Staging Trap door flats Rostra/ blocks Composite Set Raked stage Backdrop Gauze Cyclorama Fly tower Entrances/ exits Projection
Sound Diegetic/ Non Diegetic Noises Off Choral speech Fade in/ out, punch in/ out
Speaking of trap doors… I am giving you this vocabulary because you will need to use some of it in your exam. BARE IN MIND, they want you to direct an extract; not give them a technical master class. DO not write a page and a half of all the tech you know- make reference to it when it is relevant- eg dimming lights or playing a sound
So how can I remember what these tech things are? You need to write a CLASSIC essay to get good marks; Costume Lighting Atmosphere Staging Sound Intentions Casting
On an extract you need to judge what Wertenbaker’s dramatic intention for the scene is- this usually applies to one of the themes (CLERP), or it may apply to a specific character. The first thing you need to do is get a clear vission of what should be bought across from the extract and then focus your directing on this. So in act 1 scene 1, what is the intention of Wertenbaker?
Intention- This is where you state what the purpose of the scene is. Sentences you will be likely to use; “In the previous scene Ralph has… Therefore at the start of this scene he would be…” “The purpose of this scene is to bring across the theme of the use of language/ punishment or reform/ The redeeming qualities of Theatre, this is bought through by…” “In this scene I would want to bring across Harry’s paranoia by…” “As this scene is early in the play it is important to establish…” “As this scene is near the end of the play, it is important to show…”
Casting and Costume These are optional- you can get full marks without mentioning them. But you can also get marks for being clever or apt with them, basically its up to you.
Costume What you need to talk about; Need to state that costume will both set the period of the play (late 18 th century) and be easily adaptable for multi-rolling. Fun Fact- Convicts wore the clothes that they were wearing when they were sentenced, therefore their clothes in Australia would likely be the same clothes. (in 1810 they were forced to wear uniforms, but the play predates that.)
Original Production In the original production of Our Country’s Good, the actors changed costume on stage in front of the audience. Device given the alienation effect, but Wertenbaker wants us to feel sorry for the actors; To do this the acting remains mostly naturalistic. That is why you should reffer to the style as ‘EPIC’, not Brechtian
Women wore ‘Stays’ (which predates a corset) ribbed to correct posture. These were usually made from a fabric called ‘Muslin’. This would be worn over a ‘Chemise’ which would be linen (and probably quite dirty.) Costume- Female
In the 18th century men wore knee-length trouser like garments called breeches and stockings. They also wore waistcoats and frock coats. Men wore buckled shoes. Convicts- linen shirt, again likely dirty, should be white to multi-role as an officer. Except for Ralph, who would be in full military dress… Costume- Male
Military Jackets The Army officers wore Red jackets (hence why the British Army were known as ‘Red Coats’) The Naval officers wore dark blue jackets (hence the colour ‘Navy Blue’ because it’s the colour the Navy wore) You can see who is Army and Navy on the cast list, as they say RM (Royal Marines- army) and RN (Royal Navy)
Costume Be clever when talking about costume- can you be symbolic with it (examiner is looking for inventiveness) Eg Ketch could hold his trousers up with a piece of rope= hang man Colour’s of the female convict’s Stays could symbolise something about their nature
Task In a pair think of a clever/ symbolic costume for; Liz Mary Harry
Casting Physical appearance; height, build, colouring (hair and skin- pale/ dark), facial features, hair length. You may also talk about vocal qualities Be sure to justify this choice,
How we might write about casting “I could cast Ross to be a tall, stocky man with medium length ginger hair and a naturally deep voice. This would look effective when he needs to intimidate other actors, but also when he has to play Ketch he could hide behind his hair to show a lack of confidence.”
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