acting *
"It's never too late to become what you might have beenů" - George Eliot

"Opening Night: The night before the play is ready to open." George Jean Nathan


In Acting One we learn theatre theories mostly through theatre history (Acting in Style).
20th century style (Realism and After): Symbolism, Expressionism, Epic Theatre, Absurd, Ecclectic (Postmodern), i.e. so-called Non-Realistic Theatre.


I come after my Acting One frastrated; how to cross this river between theatre theory and its applications? How to let them to teach themselves? How to get them to the point, when each of them begin to develop his and her own way applying the rules to themselves and each dramatic material? By the end of the semester they still need a director, somebody who can start their work. Yes, there is Acting Two and Acting Three... But how many of them will ever make it there, if after three months they still do not understand that I am only assisting them.

Michael Chekhov


Acting IV: Theory & Showcases

Lesson 13:
Lesson 14:
Lesson 15:
Lesson 16:
Ion: Very true, Socrates; interpretation has certainly been the most labories part of my art.
Socrates: Then you are the interpreters of interpreters?
Whatever your answer is, next step -- creation. We have to master two languages: dramatic text and performance text. (On dramatic structure see Playscript Analysis). Yes, actor has to know both. In Poetics Aristotle separates them under two categories: structure and texture. Or better say: how the structure expresses iself in Actor's Text -- performance.

Interpretation, Translation, New and Origional?

Time to move to another directory = Shows. Or even better -- subscribe to one of the forums and see how actors work on their roles. "3sis" list is about Method style, "12night" -- biomechanics. Sometimes I use "vtheatre" -- when the show asks for complex directorial treatment. One way or another it's your time to do the homework.

Select the show you want to start with; if biomechanics, then it's comedy acting...

Socrates: I wish you would frankly tell me, Ion, what I am going to ask you: When you produce the greatest effect upon the audience in the recitation of some striking passage... are you in your right mind? Are you not carried out of yourself, and does not your soul in an ecstasy seem to be among the persons or places of which you are speaking...1
Performance = many texts. Movement, voice, etc.

Now, imagine the triangle:

Monologue, Scene

Role, Character

Play, Show

Audience, Public, Spectator


[ you ]
[ Vertical and horizontal hierarchy (in class): feelings and thoughts ]

You are on the top. Do you go down to reach them, or do you bring them to the top?

All ideas must be EXPRESSED (e-motions).

I am thinking about writing "Recipes for Acting": after all you have the ingredients, how much, how to mix, how to cook -- and how to serve... Monologue = genre + character + situation

Genre (drama, comedy) is imposing the strict rules -- you cry or laugh (Aristotle). If public doesn't laugh, you cooked it wrong. You go back to the kitchen and do it again -- and serve it again. You do it again and again, till you crack them! If you can't do it, maybe you are in the wrong business...

Never mind the drama.

The worse show I ever directed -- I learn almost nothing from the experience! "Theory in Action"? You have to know what you are doing -- and it has to work!

If you don't know how to make it work, you learned it wrong. Biomechanics ET: Anatoly, could you recommend a monologue for me?

ANATOLY: What are looking for? [ pause ]

Do you know what you need? Do you know yourself? You are the main part of any "acting recipes" -- nothing can be "cooked" without you in!


Go for Method and Biomechanics Directories, while I am restoring/rewriting the "BioMethod" pages.

... Anatoly, why we have to talk about "theory" again?

Next: Directing
Read "directing pages" -- you still do not understand what is expected of you -- directors will love you when you know what they want.
WWWilde, Acting I Showcase
"The Importance of Being Earnest" -- what a great material, if you know what you want to do with it. I wanted to tell a love story between Jack and Algernon... Forget, the Wilde's homosexual background. Simply, a story about two friends who want to spend the rest of their lives together, because they like each other. The rest -- the girls and etc. -- the by-product of the main drive... The game, the play -- both see living the same way, both enjoy playing! Did I get it? No. "Theory in Action"? Yeah. Why did my lead actors rejected the concept? It's for Stagematrix; how to impose the directions on actors.

Listen, kid, nothing I can direct without actors. Nothing! Because, you, actors, direct the public. Ideas without actors making them "action" are just good and great ideas, thoughts, wishes, dreams...

Algernon and Lane (read online "The Importance of Being Earnest)
2004. Brando died. They say he didn't believe in acting theories, but what a considence -- he was in the Stella Adler' Studio! "Stel-laaaa!" He got the essense of the Method -- you don't need more, when you got it! "Theory in Action"... If you are not in ACTION, why do you need theory? Wilde-Earnest