As part of the creation process, it’s always a good idea to keep a journal of some description. Usually I keep mine scrawled on napkins and across a thousand notes that I constantly use, so from here on in I’m going to blog about it. Who knows, it may even make a useful resource for someone one day.
This was our first day in workshops with Elena, our Russian director of our first big assessment piece; Anton Chekhov‘s “Three Sisters”.
I’ve been looking forward to sitting in on the workshops as Elena had described her process as being rather different from anything else that I’ve worked with. She’s right too.
Most productions begin by dealing with and analysis the text to be performed. So rehearsals are in fact read-throughs for the first week or so. Once the actors have gained some proficiency with the text we move onto blocking, introducing other elements, exploring relationships and gradually it starts looking more like a production.
With Elena we began by exploring motion and emotion.
Every movement has some form of emotive quality driving it. This emotion aids communication, driving the physicality that allows the subtext to be read by the audience. As well as the literal text of course.
Elena pointed out that “communication happens on a variety of levels. Emotional. Psychological”, which was a real light bulb moment for several of the actors. You could see it in their slightly puzzled expressions followed by the classic “derp, why hadn’t I thought of that” frown.
At least they took it on board. Continue reading