A Formalist Theatre by Michael Kirby

By Michael Kirby

Michael Kirby offers a penetrating glance a theater idea and research. His technique is analytically finished and versatile, and nonevaluative. Case reviews show this special approach and list performances that in a different way will be lost.

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Extra info for A Formalist Theatre

Sample text

Given the eagerness of actors to act, it is doubtful whether there has ever been a production of these scripts that did, in fact, avoid the use of acting. Handke's My Foot, My Tutor makes use of simple acting by reducing the performers' means: the two characters do not talk, they wear neutral half-masks, and, for the most part, they perform ordinary movements (that sometimes seem extraordinary because they contradict expectancies and do not "fit" the context). " There is a cat in the play. A cat cannot be trained and does not act.

If! we are concerned with the possible application of analysis as practical theory in the creation of perfor- mances, concentration upon first-time structure and the unidirectional flow of experience is particularly important. " To answer this question, let us look first in the most obvious places. When we do, we notice a basic structural principle: anything that exists continuously through time creates structure. In part, continuity structure exists at the perceptual level. The actor/ character is almost always the basic perceptual unit of a play.

To represent discontinuous structure visually one might use arrows. At each present moment of a performance an arrow to the right, toward the future on the time line of our imaginary chart, would indicate that an expectancy has been created about the future. Perhaps information has been presented that we feel will be useful later. Often, this quality exists even when the performance unit is taken out of context. 29 .... ::T tD ....... ,c:: L't tD o .... ,0' 3 GJ ~ n to 30 DYSART: (shaking hands) Mrs.

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