Understanding, Types, Functions, Elements, Values, and Concepts in Theater Arts

Theater Art (English: theater or theatre ; French: théâtre ; Greek: theatron (θέατρον)) is one of the arts of role-playing (drama) that presents real life stories on stage. The storyline presented usually contains an implied moral message and can be used as a life lesson by the audience.

Theater is a branch of art that was born in classical Greece. At that time, around 500 BC it was played on the altar by the priests and one of the scenes was the ceremony of giving sacrifices to the gods. Until later that form changed in the time of Athena, the sacrifice was replaced by the role of the antagonist who was punished on the basis of the will of the community and died for everyone.

In that sense, modern Indonesian theater is understood conceptually (realist theater) starting since Usmar Ismail and Asrul Sani founded ATNI (Indonesian National Theater Academy) on September 10, 1955 in Jakarta. Since then, the form of theater in Indonesia has undergone quite fundamental changes compared to its traditional forms, such as Randai, Ludruk, Mahyong, Ketoprak, and Ledhek.

Meaning of Theater Art

Theater art is a type of drama performance art that is staged on a stage. Specifically, theater art is a dramatic art that features human behavior with movement, dance, and singing presented complete with dialogue and acting.

According to Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia (KBBI), theater has three meanings, namely a building or room where films, plays, and so on are shown. Furthermore, the second meaning is a large room with rows of chairs to the side and back to attend lectures or for scientific demonstrations. The last meaning is the staging of drama as an art or profession, the art of drama, farce, and drama.

Etymologically, the word theater can be interpreted as a place or show building, while the word theater is terminologically interpreted as everything that is shown on stage for the consumption of its connoisseurs.

Here is a summary of the meaning of theater art according to experts:

1. Balthazar Vallhagen

Theater is a dramatic art that portrays human nature and character through movement.

2. Moulton

Theater is a story of life that is described or illustrated in the form of movement or called life presented in action .

3. Anne Civardi

Theater is a dramatic art that tells a story through words and movement.

4. Harymawan RMA

Specifically, theater refers to the activity of doing activities in the performing arts ( to act ), so the actions of players on stage are called acting . The term acting is taken from the Greek word ” dran ” which means to do, take place, or act. Because of this acting activity, the male players in the theater are called actors and the female players are called actresses .

5. Art of Handayani and Wildan

Theater is a form of composition based on two branches of art, namely literary art and stage art.

6. Budianta, et al

According to Budianta, et al., drama is a literary genre whose physical appearance verbally shows the existence of a conversation or dialogue between the existing characters.

7. Ferdinand Brunettiere

According to Ferdinand Brunetierre, a drama should give birth to a desire with action or movement.

8. Team Matrix Media Literata

Drama is a form of story that describes human life and character through staged behavior (acting).

9. Wildan

Drama is a composition based on several branches of art, so drama is divided into two, namely drama in the form of written text and staged drama.

10. Anne Civardi

Drama is a story told through words and movement.

11. Big Indonesian Dictionary (KBBI)

The meaning of this theater can or can be defined into three, among which are:

  • Stores or even spaces where films, plays, and so on are shown.
  • The large room with rows of chairs to the side, as well as to the back for attending lectures or for scientific demonstrations.
  • Drama staging is an art or even a profession; play, dramatic art, drama.

Types of Theater Arts

1. Traditional Theater Arts

Traditional theater often reveals the discourse of local wisdom, so it is a means of passing on knowledge of life or good values. Theater can entertain as well as act as a vessel for moral education of the community. Theater is an important link in building a harmonious life together, including getting used to living side by side with other people in the field of different tribes, languages, customs and religions while watching.

Traditional theater does not separate the performer and the audience. The boundaries are blurred, so that at any time the audience can directly become part of the spectacle. Traditional theater adheres to rituals, customs, customs and local culture (including the regional language). His life is still linked to the concept of community or family which is bonded by the spirit of mutual cooperation. In traditional theater, performance art, dance, music and voice art still synergize and complement each other.

2. Modern Theater Art

Modern theater takes western patterns as a reference. Theater is separated from dance, voice art and music. His presence is part of the art product that goes to the industry. The form of modern Indonesian theater is conventional modern theater, modern theater with renewal and contemporary modern theater.

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Conventional modern theater uses concepts, basic patterns, techniques and presentation unchanged from western theater only adapted to nature and using Indonesian language. Modern theater with renewal is a theater that tries to include elements of traditional theater as a style in its staging.

Theater artists began to question the existing modern theater. There is a new awareness that is felt that conventional modern theater is not yet established as a national theater. The Indonesian theater community is aware that within itself there is a traditional theater that must be defended. The third is a contemporary modern theater, which is a theater that tries to break conventional theater and reform theater. Artists try to combine elements that exist in the world for the benefit of theater.

Types of Theater Based on Form

The types of this theater art are as follows:

1. Puppet Theater

This puppet show is or has been performed since Ancient Times. Remains of his remains were found in tombs such as Ancient India, Egypt, and Greece. These dolls are often used in telling legends or religious stories. All kinds of puppets are played in different ways.

This hand puppet is worn by the hand while for the stick puppet it is moved with a stick held from below. Marionettes or string puppets are moved by moving the cross stick where the string is tied.

Apart from that, an example of a puppet theater that is quite popular is the wayang kulit show. In a wayang kulit show, the wayang is played behind a thin screen and the light rays create the shadow of the puppet on the screen. The female audience sits then in front of the screen, and watches her reflection. As for the male audience sitting behind the screen and also watching the movie live.

Furthermore, the Bunraku Puppet show from Japan is able to do so many movements that it takes three puppeteers to be able to move it. The puppeteer then dressed in black and sat right in front of the audience. The main puppeteer then controls the head as well as the right arm. The storytellers sing and chant the story.

2. Musical Drama

This musical drama is a theater show that combines dance, music, and acting. This musical drama emphasizes those three elements more when compared to the dialogue of the players. The quality of the players is not only judged on the appreciation of the character through the string of sentences spoken but also through the harmony of the song and dance moves.

It is referred to as a musical drama because the background of the show is a combination of dance moves, music, and also stage design. The most popular musical dramas are cabaret and opera. The difference between the two lies in the type of music used. In the opera, the dialogue of these characters is sung to the accompaniment of orchestral music and also the song that is sung is called seriosa. While in the cabaret musical drama, the type of music and songs that are sung are free and normal.

3. Dramatic Theatre

This dramatic term is used to be able to mention a theater show that is based on the drama of the play being staged. In the dramatic theater, this psychological change of character is very noticeable. The situation of the story and the background of this incident are made as detailed as possible.

The series of stories in this dramatic theater follows the plot closely. The focus of dramatic theater performance is to attract the audience’s interest and sense of the story situation presented. In dramatic theater, the actions of these players are highly highlighted.

One event or events related to other events then form the whole story. The character presented on this stage is a character without improvisation. This dramatic theater tries to stage the story as if it were reality.

4. Theatricalization of Poetry

Theatricalization of this poetry is a theater show made based on literary works of poetry. These works of poetry are usually only read, in the theater the poetry is tried out and then acted on stage. Because the basic material is poetry, the theatricalization of this poem emphasizes poetic aesthetics on stage. The acting style of the players usually has a theatrical nature. The stage layout and blocking were planned in such a way as to be able to emphasize the meaning of the poem in question.

For the theatricalization of this poem, it will provide an opportunity for the artists to be able to express the whole idea of ​​creativity in translating or interpreting the meaning of a poem into the look of a play as well as the artistic arrangement on stage.

5. Motion Theater

Motion theater is a theater show with the main element being movement as well as the facial expressions of the players. In the staging, the use of this dialogue is very minimal or even eliminated as in a classic pantomime show.

Along with the development, these theater players can or can move freely by following the mood (for specific characters) even apart from the character of this character basically to be able to attract the interest of the audience. From this freedom of movement expression, an idea of ​​staging the show based on movement independently emerged.

The most popular moving theater that survives to this day is called pantomime. It is a silent show due to not using voice, the pantomime tries to express its expression through movement behavior as well as facial expressions from the players. The meaning of the message to be realized in the show is in the form of movement.

Some Functions of Theater Arts

1. Theater Art as a Ritual or Ceremony

In its ritual function, a theatrical event becomes a forum for explaining, appreciating and strengthening the values ​​of faith or religion embraced by the community that performs it. Until now, in various ethnic theaters, elements of the ceremony remain prominent with the speaking of mantras, the preparation of sergeants and ceremonial actions performed by both the puppeteer and by other parties who are not directly involved in the show.

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2. Theater Art as Art or Aesthetics

In theater events, a community not only expresses thoughts, feelings, anxiety, hopes and so on, but also enjoys the forms of expression. In such an event, a community not only feels satisfied with having been able to express their experiences, but they also feel satisfied or dissatisfied in relation to the forms of expression they use.

3. Theater Arts as Entertainment

In this connection, theater arts meet the needs of the community for experiences that are different from their everyday experiences. Sometimes it even meets the needs of people who want to escape or escape from the problems of their daily lives.

4. Theater Art as an Educational Media

Theater is a collective art, in the sense that theater is not done individually. But to make it happen then harmonious teamwork is needed. When a theater is staged, it is hoped that the messages that the writer and also the players want to convey are conveyed to many viewers. By going through the show usually people will then more easily understand the good and bad value of life when compared to just reading through a story.

5. Theater Art as a Media of Expression

Theater is one of the art forms with the main focus on action and dialogue. It is different from the art of music which focuses on the sound aspect and also the art of dance which focuses on the harmony of movement as well as rhythm. In practice, the theater artist will then express his art in the form of body movements as well as speeches.

Elements of Theater Arts

The elements in the art of theater are divided into two, namely:

1. Internal Elements

This internal element is an element that concerns the continuation of the performance in a theater. Without internal internal elements, there will be no theater performance. For this reason, internal elements are said to be the heart of a theater performance. These internal elements are as follows:

a. Script or Screenplay

The script or scenario containing the story with the names of the characters and the dialogue will later be staged. This script becomes one of the supports that unites all kinds of elements including the stage, actors, costumes and the director.

b. Player

Adda players are one of the most important elements in a theater performance. The player has a role in producing some other elements, such as sound and motion. There are three types of players, among them the main role (protagonist/antagonist), supporting role as well as additional or extra roles. In movies or soap operas, these players are usually called actresses for women, and actors for men.

c. The director

The director is one of the most central elements, because the director is the person who leads and also organizes a production technique or theater staging. The director is the brain behind the flow of a story, for example creating ideas or thoughts about the stage that will later be used to direct all the actors, analyze the script, and so on.

d. Stage

This stage is one of the elements that can or can present the aesthetic value of a show. Apart from that, the stage becomes a supporting element of the show in which there is lighting, properties, as well as some other decorations related to a stage.

e. Property

This property is a necessary equipment in a theater performance, such as chairs, tables, robots, space decorations, decorations, and so on.

f. Arrangement

All workers related to theater productions, among others as follows:

  • This make-up is a way of dressing the players in playing theater characters so that it is more suitable to the character that will be played;
  • This fashion is the arrangement of the player’s clothing to support the conditions that require it. For example, the clothes worn by schoolchildren will certainly be different from the daily clothes worn by housekeepers;
  • This lighting is the lighting on stage;
  • This tone is the speaker setting.

2. External Elements

The external element is the next element that manages everything related to things that will be needed or needed in a staging. These external elements include the following:

a. Production Staff

The production staff is a group of teams or individuals that are concerned with the production leadership up to all the parts under it. The duties of each of them are as follows:

  • Producer/production leader;
  • Managing all things about production;
  • Establishing cost estimates, facilities, personal work programs (staff), etc.

b. Director/Director

The duties of the director include the following:

  • The carrier as well as the director of the script;
  • Coordinator of all implementation related to staging;
  • Finding and preparing actors;
  • Arrange everything that will be held by the designers and also the crew;
  • Prepare make up .

c. Stage Manager

The duties of the stage manager include the following:

  • Leaders and stage managers;
  • Assisting the director.

d. Designer

Duties of designers include the following:

  • Prepare all kinds of related visual aspects, such as preparing properties.
  • Arranging the atmosphere or the place or even the costume equipment, stage lighting, as well as lighting, as well as other supporting equipment such as audio.

e. Crew

This crew is the holder of the division of each sub held by the designer, among them the following:

  • Part of the stage/place;
  • The lighting section ( lighting );
  • Equipment and music section;

Values ​​and Concepts in Theater Arts

The values ​​and concepts in this theater art are as follows:

1. Value of Theater Arts

In the performance of the theater there are many values ​​that can or can be absorbed by the connoisseurs. The values ​​contained in the art of theater include:

  • Educational value;
  • Historical value;
  • Cultural values;
  • Religious values.

2. Theater Art Concept

The basic concept of theater art consists of two aspects, among them the aspect of appreciation and creation. However, due to the limitations of human resources, the aspects that are often taught in relation to the appreciation aspect should be prioritized.

The art of theater includes the skills of thinking, feeling, voice and body, which in its staging combines the art of acting, fine art, movement art, literary art, dance art, and music art.

This is an explanation of the Meaning, Features, Functions, and Types of Theater Art. Hopefully what has been described will be useful for you. Thank you.