View single post by in media res
 Posted: Mon Nov 10th, 2014 06:52 am
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in media res


Joined: Sun Jul 2nd, 2006
Posts: 1961

Great to see your name around here again.

Hope your studies are going well.

Here is a post you should read that Katoagogo did in response to a query of mine, when she studied with Paula Vogel.

It pertains to your question.

One other thing I would say about stage directions: For a long time there was a trend in the theatre among institutional directors - Meaning MFA teachers - that said "First thing: throw out the stage directions." I always felt this was B.S.

Stage directions in Samuel French and Dramatists Play Service scripts for a long time were written by the stage managers of the original Broadway productions. They were written for specific stages at that time, and were meant to help out any future production, especially in amateur theaters and college productions and usually for proscenium stages.

Every set will require new stage directions - usually - and again these were helpful in an era when most productions were "proscenium stage orientations."

But one thing not mentioned is the "tone" of the staging. When one writes stage directions it is the TONE of the performance that also must be captured.

Anything a playwright writes must serve the text and production "tone."

So, don't be afraid of stage directions. Every playwright achieves their own way of communicating a written text. Tennessee Williams is not Arthur Miller is not Lanford Wilson is not Sam Shepard is not Paula Vogel, is not Tony Kushner is not RAY TURCO!!!

Novelists use descriptions of setting and tone all in their own quality of writing; screenwriters do as well - though USUALLY in much fewer words. So don't be afraid of them. If you believe they are necessary, use them.

If you want to see masterful use of stage directions, read NOISES OFF by Michael Frayn.

And finally, I would suggest use stage directions of any length - form onoe word to fifty words - only out of a necessity; whether it be for a necessary visual physical actions or necessary tonal qualities. And feel free to use any means necessary to get your theatrical point across. Don't ever let the "RULES" limit your imagination.