16 facts about the theater that will be a revelation even for those who have watched “Hamlet” a hundred times

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Who among us, sitting in the auditorium, did not dream of going behind the scenes and see how theatrical magic is created. Here they are – ordinary living people – without computer graphics and super-sophisticated equipment just a few meters from us create another world, causing the audience to laugh or cry.

We are in looked behind the scenes to find out how life is on the other side of the stage, how the actors prepare for performances, who helps them and why the technical team is as important as the troupe.

How actors prepare for a performance

The actors gather in the theater a few hours before the rehearsal. But before the rehearsal, they must arrange a vocal training. Artists can sing scales, shout, mutter, growl to prepare the vocal cords for the performance.

Canadian theater actor Eric Dalinger, for example, talks with a plug in his mouth. According to himit improves diction – so do the actors participating in the Stratford Shakespeare Theater Festival.

For some roles, actors are forced to change the manner of speech, to speak with an accent or in a certain dialect. This, too, they begin to do in advance to better enter the image.

Sometimes only successful improvisation can save a performance

The show should go on no matter what. It happens that one of the actors completely forgets his line. In this case, colleagues have to change dialogues on the go to help him remember. But not only the human factor can cause an emergency situation – sometimes throws up unpleasant surprises props or decorations.

Joan Baron remembersas one day the walls and roof that depicted the house collapsed in the middle of the show. The audience was shocked, and the actress quickly orientated herself and, without leaving the image, suddenly said: “I knew it was time to repair the roof.” There was loud laughter in the auditorium.

Actors have many techniques to help them learn lyrics and prepare for auditions

There is a technique according to which actors memorize the text by saying the lines aloud. At the same time, they do other things, such as cooking, cleaning, and playing sports.

Some more recommend to do it in public places – in a shop or public transport – under the disapproving views of passers-by. It is said that this is the best way to prepare for the audition and get rid of the fear of speaking in front of strangers.

Many actors do not eat certain foods before going on stage

Some products may provoke digestive problems or an allergic reaction. Coffee and nuts dry the throat. Bananas can cause sputum. And hot tea with echinacea, on the contrary, is considered a good way for actors to protect their vocal cords before a performance.

Also, many actors use inhalations to prepare for a performance if they need to talk a lot and loudly, sing or shout.

There is a huge amount of theatrical superstition and acceptance

One of the most popular receptions is: if the dress rehearsal was a failure, the premiere waiting success. And peacock feathers, mirrors and blue clothes on the stage, as well as spoken aloud, bring failure. word Macbeth.

If there is anything to be said about this Shakespearean tragedy, it is called a “Scottish play”. This superstition is due to the fact that the first actor who played Macbeth in the original production, according to legend, died during the performance.

The acting living room behind the scenes is called the “green room”

In this room, the actors gather before and after the performance, as well as during the scenes without their participation. Green room it does not have to be decorated in green, although many follow this rule. There are several versions of its name. According to the most common, the room is called green, because before the walls in such rooms were painted green to rest the eyes of the actors.

Costumes are often sewn right in the theater

The costumes are ordered by a costume designer who is a member of the production team. Usually costumes sew by individual standards, but sometimes for the sake of economy on a corset sew 2 rows of fasteners that it could be worn by 2 artists. Many stars have personal mannequins, and they don’t need to try on as often as novice actors. And fitting takes at least half an hour.

Promptors have disappeared from modern theaters

Their practically nowhere not left. Headphones and electronic scoreboards are used instead of prompters, but more often hints come from other actors or the director behind the scenes. Drapers are also no longer needed, as modern theaters are moving away from the use of curtains and other hanging fabrics. Multimedia and augmented reality are often used as decorations.

But now I often go to work in the theater hire designers, programmers, videographers. The latter, for example, are needed to broadcast the play in real time online or on the big screen, so that the audience sitting in the back row can see the actors in close-up.

High-speed dressing is an integral part of almost any performance

In this case, the actors change directly behind the scenes. Each artist takes a pre-arranged place, where a team of costume designers is waiting for him. Sometimes it is necessary have time in just 20 seconds, and if the suit, for example, disperses the banal lightning, it can be a real disaster. To facilitate the process of quick change of clothes, come up with different tricks: put on one outfit under another, use magnetic fasteners and wigs, buttons, Velcro fasteners and more.

Every professional costume designer has their own set of life hacks that help them in their work. For example, many of them always have a bottle on hand alcohol. It is poured into a spray bottle and used to get rid of the smell of sweat outfit that can not be washed.

The props that the script needs to break are usually made of sugar glass

Windows, dishes, bottles of this glass look great naturallyeasily broken, but the fragments can not be injured.

In theater, as in cinema, special effects are used

Previously, the “role” of rain in the play “played” peas in a wooden box. Now precipitation is created with the help of media equipment and special light filters. If you need the characters to get wet in the rain, over the stage place watering device, cover the stage with waterproof material and arrange drainage.

Snowflakes are made of paper or light plastic. But usually theatrical special effects are created from scratch for every performance.

In addition to light, sound and mechanical effects, modern theater affects the audience with the help of smells

For example, in one production of “The Lord of the Rings” for the appearance of Elrond used the smell of needles, and for the appearance of Balrog – the smell of horses. In others performances spectators could smell fried bacon, summer rain and oriental incense.

Before the start of the Broadway musical “The Waitress” in the convection oven in the theater lobby put apple pie and the whole room is filled with a wonderful aroma that creates the right atmosphere before staging.

At the peak of its popularity is now interactive and immersive theater

In such a theater, there is no “fourth wall” – an imaginary barrier that separates the stage from the auditorium – and the audience is a participant in the action. They can affect the plot of the play. The stage, as a rule, is not physically separated from the audience. For example, in a play “Red Death Mask” white masks were put on the audience and they could move freely around the stage. And in the production of “You Me Bum Bum Train” the audience themselves chose themselves roles and played with the actors.

There are also now experimental theatrical productions that last more than a day. For example, Jan Fabre’s play “Mount Olympus” goes 24 hours without an intermission, and the production of Vsevolod Lisovsky “Through. Sliding on opportunities ” lasts 48 hours.

The stereotype that you need to wear evening dresses and tuxedos to the theater is hopelessly outdated

Now in most theaters around the world not accepted observe the dress code. If the spectator has a ticket, he will be allowed to perform even in shorts and slippers. But, of course, the Bolshoi Theater will look at him askance.

On the other hand, in avant-garde productions, a floor-length dress and high heels will surprise you. In some democratic theaters, spectators are even allowed to bring snacks.

“Hamlet” is a production that has been included in the repertoire of the same theater for the longest time.

It was a tragedy written in the early seventeenth century. The Royal Shakespeare Troupe in Stratford-upon-Avon first staged the play in 1879, and it is still there today. In 2018, “Hamlet” played Michelle Terryand she was not the first woman to embody the image of a Danish prince on stage.

In addition to “Hamlet”, among the most popular theatrical productions “Eugene O’Neill’s Long Journey into the Night,” Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? ” Edward Albee, “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller, “King Oedipus” by Sophocles.

Do you like going to the theater? What is your favorite production and how do you feel about interactive theater?

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