Tuesday, August 26, 2008

In the Telling

I’m learning so much by memorizing Emily Dickinson's poems and saying them out loud. Yesterday saying the words “inebriate” I could feel a propulsion of breath bursting out of my mouth to be sucked in by the words “of air”. Leaning into the words and letting them create sensations and then feelings in the body. (Check the August 1 post for the poem: "I taste a liquor never brewed.")

I'm beginning to read a book by Cicely Barry called "From Word to Play: A Handbook for Directors." In the beginning she says there is no difference between words to action and action to words. Now I'm beginning to feel it. The body speaking is a moving instrument. Barry says we must bring sound back into theater. It reminds me of what I learned from studying with Shakespeare and Company in the Berkshires. They pointed out that before written language the sounds in the oral traditions were so graphic that the TELLING evoked intense feelings. That's why Shakespeare's language is so visceral and compelling. When really spoken the consonants clang, burst, throb, ssssss's slither and lisp; lll's be liquid lilting waves. Sounds go straight to the "body" of the audience.

Makes me understand why theater is so wonderful. To hear a live actor reverberating on stage with all the nuances and minute tellings...

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