The Wall Dramaturgical Packet

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<ul><li><p>8/13/2019 The Wall Dramaturgical Packet</p><p> 1/24</p><p>DRAMATURGICAL PACKET</p><p>Compiled by: Alicia Tycer</p><p></p></li><li><p>8/13/2019 The Wall Dramaturgical Packet</p><p> 2/24</p><p> 2</p><p>THE WALL:A MUSICAL MISDEED</p><p>Based on The WallBy Jean-Paul Sartre</p><p>Composer and Conductor: John M. KennedyLibrettist: Alicia Tycer</p><p>Director/ Choreographer: Tanya Kane-Parry</p><p>January 30, 31, February 1, 2013 at 7:30The State Playhouse</p><p>California State University, Los Angeles</p><p>Note on the origin of the title:</p><p>Opera = work or deedOpera has traditions, conventions, and expectations that we want to avoid in ourtitle and performance.Not opera = mis-deed</p><p>bad event, bad actoA musical = not good opera</p><p>full of mischief</p></li><li><p>8/13/2019 The Wall Dramaturgical Packet</p><p> 3/24</p><p> 3</p><p>TABLE OF CONTENTS</p><p>Jean-Paul Sartre: Biographical Moments 4</p><p>Existentialism: What is it? 6</p><p>Pre- Existentialism: Platos Cave 6Existentialist Philosophy 7Examples of Existentialism 8</p><p>Theatre of the Absurd 9</p><p>The Wall: The Short Story 10</p><p>Summary and Style 10</p><p>The Spanish Civil War 11</p><p>Republicans vs. The Nationalists/ Fascists 11</p><p>An Overview 14</p><p>Literary and Artistic Responses to the War 16</p><p>Federico Garca Lorca 16Ernest Hemingway 16Russian Constructivism 17Salvador Dal 18Pablo Picasso 18</p><p>Character Influences 23</p><p>The Doctor: 23Dr. Mengele 23Woyzeck 24</p></li><li><p>8/13/2019 The Wall Dramaturgical Packet</p><p> 4/24</p><p> 4</p><p>Jean- Paul Sartre: Biographical Moments</p><p>(June 21, 1905 April 15, 1980)</p><p>"The world itself destroyed Sartre's illusions about isolated self-determiningindividuals and made clear his own personal stake in the events of the time."</p><p>Ronald Aronson Camus and Sartre</p><p>1905- Born in Paris, the only child of Jean-Baptiste Sartre, an officer in</p><p>the French Navy, and Anne-Marie Schweitzer.</p><p>1929- While in college pursuing a degree in philosophy, he meets Simone deBeauvoir. He begins a lifetime open relationship with her and they become aleading intellectual couple. Her 1949 book The Second Sexis considered afounding text of modern feminism in which she writes One is not born, but ratherbecomes, a woman.''</p><p>1939- Drafted into the French army, he is captured and is a prisoner of war fortwo years</p><p>1941- Returns to German occupied France. He forms the "Socialisme et Libert"resistance group. In 1943, after the group disbanded, Sartre joined a writers'Resistance group in which he remained an active participant until the end of thewar.</p><p>1943- Being and Nothingnesspublished</p><p>1946- Existentialism is a Humanism published</p></li><li><p>8/13/2019 The Wall Dramaturgical Packet</p><p> 5/24</p><p> 5</p><p>1947- The Wall is first published. He also publishes his most famous play NoExit including the often quoted line: Hell is other people.</p><p>1948- The Roman Catholic Church puts his works on the List of Prohibited Books</p><p>1960- Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir meet with Che Guevara inCuba</p><p>1961, 1962- Sartre supports Algerias right for self determination and separationfrom France. He was targeted for assassination with two bomb explosions at hisapartment building.</p><p>1964- He publishes the autobiographical The Words. He is awarded the NobelPrize for Literature, but becomes the first to person to refuse the award,explaining: The writer must refuse to let himself be transformed into aninstitution. Le Monde</p><p>1967- Helps organize the Russell Tribunal intended to expose U.S. war crimes inVietnam</p><p>1968- Arrested for civil disobedience during the strikes in Paris, but is pardoned</p><p>1980- Sartre dies of a lung condition.</p></li><li><p>8/13/2019 The Wall Dramaturgical Packet</p><p> 6/24</p></li><li><p>8/13/2019 The Wall Dramaturgical Packet</p><p> 7/24</p><p> 7</p><p>Existentialist PhilosophyExistentialism is the movement in nineteenth and twentieth century philosophythat addresses fundamental problems of human existence. The existentialists arenot a self-consciously defined homogenous school However most of them are</p><p>interested in some of (the questions): What is it to exist? Does existence have apurpose? Is there an objective difference between right and wrong? Are we free?Are we responsible for our actions? What is the right sort of religious, political orsexual commitment? How should we face death? (20)Priest, Stephen. Jean-Paul Sartre: Basic Writings. New York: Routledge, 2000.</p><p>What does the term existentialism mean in its application to Sartres philosophy?To say that something exists is to say that it is. To state somethings essence isto state what it is. Understanding Sartres existentialism requires understandinghis thoughts on the relation between existence and essence. (Priest) Accordingto Sartre, human beings have no "essence" before their existence because no</p><p>god exists. Therefore his famous quote goes: existence precedes essence".This makes for the base of his claim that since no one can explain their actionsnor their behavior by referring to human nature, they are "necessarily" completelyresponsible for all of their actions. Sartres famous quote for this is that, "We areleft alone, without excuse." www.jeanpaulsartre.org</p></li><li><p>8/13/2019 The Wall Dramaturgical Packet</p><p> 8/24</p><p> 8</p><p>Examples of Existentialism</p><p>Sartres No Exit:</p><p>Dont you feel the same way? When I cannot see myself, even though I touchmyself, I wonder if I really exist.Estelle, discovering that there are no mirrors in Hell, in No Exit, Act 1, Scene. 5.</p><p>The Matrix:</p><p>Spoon boy: Do not try and bend the spoon - that's impossible. Instead,</p><p>only try to realize the truth.</p><p>Neo: What truth?</p><p>Spoon boy: There is no spoon.</p><p>Neo: There is no spoon?Spoon boy: Then you will see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only</p><p>yourself.</p><p>Keanu Reeves, The Matrix 1999</p></li><li><p>8/13/2019 The Wall Dramaturgical Packet</p><p> 9/24</p><p> 9</p><p>Roz Chast, The New Yorker</p><p>Theatre of the Absurd</p><p>Existentialist themes are included in Theatre of the Absurd, notably in SamuelBeckett's Waiting for Godot, in which two men divert themselves while they waitexpectantly for someone (or something) named Godot who never arrives. Inexistentialism, the individual's starting point is characterized by what has beencalled "the existential attitude," or a sense of disorientation and confusion in theface of an apparently meaningless or absurdworld. While they debate themeaning of human existence, they often do so in a humorous way, whichinspired some of the humor in the adaptation of The Wall.Solomon, Robert C. Existentialism(McGraw-Hill, 1974, pp. 12).</p></li><li><p>8/13/2019 The Wall Dramaturgical Packet</p><p> 10/24</p><p> 10</p><p>Patrick Stewart, Simon Callow, and Ian Mc Kellan in Waiting for Godot.Photograph: Neil Libbert</p><p> The Wall The Short Story</p><p>Summary and Style</p><p>The Wall was first published in 1938 and then republished in a collection ofshort stories. Sartre wrote it in response to the growing power of the Fascists inSpain.</p><p>The title refers to the wall prisoners are lined up against before being shot. Theprotagonist, Pablo Ibbieta, along with two others in his cell, is sentenced to death.He is offered a way out if he reveals the location of his comrade, Ramn Gris.Pablo refuses to cooperate until just before his scheduled execution, when,seeing no harm in it, he gives the authorities what he believes to be falseinformation on Ramn Gris' whereabouts. Ironically, it turns out that Ramn Grishas moved from his previous hiding place to the very spot where Pablo tells theauthorities he may be found. Thus Ramn Gris is shot and Pablo is, at leasttemporarily, spared from death.</p><p>Existentialist writers such as Franz Kafka and Sartre often use prisons andsolitary confinement to tell their stories. Often, neither the reader nor theprotagonist is aware of what crime has been committed The story takes placeduring the Spanish Civil War in an old hospital being used by the SpanishFascist's to house prisoners. "The Wall" is told from a first person, stream ofconsciousness point-of-view, and uses existentialist philosophy, to illuminate the</p></li><li><p>8/13/2019 The Wall Dramaturgical Packet</p><p> 11/24</p><p> 11</p><p>follies of totalitarian governments like Fascism, and Nazism. Like mostexistentialist writers, Sartre chooses to tell the story of "The Wall" from the firstperson stream-of-consciousness point-of-view. We get dialogue from othercharacters, but the dialogue is filtered through the mind and thoughts of For more on Kafka, see: </p><p>Ibbietas acceptance of death did him little good: existence still intruded on him.His friend was found by coincidence in the cemetery, and Pablos life was spared.No man can understand his own death or use it to solve the problems of his life.(Sartre argued That kind of attitude toward death, closely related to stoicismdoes not solve the problem. The destruction of that existence or the acceptanceof the termination of that existence offers no solution (24). Plank, William Sartreand Surrealism</p><p>Robert Capas Falling Soldier: A Republican Fighter killed in action 1936,published in Life Magazine</p><p>THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR</p><p>(July 18, 1936- April 1, 1939)</p><p>Estimated 500,000 deaths</p><p>The Republicans vs. Nationalis ts/ Fascists</p><p>Democratically elected government Military led uprising</p></li><li><p>8/13/2019 The Wall Dramaturgical Packet</p><p> 12/24</p><p> 12</p><p>Supported by: Liberals Conservatives</p><p>Socialists/ Communists upper classes</p><p>International Brigade Catholic Church</p><p>Stalins Soviet Union Hitlers Germany</p><p>Mexico Mussolinis Italy</p><p>Characters: Pablo, Ramon, Tom Interrogators, Guards, Doctor</p><p>The Republicanswere made up of factions with different views on governmentand political goals who were united in opposition to the Fascists. The prisoners inthe play represent some of these groups.</p><p>Pablo- Anarchists- Anarchism historically gained the most support and</p><p>influence in Spain, especially in the seventy or so years before FranciscoFrancos victory in the Spanish Civil War the movement gained speed with therise a branch of anarchism which focuses on the labor movement as a potentialforce for revolutionary social change and the creation of the huge union, the CNT(Confederacin Nacional del Trabajo).</p><p>Tom- The International Brigade- Between 1936 and 1939 over 35,000 menand women, from over 50 countries, left their homes to volunteer for theRepublican forces. More than 2,300 of these came from Britain, Ireland and thecommonwealth, of whom over 500 were killed Perhaps 80% were members ofthe Communist Party, or the Young Communist League, though volunteers withan alternative political background or who were active in the trade unionmovement were also accepted. Recent research suggests that a significantnumber, perhaps 20% were Jewish in origin. The volunteers came fromoverwhelmingly working class backgrounds with large numbers involved inindustrial occupations, such as labouring, construction, ship-building and mining.</p><p>Basquesare a single people who live in two countriesnorthwest Spain andsouthwest France. The Basques may be the oldest ethnic group in Europe. Theyare thought to have inhabited the southwestern corner of the continent since</p><p>before Indo-European peoples came to the area approximately 5,000 yearsago During the regime of General Francisco Franco (193975) the Basquelanguage and culture in the Spanish provinces were ruthlessly suppressed. </p></li><li><p>8/13/2019 The Wall Dramaturgical Packet</p><p> 13/24</p><p> 13</p><p>General Francisco Francoemerged as the leader of the Nationalists who</p><p>overthrew the democratically elected government in Spain. He secured the</p><p>support of Italy and Germany while integrating the many heterogeneous rebel</p><p>factions into the Movimiento Nacional. After winning the civil war, Franco had the</p><p>Spanish Parliament dissolved He then established a dictatorship and went onto rule Spain for nearly forty years.</p><p>Arnold Blumberg, Great Leaders, Great Tyrants</p></li><li><p>8/13/2019 The Wall Dramaturgical Packet</p><p> 14/24</p><p> 14</p><p> The Spanish Civil War: An Overview</p><p>In a longer historical perspective the Spanish Civil War amounts to the openingbattle of World War II... Viewed internally, on the other hand, the Spanish CivilWar was the culmination of a prolonged period of national political unrestunrest</p><p>in a country that was increasingly polarized and repeatedly unable to amelioratethe conditions of terrible poverty in which millions of its citizens lived. Spain wasa country in which landless peasants cobbled together a bare subsistence livingby following the harvests on vast, wealthy agricultural estates. The hierarchy ofthe Catholic Church, identifying more with wealthy landowners than with theSpanish people, was in full control of secondary education; education for womenseemed to them unnecessary and universal literacy a danger rather than a goal.Divorce was illegal. The military, meanwhile, had come to see itself as the onlybulwark against civil disorder and as the ultimate guarantor of the core values ofSpanish society.</p><p>When a progressive Popular Front government was elected in February 1936,with the promise of realistic land reform one of its key planks, conservative forcesimmediately gathered to plan resistance... The military rebellion took place onJuly 18, with the officers who organized it expecting a quick victory and a rapidtakeover of the entire country. What the military did not anticipate was thedetermination of the Spanish people, who broke into barracks, took up arms, andcrushed the rebellion in key areas like the cities of Madrid and Barcelona. It wasat that point that the character of the struggle changed, for the military realized they faced a prolonged struggle against their own people and an uncertainoutcome. They appealed to fascist dictatorships in Italy, Germany, and Portugalfor assistance, and they soon began receiving both men and supplies from</p><p>Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, and Antonio Salazar.</p><p>The 1936 Spanish election had already been widely celebrated as a great victoryin progressive publications in Britain, France, and the United States. In the midstof a worldwide depression, the military rising was thus immediately seen as anassault against working people's interests everywhere. But the rapid interventionof German and Italian troops gave what might otherwise have remained a civilwar a dramatic international character. Almost from the outset, then, the SpanishCivil War became a literal and symbolic instance of the growing worldwidestruggle between fascism and democracy. Indeed, the Republic, the electedgovernment, perceived the country as being invaded by foreign troops. By thetime the pilots of Hitler's Condor Legion reduced the Basque's holy city ofGuernica to rubble the following April, many in the rest of the world had come toshare that opinion as well.</p><p>It is important to remember in this context the curiously contradictory character oflife during the Great Depression. Hand in hand with widespread poverty andsuffering went a certain fervent hope for change and a belief in the possibility offinding collective solutions to common economic problems. The government</p></li><li><p>8/13/2019 The Wall Dramaturgical Packet</p><p> 15/24</p></li><li><p>8/13/2019 The Wall Dramaturgical Packet</p><p> 16/24</p><p> 16</p><p>Literary and Artis tic Resp...</p></li></ul>