Seminars in theatre; Episode 15 of 31
And that is we become extremely natural in trying to deal with the classics and trying to act the classics and lose all the beauty of it and our or we we get extremely classical in our acting and lose sight of it altogether. So what I'm trying to say is I think you've arrived at a very good to make sure that you have to have you know why Second I can't think we can still tending to give our you know you're going to all get up and you can look at Medicare you know just like Stanislavski seven year old put Tolo and men who are not on bodies act there what is active focus on key issues until you do and then you can get by district you go through a lot of sort of sit down to a simpler more superficial You just don't look good was to be a more yeah it is you who have never cheated on me or mentor or sister today you had to move not only zoned on a plea and if you did try to stay on there the other selves we simply don't call people should feel OK now.
Norman this is the current production here when we're talking about anybody in parts of Oakland who are have do you enjoy it. It's very hard to think of ever enjoying anything that I put on a college because my mind is everywhere front back and all the rest I did sit down for a while but then heard that the air conditioner making a little too much noise and so left to stay one could turn that down. And that is probably one of my worst problems and I must say that sometimes we get together those of us who are in the music world or producers of one sort or another. I say suppose we were not in this world what concerts would we go to what would we go to and that's a game I'll give you right now and have our own program about it. One of the things that I thought of with the avoidance of comic actors on the stage I think is all the goods that would be modest if we did that kind of thing with all the rustics and Shakespeare.
So I think that's a terrible bore. Remind me of a time I believe you only seen American productions of Malay I once saw a production of Romeo and Juliet in Slovenia and I didn't have to listen to the deathless prose and be bored by the rustics and I was quite fine so perhaps sometimes that technique can be used. And one point you mentioned just emphasized the fact that it wasn't done because of our particular needs at Hunter College. In fact one of the attractions of this company was that it was being done with projections and various kinds of techniques other than straight. What I would call old fashioned scenery and costumes a lot of the rest of course they do have costume. Well what happens I should also I'm not anti American productions by any means. I had I don't want to be on record as saying this but what I mean by the I've seen the clowns in Shakespeare are really. Delightful when they are realised there's nothing better I would I would I would never want to see marionettes doing the clowns
and Shakespeare because I've seen how how just marvelous they are when they when they're done right it's a necessary ingredient However I think the technique here when you say is only successful and I think that the projections the mixed media here is. Certainly in keeping with what is happening I think though another strange thing about it is that when you use landscapes of the day I don't know whether they would turn or call rock Oh and a trumpet concerto of Hummel. The mixture of this and the lighting creates the most magnificent mood and scenic effect and this is this is very very very tremendous because it takes very little money but a great deal of imagination and I suggest it takes a little more by writing. If we had brought over the full cast with the set it would have cost considerably less. Then this way of going there were only three screens on stage but there were 600 projections
of 400 of which were done by hand and then I won't show you my bills but you can take my word for it it would have been considerably considered. Well it looks so simple and that is that was that we wanted to get it. Although we did see someone post up stairs there behind one of them who we thought was falling down I don't know he was climbing on the stairs I guested the statement I guess he's marvelous He pushes all the buttons and he does all the whole thing himself he sets it all up there. He runs the three machines and the tape recorder. As a matter of fact watching this. I was mentioned in Norman earlier. I was wondering why. There were three different screens and often you had the same picture on all three. Perhaps ask the director years under three screens. He often had the same picture on all three why you think for a character to have was a grotesque of a coral for the choro at times or there was egos when it is follows a grotesque. It is only because
when an exploration is very important I think it is good when it isn't this small how do you say investment investment on screen for a tree. Shut the shutter three châteaux to three screens. It is an experiment. I ask you. It is good it is not good I don't know. We thunk. Perhaps it is better to have a part lot of dough in a screen made human made. And it is also part of I have to try to perceive what it is and after that I have. I mean look it is better to have three. Another possibility is only one shadow and nothing on the screen. I don't know I ask you.
For me it isn't there isn't to know what you like well as an audience member and being sensitive to Hummel and an insensitive crew choro I would as another experiment just just to talk about it in terms of what the general audience might even be and the possibilities and potentialities of this. I do have one extremely large screen center stage and two small ones left and right. And when you are using the landscape scenes to have nothing on the two small ones but one very large Corowa which almost encompasses the stage and with a lighting effect and it would seem like you would almost transport a real landscape scene and that's wood and that's the mood that was created in a great deal by the even a small screen in hopes it will be better with scenario.
Well I'm not absolutely sure. No because it is necessary. There so now you are a big actor but not too much bigger. Because they are not on the stand and I think it is a question kind of up of connection between the person on the screen so close on the stage and it can leave a balance because to some suggestions norm Campoli used to pull the cord. It is a suggestion perhaps coolness. Well I would. I would like I would just like to see what would happen in some I wouldn't like I would I don't think I would be successful with every painting or with every play
but it would be better if they ask why not be on the same screens. Perhaps one card question very difficult. This this is a technical problem also because we this this university tour that they're doing now where they play 100 in four performances but in most places it's a one night so we get in and we have three four hours to set up and we use every second you know it has an on and now it's yesterday. I want to talk about the productions and the schedule and Norman about some of the future productions coming out of college but first I want to just ask something which I think if I can get an answer from you Andre. Would be interesting to the non theater person that is the theatre goer who is not technically inclined and interesting to actors and directors alike if you
will tell me your secret. There's this scene. Don't move. This is between Camille and pretty cow. Now in this long scene and it's a rather long scene for two characters to have with no help other than their acting which is considerable. But the movement was was quite beautifully spaced. You had them circled around. First you had to come down stage right a great deal of the time and you had Camille up the round of the fount the. Water there and then you had him moving directly stage left down front stage left you move across and then you had to move up stage left directly up stage left. Well there's this overall pattern of movies it was quite. Beautifully spaced out now why oh the reason I'm talking about this is that I've seen many many productions
where there's a confrontation between two individuals and I have seen a complete dearth of imagination in realistic movement of these actors and so what I wanted to ask you was how did you arrive at these movements do the actors arrive at them through some kind of motivation involved in their thoughts and characters or did you and perceptively say I want General Conference configuration of lines and have the move there just how did you go about this. You know it is a hero role. I have directed the actor. But in reality in rare we have. If we don't we have not. Plus some say he didn't pre-stage we haver shipshape see
collectively collectively together. What was the best and important the most important for me and for them it was to find impatience off the text. And I think in a text the most where it is necessary to speak to tell Look there are how do you say shine you're prone to wear or move a month to come naturally. But in the body. Yeah so now you understand. Well then here read the text and I asked him Well what do you think you can do. Perhaps nothing you have ever seen in the center.
10 minutes. Where to get her there. Sat on the stage near Rob's phone Dana. As he speak. Because here it is. Naturally we follows a text we photos a text and when it is necessary we have an implication. Now we see where in what direction of is a stage gonna go. That impression you understand. But it is a collective try this act we all right. Then there's another question about this before I go I want to ask Francois and I think any actor American or otherwise who knew in his craft or ovals in his craft and still doesn't know how to economize would get a great deal out of watching the production
would learn a lot about how one of the I submit to you that one of the reasons the scene is so successful because it's difficult scene is that it has this economy of movement which allows you to go for this long without boring anyone. And part of that successful economies do swap. What I wanted to suggest is that this physical control or in terms of movement of arms and head etc.. That's why you do this very well. There are long passages that you have verbal there's an argument which. There is no movement of your arms no expression at all physically which is quite in keeping quite and is quite real. But I don't know there are a number of actors who would have moved their arms.
I think at least 100 times in that space. Now how did you arrive at saying number one as an actor. I'm I'm going to deliver this rapid fire speech and forget about the arm movements. Well when we when we when I said community though that we have no influences here it was not true. Even now you can say that. You you spoke of Stanislavsky and and good directors mated and of course. French actors and other myself have been influenced by these methods we were taught when we were at the beginning with these meters. Through Vilar and through Stanislavsky too we worked on this and they ditched us. Do you know what is the real situation of a text. And do be
in it and and how do we arrive to such an economy. It is by the way by about by as you talk now you say your arms are moving. Yeah because you are communicating to me and you are very nice people around me and yes but there's another control being exercised on stage by you because it's never really gone through and I know if I if I had to speak something very important to you and I want you to listen to me very carefully I would be very grave and economical the in my gestures you know what I I want to say to you is very grave I would say. Look at you very intensely and not move it's not necessary. Oh that we learned that in American pictures. Yeah well but I was like well yes the Internet is very much the work of an actor by its natural
features and it's a realistic way of expressing life and that influence very much in the way of working. And by the way that's just you use just now with pointing your finger pointing at me was used most effectively on stage you used it one time and it's meaningless to say that it's maybe natural to you know as you know I used not the I I write I work very carefully to respect either the direction of the director and what I understand of the text. And often it is the same since it should be. And so. It is a sort of from our year we doing wedding between what I understand in the text and what I feel out of it and what I am in reality you know. There is a transposition were to create a character there discovered that must be created
from me from what I am as a human being as a man and with my art my soul and my just as you know that I must transform them. But I must always keep the natural features to me you know and when I say that the pictures influence very much the natural way of expressing their life. That is very true because for instance in American pictures. The actors the great American actors can express very violent feelings with just enough to move something in there and their. Cameras close. Yes and it seemed very natural in that we get there the problems are very different of course because we have to widen our play but we must not widen by artificial means means
we must have to have real deep concentration about the situation and then it can goes in reversing you know to extend a few by few. This feeling is where our day when is your production your production of a French Hamlet going to take place and when are you going to use your way I think of course this is just my quick opinion I mean I think I'd like to see him do Hamlet about five years from now. But that was the trip. Yes I probably am but I am just against those that there I was in a good age to play. And may I just was surprised when he proposed to me that because I felt that I was too young. In fact Benteke I was 21. But to play such a mixing of cynicism and
generosity I think it was an act and must have a life experience experiment more than I have to play that and work experimental and then I. Will I don't think Hondros unhappy by the way. Well Howard you are the machinery behind all of this traveling and going on and there are some very interesting Productions. That are lined up for one hundred sixty nine and sixty eight fall and spring of the coming season will be doing just the music they play throughout this tour or when will you be doing the Paris Review and the review which is another company a literary cabaret troupe. Basically poetry put to music with some of the finest singers
today on the front scene. I see that's another company then what about the I was this other company also all the rest are not. Yes well that's that's also organized through products under should we but it is a Spanish troops which will be coming over and performing in Spanish and Spanish and you'll be working with a Spanish group also under Yes as Spanish leaders in Paris. Aha I guess there are many. Well then we should we should we definitely will be doing fader and recall the fourth order. I was doing. When I was doing what out of this schedule now. Well Federer is once again predicts on those that we are a Go-Kart that is an Italian production in Italian directed by Jose currently oh no where will they come from. They will come from Italy. I seem will be correct. That's coming out of college. Will you be directing them also. Yes well you know you've been directing the play crudely as directing the
plight of his organization and he is taking the other production elements in Europe. That's fascinating because when I was a daring director in Paris and I knew him very gud and now he's Italian he's come back in country and now he directed that scene on how I got down yeah. And it is very very what he make now. Write and play. That will be also one of your productions now and and which company. Well if they put it that way again who is who is doing the organizing whoever the production is a production by a lot on terror ZF who's a rather well-known and beautiful French actor. He directed it and he plays the lead and then strangely enough you have come to an evening of music by David M. RAM.
Yes. We always come back home for some reason or other. But that's a beautiful schedule. And where is that where do you go from Hunter College. We go to Canada to Montreal at the place they sell maize on if we were playing for five days. It's a big beautiful theater looking for beautiful. What is your next college. University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. And then you have to go to Vanderbilt and by the time it's over we will have played at the University of Colorado the University of Houston Cincinnati back up in New York and Albany University of Philadelphia. You don't travel personally with all of these I used to go to some of the news yes I do. While I'm there we arrange for future productions now and your participation in it is
never involve itself in terms of directing or acting you are simply the producer of the means. I wouldn't dare to record a new French actually I speak it but but it's quite another thing to understand the language well enough to be direct in French. This kind of play because I didn't reckon Paris or more modern works. However the two plays that I toured in the fall I directed myself and the musical thing the literary cabaret revue type show is mine. I state that but I just realized that we've run out of time and I want to thank our guests Professor Norman singer the minister of the Hunter College concert bureau who's responsible for these productions arriving at Hunter College. The members of Howard. Plans these under the aegis of M. Howard productions and the director of the current production under a. And
one of the actors with the company no plays the part of Boudica Francoise maturity. This was seminars in theatre a recorded series of discussions with leading members of the theatrical profession. Join us again for our next program when host Richard Pyatt will lead another conversation about life in the theater seminars in theatre is produced by radio station WNYC in New York City and is distributed by the national educational radio network.
- Seminars in theatre
- Episode Number
- Episode 15 of 31
- Producing Organization
- WNYC (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- Series Description
- For series info, see Item 3231. This prog.: Current productions by a French theatre company. Mel Howard, producer and director; Prof. Norman Singer, administrator of Hunter College Concert Bureau; Andre Gentsberger, director.
- Media type
Producing Organization: WNYC (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-11-15 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- Chicago: “Seminars in theatre; Episode 15 of 31,” 1968-04-16, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 3, 2024, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-fb4wn87r.
- MLA: “Seminars in theatre; Episode 15 of 31.” 1968-04-16. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 3, 2024. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-fb4wn87r>.
- APA: Seminars in theatre; Episode 15 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 http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-fb4wn87r