Blocking the stage is one of the most basic and technical elements of the direction of the game, but it should never be taken lightly by the director. In fact, there are other elements of the game that are more interesting and fascinating, but blocking provides the backbone and structure needed to make these other elements a reality. Basically, blocking is the choreography of the actors’ movements throughout the play.
If a character needs to get out of the scene, for example, the actor should be able to move out naturally. The director’s goal is to get the actor on stage and with understandable means to achieve the door, the window, the transporter beam or whatever he gets. The same is true for an ecology character. Should they separate from other actors or speak in the middle of the audience? When another character may include a character’s entrances, or the actors’ departures when their character has no work in the scene.
There are a few things to consider when you block your actors in a play.
- Let the script do most of the work for you. As a director, you can have a lot of ideas about changing the layout or dressing up or talking, but keep the direction of the main stage as much as possible. You are not trying to restore the wheel, just making sure your actors know where to stand and when to cross. Most scripts already have enough staging information to give you some idea of how to block. You need to know what obstacles are in the way of the characters entering and exiting, and their dialogue. Trust script notes to paint a wide range of strokes, you’ll need to do basic blocking.
- Avoid clutter – keep the audience in mind. The traditional proscenium stage should be seen as a living painting. No artist dared to put all the elements of his painting aside. Balance the movement of the stage so that the audience gets a sense of aesthetics. If a character has no relation to others in the scene, take him in the opposite direction of the stage for balance. If you have furniture on stage, avoid stacking each actor on the center stage of the sofa. You can arrange more furniture on both sides of the stage to prevent your actors from crowding each other. You can also consider building different levels to keep all the actors in the spotlight. Make different parts of the set, and when one actor goes to a different ‘level’, move another actor to replace them. If closely watched, the audience should not pay attention to the continuous shift.
- Allow actors to participate in the blocking and blocking process. During the exercise process, a director must be a welfare dictator and a democratic leader at the same time. There are some blocking directions that should be seen as immovable, such as exits, dramatic crossings and entrances. These movements need to be fixed and changed, so that lighting directors and other technicians can get the right fix on actor positions. But some blocking elements, such as internal monopolies and extracted arguments, can be corrected through corrective and actor input. You have to listen carefully to the views of your actors, even if you veto them. Actors can get a sense of where their characters want to move during a scene, so their input can be really helpful. During a conflict scene, you may notice that the couple will naturally move away from each other to gain some emotional distance, while the actors involved will try to increase the tension between them. Feeling we have ‘Run out of gas’ emotionally. Both measures seem reasonable, so see which ones improve the scene. Be prepared to adjust your original views accordingly – remove other actors from the scene or change the stage setting.
- Never let the actor or the set do the acting. If your set has a lot of furniture or surfaces or supports, keep their presence to a minimum. Make sure that the movement of your actors endangers the aging furniture instead of moving the furniture upstairs. Unless the direction of the stage emphasizes this, do not allow the actors to perform the whole scene behind a scene or furniture. Keep actors visible and free of clutter. If a support is misplaced or a piece of a set is in the way of an actor, ask your actors to remove it in any way necessary. No one should feel compelled to tiptoe around a piece of land in the wrong way. I once saw a play in which an ashtray was accidentally left on the center stage while the seats were being changed. It stood as if it were a 50-foot godzilla. The next set was one
Carver Workshop, which did not require an ashtray. The actor, who was about to enter the scene, easily pulled the ashtray as soon as he came through the door, then proceeded to smoke a cigarette and talk.
He took the iron in his hand. This support stopped being the center of attention, and the scene was saved. Your actors should have the same flexibility when it comes to blocking.