Using, not ignoring, the cultural background of the performer
This is a transcript of a masterclass I held in October 2009 at the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney, where I directed a student production of East is East. The masterclass demonstrates chapter one of a practice that I have been developing over many years.
My first port of call in the creation of any work is the actor, not the text. I work with the actor until he or she is confident and ready to “play” - it is my belief that they can then go anywhere. It is only when they are in this open state can they then start work on the text, be it a contemporary play, Chekhov or Shakespeare.
I consider it to be my job as director to get the actor to that place. I work with each actor’s individual spirit, embracing their cultural context. This masterclass looks specifically at this area: the cultural context of the performer and how it impacts on the work created in the rehearsal room.
The transcript contains twelve audio clips from the workshop. Use the links in the document to listen to the clips or click on the links below.