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Keyword: ‘Staging the Play’

Ten Minute Play Workshop

October 31st, 2012 No comments

Had my ten minute play Anima Animus workshopped online last night. You can hear the reading or download the script at http://www.tenminuteplayworkshop.com/. Also, if you’re a playwright and have a :10 minute play lying around you might consider joining in.

The process was fairly painless: a quick download and login of gotomeeting, a bit of an interview/introduction to get things started, and then off we went. Like other of the readings I’ve listened to there were technical glitches, this time in the vein of one reader’s computer crashing. Other times it has been connectivity issues. Nevertheless, I think Jen Whiting has really hit upon something that can and should be pursued: online readings.

Anima Animus is a play that I have not heard before. I doubt that I would have pursued having it read had this opportunity not presented itself. Now that I have heard it, even under less than ideal conditions, I will pursue getting this piece staged somewhere, and even have the idea of staging it three times in a row with the characters all switching roles after the play “re-sets.”

Rehearsal Report 2

February 10th, 2011 No comments

One prominent notion in Patterns is the character’s act of writing a play as she is acting the play. It is quite self-reflexive and for a large part dominated the content of the play. As the drafts have progressed, this element has been cut way back as it became somewhat apparent that the self-reflexiveness often as not came off as self-indulgent. There was an additional problem of the self-reflexivity being greatly redundant and, being interpreted by some, as insulting to the audience (even though that was not the intention).

Another component of this was to make the play more aware of itself. That is, the convention in plays predominantly is the audience’s agreement to pretend that the “characters” in the play are unaware of the audience and off in their little world. As I have quoted elsewhere, Eugene Ionesco:

Why could I not accept theatrical reality? Why did its truth appear false to me? And why did the false seem to want to parade as true, substitute for truth?… [The actor’s] material presence destroyed the fiction. It was as though there were present two levels of reality, the concrete reality, impoverished, empty, limited, of these banal living men, moving and speaking upon the stage, and the reality of the imagination. And these two realities faced each other, unmasked, irreconcilable: two antagonistic universes which could not succeed in unifying and blending.

So, many aspects of Patterns are directed at the act of play creation itself; to reflect on this as it is happening. One method of super-charging that reality is using the actual names of the actors in the presentation of the play. This is something that the Wooster Group does often. So, below, you’ll see mention of the cutting of this element in the script, as it didn’t seem to be working right in the actual process of staging the play.

Rehearsal Report
Date: 2/9/2011 Start Time: 6:30pm Break: 8:20-8:30 End: 10:10pm

Summary:
– Reviewed blocking pages 1-11
– Blocked pages 11-20
– Ali did measurements

Director/Playwright:
– Line change on page 2 spoken by King. Middle of his first paragraph of dialogue he used to say: “daughter: fill my cup and let not but that my cup continually runneth…” And now reads: “daughter: fill my cup and let my cup continually runneth…”

– Line change on page 11 spoken by Aisa. The actors’ real names are again eliminated near the middle of the page. Aisa now says: “Let’s look at the fairy tale again. I will play the role of the princess.”

Props:
– No new props for today’s rehearsal.

Costume:
– Added a few items to the prop list for the Doc’s costume.

Set/Sound/Lights:
– On page 19-20, it was decided to lose the “playback” on the videotape during the scene with the Doc. The doc will now “review” the raw tape from an actual video cassette tape. The Doc will tear at the tape, look at it, and discard the cassette. The dialogue will have NO changes.

Misc:
– Regarding the plywood for the Queen’s death scene, it only needs to be large enough for her to lie comfortably. Laura is 5’4” so perhaps a 5’8” board in length and 3” wide would work?

Next Day Schedule:
Thursday, Feb 10th 6:30pm
Company review pages 1-20, block pages 20-28.

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