STP Journal #3:
As of right now, I'm having trouble deciding on an aspect of Grotowski's theatre to emulate in my performance, a convention. Although I like him very much, if I prove unable to find a proper convention to portray by the end of tomorrow's theatre class, I may have to decide on someone else who has more readily available, obvious conventions. I like the vocal and emotional elements of Grotowski's theatre, which is why I would like to use him as my theatre theorist, but if that ultimately proves to be too much, I may have to give him up and do Stanislavsky or someone similar. Another thing that is sort of up in the air is my decision on whether or not I will be writing my own piece, or if I'm going to use somebody else's monologue. I think that it really depends on who I chose as my theorist, so I may not know until after winter break. Right now, I am researching Grotowski in the ways that I am able to, which unfortunately is somewhat limited at the moment.
STP Journal #2:
At this point, I have not yet chosen my theatre theorist. However, I am heavily leaning toward Grotowski as a theorist. I like Artaud as well, and would perhaps consider choosing him, but I believe he has been used a lot. That, and, I do have a slight preference for Grotowski's theatre. I think that I will probably end up choosing him. I find his theatrical philosophy of getting past personal barriers and being left in vulnerability is quite admirable. I think it allows a more personal level of raw emotion that other theatre may not be able to match up to. What first tipped my favor in Grotowski's direction was the video of a piece based on his theory that we watched for last week's journal. I liked this piece more than everyone else's, because to me it had a very nice balance of surrealism and emotion. Sometimes in surrealist theatre, emotion can be sort of removed. For example, Brecht's theory of alienation is an effective form of surrealism, but it can be stale sometimes because the point is to be unusual and unlike the audience, who is, doubtlessly, full of emotion. In Grotowski's theatre, you get the best of both worlds, as an actor is able to channel surrealism through emotion instead.
STP Journal #1: Theater Theorists
Stanislavski: Method acting
This piece is quite haunting, and while it's artistic elements are beautiful and unique, it does make me somewhat concerned for the actress. She had to use Stanislavski's method of putting yourself inside a character, to kind of become them off stage. The character she portrayed seemed anxious, sad, and somewhat mentally unstable. However, she also delivered a very eerie and believable performance by using the Stanislavski method.
Brook: Brook Method (simplicity)
The simplicity in this piece is not embodied in the set or the props or anything like that, but rather in how the manner of the main character haschanged. She herself is more childlike, and so it seems that the simplicity comes into playin the character's thought. This drastically changes the whole piece's message. In Stanislavski's, the girl was more jaded and mature and present. This current role seems to show a sense of innocence lost.
Brecht: Theatre of Alienation
In this piece, alienation is quite clear in its effect on the piece. This piece uses alienation to perhaps make it even more eerie than the Stanislavski piece. The main character seems to be telling a story, and she narrates many of her actions just before doing them. In addition to this, she repeats them an unusual amount of times, and her initial lines about the flowers are accompanied by music which comes from nowhere which, coming from a piece that seems otherwise very real and in the moment, creates a sort of surrealism that lingers throughout the piece.
This version of the piece is far more centered around physicality and voice. It starts with an uncomfortably long sequence of a shaking, jittering wail which sets the tone for the rest of the scene.Emotional boundaries are pushed as well in this video, and because the actress was able to overcome her own personal obstacles and revel in vulnerability, which serves to make this clip both entirely believable and very unsettling.
Artaud: Theater of Cruelty
This time around, the most notable change is the use of the fish as a main prop, one that serves to turn the entire piece into a work of surrealism. In this version, the words being spoken seem less like they are trying to communicate a thought, and more like they are trying to communicate a feeling. All of the staging is equally important to the uniqueness of this piece as well. It is difficult to tell if the viewer is supposed to be watching through the eyes of the fish, or if it is simply an angle used to achieve a level of absurdity common in theatre inspired by Artaud.