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... Rehearsing for WHAT? Actors? (Character development) Action? Style? Show=Spectacle? Timing? Space?...


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Some math for actors:
It takes an hour to rehearse one page of the text (60 min). You can pack those 80 hours in one week, you can streach it over three months. Adn this is if do not waste time and have no disasters.

If a director does not have professional actors, most of this time will be traing, not real rehearsals. If actors do not do their home work, this is an introduction to acting course (practicum)....

It take a playwright a year to write those 80 pages, so think how much homework do you have to do to get through a scene in one rehearsal!

Now, count the minutes you are on stage....

Count the seconds you are the center of the action....

That is the actual time you can't waste.

If you didn't get it tonight on public, it's gone.

Do you remember what I said?

Please, take your script (do not tell me that you do n't have it with you), get the pencils -- and take notes! What's the point of giving notes, if you do not write it down? If missed something, see our stage menager and the bible! We are not to do twice what must be done only once! If you do not understand the directions, ask -- before or after the rehearsals, not during! If you think that we didn't have enough one on one time, make an appointment. If you lost it, if you do not know what you are doing (I see it), do not wait, when I have to call you. We are partners, I am not a professor, when we work on the show.

I have to say it; I need some time too; sometimes I work on your role (show), sometimes on you (teaching and couching), sometimes what I want doesn't come right -- and I have to spend time on fixing it (show is OUR business, your and mine).

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Summary

Poor Theatre: "A contemporary Polish director, Jerzy Grotowski, made the most thorough effort to rediscover the elements of the actor's art. Although he credited Stanislavsky with having posed the most important questions, he was not satisfied either with Stanislavsky, who let natural impulses dominate, or with Brecht, who was too much concerned, Grotowski felt, with the construction of the role. To Grotowski, the actor is a man who works in public with his body, offering it publicly. The work with the actor's instrument consists of physical, plastic, and vocal training to guide him toward the right kind of concentration, to commit himself totally, and to achieve a state of "trance." The actors concentrate on the search for "signs," which express through sound and movement those impulses that waiver on the borderline between dream and reality. By means of such signs, the actor's own psychoanalytical language of sounds and gestures is constructed, in the same way as a great poet creates his own language.
The actors of Grotowski's troupe are superbly trained physically and vocally, and they commit themselves to their task with total energy. They have been accused, however, of conveying too little human emotion. Grotowski's criticism that Artaud's work leads to cliches has also been made of his own work. There is little evidence in it of the level of acting observed in the work of great actors." (Method in the 1960-70s)

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Rehearsals? SHAMANIC JOURNEYS!

"Systems of Rehearsal" -- The gap between theory and practice in rehearsal is wide. Many actors and directors apply theories without fully understanding them, and most accounts of rehearsal techniques fail to put the methods in context. Systems of Rehearsal is the first systematic appraisal of the three principal paradigms in which virtually all theatre work is conducted today - those developed by Stanislavsky, Brecht and Grotowski. The author compares each system ot the work of the contemporary director who, says Mitter, is the Great Imitator of each of them: Peter Brook. The result is the most comprehensive introduction to modern theatre available. [By Shomit Mitter]

* The length of the rehearsal phase of production can vary, but is usually six weeks long. By the time you enter the first rehearsal, you should be very familiar with the script, anticipated rehearsal needs, and organizational structure of environment in which you will be working. It is time to begin the process of transforming the play from a written script into a world of living characters.

What is the function of rehearsal?
To turn the actor into the character.

What are the five types of rehearsals?
Reading-- 1 rehearsal,
Blocking-- 3 rehearsals, for a three act play,
Polishing-- 14 rehearsals,
Technical-- 1 rehearsal, and
Dress-- 3 rehearsals.

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Director's Recipes for Method Actors

... the rehearsal process. "This is primarily the time in which the director's conception of the play must be harmonized with those of the actors; it is of immense importance that the actor approach the rehearsal in a creative frame of mind, ready to enlarge both his own and his colleagues' interpretations. Without a logical sequence of rehearsals, the actor's creativity cannot be properly stimulated. Without an understanding of the psychology of the rehearsal procedure, much of the work of the actor and the director may be defeated in production. There are, for example, significant possibilities in the reading rehearsal, in which the actors, usually seated in a circle, read aloud from the script and discuss its meanings as they proceed through it. There is enormous value in improvisation, when it is understood and used correctly. The relation between the individual actor and the ensemble is welded during the rehearsals, and they are the proper time to encourage the actor to begin to develop his movements to block the scene, to memorize his lines." [S]

Rehearse!

Would I suprise you by saying that many actors (including professionals) do not know how to rehearse?

Even those who do their homework (analysis, research, drafts of the role)....

What is missing?

The offer. They wait. They want to be directed!

I say -- wait a minute! I am not about to block anything right away, my friend. Let's work TOGETHER. Let's see you and your partners. Let me see how you understand the text on your feet....

Rehearsals are not "puting" things together, but DISCOVERING them!

Be active! Try things, ask, think!

A director needs to know what you have, because he does his exploration of you-as-material! I need to what you do not have.

Please, do not lose the pace:

I. Table Period (understanding of the text)

II. Character Development (Super-objective, objectives, motivations, obsticals, etc.)

III. Scenes and Role Creation (I put it together, but this is not blocking yet).

IV. Blocking (including prop)

V. Run-Throughs

V. Dress

VI. Preview

VII. Shows

After-Show period. When the real director comes, the public, and works with you.

Oh, yes! The attitude! The director is there to ASSIST YOU!

To help... and therefore I need to know what you are looking for.

I need to see your ideas BEFORE I am to throw at you my suggestions.

And you KEEP what we found, please. Unless, you ready to offer something better.

Work on what we got. It was only a draft, I wont to see it better tomorrow.

Actor is a violine and a violinist!

Always both!

You, the lucky ones, the actors, your rehearsal process never ends! Each night of performance is another rehearsal with another director -- your public!

I, director, can't do it. I have to stop.

The momemnt you stop this process of contstant rehearsals, you are dead. As actor, at least. LIST: * Make sure you get your all cast members needed to the space on time.
* Setting the rehearsal schedule far in advance and providing reminders of each rehearsal 24 hours in advance is a good help. If they still don't show up, have the stage manager call them. If that still doesn't work, give them a stern talking to.
* Call only those cast members necessary. Actors don't like waiting around and doing nothing. If they'll be waiting through many scenes, call them later. Organize things so that each person only has to come when they are needed and your cast will stay happier. But remind them that when it gets closer to show time they will all be needed every night without excuses.
* Be nice. Make sure you find ways to direct without being mean or condescending. Actors don't like this.
* Keep order and don't put up with crap. Don't let the actors talk through your direction or get too chatty while work should be done. And having fun while rehearsing is great, but consider how close you are to the performance and how much work there is left to be done. This will usually be a sobering thought.
* If you can let actors go early, do it. Call actors for longer than you think you'll need them and then the treat of getting out early seems like time won. Its better than calling them for shorter times and asking them to stay longer. Actors don't usually like this. Everyone is busy and has lots of work.
* If actors will be waiting around tell them to bring work. If you know of this in advance, inform them so they don't feel there time is being wasted. Listen to your actors, their intuitions and their ideas. But when push come to shove you are the director and can be as dictatorial as you like.
* Get second opinions when you feel you need them. Have other directors who you respect see a rehearsal and give constructive criticism.

Summary
The secret of good rehearsals is your preparation for rehearsals. You have be ready to try all you have in your head with actors on stage. Yes, the homework, again! Take a look at 3 Sisters Act I; and ask yourself a few simple questions... How to help my actress to start the whole play with this wonderful monologue? [First, we have to go line-by-line through the monologue with the actress.] There is a multiple task: we have to introduce everything -- genre, style, themes, story, character... Collaboration : Director's POV

The directors initial meetings with the set, costume, lighting and sound designers typify the creative collaboration vital to theatre. Any notes the director has made on the technical needs in the script are shared with the designers. The free flow of ideas that takes place here will further refine the directors vision of the production as a whole.

Details in the script about the specific locale(s) in which the action takes place need to be attended to early in the production process, because they will determine both the basic requirements of the set and the possible movement of the actors on stage. Acting areas, entrances and exits, and furniture and props called for in the script or desired by the director will need to be a part of the set design.

The floor plan can then be sketched out. The floor plan is a basic outline drawing of the stage setting as it would look from above. It is an essential rehearsal planning tool because it allows a director to work out the blocking of the play. Blocking (or staging) is the precise moment-by-moment movement and grouping of actors on stage.

The directors creative collaboration continues during his or her work with the actors in rehearsals. The actors will bring their own interpretations to the project and perhaps inspire the director to rethink his or her interpretation. They will work closely together to breathe life into the lines and develop a deeper understanding of the characters motivations and relationships, fleshing out the subtext of the play. Later the focus of the directors work in rehearsals will broaden to the overall look and feel of the whole production as transitions between scenes are smoothed out, effective pacing is achieved and all the design and technical aspects of the production are integrated.

Once the show opens, the director's work is essentially complete. Now it's the stage manager's job to make sure that every aspect of the production runs just as the director intended time after time, until the production closes.

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overview:

1. review (previous class)

2. overview

3. new key terms & definitions

4. monologues & scenes

5. issues & topics

6. questions, discussion, analysis

7. in class work

8. feedback

9. improv & games

10. reading

11. homework

12. online, journals

13. quiz

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Stage managers typically provide practical and organizational support to the director, actors, designers, stage crew and technicians throughout the production process.

The role of the stage manager is especially important to the director in rehearsals. Here the director and the stage manager work side by side, with the stage manager recording the director's decisions about blocking and notes for the actors, keeping track of logistical and scheduling details and communicating what goes on in rehearsals to the rest of the team. This enables the director to concentrate his or her full attention on directing.

Stage managers have several key responsibilities and tasks to perform in each phase of a production, including

* scheduling and running rehearsals

* communicating the director's wishes to designers and crafts people

* coordinating the work of the stage crew

* calling cues and possibly actors' entrances during performance

* overseeing the entire show each time it is performed

In conjunction with the director, the stage manager determines the scheduling of all rehearsals and makes sure everyone involved is notified of rehearsal times, meetings, costume/wig fittings and coaching sessions. During the rehearsal phase, stage managers also

* mark out the dimensions of the set on the floor of the rehearsal hall

* make sure rehearsal props and furnishings are available for the actors attend all rehearsals

* notify the designers and crafts people of changes made in rehearsal

* In rehearsals the stage manager also records all blocking, plus all the light, sound and set change cues, in a master copy of the script called the prompt book. The information in the prompt book also allows the stage manager to run the technical rehearsals, calling each technical cue in turn to determine precisely how it needs to be timed to coordinate with the onstage action.

The stage manager and the technical director also work out a smooth and efficient plan for the stage crew to follow during set changes. Furniture and prop plans for complicated sets are drawn up by the stage manager and technical designer to show exactly where the furniture and props are to be positioned on stage at the beginning of each scene and sometimes in the wings.

Once the show opens, the director's work is essentially complete. Now it's the stage manager's job to make sure that every aspect of the production runs just as the director intended time after time, until the production closes.

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Production Manual

Chapter 16. REHEARSALS AND PERFORMANCES

Duties of the Actor

The actor shall be prompt at all calls and will appear at the theatre no later than the designated call.

The actor shall perform his/her services as directed by the Stage Manager, throughout the rehearsal period and run of the production.

The actor shall pay strict regard to make-up and dress.

The actor shall properly care for his/her costumes and props. The actor shall not eat or smoke while in costumes.

The actor shall respect the physical property of the production and the theatre.

The actor shall maintain substantially the same physical appearance as when cast unless a change is required by the Director and/or Designers.

The actor shall not appear at rehearsals or performances under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances.

The actor shall not expect nor ask the Director to alter rehearsal hours for reason of employment or vacation plans.

Each cast and crew member must help keep the rehearsal room clean and free from litter. It is the responsibility of the director and the stage manager to return the rehearsal room to order at the end of each rehearsal.


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SHOW: Beginning with opening night, the production is the responsibility of the company. The stage manager has the final authority to make all decisions concerning the running of the show and all crew heads should report directly to the stage manager. It is the responsibility of the company to maintain the production as the director left it opening night. The stage Manager, in the director's absence, may give notes to the cast and crews. These should be treated as notes from the director.
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