Interactive flashcards help students review their knowledge of approximately 200 terms.

TermsFlashcards
B
bhavas
in sanskrit drama, the eight fundamental human emotions (pleasure, mirth, sorrow, wrath, vigor, fear, disgust, and wonder) that are paired with rasas, the aesthetic experiences of the spectator or the mood of the scene in question. The various combinations of these elements create a diversity of moods and experiences that enhance the viewers’ sensations when watching a play.
Black Arts Movement
cultural movement in the United States during the 1960s that sought to alter the mainstream theatrical climate by cultivating works written for and about African Americans. A number of organizations spearheaded the movement including Amiri Baraka’s (b. 1934) Black Arts Repertoire Theatre, the New Lafayette Theatre, and the Negro Ensemble Company.
blackface
cosmetic technique, common in nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century minstrel shows and vaudeville performances, by which a performer paints his or her face with dark makeup to portray an African American. Extremely popular with audiences at the time, the practice is now considered deeply offensive because it propagates stereotyped caricatures of race. In contemporary theater, the practice has occasionally been appropriated by African American playwrights and directors to call attention to issues of race.
blank verse
the verse form most like everyday speech; in English, unrhymed iambic pentameter. In the sixteenth century blank verse became the standard form for dramatic and epic poetry. Most of shakespeare’s plays are in blank verse.
blocking
the specific movement or positioning of actors onstage intended to enhance the theatrical experience for the spectator, whether that be the realistic portrayal of a domestic conflict or an abstract idea. Blocking can also set the tone of a play or convey ideas not intrinsic to the dialogue or script. Typically, the director determines the blocking in a play.
bugaku
a Japanese form of mask play first imported from China and India in the seventh century that later included dances from Korea, Tibet, and Vietnam. Performances were restricted to the royal court and the form relied on strict tradition and technique. The subjects of these plays were taken from religious texts. Bugaku is still performed today on important state occasions.
bunraku
an elaborate form of Japanese puppet (or doll) theater that evolved from earlier puppet and storytelling traditions in the eleventh century and is still performed today. The dramas are three acts long and explore historical or domestic themes. The puppets onstage are generally two-thirds the size of the persons manipulating them and the puppeteers are visible to the spectators. The chief operator wears a kimono, while the other participants wear black. The narrative (or joruri) is delivered by a speaker who stands to the right of the stage and the action is underscored by the music of a samisen (a banjolike instrument). The best known playwright of the genre is Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653–1725).
burlesque
a form of performance that aims to mimic and distort its subject matter for comic purpose rather than invective criticism. The Beggar’s Opera by John Gay (1685–1732), for example, mimics and pokes fun at the seriousness of traditional opera. In late-nineteenth-century America, burlesques incorporating music and elements of fantasy became a popular medium for vaudeville or variety shows featuring bawdy sexual humor.