chapter  11
4 Pages

For a hierarchy of means of expression on the stage: Adolphe Appia

ByADOLPHE APPIA

The art of stage-directing is the art of projecting into space what the dramatist has been able to project only into time. Let us examine what our staging has to offer the playwright – and this mainly in Latin countries, where a predilection for the conservative (which sometimes plays a protective and salutary role) can, when living art is at stake, become a real danger. The first factor in stage-directing is the performer – the actor. The actor is the bearer of the action. Without him, there is no action, and consequently no drama. Everything, it seems, ought to be subordinated to that element, which comes first hierarchically. Now, the body is living, mobile, and plastic, it has three dimensions. Space itself and the objects placed in it (which are intended for the body) will have to take scrupulous account of that fact. The general arrangement of the stage comes hierarchically directly after the actor, it is the means by which the actor makes contact with stage space – the means by which he acquires his reality in space.