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... list of characters (samples) for virtual theatre production (3 sisters based WEB-SHOW):

* Masha
image : description

* Doctor
-- what is in his notebook?

* Vershinin
...

... the rest of them in shows.vtheatre.net/3sisters

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Stage Directing Theory
Directing Theory: pre-text, text and super-text

UAF 3 Sisters Cut

Use in your Acting & Directing Classes for Scene Study!

I cut all the servants; Andrey in talking to himself...


new: 2009 LUL
2005 total directing & total acting + CHE'05 : cast and crew @ groups.yahoo.com/group/wwwilde *

* March 2006: Go.dot -- 100 years since Sam Beckett's birth * Theatre UAF

Chekhov-One-Acts

Summary

Mono Pages in acting classes!
Four by Chekhov:

The Seagull

Three Sisters

The Cherry Orchard

Uncle Vanya

"Small Chekhov":

Wedding & More

Boor

Virtual 3 Sisters

2005: Total Acting & Total Directing *

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* one act fest

2007 google.com/group/acting2

Notes

How this page relates to shows.vtheatre.net/3sisters/andrey?
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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Andrey 1 + Andrey 2

... Andrey's diary, letters, notes (Stanislavsky would ask his actor to write it, to have Andrey's world inside ) ...

What does he likes to eat, drink, read, listen to?

Now, with the Virtual Theatre environment all that becomes visible! We see what the character sees!

...


Andrey, 3 Sisters, Monologue Study

In acting classes we start with monologues; like at auditions -- this is the best self-introduction. You have to have your portfolio (dramatic and comedy monologues are the first grades) and you have to know how to work on monologues.
Second, I do not believe that you can work scenes with your partners, if you don't know how to develop your character. You have to do your homework before you meet for a rehearsal. How do you work on character development (role)? You start with the main monologue in the scene (the biggest "speech" you got, put it simple). One way or another, you have to have the inner monologue in order to have subtext (you have to discover and invent it). You have to make it YOUR monologue.
"Cold Reading" -- first take. I don't let students do this "reading" time and again. We heard it already. I want to see you "writing" your texts (performance). Do you know how to do it?
I ask for several drafts (three min.): tests on vocalization, physicalization and visualisation. Can I see it?
Playwrights did their job, now it's your time to work. By the time you memorized the pre-text (drama), I need to see the new TEXT, yours!
You could see many monologues on my acting pages, some done as "Actor's Text" (AT = written-in actor's directions). Usually, I ask for 2-3 drafts of AT, including the floor plan with acting areas and postions. Here is an example of how to work on your monologue (Chekhov's 3 Sisters).
Act II
[ shows.vtheatre.net/3sisters ]
ANDREY. Good evening, my good man. What is it? [louder]. I say, you have come late. It's past eight o'clock... Dear old man, how strangely life changes and deceives you! Today I was so bored and had nothing to do, so I picked up this book -- old university lectures -- and I laughed... Good heavens! I'm the secretary of the District Council of which mister Protopopov is the chairman. I am the secretary, and the most I can hope for is to become a member of the Board! Me, a member of the local District Council, while I dream every night I'm professor at the University of Moscow -- a distinguished man, of whom all world is proud!
(pause)
[to the mirror] If you did hear well, perhaps I shouldn't talk to you. I must talk to somebody, and, my wife, she doesn't understand me. My sisters I'm somehow afraid of -- I'm afraid they will laugh at me... Look, I don't drink, I'm not like restaurants, but how I'd enjoy sitting at some small bar at this moment! You sit in a huge room at a restaurant; you know no one and no one knows you, and at the same time you don't feel a stranger... But here you know everyone and everyone knows you, and yet you are a stranger -- a stranger... A stranger, and lonely...
[ANDREY to himself in the mirror]. You can go. Take care of yourself. Go... [a pause]. Gone [a ring]. Yes, it's work... [goes into his own room]
I don't know if this is the right place to talk about "line-by-line" analysis. First, read DRAMA page to understand why we need very close analysis. I should say "word-by-word" analysis, the extreme preporation for Actor's Text (Performance, Role).

Drama (modern genre) asks for inner conflict and as a result -- SUBTEXT concept (meaning is not in what we say, but in what we do not say). How do we create this subtext?

The Formalists claimed that we have to fight the text (play), we have have to overcome the words in order to express what is behind the words (The CounterText idea came from this concept of negating the words).

In general, every human action has three (or four) main levels; at any point I say one thing, feel another, think something else and act not in according to all the above. Those are the dramatic moments, of course.

Take the monolgue from The Three Sisters -- and let us "deconstruct" it.

First, as usual, we have to write in our own (new) stage directions. They are of course depend on your own interpretation of the Adrey's character. So, you have to do the basics -- the character's story. Out of the story should come the character's traits -- characterization, vocalization and so on (visualization). Do it in your Actor's Journal. This is the stage of working on the role when you not only have to take from the play, but to give!

Please, check what is present the Chekhov's text; props, costume, set and etc. Don't bring anything new until you had use everything what playwright has to offer. Be specific: our 5Ws -- what, when, where, why, who. Breakdown each of them in smaller questions; "When," for example -- day of the week, season, time of the day and so on.

[ I have mono page in every acting directory: Fundamentals, Biomechanics, Method -- and I don't want to repeate what is said there. ]

My advise -- what I do right now, retype the monologue -- when you can rewrite and edit it every time you do the next draft of your Actor's Text. Leave a lot of room for your handwritten comments during the rehearsals. How many drafts do you need for well rehearsed monologue? Many. Tolstoy rewrote "War and Peace" 13 times!

For our analytical purpose I use different fonts as well. Try to make the (dramatic) changes visible!

Use different the markers (diferent colors), use the pencil (for rewrites).

Start drawing the floor plan on the back...

I use my own notation for breaking the sentences into performance (stage) sentances. "/" -- one beat pause. "//" -- two and so on. Kepp in mind this is only the rhythm, you have to replace the pauses with ACTION. Usually, the small actions we call "stage business" -- you have to invent yours for your character. For example, Adrey is about to leave the house -- dressing up; go through the main details of his costume (don't overcrowd it, get the most important -- hat, coat, gloves -- your choices).

[ Since I cut off the servant in our version of The Three Sisters, Andrey is talking to himself in the mirror -- my interpretation, when mirror becomes an important symbol and working set/prop for this character. ]

* I (and Chekhov) placed in several sounds, you don't have to have aound effects, as long as your character REACT to them.

** Do NOT memorize the text unless you understand what you are doing!

*** Do NOT do blocking right away -- explore the text, your concept, the space first!

Chekhov Mental Preparation: collect the images. I use the Chekhov's portrait (there is a lot of biographical in Doctor or Andrey). It doesn't have to be the way you see Andrey, it could be Andrey sees. What photographs does he have? Sisters? Parents? Children? Who is his favorite artist? Give yourself some images which can help you to get in the right mood and mind frame (all this is nothing less than traditional Method Acting, according to Mr. Stanislavsky).

When rehearse, get some music (select the piece you think Andrey is playing on his violine).

Are we ready?

Don't worry -- it has to be done in cycles; we will ba back to our paper-acting after we try the choices in real space and time. And in front of the audience...

Public? Yes, it could be anybody.

Last Note: when you are acting, forget about the preporartions! What is right will come naturally by itself. Forget about your homework and live the part -- only later you can come for reflections and analysis....

...

http://google.com/group/acting2

ACTOR'S TEXT: next draft

Checklist for Actor's Text
YOUR stage directions: emotions on the left, motions on the right.

PreActing? Don't speak before you established the exposition, introduced your character physically!

When you draw the floor plan on the back you must use all 9 squares.

Indicate the main prop.

3 levels of voice, horizontal and vertical movement.

What takes place in pauses? Write it in.

TEMPO: Indicate the pauses with "/" (period or coma?) "//" -- beat of action? "///" and longer -- "dramatic pause" (the structural changes in thought-feeling).

Use the different color markers for different emotions (limit yourself to a few left-motiffs).

You have to have at least three drafts (retyped) -- class requirement.

Each prop must be used three times (min): hat, papers, book. They are the symbols: the book is Adrey's past, the papers -- his present. Every time he touches one or another -- emotional changes (this is what we call visualization and physicalization.

Dramatic Structure

Indicated the exposition (gold), climax and resolution (blue). Do you agree with this breakdown? What is yours?

Objective and Obstacle = Conflict. What is Anrey's Objective? What is the Obstacle? Write it down. How do you plan to express it?

Inner conflict: since both objective and obstacle in him.

Sitiation

5W's: What, Who, Where, When, Why?

Discribute the addresses: "himself" is too general. 1. Himself in the past. 2. Wife. 3. Sisters. 4. God. (Where are the details to represent the addresses?) His present are the papers, the hat. God is above. Sisters -- left? Wife -- right?

Bold for climatic moments.

"Key words" -- you can retype in CAPs. Each stage statement must have ONE key word, see the second draft. Again, the stresses (key words) must be your interpretation.

How many "rewrites" do you have to make? Tolstoy rewrote "War and Peace" twelve times. Add, delete, change -- you are the AUTHOR of this PERFORMANCE TEXT. If I don't know or not sure, I leave the emphasis words and the pauses, movement, directions -- for the next round.

Andrey, 3 Sisters, Monologue Study

Act II
[Where is he coming from? To where? Why? "The Moment Before"! The breakdown on WHEN i will do with the next monologue.]
ANDREY. Good evening, my good man. What is it? [louder]. I say, you have come late. It's past eight o'clock... Dear old man, how strangely life changes and deceives you! Today I was so bored and had nothing to do, so I picked up this book -- old university lectures -- and I laughed... Good heavens! I'm the secretary of the District Council of which mister Protopopov is the chairman. I am the secretary, and the most I can hope for is to become a member of the Board! Me, a member of the local District Council, while I dream every night I'm professor at the Moscow University -- a distinguished man, of whom all world is proud!
(pause)
[to the mirror] If you did hear well, perhaps I shouldn't talk to you. I must talk to somebody, and, my wife, she doesn't understand me. My sisters I'm somehow afraid of -- I'm afraid they will laugh at me... Look, I don't drink, I do not not like restaurants, but how I'd enjoy sitting at some small bar at this moment! You sit in a huge room at a restaurant; you know no one and no one knows you, and at the same time you don't feel a stranger... But here you know everyone and everyone knows you, and yet you are a stranger -- a stranger... A stranger, and lonely...
[ANDREY to himself in the mirror]. You can go. Take care of yourself. Go... [a pause]. Gone [a ring]. Yes, it's work... [goes into his own room]
Anmatoly:

All right, let's try the first draft (my interpretation, you do yours).

First Draft (basic dramatic)

(Your first reading when you are ready to work on it)
Watching himself in the mirror, getting dressed to go out (restaurant). Imaginary dialogue with his other self (from the past or even future). "//" and "///" pauses must long enough to be the remarks we do not hear.

ANDREY. Good evening, my good man.// What is it? [louder].// I say, you have come late. / It's past eight o'clock... // (It is not the first time he is talking to himself. Nobody to talk with. Not with his wife, no). Dear old man, / how strangely life changes and deceives you! / Today I was so bored and had nothing to do, / so I picked up THIS book -- / old university lectures (He has this book in his hands). -- / and I laughed... / Good heavens! / I'm the secretary of the District Council of which mister Protopopov (His wife, Natasha, sleeps with Protopopov). is the chairman. / I am the secretary, / and the most I can hope for / is to become a member of the Board! // Me, / a member of the local District Council, /// while I dream every night // I'm professor at the Moscow University / -- (Could we see the difference between the two Andreys?) a distinguished man, of whom all world is proud!
(pause) (When Chekhov writes "pause" -- he really means it!)
[to the mirror] (smiles?) If you did hear well, perhaps I shouldn't talk to you. // I must talk to somebody, / and, / my wife, // she doesn't understand me. (Remembers, that she or they could hear him, change it the whisper, which he forgets to keep, because he wants to cry and scream). // My sisters // I'm somehow afraid of -- I'm afraid they will laugh at me... // Look, I don't drink, I do not like restaurants, but how I'd enjoy sitting at some small bar at this moment! / You sit in a huge room at a restaurant; / you know no one and no one knows you, / and at the same time you don't feel a stranger... /// But here you know everyone and everyone knows you, and yet you are a stranger -- // a stranger... /// A stranger, and lonely... /// (Listens to some voices, noises in the house? His own thought? He is a stranger, it's the verdict. Nothing else to say.)
[ANDREY to himself in the mirror]. You can go. / Take care of yourself. // Go... [a pause He doesn't go, stands. Here at least he can talk to himself.]. // Gone [a ring]. (He has the papers in his hands, the council stuff). Yes, it's work... [goes into his own room. He has to undress, puts down his hat. Goes, stops, looks back at the mirror.]

Draw the basic graph for this monologue (Y -- action, X -- time)

conflict
^   CLIMAX
I     /\
I    /  \
I   /    \
I  /      \
I /        \
I/          \ Resolution
--------------------------> time

Time your monologue. Every second of it counts!

Try it. Do it in class. Make notes -- and corrections. Go to the next, more detailed draft.

Second Draft (on sentencing)

Watching himself in the mirror, getting dressed to go out (restaurant). Imaginary dialogue with his other self (from the past or even future). "//" and "///" pauses must long enough to be the remarks we do not hear.

ANDREY. Good evening, MY good man.// What IS it? [louder]. // I say, you have come LATE. / It's PAST eight o'clock... // (It is not the first time he is talking to himself. Nobody to talk with. Not with his wife, no). Dear OLD man, / how STRANGELY life changes and deceives you! / Today I was SO bored and had nothing to do, / so I picked up this book -- / old university lectures (He has this book in his hands). -- / and I LAUGHED... / Good heavens! / I'm THE secretary of the District Council / of which MISTER Protopopov / (His wife, Natasha, sleeps with Protopopov). is THE chairman. / I am the SECRETARY, / and the most I can HOPE for / is to become a MEMBER of the Board! // Me, / a member of the local DISTRICT Council, /// while I dream EVERY night // I'm professor at the MOSCOW University // -- (Could we see the difference between the two Andreys?) a DISTINGUISHED man, / of whom all WORLD is proud!
(pause) (When Chekhov writes "pause" -- he really means it!)
[to the mirror] (smiles?) If YOU did hear well, / perhaps "I" shouldn't talk to you. // I must talk to SOMEBODY, / and, / my WIFE, // she doesn't UNDERSTAND me. (Remembers, that she or they could hear him, change it the whisper, which he forgets to keep, because he wants to cry and screm). My SISTERS / I'm somehow AFRAID of -- // I'm afraid they will LAUGH at me... // Look, / I don't drink, / I don't like restaurants, / but HOW I'd enjoy sitting at some small bar at this moment! / You sit in a HUGE room at a restaurant; / you know NO ONE and no one knows you, / and at the same time you don't feel a STRANGER... /// But HERE you know everyone and everyone knows you, / and yet you ARE a stranger -- // a STRANGER... /// A stranger, and lonely... /// (Listens to some voices, noises in the house? His own thought? He is a stranger, it's the verdict. Nothing else to say.)
[ANDREY to himself in the mirror]. YOU can go. / Take care of yourself. // Go... [a pause He doesn't go, stands. Here at least he can talk to himself.]. // Gone [a ring]. (He has the papers in his hands, the council stuff). Yes, it's work... [goes into his own room. He has to undress, puts down his hat. Goes, stops, looks back at the mirror.]

Third Draft (on movement)

ANDREY. Good evening, / MY good man.// What IS it? [louder]. // I say, you have come LATE. / It's PAST eight o'clock... // (It is not the first time he is talking to himself. Nobody to talk with. Not with his wife, no). Dear OLD man, / how STRANGELY life changes and deceives you! / Today I was SO bored and had nothing to do, / so I picked up this book -- / old university lectures (He has this book in his hands). -- / and I LAUGHED... / Good heavens! / I'm THE secretary of the District Council / of which MISTER Protopopov / (His wife, Natasha, sleeps with Protopopov). is THE chairman. / I am the SECRETARY, / and the most I can HOPE for / is to become a MEMBER of the Board! // Me, / a member of the local DISTRICT Council, /// while I dream EVERY night // I'm professor at the MOSCOW University // -- (Could we see the difference between the two Andreys?) a DISTINGUISHED man, / of whom all WORLD is proud!
(pause) (When Chekhov writes "pause" -- he really means it!)

[to the mirror] (smiles?) If YOU did hear well, / perhaps "I" shouldn't talk to you. // I must talk to SOMEBODY, / and, / my WIFE, // she doesn't UNDERSTAND me. (Remembers, that she or they could hear him, change it the whisper, which he forgets to keep, because he wants to cry and screm). My SISTERS / I'm somehow AFRAID of -- // I'm afraid they will LAUGH at me... // Look, / I don't drink, / I don't like restaurants, / but HOW I'd enjoy sitting at some small bar at this moment! / You sit in a HUGE room at a restaurant; / you know NO ONE and no one knows you, / and at the same time you don't feel a STRANGER... /// But HERE you know everyone and everyone knows you, / and yet you ARE a stranger -- // a STRANGER... /// A stranger, and lonely... /// (Listens to some voices, noises in the house? His own thought? He is a stranger, it's the verdict. Nothing else to say.)
[ANDREY to himself in the mirror]. YOU can go. / Take care of yourself. // Go... [a pause He doesn't go, stands. Here at least he can talk to himself.]. // Gone [a ring]. (He has the papers in his hands, the council stuff). Yes, it's work... [goes into his own room. He has to undress, puts down his hat. Goes, stops, looks back at the mirror.]

Read the mono pages first. When your work on your performance text, read it again. Remember, nothing, but the choices! "Choice" means that you have more than one idea. Have many! Try them in performance. No choices, no TEXT, just a noise coming from you (messages we can't understand, because the sender doesn't make them).

Andrey's Room (study, door?)

Sisters (stage right) ------- ANDREY ----------- Wife (SL)

I---mirror---I

****** PUBLIC ********

The mirror could be established by actor even without a frame.

Mark and number the positions in correlation to the text. Connect them all by lines (what is the main design of the motion for this monologue?)


Futurist Poetry Style of Breakdown

One line-sample:

ANDREY

Good evening,

/

MY good man.

//

What IS it?

Instead of "/" write in your ACTION directons.


Shot-by-Shot Breakdown

Where and when do you want me to be focused? Your face? Your hands? Which part of your body or place on stage.... Mirror -- the dream world, and the past, and Moscow. how can you express it?

Since we can't go close up (CU) right away, we always start with the wide shot (WS or Long Shot -- LS). [MS] -- medium shot (above the belt).

[ LS ] Entrance, pre-acting, establishing shot

[ MS ] Establishing the set, mirror, the stage business, play prop, the robe, the papers and the book.

[ CU ] First line -- speak! (if ready, if not, continue the preacting).

Summary

How far do you want to take it? Does he cry? Confession? Prayer? Cries and falls on his knees (when)? With his head down to the floor (vertical levels). Tears up the book, the business papers? Comes out in his wife's robe, he is not a man anymore. He ever was. But where is Andrey-boy?

Too much work? Forget it, man! Profession is about WORK! We pay for the work, for something you can do and we can't.

You have to bring them, non-existing souls, to life! It takes a lot of work, days of creation and the knowledge how to do it. That is why playwright needs you, director, public -- do your work, actor! I need the performance, not this "reading" the text! We can read it ourselves, at home.

Questions

If you don't have questions about your character, your role, play, set, costume, prop -- you are in trouble. big trouble. It means that you have no questions about carrer. How could it be? How could you have one, if you do not this role as a step up? What are you doing on stage then?

Homework

That is your homework. Go, do it.

Notes

There is no way I can put the tasks on the one monologue. I have to continue on the others, but from where we stop here.

@2000 The text was modified for the UAF production. He is talking to himself. AA

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