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An art: the theater
Transcript of An art: the theater
and different aspects
of one's personality."
Victor Garber “An actor must never
be afraid to make
a fool of himself.”
Harvey Cocks With this presentation, I want to share my passion for theater by describing three plays I had the pleasure to act during my studies in the private school "Les cours Florent". I also decided to take three authors of various nationalities to show you the differences. Those three plays belong to the comic category but you will see that it exists a lot of variation in one register. William Shakespeare Anton Tchekhov Georges Feydeau Thus, you will discover those three plays: "A midsummer night's dream" by William Shakespeare
"ДядяДядяUncle VanyaВаня" by Anton Tchekhov
"Léonie est en avance" by Georges Feydeau For each play,I'm going to talk about the author and his period, then I will explain you quickly what the story is about and what type of comic it is.
After that, I will highlight the character I played and tell you what it made me feel like. I will end with my favorite quote of this role. A midsummer night's dream "A midsummer's night dream" was written by the famous English playwright William Shakespeare who lived in the XVI and XVII centuries.
This author was considered as the greatest writer in English language and that's why he was called "England national poet". He tackled different category: he began with the comic one, then he wrote histories, and also tragedies and at the end of his life, he decided to do tragicomedies. He wrote about 40 plays, and a lot of sonnets and poems. His known work had been mostly produce between 1589 and 1613. His plays have been translated in many languages and have been performed very often. In fact, his works was consistently taken on and rediscovered by new movements, especially in schools.
Nowadays, his plays are still very popular because they are repeatedly studied, and reinterpreted in a melting pot of culture and political contexts throughout the world. Regarding "A midsummer's night dream", it was written between 1990 and 1996. Summary "A midsummer night's dream" is a witty mixture of fairy magic, romance, and comic scenes. The story showcases the events surrounding the marriage of Theseus, The Duke of Athens, and Hippolita, the Queen of Amazons. A group of six actors are rehearsing for a production which will be played during the wedding but they are manipulated by the fairies who inhabit the forest.
In the events surrounding the marriage, we can also include the adventures of four young Athenian lovers named Lysander, Hermia, Helena and Demetrius. Helena loves Demetrius but the two boys are in love with Hermia. The last one loves Lysander but her father wants her to marry Demetrius. She has 4 days to choose between life in a nunnery, Demetrius or a death sentence. She chooses to escape into the forest with Lysander but the two lovers are purchased by the two others. Then, there are complications because Oberon and Titania, King and Queen of fairies, are frightening each other and the king decides to use magic love drops on his wife who thus suddenly falls in love for one of the actors, Bottom (who has the head of a donkey because of a spell) but when he hears Demetrius and Helena quarreling, he asks his servant Puck to put one of the love drops on Demetrius to stop the sadness of Helena. However Puck makes a mistake and put the potion on Lysander who thus rejects Hermia for Helena... Type of comic "Comedy", in the Elizabethan Era (1558–1603), had a very different meaning from modern comedy. In this era, there were above all the Shakespearean comedies which usually involve theses points: marriages, a "green world", struggle of young lovers to overcome difficulty, a separation and a re-unification, a clever servant, an intertwining plot, and always a happy ending.
Shakespeare used different styles of comic as practical jokes, the slapstick, dry humor or deadpan (when you speak in a casual, monotone or cantankerous voice, without a change in your emotions) earthy humor, puns, witty banter...
we can count 17 comedies in Shakespeare's repertory. One example: "A midsummer night's dream" played by the Denver Center Theater Company Hermia Two years ago, when we put on this show with my theater school, I was playing Hermia. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkrMmH005cA You can also watch a scene between Hermia and Demetrius played in a school: In the opening scene, Hermia refuses to follow her father Egeus' instruction to marry Demetrius, because she is in love with Lysander. Egeus uses the Athenian law whereby a daughter must marry the suitor chosen by her father in order to force Hermia to marry him but she prefers running away into the forest with her lover. They are followed by Demetrius, who loves Hermia and Helena, her best friend, in love with Demetrius. Oberon, the Fairy king, asks Puck, his servant, to use a love drop on Demetrius in order to make him falling in love with Helena but Puck makes a mistake and put it on Lysander making him in love with Hermia's best friend. Hermia is terrified when she wakes up and doesn't find her lover, she thinks that Demetrius killed him but when she finally finds him, she discovers that he is now in love with Helena and it makes her completely devastated. Oberon, finding the mistake, puts a love drop on Demetrius so that he can fall in love with Helena. Hermia is thus rejected by the two boys and she quarrels with her best friend. Puck finally places the antidote on Lysander's eyes so everything ends well with Hermia and Lysander together. http://transmedialshakespeare.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/http-www-filmreviews-net-au199904a-midsummer-nights-dream.jpg You can watch pictures of Anna Friel who was playing Hermia in the cinema adaptation by Michael Hoffman: http://beautydart.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/love_fairy.jpg http://img1.bdbphotos.com/images/orig/p/0/p0p2zkfmbrl0p0zl.jpg My experience Playing this role was very rewarding because it is really varied, I had to come through a lot of different emotions. In fact, at the beginning, I was playing a girl loved by two boys and forced to make a choice and then, tendency is reversed, she is rejected by her two lovers and even by her best friend who thinks she was played of so her happiness changes into distress. After, when she discovers that her lover is now in love of Helena, Hermia becomes appalling and begins to insult everyone with words as "cur", "dog" and others and it was really pleasant and funny to do so. One of my favorites quotes of this role "Puppet? why so? Ay, that way goes the game.
Now I perceive that she hath made compare
Between our statures; she hath urged her height;
And with her personage, her tall personage,
Her height, forsooth, she hath prevail'd with him.
And are you grown so high in his esteem;
Because I am so dwarfish and so low?
How low am I, thou painted maypole? speak;
How low am I? I am not yet so low
But that my nails can reach unto thine eyes. " => Normally, Hermia is supposed to be shorter than Helena but I was taller than my partner, by at least 15 centimeters so it was pretty funny to say "because I am so dwarfish and so low"... Uncle Vanya "Uncle Vanya" was written by the Russian author Anton Pavlovich Chekhov who lived mostly in the XIX century. He first had a career as a dramatist during which he produced four classics and short stories which were held in high esteem by writers and critics. Chekhov also practiced as a doctor and declared: "Medicine is my lawful wife and literature is my mistress." In 1896, he decided to stop theater because of the disastrous reception of one of his plays. But 2 years later, this play was revived to acclaim, as well as 3 others including "Uncle Vanya". Critics said Chekhov offered a "submerged life in the text".
One of his originality was the use of the stream-of-consciousness technique (narrative mode) before his time.
Uncle Vanya was published in 1897 and received its Moscow première in 1899 in a production by the Moscow Art Theater, directed by Konstantin Stanislavski. Summary The play relates the summer holidays of the professor Serebryakov and his young glamorous second wife Yelena, in the house of his former brother-in-law Ivan Voynitsky named "Uncle Vanya".
It happens in the rural estate and the professor and his new wife have difficulties to put aside their urban lifestyle.
We quickly meet Astrov, the local Doctor, who seems to be the friend of the professor and who is in love with his wife Yelena. Uncle Vanya is also madly in love of her.
Then, Sonya, Serebryakov's daughter who worked with Vanya to keep the estate going, arrives. She deeply suffers from the awareness of her own lack of beauty and from her unrequited feelings for Dr Astrov.
Afterward, a crisis blows up when the Professor announces that he wants to sell the estate in order to achieve a higher income for himself and his wife. In fact, it is the house of Uncle Vanya and Sonya and it is their only reason for being. Type of comic This play is in keeping with the trend of "Dark comedy". In fact, when we look at the story, we can think that it is only a tragedy. However, it belongs to the comic register.
Here, it is the "character comedy" which dominates. Each person has a special identity. Uncle Vanya is a bitter and broken character, Serebryakov is really selfish and is plagued by gout and rheumatism, Yelena is infected by laziness and lack of interest, Astrov is an eccentric character and seems to be ruined by provincial life, Sonya knows that she is unsightly and she feels depressed about that...
There is also the aspect of "comedy of situation" in this play because Uncle Vanya and Astrov try to seduce Yelena, Sonya tries to seduce Astrov and complain to Yelena, Serebryakov has one special idea in mind, that is to sell his daughter's house... Sonya When we put on this show 5 months ago, I was playing Sonya.
Sonya is the professor Serebryakov's daughter from his first marriage. She is of a marriageable age but she really don't have success, she is an ordinary person.
She is madly in love with the doctor Astrov but this one loves her step mother. She constantly tries to get herself noticed but it never works.
Sonya is a real housewife, and she works hard to keep the estate going.
She first doesn't want to say all she has on her heart because she doesn't want to hurt anybody's feelings but she finally explodes against his father because she finds him selfish and not compassionate.
At the end, she tries to comfort his uncle because the estate is going to be sold. I was playing Sonya and it was one of my best experiences. At first sight, she appears as a plain character because she is always complaining about herself and she is not half the woman Yelena is but she is really strong and touching.
My goal was to make the audience laugh but also make them moved to tears. It was a real challenge because I had to cry during almost all the play and I was just freaked out! My experience One of my favorites quotes of this role SONIA
I am ugly!
You have lovely hair.
Don't say that! No, when a woman is ugly they always say she has beautiful hair or eyes. I have loved him now for six years, I have loved him more than one loves one's mother. I seem to hear him beside me every moment of the day. I feel the pressure of his hand on mine. If I look up, I seem to see him coming, and as you see, I run to you to talk of him. He is here every day now, but he never looks at me, he does not notice my presence. It is agony. I have absolutely no hope, no, no hope. Oh, my God! Give me strength to endure. I prayed all last night. I often go up to him and speak to him and look into his eyes. My pride is gone. I am not mistress of myself. Yesterday I told Uncle Vanya I couldn't control myself, and all the servants know it. Every one knows that I love him. Léonie est en avance "Léonie est en avance" was written by the French playwright Georges Feydeau who belonged to the era known as the Belle Époque (1890 -1914).
He will always be remembered for his many lively farces.
He wrote his first comic monologue at the age of 20.
He found his first success four years later with "Ladies' Dressmaker" in 1889. Feydeau began investigating the great farces in 1890 and this study inspired him to write his acclaimed play "Champignol in Spite of Himself " in 1892.
He wrote over sixty plays and was considered as a forerunner of absurd theater. His plays have been continuously revived and are still performed today.
Among his 60 plays, his most famous are: "A Flea in Her Ear", "The Girl from Maxim's", and "Hortense says, "I don't give a damn!" ". At the end of his career, he wrote a series of plays grouped under the title "From marriage to divorce". "Léonie est en avance" is a part of it and was published in 1911. Summary Type of comic "Léonie est en avance" is a purely comic play . Georges Feydeau uses a lot of comic points:
* The "Character comedy" because Léonie is a heinous character who takes advantages of the situation and his husband is very submissive.
Léonie's parents are also detestable and they traumatize Toudoux.
* The "Situation comedy" given that all the play is based on a delivery who is about to arrive way to soon and it makes the characters throw into a panic.
* The "Words comedy" since there are a lot of puns, speech impediments, funny images and double meanings...
* The 'Gesture comedy" because this type is grounded on rapping, falls, funny faces and comical expression and this play is clearly using it. Léonie Last year, I was playing Léonie in this play.
Léonie is kind of a selfish person who makes all it needs to obtain what she wants. She loves knowing that everybody respects her and that she has the upper hand.
She is always in a overstatement and she likes to be high-handed. She is very stressed out by his pregnancy and that's why she thinks that her baby is going to arrive sooner.
It makes her freaked out and pushes her to be more detestable than ever. My experience Playing this role was a very funny experience because Léonie is a very appalling character. She is always yelling at her husband, always in exaggeration and is very domineering. Her objective is to make him mad and she knows that he can't refuse anything to her because she is about to give birth so it was very pleasant to act.
It was also kind of funny to pretend to be pregnant.
We saw the character as a woman with no style, who dresses up in a very strange way so my appearance leaved a lot to be desired! Some pictures... One of my favorites quotations of this role Toudoux. — C’est terrible !
Léonie. — Ah ! on ne s’en fait pas idée !… ça vous prend en ceinture, c’est comme si on vous écartelait !
Toudoux,. — Oui, oh ! je connais ça !
Léonie. — Comment tu connais ça ?!
Toudoux. — C’est un peu ce que j’ai éprouvé dans ma crise de coliques néphrétiques.
Léonie, — Ta crise de coliques néphrétiques ! Tu oses comparer ? Mais ta crise, à côté de ça, c’est rien ! c’est délicieux !
Toudoux. — Oh ! délicieux !
Léonie, — Mais oui ! mais oui ! C’est drôle, ce malin plaisir que tu éprouves à diminuer mon mal au bénéfice du tien !
Toudoux. — Moi ?
Léonie. — Je souffre, c’est suffisant ! Laisse-moi au moins l’entière satisfaction de ma souffrance !…
Toudoux. — Oh ! moi, je veux bien, je disais ça !…
Léonie. — Oui, la vanité ! Toujours la vanité ! Conclusion To conclude, we can say that the comic register in theater is very vast and very diversified because those three plays are comedies but they are very different. It is also because the authors are from various nationalities and periods as we saw it before. I've chosen those three plays because I love their stories and I really enjoyed playing them. Those three roles I described brought me a lot. Eight-months pregnant, Léonie already feels the precursor symptoms of the delivery.
Completely terrified, she consoles herself by laughing at her husband. She pretends to be in the grip of pregnant woman's envy absolutely necessary to realize. For example, She requires from her husband Toudoux that he puts a chamber pot on his head and makes him have a walk in the apartment with the beadpan put on, just to get a rise out of him.
The man is then rebuffed by his wife but becomes also the laughing stock of the midwife who considers him as a domestic.
Regarding his parents-in-law, they are scandalized by the arrival of the child only eight months after the marriage and they hold this early delivery against him. But fortunately, it was only a false pregnancy. The parents-in-law, disappointed, blame their son-in-law for his impotence. Sources Websites: "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Shakespeare Resource Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 2012. <http://www.bardweb.net/plays/dream.html>. Uncle Vanya at The Kennedy Center." Maryland Theatre Guide. N.p., n.d. Web. 08/2011. <http://www.mdtheatreguide.com/2011/08/uncle-vanya-at-the-kennedy-center/>. "Uncle Vanya." SparkNotes. SparkNotes, n.d. Web. 2012. <http://www.sparknotes.com/drama/unclevanya/characters.html>. "Author Biographies and Bibliographies." From Biblio.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2012. <http://www.biblio.com/authors.php>. Anton Tchekhov. Uncle Vanya. Françoise Morvan, N.p.: Babel, n.d. Print. Books: "Léonie Est En Avance." Wikisource, the Free Library. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2012. <http://fr.wikisource.org/wiki/L%C3%A9onie_est_en_avance_ou_le_mal_joli>. Pictures: Meagan Bruskewicz. Theater-masks. Digital image. N.p., 2010. Web. <http://languageofthesoul.wordpress.com/2010/11/18/dance-and-theater-cant-keep-their-hands-off-each-other/>. Frugal Dr Mom. Theater1. Digital image. N.p., 19 May 2012. Web. <http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-aVVEme6TIXg/T7gG1P23SHI/AAAAAAAAD0M/YQefzYWJL90/s1600/Theater1.jpg>. CLCF. coursFlorent-0. Digital image. N.p., 08 Sept. 2011. Web. <http://www.clcf.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/actu_page/cours%20florent_0.jpg>. Sébastien Chevalier. Anton_tchekhov. Digital image. N.p., 3 Jan. 2010. Web. <http://norwitch.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/aut_anton_tchekhov.jpg>. Eric Delcourt. Theatre 2278N.p., 2012. Web.
<http://www.vallee-verte.com/images/prestations/sitraEVE730147_128771_theatre_2278.jpg>. Video: Denvercenter. "A Midsummer Night's Dream - Montage." YouTube. YouTube, 29 Jan. 2011. Web. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9l-EmRXNqs>. L.B Gale. A-midsummer. Digital image. N.p., 5 Nov. 2011. Web. <http://www.lbgale.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/a-midsummer.jpg>. Unknown. Shakespeare Portrait. Digital image. N.p., 2012. Web. <http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/5a/Cobbe_portrait_2009-03-09.jpg/220px-Cobbe_portrait_2009-03-09.jpg>. Vaclav Richter. Feydeau_geroges. Digital image. N.p., 03 Apr. 2012. Web. <http://img.radio.cz/pictures/divadlo/feydeau_georges.jpg>. Private pictures Laura Chilliard, Eva Peron. picture. N.p., 02-2012. Laura Chilliard, Uncle Vanya 1. picture. N.p., 06-2012. Laura Chilliard, Uncle Vanya 2. picture. N.p., 03-2012. Laura Chilliard, Uncle Vanya 3. picture. N.p., 06-2012. Laura Chilliard, Leonie 1. picture. N.p., 03-2012. Laura Chilliard, Leonie 2. picture. N.p., 03-2012. Laura Chilliard, End performance. picture. N.p., 06-2012. The End.