2008 new and news
Stoppard & Postmodern theatre [ pomo.vtheatre.net ]
If the undestanding of chronotope (time-space) is important for actors, for you, directors, it's crutial. Where do we start? The script, of course.
Intelligence learns from its mistakes… …BUT TRUE GENIUS LEARNS FROM OTHERS' MISTAKES. (This is why we need art -- and theatre)
Featured Pages: Film-North on directing!
Don't be confused by the title: webmasters are directors!
ShowCases: 3 Sisters, Mikado, 12th Night, Hamlet, The Importance of Being Earnest, Dangerous Liaisons, Don Juan
prof. Anatoly Antohin Theatre UAF AK 99775 USA (907)474-7751
12night (sample scene)
I should have an online test on every intro or title pages in order for you to know where you could start. The lowest level is 200X Aesthetics; the basics on theatre theory. Next -- Script directory [for both DramLit and Play Analysis classes (must read)]. There are pages dealing with the text in Film Directing.
I do feel that I'm repeating myself, but teaching or couching requires it. A lot of it.
Do you know what the exposition is? Can you identify it in a scene or a monologue? Could you point the line where the exposition ends? Do you know to test your choice? What about the climax? What questions do you have to ask and answer in order to determine it? No, it's not theory, but applications of theatre for very practical needs.
Maybe I am lucky, because I deal most of the time with the great scripts, masterpieces. It's easy for to trust Shakespeare, because I know that my answers are in there. All I need to do is to know how to read it right. The same with Chekhov. Well, when you have not great writers, you HAVE to put the structure in, you have to reinforce the text. Yes, I am talking about the basic composition.
In acting and directing classes I do not allow students to go further, if the exposition is not established. We do it once, trice, three times... If the 5Ws are not answered (physically), we can't go for a buildup. Sometimes it's easier to find the climax and then return to the exposition. What matters is to express it, or we will never arrive to the resolution.
After we are done with "acts" -- we go to the scenes (or french scenes, you have to define for yourself), then -- to the episodes and, finally, the beats of action.
How does it start, friendship or marriage?
How do we fall in love?
You have to be in love with the story. You have to be in love with actors. With your public. Yes, you have to dream of them, wait for them, get yourself ready to seduce them, to make them fall in love with you...
This is why you have to think about them, to talk about them, their hopes and wishes, their fears and problems. You have to know them better than they know themselves! You have to see what they don't see in themselves. Who am I talking about? Actors, spectators? All of them. Including the writer, who doesn't know what he wrote. Wait, I will show you, I will show how beautiful is your story, how beautiful is our life...
Yes, you have to be a poet.
Please, do not rush, court them; exposition is a foreplay.
Remember, that you have to lure them to your place -- the stage. They to cross the line between stage and house... you have to do it first, you go there, you go to them, invisible and silent.
I do not like pure Brecthian theatre, I think that should let watch me first; let them not to be confronted right away -- they are not ready. I need their gaze -- I want them to get attrictive to my story, my actors... Only then I will drop my pretence that I didn't notice them. As if we are not on stage because of them!
Are they YOUR public?
Only if they SEE that it is their story to be told.
Are they your audience?
Yes, if they HEAR that you are to talk about THEM!
Anatoly, why do you say -- they, them? It's ME, me only!
True, you can't make THEM fall in love, if EACH of them won't...
Spectator? Yes, one and only. The show is not for them -- the story is for ONE soul!
The moment you forgot it, you have a Broadway musical...
You have to dance with ONE and only then you turn them into PUBLIC. Only then MANY become ONE.
How do we do it?
Let me tell you a secret. Each of us is MANY.
You have to -- how else will you be able to work with so many on stage?
Listen, use your own experience. Start with your own confession, if you want them to open their heart.
Yes, yes, hearts and minds.
Do you have an open mind and heart?
Yes, you youself?
I hope that now you understand the technical stuff (on the left). We need the opposites in order to have a conflict. They are right there, in the house, the opposites. This is what art does -- understanding all and each of them. Bring up the conflicts they, we, I have. "Dramatic Situation" -- their situation. Keep digging -- rising action. Keep talking about them, about yourself -- call "Hamlet" or "Oedipus"...
t-blog -- new
His monologues and scenes in my class
Laws & Rules
Motifs, sources -- "slow reading" (line-by-line analysis): courting drama...
I am using the shows I directed. As the showcases for student-directors. I try to keep my notes before, during and after each production.* Spring 2005(07) Textbook: The Director's Eye [ hyperlinked to the subject pages ]
Part One -- the text. Yes, the play.
Part Two -- performers. Actor creates this 4D field around him, you, director, coordinate them, the dimensions and objects. The Chronotope.
In fact, they do it within the STAGE EVENT you create for each beat of acting on stage. This is why I call it "StageMatrix" or "StageMetrics" (depending what I want to stress).
Between Text, Actors and Stage (space) we arrange the Mise-en-Scenes (call it "staging" or "blocking").
Wait! When the Conceptualization begins?
Well, one way or another we have to start with the understanding of the scriptplays. If you never had Playscript Analysis, you should take a tour of Script Directory. For a good reason we ask directors to go through Fundamentals of Acting; you must know the play' structure and the actor's nature. At least, read the basics at 200X Aesthetics!
I have to mix play, actors and stage into one universe of spectator's experience. I need actors to connect the space with the text in order to get involve the public, because it is their space... but only potentially subjective. I start with my directorical exposition -- set, pre-show music, poster... the vision, or concept, as they say.We have to find this 1-2-3 in every beat of action! In order for us to think about HOW to express it, we need to know WHAT is there. Is there only one answer? No, it depends on your interpretation, on what you are after...
Composition Triad or ABC of CompositionExposition ---- Climax ----- Resolution
What is "To be or not to be" monologue for you? Aha, here is the concept again! Ask questions. Is Hamlet about to kill himself at this moment? Strong choice. But why? What triggered it? Is ready to break with Ophelia? (The scene to follow). Does he suspect that she betrayed him? Capable of the betrayl? Be concrete as possible. Your actor needs it, to see, to feel. He can't be abstract.
I start my building on my own territory -- my own need for this story. I am public. What questions do I have about my own life, history, our present? What do I see in Hamlet that helps me understand myself? My problems can't be completely new, they have past, because there is future ahead of me. Oh, I have many partners already -- the playwright, actors, people, who will come to see the show. It has to be my story, our story -- this is how the fight with the playwright begins...
We have to become equal partners with Shakespeare, I must be his co-author, as much as the actors -- because his story is about to be "their" story, the people, who will experience the show.
Read Part III. Script
Part I -- Basics
Chapter 1. Theatre & Life
2. The Nature of Theatre
3. The Role of the Director
4. Finding the Dramatic Action
Assignments & Summary
Part II -- Rehearsals
Chapter 5. Entering the World of the Play
7. Those Powerful Words
8. These Things We Do
9. This Incredible Place
Part III -- Script
11. Analysis, Discovery and Images
12. The Rehearsal Unit
13. Life's Rhythms and the Scoring of the Play
14. The Concept Statement
Assignments & Summary
Part IV -- Style
15. An Intro to Style
16. Style and the Creative Process
17. The Theatre and Style
18. Ritual and the "Holy" Theatre
19. The Deceptive Challenges of Comedy
20. Comedy: Nuts and Bolds
21. Choosing Models and Labels
Assignments & Summary
Part V -- Working with Your Collaborators
22. Communicating with Actors
23. Memorization: The First of Five Golden Rings
24. Emotion, Gestation, Boarding and Function: The Other Golden Rings
25. Working with Playwrights, Designers and Others (Stage Manager)
Assignments and Summary
Part VI -- Theatrical Space
26. Theatrical Space: A Meeting Place for Actor and Audience
27. The Director's Approach to Space
28. Design in Space: Sharing Responsibilities
29. Guidelines for Blocking (Mise-en-Scene)
30. Blocking: Lenses for Viewing
31. Blocking: The Bigger Picture
Assignments and Summary
Part VII -- The Whole Picture
32. From Scenes to Plays
33. Rehearsal Progression
34. The Critic and the Director
35. Miracles, Changes and Basics
Assignments & Summary
Technique of the Drama: An Exposition of Dramatic Composition and Art by Gustav Freytag 0384168515
Dramatic Situation | Conflict -- One of the chief sources of people's absorption in stories, from time immemorial, has been their capacity to identify with people who are involved in conflicts. http://www.ksu.edu/english/baker/english320/cc.htm
Anthropologists and theater historians trace the origins of theater to myth and ritual found in dances and mimed performances by masked dancers during fertility rites and other ceremonies that marked important passages in life. Early societies acted out patterns of life, death, and rebirth associated with the welfare of village tribes. Imitation, costumes, masks, makeup, gesture, dance, music, and pantomime were some of the theatrical elements found in early rituals. At some unrecorded time, these ceremonies and rituals became formalized in dramatic festivals and spread west from Greece and east from India. [Encarta]
1.1 Exposition (including inciting moment)
In the exposition, the background information that is needed to understand the story proper is provided. Such information includes the protagonist, the antagonistThis article refers to literary antagonists. For the biological meaning, see receptor antagonist . The antagonist is the character (or group of characters) of a story who represents the opposition against which the heroes and/or protagonists must contend., the basic conflict, the setting, and so forth.
The exposition ends with the inciting moment, which is the single incident in the story's action without which there would be no story. The inciting moment sets the remainder of the story in motion, beginning with the second act, the rising action.
1.2 Rising action -- During the rising action, the basic conflict is complicated by the introduction of related secondary conflicts, including various obstacles that frustrate the protagonist's attempt to reach his or her goal. Secondary conflicts can include adversaries of lesser importance than the story's antagonist, who may work with the antagonist or separately, by and for themselves.
* web companion to THR331 Fundamentals of Direction undergraduate course
©Film-North * Anatoly Antohin. "Stage Grammar"