I was going to call this “understanding the text,” but Patsy Rodenberg’s term, “The Givens,” is much more all-inclusive, so I’ve kept it here. Now that you’ve gotten the text into your body somewhat, and noticed what it does, it’s time to think about it a little. Please don’t put on your analysis hat before doing step 1. Really. Continue reading
First, read Patsy Rodenburg’s book Speaking Shakespeare. It is the excellent material on which this sequence is based. I have used shorthand and reference … for the detail, read Patsy.
The text work each actor must do has three steps: the physical, the intellectual, the emotional/imaginative. I think it’s a genius concept of Patsy’s to build the work in that order. Most actors I’ve run across easily slip into the intellectual and the emotional, and can build bad habits from the get-go if the work starts there Continue reading
PURPOSE: Review what the main characters say about themselves and what is said of them by others.
WHEN & WHY: This should be done early in the rehearsal process, so that people get anchored in the text before they make too many assumptions about their characters that may be off-base. Continue reading
PURPOSE: Familiarize the cast (and crew, if you choose) with the plot of the show.
WHEN & WHY: The exercise is envisioned as a way to intro the plot progression of the play without doing a read-through of the script. Continue reading
I went to see the National Theatre Live broadcast of Timon of Athens last night at St. Anthony Main … and settled in with an audience of bardophiles and other cool people (Barbara Berlovitz, Katherine Ferrand, Jon Cranney and Betsy Cussler all spotted in the audience) to watch Simon Russell Beale take on Shakespeare’s odd misanthrope. Continue reading