Friday, March 12, 2010

ON ACTING: The Value of Performance Complexity

Great drama through onstage dramatic conflict keeps alive through the great unresolved issues of human existence. The philosopher Hegel said that tragedy is not a matter of right versus wrong, but of right versus right. As a corollary, one character being right does not necessarily make the other character be wrong.

Complexity of performance enhances the audience's experience. By putting the audience through a complex emotional experience, where there is no singular right and/or singular wrong, and allowing those complex character emotions to stir concomitant complex feeling and thinking within the audience, the actor forces the audience to consider the fullness of the presented dramatic issue and in the long run to understand it and themselves better. That is the whole point of drama, by the way: to keep alive and emotional at the forefront of the audience’s consciousness their personal, social and philosophical unresolved issues. As James Joyce said in his Portrait of The Artist as a Young Man”: the artist in his work must “forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.”


Blogger Ziyah said...

I can't even wrap my brain around this ... its too smart for me.

1:52 PM  

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