BIOMECHANICS for Shakespeare! Or Shakespeare for BM?

2008 : acting2
Meyerhold: "At one time I dreamed of a production where Hamlet would be played by two actors: one vacillating, the other resolute. They would constantly replace each other, but while one was working, the other would not leave the stage, but would sit at his feet, and thus underline the tragic situation of two opposed temperaments. Sometimes the second one would even express his relation to the first and vice versa. He might even jump up at a certain point, knock the other out of the way, and take his place. Of course it's easier to imagine than to accomplish physically, since it would be hard to find two actors of equal physical gifts, and that's the whole point." * Aleksandr Gladkov, "Master rabotaet," Vstreci S Mejerxol'dom (Moscow, 1967), pp.500-502; "Iz vospominanij 0 Mejerxol'de," Moskva Teatral'naja (Moscow, 1960), pp.365-366.
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Read all monologue pages: first in mono1 and mono2 in Fundamentals of Acting. Next, mono pages in BM directory. Finally, monologue pages in!

Read the play again, if stuck.


5Ws -- when (including time of the day, day of the week and season), where (including from where he came and he goes), what and why (motivation for him to act/speak), objective/obstacle, who (including his traits and mannerisms). Write it in your journals!
Do you have master-gesture for Malvolio?
Malvolio's inner gesture?
Do you have hand props for him and do you use it (the three times rule).
What is your movement design for this scene? (Floor Plan)
Did you develop the characterization (vocalization) for the character? How do you make use of it in this mono?

Check other pages on motion!

THR221 Intermediate Acting (BM) Textbook Spring 2003:
Actors on Acting 051788478X
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Since we didn't do the Malvolio's analysis before, we have to do it now and here. First round: DRAMATIC COMPOSITION -- 1-2-3. Where is the climax?

Shakespeare Page in SCRIPT directory; also, Comedy (genre) and Comical in Theatre Theory

SHOWS: 12th Night
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"Playing Shakespeare requires technique. You don't play a Bach toccata by getting in the mood." --Kevin Kline
12th Night, Showcase
2004. I direct Taming of the Shrew in the Fall; more monologues and scenes -- Kate & Pete (new pages).
The play is broken into the french scenes, select one and start the paper-acting. (Read the scene and read the play).






O, ho! do you come near me now? no worse man than
Sir Toby to look to me! This concurs directly with
the letter: she sends him on purpose, that I may
appear stubborn to him; for she incites me to that
in the letter. 'Cast thy humble slough,' says she;
'be opposite with a kinsman, surly with servants;
let thy tongue tang with arguments of state; put
thyself into the trick of singularity;' and
consequently sets down the manner how; as, a sad
face, a reverend carriage, a slow tongue, in the
habit of some sir of note, and so forth. I have
limed her; but it is Jove's doing, and Jove make me
thankful! And when she went away now, 'Let this
fellow be looked to:' fellow! not Malvolio, nor
after my degree, but fellow. Why, every thing
adheres together, that no dram of a scruple, no
scruple of a scruple, no obstacle, no incredulous
or unsafe circumstance--What can be said? Nothing
that can be can come between me and the full
prospect of my hopes. Well, Jove, not I, is the
doer of this, and he is to be thanked.
[from Act 3, Scene 4]


Character & Monologue Study:

see 12night eGroup archives:

Comedy Biomechanics (Meyerhold's method): Originally 12nite production @ University of Alaska Fairbanks, cast, crew, Internet support group, readers and surfers on Shakespeare and Meyerhold - WHAT? 12night is a virtual archive of the UAF Theater Production process of 12night (by william), in spring 2000. The entire production process was 3 months long, including a one month long Round Table Period for discussion of SHOW concept, character exploration, and development (Meyerhold). Cast and crew list can be found under members or database. All Postings can be accessed under message headings. Bios are catalogued by actors name or under cast bios. Logs of the Round Table period and rehearsal period are catalogued under notes. Acting journal entries for different characters are invidually logged under character names i.e. Maria etc. General and Tech production notes are logged according to their heading i.e proplist, rehearsal, cuesheet, set and costume design, Show and script related weblinks can be found in the links section. The site is managed by the UAF Theater Department and VTRT UAF To be used in Acting and Directing Classes! 12th Night @ Virtual Theatre + THR221 Intermediate Acting my calendar

HOMEWORK: Identify the part-composition. What are 5W's for Malvolio? (exposition task)


I am teaching Intermediate Acting in the Spring of 2002 and this is the only chance I have to introduce Biomechanics to my students (Advanced Acting -- Method).

"12th Night" as a showcase; see production notes and read the archives at the Forum.
Read monologue pages in Fundamentals of Acting.

Where is the climax in this monologue? Resolution? The end of exposition?

How do you plan to show it?
Give one paragraph description of Malvolio.

Select a monologue from SHOWS directory "12 Night" for analysis and BM applications. Must read the play and understand the scene the monologue is selected from.

Describe the conflict and the inner conflict of the character (Objective and Obstacle).
How to express it physically? (Visualization)


Malvilio's Monologue -- do the breakdown (Actor's Text). Also, WWWilde directory and the Gogol Page for comedy references.

Shrew04 [stage manager] notes from 2-9-00: Act 2 Scene 3

The group needs bottles (beer etc.) They need to sing LOUD and very drunken, enough to get Malvolio to come out of the tower, were he is listening to them.Andrew has a high squeaky voice however thinks he is on pitch. Andrew needs to direct Toby and Toby needs to direct Andrew when they sing together they direct together. Andrew & Toby need to make burping noises and other lued noises. Andrew & Toby invite Feste to liven up their "party" Toby & Andrew get Feste to sing a love song for them. When Feste enters he needs to sit under the table and Andrew & Toby need to join him under the table. The group needs to be very close (rember when drunk personal space does not exist) This love song get.

Maria to enter. When Maria enters & pulls drunks off of floor while teasing them a little. Maria pulls Toby up close to her body and Feste comes from behind (very sexual) and meanwhile Maria sneaks out and replaces herself w/ Anddrew and the drunk do not realize at first that they are rubbing on Andrew. Maria gets drunks in a straight line to do the conga. However they are faced the wrong way she yells @ them and they turn around. Maria instructs for everyone to put their hands on the butt. Everyon puts thier hands on Maria butt so she slaps the extra set of hands and a domino effect fallows and everyone has their hands on the butt in front of them. The congo needs to be corographed but look a little bad, not too bad all hand & feet need to keep up w/ the group movments. The group does the conga line once around the table then:

Enters Malvolio w/ a leather belt in hand. He slaps the belt on the table to get their attention and does his own mocking version of the conga. Malvolio inspects every one in the line. Malvolio's chest to the audience and face toward the person whom he is inspecting. 1st inspection Feste after inspecting Feste Malvolio moves on and Feste give him the "bird". While inspecting Andrew, Andrew hicups and his hair jerks w/ his body. Next Toby as Malvolio is getting in Tobys face he yaws and the smell is so bad that Malvolio moves on to inspecting Maria. Toby finishes his yawn w/ a slap on his belly. While inspecting Maria Malvolio finds himself lookin @ Maria's cleavage and she slaps him in the face w/ her breasts. Malvoio jerks and look @ drunks: did I make a fool of myself? are they laughting at me?

Malvolio proceeds to lecture the group. When he turns his back the group mocks him ansd Maria goes after Malvolio sexually, putting herself close to him and cornering him. Malvolio threatens to tell Olivia and turns to piont his finger @ the group and his finger hits Maria breast. Malvolio acts as if his finger is on fire. Maria advances and when ever she touches Malvolio he quivers & make unadiable sounds. Maria takes his belt and pulls his body toward him. Then she puts the belt around his neck and pulls him to the ground, putting his facwe in her cleavage. Malvolio ends up w/ Maria on top of him and this is when he gives in a ramms his face into Maria's breasts the laughting of the drunks revives him and he attempts to compose himself and as he exits Maria throws his belt @ him. The gruop lauhts.

To be continued [ from 12night eGroup posts ]

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[12night] Malvolio Costume and Character Notes

Mr. Arthur Malvolio, butler to Olivia, played by Michael Karoly. Malvolio adopts a British style uptight respectable persona in public to please Olivia, but longs to marry her and become the head of the "Family". She regards him as merely a fashionable accessory of affluent living (and a useful snitch who keeps her informed of the transgressions of her subordinates). He wears full formal Bahaman style suits for work, but secretly nurses a vinyl fetish in his room at night. Fabian/Toby/and/or/Maria view his antics in his black vinyl French Maid costume, yellow fishnets and black garter-belt, and incorporate the outfit into their letter purporting to come from Olivia. This induces him to appear publicly in the ensemble in front of Olivia, to her consternation. determinedly indifferent Cesario increases.

I post some notes from the production to give an actor a perspective on what is his creative enrovironment (others), what he must consider while making his acting choices. "Directions" -- actor is at the end of this process!

No interpretation = no role.

In order to turn each character into a role, there must be a design, concept, ideas!

Theatre Biomechanics in 12night
From theatre
(c)anatoly : &

[Exeunt all but PETRUCHIO]

I will attend her here,
And woo her with some spirit when she comes.
Say that she rail; why then I'll tell her plain
She sings as sweetly as a nightingale:
Say that she frown, I'll say she looks as clear
As morning roses newly wash'd with dew:
Say she be mute and will not speak a word;
Then I'll commend her volubility,
And say she uttereth piercing eloquence:
If she do bid me pack, I'll give her thanks,
As though she bid me stay by her a week:
If she deny to wed, I'll crave the day
When I shall ask the banns and when be married.
But here she comes; and now, Petruchio, speak.


Good morrow, Kate; for that's your name, I hear.

KATHARINA	Well have you heard, but something hard of hearing:
	They call me Katharina that do talk of me.

PETRUCHIO	You lie, in faith; for you are call'd plain Kate,
	And bonny Kate and sometimes Kate the curst;
	But Kate, the prettiest Kate in Christendom
	Kate of Kate Hall, my super-dainty Kate,
	For dainties are all Kates, and therefore, Kate,
	Take this of me, Kate of my consolation;
	Hearing thy mildness praised in every town,
	Thy virtues spoke of, and thy beauty sounded,
	Yet not so deeply as to thee belongs,
	Myself am moved to woo thee for my wife.

KATHARINA	Moved! in good time: let him that moved you hither
	Remove you hence: I knew you at the first
	You were a moveable.

PETRUCHIO	Why, what's a moveable?

KATHARINA	A join'd-stool.

PETRUCHIO	Thou hast hit it: come, sit on me.

KATHARINA	Asses are made to bear, and so are you.

PETRUCHIO	Women are made to bear, and so are you.

KATHARINA	No such jade as you, if me you mean.

PETRUCHIO	Alas! good Kate, I will not burden thee;
	For, knowing thee to be but young and light--

KATHARINA	Too light for such a swain as you to catch;
	And yet as heavy as my weight should be.

PETRUCHIO	Should be! should--buzz!

KATHARINA	Well ta'en, and like a buzzard.

PETRUCHIO	O slow-wing'd turtle! shall a buzzard take thee?

KATHARINA	Ay, for a turtle, as he takes a buzzard.

PETRUCHIO	Come, come, you wasp; i' faith, you are too angry.

KATHARINA	If I be waspish, best beware my sting.

PETRUCHIO	My remedy is then, to pluck it out.

KATHARINA	Ay, if the fool could find it where it lies,

PETRUCHIO	Who knows not where a wasp does
	wear his sting? In his tail.

KATHARINA	In his tongue.

PETRUCHIO	Whose tongue?

KATHARINA	Yours, if you talk of tails: and so farewell.

PETRUCHIO	What, with my tongue in your tail? nay, come again,
	Good Kate; I am a gentleman.

KATHARINA	That I'll try.

	[She strikes him]

PETRUCHIO	I swear I'll cuff you, if you strike again.

KATHARINA	So may you lose your arms:
	If you strike me, you are no gentleman;
	And if no gentleman, why then no arms.

PETRUCHIO	A herald, Kate? O, put me in thy books!

KATHARINA	What is your crest? a coxcomb?

PETRUCHIO	A combless cock, so Kate will be my hen.

KATHARINA	No cock of mine; you crow too like a craven.

PETRUCHIO	Nay, come, Kate, come; you must not look so sour.

KATHARINA	It is my fashion, when I see a crab.

PETRUCHIO	Why, here's no crab; and therefore look not sour.

KATHARINA	There is, there is.

PETRUCHIO	Then show it me.

KATHARINA	Had I a glass, I would.

PETRUCHIO	What, you mean my face?

KATHARINA	Well aim'd of such a young one.

PETRUCHIO	Now, by Saint George, I am too young for you.

KATHARINA	Yet you are wither'd.

PETRUCHIO	'Tis with cares.

KATHARINA	I care not.

PETRUCHIO	Nay, hear you, Kate: in sooth you scape not so.

KATHARINA	I chafe you, if I tarry: let me go.

PETRUCHIO	No, not a whit: I find you passing gentle.
	'Twas told me you were rough and coy and sullen,
	And now I find report a very liar;
	For thou are pleasant, gamesome, passing courteous,
	But slow in speech, yet sweet as spring-time flowers:
	Thou canst not frown, thou canst not look askance,
	Nor bite the lip, as angry wenches will,
	Nor hast thou pleasure to be cross in talk,
	But thou with mildness entertain'st thy wooers,
	With gentle conference, soft and affable.
	Why does the world report that Kate doth limp?
	O slanderous world! Kate like the hazel-twig
	Is straight and slender and as brown in hue
	As hazel nuts and sweeter than the kernels.
	O, let me see thee walk: thou dost not halt.

KATHARINA	Go, fool, and whom thou keep'st command.

PETRUCHIO	Did ever Dian so become a grove
	As Kate this chamber with her princely gait?
	O, be thou Dian, and let her be Kate;
	And then let Kate be chaste and Dian sportful!

KATHARINA	Where did you study all this goodly speech?

PETRUCHIO	It is extempore, from my mother-wit.

KATHARINA	A witty mother! witless else her son.

PETRUCHIO	Am I not wise?

KATHARINA	Yes; keep you warm.

PETRUCHIO	Marry, so I mean, sweet Katharina, in thy bed:
	And therefore, setting all this chat aside,
	Thus in plain terms: your father hath consented
	That you shall be my wife; your dowry 'greed on;
	And, Will you, nill you, I will marry you.
	Now, Kate, I am a husband for your turn;
	For, by this light, whereby I see thy beauty,
	Thy beauty, that doth make me like thee well,
	Thou must be married to no man but me;
	For I am he am born to tame you Kate,
	And bring you from a wild Kate to a Kate
	Conformable as other household Kates.
	Here comes your father: never make denial;
	I must and will have Katharina to my wife.

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