Abstract

“The Framing of the Stage: The Impact of Theater Environments on the Effectiveness of Theatrical Form”

Teresa M. Sarkela 

Since its creation by the Greeks, theatre has been valuable in its ability to express ideas to a group of spectators in hopes of unifying them with an understanding of abstract thought as presented in a visual-physical art. The communication of ideas between performers and audiences is known as theatrical form. Theatre artists have discovered presenting ideas in specific environments affects how an audience perceives and connects with the intended idea. This has caused a multitude of theater environments to be created in relation to the degree of communication intending to be expressed with an audience. Today, these theaters primarily include proscenium, thrust, arena, found, and black box. As theatre also establishes a cultural identity among people, many specific theater environments have been built due to political and social revolution as a means to further express abstract thought and ideology in a unified environment. From these progressions, the psychology of audience engagement toward theatre performance has also undergone a variety of changes due to evolution of environmental aspects. Furthermore, aspects of technological integration into theatre have also consequentially changed the psychology of audience engagement in relation to the emphasis on spectacle for entertainment, individual interpretation rather than group dynamic, and the adaption of front-back oriented perception. This thesis will utilize historical, psychological, and theatrical texts to explain the importance of environmental elements that affect an audiences’ connection and understanding of a performance on a deliberate intellectual and emotional level, therefore allowing awareness for theatre artists to present theatrical form to its best ability.

 
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