SF Day 5: Going forward

This post is going to be a very brief coda to the week’s blog thoughts (Day 1; Day 2; Day 3; Day 4), not least because the emphasis of the week has been about ways forward and absence of final products… So here’s more research-in-process…

On Saturday, reunited with the Company actors, we workshopped scenes in different ways and tried new avenues: switching performers for roles (for instance, Moll and Laxton); moving between an aggressive Clara crying “ran-tan-tan,” to a Clara hampered by a large dress fuming about her vestments…

Oh, I shall no more see those golden days, these clothes will never fadge with me: a O’ this filthy vardingale, this hip hap: brother why are women’s haunches only limited,  confined, hooped in, as it were with these same scurvy vardingales? (EMED)

… to working multiple ways of Evadne, Aspatia, and Amintor moving on stage (for instance, how does physical aggression and reactive horror work between an adult and a younger, teenage actor?).

The group working on The Lieutenant Nun explained how important it can be to return to ground zero on a scene, dialling back from extremes of character portrayal (including in gendered terms) towards a nuanced middle ground.  Their observations about how to negotiate subtlety when working over a period of several days with these characters raises the issue of “types” in the period’s drama (not between extremes of 1 and 10, as they put it, but in the “human middle”).  How might performers find within sixteenth- and seventeenth-century European dramatic characters a more three-dimensional, rounded, and embodied persona—one that allows them to bring their own lived experience into the role—even when the text contains cues for broad or stereotypical extremes?

We finished the day thinking about what we can take forward from the week in future PaR work and its dissemination and wider impacts on the theatre industry in and beyond Stratford and Canada.  These are huge topics that will be the subject of future bulletins from this project, on this site and elsewhere.

We’ll also have coming up video footage, interviews with scholars and actors, and some further material on gender and performance in workshop in the coming days, as well as content arising from Monday’s events at McMaster (24 September 2018)…

Callan

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