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Well I think that it goes back to one of them because it said that our basic approach is to do it not to think about it not not how we get there but to achieve that. I know in Nick's classes. The scene is created there's an audience in terms of the other students. And then you analyze and try and work through what actually plays well and what functions in front of an audience. And I think the best way to bridge the gap is simply by consistent and perpetual pro-forma ends and then analysis and I think. That that's how we get around the problem of. Too much tuning of the former but also the fact that the tuning takes in addition to the emotional tuning as you will see in the catalog that you have in your hand. There is a speech training
and there is a body training and there is a dance training and there is a voice training all of which are are hopefully are eventually synthesized into your performance so it doesn't become motional ourself indulgence or self gratification. It is the actor received a great deal of training in the various departments and then a director tries to tap. The on tap and resources of an octo. But by that time the actor gets credit training and therefore is able to respond to the demands. Thank you people that Mr Reid quoted in his article. You have done very good performances sometimes and here you have given some dreadful performances some time and we have to go also to be aware of the fact that no matter how much you train actors you
you have to realize that that if they're working with a bad director in a play they're not I don't get their method if they're not they're going to bring the war that was going to come out rather than the best in them. An international question trust a Jew only comes because of something I read also. I think revenue all upset about William read feels novel letters to an actor because I read him I think and again the actor is the most important thing in the play. He is the creative aspect and you have to grab on a few of the players and he said he had to to prove his point by analogy cited an orchestra several and several times the members of the harvester and the conductor which I notice you use you use analogies of the kind. Is there any predominance is there do you think there is one more important element the actor or the playwright or the director.
Or do you think would your feeling on you know. No I just believe it is the daughter centers. I mean we have to as directors we have to do what we think the playwright has put down in a piece of paper. I think what we think that means it's our own interpretation director's interpretation of the event. We have to get it out of the actors in their own way so that when the actor does is not for me on the basis of that and it is not small on the basis of that the actor is the center of the theatre because you have had theatre before directors and before you had offers but you never get theatre before the act Oh no I think I have here I think I think when Festus and they were in a pretty red state. My rights came off the fastest can the seventh seal. Yeah change the word you know change the pronoun to the personal pronoun instead I do this or I do that I pretend to be the
KOG that then you really had a head acting on the other hand I just think that it is completely useless and it Thetic discussion to say who is important what is important important things experience many things and I think I got out of there with the material to mean certain certain material lends itself to greater emphasis and one of the apartments are student productions evolved out of the circus with theatre. Yes to a great extent we're doing workshops right now we're doing actually we're preparing two of them. My childrens theatre project is in the works and we're doing also the bed bugs. Majkowska. And a. Section of Lissa Strada again this is for the purpose of bringing to bring to a head the training so that it becomes you used in fairly full performance.
Well there are actually exposed to an audience. There's no way they perform this in front of a yes no in 3 free audio right. When is the adult part of the school. The professional part of the school going to have a production. Well they are actually involved in one currently I'm in the bed bugs. Yeah I don't know when I'm going to have a meeting in the event that isn't available. Yes of the twenty sixth of this month 20 is actually very exciting and I don't think this play's been done here before as a mom I know I may have been a college but I think there was one production but this isn't a very it's a great rush and with just the. Room and up accommodation up for the general public to go as was I mean all should write in request. Technically just about a week ahead of time you teach I mean the curriculum at the circles with theater involved just about everything. Workshop in acting seems study Shakespeare and is taught by God as
Yvonne dance mime speech directing play writing producing scenic design basic scenic design stage management Guest Seminars a teenage workshop and teen acting on the Guest Seminar has had the you find the have any real value other than the fact that a name is making an appearance at the school and yes they do have real value in others and once again along the line of the people with experience passing along their experience their knowledge their view of things to the student who had some. I don't want to use the name important to use the word important but I mean some significant people in the theatre world that whom we have invited to speak to the students and they've come and they spoken of the you know class of maybe 20 students and have participated with the students in not only
their experience but in response to the questions of the students help them understand exactly what they are involved and I think it's been know it's enormously beneficial and it's a that's one of the one of the few It's one of the rare opportunities. In the theater world where people with experience have an opportunity to pass along what they have that's a very common thing for example in music where a more experienced artist takes a younger person on the wing. And helps that person not only in so far as their training but all aspects of their life. And I'm helping to shape them as artists. You know I think the key to it is also the student or the younger person has a great tendency to become embroiled in detail in technique. Less important issues and the first thing that the seminars
have done for the students is to make them aware of a total world artistic world in which they are are a part because the people that we had for the most part were focusing on much much larger issues and things that the student so often loses complete track of. And it's very beneficial from that point where I think are also free to do so I think it's also been beneficial to the quote elder statesmen that have come down because they in some cases have lost contact with the reality of being on a particular steamed level and seeing the freshness of the young people and you know seeing their spirit and energy has revived their own enthusiasm reawakened their own enthusiasm through observation of all that has gone before your eyes. And after his circle in the square and I mean I ask everybody in the panel who are involved in
teaching what would you say is needed for most you know university dramatic arts program for the training of an actor that is lacking or seems to be lacking now. I mean I couldn't answer that question because I don't know what happens on a university level I mean I think that it's just basically it seems to me that the some universities into doing do well with the students others are doing poorly but it's basically an interim process that must that is beneficial in that they are learning certain aspects of the profession but that it is strictly an intermediary area that they then must move on into a professional atmosphere. Well have you seen off Broadway than in the past 15 years. Give an actor some hope in terms of developing his talent. It's seems to be a fact that an
actor has a hard time of it here in this country because if he does become successful it's usually because he has some personality because he already has some physical idiosyncrasy that of coming on or something. I don't think you know and you don't know I think there's just it's because he has talent and this talent is expressed and defined in many ways of with for example George C. Scott has come from circle in the square and George C. Scott. Definitely has talent and the way that I think you're using the word. But George C. Scott has not been able to. Oh he has. He's one of the few by the way it seems because he's exposed himself to Shakespeare in the Park Tube productions and certainly square with allows him some breadth of work. But for the most part the actors do not do they get type they go on to Broadway or they go on to Hollywood and they never get a chance to do well let's say there
is a vacuum in the American theater that rather than the New York theater does exist which is that. There is a more experimental work that is done off off Broadway and off Broadway classics to a certain degree that have done off-Broadway and as you say an actor gets recognized and then goes on to Hollywood television and cetera. And he never has an opportunity to come back. He can come back off Broadway but it's a minuscule Souray and I can't afford any long range comment right now. So the vacuum that does all sources that way there should be an area where quality plays are done on a short term basis so that this actor who is now going on to motion pictures etc. can come back and play and play for two months or three months without the producer requiring because of his large financial investment a years commitment. I mean I think that you know we have
we have seen the loss of talent to other mediums you know become more and more prevalent and there's this vacuum has to be filled the only place it can be filled is on Broadway cannot be filled in the regional theaters because nobody wants to come. He's actually going to spend their time in Minneapolis and in Detroit you know their homes are here either in New York or in California or New York. No in spite of the enormous criticism that has suffered in the last five years since the advent of repertory I mean the all embracing advent of repertory in New York is still the cultural center as far as the theater is concerned I mean the focus of news media. It is that is where the focus of a talent a talent and talent is ultimately what is what makes an art form and this is where it is it's all here. But there's this vacuum somehow has to be filled and
next year we will have another program devoted to another project that we're working on or an either way do you or anyone here or associate with a circus will ever get excited or tempted by the idea of doing Hamlet. I mean I have never had the desire to play him. You know oh my god I was like I am I don't know whether to say the truth or not then again I am not an avid as as a as a school and as a theater and. And a going enterprise do you and I having a school do you ever get tempted by any of your students as a disable here is Hamlet material. I mean if we could get him and get a production and we would have we would make history circumscribed with the most fantastic Hamlet you ever see you just ever saw. Do you have but I think you will know because there is there is little here intermediary step in this vacuum that I've just mentioned that has to be filled.
And then when this vacuum is filled the actors I mean take an actor for example like Dustin Hoffman who was in you Mr. ordinarily talented actor but has been practically none exist has not been exposed at all to the classics I mean the Gothic classics are either American classic or European classic plays that require a stretch as far as an actor is concerned a great breath. As far as he's concerned he has not been exposed as his career is going now assigned to Mike Nichols movie then going into the little foxes with Mike Nichols You know he would probably not have this opportunity because there's no place for him to do it and therefore he will not be prepared to play Hamlet. And by the way you refer to the classics I think that is the common ailment of this country because we don't refer to acting as acting and the overall training of actors should incorporate acting
not classics or not. What have you in other words if this is one of the problems here I think we have to raise your taxes to the most complicated and difficult places you're going to roses you know complicated an arduous training run Act was a perfect example of it. I mean of what retraining is required and he has the experience of my wife who is an opera singer. She started in musical comedy was Richard Brooks right where she had stayed in musical comedy her voice would have stated a particular level you know it would never could never have gone beyond because there's no requirement of musical comedy music for The Voice to go beyond what she was doing 15 years ago in musical comedy it was only when she began to work in opera that she the stretch began to impose itself and that she began and had to work hard I had to train more said us later that she began to take on dimension are you going to do something where they're basically just the actors trying to I mean
no doubt had developed her voice through training to be able to sing in musical comedy. Because of that requires a sufficient amount of training a certain amount of things certainly but most of the actors the acting programs here do not seem to incorporate the overall development of an actor's instrument you know if you don't have fencing on you or your in we did we did with too many students injuring the teacher or and that affects their New York Shakespeare Festival Productions and have us well then right now I think honestly I don't know why. I've made very specific and allied craft that sometimes you can use less and less. Now I thought the Romeo and Juliet production of the Bristol Old Vic and I was talking to members of that company. Unfortunately the fencing and run it
drew labs where it should and not so much because it was a total it was a combination of things the fencing movements were. While they were comedic because of the handling of the four of the four of them selves in the middle of some weird paper moon arriving and then you have Romeo coming down the stairs I turned to Bob and he looks ludicrous are. Now that it is important on the other hand the emissary of the Hamlet the fans in the hamlet while not not greatly exciting were still by the same company. Yeah yeah but you already mentioned things that have nothing to do with fencing you mention the rhythm and the tempo and the material of this old city and the way she was coming down the stairs you seen playing guys. I just think that you know like at Yale where we simulate training now the new curriculum and gave up are fairly similar. Killing them in an academic environment that doesn't we do have fencing but the question is who will.
How is the fencing going to be your new way the way you say our office speech and then somebody get so carried away listening to their own voices that that somebody has to tell them Look it is a tool to use to accomplish the work. It is a tool to use to recreate for an alive audience the experience and that is the important thing. That's a very interesting way to state what is not stated so often I find that many faculty members of schools. Depending on the subject they teach 10 to 12 students to be all new and all of acting is via that route. I mean if there's a mime teachers are the only way to become an accomplished actor is through development of mind must be teachable so the only way to really become a great actor is through the speech and it ends up where these elements are not integrated as an overall production or program. I said this last part. We are doing a great deal of work now with bringing
classes together. For instance I have a play writing class has got about four to five scenes that are being worked into an acting class art and they will meet jointly and examine the scene as performed by the actors and directing units will come in. And I think I think that it's very it's a very significant solution to the problem of centralization of Africa. In other words once you see what the playwright has a series of problems and the actors get to examine them to some extent they begin to see their particular art in a total picture. I don't want to oversimplify a idea such as community theatre but we do hear a lot of talk about community theatre and I think that man does a lot for the community without advertising himself as community theater and the reason I say
that is quite good in our part I'm making that we never think of it as a really community theater because you never hear the term used within connection was over the square but so many programs that go on there for example that I wanted to to ask you to mention the fact that you have an opportunity for student groups from colleges nearby or far away to come and see your productions and not only that but that you hold a discussion. Yes we encourage the A student group that is going to come to request that we meet with them after the performance of the actors myself of the directories here the stage manager. And and after they've seen the show to answer their questions and engage in discussion about the play what we were attempting to do whether some may be critical of that we did not succeed. But to have this kind of discourse we read
we are great believers in discourse communication. Amongst people and I have and I think this is very valuable and it's an opportunity that isn't often presented here in New York or if it is it's only because of a controversy and then there was a kind of seminar afterward simply to discuss the controversy as we are using kind of nothing and I think here with this thing this is a continuing program for groups that come in and you know what. What usually evolves out of these discussions seminars the world is very exciting because the young people have you know very fresh different point of view about a play that is of course a great mystery to them how. A show was put together. And their questions are more often perceptive and naive about the significance of a particular scene. I mean we do belief we find it very exciting.
If the food were available you think taping one of these sessions and broadcasting it would be of interest to the general but yes it is going to be one and a couple of weeks act well and maybe our listeners if I get some response from them if they'd like to hear one of these without attending the theater. We will make arrangements to take one broadcaster I think would be very interesting. There is another project that you know you're developing the Monday night. We touched upon it briefly and I think we're going to touch upon brigands when time is running out for Gladys Vaughn who has directed a number of Shakespeare productions of course circle in the square or at least in the four Shakespeare in the park and teaches Shakespeare at the Circle where theater is the Director of these staged readings that are actually works in progress of what we call them and the first one that we're doing as a drop drones in the night by Bertold Brecht it Windows that that is this is a
mountain that will go on tonight which will not be tonight reminding you. You don't have that much right on the March 6th of March 13th March 20th and this is the kind of thing I wanted to hardly open to the public but the public. We wrote it similar to the way they do it in the park which is of the public. Can I get tickets in advance. They must come at 6 o'clock the night of the performance and wait on line for tickets. Hopefully the long line on March 6 13 and 20. There's no charge but they have to get there there was a show up just how they're going to tell me more than I do. Well time has. Come to its end for this evening and I want to thank you to that man artistic director of circle where Julian Walker played in script advisor and John W then director of surf in the Square theaters who and Nico psychodrama loose the
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Seminars in theatre
Episode Number
Episode 12 of 31
Producing Organization
WNYC (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Series Description
For series info, see Item 3231. This prog.: Ted Mann of Circle in the Square Theatre, with John W. Finn and Julien Walker.
Media type
Producing Organization: WNYC (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-11-12 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:25:32
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Chicago: “Seminars in theatre; Episode 12 of 31,” 1968-03-26, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 27, 2023,
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APA: Seminars in theatre; Episode 12 of 31. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from