Країнознавство США ІІ семестр - ПЛАНИ-КОНСПЕКТИ УРОКІВ - 2016 рік

LESSON 18 Practical training "American theatres"

Aims and objectives:

- to practise student's skills in listening, reading and speaking;

- to promote pair work skills;

- to teach students how to analyze, generalize, and compare the main idea of the material.

PROCEDURE

I. INTRODUCTION

Greeting. Introducing the topic

T. Good morning! Today we’re going to work on the topic “American theatres”.

Warm up

Task 1. Answer the questions.

1. What American city do you think is called “the art capital of the world”

2. If you could go to a Broadway theatre, which you choose: a musical, an opera, a modern ballet, a symphony concert or a variety show? Explain why.

3. The theatre is much older than the cinema. Do you think it will live longer?

II. THE MAIN PART

Reading and grammar

Task 2. Read the text and complete the sentences.

The birth of professional theatre in America may have begun with the Lewis Hallam troupe that arrived in Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1752. A theatre was built in Williamsburg in 1716, and, in January 1736, the original Dock Street Theatre was opened in Charles Town, South Carolina. In any case, The Hallams were the first to organize a complete company of actors in Europe and bring them to the colonies.

They brought a repertoire of plays popular in London at the time, including Hamlet, The Recruiting Officer, and Richard III. The Merchant of Venice was their first performance, shown initially on September 15, 1752. Encountering opposition from religious organisations, Hallam and his company left for Jamaica in 1754 or 1755. Soon after, Lewis Hallam, Jr., founded the American Company, opened a theater in New York, and presented the first professionally mounted American play — The Prince of Parthia, by Thomas Godfrey — in 1767.

In the 18th century, laws forbidding the performance of plays were passed in Massachusetts in 1750, in Pennsylvania in 1759, and in Rhode Island in 1761, and plays were banned in most states during the American Revolutionary War at the urging of the Continental Congress. In 1794, president of Yale College, Timothy Dwight IV, in his “Essay on the Stage”, declared that “to indulge a taste for playgoing means nothing more or less than the loss of that most valuable treasure: the immortal soul.

In spite of such laws, however, a few writers tried their hand at playwriting. Most likely, the first plays written in America were by European-born authors — we know of original plays being written by Spaniard, Frenchmen and Englishmen dating back as early as 1567 — although no plays were printed in America until Robert Hunter’s Androboros in 1714. Still, in the early years, most of the plays produced came from Europe; only with Godfrey’s The Prince of Parthia in 1767 do we get a professionally produced play written by an American, although it was a last-minute substitute for Thomas Forrest’s comic opera The Disappointment; or, The Force of Credulity, and although the first play to treat American themes seriously, Ponteach; or, the Savages of America by Robert Rogers, had been published in London a year earlier.

1. The birth of professional theatre in America may have begun with ... troupe that arrived in Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1752.

2. A theatre was built in ... in 1716.

3. ... was their first performance, shown initially on September 15, 1752.

4. Soon after, Lewis Hallaw founded the American Company, opened a theatre in New York, and presented the first professionally mounted American play — ... by Thomas Godfrey — in 1767.

5. In 1794, president of Yale College, ... , in his “Essay on the Stage”, declared that “to indulge a taste for playgoing means nothing more or less than the loss of that most valuable treasure: the immortal soul”.

Task 3. Complete the text with the words from the box.

Attendance; view; immigration; character; entertained; racial; financial; expansion; romanticism; production

THE 19TH CENTURY

At 825 Walnut Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is The Walnut Street Theatre, or, “The Walnut” ... was founded in 1809 by the Circus of Pepin and Breschard, “The Walnut” is the oldest theater in America. The Walnut’s first theatrical ... , The Rivals, was staged in 1812. In ... were President Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette.

A popular form of theatre during this time was the minstrel show, which featured white (and sometimes, especially after the Civil War, black actors dressed in “blackface (painting one’s face, etc … with dark makeup to imitate the coloring of an African or African American)”. The players ... the audience using comic skits, parodies of popular plays and musicals, and general buffoonery and slapstick comedy, all with heavy utilization of ... stereotyping and racist themes.

During this time, the best strategy for a dramatist was to become an actor and or a manager, after the model of John Howard Payne, Dion Boucicault and John Brougham. This period saw the popularity of certain native ... types, especially the “Yankee”, the “Negro” and the “Indian”, exemplified by the characters of Jonathan, Sambo and Metamora. Meanwhile, increased ... brought a number of plays about the Irish and Germans, which often dovetailed with concerns over temperance and Roman Catholic. This period also saw plays about American ... to the West (including plays about Mormonism) and about women’s rights.

For playwrights, the period after the War brought more ... reward and aesthetic respect (including professional criticism) than was available earlier. In terms of form, spectacles, melodramas and farces remained popular, but poetic drama and ... almost died out completely due to the new emphasis upon realism, which was adopted by serious drama, melodrama and comedy alike. This realism was not quite the European realism of Ibsen’s Ghosts, but a combination of scenic realism (e.g., the “Belasco Method”) with a less romantic ... of life that accompanied the cultural turmoil of the period.

Task 4. Match the parts of the sentences.

1. The Walnut Street Theatre, or, “The Walnut”

a) to become an actor and or a manager, after the model of John Howard Payne, Dion Boucicault and John Brougham

2. A popular form of theatre during this time

b) brought more financial reward and aesthetic respect (including professional criticism) than was available earlier

3. The best strategy for a dramatist was

c) was founded in 1809 by the Circus of Pepin and Breschard

4. For playwrights, the period after the War

d) was the minstrel show, which featured white (and sometimes, especially after the Civil War, black actors

5. 5.5. This period also saw plays

e) about America expansion to the West and about women’s rights

Task 5. Read the text and match the dates with the events.

THE 20TH CENTURY THEATRE

Vaudeville was common in the late 19th and early 20th century, and is notable for heavily influencing early film, radio, and television productions in the country. George Burns was a very long-lived American comedian who started out in the vaudeville community, but went on to enjoy a career running until the 1990s.

Some vaudeville theaters were built between 1900 and 1920 managed to survive as well, though many went through periods of alternate use, most often as movie theaters until the second half of the century saw many urban populations decline and multiplexes built in the suburbs.

The stars of this era, such as Ethel Barrymore and John Drew, were often seen as even more important than the show itself. The advance of motion pictures also led to many changes in theatre. The popularity of musicals may have been due in part to the fact the early films had no sound, and could thus not compete, until “The Jazz Singer” of 1927, which combined both talking and music in a moving picture. More complex and sophisticated dramas bloomed in this time period, and acting styles became more subdued. Even by 1915, actors were being lured away from theatre and to the silver screen, and vaudeville was beginning to face stiff competition.

Amateur performing groups have always had a place alongside professional acting companies. The Amateur Comedy Club, Inc. was founded in New York City on April 18, 1884. It was organized by seven gentlemen who broke away from the Madison Square Dramatic Organization, a socially prominent company presided over by Mrs. James Brown Potter and David Belasco. The ACC staged its first performance on February 13, 1885. It has performed continuously ever since, making it the oldest, continuously performing theatrical society in the United States.

Prominent New Yorkers who have been members of the ACC include Theodore, Frederick and John Stein way of the piano manufacturing family; Gordon Grant, the marine artist; Christopher La Farge, the architect; Van H. Cartmell, the publisher; Albert Sterner, the painter; and Edward Fales Coward, the theatre critic and playwright. Elsie De Wolfe, Lady Mendl, later famous as the world’s first professional interior decorator, acted in Club productions in the early years of the 20th Century, as did Hope Williams (whom Katharine Hepburn understudied in “Holiday” in the 1920s), and Julie Harris in the 1940s.

The years between the World Wars were years of extremes. Eugene O’Neill’s plays were the high point for serious dramatic plays leading up to the outbreak of war in Europe. “Beyond the Horizon” (1920), for which he won his first Pulitzer Prize; he later won Pulitzers for “Anna Christie” (1922) and “Strange Interlude” (1928) as well as the Nobel Prize in Literature.

After World War II, American theatre came into its own. Several American playwrights, such as Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams, became world-renowned. In the late 1990s and 2000s, American theatre began to borrow from cinematic and operatic roots. For instance, Julie Taymor, director of The Lion King directed Die Zauberfl te at the Metropolitan Opera. Also, Broadway musicals were developed around Disney’s “Mary Poppins”, “Tarzan”, “The Little Mermaid”, and the one that started it all, “Beauty and the Beast”, which may have contributed to Times Square’s revitalization in the 1990s. Also, Mel Brooks’s The Producers and Young Frankenstein are based on his hit films.

1. Some vaudeville theaters were built between

a) in 1927

2. “The Jazz Singer” which combined both talking and music in a moving picture, was played

b) 1884

3. The Amateur Comedy Club, Inc. was founded in New York City on April 18,

c) 1885

4. The Amateur Comedy Club staged its first performance on February 13,

d) in 1920

5. Eugene O’Neill won his first Pulitzer Prize

e) 1900 and 1920

Task 6. Join the following sentences with the right relative pronoun; choose from: which, whose, who.

1. George Burns was a very long-lived American comedian. He started out in the vaudeville community.

2. “The Jazz Singer” was played in 1927. It combined both talking and music in a moving picture.

3. The Amateur Comedy Club was organized by seven gentlemen. They broke away from the Madison Square Dramatic Organization.

4. Eugene O’Neill’s wrote “Beyond the Horizon”, “Anna Christie”, “Strange Interlude”. They were the high point for serious dramatic plays.

5. There were developed Disney’s “Mary Poppins”, “Tarzan”, “The Little Mermaid”, “Beauty and the Beast”. They which may have contributed to Times Square’s revitalization in the 1990s.

Task 7. Complete the text with the prepositions.

AMERICAN THEATRE TODAY

Earlier styles ... theatre such as minstrel shows and Vaudeville acts have disappeared ... the landscape, but theatre remains a popular American art form. Broadway productions still entertain millions ... theatre-goers as productions have become more elaborate and expensive. At the same time, theatre has also served as a platform ... expression, and a venue for identity exploration ... under-represented, minority communities, who have formed their own companies and created their own genres of works, notably East West Players, founded ... 1965 as the first Asian American theatre group. Notable contemporary American playwrights include Edward Albee, August Wilson, Tony Kushner, David Henry Hwang, John Guare, and Wendy Wasserstein. Smaller urban theaters have stayed a source ... innovation, and regional theaters remain an important part of theatre life. Drama is also taught ... high schools and colleges, which was not done ... previous eras, and many become interested in theatre ... this.

Task 8. Re-arrange the lines of the following text putting numbers before each of them. The first one is done for you as an example.

1. Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances

- in the English-speaking world

- presented in one of the 40 large professional theatres with 500 seats in the Theatre

- End theatre, Broadway theatre is considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre

- District, New York and in Lincoln Center in New York City. Along with London’s West

- of tickets in calendar year 2010

- The Broadway Theatre district is a popular tourist attraction in New York City, New York. ... According to The Broadway League, Broadway shows sold approximately $1.037 billion worth

III. SUMMING UP

Speaking

Task 8. Answer the questions.

1. Can you describe the main changes in the history of the theatre?

2. Can you name the outstanding writers, actors etc., whose names are connected with American theatre?

3. What interesting facts can you tell about the modern theatre?

Home assignment

Write about your favorite American actor or actress of the theatre. (Use Internet sites: en.wikipedia.org./wiki/Wiki; www.wiki.com).



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