Understading Robert Edmond Jones

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& # 8217 ; Towards A New Theater Essay, Research Paper

In the 2nd chapter of his book & # 8220 ; Towards a New Theatre & # 8221 ; , Robert Edmond Jones explains the loss of art in American theater. Although American theater puts on the best show, has beautiful sets, and can make a good occupation & # 8220 ; forging it & # 8221 ; , what we [ as American histrions ] are practising is far from what theater should be. Drama is all around us, Jones remarks, but non in the theater. Today & # 8217 ; s theatre is losing life and is awfully out of day of the month, old ages behind our times. He attributes this deficiency of zest partly to our cleaving to the realistic attack to the theater that has kept us rearward and shows our deficiency of verve and creativeness. Jones stresses that today & # 8217 ; s theatre demands to acquire back to making life. The job with this, he points out, is that & # 8220 ; it takes life to make life in the theater, & # 8221 ; and people today do non see anything in life, they merely learn about them and mime. He emphasizes that to make theatre & # 8220 ; right & # 8221 ; we must utilize our Black Marias non our caputs, our emotions and non our ground for there is non logic in the theater. Another subscriber to downfall of theater today is that today & # 8217 ; s dramas are non public art, they are staying anyone but the audiences concern. Theatre is for the audience, performed to delight the biggest and most of import critics. The theater of the hereafter will elicit and rule the audience. Jones last idea called us to woolgather large, to follow those dreams, and to fall back in love with the art of theater.

Possibly I have non seen adequate productions or been involved with the theater long plenty to nail all these & # 8220 ; jobs & # 8221 ; that Jones makes known. Equally far as American theater losing its & # 8217 ; & # 8220 ; life & # 8221 ; and being behind the times, I can non see how theatre can perchance maintain up with the times. Yes, the secret plan lines will alter, the signifiers might alter, but the emotions and

behavior will remain the same because human nature remains the same. Of course certain actors portray those emotions in different ways, for example grief would be shown differently depending on the play, but the emotion itself will remain the same. So when Jones says that today’s theatre has not changed and we must start anew, I cannot see where he is coming from. Perhaps its’ just my shortsightedness and fear to let go of realism that makes me feel this way; I think Jones would agree. I do empathize with Jones’ statement that today’s theatre has lost its’ focus on its biggest critics and the reason to why theatre has survived, the audience. I do believe that sometimes today’s theatre tries to be so clever and different that audiences just do not understand. So instead of playing for the audience actors and actresses, directors and playwrights play for themselves and keep what should be a public art private from the audience. If the audience does not understand or has not felt then what is the purpose? The solution to this problem, Jones suggests, is to use your heart and emotions in the theatre, not logic and reason. I would love to just accept this for what it is worth, but this statement is so unrealistic. I believe we should use our logic and reason to tap into our hearts and emotions so that what the audience sees is not our cleverness, but our sincerity and passion. Without the two, an actor can have neither. The heart and head must work together, to bridge that already fine line between the two. For example, one cannot accurately portray the playwright’s intent without reasoning what exactly the author’s intent is. Nor can one communicate that to the audience without emotion, a heart-link between the two participants. Overall Jones’ overall theme challenged me not to just accept what is going on in theatre, but to dream big and aim to transform it.

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