Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Directing Workshop: Week 3

So I didn’t go to the workshop last week because my brother got engaged, so I was there to be a part of that important moment of his life. I wasn’t the only one who wasn’t able to attend. Fortunately for us, the first thing that was discussed during this third session was what was done the previous week. 

The group said last week they continued the activity that was done in the first week, which was the draw/explain activity thing. Abang Wan also started talking about the roles of the director, but didn’t elaborate too much on it (since I’m guessing they ran out of time?).

This week, Abang Wan continued with his explanation of what the roles of the director include, and focussed on “choosing the script”. He said the director has  few things to consider before choosing a script, even if they liked it. Things such as whether or not the director is equipped in terms of knowledge, time and money to manifest the script on stage are important to consider.

One person asked if it was okay that a director chose a script that had already been staged and staged it exactly the same way (albeit with different actors) as its predecessor. Abang Wan didn’t like the idea, but it wasn’t wrong per se. Then we got into a discussion into whether or not it was okay.

I posited that it would be as if a person painted a painting that had already been painted before, in exactly the same way that it had been painted. It wouldn’t be wrong, per se to do that, but people would definitely put the value of the original higher than the value of the copy. It would be wrong, however, if the painter copy tried to pass it on as an original work. That’s a person taking credit where credit is not due, a corrupt practice indeed. The person making the copy needs to be transparent and honest about their work and clarify that it is indeed a copy and accept the feedback for what it is.

One person put forward that because a previous work had already been staged, there’s no reason to do it again the exact same way it was done in the past. They said that even movie remakes put their own spin on the story being told, because there’s not much point in telling the same story twice in the exact same way.

I suggested that because of the temporary nature of theatre performances, there might be a solid reason for a story to be restaged in the same way. Because what is performed on the stage begins and ends with the staging within that hour or two, and it’s not recorded on film or tv, then staging it again could be bringing the story to new, younger audiences. 

A play that I watched and loved when I was twelve might not continue to be told by the time I turn 28, and so out of love towards to play and what it had done to me, I would probably want to retell the story so that new twelve year olds might be able to watch and experience it in as close a way as I had all those years ago. In that regard, re-staging a play seems well-justified. But again, the onus is on the director to make it clear that it is a re-staging of an original work done by such and such so as to be transparent about the work of art.

That was a nice little discussion we had near the end of the session. Next week we are expected to bring along 15-20 minute scripts to the session. What we’ll do with them, I don’t quite know yet. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Until then, cheers.

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