|Friday, March 4th|
Tsea M. Francisconi, University of Montana, Missoula
UC South Ballroom
3:30 PM - 3:45 PM
The witch hysteria that overtook Christian Europe during the Early Modern era inspired a mass paranoia over the conspiratorial belief that the Abrahamic religion’s personification of the world’s evils was attempting to rise up and harm Christian communities during this time period. It was believed that in order to achieve this goal the Christian version of the Devil had been recruiting humans within Christian communities and turning these chosen humans into witches in order to spread their destruction, murder, and terror amongst their own neighbors and families. Over the course of the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in England, the impact of the witch hysteria resulted in the publication of illustrated witchcraft pamphlets, where news of witch trials would be recounted in detail. When compared against illustrations from other English pamphlets published during this same time period, the witchcraft pamphlets stand out as distinctly different through their portrayal of female witches as caricatures with visual symbolism representing the believed malicious capabilities that witches possessed against society. A comparison of witchcraft pamphlets against other pamphlets printed in different genres also showcases the hypocrisies in which the witchcraft illustrations that are supposed to be presenting the sins of witches had been tamed down, despite the text going into detail on the accused sins of the witches. This indicates the printing houses had taken marketing into account. Likewise depictions of female witches versus male witches in illustrations show the female witches as ugly lower class caricatures, while male witches are shown holding higher positions in society. These items point to witchcraft hysteria being partly fueled through the lucrative marketability of people’s fears.
For my thesis I will be analyzing illustrations from examples of English witchcraft pamphlets dating from the time period 1579 to 1658. I will then analyze examples of other non-witch related wood block printed illustrations from England, that come from around the same time frame. I will then compare the example groups against one another to prove that there is a discernable difference in the art style used to portray witches, and the art style used to portray illustrated characters that do not mention of witches.
The mass-produced art from these pamphlets and prints played a key role in not only giving visualization aid to the concept of witchcraft, but also helped to normalize and even popularize a deadly outbreak of paranoid social hysteria. Even if certain people of the time were dubious of the existence of witches, there still was a certain power to being given an explanation for why bad things happened in the form of a monster that could be fought and triumphed over, the evil power cleansed from the community through mortal means. The lesson to take away from this historical time period is that illustrated methods of propaganda have always had an influence over people, and it is crucial to always keep a critical mind about where we get our information, be that from an paper pamphlet or from a computer screen.
UC South Ballroom
3:50 PM - 4:05 PM
I want to briefly introduce Machinal dramaturgy.
[ˈma-kə-ˌnal] Machinal means “automatic” or “mechanical” in French.
1. Play and Playwright
The play has a modernist and expressionist style, which was written by American author Sophie Treadwell in 1928, and it is based on a real-life story about the first woman- Ruth Snyder, who murdered her husband and was executed in an electric chair in the same year at Sing Sing prison in NYC.
When the play opened on Broadway on September 7, 1928, it achieved success, and since then, this play has been performed many times.
Sophie Treadwell was an American playwright, journalist, novelist, producer, actor and director in an early-twentieth century. She wrote many works and she was best known for her play Machinal, in it, she considered what would drive a woman to be a murderer.
2. Early 20th Century America
The play has a special background, occurring during the period between the explosions of the two world wars, and after the first period of the feminist movement in America, when women got the right to vote. In this period when industrialization and social contradictions were developing, more and more modern female playwrights emerged, such as Sophie Treadwell, who depicted a daily life that they were familiar with and revealed the problems of society. At the same time, they started to explore new artistic methods, such as modernist and expressionist drama styles.
Expressionism is the key word in this play
It was first used in France after the twentieth century to
Describe a style of painting. Expressionism developed in Germany around 1905 as a movement in art and literature in which the representation of reality is distorted to communicate inner feelings.
It was a first cousin to symbolism, and it had well-defined characteristics. Expressionist plays are highly subjective:
The protagonist seems distorted or dreamlike.
It is often opposed to society and the family.
The protagonist journeys through a series of incidents that usually are not causally related.
It is structured as station dramas. (the role and Christ)
The characters are representative types rather than names.
The language is telegraphic and short lines.
3. Nine episodes and theme
In 1928, when Sophie Treadwell read the New York Daily News, and saw a front-page photograph of Ruth Snyder mid-electrocution under the headline "DEAD!", she felt concern that the woman’s fate was lost in the sensationalism. She wrote Machinal in nine episodes, and each one represents an emotional semiotics, as well as expresses a human mood.
This play describes the fate of a young women. Women belong to half the power of the world. However, when we read Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, we sympathize with Anna for committing suicide for love; while we read Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, Nora Helmer, we worry about what will happen to her after she runs away from home and lost love. Now, Treadwell’s YOUNG WOMAN is suffering in the same situation, seeing the photograph of her sitting in the electric chair, in addition to deep feelings of sympathy, we also think more about questions of how to be a woman, and how to oppose male chauvinism and social oppression.
Kylie Lynn McDonald
UC South Ballroom
4:10 PM - 4:25 PM
The Inclusion in theatre is a research project I made in to expand the knowledge of relaxed shows within a performance art setting and how we can integrate relaxed shows in theatre for the inclusion of all.
Relaxed shows within theatre mean a performance that is sensory friendly performances, sometimes called relaxed performances alter the designs to be inclusive for all audience members including volume, lighting, and trigger warnings. Relaxed performances are needed within the theatre community to increase accessibility within performances and also within theatrical education settings as well.
The reason I wanted to make a research project, while always expanding this research, would be because I needed to understand how to make theatre classes more accessible to everyone. I also worked for Utah Shakespeare Festival this summer and did my first relaxed show there. I didn't know what a relaxed show was and after doing the show and talking to actors who have disabilities of their own it was an eye-opening experience of how we need to make theatre accessible. I then made it a goal to turn the research I have gathered into an opportunity to present my findings and ways other theaters have created relaxed performances.
My hope is others will hear and take that knowledge and we can melt accessibility into our theatre programs and performances to be inclusive for all people.