Picturization and
Movement
Directing One
Spring 2013
PICTURIZATION
A definition
Picturization is storytelling by a group of
actors. It is brought about by the combined
use of composition, gesture and improvisation
with properties for the specific purpose of
animating the dramatic action.
--Francis Hodge (114)
Scene from 2013 revival of PIPPIN
PICTURIZATION
A definition
Picturization is the storytelling aspect of
blocking. It concerns itself with revealing
character, emotion, and motive through
movement, body language, and business. It
is revealed using movement that goes from
one composition to another.
--Jim Patterson (119)
CABARET
1969 Tony Awards
COMPOSITION
PATTERSON: The technical aspect of blocking that leads the
audience to see clearly what the director believes is important.
It concerns itself with CLARITY—the pleasing arrangement of
characters within the setting that lets the audience know where
to look at a given moment. It is a still-life painting of the stage
at one moment in time.
HODGE: The physical arrangement of actor-characters in a
groundplan for the purpose of discovering dramatic action and
of illustrating it in the simplest possible way through emphasis
and contrast.
The Rocky Horror Show (2010)
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2011)
STAGE PICTURE
Michael Wainstein:
“The totality of what the audience sees
from their seats. Ideal stage pictures
are unified, artistic and reflective of the
inner life of the play in every moment.”
(p. 286)
GUYS AND DOLLS – ESU THEATRE - 2012
“INSPECTING CAROL” - ESU Theatre (2012)
“Dancing at Lughnasa” - ESU Theatre (2013)
BLOCKING
Definitions
The choreography of the play established by the director and
actors. (Wainstein)
The movement of the actors through the setting. (Patterson)
The director is an image-maker…Blocking is the process of
stimulating actors to image-making through groundplan,
compostion, gesture, improvisation with properties, picturization
and movement. (Hodge)
George C. Wolfe at work on Tony Kushner’s adaptation of MOTHER
COURAGE AND HER CHILDREN (2006)
PRIMARY TECHNIQUES OF
PICTURIZATION (Hodge)
Encourage PICTURIZATION over and around obstacles.
Encourage space separations between characters and the use
of different planes, levels and body positions.
Look for intimate climactic picturizations and encourage actors
to touch one another if appropriate to the scene and the
decorum.
Look for appropriate character-mood-intensities of the different
characters.
SPACE SEPARATIONS
APPROPRIATE TOUCH
THE KISS (Picasso)
APPROPRIATE TOUCH
THE KISS (Rodin)
APPROPRIATE TOUCH
THE KISS (Gustav Klimt)
APPROPRIATE TOUCH
PRIMARY TECHNIQUES OF
PICTURIZATION (Hodge)
Exploit GESTURE in every possible way.
Encourage the continuous use of triangles in setting up
compositions.
Encourage the use of HAND PROPS.
Gesture
Gesture
TRIANGLES
TRIANGLES
TRIANGLES
SECONDARY FUNCTIONS OF
PICTURIZATION (Hodge)
BALANCE the stage.
Exploit the STAGE CUBE—you are blocking in 3 dimensions.
Exploit the EXTREMES of the stage floor by using the full
depth of the groundplan.
BALANCE
Vincent Van Gogh, The Starry Night (1889)
Vermeer,
A Woman Holding a
Balance (1622-1623)
THE STAGE CUBE
John Trumbull, The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776 (c. 1800)
1776
Directed by Jim Bartruff, MSUM Theatre (2003)
Designed by Roray Hedges
EXPLOIT THE EXTREMES OF
THE GROUNDPLAN
The Glass Menagerie, Set design by Clare Floyd DeVries
WATER TOWER THEATRE, Addison, TX
THE GLASS MENAGERIE, ESU Theatre (2009)
Designed by Ron Fowlkes
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Picturization and Movement