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Stage Directing Theory
Directing Theory: pre-text, text and super-text
Chekhov pages in script.vtheatre.net
Chekhov

UAF 3 Sisters Cut

Use in your Acting & Directing Classes for Scene Study!

Use the right mouse and print only the text of the monologue. Do the Actor's Script (see Acting Directory: Method).

Do not memorize until you understand the text!

Write in YOUR stage directions. Try your choices in class. Redo the Actor's Text.

Consider Chekhov's monologues for audition portfolio (see THR Theory Directory).

method.vtheatre.net

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Russian & Soviet Theatre (Rudnitzki) *

Summary

Questions

2005: Total Acting & Total Directing *

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* one act fest

* Monologue Study Pages: PreActing, Biomechanics, Method, BMplus *

Notes

M. Chekhov -- Acting One: Fundamentals
2007 --

Chekhov on DVD

Chekhov Books

Chekhov Plays

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3 Sisters, Character Study

Chekhov - Playscript Analysis
Many monologues are missing! Try filmplus.com/a (act.vtheatre.net or method.vtheatre.net)!

If you read Andrey I, you understand the task: if this is a comedy monologue, I have to laugh. Drama -- to cry. The best is both.

If I don't, you didn't get me, you can't have any good grade.

Do you know what is comic hero? No? You will have hard time working on your monologue, because what is comedy was describe by prof. Aristotle twenty three centuries ago. Do you want to rediscover it by yourself? Good luck.

Get some theatre classes, or maybe even a degree. I am dead serious. You think that you can compete with the millions for a few good roles? You better get ready. You better learn how to get ahead of them. Save yourself time/money/blood -- learn from the others, who alreaqdy spent their time/money/blood studying how to do it. Chekhov, for one. Me or Aristotle. There is a lot of time/money/blood behind this thing which we call Theatre History...

You have no idea how complicated this subject is -- ACTING.

You are young and you will get old before you know. Innocence could become ignorance, and ignorance -- arrogance... Next? And you are a loser.

Actor is a ephitomy of being alive and being human. Symbol? Oh, the pain of the stage is enourmous. This is not only pain, but the hundrends watching you -- they have to courage and knowledge how to be alive, how to express themselves... Be mercifull, they paid to see the miracle -- you. They are here to witness that it is possible -- to be alive.

...

Read the character exploration at the 3sis Forum! Archive. And read the play (online in PLAYS directory)!

3sisters
CyberChekhov
I didn't have time to break each line into micro-structure (key words, pauses -- /, //, /// and etc.)

Stages of Analysis:

Play analysis
Character Analysis

Monologue Study:
Dramatic Composition (Exposition, Climax, Resolution)
Line-by-line analysis

See Andrey1 first. The Three Drafts.

Remember the subtitle "Director's Recipes for Method Actor"? So, like in TV cooking shows, I'm to jump to Draft Four, but first -- the Chekhov's text. Use the copy and paste, to start your work on the original text. Retype it, so you can keep editing on your computer.

Did you do the floor plan? Show it to me.

Justify your main dramatic breakdown: exposition, climax, resolution.

You can't go for the next stage without completing the previous ones. Trust me, you will be wasting your time. If you couldn't find the answers, it's okay to leave some blank places, but write a list of your PROBLEMS (list of things to do).

Becoming and Being

Being is always Becoming. In order for you to BECOME Andrey, you have to continue the process. You know what Stanislavsky did to his actors -- he forced them to write letters "in character" and keep diaries (as characters). So I do the same -- we use "Improvization for the Character" to develop roles. We put scripts away and actors must improvise their own texts. Sometimes (later stage) we bring the characters into new situations (like, they meet ten or twenty years later) -- to test the ROLES, to see, if you got it strong enough to survive the non-scripted episodes.

BTW, what is your master-prop for the scene?

Make the font bigger, as I did. You will be using the text (page) on your feet!

5Ws -- WHEN:

Period -- 1900? Today? Directorial concept.

Season -- winter, fall, summer?

Time of the day -- morning, midnight?

Day of the week -- Sunday is different from Friday, right?

Special holiday?


WHY?

The famous "motivation"!

Why does your character does it, why does he say it!

WHAT?

"What" does take place? Andrey is not just "talking" -- what are the changes take place right now, everything will be different after THAT ACTION (monologue).

Is it a goodbye to himself, his sisters, his dreams?

Did you established the addresses? You can't answer 5Ws without knowing who and when is talking to: again, God, sisters, the town people, himself in the past, present? How to show it?

Andrey #2, Character Study, 3 Sisters
http://groups-beta.google.com/group/acting2/web/monologue
If you read first "character study" page (Andrey, monologue study), you understand that in order to develope Actor's Text (role), we have to go through several drafts. Most of the "3 Sisters" pages are in the production notes directory, but some character analysis pages you can see in the main shows.vtheatre.net directory.

ANDREY

What's become of my past, when I was young, happy, and clever, when my dreams and thoughts were exquisite, when my present and my past were lighted up by hope? Why on the very threshold of life do we become dull, drab, uninteresting, lazy, indifferent, useless, unhappy?... Our town has been in existence for two hundred years -- there are a hundred thousand people living in it; and there's not one who's not like the rest, not one saint in the past, or the present, not one man of learning, not one artist, not one man in the least remarkable who could inspire envy or a passionate desire to imitate him... They only eat, drink, sleep, and then die... others are born, and they also eat and drink and sleep, and not to be bored to stupefaction they vary their lives by nasty gossip, vodka, cards, litigation; and the wives deceive their husbands, and the husbands tell lies and pretend that they see and hear nothing, and an overwhelmingly vulgar influence crushes the children, and the divine spark is quenched in them and they become the same sort of pitiful, dead creatures, all exactly alike, as their fathers and mothers... The present is hateful, but when I think of the future, it's so nice! I feel so light-hearted, so free. A light dawns in the distance, I see freedom. I see how I and my children will become free from sloth, from beer, from goose and cabbage, from naps after dinner, from mean, parasitic living... [in a rush of tender feeling]. My dear sisters, my wonderful sisters! [Through tears] Masha, my sister!
... Which style of breakdown to use? You can use the NUMBERING.


Draft Four

ANDREY

Preacting: Entrance Stage Business, LS, MS, CU

1. What's become of MY past, when I was young, happy, and clever,

2. when my DREAMS and THOUGHTS were exquisite,

3. when my present and my past were lighted up by HOPE?

4. Why on the VERY threshold of life do we become dull, drab, uninteresting, lazy, indifferent, useless, unhappy?...

5. Our town has been in existence for two hundred years

6. -- there are a hundred thousand people living in it; and there's not one who's not like the rest,

7. not one saint in the past, or the present,

8. not one man of learning,

9. not one artist, not one man in the least remarkable who could inspire envy or a passionate desire to imitate him...

10. They only eat, drink, sleep, and then die... others are born, and they also eat and drink and sleep, and not to be bored to stupefaction they vary their lives by nasty gossip, vodka, cards, litigation; and the wives deceive their husbands, and the husbands tell lies and pretend that they see and hear nothing, and an overwhelmingly vulgar influence crushes the children, and the divine spark is quenched in them and they become the same sort of pitiful, dead creatures, all exactly alike, as their fathers and mothers...

11. The present is HATEFUL,

12. but when I think of the FUTURE, / it's so NICE!

13. I feel so light-hearted, / so free.

14. A light dawns in the distance, I see freedom.

15. I see how I and my children will become free from sloth, from beer, from goose and cabbage, from naps after dinner, from mean, parasitic living...

16. [in a rush of tender feeling]. My dear sisters, my wonderful sisters!

17. [Through tears] Masha, my sister!

Did you notice the counter-point (extreme case of subtext -- counter-text)? He cries, when he talks about feeling the future -- the action is stronger that words, he cry because it will never take place, his dreams.

I am not sure about #10, maybe it could be said like one sentence, when Andrey runs about breath and anger. (You have to have your OWN performance design). If could more or less that 17 stage sentences. I hope you understand that what we are doing is the mental preporartion and you do NOT have to memorize your own blkocking! If you keep working on it and getting somewhere, you memorize it without even noticing it!


Listen, everything on stage is POETRY! Every move, every change! You are the poet!


Draft Five

ANDREY

Preacting: Entrance Stage Business, LS, MS, CU

1. What's become of MY past, when I was young, happy, and clever,

2. when my DREAMS and THOUGHTS were exquisite,

3. when my present and my past were lighted up by HOPE?

4. Why on the VERY threshold of life do we become dull, drab, uninteresting, lazy, indifferent, useless, unhappy?...

5. Our town has been in existence for two hundred years

6. -- there are a hundred thousand people living in it; and there's not one who's not like the rest,

7. not one saint in the past, or the present,

8. not one man of learning,

9. not one artist, not one man in the least remarkable who could inspire envy or a passionate desire to imitate him...

10. They only eat, drink, sleep, and then die... others are born, and they also eat and drink and sleep, and not to be bored to stupefaction they vary their lives by nasty gossip, vodka, cards, litigation; and the wives deceive their husbands, and the husbands tell lies and pretend that they see and hear nothing, and an overwhelmingly vulgar influence crushes the children, and the divine spark is quenched in them and they become the same sort of pitiful, dead creatures, all exactly alike, as their fathers and mothers...

11. The present is HATEFUL,

12. but when I think of the FUTURE, / it's so NICE!

13. I feel so light-hearted, / so free.

14. A light dawns in the distance, I see freedom.

15. I see how I and my children will become free from sloth, from beer, from goose and cabbage, from naps after dinner, from mean, parasitic living...

16. [in a rush of tender feeling]. My dear sisters, my wonderful sisters!

17. [Through tears] Masha, my sister!

[Exit. It's a process, your business, even if the stage goes dark. You have to make THEM cry. If they don't, you failed. Yes, yes, you can do it. Trust me, the text is good. If you are good, they will cry. This is the THEIR moment to REACT, their TEXT, their time to ACT. "Exit" is a must. Call it "PostActing"! They, the public MUST remember your Andrey, the last picture must imprinted in their minds for the rest of their lives. You have to "get" -- and then, when they open their programs again, who that, who played Andrey? You see, this fictional Andrey will make you a star. You can't do it without him. You gave him live -- and he will hive the fame.]

Do you remember the VISUALIZATION and PHYSICALIZATION? What is your master jesture for this role? (Go back to the check-list).

Only after we find some shape for your role, we can go to the SCENE STUDIES. Sometimes, I jump ahead, if the parners, can help each other, but then we have to go back to the monologues. First, I recommend to go after after the key monologue for each character ("moment of thruth"). Than you can explore the other monologues. Again, if it doesn't work for you, get other monologues of the character and try to crack them. It doesn't matter how you GET the role, where you can enter the character, but the climatic monologue for your character must be in place before we can seriously run the scenes. So, you do have your deadlines, my friend.


Summary

MONOLOGUE IS A MINI-SCENE.

Working on monologue must include the genre; I talk about it using "The Importance of Being Earnet" by Oscar Wilde -- the comedy.

Questions

Are there more "drafts" than five? Do as many as you need.

Homework

Select other monologue and do the five drafts.

Notes

Use video camera, but for the "acting for the camera" (it's different technique). Pretend that this is the audience. You know how to do it, you are actor.
Next: Masha?
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