“A wise old stage manager with whom I worked for a long time, Robert Currie, once told me there are two rules of stage management: The first rule is that stage managers should have no opinions; the second rule is that they must know when to break rule number one.” – Thomas Kelly
Friday Arts Quotes
All deep things are song. It seems somehow the very central essence of us, song; as if all the rest were but wrappages and hulls!
Without music life would be a mistake.
-Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.
-Ludwig van Beethoven
After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.
– Aldous Huxley
Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.
“Richard, people are tired of ads in all their forms. They don’t believe anything we say and it doesn’t work. We at Frog Hammer ask ourselves very simple things. Is it wondrous? Does it move you? Is it culturally authentic? We believe that people are sick of being lied to. If you use truth, you can sell people anything. If you want to react, to feel, to buy, tell them the truth! TRUTH IS THE NEW LIE!”
– Sanjay (Episode 2,2 – Fallow Time)
“What the hell are we going to do? I mean, I know what I’m going to have to do. I’m going to have to go to the Minister of Culture and beg for money like some kind of blind hurdler.”
– Richard Smith-Jones (Episode 2,1 – Season’s End)
“Call me superstitious or cowardly or weak, but I’ll never play a character whose name one dare not speak. I’ll play Hamlet in doublet and hose or either of the Dromeos but, sorry, I won’t play Mackers. I’ll play Richard the Third with a hump and wig, or Henry the Eighth (that selfish pig) but, sorry, I don’t do Mackers. Every soul who plays this role risks injury or death, I’d rather sweep the bloody stage than ever do Mac-you-know-who. So gimme King Lear, Cleopatra, Romeo, Juliet, doesn’t mattra – I’ll play them all for free. But I’d be crackers to take on Mackers. You see, I’m skittish about the Scottish tragedy.”
– Cyril (Season 2 Title Song – Video below)
I finally ordered myself a copy of “Stage Managing the Arts in Canada” by Winston Morgan which is a great handbook, but surprisingly hard to find. I had to directly e-mail the publication house and ask for a copy, but they were great about getting it to me.
While it’s a little bit out of date (about 10 years old), it is very helpful and concise and I want to share a couple of its wisdom nuggets with you.
“Stage Management is an art form. It is the art of working with people. It is the art of gathering and disseminating accurate and timely information. It is the art of interpreting ideas.”
“Try to find a chair that is both comfortable and good for your back. You will have a long career: avoid sitting in bad chairs.”
Ever since I got to Kamloops I have been missing live theatre. It’s been a month since I’ve seen a show and will be another month until I see another. In an effort to appease my soul’s desire to see live shows, I’ve been watching Slings and Arrows. If you’ve never heard of the show, it’s time you watched it. All of it.
In the meantime, let me present you with a couple of quotes from the first season when the fictional theatre company produces “Hamlet”.
“Cheer up, Hamlet; chin up, Hamlet; buck up, you melancholy Dane! So your uncle is a cad who murdered Dad and married Mum. That’s really no excuse to be as glum as you’ve become! So wise up, Hamlet; rise up, Hamlet; perk up and sing a new refrain. Your incessant monologizing fills the castle with ennui. Your antic disposition is embarrassing to see. And by the way, you sulky brat, the answer is to be! You’re driving poor Ophelia insane. So shut up, you rogue and peasant; grow up, it’s most unpleasant; cheer up, you melancholy Dane!”
– Act 1 Theme Song
“There are some of you who will be terrified to learn that I’m going to take over direction of this play. There are others who will be thrilled because they know that in my production there will be little danger of you stepping in a pile of horse shit. But I think that there is one thing that both, the pro-Geoffrey and the anti-Geoffrey, camps can agree upon and that is, that my reason may very well be hanging by a thread. Well, my friends, it is my belief that the best of happens just before the thread snaps”
– Geoffry Tennant
In the past two weeks of rehearsing Rosencrantz & Guildenstern I’ve picked out a handful of my favorite quotes, some about what it means to be actors and others just because they make me smile. Enjoy.
“We keep to our usual stuff, more or less, only inside out. We do onstage the things that are supposed to happen off. Which is a kind of integrity, if you look on every exit being an entrance somewhere else.” – Player, R&G
“We’re the actors – we’re the opposite of people” – Player, R&G
With only 3 performances left of You Still Can’t at Pacific Theatre, I bring you an all YSC version of Friday Arts Quotes.
Grandpa Tony: “Working against something you believe in. That’s not good for a person’s soul. What’ll you have to take home with you at the end of it all?”
Norman: So you actually got to work with Philip Glass?
Dylan: You will recognize something of a cyclical organizing principle, and would be correct in any conjecture with regards to a certain Glassian influence.
Norman: Cool! Ripping off the greats!
Dylan: I think of it as a consciously post-modern referentiality -“
Photo: Sasha (Laura VanDyke) encouraging Dylan (Brett Ziegler) to sign the Dylan poster for Norman’s (Tim Bratton) pseudograph display.
(Cut from the play) Norman: “Anything worth doing is worth overdoing”
After a hiatus, Friday Arts Quotes are back!
“Rehearsing a play is making the word flesh. Publishing a play is reversing the process.” – Peter Shaffer
“I began my talk by saying that I had not written my plays for purposes of discussion. At once, I felt a ripple of panic run through the hall. I suddenly realised why. To everyone present, discussion was the whole point of drama. That was why the faculty had been endowed — that was why all those buildings had been put up! I had undermined the entire reason for their existence.” – Tom Stoppard
“If you want to help the American theater, don’t be an actress, be an audience. ” – Tallulah Bankhead
From the producers notes in the program for Stop Kiss (opens tonight @ the Havana)
“This play struck a cord with our hearts & simultaneously an innocent face was struck in the city. With that in mind we decided this story needed to be told. It’s a love story. Simple as that. Too often we hear of hate crimes that happen & all we focus on is the hate. We world like for you to sit back in this dark space & let us remind you of someone you love, that loves you back… just the way you are.”
“A play’s got to be a dramatic event, not a lyrical event. It’s not music, it’s not poetry, it’s not dance, it’s not narrative – it’s dramatic…it’s about conflict. It’s about forces coming together.”
– Romulus Linney
“When the artist is truly the servant of the work, the work is better than the artist; Shakespeare knew how to listen to his work, and so he often wrote better than he could write; Bach composed more deeply, more truly than he knew, Rembrandt’s brush put more of the human spirit on canvas than Rembrandt could comprehend. When the work takes over, then the artist is enabled to get out of the way, not to interfere. When the work takes over, then the artist listens.”
– Madeleine L’Engle
“Learning to write for the theatre is learning to be a human being, because the theatre by its very nature makes you deal with other human beings.”
– David Ives