Acting (Film and Stage)

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Welcome to the Department of Acting (Film and Stage).

Acting as the world knows it today is an approximately 2,500-year-old tradition with origins in Ancient Greece. This started with the festival of Dionysis, a week long ritual which included several performances of plays written by the classic Greek playwrights. These first plays were perfomed outdoor lit merely by the sun as opposed to the lights people use today in theatre and film. These actors were not heavily engaged in character as is seen today, but the actors had an emphasis on story. While there was theatre throughout the world it was nothing like the acting most people see today. The art form disappeared for a while after the Romans conquered Greece and it did not resurface again until the Middle Ages. Even then actors were not given any respect for the art and were merely tools for the Church to use in plays only supporting the Church. Acting did not become the art we see today until the 16th century. The notably most famous playwright of the time, William Shakespeare, was penning plays regularly. The first acting companies emerged in England; The Lord Chamberlains Men and The Lord Admirals Men. These acting companies led to the first dispute of how acting should be done. At the time, the two styles were Realistic vs Theatrical. These two styles would compete with one another constantly. They still clash in the minds of actors today.

Approaches to acting vary from each actor. It depends on what the actor performs in, a matter of personal taste and how much a director influences different styles of acting. Acting for theatre differs widely from acting for film or television. There are numerous training programs that train actors with a variety of different styles. Every country and culture has its way of acting and each has made its own contribution to the art of theatre. Various styles come from the Ancient Greek theatre dating back to 2000 B.C., the Russian theatre of the late 19th to early 20th century, and the Japanese Noh theatre. However, the father of all modern theatre training is Konstantine Stanislavsky of Russia. Almost all acting today as we know it derives from his approach to the art. However, how one acts is always up to the individual choice of the actor.

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