This week we will be exploring Stanislavski’s Units and Objectives in more depth in preparation for a performance piece as well as celebrating William Shakespeare’s Birthday! Please refer back to your first semester Stanislavski lecture notes as needed in recalling units and objectives. Remember that each day’s work is intended to take 25 minutes; you may work ahead if you like, but please ensure that you are submitting assignments on time or early.
MONDAY: Set a timer for 25 minutes - Take time to review your Stanislavski notes, paying special attention to Units and Objectives. Units are also referred to as “beats” to more contemporary acting theorists. Reference a sample electronic scansion of a sonnet that I completed. (In downloads section) Each unit is marked with a forward slash; objectives are noted above units with parentheses. If time allows, begin Tuesday’s task until the timer goes off.
Remember: Objectives are active verbs (to + _______). They should be physical in nature; if your body can do it, then it is a good objective for your voice. If you are having difficulty with objective verbs – Google “Vivid Verbs” or “Active Verbs” for helpful lists. Good objectives should never be intellectual or brain-based, like “to think”, “to ponder”, “to remember” – those are all horrible!
TUESDAY: Watch Sir Patrick Stewart’s quarantined, recorded Sonnet collection. An article explaining his work and displaying his initial Twitter posts is available here:
Watch a minimum of three of his recitations. More if you like.
The Folger collection of Sonnets with short summaries and analysis is available here: https://shakespeare.folger.edu/shakespeares-works/shakespeares-sonnets/?_ga=2.30397311.1956816336.1587234148-1280015582.1543424567
Note Sir Patrick Stewart’s vocal choices (the ebb and flow, the musicality of the breath, the emphasis he places on specific words, etc.). Ponder and consider where his scansion of his units took place and what potential objectives he may be considering when delivering these sonnets.
WEDNESDAY: Select a sonnet to develop from the Folger Collection of Sonnets noted in Tuesday! (Don’t spend too much time on the hunting – maybe 5 minutes maximum.) Scan (mark units and objectives) your selected sonnet. Rehearse the sonnet, considering and developing your unit and objectives. Make changes as necessary. You may do this electronically or print it and do it by hand, in which case you will need to scan it and email it. This is due Friday. You do not need to memorize it.
NOTE: Sonnets are interesting because you can create a character from scratch! There is no play, or before-and-after, to box you in. Be creative! Who are you speaking as? It is completely acceptable to speak as yourself!
THURSDAY: Happy Birthday William Shakespeare! In celebration of the Bard’s assumed birthday, we will gather at 1:00pm via Zoom and perform our Sonnets! Feel free to wear party hats and decorate your room! Bake a cake! Let’s have a virtual party to liven up our quarantine life! He himself went through a few theatre closures due to the plague, so I’m sure he will be commiserating from the grave. (If you cannot join us on Zoom for the live performances, you must record your sonnet performance and email it to me.) The 1:00pm meeting may go longer than 25 minutes, but you are welcome to leave at 1:25pm if needed/desired.
FRIDAY: Read about Shakespeare’s Plague experiences here: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/28/opinion/coronavirus-shakespeare.html . Submit your scanned sonnet (and recorded performance if necessary) via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. In your email, include one interesting fact from the New York Times article above. Email is due by midnight on Friday evening.
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