Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 80. Monday, 15 February 1993.
Date: Monday, 15 Feb 93 10:35:51 CST
Subject: Re: More on Performance Criticism
>I doubt that there are infinite performance choices. Usually there are two or
>three ways in which a charater can be seen, more often two, just as there are
>in thinking or writing about a play critically.
Following Kay Stockholders posting, I find the actor in me screaming to
respond. The suggestion that there are only two or three basic ways to
play a character is akin to the suggestion that a composer ought to be able
to write a masterful symphony with two or three notes. The same idea goes
for Timothy Bowden's suggestion that actors stray because they are always
looking for something new. OF COURSE WE ARE!!!! Theatre is a performing
ART (I'd add more emphasis to that last word is I could get it through on
e-mail) by definition that means that we are engaged in the business of
communicating an artist's intentions. For the theatre, that means not only
old Will himself, but also the director, designers, actors, costumers, and
so on down to the person who pulls the curtain.
As actors, our choices are bound not only by what the text seems to say,
but also by the rules of the director's world as established in his/her
concept. Within those rules, we are able to do OUR art, finding things
that the text only intimates and that we find to be reasonable and
communicable in a meaningful way. Sometimes we succeed and are called
competent, sometimes we fail and are called incompetent(or worse). The
point being, none of us in the theatre would be doing art if there were
limits on the possibilities before the adventure begins.
End of Sermon
Timothy Dayne Pinnow
Ass't. Prof. of Theatre
St. Olaf College
1520 St. Olaf Ave
Northfield MN 55057