1.Shakespeare said: “All the world’s a stage, and all the people merely players . . . ” (AS YOU LIKE IT). In this discussion board, let’s discuss how we are actors in our everyday life.
2.Create a director’s concept forJoe Turner’s Come and Gone using the seven elements : themes, mood/atmosphere, overall look, character, virtual space, language/symbols, and time period. How do you envision the world of Seth’s boardinghouse?
Brook: Welcome back! These notes will cover the director. The director is the one who makes the entire process come together through imagination, cooperation, and leadership. With me – as always – is the man who understands none of these concepts: Dave.
Dave: I know lots about imagination. Sometimes, I like to pretend that I’m Prime Minister of my own country.
Brook: Is your vision complete with the nation in utter turmoil around you?
The Director is a Leader
Brook: The director of a production could best be described as its leader, though some might consider the director more of a chief collaborator. Everything that we see, hear, smell, or otherwise experience during a production is the responsibility of the director, no matter who directly carried it out. This means that anything positive that happens onstage – or even around it – is credited to the director, while anything negatively viewed becomes the director’s fault.
Dave: That’s not fair.
Brook: You’re right. It’s not.
Dave: Why is the director responsible for somebody else’s problems? People shouldn’t have to take blame for what other people do.
Brook: It’s called leadership, the place where the buck stops, and the moment you accept leadership, you accept responsibility for those you lead.
Dave: It’s just…it’s just not fair.
Brook: Just like that mysterious condition called life. Rough, isn’t it?
The Three C’s
Brook: Directors lead their productions in many ways, but I like to separate the director’s basic responsibilities into three basic types – the three C’s: conceptualization, communication, and captaincy.
Dave: They won’t let me sing Styx here, will they?
Brook: It doesn’t matter. I won’t.
Brook: The director’s first duty – conceptualization – requires the director to determine what his or her production will be “about.”
Dave: Like, the story?
Brook: A common misconception, even among critics, but no. A play is not about its story; rather, it’s story is about an idea or a theme. Plays always include themes in them. It’s in their nature. Every play ever written, no matter how wonderful or wonderfully awful, contains at least one theme, and the director’s first job – if he or she does the job – is to decide on which theme or themes the production in question will focus. The director then figures out how to physically represent these ideas on the stage, whether through tech and design or through performance. Once the director knows how the themes will come to life, the play has been conceptualized. To better illustrate this, Dave, I’m going to use you.
Brook: What is one idea that we’ve talked about so far?
Brook: Astute. Truly. But maybe…what is one specific idea that we talked about? I can think of a couple right now.
Dave: I said it’s not fair that directors have to-
Brook: Fairness. Good enough. Themes can usually be stated in only a few words, often only one. Now, name something that makes you think of fairness.
Dave: The scales.
Brook: The what?
Dave: The scales! You know! The scales of justice with that blindfolded lady.
Brook: Okay, so if we were to stage this conversation as a play, which will never happen in a just society, what’s one object that you would want to see dominating the stage?
Dave: Blindfolded people?
Brook: Scales maybe?
Dave: Indeed. Scales.
Brook: Congratulations! You just conceptualized a play that will never happen, but you have conceptualized.
Dave: I’m a director!
Brook: No, you’re not.
Brook: Next, the director has to communicate. Once the director knows what this particular production is about, it’s time to get everyone else involved in the production to understand the concept so that they can all base their works on that concept. The director has to figure out how to communicate the concept to the designers, the cast, the marketing department, the producers, the management staff, and – most importantly – the audience.
Dave: That’s easy. That’s just telling people what to do all the time.
Brook: It’s not that easy, Dave.
Dave: Is so! Talk, talk, talk…
Brook: In ways that people can understand an ethereal concept? This demands much of a director’s vocabulary, not to mention that a good director can adapt that vision to fit the various crafts of the theater.I good director understands how to communicate the same idea with lighting, set, actors, and managers via the language of each discipline, some of whom don’t work for the director.
Brook: This leads to captaincy. Ultimately, the director bears one ultimate responsibility – leadership,much like the captain of a ship, and just like that ship’s captain-
Dave: Can directors marry people?
Brook: Of course. They don’t take an oath of single-hood when they finish their MFA or-
Dave: Oh no, no! Can you go to a director to get married? Like a ship’s captain. I always dreamed of getting married on a crabbing boat, but a director could do it…on a crabbing boat!!!
Brook: They can’t do that. They’re like ship’s captains, but they are not ship’s captains.
Brook: But like…a ship’s captain, the director takes responsibility for every error and credit for every stroke of genius while ultimately surrendering control to the cast,managers, and technicians come opening night.Did you have trouble hearing pretty little Rebecca during Act Two? Yes, it is Rebecca’s fault, but it’s the director’s, too. Did you feel that the lighting in scene four was spectacular? Yep, the lighting designer did a great job, but that means that the director did, too. Directors provide leadership through the rehearsal process to keep the play moving in one direction.
Dave: So…without directors…actors would kind of wander aimlessly in front of castle backdrops in plays that happen in space while the posters outside are covered in hearts and stuff.
Brook: Okay, you really need to warn me before you have one of your suddenly accurate epiphanies. Can you do that?
Dave: Are you accusing me of having epiphanies? I am healthy.