I have just had a complaint about one of my props for a show from an actor. It was a serious grievance but thought I would blog about it as it explains a lot about Spotlites style.
I was in the process of re-spraying a long wand for our hit show ‘Sleeping Beauty & the Time Lords’, it’s the one used by the cybernised guardian F8 in the show. Now while I was sanding down the old paint ready for a new undercoat and then a few top coats the actors were rehearsing a scene today in which the wand is used. Now as I knew this I had obtained a similar wand like piece of clear acrylic which I cut to the same length.
Now the complaint that came from the stage manager was that the wand wasn’t the same weight as the original I was working on and that the actor was unhappy. Now this would sound like a prima donna-esque thing I hear you say, but no, this is serious. As a theatre company which aspires to Grotowski’s methods it is very important to us that everything, including rehearsals, be exactly the same as a performance – this is holy theatre. The actor needs the wand to perfect his movement in the piece.
The funny thing is that there is no ego in Grotowski, no actor ego that is. So while it may seem trivial, it is the essence of our work. Holy theatre is Grotowski’s invention and it is all about ‘truth’ of performance.
This can also be seen in the notes that the Director gives the actors and technicians after every rehearsal and performance – it is not personal criticism, it is a note on how to improve – again with no ego, and all our actors crave feedback from Spotlites’ director as it is the sign that more improvement and a more holy theatre can be achieved. To not get notes is a bit of a concern for a holy theatre actor.
Anyway, my undercoat is now dry so I better get back to the first top coat on the wand.
Interested in learning more about Grotowsi – go through the links below: