Stella Adler

All posts tagged Stella Adler

Seuss’ Drop and Fly

Published October 6, 2012 by Kristin

Brahms’ Lullaby plays, fading into—

Bert: Good evening and welcome to this hour of “Mother Goose Children’s Theatre,” bringing you safe theatre for your bedtime stories.

Humpty Dumpty

Which is like taking Humpty Dumpty on a field trip to Mrs. Tweedy’s Chicken Farm. I’m your host, Bertolt Brahms.

 

This evening’s original production centers around the marked changes in set design and construction around the end of the 19th Century. Taken directly from transcripts of the actual conversation between Appia and Gordon Craig, Dr. Seuss and Mother Goose bring you, Drop and Fly: An Oxymoron.

Do you like this drop-and-fly?

I do not like it, Craig-I-sigh.

I do not like this drop-and-fly.

 

Would you like a painted mast?

Would you like it spread so vast?

Not as a mast. Not quite so vast.

Not as a home. Not as a dome.

I would not like it here or there.

I would not like it anywhere.

I do not like this drop-and-fly.

I do not like it, Craig-I-sigh.

 

Would you? Could you? Columns paint?

Paint them! Paint them! Be a saint!

I would not, could not, saintly paint.

 

Painted Tree

You may like it. You will see.

You may like that painted tree.

I would not, could not like that tree.

Not as a saint! You let me be!

I do not like a painted mast.

I do not like it spread so vast.

I do not like it as a home.

I do not like it as a dome.

I do not like it here or there.

I do not like it anywhere.

I do not like this drop-and-fly.

I do not like it, Craig-I-sigh.

 

The globe! The globe! The globe! The globe!

Could you, would you, as a globe?

Not as a globe! Not as a tree!

Not as a saint, Craig! Let me be!

I would not, could not, as a mast.

I would not, could not, quite so vast.

Signature of Dr. Seuss

Signature of Dr. Seuss (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I would not like it as a home.

I would not like it as a dome.

I would not like it here or there.

I would not like it anywhere.

I do not like this drop-and-fly.

I do not like it, Craig-I-sigh.

 

Finally this evening, I would like to introduce to you the book I am writing. I’m developing a much-needed workbook for actors. And so, I bring you a portion of the second chapter of my book entitled, Konstantine’s Kiddos—Practical Exercises in the Strasberg, Adler, and Meisner Methods.

Mary Had a Little Lamb

Exercise #867—Analysis of “Mary Had a Little Lamb”

Part A) Strasberg: Think back to a time in your life when you had a small, white, pet lamb. Or perhaps you were not so fortunate to have a lamb—so think back to a time in your life when you had a small, white, pet puppy. It’s fur was white as snow. And this little, white puppy followed you everywhere, didn’t it? Do you remember? You adored your puppy, yes? Loved him so very much. Wherever you went, there was the little puppy, right at your heels. Remember? Remember how lovingly that puppy followed you to school one day, and how the teacher turned it out? Devastating, yes? Crushed your childhood ideal of a constant puppy companion. Remember this feeling…

Part B) Adler: So, you’ve got this little, white lamb, correct? How little was this lamb? How much does he weigh, how tall does he stand? How old is this little lamb? Does this little lamb have a snow white fleecy coat? Or is it a creamy white fleecy coat? Now, imagine that this little lamb is following you. Everywhere. Where are you going? Does it comfort you or bother you that the lamb is following? You go to school, and the little months-old, creamy-white-fleeced lamb follows you. Your classmates see the lamb. What do they think? The teacher walks in. What does she think? If the lamb had a favorite color, what would it be? How does that color relate to the lamb’s feelings when the teacher turns it out?

Part C) Meisner: Look at the lamb. Your fleece is white. Your fleece is white. Your fleece is white. Your fleece is white.

 

Good night, folks. Sleep as well as you can.

One for the Money

Published January 14, 2012 by Kristin

Brahms’ Lullaby plays, fading into—

 

Bert: Good evening and welcome to this hour of “Mother Goose Children’s Theatre,” bringing you safe theatre for your bedtime stories.

Little Red Riding Hood

Which is like showing The Wolfman movie to Little Red Riding Hood. I’m your host, Bertolt Brahms.

 

Harold Clurman has written a new book called On Directing 2. Because of mass confusion over the title (some thinking that Clurman gave instruction on how to direct a two-person cast), there will be a re-printing with a new title, A Second Installment of Directing Principles as it Applies to the Theatre of Today and as Seen Through the Experience of Harold Clurman. Here is Clurman’s introduction:

Little director has lost her actors,

And can’t tell where to find them.

Read them Antigone;

They’ll come right back you see,

Punctuality now more important to them.

 

And now we bring you, “A Taste of the Theatre,” where our everyday experiences turn into conflict-laden scripts.

Where all the best drama really happens.

Today, we step into the box office, amid a flurry of telephone calls and visiting patrons.

One for the money

“Yes, ma’am. You can only purchase one ticket for that price. No…no, I’m sorry, there is not a meal included. I’m sorry…cages? No…no cages. Ma’am. …Ma’am. There are no foxes in this production. Ma’am…I think…I think you misunderstood. No, ma’am, this is not a joke. I’m very serious. This is a theatre. We are performing The Little Foxes by Lillian Hellman. This is not the Zoo. Hello? …Hello?

 

Two for the show

“Thank you for holding, sir. Yes, there are only two remaining seats left for this evening’s performance. I double checked that with the Front of House Manager, the Head Usher, the Assistant Director, and the Director. I’m sorry…but three seats are just not available at this time. …Well, I did just confirm this with the playwright and publishing house as well. Yes, sir, I’m positive. Two seats. Not. Three. Yes sir, I counted them myself, just today. Yes. Thank-you.”

 

Three to get ready

Such signs bring great joy and fear.

“Yes, ma’am, I did appreciate your audition. Well, you see, it was supposed to be a one-minute audition. Not a three-seconds audition. Well…it wasn’t a terrible three seconds. Yes ma’am, you’re right—it was very concise. Well, you see, I’m not really sure how to tell you to improve…it was hard to tell in three seconds. Uh…but you didn’t throw up! That’s a positive!”

 

And four to go

“Ma’am…I appreciate the fact that she’s your granddaughter, but you cannot speak with her right now. Yes, yes, I know you want to congratulate her, but she’s performing right now. Well, let’s see…it’s a five act play…and it looks like…yes—they are still in the first act. …So yes, four more to go before it’s done. Yes, then you can congratulate her. Yes, ma’am, I’m sure she is a sweetheart. No, no…I’m already dating. Well, I mean—I  don’t think it’s a pity.”

 

Finally this evening, we bring back our series, History in Rhyme. This week focuses on the 1930s.

Cropped screenshot of Stella Adler from the tr...

Stella Adler

Three Group Theatre peeps,

Stella Adler they could not keep,

And they began to cry;

“With Stella there,

Will Stanislavski dare,

His system to her teach?”

 

“What? Teach his system?

This does not show wisdom!”

But they did not know why.

No, no.

They did not know why.

 

Now Miss Adler bought

What Stanislavski taught.

“Yes, he’s a swell guy!

I learned imagination

While in this other nation

Yes, he’s a swell guy!”