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A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THE STAGE AND TELEVISION PRODUCTIONS-PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS
This work entitled ‘COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THE STAGE AND TELEVISION PRODUCTIONS-PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS’.
The work is structurally divided into five chapters, the last of which is the conclusion.
In chapter one which actually is the introductory chapter, we shall be taking a look at Definition of Terms and the Basic Concepts of Television and Livestage.
Chapter two takes an in-depth look at live stage and live stageproductions as opinion moulder in the society.
Chapter three is Television and film productions as opinion moulder and propaganda tool in the society.
Chapter four discusses (comparative analysis) comparatively stageactors and television actors, in (Thence and advantages of live stage productions and television/ film production and How television programme constitute a nuisance to live stage performance.
In chapter five, the writer shall be drawing conclusion after reviewing the problems and prospects of this two medium, which will be followed by the Bibliography.
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
It is a fact that the most challenging function of every artist (actor) is the ability to communicate with his audience. This could be done through acting on stage and television. Most actors believe that their only means of reaching their audience is through the electronic media (television) while others in their varied opinion see acting on stage as the best way their audience can share their experiences with them and the only way they can decipher the actual message in the playwright’s theme.
No actor in this case could lay claim to having satisfactorily reached the audience until he is being able to perfectly acquire both experiences, artistically. Observably, moist nonprofessionals had commonly considered dramatic films and production.
This misconception has arisen in course of both employment of actors, directors, designers and writers whose scripts are routinely transferred from one medium to another.
Ironically film screenings in the view of Brian Hansen in Theatre: the Dynamics of the Art presented:
to the audience in special buildings called theatres, television and films
both can record live theatre productions for showing at some Future time, the acting style in television and film programs hard to distinguish from the stage.
However, since both deal with individuals who portray not their original roles but something close to their individual self it is often difficult to distinguish.
PURPOSE OF WORK
The theatre artist has often faced criticism and sometimes—outright condemnation in the Nigerian society. This criticism has been because of the society’s failure to understand the dramatic differences between film, television and the stage, all which employ the services of the artist. In some cases, this misconception had led to the public failure to understand and the artist ability to really know and convince his audience on which of the two convincingly share the sympathy and attention of the audience whom the playwright’s theme is directed to.
This project work aims at unveiling the difference and proffer ready solutions to which of these categories best share the audience scrutiny. Since theatre is the mirror of the society this will readily view the television and film industry in terms of their ability to mould public opinion giving ready instances that vividly agree with this idea.
The work will also in comparism portray the various influences,advantages, promises and prospects which this sphere’s (Stage, Television and film) aims at for the artist on who this responsibility rest.
Finally, this work essentially aims at documenting the challenges ofa theatre artist from play selection to its final realization in another light it is an attempt to use the theatre artist and his roles in the three sphere (Stage, Television and film) to educate the populace (audience)
SCOPE OF LIMITATION
The challenges of an artist as it relates to convincing his audience into accepting the different character in the art world created by the electronic media may appear enormous. This complexity seem to revolve around the audience inability really understand the differences between the stage and the screen as tools used by the actor in disseminating the thematic preconception of thematic playwright and the director (both screen and stage).
Despite the narrow disparity, I feel obliged in creating a desired differences and superiority in the two spheres that has been a point of controversy to the Nigerian audience. This work is however concerned with discovering between the television and stage productions which is well-established with a greater challenge and promise the artist in whom society tend to rely on for recreation and rejuvenation. To do a comparative study of both stage and television. This project will serve essentially as a reference point on which the artist and the medium of Communication will be adjudged.
It is important to state here that this work will be limited to “comparative study of stage and television production-prospects and problems’’ from the point of view of research essays and not in the perspective of dramaturgy, dramatic literature, acting or directing. However, if the need arises other research essays and productions that conform to the aim of the topic will be examined for the purpose of clarification.
All methods used in the course of this research essay has been gathered via extensive reading of textbooks, newspapers and persona1 interviews conducted through practitioners in the department of creative arts, university of Port Harcourt and through experiences with members of cast and crew on stage and screen (Television).
Lastly, my study experiment in acting in my certificate in theatre arts and degree programmes for the past years have aided me in putting these ideas together.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
For a proper understanding of this essay, efforts shall be made at defining those terms that will be used frequently. The terms are Television, Theatre, Stage, Acting and Production.
Television, also called TV is one of our most important means of communication.
According to Clarence Robert and Barn Huts in The World Book Dictionarythe word television is:
from a medley of the Greek word tele(Meaning far off) and vision.
(Roberts and Huts 1971:15).
Thus, television means to see far. Experiment leading to the inventionof television began in the 1800”s but progress was slow.
Television as we know it today was not developed until the 1920s andhad little importance with communication until the late I940s when it began locally over the air broadcasting using electromagnetic waves to send programs. In the view of John Fiske and John Hartley in Reading Television it is:
Episodic, specific, Concrete and
dramatic in mode and visual media.
(Fiske and Hartley 1984:15).
Television does not only bring to our viewers moving pictures, but stands out as a source informer and entertainer to its audience. The camera is observed as the most essential tool in the television production process since it focuses on the objects, which become an optical image when reproduced by the lens. Most actors who act for the television appear to be artificial on their outlook since they do not portray their real selves.
The word “theatre’’ is a derivation of the Greek word THEATRON. The word that had earlier described only the architectural structure selected to house dramatic offerings, although it could sometimes accommodate other presentation. The term theatre is observed to have been vividly known in the 17th century. Theatre in this vein according to John Yesibo is:
the art as a whole of which the building
tend to be only a part, since it is one of the
performing arts which the public
views as a basic nature of man’s
This could be the rationale behind its idea in Nigerian culture to have begun with the Greek. The understanding of theatre depends on it’s geographical, political and sociological influence it has on the society.
Commenting on this The Theatre: An Introduction observes that:
the theatre is the most objective of the
arts, since characteristically it presents
both center and inner experience through
speech and action. (Brockett 1996:3).
Elizabeth burns in Theatricality: A Study of Conventions of Theatre and Social Life sociologically see theatre as:
An arena in which it is possible to study manifestation of the social values, forms
and conventions of society and also the
images of social reality which people of
different kinds and at different times have
constructed for themselves. (Burns 1972: 5).
Essentially certain Features are expected to be seen in an environment that is regarded as a theatre. These are:
a. What Is Performed: Script, scenario?
b. The Performers: this is inclusive of all the process involved
from the preparation to its final presentation.
c. The Venue: Theatre, town hall, market square etc.
d. The Audience: the receiver of the theatrical message.
Notably, for any theatrical performance to take prominence there must be an idea of possibly set of ideas written in script form. An individual later addressed as the playwright may have conceived this written out words. In most cases, scenario could lead to a performance. For any theatrical performance to manifest the Script must have the privilege of being performed in order to know its worthiness.
This idea appears to be Barclays Ayakoroma’s stance in his lecture notes on Theatre management when he posits that:
The script is the primary raw material and the departure point of any production. (Ayakoroma 1998:25).
Theatre again Like many other form of art such as sculpture and painting is a collaborative art that cannot be individualized or performed in isolation.
This is not a raised platform above the auditorium floor as people conventionally conceive of it in the opinion of EffiongJohnson in PlayProduction Process a stage is that place where a performance takes place(Johnson 2001:54). A stage in this vein could be wherever is found suitablefor locating the drama. It is often regarded as performing venue or space.
Conventionally there are three different types of’ stages. These are the proscenium, thrust and area stage.Each of these stages creates a different audience- actor relationship each equally has different facilities and approach towards theatrical productions.
Acting is an extension of our daily human behaviour. It is the basic medium that shapes and controls the scale of human association and action, with the actor fully in charge of its organization. Since the actor is the theatrical medium, theatre companies or place emphasis on him. Accordingto Columbus Irisoanga in his lecture notes on Acting/Movement acting is:
The ability of seeing through the actor the
ideas and emotions of the play which are
readily Communicated and expressed to
the audience through the actor’s action.
Through the magnetism and power of the actor the emotional situations of incidences of the playwright’s inner feelings are felt. The composition of a character is the work of a creation, which assimilates the actor’s craft as an artist.
Production in the view of Effiong Johnson in Play Production Process is:
the marriage of all theatrical activities by
cast and crew members, towards realizing
a show (Johnson 2001:35).
It is coming together of all experts in their various fields to give pep to the success of the production. It is the energy of these blended parts into a wholesome piece that is often referred to as production.
Production in this sense is the bringing together of the directors art, the actors art, the designers art among others in a unified ensemble before an audience.
THE CONCEPT OF TELEVISION AND LIVE STAGE.
The concept of the television is to bring to the viewing public incidences that have been pre-recorded as if they just occurred. Ironically, in the portrayal of this incidence the audience and the actor seldom share the same lime mid space. Films are mostly shot months or years before the public sees them, in addition they are photographed and edited in places distant from the intended audience who finally watch it on Television.
They are usually shot entirely out of sequence, they develop a plot only in the editing room, and For example, a typical motion picture about imperial Russia may contain exterior scenes in Spain and Bulgaria and interior scenes shot in London. Television in exception of the message, it passes to its audience through the tube does not make provision for an interaction between the audience and the actor who is expected to be the mirror of societal follies.
The film itself, which is transmitted through the television, may not be an excellent work of art. In the view of’ Brian Hansen in Theatre, The Dynamics Of The Art because it:
force the audience to deal with it in much
the same way that once experiences a
painting (Hansen I 991: 17).
Seen from this perspective film is not performing art at all.
The intention of’ the stage performance is to bring the audience closer to the stack realities of life. It in most cases enable him have a feeling of Societies problem and make provision for rejuvenation. Theatre fans love immediacy of their art form and the difference between the stage (theatre) and the television (film) is the immediate lifepresentation of what is happening through the stage. They tend to share the emotion, love, problems of the individual through the actor who re-enacts this incidence in their presence.
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