Class 10
Monday, January 27, 2020

Course Summary

  • Research Projects
  • Scenes

Warm-up (20 min)

  • Game
  • Vowel warm-ups
  • How many A’s or a vowel game (with words?)
  • Freeze (10 minutes)

Speechwork (70 min)

  • Alliteration
  • Assonance & Rhyme
  • Consonance
  • Rhetoric
    • REPETITION (words and phrases)
    • Imagery
    • Metaphor
    • Simile
    • Comparison
    • Antithesis
    • Personification
    • Juxtaposition
    • Contradiction/Paradox
    • This and That
    • This, that and another
    • Lists
    • Parenthesis 
    • Irony
    • Puns and other wordplay
    • Onomatopoeia

Juliane – Cleopatra

  • Rhyming couplet
  • Pause

Brooklyn – Paulina (Consonants)

  • List, complex
  • Irony
  • Hyperbole
  • Consonance: Studied torments tyrant hast for me?
  • Alliteration: More monstrous, cleft the heart that could concieve…
  • Assonance: The queen, the queen, the dears’t, sweet’st creature’s dead.
  • Repetition of idea: Nothing

Yanming – Henry V

  • Imagery
  • Repetition (once more, on)

Keisha – Luciana

  • Rhyme
  • Parenthesis
  • Antithesis: open, close

Emma – Joan

  • Imagery
  • Stakes?
  • Action to the word, the word to the action

Sydney C. – Helena

  • Antithesis
    • One, Two
    • Women, Men
  • Rhyme

Time Permitting

  • Walking the line.

Warm-Up (15) by Josh Meredith

Character Effort Workout – A thing to do (10 min)

Presentations: 5 or 6 (50-60 minutes)

  • Matthew H. (Macbeth)
    • Metaphor (candle, life…)
    • Imagery
    • Consonants (l’s vs. b’s)
    • Repetition
      • Beard to beard
      • Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow
    • April (Juliet – clock)
      • Taking time for the thought journey – this is a less subtle one.
      • Imagery
      • Metaphor
      • Antithesis/Comparison/Juxtaposition
        • Old folks vs. Young bloods
      • Rhyme:
        • Dead, Lead
      • Slow vs fast
      • Line one: NNNNNNNN
      • O, and vowels
        • Is three long ho-urs, yet she is not come.
        • Alternate: She would be as swift in motion as a ball
    • Kalie (Richard II)
      • This and that (paste and cover, flesh and blood, struts and frets, sound and fury, famine and the ague, affections and warm, youthful blood, wise saws and modern instances, exits and entrances)
      • This, that, and another (our lands and our lives and all; monarchize, be feared, and kill with looks;)
      • LISTS: Four or more! Stress from within
      • Sounds to link: Bolingbroke to bones, Ing, C/K from comfort to can/king, from crown to castle/king
      • PAUSE:
        • I live with bread
      • Slow down for discoveries/decisions:
        • Lots of monosyllabic words in the latter part of the the long thought 8, slow down, might help with discoveries (loose term)
      • Colons and semi-colons: I could stop now, but I have more to say (thought 8)
    • Amy (Viola)
      • Discovery workout
      • Decision!
      • Use breath!
      • Questions give you something to do!
    • Isabella (Rosalind)
      • Simile – like foggy south, puffing with wind and rain?
      • Class: the vertical – the hierarchy
      • Parenthesis – as by my faith I see no more in you than without candle may
      • Playing the man!

85 minutes leaves 15 minutes for sound exercises.

  • Alliteration
  • Assonance
  • Consonance
  • Onomatopoeia
  • Rhyme

Imagery & Metaphor

  • Macbeth

Sound exploration:

  • Talking to an object
  • Tip toes for alliteration
  • Elongated the vowels
  • Vowels only also
  • Consonants only
  • (Mouthing silently
  • Line)

 

EXERCISES

  • Speaking to an object (Houseman)
  • Switching speeches to experience the long and the short
  • Speaking lines with the qualities
  • Effort workout

Time permitting: hidden stage directions implied in the text.

Alliteration: 1. The commencement of adjacent or closely connected words with the same sound or letter; an instance of this; spec. (in Old and Middle English and other Germanic poetry) the commencement of certain accented syllables of a verse with the same consonant or consonantal group, or with any vowel sounds.

Assonance: 1. Resemblance or correspondence of sound between two words or syllables. 2.a) Prosody. The correspondence or rhyming of one word with another in the accented vowel and those which follow, but not in the consonants, as used in the versification of Old French, Spanish, Celtic, and other languages.

Consonance: 1. Correspondence of sounds in words or syllables; recurrence of the same or like sounds, e.g. in a verse,

CLASS

Announcements

  • Scene choices: 1 approved Zoe and Amy are doing As You Like It.
  • Check-in consent to touch

Clear the room

Grounding: Group Grounding

Impulse Circle

Machine.

Tag

                                                                                                                                                           

Space Substance: (5 min)

A EXPLORATION

Large group (no audience necessary).

Move around the stage, giving substance to space as they go.

  • They are not to feel or present space as though it were a known material (water, mud, molasses, etc.) but are to explore it as a totally new and unknown substance.
  • Move through the substance and make contact with it.
  • Don’t give it a name – it is what it is!
  • Use your whole body to make contact! Feel it against your cheeks!  Your nose! Your knees!  Your hips!  Let it (space) feel you!
  • If players tend to use hand only, have them keep their arms close to their bodies so as to move as a single mass.
  • Push the substance around.
  • Explore it!
  • You never felt it before.
  • Make a tunnel!
  • Move back into the space your body has shaped.
  • Shake it up!
  • Make the substance fly.
  • Stir it up!
  • Make it ripple.

SUPPORT AND EFFORT

  • Let the space substance support you.
  • Lean on it.
  • Rest on it.
  • Let it hold your head.
  • Your chin.
  • Your arms.
  • Your eyeballs.
  • Your upper lip, etc. [82]

After the players are in motion and responding to the problem, give a new understanding to the space substance they are contacting.

SIDE COACHING: You are holding yourself up.  You would fly into a thousand pieces if you quit holding yourself up. You are hanging on to your arms.  Your mouth.  Your forehead. (Call out the various parts of the body that the students hold rigid.)  Now have the students go back to having the space substance “support” them.  Change back and forth until the student actors obviously feel the difference.  While calling out parts of the body, help the students to release the muscle holds. (One student who customarily had a tight expression on his face that gave him what might be called a “mean” look first became aware of his rigidity through this exercise.

EVALUATION:

To players: how did you feel when space was supporting you? When you were your own support?

To audience: did you notice a difference between support and no support in the way the players walked and looked.

POINTS OF OBSERVATION:

When players hold themselves together, are their own gravity line, so to speak, some shrink up, some seem to be afraid of falling, while others appear anxious, lonely, and still others look aggressive. In fact, many “character qualities” appear.  When, on the other hand, the players lean on space, an expansion and fullness can be noted as they move through the environment.  Smiling faces, peacefulness, and an air of gentleness appear.  It is as if they know the environment will support them if they allow it to.

“Put your signature in space” is a good side-coaching remark to place the player in the environment. The object is for the player to leave a mark in space – a footprint, the outline of his head, etc. – and then see that mark.

TOUCH AND BE TOUCHED/SEE AND BE SEEN

SIDE COACHING:

  • Allow the space to flow through you and you flow through the space.
  • Allow your mind to flow through your brain.
  • Allow your sight to flow through your eye.
  • Allow the space to flow through you and your fellow player.
  • Take a ride on your own body and view the scenery around you.
  • Touch an object in the pace – a tree, a cup, a piece of clothing, a chair.
  • When you touch the object, fell it, allow it to touch (feel) you! (vary objects).
  • Touch a fellow player and allow your fellow player to touch you. Touch and be touched! (vary players).
  • Flow through the space and allow the space to flow through you and your fellow players. See an object. The moment you really see it, allow the object to see you! (vary objects).
  • See a fellow player. Allow the fellow player to see you.
  • Look full face at your fellow player and occlude: do not see him or let yourself be seen.
  • Change! See and be seen.
  • Repeat several times. Vary players.

POINTS OF OBSERVATION:

Remember to keep players moving and to allow time between each side coaching. Was it difficult to allow yourself to be touched… to be seen?  Avoid analysis.

Walk into your character based on how much lighter, heavier, more direct, more indirect, more sudden or more sustained they are than you.

 

Rhythm Workout

Apart from exploring any rhythms which are alien to you and working with the emotions, as suggested above, it is a good idea to play with all the rhythms regularly so that it becomes easy to access them and to switch from one to another.

When you are playing with rhythms it is important to go back to the chart and check the weight, flow and focus so that you know the rhythms are precise.

Here is my suggestion for a regular rhythm workout.

  • Take each rhythm and begin to move in that rhythm, ensuring that the weight, flow and focus are accurate.  Have the chart on hand so you can easily check.
  • Work with your whole body committing to the rhythm you are exploring completely and with great ease.
  • Once you have worked on each rhythm individually then alternate between them.
  • Alternate slowly at first so that you are sure that you are getting accurate shifts of weight, flow and focus.
  • Then, speed up so that you can change swiftly between the rhythms without losing accuracy.

Working in this way will give you a great deal of flexibility – physically, mentally and vocally – and it will help you access those characters whose rhythms are radically different from yours.

 

SIDE COACHING

  • Exaggerate or Extend – make it bigger
  • Minimize – make it smaller
  • Elongate – make it last longer
  • Shorten – make it slower

PRESS:

  • Heavy, Sustained, and Direct.
  • Action: press against a wall, table, or other surface.
  • Derivative Actions: crush, cut, squeeze.
  • Note the qualities: its weight, the fact that you can do it continuously without interruption, that your focus is direct.

PUNCH:

  • Heavy, Sudden, and Direct
  • Gateway Actions: as if punching a punching bag, shadow boxing.
  • Derivative Actions: shove, kick, poke.
  • Notice the qualities: its weight, the fact that you must stop and start again with each movement, that your focus is direct.

WRING: 

  • Heavy, Sustained, and Indirect.
  • Gateway Actions: wringing your hands, wringing water out of wet laundry, twisting your body or limbs
  • Derivative Actions: pull, pluck, stretch.
  • Note the qualities: its weight, the fact that you can do it continuously without interruption, that your focus is scattered or less direct.

SLASH:

  • Heavy, Sudden, and Indirect
  • Gateway Actions: slashing repeatedly to the side first with one arm then the next, as if defending from an attack; using your arms to splash water on people.
  • Derivative Actions: beat, throw, whip.
  • Notice the qualities: its weight, the fact that you must stop and start again with each movement, that your focus is scattered or less direct.

GLIDE:

  • Light, Sustained, and Direct.
  • Gateway Actions: stretch your arms out to each side, shoulder level, shoulder blades relaxed, and move like a gliding plane, or as if skating in long strides.
  • Derivative Actions: smooth, smear, smudge.
  • Notice the qualities: its lightness, the fact that you can do it continuously without interruption, that your focus is direct.

DAB: 

  • Light, Sudden, and Direct
  • Gateway Actions: as if dabbing a stain on your favourite shirt or carpet, dabbing paint on a canvas, cleaning a very delicate piece of crystal
  • Derivative Actions: pat, tap, shake.
  • Notice the qualities: its lightness, the fact that you must stop and start again with each movement, that your focus is direct.

FLOAT:

  • Light, Sustained, and Indirect.
  • Gateway Actions: as if you’re a piece of paper, a leaf, or a plastic bag delicately blown around by the wind.
  • Derivative Actions: strew, stir, stroke.
  • Note the qualities: its lightness, the fact that you can do it continuously without interruption, that your focus is scattered or less direct.

FLICK:

  • Light, Sudden, and Indirect
  • Gateway Actions: as if flicking Crokinole pieces, or a fly off the rim of your wine glass, or lint or fluff off your favourite sweater.
  • Derivative Actions: flip, flap, jerk.
  • Notice the qualities: its lightness, the fact that you must stop and start again with each movement, that your focus is scattered or less direct.

SIDE Coaching:

  • Exaggerate
  • Minimize
  • Elongate
  • Shorten

 

EXPLORING YOUR CHARACTER’S RHYTHMS PHYSICALLY

 

This stage allows you to take the rhythm work further by physically exploring the rhythms you have chosen for your character and what clues they give you about the character’s external and internal movement.

Start by taking each of the character rhythms individually and exploring it physically, ensuring that you are committing fully to the specific combination of weight, flow, and focus of that rhythm.

Then, move between the different character rhythms exploring how they work together.

Rest for a while and consider what you have learnt about the character and the way he/she moves, thinks, feels, etc. Make notes or draw images if that is helpful to you.

Then, return to the strong physical exploration of these three rhythms and begin to speak the text, shifting from one rhythm to the next as feels instinctively appropriate.

Always keep the choice of which rhythm you use for which part of the text free, rather than setting it in any way. You are simply exploring possibilities: “What if these were the rhythms I used?”

Working with rhythms is particularly useful when you have to play more than one character.

First, establish the rhythms for each character.

Then, look for the main differences in rhythm between each of the characters you are playing.

Focus on these differences and explore them physically.

Then, still working physically, practice switching from one character to another, slightly exaggerating the rhythmic differences.

As always, this is exploratory work, which you then allow to take care of itself once you are back in rehearsals and performance.

 

 

SPEECH WORK

Jordan (Soliloquy: audience)

  • Urgency: to make a decision
  • Problem worked through
  • Quite regular
  • Quite end-stopped
  • Variation of thought length; longest at the end
  • Variation mostly in stresses
  • Alliteration
  • Support for argument
  • Discoveries, Decision

Alyssa (Soliloquy: day, night, audience)

  • Day is personified
  • Night is personified
  • Quite regular except for the runaways eyes line which could be 10-12
  • Almost all things become regular if Ro in Romeo is indulged.
  • Beating heart, ticking clock? Galloping hoofs?
  • A few midline thoughts, breaking down in parts?
  • Thoughts are a mix of length
  • Long thought is the orgasmic one
  • Underlying Action: Waiting

Mackenzie (Speech; King, Court, the gods or all, or Apollo possibly)

  • List
  • Structure
  • Even regularity vs irregularity
  • Mostly medium length but short and long
  • One long, “I am barred like one infectious. My third comfort”
  • Breaking down after the long thoughts (exhaustion)

Matthew C. (Speech: Duke, et al.)

  • List
  • Improvisation, selling and idea
  • 2 part structure
  • Metaphor, Simile, Imagery
  • Irregularity early on, later less so
  • Thoughts become midline after the first one until the end
  • His acts being seven ages. At first the infant
  • Jealous in honour Sudden and quick in quarrel
  • In fair round belly with good capon lined
  • Is second childishness and mere oblivion

Miranda T. (Speech/Soliloquy: Nurse, Romeo, Audience, Tears, Nurse)

  • Problem
  • Figuring out her feelings
  • Assonance and consonance, with possible emotional stage directions
  • Quite regular
  • Romeo is banished: to speak that word / Is father mother, Tybalt, Romeo, Juliet
  • It starts to break out at the realizations, when she lets herself go
  • Mid line also begins as she gets closer to the ends.
  • Toght length medium and short. Longest is “Or if sour woe…might have mov’d?”

Miranda M. (Speech: Desdemona)

  • Argument
  • Prose for first thought
  • Then verse: why? (tonal difference)
  • Examples of faults, we have a right to revenge (emotional)
  • Compare to show no difference (reason here)
  • Rhetorical questions (reason)

Basics: Projection, articulation, grounding, stance

Impulse to speak

Scansion/metre and thought ends.

Phrasing pronunciation

Stakes/urgency/energy

Specificity

Journey

Responsiveness, in the moment…

Objectives:

Soliloquys                            Speeches                                         Both

Kaylee (Julia)                       Matthew C. (Jaques)                       Matthew H. (Macbeth)

Maria (Hamlet)                     Isabella (Rosalind)                          Miranda T. (Juliet)

Alyssa (Juliet)                       Caroline (Antipholus of S.)

Amy (Viola)                           Miranda M. (Emilia)

Shayla (Petruchio)              Zoe (Helena)

April (Juliet)                          Mackenzie (Hermione)

Jordan (Helena)                  Anika (Ariel)

Kalie (Richard II)

Sound exploration

  • Vowels only
  • Consonants only
  • Mouthing silently
  • Line

EXERCISES

  • Speaking to an object (Houseman)
  • Sit with a plant or lamp in front of you. The plant or lamp represents the person you are talking to in the speech.  This helps you to talk rather than act [see notes on this in the previous chapter].
  • Look at  the first phrase on the page – that is, up to the first punctuation mark. Give yourself time to absorb it.
  • Then, look up and register the plant or lamp before you speak, as if you are taking a moment to connect with the person it represents.
  • Then, speak the phrase really wanting to communicate it.
  • At the end of the phrase, pause for a moment as it to check that that phrase has been registered by the person you are talking to.
  • Continue through the whole speech in this way, taking the time to absorb each phrase, to look up and connect, to communicate and to check that what you have said has been received.

Note: For this exercise the lines may be temporarily broken up so that you can connect with each phrase. In later exercises, however, we will look at flowing each line through.

  • Switching speeches to experience the long and the short

Move to Efforts: (15 minutes)

For the purpose of further exploration of the 8 Laban Efforts, here they are for your reference.

  • Gateway Actions are ways “in” to these efforts; they generally start with your hands and arms, but you are encouraged to explore the efforts with as much of your body as you can.
  • Derivative Actions are Laban’s own extension of his analysis. Feel free to explore these as well.
  • Note the qualities: as you explore each one, take some time to note the aspects of the effort, partly to make sure that your exploration is maintaining them, as well as to note the differences between each effort.

PRESS: Heavy, Sustained, and Direct.

  • Action: press against a wall, table, or other surface.
  • Derivative Actions: crush, cut, squeeze.
  • Note the qualities: its weight, the fact that you can do it continuously without interruption, that your focus is direct.

PUNCH: Heavy, Sudden, and Direct

  • Gateway Actions: as if punching a punching bag, shadow boxing.
  • Derivative Actions: shove, kick, poke.
  • Notice the qualities: its weight, the fact that you must stop and start again with each movement, that your focus is direct.

WRING: Heavy, Sustained, and Indirect.

  • Gateway Actions: wringing your hands, wringing water out of wet laundry, twisting your body or limbs
  • Derivative Actions: pull, pluck, stretch.
  • Note the qualities: its weight, the fact that you can do it continuously without interruption, that your focus is scattered or less direct.

SLASH: Heavy, Sudden, and Indirect

  • Gateway Actions: slashing repeatedly to the side first with one arm then the next, as if defending from an attack; using your arms to splash water on people.
  • Derivative Actions: beat, throw, whip.
  • Notice the qualities: its weight, the fact that you must stop and start again with each movement, that your focus is scattered or less direct.

GLIDE: Light, Sustained, and Direct.

Gateway Actions: stretch your arms out to each side, shoulder level, shoulder blades relaxed, and move like a gliding plane, or as if skating in long strides.Derivative Actions: smooth, smear, smudge.Notice the qualities: its lightness, the fact that you can do it continuously without interruption, that your focus is direct.

DAB: Light, Sudden, and Direct

  • Gateway Actions: as if dabbing a stain on your favourite shirt or carpet, dabbing paint on a canvas, cleaning a very delicate piece of crystal
  • Derivative Actions: pat, tap, shake.
  • Notice the qualities: its lightness, the fact that you must stop and start again with each movement, that your focus is direct.

FLOAT: Light, Sustained, and Indirect.

  • Gateway Actions: as if you’re a piece of paper, a leaf, or a plastic bag delicately blown around by the wind.
  • Derivative Actions: strew, stir, stroke.
  • Note the qualities: its lightness, the fact that you can do it continuously without interruption, that your focus is scattered or less direct.

FLICK: Light, Sudden, and Indirect

  • Gateway Actions: as if flicking Crokinole pieces, or a fly off the rim of your wine glass, or lint or fluff off your favourite sweater.
  • Derivative Actions: flip, flap, jerk.
  • Notice the qualities: its lightness, the fact that you must stop and start again with each movement, that your focus is scattered or less direct.

Play with speeches

Read speeches

Have a group behind to make sounds.

Do the length of speech exercise.

Break into groups:

1 A lot of short thoughts

2 A lot of long thoughts

3 Roughly equal.

Swithc spots

John Gielgud:

Look at your speech: divide it into sections:

What happens from one of these to the next?

  1. Blocking directions inferred from the lines. Be on the lookout for these!
  • Obvious: Nay come, Kate come; you must not look so sour. Why do you start, and seem to fear things that do sound so fair?
  • Subtle: Out damn spot! I come Graymalkin!
  • Very subtle: Why does the world report that Kate doth limp?
  • Interpretive: Discoverable
  • This could also apply to other playwrights. There is a school of thought that says that if you have a lot of stage directions, you’re not writing well enough.
  1. Length of thoughts
  • This could apply to anything too.
  • What does it feel like to have a lot of long thoughts
  • You can’t say anything definitive about it, but there are definitely things it’s saying.
  • Count your thoughts. Divide into groups: 5 or less.  5-10. 10 or more.
  • Observe where the thoughts start. Thoughts that begin mid-line are often a sign of unease or instability in the character’s processes.
  • Notice how long thoughts have more emotional flow, while shorter thoughts are relatively hard and tight.
  1. Kinds of thoughts:
  • Simple (short)
  • Complex (longer, lots of colons, semi colons)
  • Exclamation points – think deeper rather than louder
  • Question marks – even if it is a rhetorical question, ask the question like you need an answer from the person to whom you’re speaking
  • Dash (em dash) – cut off, redirect (something happens during the dash to set you on another course of thinking!)
  1. Iambic pentameter (regular vs. irregular)

Make sure everyone knows what a syllable is.

  • Regular lines:
    • In sooth, I know not why I am so sad.
    • The quality of mercy is not strained
  • Regular lines that could be treated as irregular
    • If music be the food of love
    • Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day
  • Lines with weak endings
    • To be or not to be, that is the question
  • Irregular lines:
    • O for a muse of fire that would ascend | The brightest heaven of invention
    • Now entertain conjecture of a time

Find versions of these in your own speeches

Thump the floor

What do you think it might mean?

Beats –

Objectives

Given circumstnaces

Today

From:

Dividing

Some exercises:

Walking the thought

Walking the punctuation

Good for memorizing: three times through

Physicalizing every word

Sound out the sounds…

Stepping stones.

Reaching the focus.

Everybody read their speeches (3 x 17 = 52 minutes) or 1 hour.

Procedure
Attendance and Announcements
  • TBA
  • TBA
  • TBA

TIME

1:00 pm
1:05 pm
5 minutes
105 minutes remaining

Warm-Up
Focus on Breath
  • This standing warm-up will continue to focus on breath
  • It will further focus attention on the ribs and allowing them to expand

TIME

1:05 pm
1:20 pm
15 minutes
90 minutes remaining

Exercise
Grounding Exercise
  • The tip-toe diver grounding exercise
  • Other exercises if time permits

TIME

1:20 pm
1:25 pm
5 minutes
85 minutes remaining

Game
Chopper
  • The tip-toe diver grounding exercise
  • Other exercises if time permits

TIME

1:25 pm
1:30 pm
5 minutes
80 minutes remaining

Practice
Entrance and Exit
  • The entrance and exit exercise
  • 5 minutes to explain
  • 15 minutes to work on it

TIME

1:30 pm
1:50 pm
20 minutes
60 minutes remaining

Practice
Speech Work
  • We get to know our speeches the Cicely Berry way

TIME

1:50 pm
2:35 pm
45 minutes
15 minutes remaining

Handout
Speech Written Assignment
  • Hand out and review the speech assignment

TIME

2:35 pm
2:50 pm
15 minutes
0 minutes remaining

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