By Anne Bogart
A thought-provoking exam of the demanding situations of creating theatre.
content material: reminiscence --
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Additional resources for A Director Prepares: Seven Essays on Art and Theatre
I arrived early to find a buoyant atmosphere. In the back row of the theatre, PhD students and scholars waited expectantly, pens poised, for Wilson’s entrance. On the stage young actors warmed up. A stage management team sat behind a battalion of long tables at the edge of the stage. 15. He sat down in the middle of the audience risers amidst the bustle and noise and proceeded to gaze intently at the stage. Gradually everyone in the theatre quietened down until the silence was penetrating. After about five excruciating minutes of utter stillness, Wilson stood up, walked towards a chair on the stage and stared at it.
Never having experienced another director at work, I felt like I was watching other people in a private, intimate act. And I recognized that night the necessary cruelty of decision. The decisive act of setting an object at a precise angle on the stage, or an actor’s hand gesture, VIOLENCE ••• 45 seemed to me almost an act of violation. And I found this upsetting. And yet, deep down, I knew that this violent act is a necessary condition for all artists. Art is violent. To be decisive is violent.
He has made several recordings of Appalachian music with ace fiddler Mark O’Connor. In order to adapt his classical training to meet the demands of O’Connor and Appalachian music, Ma purposefully changed the way he held his bow. He positioned his hand at the bottom of the bow rather than the customary classical placement. Suddenly, the virtuoso cellist, Ma, felt totally out of his element with this 48 ••• VIOLENCE new limitation. But eventually this unfamiliar way of playing opened up new possibilities and a new kind of eloquence.
A Director Prepares: Seven Essays on Art and Theatre by Anne Bogart