Posts Tagged ‘Actors’
I am this week reading a book about Augusto Boal and his Theatre of the Opressed Movement:
The Theatre of the Oppressed, a term coined by Augusto Boal, is a series of theatrical analyses and critiques developed in the 1950s. Boal is an avid supporter of utilizing interactive techniques, especially in the context of theatre. Many of his ideas are considered as “a new media perspective”, despite the relatively early birth of these ideas. Since then, these ideas have been developed more, giving them meaning in a modern-day context. The creation of the Theatre of the Oppressed is largely based on the idea of dialogue and interaction between audience and performer. Moreover, these ideas have served as a framework for the development and evolution of stronger ideas.
Simultaneous dramaturgy is a technique used to define a type of actor-audience interaction. It is the technique where amidst the middle of a theatrical work, the actors on stage will stop the play and ask the audience for solutions to their situation. The audience will voice their opinion toward a solution.
This approach bridges the gap and increases interaction between actor and audience. It promotes consistent dialogue, and breaks barriers that might otherwise divide the two. The audience now becomes empowered to direct the course of the play. More importantly, a sense of empowerment is bestowed upon the audience: an incredible factor in political activism, hence the name: “Theatre of the Oppressed”.
I can’t stop thinking about the ramifications this technique could have on the education young people in so many areas.
For more information: http://www.theatreoftheoppressed.org/en/index.php
Center Stage Youth Theatre Announces Auditions for ANNIE jr. Saturday March 12 Sunday March 13 At the Glenforest School Building, 1041 Harbor Drive, West Columbia For Girls ages 5-13 – auditions are from 1:00 – 3:00 both days. For Girls ages 14 – 18 and all Boys – auditions are from 3:00 – 5:00 both days. It is preferable but not essential that actors attend both days of auditions. If cast, there will be a $45.00 fee per actor or a $75.00 fee per family to help pay production costs. There is no charge to audition. For more information call Director Susan Scaccia at 803-206-4924 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In November I received a note from a mom worried about some of the experiences her teenage daughter was having at rehearsals for a show she was in. This was my response, beginning appropriately enough I think with an apology for taking so long in getting back to her!
First, I would like to apologize for having taken so long to get back to you again. Things here have taken on a whirlwind pace, and though I am very thankful for that, I do feel bad about neglecting you for so long!
I imagine that the show went very well and that you and your child were happy with the experience after it was all over. The magic that happens when that curtain goes up can soothe a lot of hard feelings brought on by personality differences and stress from the long hours of rehearsal with a director that it sounds like has a very different style of working with the children than you and your child would have been comfortable with.
And yes, I think it is not excusable to forget this: these are actors, but first and most importantly they are children. My personal opinion is that as we are working with children, everything we do with them must be of benefit to them. Why else should a child be involved? At this time in their lives we owe it to them to make sure that every experience they have will encourage growth, be it growth of their cognitive, social or emotional selves, and that there is no excuse for “guilting” a child into participation.
Many times I think that we in the theatre are seen as unpredictable and outrageous, and that excuses are made for unpleasant or irresponsible behavior from directors or actors as being due to the “artistic temperament.” I do not agree with this concession; espeically in our work with children I feel that theatre expereinces are such excellent vehicles for teaching the joy of working collarboratively, the important skills of connecting with other humans, of really listening to and communicating with one another, that it is to me inexcusable to forget to pay attention to these things in a flurry of adult egos and control issues and the stress of getting a show up.
And yes, I feel it is important to remember that children must have enough rest, and must have enough time to just be kids. In the last few weeks of rehearsal this is a huge challenge, and everyone is often so exhausted by the time the show is over that if one is not careful illness and emotional upsets can be quite common. So I think it is important to oay attention to how much we ask of them. To make sure that they are not kept too late at rehearsals in the evenings. I like to schedule the longer rehearsals for weekend afternoons if possible; it can be time for catching up with all the cast members, little ones can attend without being exhausted the next day or having bedtime routines disrupted.
But it is all a juggling act. It is a challenge to keep things healthy for young people while working on such an intense project, there is no getting around that! But yes, I think there are ways to safeguard the emotional and physical well being of the kids while creating something wonderful for the stage.
I hope I have answered some of your questions, and perhaps offered you some ideas for what you might look for in future acting projects for your daughter. Please feel free to write again if you have further question or if I can be of service to you in any other way.
Please take care, and best of everything to you and your family!
Director, Center Stage Youth Theatre
This week I had my first drama class with the elementary students! I had been hoping for an opportunity to work with these younger guys since I started at the school and this week we were finally able to make it happen. They arrived at 11:15 Friday and after we discussed the procedures for my class we played a few name games and then moved on to playing “Everybody Who…” which has been a huge hit with the older guys in the last few weeks.
We played it with the same number of chairs as actors in this case, as I felt it important to get to know them all a little bit more before adding the stress of removing one chair (the game is ordinarily played in a fashion similar to musical chairs, with one less chair than actors.)
It was a great opportunity to learn more about these younger Glenforesters. And lots of fun.
And my goodness, they are clever!
This week I have been doing a lot of thinking about which musical we should do in the spring. I had thought to do Once on This Island Jr – the music is wonderful, the story poigniant, but as a new theatre company, and with the young age of most of our actors I have begun to think it is not the best choice for us right now.
It seems to me that it is important at this time to do a well known, well loved show which can encompass a great many kids of all ages. Which has a large chorus and will bring lots and lots of kids out to audition.
And so get ready little ladies, because – Leaping Lizards! – this Spring, Center Stage is going to present: ANNIE!
I was very proud this week of my Glenforest FAW group as they presented their version of the Player’s Scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream to students and teachers as the culmination of our 9 week study of the Renaissance and more specifically for us, Shakespeare.
The process was difficult for them, as the language is daunting and the students have had little experience with either Shakespeare, drama or me. But we all persevered, and while the show was a bit rough in spots – the lion came out with his head on backward (you just had to be there I guess) and one of our actors was missing and the director had to read her part – on the whole it was a wonderful success.
And the pride on the faces of the students . Afterwords there was much hugging and much congratulating and well, folks I’ll tell you: this is just the kind of thing that reminds me why the heck we do this.
We had our first rehearsal yesterday and though a few of the cast members did not come in – this is not unusual but always disconcerting – we had a very good time and I got a chance to see and talk with the kids for the first time as the actors they will become.
We have our work cut out for us in many ways – an inexperienced cast, no budget, a huge need for technical support, an awkward performance space with no actual exits – and while I do have some concern I am not terribly worried. If there is one thing I have learned in the world of Youth Theatre it is that the pure joy of what we are doing is enough to help us surmount the insurmountable. We will find what we need and (bravely said) if I must be the stage manager so be it! The 30 shiny faces we cast will provide the reason for the project to succeed. And succeed it will. It never fails.
I am hoping to get the rights for Barbara Robinson’s hilarious play about the true meaning of Christmas, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever for Center Stage’s first show this December. I need to get the go ahead from Glenforest School and work out the scheduling for the auditorium, and then we can get started on this project with auditions in
I have directed this show many times and it has become something of a tradition in the Vermont town I’m from. I would love to see the same tradition started here. It’s so much fun to see many of the same kids year after year in the show, playing different parts as they grow up into different roles and helping the new actors out with their parts.
To keep the show fresh I always added something new each year. The challenge was a sweet one and we had some wonderful times making sometimes silly and sometimes poignant changes to the action.
It’s a great starter show too, as the costumes and set are very simple, and we can use 50 or more kids of all different ages. And the messages the show tells are timeless and beautiful. And so funny.