A theatrical character evolves out of the tension between text, subtext and action. Understanding the balancing act that makes up those tensions is the work of the theatre artist. We all reach for characterizations that sparkle with clarity and definition. When we do, we can say, Ive found the mask. But every play requires a different kind of mask.
In Chekhov, it is the juxtaposition of subtext, action and words.
In Shakespeare, it is the organic production of the sound, pace and internal structure of language.
In Wilde, it is the suppression of raging emotion through wit and societal ritual.
But whatever the form, the play is DISCOVERED not planned. It grows out of the muscles of mind, body and voice and rises to create an imaginary soul, whose brief existence is entirely believable.
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