Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Archive for April 5th, 2015

The problem of scenery

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Peter Brook

Nothing is so beautiful as a bare stage: yet its loneliness and its openness is often too strong a statement and it must be enclosed. How? What objects should be put into this great void? The problem is always agonizing. Not too little. Not too much. What is appropriate?

At first I used to think of the stage as a world; I used to believe that our task was to create a place in which the action could naturally unfold…Then it seemed that our task was to provide a machine, a special machine for each play, in which the requirements for each moment appear when wanted, then vanish again.

Now, I believe that as in film the image of a play is continuous and cumulative. The set by itself and the costume by itself have no meaning, no value—one has too often been disappointed by the costume, beautiful at dress parades, that loses its beauty when seen in the sweep of the action—like the beautiful rushes in the cinema, which look far less splendid when placed in the context of the story. I believe today that design means creating possibilities for a continually moving and evolving set of images that need have no consistency, no stability, no architecture, but which spin out of the actors’ themes and play on the audience just at the moment when they unfold.

Peter Brook

Written by nevalalee

April 5, 2015 at 7:30 am

Posted in Quote of the Day, Theater

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