June 3rd, we had our first Stanislavsky class as an online group. First we talked about the method. Then, we jumped right into a reading. The play we read from was John Patrick Shanley’s “Doubt: A Parable.”
The impromptu performances at our virtual table read were a gift to me, the coach. And the gift to us from the playwright were the hidden gems in the play, mostly in parenthesis as stage directions.
As playwright Laura Gunderson advises, “do not ignore stage directions!” That is absolutely right. Stage directions are there for a reason. They save both the director and the actors a great deal of time. They are a map of the mine!
In “Doubt,” our students were surprised to realize they had not noticed Father Flynn sitting on Sister Aloysius’s chair and the extra tension created from that.
Stanislavsky would probably love a scene where so much is said with a simple physical action: sitting at a desk.