View single post by Awfly Wee Eli
 Posted: Thu Apr 26th, 2012 08:07 pm
PM Quote Reply Full Topic
Awfly Wee Eli


Joined: Thu Jan 12th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 32
Doug B wrote: Getting back to stage directions, there are two kinds: Notes for the actors ("smiles") and notes for the director ("Exits"). When we do a reading, we have the stage manager read the stage directions that move the story forward. Others we ignore. I have worked with directors (back in my acting days) who actually had the actors blank out actor stage directions with a felt tip marker. I don't go to that extreme but I do tell the actor that they are "suggestions". We strive to have the actors be truthful in the imaginary circumstances of the play and if they can't truthfully smile, they shouldn't - remember that it is my Grand Idea and that may preclude a specific smile at a specific moment of time.

Blocking directions are even harder to interpret. Our stage has no wings. The side walls are permanent, the doors are where they are and there is no room off stage to store anything. It is hard to follow written stage directions.
This is why I try to keep director's notes ("Exit") to the bare minimum and actor's notes ("Smiles") even less so. And my blocking notes are exactly zero, because I've been in so many different performances spaces, as both an audience member and a performer, and I understand the difficulty (if not impossibility) of always staging a show exactly as written.

I'm curious, though, Doug: If your Great Idea is different from the playwrights' (to the extent that that is knowable), why do that play at all? Why not produce a play that has the Great Idea you want to share with your community, rather than imposing your Great Idea on a play to which it's not inherent?

Last edited on Thu Apr 26th, 2012 08:08 pm by Awfly Wee Eli