THE-2000 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Bertolt Brecht, Epic Theatre, Vsevolod Meyerhold

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25 Aug 2016
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MODULE #3 LECTURES
#1: Theatre in Practice: Directing Lecture
Questions:
oHow did directing evolve into its modern form?
oWhat are some of the different approaches to directing?
oWhat does the process of directing entail?
oWho are some especially influential theatre directors?
How did directing evolve into its modern form?
oOnly began in the late 19th century- history is really short
oBefore: actors, playwrights, and workers in production stepped in and took over some
administrative role.
oPrelude to directing
People that paved the way to directing: Richard Wagner
German
Came up with gesamtkunstwerk: means total art work
All the theatre pieces come up to one single entity
oDesign
oDirecting
oActing
For Wagner: important for someone to look over everything
oMaster artist
oAn “uber artist” who
Writes
Choreographs
Composes
Directs
Acts
And more
oThe master artist was the uber artist. Central to entire production.
Really did everything
Theatrical innovations:
oTheatre auditoriums had box seats.
Important because it was a communal experience. Social
event. Going to see everyone in the community and to be
seen
Most important people in box seats
oCreated Fan-Shaped auditorium
Audience members looked at stage not at each other
Everyone needed to pay attention to his masterpiece
oDarkened auditorium
Auditoriums had been light before
Now when it’s dark, reinforce audience to pay attention
Think about him as a fellow with an ego
First real director: Georg II
Duke of Saxe-Meiningen
1879
Goal: modern unified piece on stage
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He wanted everything to start to come together
He’s a duke so he has unlimited time, resources
oBecame famous for crowd scenes
Worked on it for months maybe even years
Would work with every single individual
Make sure every single person had something specific and
special to do
Innovations
o3-Dimensional set
Before: arts or painting
Using perspective to create illusion of space on stage
Problem: actors don’t shrink with the painting illusion
Decided to create a series of flats and actors could walk in
and use entire space
oActing Styles
Most of time actors would walk to the front and declare
their lines and the next actor would do the same
Now actors talk to each other
Question #2: Contemporary approaches to directing
oPrimary goals of directing
Interpretation
Unification
Problem solving
oApproaches to directing
Worshipful  heretical (spectrum)
Worshipful
Honors the text, prioritizes the text and the playwright’s intention
Ex: Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet
Heretical
Appreciates many varied interpretations
Many interpretations are valid
Might change time, location, gender, language, situation, etc
Ex: Baz Luhrmann’s Rome + Juliet
Question #3: what does the process of directing entail?
oProduction concept
Directors approach to the play
Executing the central idea
The “spine” of the play
What is the show about?
How will you execute that at central idea in a performance?
What should the audience remember?
oLuhrmann’s Rome + Juliet
Heightened reality, intensity
Passion
How do these manifest in the scene?
Bunch of color and light and intense
oProduction concept
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Don’t have to be that intense
Can be very conceptual
Can be theme based
Director’s creative interpretation
oUnification & Problem solving
Coordinates production team
Stage manager
Costume
Set
Sound
Lighting designers
Dramaturg
Actors
Technical director
Run crew members
All has to come together
oAdding the actors
Starts with the audition
90% of directors job is casting
Auditions
Monologues (30-60-90s)
Call Backs
oSides: scene selections from show
oCold readings
Handed a piece and just go
oRehearsals
Read-through
Blocking- movement that happens on stage
Stage movement
Descriptor
Stage locations – actor’s perspective
oActor coaching
Director is going to be working with the actors
Discussion on Character interpretation, blocking, character interactions, and
notes
Ex: three sisters directing at FSU
Adapts approach for each actor
Understands and meets needs of individuals
oPacing
The timing of the entire show
How quickly/slowly the comic timing, dramatic pauses
Ex: The Cripple of Inishmaan
Taking away dramatic pauses
oTechnical Rehearsals
Often are grave
Moment when integrate acting & technical/design elements
“Tech”
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