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plays + playwrights + theatre + directing

... 2008 class : t-blog @

film/script & episodes [ samples ]


BM in acting I *
"The biomechanical system can be defined not only as a system for the basic grounding of actors and stage articulation, but also of a global theatrical system." *

* The Images (The Album) are still not all in place! [new from vTheatre -- GeoAlaska, links to my graphic files are in the list minipages]

* 2007 updated : brecht + epic theatre pages [ textbook part2 ]

epic theatre definition *

virtual theatre

From Epic Theatre



Epic Theatre The Moving Body: Teaching Creative Theatre by Jacques Lecoq -- Jacques Lecoq was born in Paris in 1921. He taught until the day before his death in 1999. David Bradby is Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at Royal Holloway University of London. His is a director, translator, and the author of, among other books, Mise en scene: French Theatre Now.


see Epic Theatre page!

Textbook, part 2. Presentational vs. Representational Acting (BM Cycles in Acting 1?)

* see acting2 group pages!
Film Directing for Actors
Please, read acting for the camera pages in advance: Actors in Film Directing, Film in BM and Camera in Method Acting -- before we have video-sessions in class! You have to have your monologues shots-broken (Actor's Text).

... [ on film acting -- where? "The 6th" Approach? ]

... Each chapter in part 2 -- new lesson (5 * 6 * 7 * 8) = p.61 textbook

Episode (segment) and action unit

No cause and effect (Dada and absurd scenes)

"Objective" and Constructivist Theatre (Expressionism)

Gest -- Kabuki (Mikado, parody), Commedia

Episodes and Captions (Poster Idea: 1. WHAT happends? 2. WHO makes it happen? 3. To WHOM does it happen?)

Report to the audience (75) = No 4th Wall

Demostration (A-Effect)


The Gest

Terms (glossary): ... the object lesson ( prop and ... )

The Chart (80) : Basic Unit * Key Question * Dramatic Action

Ch. 5. Combining Episodes

Playing an Opposition ("naked conflict") --> counter-actions

Alienation, Take 2

Plot and Story (according to Kaplan)


Marx and Dialectic (Hegel)

Ch 6. 3 Lives in the Episodic Theatre (105) : Meyerhold, Piscator, Brecht

... Notes on Epic Theatre * Galileo [ script : Life of Galileo (Paperback) by Bertolt Brecht (Author), John Willett (Author), Ralph Manheim (Author) 978-1559702546 ] [my wishlist title? ]

Epic Theatre Notes

[ key points ]

... After Brecht: British Epic Theater By Janelle G. Reinelt * Published 1994 University of Michigan Press Plays / Drama ISBN 0472084089

Performing Brecht By Margaret Eddershaw - Performing Arts - 1996 - 200 pages Performing Brecht is an unprecedented history of the productions of Brecht's plays in Britain over forty years

Brecht Sourcebook By Henry Bial, Carol Martin - 2000 - 256 pages These essays are an ideal companion to Brecht's plays Limited preview - Table of Contents - About this book

* web-show : (Utopia Project) : virtual theatre files ... 2007

Life of Galileo From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia : The plot of the play concerns the latter period of the life of Galileo Galilei, the great Italian natural philosopher, who was persecuted by the Roman Catholic Church for the promulgation of his scientific discoveries. The play embraces such themes as the conflict between the dogmatic church and science, as well as constancy in the face of oppression.

Bertolt Brecht (category)


Brecht - Epic Theatre & Biomechanics

BM Acting II: Episodic Techniques

new -- notes
Read intro and Brecht (

Unlike "Aristotlean" drama, Epic Theatre works with "episodic structure" (simular to movie scripts).

Paying Oppositions

Terms: Episode, Caption (in the style of tabloid newspapers).

Identifying roles (types)
Report to the audience (no 4th Wall)
Demonstration (open to see)
Transitions (identify them)
The gest

[ use film terminology, montage and dialectic ]

Episodic Analysis (Kaplan):
* Basic unit: the episode, an event that happens on stage, understood by the audience.
* Key question: actor -- "What do I do?"
* Dramatic action: a transition between characters, clarified by a gest at the moment when the transition is successfully completed or fall apart.

( exerc. in class )

Review: opposition -- contradictions, simultaneous or sequential, deliberetly included in a performance in order to create a dynamic fusion of opposing forces.

alienation -- making the familiar seem strange by taking what is familiar out of context.

Tips (Kaplan):
1. Read the stage directions aloud

2. Unifying image (poster)

3. The intended reaction of the audience. Episodic acting encourages the audience to synthesizs a story from the progression of episodes. Brecht wanted his audience to sit in judgement of the action. (101)

4. The illusion of character

5. The relative theory: Marxism -- Epic Theatre, Freud -- Method

[ scenes in class ]

[ I do not know where to talk about Acting for the Camera, which is by default is very "episodic" (action-cut). Maybe at Actors in film directing directory. ] Venice-DonJuan2003
Venice Carnival 2002 & DJ 2003

The performer’s discipline was further dissected and tested by Meyerhold’s insistence on breaking down every instant of an individual’s performance to ensure that the instant has no superfluous elements, and adds to the objectives of the piece.

"The co-ordinated manifestations of excitability together constitute the actor’s performance. Each separate manifestation comprises of an acting cycle [element of excitement].

Each acting cycle comprises three invariable stages :


The intention is the intellectual assimilation of a task prescribed externally by the dramatist, the director, or the initiative of the performer.

The realisation is the cycle of volitional1, mimetic2 and vocal reflexes.

The reaction is the attenuation of the volitional reflex as it is realised mimetically and vocally in preparation for the reception of a new intention (the transition to a new acting cycle)…"

1 The term ‘feelings’ is used in the strictly technical sense with no loose, sentimental connotation. The same applies to ‘volitional.’ The word is used on the one hand the ‘inspirational’ method of acting (and the systematic use of narcotic stimulants ), and on the other the method of ‘authentic emotions’ (the hypnotic conditioning of the imagination)…

2 ‘Mimetic reflexes’ comprise all the movements performed by the separate parts of the actor’s body and the movements of the entire body in space.

[Meyerhold’s notes]."


Read theatre theory pages (chronotope, time, space).
Next : mise en scene

Extracts from:
Bertolt Brecht.  Brecht on Theatre, trans. John Willett (London: Methuen, 1964)

1. ‘Certain changes of emphasis as between the dramatic and the epic theatre’ (37)

plot narrative
implicates the spectator in a stage situation turns the spectator into an observer
wears down his capacity for action arouses his capacity for action
provides him with sensations forces him to take decisions
experience picture of the world
the spectator is involved in something he is made to face something
suggestion  argument
instinctive feelings are preserved brought to the point of recognition
the spectator is in the thick of it, shares the experience the spectator stands outside, studies
the human being is taken for granted the human being is the object of the enquiry
he is unalterable he is alterable and able to alter
eyes on the finish eyes on the course
one scene makes another each scene for itself
growth montage
linear development in curves
evolutionary determinism jumps
man as a fixed point man as a process
thought determines being social being determines thought
feeling reason

Meyerhold trained under Nemirovich-Danchenko, and joined the Moscow Arts Theatre at its formulation in 1898. Although Meyerhold both performed and directed under Stanislavsky in the naturalism style, he eventually formulated his own ideas on theatre, which were so different from the Moscow Arts Theatre’s that he had to leave. Meyerhold considered the art of the performer dead under Stanislavsky, he suggested that naturalism is a sort of hypnotism, removing control of what happens on stage from the actor, and giving it to a fictional character. [ * ] Yoga-Acting Meyerhold's actors -- Garin "Bad Acting" -- Biomechanics and Epic Theatre as STYLE [images] :

Da-Vinci Playing "fixed" emotions (e-motion): establish dominat feelins and move from one to another in stages (trajectory or the "story" of passions).

It doesn't contradict the concept of "motivation" (Method); simply an approach from "outside-in".

Mark the stages in your Actor's Text breakdown.

"Emotional Structure" -- plot

Start with the monologue! Leonardo

I use Leonardo Da Vinci drawings (identify the theme-emotion in each, give a name).

Connect the changes in "emotional soulscape" with the movement (left and right notes in your Actor's Text).

"Face breakdown" -- how the emotion is expressed (eyes, mouth, head position and etc.)

Captions -- define (discribe) each moment (as if for freez-frames).

Check for psychological truth in evolution (story) of emotional path. L1

This technique is very useful for film acting (closeup and shot-by-shot approach)

... Leonardo and ... gest ("master gesture" page?)



[ images : Galileo (web-show) ] Brecht's Galileo * Dramlit THR215