Realism In Theatre Essay

1157 words - 5 pages

The theatrical plays of “Angels in America” and “August: Osage County” both of the playwrights create a heart wrenching, tear jerking, and amazing work. Each character is developed to have its own sets of values, beliefs, and attitudes towards life and so there are no two characters alike. With each character having its own identity, it brings a sense of excitement and unpredictability in the plays. Tracy Letts the writer for “August: Osage County” establishes a sense of reality in his play by developing characters that everyone can relate too. His play is about family, the use of drugs, cancer, and suicide, subjects that people go through during their lifetime. Tony Kushner the playwright of “Angels in America” provides the same feeling of realism in his play, by having his characters deal with prescription drug addiction, terminal illness, and relationship tribulations. There are many similarities between these two plays such as the use of realism, having the characters be part of unhealthy relationships, and experiencing life threatening illnesses. There are not that many differences between these two plays, but one in particular is that in “August: Osage County” the entire play’s location is at a home- upstairs, kitchen, patio, or in a living room while “Angels in America” have some scenes taken place in the hospital, office, and the bedroom. As one can see both of these plays are more similar than they are different and equally incorporate realism into the production.
For a play to be considered realism, Janie Jones implies it [the play] must hold the idea of the stage as an environment, rather than as an acting platform (Jones). Actors are trained never to give their backs to the audience. This is apparent when the characters are sitting around the kitchen table; there is always an empty chair in front of the stage. As an audience member, you notice that the actors move across the stage as if the entire play was choreographed as a dance routine. Even though the actors are well rehearsed when it comes to moving around the stage, they do it so effortlessly that it’s not a distraction for the audience. The movement of actors may be considered a small thing, but it’s what make a play realistic or not. For a realistic play, the way the actors behave makes it seem they are not worried about the audience and being in their way. They talk, walk and act in a manner similar to that of our everyday behavior. In “August: Osage County” the actors are so believable that we as spectators forget it’s a play but rather seeing a glimpse into someone’s family.
The realistic play of "August: Osage County" has everyone relating to someone or something during the course of the production. The topics of cancer, marijuana, molestation, drug addiction, and much more have audience members connecting to these characters in a way that a play has never done before. This play is considered a dark comedy and it has people experiencing both laughter and discomfort,...

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