Open Roofs ~ Seat Number Seventeen (Late night edition)

I just woke up from sleeping for two or three hours after coming home from school. This means I won’t be able to sleep later this evening; it’s already nine.

I’d say it’s my history teachers fault. Not, because his lessons are boring, but because he keeps watching films with us.

I like films a lot, but I don’t watch them in the morning! I even fell asleep for a few moments during the film. But well, I was already tired, because I got home late yesterday after theatre.

The course was supposed to finish at nine – it finished at 9.45 and I missed my train and had to wait for another half hour.

But it was really good though! We all had the same scene, but due to the fact we’d all defined a character  beforehand there were tremendous differences in the outcome.

My character was this scared, desperate person trying to get through to someone.  The great thing is I didn’t think of the character. She told us to say this one sentence over and over again and walk around and try different things. So at one point I walked with my body behind my feet (leaning back a bit), but imagining walking with my body in front my feet. My voice cracked and from that came the desperate lady.

So, afterwards we played a scene from Berthold Brecht (a German Writer…) I tried to find an example of the scene on the lovely internet, but it just wouldn’t give. So basically it’s called “Strasse in der Vorstadt” and means  “Street in the suburbs” and it’s about Baal, a mean character and a boy who’s money was stolen for the cinema. When Baal sees the boy is weak, he tells his son, Lupu, to steal the rest of his money too and they walk on.

That’s the short version, because I’m lazy.

Brecht wrote this scenes to teach people something, but not by reading, but through playing it and experimenting, discovering the way you can or can’t escape the power structure of a situation.

Now, we needed for people every time for the scene. One for Baal, one for Lupu, who said nothing, one for the boy and one for the person giving the stage instructions. I was that person. They were very scared-sounding stage instructions.

Our teacher told us not to think about the text too much.

We didn’t stick to the order of the lines, but we weren’t aloud to make up new lines.

Basically, the teacher gave us the task to “win” in the situation.

It looking pretty bad for me to start because nobody listened to my stage instructions, until at one point I found myself centre stage yelling at the audience, what the characters had to do,  because I basically couldn’t take it anymore.

As the scene proceeded I got really intense, even felt dizzy. I left the stage after Baal. I didn’t exactly win, but I didn’t lose either. The boy did. No matter how strong he (well, she) had started off, taking the dominant part with her character, she lost. The end was kind of depressing, actually.

The amazing this was, due to the work we’d done before, it felt so real to me. And that was the point of the exercises we’d done before, not just to play it, but to feel it. It was awesome. I felt so alive too.

In another performance there was a great Lupu. Lupu was just a very passive role, someone who watched the whole thing.

But one guy had developed a character who liked to explain things and look thoughtful; now how do you do that when you can’t talk. Like he did it, I’d say.

It was so funny. While everyone was starting to get worked up about the situation, he went up to everyone and nodded, walking around the whole room. And while Baal explained things to Lupu, he got highly interested and when he didn’t want to leave the stage with Baal, he just took Baals arm and they did some kind of automatic dance in circles. It was hilarious. Even though he didn’t say a thing, he had complete control of the situation.

Right, okay, so anyway: My nails. Um…I bit them. Only a bit, a tiny bit, but I bit them. Sorry! I hate myself for it. Maybe I ought to file them all down to a minimum…hm…

Oh, and; you can’t overwhelm the power structure.


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