SCRIPTED PLAYS • THE BASICS
BASICS OF STAGING • TIE IT ALL TOGETHER • Director’s “vision”: set, sound, costumes, props, etc should all match the vision and the theme (visualization exercise) • Get creative! (flashbacks, choral movement, songs, mask, etc) • SET & STAGING • Sets should establish “areas” and be functional (a couch should be used for sitting; a door should open close; etc) • Sightlines, Masking, “Cheating Out” • Using your stage space wisely • Fill the space (no dead space) • Use the downstage area
BASICS OF STAGING • PROFESSIONALISM • Be ORGANISED: have lists of props, costumes, cues, and set designs ready to go; know who’s setting what and who’s striking what to be quick, clean, and efficient; use a props table & actor bins backstage • Consider and rehearse transitions (changes between scenes); try to do something creative, and ALWAYS use appropriate music for the mood (ie: a monologue during a transition; starting the next scene right away; music when the lights fades for a set change; etc) • TECH • Use lighting! A gobo (patterns) to create a forest; blue gel (colours) to create nightime; a spotlight for a monologue; etc • Sound effects and music should enhance the mood of the play (intense moment--use intense music); avoid using music while talking; always fade music in and out, lights up and down (or blackout) • ACTING • Project your voice! • Be in the moment! Reaction, energy (YES!) • Always be doing something onstage (stage business; move with purpose; no “dead” time)
SCRIPTS • Published Scripts: add your SND (sound) & LX (lighting) cues in the margins • ie) LX1: Fade up spotlight to 80%; • ie) SND1: Fade in track 1 to volume 30. • ie) LX2: Fade down spotlight to 2%. • Writing your own script: see your handout for formatting; make sure you include stage directions (clues for the actors), SND and LX cues, and dialogue.
SAMPLE THE GRASS ON THE OTHER SIDE Tom Gladders..................................................George Habib Sue Gladders...................................................Noha Shakir All actors are standing downstage right, looking across the stage. The stage is bare, except for a large sign that reads THE OTHER SIDEin bold letters, hanging from stage left. SND1: Fade in track 1 to volume 50. LX1: Fade up full wash to 80%. SND2: Slowly fade out track 1 as lights fade up. Sue: Look Tom, over there, there it is, that’s where we want to go! Isn’t it awesome over there? Tom: Well, yes, looks very nice Sue. But really, nothing wrong over here either when you think of it. I mean, we have a great life; things are going great right where we are. Sue: Well, yes, but it’s that final step, that final victory. Tom: Sue, sweetheart, I don’t understand, what more could we hope for? I mean, we have a great life an awesome marriage, some of the best kids around, good and challenging job, the whole nine yards. What is the reason for us taking that extra step? Sue: Oh but Tom, just think of how much better . . . (gazes out into space). Tom: (Interrupting her daydream) And also think of the danger we face. I mean, what if we fall flat on our face, what will our friends say if they see us? I mean, won’t they wonder why we aren’t satisfied with what we have? Sue: But look at the others who have crossed that bridge, see how much happier they are..(desperately) Like the Nelsons! SND3: fade in nostalgia track 2. LX3: Lights shift to stage left.
Backstage USR US USL SR CS SL LW RW DSR DS DSL Apron REMEMBER: STAGE AREAS ARE ALWAYS FROM THE ACTOR’S PERSPECTIVE! House STAGE AREAS
STAGE POSITIONS • One quarter left=1/4L • One quarter right=1/4R • Three quarters left=3/4L • Three quarters right=3/4R • Profile left=PL • Profile right=PR • Full Front=FF • Full Back=FB
BASIC VOICE & BODY EXERCISES • BREATH FROM YOUR DIAPHRAGM (candle exercise; floor breathing) • ANNUNCIATE: The tip of the tongue the teeth the lips; many men; ping pong • YES! • BODY CENTRES: finding how your character moves • POSITIONING: creating relationships/stories through interesting positions
SOME SITES TO CHECK OUT • dramashare.org • christianscripts.com • dramatix.org • skitguys.com • CHOOSE CAREFULLY WITH YOUR SERVANTS AND MAKE SURE YOU SUBMIT YOUR SCRIPT FOR APPROVAL BY THE DEADLINE