Pulling a play into a coherent shape, getting the story told from my vantage point – after all, the director is the ultimate storyteller – is the fun, if sometimes challenging, part.
Upstage means ‘far from the proscenium,’ right? And downstage means ‘close to the audience’?
I must admit, I learned these terms and this spatial awareness at age 8, so I tend to forget that not everyone has been onstage for most of their lives.
And then, I’m reminded.
The trick to being a successful director is to learn to communicate in each actor’s unique lexicon. I’m a great fan of the Theory of Multiple Intelligences as well. But there’s simply not time in rehearsals to say the same thing three or five or seven different ways.
Ultimately, it all comes down to finding a common language, as singling folks out impedes the sense of teamwork inherent in the theatrical process. And if one must teach to do so, hopefully one can do that with grace and humor.
If each actor thought the same way, behaved the same way, understood the same way, theater would be boring boring boring, both in the process and the performances!
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