Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday Inspiration from a Director

Several years ago, I was rummaging around the house when I came across a few pieces of paper that my wife had pressed between the pages of our Riverside Shakespeare edition.

They were quotes from Liviu Ciulei during his tenure at the Guthrie. My wife got a copy of them from a stage manager when she was in a production of a Shaw play there. (She had also worked with him previously at NYU as well as the THE ACTING COMPANY.)

Way, way back in the day, I posted them on my blog (The LitDept). I occasionally repost them. When you read them, I think you'll understand why.
Whatever you cut nobody can boo.

Words shouldn't be faster than the thought. Only the thought creates reality.


On AS YOU LIKE IT:
It is a very hard play and we have so very little time, so we must go very slowly.

Righteousness is in the jawbone.

To see the thoughts. THAT is the great spectacle of theatre.

Hamlet is a very difficult role - 5 acts, no pockets. What do you do with your hands?

Sometimes you have to create a little scandal to get what you want.

Take the holes out of the cheese.

We have to pay attention to the small logics. We have to help the audience.

The secret of good lighting is not to light the feet.

This moment is Turgenev, not Dostoyevsky.

I like what you do. You do it very well. Cut it.

You cry here. You cry there. Symmetrical crying, please.

But you can't stand there, like that. They'll fire me. At least they should.

Don't look - SEE.

You are just wasting your tongue.

Each line is a thousand shades of grey.

You'll meet a lot of directors who want to impose their own imagination on top of the play without regard for the logic of the play. Sometimes they are lucky and they get a good play. But rarely. The modern theatre has too many examples of such directors.

Muslin doesn't inspire me.

Acting means thinking with someone else's mind.

Those little things without importance which count enormously much.

I think it's time for another script intervention.

The shoes will tell me what to do.

Sometimes I'm wrong. If I'm not ever wrong, I'm not learning anything.

If you are talented but not intelligent, be a poet. If you are intelligent but not talented, be a playwright. If you are talented and intelligent, be a novelist. If you are not talented and not intelligent, be a critic.

And my favorite...

You see, they didn't have a television, so instead, they lived.

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