Drama

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  • Topic: Theatre, Royal Court Theatre, Joint Stock Theatre Company
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  • Published : July 13, 2010
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Supporting Notes.
Play – My Mother said I never should, written by Charlotte Keatly. Skill - Acting Practioner – Max Stafford-Clark. Role – Margaret Section 1: -700

Max Stafford-Clark is one of the most influential directors to embrace British Theatre in the past 40 years. Nearly every play Max has directed is political, including themes such as Marxism (like Brecht), socialism, feminism, poverty and many more political themes. Max says he chooses to direct plays like this because “I am socially curious, and I take theatre as tool of investigating society” from his book Letter’s to George, which alone with Taking Stock, has documented his directing experiences of theatre and his life. He co-founded Joint Stock Theatre Company, alongside Bill Gaskill. Here he developed his workshop theory, of working alongside actors, and new writers especially. Throughout his time at the Royal Court Theatre he directed plays such as Top Girls (Caryl Churchill) and developed new significant writers: Sarah Daniels, Jim Cartwright, by incorporating his workshop ideas into directing them. Max founded Out of Joint Theatre Company in 1994, it developed into a National and even International theatre company, which Max dedicated its work to the expanding and the production of new writing. The workshop process was a new way of producing plays for British theatre. Max didn’t believe that there was a hierarchy between the writer, director and actors. He believed everyone was equal and the play would be developed by the whole group. The whole company would research the books and themes, developing ideas through creative workshops. Then the writer would go away and write first draft of the play, which would be rewritten several times by the company during their conventional rehearsal period. The principle of the workshop technique was to motivate the writer. Most of Max’s plays have started with a workshop. Max also incorporates lots of research on the issues of his plays. He directed “The Overwhelming” which was a play about the Genocide in Rwanda, he took him and JT Rogers the writer there, to get a direct view about the events that happened .After the trip the actors would have to prepare a piece from the information given, helping them gain the information how the people were affected during the horrific ordeal. Which helped them gain character and more information on the issue of the play. This made us choose Max as our practitioner through his rehearsal techniques, because with 4 generations occurring within ‘My Mother Said I never Should’, we had to go research our elders like Max, and ask them questions on their beliefs on the subject of illegitimate children. Therefore, this technique helped us develop our characters in the different time period we had to play influencing different beliefs. Max uses many other techniques in the rehearsal processes. He is famous for using playing cards in his Workshop. One way he uses the card is to work out their characters status and how they should behave in different situations that their character could entail. A King is a High status, and Ace is a low status. Each one would behave different towards one another. So, the Cards are used to determine, for example how passionate each character is in a scene and how they’d portray themselves across. We used this technique to see the different groups there are in childhood, from bossy popular type, to quite get bullied. This was a good choice as it showed us how each character had to act towards each other He also uses other key techniques such as Actioning, and interviewing in his workshops, clearly another good choice for choosing Max as our practitioner for this play. In conclusion, Max creates realism during his rehearsal processes, helping the actors feel at home with the characters and the issues in the play,...
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