1. In terms of this research project, what have you been thinking about this week?
What would a production of A Family Picture looked like? How does this differ from earlier productions of French plays? What do these changes imply? Who was in the audience of these plays? Is this audience any different than before? How the hell are we going to present everything? There is so much information and I feel like we don't have a concise thesis yet...
2. If you have undertaken any research, what did you discover?
So much has changed! Diderot marks the introduction of the fourth wall, as well as the transition away from grand emotions to personal emotions. Does this mark the beginning of realism or naturalism? Not the exact form, obviously, but an introduction of sorts? Conflicts in these plays move from being external to internal. It seems like there is a movement toward personalization in general. The costumes were no longer court dress and instead true to whatever class the actor was portraying. Diderot argued that while this style of theater was not true to our own lives, it should portray an underlying truth that the audience can identify with. What impact does this have on theater now, though? That is the real question to answer and I don't know what the answer is right now...
3. How might you relate this research to your work in other classes or rehearsal?
Working on Romeo and Juliet earlier this semester was the first time the fourth wall was not in play and it was incredibly, unbelievably difficult! While I made some strides in it, I definitely did not play out as much as was intended. I can't imagine in Diderot's time making the switch from talking to the audience to interacting only with your fellow actors.