Friday, April 22, 2016

A most expected journey (to Shakespeare!) - Guest Post by Marceau Deschamps-Ségura

This month's post is by Marceau Deschamps-Ségura, who is visiting us from Paris, France to attend our upcoming Unrehearsed Cue Script Technique with our tour cast as part of his PhD studies at Université de Poitiers:

I first met Andy Kirtland and his work with Elizabeth Ruelas on Shakespeare during a lecture day about Love's Labour's Lost at the École Normale Supérieure in Lyon. He presented the Unrehearsed Cue Script technique, and what it revealed about the play.
The interest of their work immediately struck me: using what we know about Shakespeare and its original practices seem to me a great way to find out some secrets of his texts, in order to make them efficient and powerful onstage. Andy's exposé clearly showed how the actor was informed by the stage situation and action, and how Shakespeare used the codes and practices of his own time to increase his actors' presence.
As an actor, I am very curious to experience that way to perform the text, to play with it, and to find out the clues Shakespeare left in the actors' parts to trick or help them. I am curious of the awareness, the calm and the truth it seems to demand to the actors, and that I am trying to develop each day.
As a young director, in our artistic and economical context, I really look forward exploring a different way to think about the theatrical process. Indeed, putting the focus on the stage situations, the relationship between the actors and with the audience, keeping very attentive to the here and now so as to play with it, all of these things appear to me as main qualities for an actor to have, which make the great quality of a play, and the pleasure of its audience. Moreover, I like the efficiency it implies about theatrical process: the actors are always playing, creating, exploring, from the first time they meet until the end of the tour. It's not about preparing something to give to the audience, but properly creating something singular and unique, directly under their eyes and thanks to their reactions. The whole path of creation is worth being shared, and it is interesting sharing it from its first days. I love the dream-come-true aspect of directly performing a play, in a brand new place, with brand new actors and brand new audience, without the usual inertia we often think necessary.
As a dramaturge and a PhD student, I am impatient to witness and experience on my own a historically informed technique which, I don't doubt it, will help me understand Shakespeare's plays patterns, mechanisms, atmosphere and spirit, and to make it echo with my own research about its original practices and contemporary adaptations. It is such a pleasure to me when the works of the scholars escape from their books to rush on the stage, and when the experiments of artists contribute to the reflection about what has been done and what can be done!

At last, I am really impatient to meet a couple of passionate, demanding and popular artists and their team, trying to bring to everybody a "new" way to hear those plays, as lively and frolic as they might have been, four centuries ago.

-Marceau Deschamps-Ségura