Take A Tour And Learn About Different Types Of Theaters!
There are four main types of theaters, each has its pros and cons and unique purposes.
Theater-in–the-round is also called arena stage, central stage, or island stage. The stage is usually lowered below the audience in an “arena” formation. The stage is always in the center completely surrounded by the audience with actors entering and exiting through the audience from different direction. It has been said that the informality of theater-in-the-round leads to a bond between the audience and actors.
Theater-in-the-round has its roots in rituals such as those performed by the ancient Greeks, which evolved into classical Greek theater. It was used again in medieval times, especially in England.
Proscenium: Latin. It means in front of scenery.
During the late 17th century the proscenium stage, which limited audiences to the area directly in front of the stage, came to dominate theater. More contemporary plays focusing on the subtleties of characters’ psychological development require a smaller proscenium stage. A proscenium features a “picture frame” rectangular opening, allowing the entire audience to experience the play from the same vantage point – straight on, a perspective not possible on a thrust stage. The majority of late 19th-century and virtually all of 20th-century drama is best suited to a proscenium stage.
Audiences will enjoy a house draped in deep, passionate red facing a rectangular opening that’s adjustable from a small aperture to a panoramic full-stage view, depending on the dramatic elements of each individual play.
In theater, a thrust stage (also known as a platform stage or open stage) is one that extends into the audience on three sides and is connected to the backstage area by its upstage end. A thrust has the benefit of greater intimacy between performers and the audience than a proscenium, while retaining the utility of a backstage area.
Thrust stage is used a lot as a classical stage set up, particularly good for things like Shakespeare or Restoration Comedy, things where audience interaction is important. To the left is a image of the American Players Theater (APT), Wisconsin with the capacity of 1148. A significant part of APT’s mission is its education program. APT works with schools and educators to teach students both about Shakespeare and other classic dramatic works, and about the theater in general.
Black Box Theater
A black box theater also known as the experimental theater, consists of a simple, somewhat unadorned performance space, usually a large square room with black walls and a flat floor. The floor is flat and open, allowing people to arrange seating however they desire. The great thing about a black box space is that it can be anything anyone wishes to imagine. It’s capable of endless configurations, allowing people to exercise their creativity, which can be especially valuable in the case of experimental performances. Why is it BLACK? Black is a neutral color which will not clash with costumes, sets, and lighting. It is a relatively recent innovation in theater. Black box theaters became popular and widespread particularly in the 1960s and 1970s. The black box is also considered by many to be a place where more “pure” theater can be explored, with the most human and least technical elements being in focus.