Presentation on theme: "Picturization and Movement Directing One Spring 2013."— Presentation transcript:
Picturization and Movement Directing One Spring 2013
PICTURIZATION A definition Picturization is storytelling by a group of actors. It is brought about by the combined use of composition, gesture and improvisation with properties for the specific purpose of animating the dramatic action. --Francis Hodge (114)
Scene from 2013 revival of PIPPIN
PICTURIZATION A definition Picturization is the storytelling aspect of blocking. It concerns itself with revealing character, emotion, and motive through movement, body language, and business. It is revealed using movement that goes from one composition to another. --Jim Patterson (119)
CABARET 1969 Tony Awards
COMPOSITION PATTERSON: The technical aspect of blocking that leads the audience to see clearly what the director believes is important. It concerns itself with CLARITY—the pleasing arrangement of characters within the setting that lets the audience know where to look at a given moment. It is a still-life painting of the stage at one moment in time. HODGE: The physical arrangement of actor-characters in a groundplan for the purpose of discovering dramatic action and of illustrating it in the simplest possible way through emphasis and contrast.
What the audience sees Enhance the visual appeal of the play Focus Balance Space Area Line Level Contrast Helpful Composition helps the audience notice what the director thinks is important. A particular challenge with a large cast
Elements of composition What character (or characters) are important? Are the characters pleasingly arranged? Is the balance symmetrical? Asymmetrical? How is the acting area defined? Pay attention to the essentials Focus Balance Solidity
What elements of composition are shown in this painting? Tiepolo: Rachel Hiding the Idols (c1729)
The Iceman Cometh (2015)
The Rocky Horror Show (2010)
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2011)
Line Focus through line is achieved by having characters in a group look at the person or persons who should receive emphasis The Iceman Cometh, (1946)
SPACE Space surrounding an important character in a full stage composition is basic blocking technique to give character focus. The Iceman Cometh (1946)
Level The higher the actor’s head, the more focus the actor seems to get. The Iceman Cometh, 1999
Area In a proscenium stage, the following stage areas seem more emphatic than others: Center stage areas are stronger than SL or SR Characters closest to audience are most emphatic SR is usually more emphatic than SL DS areas are stronger than US
Balance Caravaggio’s Christ and the Woman of Samaria, c 1620
Albee’s The Play About the Baby 2001
PICTURIZATION PICTURIZATION IS GIVING MEANING TO WHAT THE AUDIENCE SEES. While composition is primarily concerned with the attractiveness of groupings…picturization involves the inherent meaning of how and where the actors move Their positions on the stage Their body language The business they perform Picturization is also concerned with the amount, speed and direction of movement.
Movement There are three sources for movement: 1. The playwright mandates it in the dialogue.
Movement 2. Movement comes from dramatic action.
Movement 3. Movement can be introduced by the director to enliven the scene. In a street scene, for example, primary action downstage might be amplified or filled-out by secondary action upstage.
Body Positions Body position tells a story. What is going on here? The script along with the actor’s posture will clarify these questions. (Robin Williams in THE FISHER KING.)
Strong and weak movements Forward movement conveys strength Crosses from USR to L or DSC are inherently strong Movements that take a character back (away from the audience) are inherently weak MOVEMENT, both strong and weak, is a tool for the director to use for dramatic effect
Specific Uses of Movement Acceleration in both speed and duration can help build to a climax A bold cross while others are still can signal a change in objective A general change in the stage picture can punctuate a transition A flurry of crosses followed by stillness brings focus to dialogue, action or plot
When not to move Limit a speaking character’s movement while speaking Important lines may not be clearly understood if the actor says them while moving Don’t allow actors to cross another while speaking unless you want to take focus Don’t permit business to distract from the key element of the composition
Business and movement create meaning Spatial relationships Kinds of movement Business activities The stamp of the director
STAGE PICTURE Michael Wainstein : “The totality of what the audience sees from their seats. Ideal stage pictures are unified, artistic and reflective of the inner life of the play in every moment.” (p. 286)
GUYS AND DOLLS – ESU THEATRE
“INSPECTING CAROL” - ESU Theatre (2012)
“Dancing at Lughnasa” - ESU Theatre (2013)
BLOCKING Definitions The choreography of the play established by the director and actors. (Wainstein) The movement of the actors through the setting. (Patterson) The director is an image-maker…Blocking is the process of stimulating actors to image-making through groundplan, compostion, gesture, improvisation with properties, picturization and movement. (Hodge)
George C. Wolfe at work on Tony Kushner’s adaptation of MOTHER COURAGE AND HER CHILDREN (2006)
PRIMARY TECHNIQUES OF PICTURIZATION (Hodge) Encourage PICTURIZATION over and around obstacles. Encourage space separations between characters and the use of different planes, levels and body positions. Look for intimate climactic picturizations and encourage actors to touch one another if appropriate to the scene and the decorum. Look for appropriate character-mood-intensities of the different characters.
APPROPRIATE TOUCH THE KISS (Picasso)
APPROPRIATE TOUCH THE KISS (Rodin)
APPROPRIATE TOUCH THE KISS (Gustav Klimt)
PRIMARY TECHNIQUES OF PICTURIZATION (Hodge) Exploit GESTURE in every possible way. Encourage the continuous use of triangles in setting up compositions. Encourage the use of HAND PROPS.
SECONDARY FUNCTIONS OF PICTURIZATION (Hodge) BALANCE the stage. Exploit the STAGE CUBE—you are blocking in 3 dimensions. Exploit the EXTREMES of the stage floor by using the full depth of the groundplan.
Vincent Van Gogh, The Starry Night (1889)
Vermeer, A Woman Holding a Balance ( )
THE STAGE CUBE
John Trumbull, The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776 (c. 1800)
1776 Directed by Jim Bartruff, MSUM Theatre (2003) Designed by Roray Hedges
EXPLOIT THE EXTREMES OF THE GROUNDPLAN
The Glass Menagerie, Set design by Clare Floyd DeVries WATER TOWER THEATRE, Addison, TX
THE GLASS MENAGERIE, ESU Theatre (2009) Designed by Ron Fowlkes