Stage Blocking Question

by Philémon
(Bujumbura, Burundi)

QUESTION:

Rehearsals sometimes suffer from a lack of appropriate methodology in coordinating movements of actors on the stage. What effective methodology can be applied for the successful rehearsal and performance of a play?

ANSWER:

Actors are very creative people who don't necessarily respond to arbitrary stage directions. A director usually has a vision of why the actors move in a certain way on stage, but the trick is to be able to translate that vision into a language actors connect with.

Try to always give a reason for actors to move on the stage. It can be something as simple as, "you've just come from the backyard which is down stage left" or more complex like, "you just need to get away from the other actor, so you move downstage right, which is as far as you can get without leaving the room".

Some experienced actors don't need these kind of directions, as they automatically translate stage directions into inner character motivations, but less experienced actors will need your help to find reasons to move.

The ideal situation, of course, is a rehearsal process where actors and directors work on stage blocking together as a creative process as they discover more and more about their characters and the theme of the play.

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