chapter  6
16 Pages

Acting Spaces

Negotiating stage spaces for movement mastery
WithRobert Barton, Barbara Sellers-Young

This chapter provides actors with the core vocabulary for being in a theatre space and moving there. It reviews terms associated with theatre geography along with tips for reading the map and navigating the areas, including the relative strength of stage positions. Theatre can take place anywhere from street corners to warehouses, but the proscenium style auditorium remains the place most plays are performed, with audiences looking into a picture frame. Screen performers are often expected to move closer to other actors and props beyond normal everyday interaction because the camera creates space. The legendary acting innovator Stanislavski invented a tool to assist in all of the pressures and challenges. Stanislavski has described as “elastic,” letting the actor’s awareness stretch, expand and contract with minimal effort as needed. An audience can be quite mesmerized by moments of public solitude because they feel as if they are eavesdropping on the character’s privacy.