Glossary of terms associated with Independent Theatre Arts.
Term Definition * Audience
An audience is a group of people who participate in and experience or encounter a work of art , literature , theatre , or music . Audience members participate in different ways in different kinds of art; some events invite overt audience participation and others allowing only modest clapping and criticism and reception.
Community Theatre in the UK
This definition was submitted by a UK Community Theatre practitioner.
The information has been added to the Wikipedia definition online.
The definition of Community Theatre differs in the US . In the UK the term 'community theatre' is used for a movement of professional theatre companies which developed in the 70's, 80's presenting plays for specific communities with common interests - local, or regional. The plays represented the lived experiences and concerns of these communities, had a radical approach and were performed in local community centres. The best known company was 7.84 ('7% of the population own 84% of the wealth') touring working class area. The term is now used for a show toured by a company committed to locality and reflecting their interests.
NOTE: personal connection.
Stuart Bennett a former ITAC member is acting as advisor at E15 Acting School who have set up a new course in Community Theatre . The course will redefine the term 'community' in the context of global capitalism - and cyber communication.
The above note and UK definition for this term is an example of how ITAC's Mapping the Field project enables practitioners to share and update theatre practice by mapping the field of work we work in, proactively defining for the world what we do as creative performers.
* Community Theatre in the USA
Community Theatre in the US generally resembles professional theatre in all ways except in the unpaid nature of the artists. Community theatre provides the opportunity for diverse individuals, many of them in other professions, to create plays and have the satisfaction of being part of an active social and artistic community. A growing number of community theatre companies and groups now sponsor the writing, production and performance of original theatrical and dramatic work. These original works often involve local writers with strong sense of the community in which they work and whose work touches on themes relevant to community-based audiences. Many community theatres are successful non-profit businesses with a large active membership and, in some cases, a full time professional staff.
* Fringe Theatre
Fringe Theatre is a term used to describe alternative theatre, or entertainment not of the mainstream. Shows are typically technically sparse; they are commonly presented in shared venues, often with shared technicians and limited technical time, so sets and other technical theatre elements are kept simple. Venues themselves are often adapted from other uses. Fringe festivals often showcase new scripts, especially ones on more obscure, edgy or unusual material.
* Forum Theatre incl. Workshop Theatre
In Forum Theatre the actors encourage audience members to stop a performance, often a short scene in which a character is being oppressed in some way (for example, a typically chauvinist man mistreating a woman or a factory owner mistreating an employee). The audience suggest different actions for the actors to carry out on-stage in an attempt to change the outcome of what they see and even take over from the actor playing the role. This changes the audience/actor split and a new form of political theatre emerges. Through this active participation the audience-actors, 'spect-actors', become empowered. This concept of the 'spect-actor' became a dominant force is key to Forum Theatre work. The audience are encouraged to not only imagine change but to actually practise that change, reflect collectively on the suggestion, and thereby become empowered to generate social action.
see also Theatre for Social Change
* Participatory Theatre
Participatory theatre is a form of theatre in which the audience interacts with the performers or the presenters. Classroom exercises often include elements of participatory theatre. During a performance performers invite audience members to the stage. Often, performers socialise with audience members before the show while seating them. Then, they would surprise these members by inviting them to the stage.
A performance , in performing arts , generally comprises an event in which one group of people (the performer or performers) behave in a particular way for another group of people (the audience ). Sometimes the dividing line between performer and the audience may become blurred, as in the example of " participatory theatre " where audience members might get involved in the production.
* Performing Arts
The performing arts differ from the plastic arts insofar as the former uses the artist's own body, face, presence as a medium, and the latter uses materials such as clay, metal or paint which can be molded or transformed to create some art object.
Performing arts include acrobatics , busking , comedy , dance , magic , music , opera , film , juggling , marching arts , such as brass bands, and theatre . Artists who participate in these arts in front of an audience are called performers, including actors , comedians , dancers , musicians , and singers. Performing arts are also supported by workers in related fields, such as songwriting and stagecraft .
There is also a specialized form of fine art in which the artists perform their work live to an audience. This is called Performance art .
* Role-play incl.
Theatre in Health Education
Theatre in Museums
In role-playing , participants adopt and act out the role of characters, or parts, that may have personalities, motivations, and backgrounds different from their own. Role-playing is like being in an improvisational drama or free-form theatre , in which the participants are the actors who are playing parts, and the audience .
Simulations and role-playing exercises are one of the oldest of educational methods, having been used in ancient times and from young age. (Young children role play "doctor" and "nurse", "customers" and "shop owners" etc.) They have been used extensively in vocational training situations and in vocation-oriented higher-education courses (e.g. Law, Medicine, Economics) since the 1960s.
Role-playing in the form of historical re-enactment has been practiced by adults for millennia as well. The ancient Romans, Han Chinese, and medieval Europeans all enjoyed occasionally organizing events in which everyone pretended to be from an earlier age, and entertainment appears to have been the primary purpose of these activities. Living history is a side of historical re-enactment which aims to accurately depict the life of normal people in a domestic setting, for the given period. It is often used to distinguish from combat reenactment , which is the other main focus of many reenactment groups.
Another role-playing tradition is the improvisational theatre tradition.
* Street Theatre
Street theatre is a form of theatrical performance and presentation in outdoor public spaces without a specific paying audience . These spaces can be anywhere, including shopping centres, car parks, recreational reserves and street corners. The actors who perform street theatre range from buskers to organised theatre companies or groups that want to experiment with performance spaces, or to promote their mainstream work. Street theatre is arguably the oldest form of theatre in existence, most mainstream entertainment mediums can be traced back to origins in street performing.
* T.I.E Theatre in Education
Theatre-in-Education (or TIE ) is a medium of theatre for exploring various issues with young people. It evolved as a specific form during the 60's, 70s and 80s, since when it has tended to be used more loosely to describe any work by professional theatre workers in an educational setting.
The original form of TIE consisted of both performance and interactive elements. Techniques employed would include role-play , simulation games, workshops, hot-seating and Forum Theatre . TIE companies often devised collaboratively, 'programmes', rather than plays - again a reflection of their interactive nature. These were issue-based, often exploring major social or political issues, such as racism, gender, slavery, war or fascism. In recent years, the use of the term TIE has encompassed work which is more limited in its scope, including issues such as smoking, bullying, road safety, and more directly curriculum-related projects with narrower aims than the 'traditional' TIE work. There are still companies continuing the work of the original TIE pioneers,(such as Greenwich Young Peoples Theatre YPT and Big Brum TIE Company in Birmingham ).
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T.I.E Theatre in Education