleiner toneel in die Twin Cities-omgewing te vervaardig, waaronder die Crawford-Livingston-teater in St. Paul en The Other Place.

In 1971 word Michael Langham artistieke direkteur en vervaardig klassieke toneelstukke, waaronder Oedipus Rex, Love's Labour's Lost, Sy hou op om te oorwin, en 'N Straatkar met die begeerte. Nadat Langham in 1977 vertrek het, het die Guthrie 'n soort mylpaal oorgesteek toe hy vir die eerste keer 'n artistieke direkteur gekies het wat nie 'n gerespekteerde medewerker of vriend van Tyrone Guthrie was nie. Daardie jaar is Alvin Epstein gekies as artistieke direkteur en was die eerste Amerikaner wat die rol vervul het.

In 1980 vervang Liviu Ciulei Epstein. Ciulei was die voormalige artistieke direkteur van Teatrul Bulandra in Roemenië en het 'n groot invloed op die Guthrie gehad. Hy het gehore uitgedaag met sy gewaagde teaterinterpretasies en sy hoogs kontemporêre en internasionale styl. Ciulei se belangstelling in teater het nie by die produksies self gestop nie, hy was 'n ontwerper en argitek en een van die eerste dinge wat hy gedoen het, was om die teater self te herontwerp. [4] Sy veranderinge het meer strukturele buigsaamheid in die verhoog moontlik gemaak om elke produksie 'n unieke fisiese voorstelling te gee. Alhoewel Ciulei nie al die doelwitte kon bereik wat hy in die vooruitsig gestel het nie, kon hy die nasionale en internasionale reputasie van die Guthrie behou en bevorder as 'n eersteklas voorbeeld van Amerikaanse teater en het hy kritieke sukses behaal met produksies van klassiekers soos Peer Gynt, Die huwelik van Figaro, N Midsomernagdroom, Die seemeeu, en Tartuffe. Hy was ook in staat om die verbintenis van Guthrie tot waarnemende ensembles te herstel deur 'n roterende repertorium in sy laaste seisoen as artistieke direkteur in 1985 byeen te bring. In 1982 het die teater die Regional Theatre Tony Award gewen.

In daardie jaar wend die Guthrie hom tot Garland Wright, wat in die vroeë tagtigerjare 'n tydjie as die mede -artistieke direkteur van Liviu Ciulei deurgebring het as plaasvervanger van Ciulei. Wright het 'n visie met Ciulei gedeel, insluitend die begeerte om 'n tweede, kleiner verhoog te hê wat as 'n laboratorium kan dien om nuwe werk- en prestasietegnieke te verken. Uit hierdie visie is die Guthrie Laboratory (ook bekend as die Guthrie Lab) in die Minneapolis Warehouse District gebore. Wright het ook 'n begeerte gedeel om die konsep van 'n inwonende waarnemende onderneming lewendig te hou en het sy ensembles met groot effek gebruik. Hy kon kritiese en gewilde sukses kombineer met 'n reeks produksies wat gehelp het om 'n groot, entoesiastiese en lojale gehoorbasis te vestig. Produksies uit hierdie tydperk sluit in Die Misantroop, Richard III, Die skerms, en 'n trilogie van Richard II, Hendrik IV (Dele I en II) en Henry V., Medea en Soos jy daarvan hou. Wright het ook 'n reeks uitreikprogramme geskep wat daarop gemik is om belangstelling in teater onder jongmense te wek en wat hoërskool- en kollega -instrukteurs betrek.

Garland Wright kondig sy uittrede in 1994 aan en na 'n internasionale soektog na sy opvolger, is Joe Dowling gekies as die sewende artistieke direkteur van Guthrie. Dowling het 'n internasionale reputasie opgedoen met sy werk by die nasionale teater van Ierland, die Abbey Theatre, waaronder om die jongste artistieke direkteur van die Abbey in sy lang geskiedenis te word.

Onder die artistieke leierskap van Dowling het die Guthrie ongekende groei geniet. Inskrywings het 'n hoogtepunt van meer as 32,000 bereik, meer as 50% meer as aan die begin van Dowling se ampstermyn. Dowling se tyd by die Guthrie-teater word gekenmerk deur 'n terugkeer na plaaslike toere, ko-produksies deur besoekende internasionale teatergeselskappe (WorldStage Series), samewerking met plaaslike teatergeselskappe en sy eie dinamiese produksies van die klassieke.

Dowling tree af in 2014. Die agtste artistieke direkteur van die Guthrie is Joseph Haj, wat in 2015 oorgeneem het.

Gekombineer met 'n innoverende filosofie wat 'n inwonende waarnemende onderneming met hoë professionele standaarde insluit, was 'n unieke ontwerpkonsep in die stadium self.

Ralph Rapson is gekies om die teatergebou van 1963 te ontwerp. Rapson was 'n toonaangewende bydraer tot die moderne beweging van argitektuur aan die ooskus van die laat veertigerjare tot die vyftigerjare, en dien as hoof van die Universiteit van Minnesota se argitektuurskool aan die einde van die vyftigerjare. Rapson het ook aan 'n paar voorlopige sketse van die Walker Art Center gewerk, wat grond op Vineland Place geskenk het vir die bou van die Guthrie. Guthrie en Rapson het 'n aangepaste teater gekies in die ronde ontwerp, met 'n stuwingsverhoog wat uit 'n agtermuur uitsteek met sitplekke rondom byna twee derdes daarvan. [5]

Die ontwerp van die Guthrie het ontstaan ​​uit Ralph Rapson se werk met die Walker Art Center en konsepte wat die Walker oorweeg het vir 'n klein ouditorium naby hul museum. Die resultaat was 'n teater wat deur Rapson ontwerp is, wat 1 441 mense gesit het toe dit sy deure vir die eerste keer in 1963 oopgemaak het. Die onreëlmatig gevormde verhoog, ontwerp deur Tanya Moiseiwitsch, het 7 kante en beslaan 104 vierkante meter. Die sitplek het na buite en na bo gestraal, en die plafon is gehang met akoestiese panele wat die asimmetriese tema na die top van die teater bring. Die ontwerpkonsep het die gebruik van 'n minimale gebruik van groot stukke aangemoedig. In 1974 is die kenmerkende buiteskerm wat deur die jare deur korrosie deur die elemente gely is, verwyder. [6] In 1980 het die artistieke direkteur Liviu Ciulei die verhoog herontwerp. Die verhoog self is aangepas sodat die grootte, vorm en hoogte verstelbaar was, en hy het die agterste muur oopgemaak om meer diepte te skep. [7]

In 2002 het die National Trust for Historic Preservation die ou Guthrie -gebou op die lys van die mees bedreigde historiese eiendomme in die Verenigde State geplaas in reaksie op planne wat deur die Walker Art Center aangekondig is om uit te brei op die grond wat deur die teater beset word. [8] Die sloping het egter aan die einde van 2006 begin, begin met die gemeenskaplike gebied tussen die ou Guthrie -gebou en die Walker. Die terrein is verander in groen ruimte en 'n verlengstuk van die Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.


Prys / toekennings

"Die diepgaande, verhelderende en oorspronklike, The Stage Life of Props is nie net 'n uitstekende inleiding tot 'n wye verskeidenheid moderne werk in kulturele analise nie, maar ook 'n uiters nadenkende en indrukwekkende stuk werk. Nog niks is so uitgebreid en evokatief soos hierdie op die verhoogseiendom, maar verder as die spesifieke besorgdheid, sien Sofer hoe 'n oorweging van sekere sleutelfase -eienskappe kan dien om sommige van die mees basiese intellektuele en geestelike bekommernisse van 'n era oop te maak. Die gevolg is ... 'n belangrike bydrae tot die veld nie net van teaterstudies in die besonder nie, maar ook van kultuurstudies in die algemeen. "
—Marvin Carlson, Sidney E. Cohn Uitstekende professor in teater en vergelykende letterkunde, City University of New York

"Hierdie ambisieuse boek oor toneeleienskappe in die Wes -Europese teater bied 'n raamwerk vir 'n vakkundige projek wat reeds goed op dreef is."
—Douglas Bruster, Moderne filologie

Naaswenner, Barnard Hewitt-toekenning, American Society for Theatre Research �


Die verhaal van teater

Die V & ampA 's -teater- en uitvoeringsversamelings gee 'n uiteensetting van die fassinerende geskiedenis van teater in Brittanje vanaf die middeleeue tot vandag. Van vroeë dramatiese vorms, soos raaiselspele en hofmaske, tot die alternatiewe en 'in yer face ' drama van die laat 20ste eeu, via die patriotiese oorlogsvermaak van die veertigerjare, en die stigting van instellings soos die Kunsteraad en die National Theatre.

Die meeste vroeë teater in Engeland het ontstaan ​​uit kerkdienste van die 10de en 11de eeu. Dit het 'n gewilde vorm geword omstreeks 1350 toe godsdienstige leiers die opvoering van raaiselsiklusse (verhale uit die Bybel) en wonderwerke (verhale van heiliges) aangemoedig het. Dit is in die taal van gewone mense eerder as in Latyn geskryf en uitgevoer om die hoofsaaklik ongeletterde massas oor die Christendom en die bybel te leer.

William Poel as Adonai in 'Everyman ', 'n 15de -eeuse moraliteitstoneelstuk, 1901, Engeland. © Victoria en Albert Museum, Londen

Elke toneelstuk is opgevoer op pragwaens wat deur die strate verwerk is en opgehou het om op vooraf gereëlde terreine op te tree. Teen die einde van die Middeleeue het baie dorpe spesifieke ruimtes vir openbare teater gehad.

Die opkoms van sekulêre drama

Na die Reformasie in die 16de eeu - 'n beweging wat die gesag van die Rooms -Katolieke Kerk gekant het - is alle godsdienstige drama in Engeland onderdruk. Lisensies is uitgereik aan teatergeselskappe wat hulle toelaat om te oefen en in die openbaar op te tree, mits hulle die goedkeuring en beskerming van 'n edelman het.

Brittanje se eerste speelhuis 'The Theatre' is gebou in Finsbury Fields, Londen in 1576. Dit is gebou deur Leicester's Men 'n waarnemende maatskappy wat in 1559 gestig is uit lede van die graaf van Leicester se huishouding. In die volgende 16 jaar is 17 nuwe openbare teaters in die openbaar gebou. Die meeste van hierdie teaters was sirkelvormig, rondom 'n oop binnehof waar lede van die gehoor om die drie kante van die verhoog sou staan. Nuwe maatskappye floreer en daar word verwag dat skrywers elke jaar 'n aantal nuwe toneelstukke sal produseer om aan die vraag te voldoen. Ondernemings het bekend geword onder die titel van die beskermheer se huishouding. Die twee bekendste maatskappye en kwaai mededingers was die Admiral's Men en die Lord Chamberlain's Men.

Druk wat die Globe -teater uitbeeld, van 'n oorspronklike skildery gegraveer deur Hollar Wenceslaus, 1647, Londen, Engeland. Museum no. S.261-1978. © Victoria en Albert Museum, Londen

William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)

In 1594 sluit Shakespeare aan by die Lord Chamberlain's Men as akteur en hul hoofskrywer. Hy skryf gemiddeld twee nuwe toneelstukke per jaar vir die onderneming. Sy vroegste toneelstukke is ingesluit Die komedie van foute (die eerste keer uitgevoer in 1594) en sy eerste gepubliseerde werk was die gedig Venus en Adonis (1593). Shakespeare het baie van sy bekendste toneelstukke geskryf vir die Globe Theatre, wat in 1599 deur die Lord Chamberlain's Men. Toe die huurkontrak op die grond by hul speelhuis, The Theatre, in Shoreditch opraak, besluit die geselskap om die houtraamgebou af te breek en weer op die suidelike oewer van die Teems te herbou, en dit hernoem tot The Globe.

Die masker was 'n vorm van feestelike hoflike vermaak wat in die 16de- en vroeë 17de-eeuse Europa floreer het. Die Engelse argitek en ontwerper, Kostuumontwerp, Inigo Jones, 1613. © Victoria and Albert Museum, Londen

Inigo Jones word toegeskryf aan die bekendstelling van die prosceniumboog in die Britse teater - die ruimte waarin die akteurs op die verhoog verskyn het - en beweegbare natuurskoon in perspektief. Geïnspireer deur toneelmasjinerie wat hy tydens sy reis in Frankryk en Italië gesien het, het Jones se natuurskoon 'n reeks luike gebruik wat in en uit gegly het deur middel van groewe in die vloer. Hy vlieg selfs van bo in die natuur en stel gekleurde beligting voor deur kerse agter getinte glas te plaas.

Die sluiting van die teaters

In 1642 het 'n burgeroorlog in Engeland uitgebreek tussen ondersteuners van koning Charles I en die parlementariërs onder leiding van Oliver Cromwell. Teaters is gesluit om openbare wanorde te voorkom en het 18 jaar lank gesluit gebly, wat aansienlike swaarkry vir professionele teaterkunstenaars, bestuurders en skrywers veroorsaak het. Onwettige optredes was slegs sporadies en baie openbare teaters is afgebreek.

In 1656 het die digter en dramaturg William Davenant daarin geslaag om 'n besingde weergawe van die stuk op te stel Die beleg van Rhodes in sy huis. Dit word algemeen beskou as die eerste Engelse opera. Nadat Charles II in 1660 op die troon herstel is, het Davenant en die dramaturg Thomas Killigrew koninklike patente verleen, wat hulle virtuele monopolie gegee het oor die aanbied van drama in Londen. Hierdie monopolieë is eers in die 19de eeu herroep.

Die bekendstelling van natuurskoon en uitgebreide toneelmasjinerie aan die Engelse openbare verhoog in die 1660's het aanleiding gegee tot groot semi-operas. Baie hiervan was verwerkings van ander toneelstukke, dikwels deur Shakespeare. Dit het episodes van musiek, sang, dans en spesiale effekte gehad. Die grootste teater in hierdie tyd, wat een van die eerste proscenium -boë insluit, was The Duke's Theatre in Dorset Gardens. Beplan deur William Davenant en ontwerp deur Christopher Wren (argitek van St Paul's Cathedral), kos dit £ 9,000 (ongeveer £ 600,000 vandag). Dit het langs die Teems gestaan ​​en trappe het uit die rivier gelei vir die gaste wat per boot aankom.

Druk van The Duke 's Theatre, Dorset Gardens, gedruk deur R. Page, gepubliseer vir die Encyclopaedia Londinensis, 13 Mei 1825, Londen, Engeland. Museum no. S.2351-2009. © Victoria en Albert Museum, Londen

Vir die eerste keer is vroue erken as professionele aktrises en dramaturge. Die bekendste dramaturg was Aphra Behn (1640 - 89), wat voorheen as spioen vir Charles II werksaam was en 'n kort tydjie in die skuldenaarsgevangenis gebly het. 'N Groep vroueskrywers, bekend as' The Female Wits ', lewer baie werke vir die verhoog. Dit sluit in Mary Pix (1666 - 1709), Catherine Trotter (1679 - 1749) en die produktiewe Susannah Centlivre (ongeveer 1670 - 1723), wat 19 toneelstukke geskryf het, insluitend die satiriese 'N Vet beroerte vir 'n vrou, die eerste keer in 1718 opgevoer.

(Links na regs :) Afbeelding met Aphra Behn, gegraveer deur R. W. uit 'n skildery van Charles Reuben Riley, 19de eeu, Brittanje. Museum no. S.1391-2012. © Victoria en Albert Museum, Londen Druk met afbeeldings van mev Susanna Cent-Livre, gegraveer deur P. Pelham. uit 'n skildery deur D. Fermin, 1720, Londen, Engeland. Museum no. S.1663-2009. © Victoria en Albert Museum, Londen

Die eerste vrou wat op die professionele verhoog in Engeland verskyn het, word algemeen beskou as Margaret Hughes (1645 - 1719), wat in 'n produksie van Othello in die Vere Street Theatre, Londen in 1660. Ander noemenswaardige aktrises in hierdie tyd was Elizabeth Barry (1658 - 1713), ook bekend as die "koningin van die tragedie", en Nell Gwyn (1650 - 87), wat na bewering was naak vir Charles II geskilder en vir hom twee kinders gebaar.

(Links na regs :) Druk wat Madam Hughes (Margaret 'Peg ' Hughes) uitbeeld uit 'n oorspronklike skildery deur P. Lelly in 1677, 18de eeu, Brittanje. Museum no. S.4416-2009. © Victoria en Albert Museum, Londen Afdruk met Nell Gwyn, gedruk deur W. L. Colls, 19de eeu, Brittanje. Museum no. S.299-2015. © Victoria en Albert Museum, Londen

Die 18de eeu het die floreer van teater as 'n gewilde tydverdryf beskou, en baie teaters is vergroot en nuwe speelhuise is in Londen en in die hele land gebou. Een van die suksesvolste vertonings op die Londense verhoog in die vroeë deel van die 18de eeu was John Gay se ballade -opera Die bedelaarsopera. Gay herwin gewilde liedjies van die dag en skryf nuwe lirieke wat humoristies en satiries was.

Druk met 'n toneel uit The Beggar 's Opera, Act III, gegraveer deur William Blake, na skildery deur William Hogarth, 1790, Londen, Engeland. Museum no. S.44-2019. © Victoria en Albert Museum, Londen

Shakespeare se toneelstukke het gedurende die 18de eeu toenemend gewild geraak, maar is herwerk om aan die smaak van die dag te voldoen. Sy styl was nog steeds te wisselvallig en digters soos Alexander Pope het alle ongelyke versreëls versigtig opgeruim. Shakespeare se einde aan Koning Lear dit was te ontstellend en Nahum Tate se hersiene weergawe (waar Cordelia en die koning oorleef) was bo die oorspronklike. David Garrick herskryf die einde van Romeo en Juliet sodat die geliefdes met mekaar praat voordat hulle in die graf sterf en die Die tem van die skerpsinnigheid in 'n klug.

(Links na regs) Stelontwerp vir Act V Scene 2 van Shakespeare se toneelstuk Richard III, Philip James de Loutherbourg, moontlik vir die Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, Londen, 30 Mei 1772. Museum no. S.1471-1986. © Victoria en Albert Museum, Londen Toegangskaartjie vir 'The Oratorio, The Dedication Ode, The Ball, en na die Great Booth by the Fireworks ' tydens die Shakespeare 's Jubilee vieringe in Stratford-upon-Avon, 6 & 7 September 1769. Museum no. S.1055-2010. © Victoria en Albert Museum, Londen

Garrick was een van Brittanje se grootste akteurs en die eerste wat 'n ster genoem is. Van 1741 tot sy aftrede in 1776 was hy 'n hoogs suksesvolle akteur, vervaardiger en teaterbestuurder. He wrote more than 20 plays and adapted many more, including plays by Shakespeare. In 1742, the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane hired him and he began a triumphant career that would last for over 30 years. Within five years, he was also managing the theatre.

Portrait of David Garrick, unknown maker, 19th century, Britain. Museum no. S.120-1997. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Garrick changed the whole style of acting. He rejected the fashion for declamation, where actors would strike a pose and speak their lines formally, and instead preferred a more easy, natural manner of speech and movement. The effect was a more subtle, less mannered style of acting and a move towards realism.

The Licensing Act of 1737 had a huge impact on the development of theatre in Britain. It restricted the production of plays to the two patent theatres at Drury Lane and Covent Garden in London and tightened up the censorship of drama, stating that the Lord Chamberlain with his Examiners of Plays must vet any script before a performance was allowed.

The act was put in place by the then Prime Minister Robert Walpole (1676 – 1745), who was concerned that political satire on the stage was undermining him and the authority of the government. A production of The Golden Rump, a farcical play of unknown authorship, was the chief trigger for Walpole pushing the case for banning obscene drama from the public arena. The play scandalously suggested that the Queen administered enemas to the King. Henry Fielding, author of a number of successful satires, and others were suspicious that this play had in fact been engineered by Walpole himself.

(Left to right) Theatrical licence handwritten by Lord Salisbury, Lord Chamberlain, for the production of The Hue & Cry, Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London, May 11 1791. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London Deleted page of script by the Lord Chamberlain's Office, P.27, Act I of the play Billy Liar by Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall, 1950s, London. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Early Victorian drama

To get around the restrictions of the 1737 Licensing Act, non-patent theatres interspersed dramatic scenes with musical interludes. Melodrama and burlesque, with their short scenes and musical accompaniment, became extremely popular at this time. Eventually, the huge growth in demand for theatrical entertainment in the early 19th century made the patent theatres' system unworkable. Theatres had sprung up across London and the boundaries between what was allowed in the patent theatres (legitimate drama) and what was presented in other theatres (illegitimate theatre) had become blurred. In 1843 the Licensing Act was dropped, enabling other theatres to present drama, although Lord Chamberlain's censorship of plays remained in place until 1968.

After the Covent Garden theatre burnt down in 1808, the management decided to raise prices to cover the cost of rebuilding. To increase revenue, the management reconfigured the upper gallery to squeeze in more of the one shilling seats, creating what angry patrons described as 'pigeon holes'. The price for a seat in the pit was raised from three shilling and six pence to four shillings, and the admission to the public boxes went up from six to seven shillings. A whole tier of boxes became 'private' and could only be hired for an entire season. Audiences were furious and turned their anger on the theatre's manager, the actor John Philip Kemble.

On 18 September 1809 Kemble stepped on stage in the costume of Macbeth to welcome the audience to the first production in the new theatre, and was met with a barrage of shouting, hissing and hooting which continued throughout the performance. Although magistrates were summoned, and some protesters arrested, the disturbance did not end until two in the morning. This was the start of what were known as the Old Price (or O.P.) Riots. For the next ten weeks every performance at Covent Garden was disrupted. The principal objective of the protesters was to force the management to restore the old system of pricing. By December 1809 the cost of legal fees, wages for bouncers, and free passes for allies who were paid to chant "N.P." ( 'New prices') meant that the theatre was losing £300 per night. Kemble accepted the demands of the rioters and made a public apology from the stage.

(Left to right) Caricature print of John Philip Kemble wearing 'The OP Spectacles', Isaac Cruikshank, 17 November 1809, London, England. Museum no. S.4776-2009. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London Caricature print of John Philip Kemble wearing 'The NP Spectacles', Isaac Cruikshank, 23 November 1809, London, England. Museum no. S.4777-2009. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

At the turn of the 19th century the Kemble family dominated the London stage. Actor John Philip Kemble (1757 – 1823) was said to be the finest actor in England and his sister, Sarah Siddons (1755 – 1831), was regarded as one of the greatest ever tragedians. In her first season, she performed 80 times in seven different roles, inducing faintings and hysterics amongst her audiences. John Philip Kemble made his debut on the London stage in 1783 as Hamlet. His acting style was static and declamatory, with long sweeping lines and a detached grandeur.

The popular actor Edmund Kean (1787 – 1833) replaced Kemble as the darling of the London stage after making his Drury Lane debut as Shylock in Die handelaar van Venesië in 1814. Kean was one of the few actors who could fill the vast Drury Lane theatre to its capacity of 3,000. His natural passion and fiery spirit suited a melodramatic style of acting. He was said to be at his best in death scenes and those that required intensity of feeling or violent transitions from one mood to another.

(Left to right) John Philip Kemble as Richard III by William Shakespeare, painting by William Hamilton RA, after 1788, England. Museum no. DYCE.75. © Victoria & Albert Museum, London Portrait of Edmund Kean in the role of Richard III, published in London by S. Knight on 22 March 1814, London, England. Museum no. S.2183-2009. © Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Melodrama became popular from the 1780s and lasted until the early 20th century. The first drama in Britain to be labelled a melodrama was Thomas Holcroft's A Tale of Mystery (1802). Melodrama consisted of short scenes interspersed with musical accompaniment and was characterised by simple moral stories with stereotypical characters – there was always a villain, a wronged maiden and a hero acting in an overblown style.

From the middle of the 19th century theatre began to take on a new respectability and draw in more middle-class audiences. They were enthralled by the historical accuracy and attention to detail that was becoming increasingly influential in stage design. Pictorial drama placed great emphasis on costume and reflected a fashionable interest in archaeology and history. The inevitable long and complex scene changes meant that plays, especially those by Shakespeare had to be cut. One of the main exponents of pictorial drama was Charles Kean (1811 – 68), son of Edmund Kean. Charles Kean was known for his painstaking research into historic dress and settings for his productions at the Princess's Theatre in London's Oxford Street during the 1850s.

Portrait of Charles Kean as Richard II in Richard II at Princess's Theatre, London, 1857. Museum no. S.139:831-2007. © Victoria & Albert Museum, London

19th century theatre was dominated by actor-managers who ran the theatres and played the lead roles in productions. Henry Irving (1838 – 1905), Charles Kean and Beerbohm Tree (1852 – 1917) all created productions in which they were the star. Henry Irving dominated the London stage for over 25 years and was hero-worshipped by his audiences. When he died King Edward VII and the President of the United States sent their condolences.

Shakespeare was the most popular writer for these actor-managers. It became fashionable to give Shakespeare's plays detailed and historically realistic sets and costumes. The stage spectacle was often more important than the play itself and texts were cut to allow time to change the massive sets and give maximum exposure to the leading role.

Boots worn by Henry Irving as Richard III, at the Lyceum Theatre, 1877. Museum no. S.2754:1 to 7-2010. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The first woman actor-manager in London was Eliza Vestris (1797 – 1856), a singer and dancer who also managed the Olympic Theatre from 1830. There she presented a programme of Burlesques, many starring herself. Other women managers in the 19th century included Madge Kendal (1848 – 1935) and Sarah Lane (about 1822 – 99) at the Brittania Theatre, Hoxton.

The greatest English actress of the late 19th and early 20th century was Ellen Terry (1847 – 1928). She joined the legendary actor-manager Henry Irving at the Lyceum Theatre from 1878 to 190 as his leading lady, and for more than the next two decades she was considered the leading Shakespearean and comic actress in Britain. Two of her most famous roles were Portia in Die handelaar van Venesië (1875) and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing (1882). In 1903 Terry took over management of London's Imperial Theatre where she focused on the plays of Bernard Shaw and Henrik Ibsen. However financial failure meant she returned to acting there years later.

Photograph of Ellen Terry as Portia in The Merchant of Venice, 1875, by Fradelle & Young. Museum no. S.133:218-2007. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The V&A holds The Ellen Terry Collection, which contains a vast quantity of correspondence, including letters written by Terry to her daughter, costume designer Edith Craig, and letters written from her stage co-star Henry Irving. The archive also contains a notebook of Terry’s thoughts on Irving.

19th century spectacle

The sophisticated technology and machinery of the late 19th century stage produced a succession of 'sensation' dramas in which special effects became the principal attraction. Scene painters, working with expert technicians, produced realistic reproductions of the natural world. Using ropes, flats, bridges, treadmills and revolves, they could produce anything from a chariot race in Ben Hur to a rail crash in The Whip.

Photographic print of Act 3, Scene 6 from The Whip, Drury Lane Theatre, London, 1909. Museum no. S.211-2016. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

One of the greatest designers of ‘sensation’ scenes was Bruce 'Sensation' Smith. He worked at Drury Lane Theatre, which became the acknowledged home of such drama following the introduction of hydraulic stage machinery at the theatre in 1894.

The playwright Tom William Robertson (1829 – 71) introduced a new kind of play onto the 19th century theatre scene. His pioneering 'problem plays' dealt with serious and sensitive issues of the day. Robertson's work was considered so revolutionary in style and subject that no established management would produce his plays. "Danger", said Effie Bancroft, "is better than dullness" and she went on to produce a string of successful and profitable hits by Robertson, such as Ours (1866), Caste (1867), Play (1868) and Skool (1869). Caste was about marriage across the class barrier and explored prejudices towards social mobility. People talked in normal language and dealt with 'ordinary' situations and the performers didn't 'act' but 'behaved' like their audience – they spoke, they didn't declaim.

Photograph of Marie Wilton as Nan in ‘Good for Nothing’ at the Prince of Wales Theatre, London, 1879. Museum no. S.142:165-2007. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

New drama in the early 20th century

The turn of the 20th century saw the emergence of two dominate trends in theatre: the dramatisation of contemporary, moral and social issues, and an interest in a simpler and more abstract staging of plays. Innovative work from abroad, particularly playwrights such as Henrik Ibsen and Anton Chekhov, was also influential in the shaping of this new drama.

Harley Granville-Barker's management of the Royal Court between 1903 and 1907 saw the popularisation of the work of George Bernard Shaw. Bernard Shaw was one of the most successful writers of the early 20th century and an outspoken member of the Fabian Society, an organisation committed to social reform and considered by many at the time to be subversive. He challenged the morality of his bourgeois audiences with his satirical and often humorous writing that included uncomfortable topics such as religion and prostitution. Many of his plays were censored by the Lord Chamberlain, including Mrs Warren's Profession (1893, first public performance in England 1925), which centred on a former prostitute and her attempt to come to terms with her disapproving daughter.

Scene from George Bernard Shaw’s production of 'Mrs Warren's Profession', 1985, Royal National Theatre. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

At a more grass roots level, theatre groups aimed at promoting the socialist cause and the Labour Party sprang up across the country.

Between 1926 and 1935 the Workers' Theatre Movement (WTM), which was allied with the Communists, used theatre to agitate for social change. WTM developed an 'agit-prop' style that took songs and sketches onto the streets in an attempt to incite change.

Unity Theatre grew out of the WTM. It's aim was 'to foster and further the art of drama in accordance with the principle that true art, by effectively presenting and truthfully interpreting life as experienced by the majority of people, can move the people to work for the betterment of society'. Unity pioneered new forms of theatre, presenting factual information on current events to audiences, as well as satirical pantomimes that challenged the Lord Chamberlain's censorship.

Printed programme, 'Plant in the Sun', Unity Theatre, about 1930 – 40, Cambridge Theatre. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Other influential political companies included the Salford-based Red Megaphones and the Hackney People's Players. Committed to removing the bourgeois trappings of theatre, they wanted to create a more physical theatre that reflected the machine age. Popular plays were Ernst Toller's Masses and Men (1923)and The Machine Wreckers (1922) and Karel Capek's futuristic nightmare RUR (1920) where machines and robots are used to replace the working class.

Founded in 1908, the Actresses' Franchise League supported the suffrage movement by staging events and readings. By 1914, membership numbered 900 and there were groups in all major UK cities. Plays included Cecily Hamilton and Christopher St John's How the Vote Was Won (1909), and Hamilton's most famous work Diana of Dobson's (1908).

The Pioneer Players was founded by Edith Craig, daughter of Ellen Terry, the renowned English actress of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The company aimed to present plays of 'interest and ideas' and particularly those which dealt with current social, political and moral issues, including suffrage. The Pioneer Players performed at the Little Theatre which operated as a club theatre to avoid the censorship of the Lord Chamberlain. Productions included Margaret Wynn Nevinson's In the Workhouse (1911) and Christopher St John's The First Actress (1911).

(Left to right) Photograph of Ellen Terry and Edith Craig, late 19th century, Britain. Museum no. S.133:511-2007. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London The Pioneer Players production of 'The First Actress', Kingsway Theatre, London, 1911. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The repertory movement

The repertory theatre movement was forged out of the passion and conviction of Barry Jackson and Annie Horniman, who believed that a wide variety of theatrical experience should be made available to people at a price they could afford. Horniman believed that by subsidising theatres you could both raise the standards of performance and broaden the programme a theatre could offer to its community.

Horniman was the daughter of a wealthy tea merchant with no family connections to the theatre but she recognised the cultural value of the state-subsidised repertory companies in Germany. In 1903, Horniman put up the money to open the Abbey Theatre in Dublin and the Gaiety Theatre in Manchester in 1907. In just ten years they produced over 200 plays at the Gaiety but were forced to close in 1917 because of financial difficulties.

Birmingham Repertory Theatre opened on 15 February 1913 with a production of Shakespeare's Twaalfde Nag. Its founder Barry Jackson, like Horniman, was passionate about the need to offer the people of Birmingham a wide variety of theatrical experience, and personally subsidised the building of the Rep Theatre as a base for his company.

Club Theatres in the early 20th century

In 1899 the Stage Society was founded with the aim of supporting a theatre of ideas. Frustrated with the conservative nature of more commercial theatres, it presented private Sunday performances of experimental plays that had not been granted licences by the Lord Chamberlain. After a police raid on their first production (Bernard Shaw's You Never Can Tell) it was argued that because these were private performances, the Lord Chamberlain's restrictions on Sunday performances and licensed plays were not applicable. The Stage Society won the case and other 'club' theatres opened with members paying a small subscription rather than an entrance fee. These theatres became the home of unlicensed, experimental and controversial plays – a situation that lasted until 1968 when censorship was finally overturned.

(Left to right) Programme for the British premiere of Samuel Becket`s 'Waiting for Godot', directed by Peter Hall, 3rd August 1955, The Arts Theatre Club, London. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London Photograph of original cast of 'Waiting for Godot', 1955, The Arts Theatre Club, London. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The Arts Theatre opened as a club theatre in 1927 and quickly developed a reputation for innovative and exciting work. Plays by French and German writers such as Racine and Goethe were staged there, as well as new writing from British playwrights. Actors such as John Gielgud and Sybil Thorndike worked at the Arts Theatre even when they were well known in the West End – such was their commitment to presenting more experimental work.

West End theatre between the wars

West End theatre between the wars was a strange mixture. For the most part theatres were impoverished by the Depression and remained conservative both in the content of their work and the staging.

The plays of George Bernard Shaw, Somerset Maugham, Terence Rattigan, Noël Coward and J B Priestley dominated the scene. Whilst Priestley and Shaw had a strong left-wing agenda, the plays were essentially conservative in form. Shakespeare's plays virtually vanished from the West End. His home now was the Old Vic Theatre and the regional repertory theatres which experimented with contemporary dress productions. It was John Gielgud who brought Shakespeare back to the West End in 1935 with his productions of Romeo and Juliet, Richard III en Die handelaar van Venesië.

Headdress, designed by Oliver Messel, worn by Vivien Leigh as Titania in Shakespeare's play, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Old Vic, London, 1937. Museum no. S.491:1, 2-2006. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Commercial theatre thrived and at Drury Lane large budget musicals by Ivor Novello and Noël Coward used huge sets, extravagant costumes and large casts to create spectacular productions. Coward's Cavalcade (first production in 1931) was an epic play which traced the history of the early years of the 20th century through the lives of one family. Coward remained one of the popular writers of this period with comedies such as Die Vortex (1924), Fallen Angels (1925) and Present Laughter (1942).

(Left to right) Photograph of Noël Coward, maker unknown, early 1930s, London. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London Printed flyer for Noël Coward’s production of 'Cavalcade', 1932, Drury Lane Theatre, London. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The Second World War saw a surge of interest in the arts with many civilian and military audiences experiencing drama, opera and ballet for the first time. This interest led to the establishment of the Arts Council by the government in 1946 with an annual grant to distribute among the arts. This grant ensured the survival of companies like the Sadler's Wells Ballet and Opera and the eventual establishment of the Royal Opera, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre, as well as supporting theatre in the regions and the work of individual artists and companies. By 1956 the Arts Council was subsidising 40 companies across the country and between 1958 and 1970 15 new theatres had been constructed with public money.

Post-war West End theatre

After the end of the Second World War, the West End was dominated by the commercial sector. Farces and 'who-dunnits' became popular, the most famous being The Mousetrap, an adaptation of an Agatha Christie novel that opened in 1952 and is still going today. The glamorous productions of the 1950s, produced by Binkie Beaumont and H M Tennent, soon became economically unviable. Actors moved into TV to make more money and West End productions shrank in size.

This period also saw an explosion of new writing with John Osborne's Look Back in Anger (1956) seen as the landmark for a new generation of young writers who included Arnold Wesker, Tom Stoppard, Edward Bond and Harold Pinter. Small venues continued to promote and support new writing as more experimental productions moved into the mainstream theatres, including George Devine's Royal Court. The phrase 'In yer face theatre' has been applied to many of the young writers who were produced by the Royal Court in the 1990s. This aggressive and confrontational style was designed to assault the audience's sensibilities. It explored the gut-wrenching extremes of the human condition and rammed the excesses of contemporary society down its throat. One of the most successful 'In yer face' productions was Mark Ravenhill's Shopping and Fucking, which opened at the Royal Court in 1996. "A shocker in every sense of the word", declared The Daily Mail.

(Left to right) Programme poster advertising the opening repertory season of The English Stage Company at the Royal Court Theatre, London, April to June 1956, including the world premiere of John Osborne's 'Look Back in Anger'. Museum no. S.876-1997. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London Photograph of scene from performance of 'Look Back in Anger', 1956, Royal Court Theatre‎, London. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The National Theatre Company was formed in 1963 at the Old Vic under Laurence Olivier and moved to its new home on London's South Bank in 1976, directed by Peter Hall. Peter Hall had also directed the first years of the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford-upon-Avon.

Political theatre also flourished at this time – notably the work of Joan Littlewood and the Portable Theatre Company, who produced young political writers such as John McGrath, David Edgar, Trevor Griffiths, David Hare and Howard Brenton. The company Joint Stock pioneered a process of collaborative working, with writers workshopping their ideas with the company to develop a script. Joint Stock was responsible for developing many of Caryl Churchill's early plays.

The end of theatre censorship in 1968 saw a surge in the alternative theatre movement in Britain. No longer restricted by the Lord Chamberlain's censorious eye, companies were free to express any agenda they chose. Feminist theatre companies like Red Ladder and the Women's Theatre Group (now the Sphinx) began to put on plays that expressed the political agenda of the feminist movement and questioned the male dominance of writers and directors in British theatre. Women writers like Caryl Churchill and Pam Gems wrote for companies like Joint Stock before moving onto success in mainstream theatre.

Caryl Churchill's version of ' Dream Play' by August Strindberg, Cottesloe Theatre at the National Theatre, London, England, 2005. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Companies also explored new ways of creating theatre, devising work which aimed to be more democratic by involving the whole company in all aspects of the creative process from initial concept to final performances.

In the funding crisis of the 1980s many 'alternative' companies had their (meagre) subsidy cut and could no longer afford to continue. However, others successfully developed into the mainstream like Hull Truck and Mike Leigh who later moved successfully into film and television.

Physical and visual theatre

Throughout the 1980s and 90s companies began to experiment with a more physical type of theatre. They wanted to get away from the restraints of realistic and naturalistic drama and create an energetic visual theatre that combined strong design with choreography and physical imagery. Influenced by the work of Philippe Gaulier and Jacques Lecoq, companies such as Theatre de Complicite applied their style to the reworking of classic texts and created new work in collaboration with writers.

Theatre de Complicite's 'The Street of Crocodiles', Queen's Theatre, London, 1999. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

This departure was not completely new – in the 1960s Peter Brook had become interested in a more physical and visual theatre. He had been inspired by Japanese Noh theatre and influenced by the work of Adrienne Mnouchkine's Theatre du Soleil in Paris. Earlier innovators in this area included Bauhaus, Dadaist and surrealist performers, choreographer Rudolf Laban and directors Meyerhold and Jerzy Grotowski and Richard Schechozer.

Today, theatre companies and groups are producing ever-more experimental works that explore social and political questions and challenge conventions of what a performance is and how it should be presented.

Blast Theory describe their work as collaborative and interdisciplinary. Works such as Can You See Me Now? (2001) – a chase game played online and on the streets mixed video games and performance, whilst I'd Hide You (2012), My Neck Of The Woods (2013) and Too Much Information (2015) engaged diverse audiences through different media. Similarily, Punchdrunk, a British theatre company, produces work that eliminates the boundaries between stage and audience by creating immersive presentations in which the audience is free to choose what to watch and where to go.

The National Video Archive of Performance

The V&A holds the National Video Archive of Performance (NVAP), archive of over 300 high quality live theatre performance recordings made since 1992. This unique collection is available for free to all whether you are a researcher, an actor preparing for an audition, a stage designer reviewing past interpretations, or someone who missed the opportunity to attend a production during its run.


A History of Summer Circle Theatre

In the late 1950s, during a period of great growth and reorganization at Michigan State University, Dr. John Dietrich became the chair of the Department of Speech. He made major changes in the theatre program at MSU, creating the Arena Theatre in the basement of the Auditorium Building, increasing the number of plays in Fairchild Theatre, and presenting programs to students and the public on a subscription season ticket basis.

Dr. Dietrich had promised President John Hannah and Dean Gordon Sabine that he would create a summer theatre program at MSU similar to the highly successful Stadium Theatre program he had supervised at Ohio State University. He turned to Frank Rutledge, Edward Andreasen and other members of the faculty, giving them the job of making good on his promise. The university donated Demonstration Hall, a gymnasium formerly used for indoor ROTC drill. Recruiting student help, the team had the daunting task of converting this empty space into a functioning theatre, including installation of seating, lights, a costume shop, a scenery shop, and a lobby.

The Original Summer Circle Marquee at Demonstration Hall (1961)

In 1961 the hard work paid off as Summer Circle Theatre presented its first play, Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit. The program was a success and Summer Circle Theater, like the OSU program it was modeled after, began presenting five plays each summer to the general public, using students and community actors, and charging admission. Right from the start, SCT operated under the basic premise which still guides it today: to foster collaboration between town and gown using the best talents of both the students and the community to create quality summer theatre.

In 1964, faculty members Rutledge, Andreasen and Brandon took up a new challenge. Dissatisfied with SCT’s arena stage, they decided to redesign it as a three-sided thrust stage with a balcony. That summer, they tested the proposition that any play can be mounted on a thrust stage by mounting productions with widely different requirements, starting with James Thurber’s A Thurber Carnival. The experiment was successful, and SCT continued to present plays in Demonstration Hall until 1969.

Thrust stage built in Demonstration Hall patterned after the stage at the Stratford, Ontario Shakespeare Festival. Designed by Edward A. Andreasen.

In 1968, the Department of Theatre was created within the College of Communication Arts. Professor E.C. Reynolds served as the department’s first chair, with Dr. Herbert Oyer as Dean. The 1968 SCT program experimented again when faculty member John Baldwin received a grant from the Wolfram Foundation to support a company of students to perform in rotating repertory. Six shows were presented on a rotating basis three days a week during the three week summer program, with a show for children presented every morning and a different show for adults presented every night. The company opened with Jules Goodman’s Skat-eiland for children and Archibald MacLeish’s J.B. for adults. The following 1969 season, however, consisted of comedies and musicals, apparently to offset the previous summer of “highbrow” repertory theatre.

By April 1970 the Summer Circle Theatre, then a separate entity within the Theatre Department, was bankrupt and a special Provost’s Summer Subsidy was used to pay the indebtedness. At this point, Theatre Department faculty members Frank Rutledge, Gretel Geist and John Baldwin were given the responsibility of deciding the future of SCT. Deciding that bold measures were called for, they moved Summer Circle Theatre outdoors into the Kresge Sculpture Court. Then they went even further. As Frank Rutledge recalled, “since we have no money, we’ll make the plays free if the plays are free, the public can always leave if the audience can leave, then we can do whatever we please. Is this the way to attract people?”

Summer Circle Theatre on the banks of the Red Cedar River (1986)

Apparently it was. Renamed the Summer Circle Free Festival Theatre and operating with virtually no budget and whatever resources they had at hand, they opened the 1970 summer season with Welcome to the Monkey House, an original adaption of Kurt Vonnegut’s book of short stories. A couple of platforms served as a stage, and people brought folding chairs or sat on the ground. Although advertising consisted mainly of sandwich boards placed along Auditorium Road reading “free theatre tonight,” people attended in droves–so much so that the crowds trampled the petunias in the sculpture court. After two seasons the groundskeepers complained, and, starting with the 1973 season, wooden bleachers were set up to keep the audience out of the flowers.

In 1971, the Department of Theatre was moved to the College of Arts and Letters, which also housed the School of Music and the Department of Art, thus combining all the arts under one administrative umbrella. In 1974, planning began for the Wharton Center for the Performing Arts, with considerable involvement from members of the Theatre Department, including Frank Rutledge. Ideas tested by Summer Circle Theatre’s innovative thrust stage in the 1960s were realized in the design of the Pasant Theater’s stage in the Wharton Center, which opened in 1982.

Meanwhile, the old wooden bleachers in the Kresge courtyard had finally disintegrated and had to be replaced. The new fiberglass bleachers, however, would not fit in the sculpture court, so, after a decade in the courtyard, performances were moved again, this time to the banks of the Red Cedar River. The bleachers were set up on the flood plain facing the river, and the stage backed up to the riverbank. The 1981 season opened in this new location with George Bernard Shaw’s Androcles en die leeu.

During the years in this location, SCT continued to experiment. For a time, three of the season’s plays were recapped by repeating them in rotating repertory for a fourth week. This was abandoned when it proved too onerous. In 1988, two special seminars—one in American dramatic literature and one in American theatre history–were taught jointly during the summer term by the Theatre Department and American Studies. To complement these seminars, SCT changed its focus and its name to become the Summer Circle Free Festival of the American Theatre. This emphasis on American theatre continued through 1994. In 1991, the Dean’s Community Council, gave the program and Frank Rutledge and Gretel Geist its Apollo Award for enhancing the mission of the college in the community.

In 1993, after enduring twelve years in the swampy flood plain plagued with mud, flooding and soggy grass, the stage was moved to higher ground facing the Red Cedar River behind the Auditorium, where it remained through the summer of 2014. Then, deciding that the emphasis on American theatre was too restrictive, the program changed its name back to Summer Circle Theatre. At the same time, the word “free” was dropped to allow the possibility of charging admission in the future.

SCT continued to thrive. In response to a funding crisis in 1995, the Friends of Summer Circle Theatre was formed to help raise funds for SCT and permit the program to survive in a partnership with the Department of Theatre. Although its guiding lights, Frank Rutledge, John Baldwin and Gretel Geist Rutledge are gone, new faculty members and new Department Chairs maintained their commitment and enthusiasm for Summer Circle Theatre. Over 200 plays have been performed over its more than fifty year history and performances annually attract audiences of between three and four thousand people. Despite the challenges inherent in outdoor theatre—including rainstorms and humidity and mosquitoes—SCT remains one of the most successful of all town and gown collaborations.

Today, SCT relies on a combination of funding from the MSU College of Arts and Letters and donations from the community, in a roughly 50-50 split. A community-based organization, Friends of Theatre at MSU, helps raise the community donations. Most of the money raised is used to support student actors and technicians who hone their craft and provide a play-going experience for the community. Community businesses also support SCT: the Granger Corporation, for example, replaced the outdoor stage in 2009 and the MSU Credit Union is a major continuing donor.

In recent years SCT attendance has ranged between 3000-4000 people, depending, of course, on the weather. We don’t have figures for earlier years, but total attendance over the past five decades must approach 150,000. Among the attendees are many young people, who receive an introduction to theatre in a unique setting, and many older citizens for whom these performances are a continuing pleasure.

The MSU Department of Theatre has maintained its commitment to Summer Circle Theatre and its outreach to the Greater Lansing community. Theatre faculty and students join community actors to create a “win-win” experience for the faculty, the students and the entire community.

At the Summer Circle Theatre 50th Anniversary Gala, Gretel Geist Rutledge receives a City of Lansing proclamation from Mayor Victor W. Loomis, Jr.

In celebration of its Fiftieth Anniversary, SCT again presented its very first play, Blithe Spirit, along with others. A Gala celebration, Fifty Golden Years Onstage, was held on the Fairchild Theatre stage in May, 2010. In 2012, Summer Circle Theatre received the City of East Lansing Crystal Award for its dedication to enhancing the East Lansing community by creating a healthy and vibrant community as an inspiration to others.

In 2011, longtime Summer Circle Theatre supporters Sam and Mary Austin suggested to Dr. George Peters, then chairperson of the Department of Theatre, that they would like to see a new permanent home for Summer Circle Theatre and would help to fund it.

  • On September 18, 2014, the Summer Circle Courtyard was dedicated by MSU’s 20th President, Lou Anna K. Simon.
  • (L-R) Kirk A. Domer (Department of Theatre Chairperson), Jacqueline Babcock (Friends of Theatre President), Linda Nelson, Lou Anna K. Simon (MSU President), Selma Hollander, Karin A. Wurst (Former College of Arts and Letters Dean), Mary and Sam

Starting in July 2013, the Department of Theatre and the Friends of Theatre at MSU launched a major fundraising campaign for a permanent home for Summer Circle Theatre. Lead donors Sam and Mary Austin started the process in motion when Sam (former Friends of Theatre President and University Distinguished Professor from the Department of Physics and Astronomy and National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory), Department of Theatre Chairperson, Kirk Domer and MSU Landscape Architect, Deb Kinney visited various sites around MSU to find the perfect spot. Not surprisingly the space between the Auditorium Building and the Kresge Art Center (former home of SCT from the 1970s) was identified as the ideal location. The Austins’ leadership inspired several other past faculty to support the project: Gretel Geist Rutledge, former costume faculty and widow of the late Frank Rutledge (co-founders of Summer Circle Theatre) Linda Nelson, retired faculty from the Department of Human Development and Family Studies Selma Hollander, alumnus of the Department of Art, Art History and Design and widow of the late Stanley Hollander, a faculty member in the College of Business Jane Vieth Suits (and Alan P. Suits), a faculty member in the Department of History and the Friends of Theatre at MSU who contributed over $100,000 toward the $1.15 million project.


Stage, Theatre of Butrint - History

Julia Koroleva new Managing Director at Stage Entertainment Russia

Ghost at the MDM Theatre End of lease Rossia Theatre

Opening night Dance of the Vampires, MDM Theatre

Opening night Aspoestertjie, Rossia Theatre

Aspoestertjie wins National Brand Award (best Musical)

Phantom of the Opera honoured with two Golden Mask Awards

Phantom of the Opera wins KUDAGO people's choice award

Sing in die reën wins Theatregoer Star

Opening Walk of Fame in front of the Rossia Theatre

Opening night Sing in die reën, Rossia Theatre

The Phantom of the Opera premieres in Moscow

The Little Mermaid honoured with Golden Mask Award

Beauty and the Beast returns to Moscow

Opening Night Chicago, MDM Theatre

Opening Night Arena Show The Wizard of Oz, Luzhniki Palace of Sport

Stage Entertainment takes over long-term lease of the Rossia theatre in Moscow situated on Pushkin square

The first Stage Entertainment musical at the Rossia is Disney's The Little Mermaid

Moscow Broadway concert show (Moscow City Day), MDM Theatre

Mamma Mia! returns to Moscow

Opening Three Musketeers on Ice, Luzhniki Palace of Sport

Opening Night The Sound of Music, MDM Theatre

Opening Sleeping Beauty on Ice, Luzhniki Palace of Sport

The Nutcracker on Ice, listed in Russia's Guinness Book of Records

Opening Night Snow Queen on Ice, Luzhniki Palace of Sport

Opening Night Zorro, MDM Theatre

Nutcracker on Ice in Russia, a cooperation between Holiday on Ice and Stage Entertainment Russia

Beauty and the Beast sells 300,000 tickets after performing 5 months in Russia

Opening night Beauty and the Beast, MDM Theatre Moscow

Mamma Mia! honoured with Effie Award (Best Brand)

Mamma Mia! wins 'Musical Heart of the Theatre'

Holiday on Ice starts touring Russia: Peter Pan on Ice, Fantasy, Bugs Bunny on Ice

Opening Night Mamma Mia!, MDM Theatre

Katte, first musical production for the Russian market and launch of TopTicketLine Russia


Kyk die video: Allemaal Theater, afl 9 - Solo - Presentatie Jeroen Krabbé 2004