About This Blog

I really like theatre, and I like writing and talking about it.

This blog is mostly about my relationship with theatre, the moments that make me fall in love with this art form, and the times when we don't always get along.

I'll be writing about things that I like, that I think are good and interesting and want to share. I will probably also write about things that I don't quite get, or think are wierd. I may also write about things that aren't theatre, strictly speaking, because it's my blog and I can.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Leave Something for the Moment

I apologize for being so long away from the blog, I had to go out of town on short notice. However, long days of travel give me a good opportunity to catch up movies (as long as I can rent them on my iPod Touch).

So on my flight back, I was watching the 2004 movie Stage Beauty, starring Billy Crudup and Claire  Danes. It's set in the 17th century, when women weren't permitted to act on stage. Men were trained to play women's roles, but suddenly found themselves out of a job when the rule was lifted.

The main thing that I loved about this film was the way it addressed the need to see and perform theatre; for actors, the chance to be something when we're on stage that we aren't in our everyday lives. And for audience, the restorative quality and catharsis that you experience from immersing yourself in a play.

My favorite scene is one in which recently minted actress Margaret Hughes gets an acting lesson from Ned Kynaston, whose job she stole. Ned learned to play women on stage through the more mannered, classical style of acting, and Margaret has never learned to act- she just copies what Ned did. Margaret needs to brush up quickly to impress King Charles II, so Ned helps her break down her contrivances and just play the scene.

It goes from the beginning to about 4 minutes into the clip (but you can keep watching to see how their performance turns out). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnT5pLUAzeI

I love it. Those moments in rehearsal are what we live for; when someone reacts in a way that you don't expect, and this whole thing comes to life with a fire of its own. When you surprise each other, you surprise the audience. You surprise yourself.

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