Explain how actors manifest their training on the stage. In your answer refer to your study and exploration of the approaches to acting and performance of TWO of the practitioners and texts set for study. Approaches to acting explores not only the practitioners but also the world In which their audiences are living. Brazilian theatre director Augusto Boll’s The Theatre of the Oppressed grew out of the chaos and oppression In Brazil In the sass’s-ASS. The aesthetics of his approach to acting came from his philosophy and belief In humanity ability to change through theatre.
The Theatre of the Oppressed Is therefore a theatre of liberation and the actors and non-actors are trained In a specific way to realism Boll’s theatrical forms. He published his theories In a book; Games for Actors and Ancestor. Dadaist Suzuki text, The Ways of Acting, chose not to provide a manual for acting training but rather to present his philosophical approach to the stage, the nature of acting and the place of purpose of performance in contemporary society.
His ideas were influenced by Japanese Non and Kabuki theatre and he sought a deeper meaning in his practice and found it in the atypical and ritualistic dimensions of his method. Both practitioners manifest their training on the stage through their actor training and their audience engagement. In Augusto Boll’s philosophy, “ordinary citizens are actors who are simply unaware of the play, and everyone can make theatre, even the untrained. ” Brazil suffered two military coups in 1 964 and 1969 and during this time Bola performed with his acting troupe to peasants and workers who were affected by the coups.
However he realized that the ideas he were presenting were only revolutionary in theory as he and his diddle class actors lived far from the reality from those who they were performing. As both a theorist and director, Bola was especially intrigued by the relationship between the spec-actor and the actor, and his career was a step towards a greater partnership between the two. From this central Idea, Bola created an Interactive and politically expressive theatre form known as The Theatre of the Oppressed.
The Theatre of the Oppressed Is a form of theatre where a group or community of people In oppressive situations come together to discuss their experiences and Investigate as a group was that they can change the situation they are In. Bola uses his theatre as a means of promoting social and political change, “… The theatre Is a weapon and It Is the people who should wield It. ” In The Theatre of the Oppressed the audience become ‘spec-actors’ and they take part in the action on stage. They help to explore, show, analyses and transform the reality in which they are living.
The Theatre of the Oppressed is broken into three different forms; Image, Forum and Invisible Theatre. Image Theatre has short scenes that portray three different images; eve the spec-actors created frozen tableaus about an issue of great importance to them. It allows for audience participation and moving from the real image to the ideal image opens up discussion about how they can create change within their own lives. This empowers the audience rather than them only watching a performance and it having little effect on them.
Forum Theatre is organized by the Joker who controls the action and encourages audience participation. The spec-actors watch a piece of theatre on an issue dominant in their society and are called on to discuss ND change the way the situation is being handled in the piece. This allows for audience engagement and brings Boll’s philosophy to the stage in the way that anyone can make theatre and it allows the public to think about ways to apply the changes they make on stage to their everyday lives.
Invisible Theatre leaves the audience thinking as they are presented with a piece of theatre they are unaware they are watching. Audience engagement occurs as some may step in to stop or change the action while others may go home thinking about what they have seen and how they would like it changed. An Australian group known as Third Way Theatre travel around Australia performing Forum, Image and Invisible theatre to oppressed groups. Recently they presented a project involving four inner city high schools where they looked at drugs, bullying and alcohol.
Two pieces of Forum Theatre that was devised by the students was presented to the parents of children attending the schools and to the teachers of the schools. They raised awareness about the use of drugs and alcohol and the effects of bullying within their school community, and allowed for the students, teachers and parents to discuss what they had presented ND ideas that extended from that. Boll’s actor training comes from his book Games for Actors and Non-Actors.
As suggested in the title “the exercises and games detailed are mostly suitable for both the trained and untrained performers – it is fundamental to Boll’s work that anyone In this book Bola discusses that an actor can be empowered by De- can act… ” Mechanizing the patterns of the actor’s physical and emotional habitual behavior. Through muscular, sensory, memory, imagination and emotion exercises the actor can become aware of these functions and then is able to be ‘re-tuned’. Each exercise is a physical reflection on one’s self.
Significant in Boll’s games are exercises around trusting and responding to the senses. They support the need to feel what we touch, see what we look at and listen to what we hear. The heightening of the senses also heightens the actor’s capacity to perceive and respond to political and social injustice. He also discusses the dynamiting and the memory of the senses as a way for the actor to connect to the issue they are portraying to their audience. In class we worshipped countless exercises including The Sound of the Seven Doorways.
In this exercise there were two groups of ‘doors’ created by a couple holding hands above their head. Each ‘doorway would make a distinct noise to attract a person walking with their eyes closed. They attempt to pass through all doors and when they have, a cheering sound is made. This awakens the senses to the blind person for now they have to be able to move around without sight. This is part of De-Mechanizing the body as the actor is asked to become more aware of the movements of their body. Actors and actors participate in these games as to become comfortable with one another, allowing for open discussion. Dadaist Suzuki explains that the purpose of his method is to “uncover and bring to the surface the physically perceptive sensibility which actors originally had, before the theatre acquired its various codified performing styles. ” Suzuki “attempts to bridge the gap between the style of traditional Japanese Non and Kabuki and that of modern theatre. ” He wished to recover the connection with the forces of nature known as ‘animal energy as this had been lost in modern theatre.
And he aimed to create a universal theatre in which his troupe had absolute dedication and a elective vision with nationality, cultural background, and gender and body type having no significance. Frank Theatre in Brisbane has been working for many years on productions based on Suzuki techniques, embedding his philosophy throughout their company. They believe that “theatre should be a spiritual arena” and as a company they work to create “theatre which combines Australian form and content with Asian sensibilities and integrity of purpose to produce a Japanese/Australian fusion theatre. Suzuki fundamental theory for his actor training was “To act, one must have a point f view. For acting to begin, one must have an audience, and to sustain acting, an awareness of the invisible body is required. ” The Suzuki Method of Actor Training is a collection of exercises that cultivates understanding of these fundamentals by attempting to disorient the centre of gravity, disrupt the breath and challenge the limits of physical and emotional experience. The actor must learn how to manage these tools efficiently and collectively in order to complete the exercises.
Goals for his actor training include; understand the different ways in which the feet contact the lour, be constantly focused and aware, when stomping, send the energy through the floor into to the ground, not onto it and keep the upper body free, but strong. The actor should learn how to access all of the energy, power, and grace within their physical selves. He likens the actor to “a spinning top that appears most calm and still when going at top speed. ” There are many exercised Suzuki invented to teach these to his actors and we worshipped some in class.
Stomping in Chihuahuas was the first exercise we did; stomping to an up-tempo beat for three minutes focusing n pressing the energy into the ground. At the end of the three minutes, we all collapsed to the ground, allowing for the rest of the energy to pass to the ground. From this we were taught focus and concentration and we learnt about the Grammar of the Feet. Will Blight summaries Suzuki training as “a grammar necessary to materialism the theatre that is in [his] mind… This ‘grammar’ should be assimilated into the body as a second instinct… Allowing the actors to feel themselves truly fictional’ on stage. Suzuki training is manifested on the stage in the way that many f his actor training exercises are present in performances. The actors communicate very little with one another and they create audience engagement by solely performing to them, usually a play of direct addresses. The focus that they learn in their training is brought to the stage similarly is the Grammar of the Feet. Engage the audience and train the actor to be aware of the body. Because Bola states that anyone can act, his games and exercises aim to dynamism the senses and open discussion between actor and spec-actor.
However because Suzuki believes it takes here years to perfect his performance style, his exercises are physically demanding and helps the actor “gain a perspective into the abilities you have and cultivate those you lack… Then translating those abilities into expression. ” Both practitioners bring their training to the stage in the way that many of their exercises or games are present in the performance. They both create audience engagement in different ways which also represents their training in their performance. By studying both of these practitioners, we gain a greater understanding of the body and its use in theatre.