2009: Caligari -- directing non-scriptrd show

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THR331 * Directing: Laws, Rules, Principles * Topics : Stage Event = Subjective Time + Dramatic Space * amazon.com *

TOPICS: drama + comedy + postmodern + time + space + show + spectacle + audience + theory + public +
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PRODUCTION DESK - Table in the auditorium at which director/designer etc sit during rehearsals (especially technical rehearsals). Usually has its own lighting and communications facilities.
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Part III: Chronotope, Space...

Live show... What do we mean by "live"? "Live" is the essense of stage...

... Take yourself, for example! You exist! Are you a thing of your own making or was it necessary for your father to beget you, and for your mother to bring you into the world? Can you look on all the parts of this machine which make up a man and not wonder at the way one part is fashioned with another, nerves, bones, viens, arteries, lungs, heart, liver, and all the other things which go to -- Oh, for goodness' sake do interrupt me! I can't argue if I'm not interrupted...

I have to interrupt Sgnarelle to sing about the space and time around this live miracle -- the man, the actor!

Lesson I : Matrix and Mise-en-Scene and Public (Drama)

Lesson II : Audience and Spectator

Lesson III : Objective time/space and SUBJECTIVE POV.

Lesson IV : Spectacle -- Texture or Structure?

Lesson V : Poetics of Live Theatre

Lesson VI : Where and how the real drama takes place

Finally, we are here, in the zone of real directing. The stage (not empty, but with your actors and their texts) is the MACHINE of directing the minds and hearts of the public!

PERSON consists of the first person (I, we), words that designate the speaker or writer; the second person (you), words that designate the one being spoken or written to; and the third person (he, she, it, they), words that designate the person or thing spoken or written about. (c)1999 Prentice-Hall, Inc.

Relationships with the public exit in all three forms. The dynamics: First Face -- total indetification, Second -- establishing the subjective time & space, Third -- objective chronotope.

We, the public, start and return to the objective relations with stage, but the drama takes place only in subjective chronotope.

I -- spectator, WE -- public. Audience is the state, where I and WE becomes one!

O, I die, Horatio;
The potent poison quite o'er-crows my spirit:
I cannot live to hear the news from England;
But I do prophesy the election lights
On Fortinbras: he has my dying voice;
So tell him, with the occurrents, more and less,
Which have solicited. The rest is silence.

Now, the mechanics of this process:


How does the configuration of stage effects directing? I opened two pages in theatre theory directory to talk about the basic rules of space and time on stage. Three main types: proscenium, arena and open stage (combination of two). Arena (historically) linked to open-air performance (The Greeks, half of the stadium, and the street or square theatres). The Middle Ages fully introduced indoor performances ("church floor plan and modern theatre" somewhere on my pages) -- our major theatre architecture. "Open theatre" is more and more popular in the twentieth century (Meyerhold). It's easy to understand that the last type offers advantages of both techniques (4th Wall -- method, and Direct Contact -- Epic Theatre). Obviously, the laws of directing and acting in proscenium and arena environments are opposite (in principle).

Chronotope = time + space (always together, more in depth in Spectator Theory). See the "Globe Theatre" inner architecture to notice the combination of two types (proscenium and open-air, natural light) in order to understand that to this day both tendencies are present in any show.


Even the Greeks had the vertical dimension in stage composition (two-three levels up).


Read theatre history books, our subject here is how to use the stage space and how to manipulate the time, transforming both into dramatic continium, the only universe where the connection with the public can exist, where the drama becomes the action in mind and heart of spectators.

Important, compare the definitions of mise-en-scene for stage and film -- we will discuss it in class.

The question is not just technical (blocking must be done in such a way that action is visible from all sides, arena), but in a concept, and -- actors' attitute. On our main UAF stage I direct, using the big apron and four side-stages; in the lab space ("open stage" mostly) -- configuration is flexible). Unfortunatelly, the director, who revolutionized stage space in 20th century (Meyerhold), left almost nothing on metaphysics of dramatic space (constructivism and formalism).

Tarelkin Subjective Time = developing spectator's POV through the identification with the hero. Physical Movement and dramatic flow.

Dramatic Space = mise-en-scene, organized as visual messages. (Including set, prop, costumes, light, sound).
Stage Event and Dramatic Event.

[ Outside of Fundamentals of Directing? Chronotope, Time, Space Files are @ Theatre Theory deirectory. Perpahs, the right place to organize those files and the advanced mise-en-sce study in The Book of Spectator; spectacle, audience, public, matrix, metrics... ]

MASTER: Anatoly, you have to try it again, my boy. You have to introduce space and time on stage in such a way that they can see it. Talk about crossing the stage, coming to downstage -- what does take place? Talk how different this approach is depending on the speed, light changes, sounds... ANATOLY: Impossible. So much to talk about. This is "live," sir...

MASTER: Talk, talk!


And what now, Anatoly? Would you talk how to be in love with the "stage"?

It was a moment, the strange zone, when you are not awake, but understand that you were sleeping. It was something like a vision-thought and I remember saying to myself -- "I must write it down, where is this page I had about Theatre and Theology"? I saw a church, thinking it was a theatre. High windows with the light broken into colors, the set and the paintings, statues and candles, focusing our gaze... And the sound effects from above, the bell, the organ... Oh, and the costumes! What a costume on each performer of this spectacle! And the show -- what a staging! This is close as a director could come to performing a miracle...

Of course, this a special space -- dramatic space. And the time is different from the outside timetables: present is linked with the past in expectation of the future...

Forget the religion, I am talking about this "Theatre Chronotope"!

Do you think it's different in church? Please, read Theatre History books; the ancient open-air theatre was resurrected by the church! You can recognige it even from a distance -- special building in every place, which dares to call itself town. Are we over the religous connotations? Could we talk about the organization of special time and place of a miracle?

Miracle is breaking the "normal" and "common" laws. Miracle is an accident of the regular. Miracle is something which is impossible and can't take place... What do you think a great show is, when you forget everything and live in that strange heavenly world? ...

Oh, the angels of light in dark night empty heaven... I paint, but the colors in 3D and motion have the greatest powers. The moving shadows and reflections, mixing the moods of red and blue... Oh, no, your better read Color Page @ film-north.

The moment we really see, we hear. The sounds and music are in colors, shapes, lines -- you at anything beautiful long enough and you begin to hear its voices. Yes, yes, the sound have the same effect. You hear -- and you see.

Not that simple, my man. It have to be in the right place and time within this chronotope of the show. Eisenstein wrote an isolate shot is "neutral" -- how could it be? Doen't red has its own impact on us? No, said the father of montage, it has to be contextual. Any color is between "before and after": not only colors, but sounds, movements, words, pauses... Anatoly, stop, please -- you driving your students crazy!

Poliphonic Principle (Augustin, Bach, Bakhtin, to name a few): the unity of the whole comes from many (thematic) levels... I hope you understand that I have to continue my theatre love stories somewhere else -- on stage, on paper, in other part of my cyberspace and hypertime...

2004 & After

projects: Oedipus 2005

new: Taming of the Shrew 2004

missing: film acting

directing wish list (short):



Virtual Theatre: Directing, Acting, Drama, Theory

playsChekhov, Ibsen, Shakespeare

Class One Act: Proposal Chekhov

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This part is about StageMatrix! The science of staging.

Only through chronotope we can get subjective time and dramatic space, the new "emotional" universe where shows exists. In film and novel we call it "POVs" (see filmstudy.net) -- film-north. arena

Part One and Two, again: Dramatic Text and Stage Texts

Is drama = comedy + tragedy? How do we do "genre"?

What is tragic comedy, farce, melodrama?


"3 Sisters" scenes: stage time and space.


The DRAMA cycles must be expressed through space and time. Shows = statements in languages of the spectacle. Directing thoughts and feeling of the public.... thrust
Next: Part IV: Public
Theatre and Church:

... the great difference is that the church spiritual experience is meant to take hold of the person and last longer than the theatre experience. So the difference is that both aim toward the same goal, but the theatre is like, in show business terms, like the trailer for a great movie.

The theatre experience can lift you to a spiritual height for two minutes, and then that's taken away and you leave the theatre and you've gotten it. Then you realize that there is something called a spiritual way that, in a much more painful and much harder and much slower process, can lead you there on a more permanent basis. And that's where the two are intertwined.

Peter Brook http://www.jameswehn.com/bindlestick/pad04.html

Use film terminology! masked
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theatre glossary McGraw-Hill + theatre glossary + MY glossary portal 07
Theory [ ... ]
Staging the play
Where should actors / characters go so that the focus in the right place?

Focus – arrangement of stage picture so as to direct audience’s attention to the appropriate character, object, or event. (H, P, &L: 244).

Blocking – where actors go on stage (64).
Remember stage positions and body positions.
Called "blocking" because early directors conveyed staging instructions by drawing a grid on stage floor and labeling each stage position, or "block." (H,P,&L: 248).

Stage business: -- (366) -- detailed handling of props, specific actions such as answering telephones or turning on a lamp.

Visual composition and picturization.

Physical movement of characters onstage.

Movement, pace, rhythm. (64)

Visual punctuation marks, emphasis, motivations, relationships – all conveyed through movement, pace, rhythm [Edwin Wilson, The Theater Experience, 7th edition, (McGraw-Hill, 1998), 146-147)]

Body language, symbolic values (If Richard II starts high, moves slowly to earth…)

H,P,&L, 244: Achieving focus

By body position – the actor who is most "full front" will have the focus.
By stage area – central areas have most focus.
By level – actor on highest level.
By plane – farthest downstage.
By triangulation – actor at apex of a triangle.
By contrast – actor who is apart from group (sitting, while rest of cast is standing).
By movement – moving actor will have more focus.{Top of Page}

From late 19th century, the proscenium, "picture-frame" (box set, fourth-wall realism) have exploited stage’s potential for displaying pictures.
Not as easy on thrust or arena.

Mood and rhythm can be conveyed through movement: angular, round movements, jerky / smooth, etc.

Progression – the rate at which things happen -- speed and emotional intensity and energy.

Setting up of rhythms.


Italian Futurist Theatre, 1909-1944 by Günter Handler Berghaus; Clarendon Press, 1998

What Is Scenography? by Pamela Howard; Routledge, 2002 - Introduction - Chapter 1: Space Measure to Measure: Playing in the Space - Chapter 2: Text the Hidden Story - Chapter 3: Research: Asking Question— Finding Answers - Chapter 4: Colour and Composition - Chapter 5: Direction Finding the Way - Chapter 6: Performers the Scenographic Actor - Chapter 7: Spectators the Great Mystery - Postscript

2007 An online course supplement * Film-North * Anatoly Antohin * eCitations rate
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