Download Comedy Writing Secrets: How to Think Funny, Write Funny, Act by Melvin Helitzer PDF

By Melvin Helitzer

Real line from the booklet: "Many of the mask of comedy, reminiscent of The Vaudevillian, The previous Timer, and The Ventriloquist, haven't been played usually for years, and not anyone can clarify why."

A query FOR THE a long time.

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Extra resources for Comedy Writing Secrets: How to Think Funny, Write Funny, Act Funny and Get Paid For It

Example text

Their ears were attuned to the argument and counter-argument of the Assembly, which all male citizens could attend, and their vision was dominated by the daily sights of the city. Corporately or individually the audience which Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides were writing to satisfy encompassed most aspects of Athenian life. Anything missing would, by the final years of the century, be supplied by Aristophanes or by his fellow comedians about whom, sadly, we know so little. The Athenians chose to put on plays at festivals in winter and early spring, before the weather in Athens becomes hot.

The theatricality may not always be obvious on the page. It may have become submerged by an emphasis on the literary and theoretical detail. There can no longer be any doubt, however, that in the plays which survived we have scripts for performers, geared to all the resources of an elaborate theatre and a responsive and alert reception. It is necessary to look first at those physical aspects of the Greek stage which the playwrights could rely upon, aspects sufficiently familiar to the audiences for them to become useful as a part of a complex culture to a dramatist in search of new ways to tell his story.

Firstly, most traditional forms of theatre and dance in India and Indonesia, China and Japan, whether ‘high’ or ‘low’ art, have resisted the move towards realism. Various art forms are closely woven into cultural and religious patterns which change little. Such continuity has ensured a similar continuity of artistic practice. Training for the performing arts used to be exceedingly long in Asia and based more on imitation than self-expression. As a result the world of the stage remained a world of artifice.

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