Theatre, the Rediscovery of Style

By Michel Saint-Denis | Go to book overview

STYLE IN ACTING DIRECTING AND DESIGNING

THE WORK OF THE DIRECTOR in the theatre is sometimes exaggerated, sometimes disparaged, but it is on the director's work that the theatre producer or manager still depends to make as sure as possible that a play is going to be a success. He also depends of course on the star-actor; but he does not depend on the actor at the expense of the director. A theatrical production needs the director's talent, his personality, his imagination, his power of attraction, his authority over the actors and all the other people who collaborate in the show. It needs the confidence which he can inspire. The director is the centre of the organisation, he is the link connecting together all the elements which are involved in a modern production and which being more specialised than ever before, have a tendency to fall apart. He stands for unity, he is the guarantee of intelligence, of efficiency, of quality. I am a director myself!

During the last fifty years theatrical conditions have raised the director to an intoxicating position. Hated, flattered, beloved in turns, he has enjoyed so many privileges that one is hesitant to speak about them.

It has been said that during the first half of the present century directors have made a more creative contribution to the theatre than the dramatists.

In dramatic literature the period was not a very productive one, and it is clear that when plays are made of the sort of

-72-

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Theatre, the Rediscovery of Style
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 7
  • Plates 8
  • Introduction 9
  • Preface 13
  • Part One the Classical Theatre 15
  • The Classical French Tradition Contradictions and Contributions 17
  • Part Two Classical Theatre and Modern Realism 35
  • Style and Reality 37
  • Style and Stylisation 55
  • Style in Acting Directing and Designing 72
  • Training for the Theatre - The Old Vic School 90
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