Script Analysis has us evaluating a single character from Ibsen’s ‘A Doll House’. Did I mention, I got a perfect score on my ‘A Doll House’ Freytag-style modern graph? That’s four perfect scores in a row. Glad I started drinking again. So anyway, I’m choosing Krogstad because I think nobody else will choose him. He’s kind of a sad vulgar thing of a man, but I think I’ll discover his humanity because I felt for him somehow–felt his was to some extent a victim which explains some of his villainous nature. I’ll let the play tell me, but that is my theory. We had a lecture on chapter six of our text, “Script Analysis for Actors, Directors, and Designers” by James Thomas (Chapter is on Character). This kind of stuff will be on our last test. It’s due Monday and my GOD, I have so much to do it boggles the mind. Here are the journals:
Continuing with scene workshop… We opened with a neat warm-up involving three balls. A ball gets passed around a circle and you name a color to the person you’re passing the ball to (as if a dialogue in a play). Then, a second ball is introduced into the circle and you name a state and remember who you threw it to. Then a third larger ball gets thrown from one to another and you name either a movie, tv show or play and change it each time and change who you throw it to each time. In the end, you have to juggle many things; balls, names, persons you’re throwing to, it’s a multi-tasking exercise. I learned that when two or three balls are coming to someone at the same time, the people who handle it the best are those who calm down and focus. Many got rather freaked out and began to sort of lose their shit…balls flying everywhere, wild swinging arms, spinning around… point is, you see this in acting. Suddenly, things go funny all at the same time and do you keep a cool head and work through it in character? Or do you panic, freak, lose your shit, and space out? Very interesting experience.
ACTING FOR DIRECTORS:
We saw the last of the monologues today. Great stuff all around. I am always amazed at the talents of my peers, many of whom have never tackled a classical piece before. You really see that the actor takes it to a place, the director has a vision, but working together, a piece can be realized in such a richer, bolder and more interesting way collectively than either would have imagined individually. The biggest lesson I have learned from this process is about the use of power in a scene. We know that where an actor is relative to another actor creates power (ie. The downstage actor often has more power because he is visually bigger and closer to the audience). We learn that set pieces on the stage can draw power and focus away from an actor (ie. An actor behind a table has less power than he or she does in front of it, or away from it.) Short story there, furniture sucks power. We learned about taking the performance space and using it. We learned the importance of body and voice, proper use of—controlling of. How to get to deeper tones, how not to have the voice hide in one’s neck when yelling or shrieking, how to make a stage whisper heard clearly from the audience-member in the back last seat, the impact of performance in relationship to different audience seating (in the round, proscenium seating, large audience vs. intimate theatre and the like.) We were given our next assignments. I have double-scenes to do for the last round. Interesting, since I just took on a play, I get two scenes (plus a monologue from another class), this is going to be brutal…and FUN!
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