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Whats Happening Richard Schechner A Look at Schechners Ideas of the New Theatre Richard Schechner envisions a new theatre in three of his major essays Happenings 1966 Six Axioms for Environmental Theatre 1968 and Negotiations with the Environment 1968 He does not spend time discussing his famed not not themselves ideology of the performer or ritual ecstasy instead he discusses a new genealogical hybrid termed the new theatre by Allan Kaprow Schechner uses the traditional theatre as a comparison and first comments in Happenings because it is unlike traditional theatre the familiar locutions of these arts eg dance music sculpture painting cannot describe whats going on or provide criteria for which to evaluate it 145 Still Schechner does provide many a comparison between the traditional theatre and this new form Schechner recognizes that the theatrical event is a complex social interweave a network of expectation and obligation The exchange of stimulieither sensory or ideational or bothis the root of theatre 158 Knowing this the author claims all theatre both traditional and new is a set of related transactions changes in outlook and situation How these transactions occur is what defines the art form For example the traditional theatre works from an organic system of correlations concerning character story and locale Likewise Susanne K Langer states traditional theatre runs on a continuum of past and future as parts 147 organic parts developing the situation It involves a series of understandable transactions However the new theatre lacks this destiny of time There the referents to everyday life are purely functions of sounds textures and images 147 Schechner basically breaks down all the major components of the traditional theatre in a comparison with the new theatre To start the traditional theatre involves plot as a means of telling a story but the new theatre involves imagesevents There are three kinds of new theatre as Schechner describes in Happenings the technological essentially electronic event a la John
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