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Copy of Expressionism and Berkoff

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Luke Smith

on 16 September 2014

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Transcript of Copy of Expressionism and Berkoff

Steven Berkoff
EXPRESSIONISM WAS FIRST USED TO DESCRIBE AN ART MOVEMENT
WHICH FOUGHT AGAINST THE TRADITIONS OF NATURALISM.

Berkoff has adopted expressionist techniques

ONE OF ITS FEATURES IS TO CAPTURE EMOTION IN MORE SYMBOLIC FORMS.

Take a look at the next picture.
What emotion could be being conveyed.?
How do we know this?
Surrealism was an artistic and literary movement, dedicated to expressing the imagination as revealed in dreams....

"free of the conscious control of reason and convention"
In his plays Berkoff would replace large props and furniture with what could be created by actors bodies.


Task: CREAT A BED, VIOLIN, OPENING DOOR, LADY IN THE PICTURE FRAME
Expressionism
Total theatre...
DREAMS/NIGHTMARES - STYLE
Q - What is total theatre?
ACTING STYLE
HIGHLY EMOTIVE, PHYSICAL. THE ACTORS ARE OFTEN MADE TO LOOK GAUNT., HAUNTED, GHOST/DREAM LIKE
Purpose
for the
Audience
EXPRESSIONISM IN THE THEATRE WAS TO HELP REVOLUTIONISE or ENLIGHTENING THE AUDIENCE TO NEW SOCIAL POSSIBILITIES AND VISIONS

... because it began in Germany as a reaction against the pre-war authorities. (SHPC)
ITS INITIAL EMPHASIS THOUGH WAS TO CREATE IN THE AUDIENCE A SENSE OF EMPATHY FOR THE PROTAGONIST'S SITUATION.
Can anyone suggest a moment in Metamorphosis when you would want this audience reaction?
THE ATMOSPHERE ON BERKOFF INFLUENCED STAGES ARE OFTEN NIGHTMARISH, SHAODWY, DISTORTED, FREQUENT BOUTS OF SILENCE CUT WITH NOISE - Juxtaposition task
STARK, SIMPLIFIED IMAGERY HIGHLIGHTING THE THEMES OF THE PLAY, BIZARRE SHAPES, UNUSUAL COLOUR SCHEMES
-pushes back the boundaries for both audience and performer.

- Berkoff did not invent total theatre but after studying drama and mime he drew on his own experiences as a performer to develop an approach that demonstrated a full and complete immersion of the actor.

- Total Theatre looks for a response from the audience.

- Naturalism is avoided with technical elements such as lights and sound used symbolicly.

- All elements of production are important. (Video example last lesson)
CHARACTERS ARE NAMED TO BECOME REPRESENTATIONS OR STEREOTYPES i.e. 'the man'
What does the chief clerk represent?
What is the effect on the audience?
MAKING THE ACTING OVERT, EXTERNALISING THE EMOTIONS. Task: SLOW MOTION YET EMOTIONAL RACE
Using what you know about Berkoff and his style of physical performance. Stage a short piece of text.

(Consider all aspects of Total Theatre)

pg. 81 "Cash"
pg.114 "Lodgers"
Starter:
Take an emotion card and
in pairs, find
a way to show that emotion
symbolically.
Berkoff was heavily influenced by Surrealism...

Does anyone know what surrealism is?
Last lesson we experimented with...

MIME

(exaggeration, time and repetition)
you will have developed your ability to apply this knowledge of Berkoff to the text Metamorphosis
CORE LESSON OBJECTIVE
Mechanics
Gesture
Vocals
expression
Today we will consider Berkoff's influences, performance style and production style in more detail with the aim that by the end of this lesson...
VIOLENCE IS ALSO OFTEN
A KEY THEME IN HIS WORK AS
IS HUMAN CONFLICT .

Can you pin point moments of violence or
conflict in the play?
Spend 5 minutes making notes.
To finish....
Can you suggest any moment in the text that you feel Berkoff would have focused on in regards to this?
Recap - What are the core themes?
Lets build on our prior knowledge to develop the work.
Full transcript