Intro to theatre midterm questions and answers

1 The Greek philospher Aristotle pointed out that a tragedy needed to observe three unities:

  protagonist, antagonist, agon (argument) 

  conflict, enactment, and financial gain 

  time, place, and action 

2 The performance contract:

  is unspoken 

  is destroyed by pretense 

  cannot be broken by either party 

3 Conflict is:

  heightened interaction 

  never present in character to character interactions 

  never internal 

4 The following are aspects of actor-audience interaction:

  whether or not the actors like each other offstage 

  reviews online by a theatre critic 

  the social prestige of attending an opening night performance 

5 Films and theatre are different in that films do not:

  have character-character interactions 

  have actor-actor interactions 

  have immediate actor-audience interaction 

6 The major characteristic of a proscenium theatre is: 

  clear separation of the space between actors and audience on either side of a “fourth wall”

  audience surrounding three sides of the performance space 

  the orientation of all audience seats around the stage 

7 Directors may encourage spontaneity in a scene through:

  encouraging talks and lectures 

  asking the playwright to rewrite a scene 


8 If the audience responds enthusiastically to a play which the critic believes is of very poor quality, s/he should:

  blast the audience 

  stand by his or her opinions, but note that others did like the play correct

  rethink his or her responses and possibly change them 


9 The use of the suffix -wright suggests that the playwright should be:

  someone who writes plays 

  a crafter or builder of plays 

  always correct 

10 Stage directions are always given:

 from the point of view of a director watching the play from the audience 

 from the point of view of an actor standing on stage and facing the audience

 from the point of view of an actor standing on stage facing away from the audience

11 The overall function of the critic is:

  to make the audience more critical of what they see in the theatre 

  to improve playwriting 

  to enrich the theatre experience for the audience 

12 Empathy is important in audience response because:

  the purgation of pity and terror is an important goal of comedy 

  the capacity to identify with other people is required in many plays 

  only empathy can force the “unwilling suspension of disbelief” 

13 The influence of the audience is felt in multiple ways in the theatre.

  indirectly as the production company anticipates their reaction 

  both answers are correct 

  directly during the performance of the play 

14 A playwright may begin by trying to understand and describe the characters that s/he will create and use.  A typical way of beginning work on character is to:

search for good names online 

use only members of one’s own family 

create profiles on each one as if the playwright were a detective searching for a missing person

15 A tetralogy is:

  a tragedy, a comedy, and a satyr play 

  a trilogy and a satyr play 

  an outdoor theatre festival 

16 Because theatre is such a social art:

  tickets must be provided when audience members have forgotten theirs 

  audience crowding is to be avoided at all costs 

  the seating density of an audience is important 

17 The costume designer has the power to communicate character through:

  individual touches like wear patterns and accessories 

  both answers are correct 

  choice of color and fabric 

18 The lighting designer uses gels to create a range of colors to achieve one of her/his primary goals of:




19 The Festival of Dionysus awarded the best playwright with:

  a gold trophy 

  a feast in his honor 

  a goat 

20 Actor-actor interaction is similar to actor-audience interaction in that:

  both need a script 

  both participants must pretend to believe 

  both depend upon the inspired soul of the actor 

21 It is important for audiences to be demonstrative because:

  appropriate audience response is an expected part of the actor-actor interaction

  feedback is essential for the actor-audience interaction

  disruptive behavior gives the actors more of a challenge 

22 Identify the character who says:

Listen to me.  You mock my blindness, do you?

But I say that you, with both your eyes, are blind.




23 Which of the following was NOT one of Stanislavski’s five questions?

  Who am I? 

  What do I want? 

  Who is my most important relationship? 

24 Identify the character who says:

I pitied the baby, my King,

And I thought that this man would take him far away

To his own country.




25 Identify the character who says:

The full horror of what happened you can not know.

For you did not see it; but I, who did, will tell you

As clearly as I can how she met her death.


  Second Messenger 


26 Stanislavsky developed a technique to connect actors to the emotional life of their characters.



27 Empathy is the unfortunate condition of some people who cannot relate to the feelings of others.



28 One major function of the director is to stand in for the audience in rehearsal.



29 “Blocking” occurs when one actor stands in front of another, obstructing the audience’s view.



30 A scenic designer creates the environment(s) of a play and shares his/her ideas with the director using elevations, ground plans, and scale models.



31 The “willing suspension of disbelief” refers to the readiness of the audience to suspend its usually skeptical attitude.



32 Retrospective exposition is a way of letting the audience know what has happened in the backstory before the point of attack.



33 An actor cannot be expected to communicate with his or her body.



34 The crucial element which films do not have in common with theatre is the  performance contract.



35 A representational play openly acknowledges the presence of the audience.



36 An element of a theatre experience which appeals to many people is the absolute predictability of the experience.



37 Only the rich male Athenian citizens attended the plays at the Festival of Dionysus.



38 Stanislavski dismissed the idea of inspiration.



39 Scripts are essential for theatre.



40 Jerzy Grotowski wrote Towards a Poor Theatre.



41 Apparently hidden action may be detected in the subtext.



42 It is unusual nowadays for a professional playwright to be a full-time member of a production company.



43 Stichomythia are highly emotional speeches by the protagonist dealing with inner conflict or torment.



44 Thespis is considered the first actor as he was said to step out of the chorus and impersonate a character.



45 Dithyrambs were the prizes awarded to the best actors at the Festival of Dionysus.



46 The stasis occurs both at the beginning and again at the ending of the play.



47 The primary function of Greek tragedy was religious observance and devotion.



48 H2O is considered a connotative symbol.



49 Peter Shaffer was inspired to write Equus because of an experience he had with horses as a boy.



50 Oedipus is an example of an early point of attack.



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