【MUKA Training: Acting Workshop】Characterization of Classic Play Characters (Advanced Class)
This acting workshop aims to help participants master the art of characterizing classic play characters, particularly at an advanced level. By delving into the plot, relationships, and inner motivations of classic plays, participants will learn how to create fully fleshed-out and captivating characters. The workshop combines theoretical knowledge with practical exercises to enhance participants’ acting skills and abilities.
Workshop Dates and Times:
- August 29, 2020 (Saturday): 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM
- August 30, 2020 (Sunday): 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Venue: The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre
Number of Participants: Limited to 8 people
*Due to limited spots and substantial subsidies from the foundation, we hope that learning opportunities will be extended to those who truly need them. After students register and pay online, the instructor will select qualified participants based on their resumes and reasons for registration. All applicants who are not selected will receive a full refund.
The greatest achievement for an actor is to successfully bring to life “authentic and believable characters” on stage or screen. These characters possess their own vitality, are accepted and remembered by the audience, and become the soul of a theatrical or cinematic work. However, many actors nowadays lack professional acting knowledge and skills, resulting in characters that are either superficial or stereotypical, lacking individuality and failing to captivate the audience or leave a lasting impression.
To excel in portraying characters within a story, the best way is to learn from classic works. Many playwrights have successfully depicted characters who are beloved, heart-wrenching, and both loved and hated in classic works. These characters can still be on people’s lips and in their hearts decades later, such as those from Mr. Cao Yu’s works like Jinzi, Chou Hu, Fanyi, Lu Ma, Zhou Ping, Zeng Siyi, Su Fang, Zeng Wenqing, etc. or characters from the plays of the British literary giant William Shakespeare like Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, Romeo and Juliet. In Western countries, there are even many famous actors who have dedicated their lives to portraying a character as complex as Othello.
In this course, the instructor will select appropriate segments from renowned Eastern and Western classic works, allowing actors to attempt the portrayal of simple classic characters and gradually transition to more complex characterizations. With the guidance and assistance of the instructor, participants will explore a path to “characterization” through continuous rehearsals.
The play to be rehearsed in this session is “The Crucible” by American playwright Arthur Miller, inspired by the “Salem witch trials” that took place in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692, where hundreds of people were accused and implicated. Under the harsh rule of theocracy, Puritanism thrived in the closed and backward town of the 17th century. Various strict rules were set, forbidding all forms of entertainment and excluding non-believers. In this survival environment, these Puritans became narrow-minded, selfish, superstitious, and ruthless. When a few girls secretly met in the woods to dance under the cover of night, they were discovered by local pastor Paris. His daughter was frightened and fainted, so Paris invited “witch hunter” Reverend Hale from another parish to investigate. To protect herself, Abigail initially accused the black slave Tituba, and then she and the other girls joined her in playing tricks and accusing others. Under torture, people began to accuse each other, resulting in over four hundred people being implicated and seventy-two being hanged. The protagonist, Proctor, risked his life to expose Abigail’s conspiracy to save his wife Elizabeth. He also confessed to his affair with Abigail. However, this did not stop the religious court from conducting this massacre in the name of God. In the end, to uphold his personal dignity, Proctor bravely walked to the gallows.
“The Crucible” won the Tony Award for Best Play in 1953.
This course is suitable for experienced actors (film, television, and stage) and falls under the category of an advanced acting class.
**The course requires the use of the original script (in Chinese) for rehearsals, and participants should have the ability to memorize the script on the spot.