May 5, 2005
All of our hard work paid off! There were a lot of things we accomplished in our last rehearsal. Alyssa did an excellent job of playing sound at crucial moments in the play. She also made some last minute decisions that made our play look smoother, like getting rid of the pimp walk. Emily has really improved her wall and Puck character. I know Puck sucks, but the wall is very funny! Cindy brought in the set props, which bring the play to life. The moon and Tomb added a lot to our production and helped establish necessary conventions with the audience. Jacqui has been doing an amazing job with costumes. We had a dress rehearsal before our final performance that was really important because it is difficult to move in togas! Thanks to my whole group for working together to make such an awsome production!
April 28, 2005
Rehearsal, alack, alack, alack!
Today we had a very exciting rehearsal. I saw our production coming together, and it was exciting! Jacqui has found an excellent way to portray her character. In both of her roles, she utilizes space very well. Cindy continues to show her acting talent and dedication to the production. Her energy has helped jump start our production. Emily also did an excellent job portraying her character. Her motions were well calculated and created a great atmosphere between the characters. Her actions have also grown to accurately portray her character in a humorous nature. Alyssa seems determined at this point in the production. I feel like I can rely on her abilities to further enhance my character. All of our ideas are combining together to form an excellent production.
April 19, 2005
Round 2 of Play Rehearsal
As a designer, Jacqui drew some beautiful sketches of our costumes. I can't wait to wear them. In this rehearsal we combined her acting with the surrounding space. The combination of her vocal skills and movement throughout the found space created a dramatic acting experience.
Once again, Emily was on time to rehearsal. This shows her dedication to our production. She certainly had some interesting ideas regarding the portrayal of the Moon. Her ideas inspire others to be creative as well.
Cindy brought up a lot of ideas during rehearsal today. She made visual representations of her ideas. I thought this was an effective way of communicating your ideas to the group. I also noticed that her acting skills are more advanced than mine. I hope to learn some acting tips from her in the future.
Alyssa did a great job of directing today. She made an executive decision to change our found space, due to some birds. She also coached several of us on our acting methods. I like the way she incorporated our new space into our acting. She definitely has a sense of purpose and direction.
In conclusion, our group ROCKS once again! We are really getting into the flow of producing a production if you know what I mean. I feel like our ideas are all coming together to form this giant beautiful and funny scene!
April 13, 2005
It is clear that Cindy has had past experience in the theatre. She has a lot of unique ideas that can make our play very unique. For example, she suggested that we could use an actual wall as a costume, which was an interesting idea. She comes to meetings full of ideas!
Where would we be without our leader? Alyssa has done an amazing job in organizing the group. We now have weekly meetings set up. Her ideas regarding the spine of our play are interesting. She encourages our group to think about the motive of our performance. What do we want it to accomplish?
Jacqui is full of new ideas as well. Her energy helps create a comfortable atmosphere. She brings out the life of the text. For example, she laughs at the jokes inside the play while we are reading it. This is very helpful, because it makes it more enjoyable for me to read the text. It is important to know how the audience will react to certain parts of the play.
And finally, last but not least, Emily has provided a lot to our group. She has a unique energy that creates an exciting environment during rehearsal. Her humor is always appreciated. She shows dedication to the play and concern for others. I find it hilarious when she complains about her homework. This just shows that our group is open to sharing our feelings with each other.
Overall, our group has great chemistry. I know our group has great potential. I am glad that we are open to the suggestions of others. Collaboration of ideas is the key to good theatre!
April 2, 2005
Jones, Schechner, Bogart, Clurman
Jones mentions how everything on stage becomes a part of the life of the instant. The energy of the play creates an atmosphere. Form, color, and light can say things that no other medium can. A Midnight Summers Dream has a certain energy as well. This energy creates an atmosphere that is comedic. The play possesses a certain energy that makes it funny.
Schechner states that the “making of production” shows that we can change the interaction between the play and audience. The script should only serve as a guideline. We have the final decision to choose how the scene will look. The scene can be altered to allow for more or less interaction with the audience. Our plays environment is fictitious, so the audience will feel the presence of a fourth wall. However, the comedic nature of the play will allow the audience to interact more.
Bogart made some interesting comments in his article. I believe that the best way to “enter” into our production would be through violence. Now, I use this word in a different meaning. We should enter our play with a decisive nature. The audience should notice our entrance and become more aware of their surroundings. Decisiveness is the key ingredient to “enter” a production.
Clurman asserts that the theme must “involve the audience and serve as a tie that binds the stage artisans together. I believe our group has a lot of energy and is very enthusiastic. From my perspective the humor in our play is what binds us together. I would state that humor and seeing the good things instead of the bad is the theme of our play!
March 31, 2005
Stanislavski, Goffman, and Grotowski
All three articles had their own unique twist on the process of acting. My favorite reading was Stanislavski's "An Actor Prepares". This ficitonal story made it easier for me to understand what he was saying. The other two articles were a little dry and harder to understand. Stanislavski mentions that actors should not be concerned about their physical appearance. This is something that I can relate to. Through our various acting activities in class, I have noticed that i'm centered on the physical qualities of an actor. However, Stanislavski's piece helped me understand that acting should come from the soul. The second piece I read was by Goffman. His piece critically analyzed the processes behind acting. His article also exposed my process of judging other people. People in our society tend to judge people before they even talk to them. Goffman talks about the process in which we judge others. Actors must embody the character in order to satisfy our society's norm of that character. Certain conventions and images must be placed into the minds of the audience. Finally, the last article I read was by Grotowski. He states that acting is not a product of impusles. It is actually a series of blocks instead. The actions we chose not to display are more important than those we do display. In our recent class activity I chose not to show certain actions because I felt others would judge me. Overall, all three articles made me rethink some of my views on theatre. Just when I thought I had figured it out, these articles make theatre more complicated!
March 1, 2005
The idea that people follow their traditions very closely in these plays is stimulating. Everyone on the mountain, followed the rules exactly. Normally people would be nervous in this kind of situation, but the teacher clearly outlined the steps of what was going to take place. In the first play, the boy sacrifices himself for his mother. The second play is more interesting, because the boy rationalizes his decision. He tries to explain to the others that he had made prior decisions based of the assumption that he would not get sick himself. Overall, all of the plays show a strict enforcement of culture and traditions.
This close adherence to tradition is also troubling in some aspects. It bothers me to see that all of the plays are Black and White. Either the boy sacrifices himself or makes the group turn back. There is no middle ground. Their traditions don't allow much flexibility. In essence, the people are stript of their free will. They justify their actions by using what has been done in the past. I just can't imagine throwing a boy off a valley and feeling little regret. On the other hand, the boy did essentially kill his mother by making the group turn back. In this case, I might have thrown him off!
February 17, 2005
This play serves as a comedy in many ways. There are certain differences between a tradegy and comedy. The play is somewhat "goofy" in nature. It lacks a serious tone. If a scence does get serious, it will often be offset by a comedic scene. The characters embody the comedy. What I mean is that the characters are set up to create a funny interaction. Whether they are drunk, have an STD, or are simply stupid, the characters make the audience laugh!
February 9, 2005
Hamlet vs Laramie Project
Hamlet and The Laramie Project are two very different plays. The underlying structure of both plays varies. Laramie introduces its characters very quickly. We learn about the main characters in the play by listening to the reactions of others. In Hamlet we learn about other characters as the plot progresses. Laramie leaves more to the reader, because we formulate a character based on the interviews. For example, we learn about Matthew Shepard through his friends and neighbors. The Setting in Hamlet is fairly constant and we are notified if the setting changes. In Laramie, the setting is constantly changing, and new people are always being introduced. Laramie is faster paced. I could imagine elaborate scenery for Hamlet. However, I picture little scenery for Laramie. It would be hard to constantly change the scenery everytime a new character was introduced. The central conflict in both plays is somewhat related. In both plays, a murder took place. Both plays start off with the public not knowing the murderers. The plot slowly unravels in both plays. We are dealing with two very different stories though. One is based on fiction and the other on reality. I believe that comparing these two plays is a great learning experience. It is interesting to see how two vastly different plays can have some similarities. Even though the plays are socially and structurally different, we can still draw connections between them. Comparing these plays helps the modern person analyze the vastly changing scene of theatre.
February 1, 2005
I believe that Sophocles main objective in the play was to convey the idea of knowing yourself. World peace would be more attainable if everyone knew themselves better. World peace requires many leaders to agree on a common set of regulations. However, it is necessary for individuals to have inner peace before they can achieve peace with others. How is it possible for us to achieve peace if everyone is selfish and greedy? If people calm down their own minds, then they will be more willing to listen to the ideas of others. There are two kinds of people in the world. Proactive people respond to situations with value-based choices. On the other hand, Reactive people respond according to the feelings and attitudes of others. Knowing the self helps people become more proactive because it creates peace within individuals. Every problem stems from the mind. When people are at peace with themselves, they act with more composure and think clearly. People that lack inner peace are often more reactive to the actions of others. World peace would be easier to attain if everyone was proactive. A person who is not affected by the reactions of others can make clearer decisions. This is the essense of Sophocle's message. Oedipus only gained wisdom after he blinded himself. We must not be distracted by the sensory world. Instead we should focus on ourselves.