Development of the Playhouse

Facilitator: Bob Braddy, 225-0911, Dates: Mondays, January 7—February 25, 2019 Time: 9:30 AM—11:30 AM Text: None Presentations: Required

In this class, we'll examine the history of one of the most interesting structures ever conceived. From the first evidences of theatrical spaces up to the modern theater building, the theater has largely been taken for granted. Of course, it is a place where plays, musicals, operas, and so on are performed in front of audiences. The theater is a place where audiences can see an event occur before it and, for the moment, take it for real. And sometimes the audience is dazzled by the spectacle performed before it.

Whether as a beautiful performance hall with all the latest decor and accouterments or a barn tricked out for the performance of plays, the theater is a place for creating amazing miracles for its viewers. But the audience is given only a glimpse of the working parts of a building which allows the producers to thrill and amaze them.

The intention of the course is to take a close look at the areas given over to the creation of the event, that is, backstage. We'll start with the Ancient Greeks and end with the contemporary theater. Along the way, we'll answer questions like: Where did all the tools of the theater come from? Why were they developed? How did they work?