Libertad, estructura de la libertad - Anne Bogart

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Estructura de la libertad escenica en inglés.

Transcript of Libertad, estructura de la libertad - Anne Bogart

  • FREEDOM, STRUCTURE, FREEDOM:

    ANNE BOGART'S DIRECTING PHILOSOPHY

    by

    DAGNE OLSBERG, B.A., M.A.

    A DISSERTATION

    IN

    FINE ARTS

    Submitted to the Graduate Faculty of Texas Tech University in

    Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for

    the Degree of

    DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

    Approved

    December, 1994

  • Copyright 1994, Dagne Olsberg

  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

    Above all, I want to thank Anne Bogart for giving me permission to pursue this project, for her generosity, for allowing me the privilege of attending the rehearsals for The Women, and for taking the time for interviews. Thanks also to the actors and the staff of the production of The Women at Hartford Stage, especially to Lynn Cohen, Karen Kandel, Ellen Lauren, Maria Porter, Laila Robins, and Myra Lucretia Taylor for sharing such a precious insight. Thanks to photographer T. Charles Erickson for the permission to include reproductions of his production photographs and to Jennifer Dana at the Saratoga International Theater Institute for her assistance. Special thanks to Professor George W. Sorensen for his dedication and his guidance in the development of this study. I would also like to thank the committee members for serving on my committee. Also, thanks to my friends and colleagues who have encouraged me in my work. Thanks to Simon Ha and Alison Russo for reading part of this stud^ and giving me helpful comments, and to Karen Osman and Amy Freeman without whom this study may not ever have ended up in printed form. Finally, I thank my family for always being there for me and for giving me support, of all kinds, and my husband, Shivcharn, for his care and for always being a source of encouragement and inspiration. I would like to dedicate this work to my parents, Gerd and Erik Olsberg.

    The tropistic tension between the inner process and the form strengthens both. The form is like a baited trap, to which the spiritual process responds spontaneously and against which it struggles. [Jerzy Grotowski, Towards a Poor Theatre, p. 17]

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  • TABLE OF CONTENTS

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ii LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS vj CHAPTER

    I. INTRODUCTION ] Notes 8

    II. OVERVIEW OF ANNE BOGART' S WORK S Notes 21

    III. VIEWPOINT TRAINING 2A Introduction 24 Introductory Viewpoint Exercises 2 6 Introduction to "Shape" and "Kinesthetic Response" 3C

    "Shape" 30 "Kinesthetic Response" 31

    The Viewpoints 32 "Spatial Relationship" 32 "Shape" 33

    < "Architecture" 33 "Kinesthetic Response" 34 "Repetition" 35 "Gesture" 35 "Tempo" 36

    Viewpoint Improvisation 36 Important "Principles" of the Viewpoint Improvisation 38

    Response 38 Discovery 4C Risk-taking 4] Stillness, Variation, Clarity and Specificity. 4] "Icing on the Cake" 42 "Lyricism" 42

    Conclusion 4; Notes 4 (

    IV. DIRECTING PHILOSOPHY 4" Rehearsal: A Meeting Place 4' Directing Philosophy 5i

    Viewpoint Improvisation and Composition 5( iii

  • The Viewpoint Training and the Rehearsal .... 51 Form and Inner Life 53 Communication with the Actor 56 Rehearsal as Composition 56 The Violence of "Setting" Material 57

    Notes 5S V. THE REHEARSAL PROCESS 6]

    First Day of Rehearsal 62 Viewpoint Sessions 63 "Table Work" 66 Staging Rehearsals 70

    "Setting" the Scenes 72 The Musical Number I Don't Want to Play in Your Yard 7 8 Preparing for Rehearsal 81 Juxtaposition of Text and Choreography 82 Collaboration: "Composition" 84 Collaboration: Communication with the Actors . 89

    The "Rebirth" or "Resurrection" of the Scenes .. 93 Technical Rehearsals and Preview Week 97 Actors' Response about the Process 99

    Ensemble and Collaboration 100 The Viewpoint Training 102 The "Table Work" 105 Choreography and Movement Patterns 107 Co-creators 114

    Observations 115 Notes 11'

    VI. THE PRODUCTION OF THE WOMEN 13i The Production 13^

    The First Encounter 135 The Set 138 The Transitions 138 "The Chorus of Women" 13S Objects Becoming Symbols 14C Music 143 Feminist Play 1A<

    Analysis of the Composition 14^ Notes 15(

    VII. CONCLUSION AND EVALUATION 15: Director's Function 15:

    iv

  • structure Leading to Freedom 153 Collaboration: Actor as Co-creator 155 The Rehearsal Cycle: Freedom, Structure, Freedom 159 Conclusion 161 Notes 163

    SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 164 APPENDIX A. ANNE BOGART'S DIRECTING HISTORY 170 B. REHEARSAL SCHEDULE OF THE PRODUCTION

    OF THE WOMEN 176 C. PERMISSION LETTER FROM COPYRIGHT OWNER 179

  • LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

    5 .1 The Women, Pre-show 120 5.2 The Women, Act I , Scene 1 122 5 .3 The Women, Act I I , Scene 4 124 5.4 The Women, Act I I , Scene 5 126 5 .5 The Women, I Don't Want to Play in Your Yard . . . . 128 5 .6 The Women, Act I , Scene 2 130 5.7 The Women, Act I , Scene 4 132 5 .8 Movement p a t t e r n from " b r i d g e - s c e n e , " The Women . 134

    VI

  • CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION

    Starting at the end of the last century and increasingly during the course of our own, the theatre has become colonised by a determined group: the directors. . . .

    There are a number of consequences of this unchallenged hegemony which devolve most strikingly on the actors and the writers. Actors, quite clearly, have been stripped of initiative and responsibility. They wait to be hired; having been hired, they wait to be told how to play their roles (how, that is, to fit into the director's 'concept'); and in the execution of the role and their conduct during its realisation, they strive to please the director in order to be allowed to exercise their craft again. All important decisions about the production have been taken before their involvement, and they are as much as possible kept ignorant of the factors which govern the fate of the production in which they're involved. . . .

    A distressing consequence of this development for actors is that the director has interposed himself between actor and writer, claiming that they cannot speak each other's language. . . .

    The important thing is to restore the writer . . . and the actor to each other, without the self-elected intervention of the director, claiming a unique position interpreting one to the other. We don't need an interpreterwe speak the same language: or at least we used to.^

    In this manner Simon Callow, the British actor, proposes the elimination of the director in his manifesto (1984). Although one may disagree with his provocative proposal. Callow touches on aspects concerning the relationship between director and actor that may deserve consideration. In many cases, actors have been "stripped of initiative and responsibility"; in many cases, actors are excluded from partaking in "important decisions"; and, in many cases, actors are "kept ignorant of the factors which govern the fate of the production." Callow's manifesto, thus, draws

    1

  • attention to important questions about what the nature of the relationship between actors and director should be. Is the actor just one of many elements to embody the director's vision; or should the actor take a larger part in the creation and the development of the production? What is the function of the actor; what is the function of the director; and what should be the nature of their collaboration?

    Callow's position is understandable. It is understandable that an actor reacts to the kind of "role" that he or she is given in the whole rehearsal process. There is, however, more to a director's job than interpreting the text, which Callow seems to suggest it to be. Today's theatre is not only about text. A production may be based on text or on a deconstruction of a text, or the text may be created by the actors through improvisation. Since Antonin Artaud, however, many theatre artists have claimed that theatre is not subordinated to text, but that the language of the stage is the mise en sceneall the physical elements creating the visual and aural composition in space--and that theatre pieces should, thus, be fully created in the theatre space.

    Whether basing a production on a text or not, the interaction of all the artistic elements of the stage--the mise en scene--has become increasingly important. Thus has grown the need for an "outside eye" to ensure a strong composition and expression. Edward Gordon Craig and Vsevolod Meyerhold were revolutionary in their merging of all the elements creating a total expression. Later directors like Richard Foreman and Robert Wilson, whose theatre has been characterized by Bonnie Marranca as "theatre of images,"^ have become known for their compelling stage compositions. In the process of creating strong visual and aural compositions, many of these directors or theorists, however, have been accused of being

  • "autocrat directors" and treating the actors as "puppets," stifling the actors' creativity.

    During the 1960s and the 1970s, perhaps as a reaction to the auteur director, theatre artists or companies wanted to give the emphasis and the role as creator back to the actor. Groups like the Living Theatre, the Open Theatre, and the Performance Group developed pieces as a collaborative effort through improvisation. One could say that this would give the actor the ultimate freedom. The problem that some encountered, however, was how to bring the stage of exploration or improvisation to the stage of performance.

    Improvisation may be good for exploration and discovery, but may be hard to transfer to the performance mode. Furthermore, with the actors collectively creating the composition, not having an "outside eye" to help in composing the mise en scene, the production may lack focus and a strong expression.

    In this brief overview, extremes have been chosen to address the ranges in the actor's and dire