Please take a look at Charles Busch's blog. He has placed a variety of play video clips here. Take a look at a few of these. His official website is located here.
Please watch a few video clips, read an interview or two with the author, and learn a little about his background.
Types of Theatrical Comedy:
There are various types of comedy found in theatre today.
Sentimental Comedy examines the tribulations and trials of common people worrying about common things, but it all works out in the end.Of course many plays are a combination of these diverse types. Comedy has a long tradition in theater. The spring theater festivals from Greece began the tradition. Later in the Middle Ages, the comedy dell'arte form appeared. Read about the pantomime and commedia dell'arte tradition here today (or see your handout). Complete the graphic organizer for your notes on these articles and turn in when completed.
Romantic comedies are plays that revolve around relationships. Usually following the love archetype: boy (or girl) gets girl (or boy), boy (or girl) loses girl (or boy), boy (or girl) gets girl (or boy) in the end.
Farce includes fast-paced action, improbable situations, hyperbolic characters, and lots of entrances and exits to cause confusion and conflict.
Satirical plays (taken from the ancient Greek Satyr play form) poke fun at something in society or about human nature that needs to be examined or changed.
Black comedies poke fun at serious topics. These are often considered in 'bad taste' by sensitive, less cynical audience members. Black or 'dark' comedies usually don't end happily.
Absurdist comedies point out the futility of life, using nonsense and trivia to examine that the meaning of life is...well...meaningless. These plays are often metaphorical or symbolic.
Cross dressing has been a common occurrence on the stage (the Greek, Roman, and Elizabethan theaters only employed male actors!) Many of Shakespeare's funniest comedies use the trope of cross-dressing, for example: Twelfth Night, As You Like It, and even The Merchant of Venice. The play we're going to read today carries on this tradition.
Read about cross-dressing and theatre here.
Complete the play draft you have been working on. Revise. Flesh out backgrounds of characters' lives and their beliefs (monologues are great for this sort of thing), consider the advice on the "art of grabbing" article, the "main event" article, your dramatic triangle and roots of action, and review the notes on dialogue (see post below). Apply them all to your draft. Play drafts will be due MONDAY.
You may choose any of the following: Psycho Beach Party, The Lady in Question, Red Scare on Sunset, or the Tale of the Allergist's Wife.