Society theater : a laboratory for esthetic and social change (1715-1815)
- In France, the 18th century was a time of great enthusiasm for the theater. Princes, aristocrats and bourgeois could not slake their passion by attending the official theaters and they staged plays in their private residences to recreate the dramatic experience. People became amateur actors with unprecedented fervor and participated in a new form of sociability known as "society or private theater." Although long dismissed by critics as minor and unimportant, society theater had a lasting impact on the development and evolution of French theater during the 18th century. In addition, because society plays were closer to contemporary life than official dramatic works, they reveal that this practice introduced, tested, and disseminated new social ideas among the participants. Using the metaphor of the laboratory, this study advances a reevaluation of society theater as medium of esthetic and social change. The first chapter traces the history of the practice from its inception to the end of the Napoleonic Empire. Esthetic innovations and main characteristics of the genre are then analyzed before presenting an account of the reception and treatment of society theater in the 18th-century official and unofficial press. The unique social functions of this practice are then revealed through discussion of laughter. An illustration of the way society theater introduced, tested, and disseminated new ideas is presented through examination of the treatment of love in society plays. Finally, the subversive side of the practice is underlined using a couple of representative case studies. Works by Charles Collé, Carmontelle, Marivaux, and Beaumarchais are analyzed.
|Type of resource
|electronic; electronic resource; remote
|1 online resource.
|Comsa, Maria Teodora
|Stanford University, Department of French and Italian.
|Robert, Yann, 1983-
|Robert, Yann, 1983-
|Statement of responsibility
|Maria Teodora Comsa.
|Submitted to the Department of French and Italian.
|Thesis (Ph.D.)--Stanford University, 2014.
- © 2014 by Maria Teodora Comsa
- This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).
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