THE ACTOR AND HIS ROLE: A CASE STUDY OF THE CAHRACTER OF EGO IN ADAEZE ATUEGWU’S MY HUSBAND’S MISTRESS
This work is entitled ‘’;The Actor and his role’’ a case study of the character of ego in Adaezee Atugwu’s My Husband Mistress. This project basically aims at documenting my experience in the character and role realization of the play My Husband Mistress. The work is structurally divided into five chapters. In chapter one, which is the introductory chapter, emphasis is laid on the purpose of the work, its scope, limitations, justification, contribution research methodology and definition of some imperative terms.
Chapter two views acting theories, acting as a Medium of instruction to the society problems of acting on stage and real life.
Chapter three, looks at the synopsis of the paly, Biodata of the playwright theme and relevance of the play to contemporary Nigerian society.
Chapter four discusses characterization, understanding the script and role analysis.
Chapter five discusses play reading session’s auditions, rehearsals, role interpretation and assumption. The problems encountered and possible solutions are extensively reviewed. This is followed by conclusion, Bibliography and appendices.
TITLE OF CONTENT
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION
1.0 PURPOSE OF WORK
1.1 SCOPE AND LIMITATION
1.2 JUSTIFICATION AND CONTRIBUTION
1.3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
1.4 DEFINITION OF TERMS
2.1 ACTING THEORIES
2.2 ACTING AS A MEDIUM OF INSTRUCTION TO THE SOCIETY
2.3 PROBLEMS OF ACTING ON STAGE AND REAL LIFE
3.1 SYNOPSIS OF PALY
3.3 BIODATA OF PLAYWRIGHT
3.4 RELEVANCE OF THE PALY TO CONTEMPORARY NIGERIA SOCIETY
4.1 CHARACTER ANALYSIS
4.3 UNDERSTANDING THE SCRIPT
4.4 ROLE ANALYSIS
PLAY READING SESSION
5.3 RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER CHARACTERS
5.4 PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED AND SOLUTIONS
Art is an aesthetic and plastic representation of an artistes inner feelings based on is environments and his creative needs as influenced by his creative imagination inspiration, observation, and research. Ti is life interpreted by and through the personality of out artist. According to Ben Ejiofor in his lecture notes on playwriting.
Everything that is influenced by creative ability of a man is a work of art: the artist is a creator and mirror of the universe. (Ejiofor 1998 – 50)
Theatre arts in this vain is a form of arts that draw its subject matter using the society as an example. It assist in bringing people and lives together through a portrayer of our everyday lives.
However there is a great difference between acting on stage and in life. In real life everybody is an actor, putting up different behaviours for different situations everyone has mannerisms peculiar to him on stage, the actor takes up role that are not his natural life and interprets them to the audience. In the theatre, different specialists work together to put up a play or production. Their different areas of specialization include: costume and make up, stage craft, script writing, directing and of course acting just to mention but a few. They must all be efficient in their individual’s roles to drive home the massage of the production to the audience.
In any production, the actor is the person who comes in physical contact with the audience, the material he works with is the script or paly. A play can be read in witnessed by an audience in order to keep or make alive that which the playwright has selected to animate members of the audience patronize the theatre with different arms and intentions. Some go to see the production for mere entertainment, others go for either intellectual edification, recreation curiosity or just plain interest.
1.1 PURPOSE OF WORK
The theatre is the most complex of all the arts, since it requires many creations Oscar brocktt – (1978.3).
The theatre artist has often faced criticism and sometimes, outright condemnation in our Nigeria society. This probably has been as a result of the ethnic, cultural and religious diversity of the nations amongst other factors, his were aims at exposing, through presentation by the actor, the problems inherent in our Nigerian society and homes especially as it relates to infidelity between men and women.
It also takes an in-depth view into the hazards of distrust in relationships. It examines the social ills that tend to destroy already built homes. The casues of diaghreement in our marriage institutions and other ills plaguing our country. Like acts of promiscuity, hypocrisy and moral laxity just to mention a few. It is an attempt to document the challenging function of a theatre actor in interpreting his role and disseminating the required lesson to the audience in order for them to turn a new leaf.
It portrays the play making process conception to final realization. In fact another light, it is an attempt at using the actor to educate and enlighten the society through the massage sent across.
1.2 SCOPE AND LIMITATION
This work as a matter of necessity concerns itself with the actor, his role and the stage realization of the play My Husband’s Mistress from the point of view of acting. The play which has not been enacted on stage will basically serve as a reference point from which character interpretation (Role) process and indeed theatre would be examined.
It is necessary to bear in mind here that this work is limited to Adaeze Atuegwu My Husband Mistress as a play acted on stage and from the point of view of acting and not from the perspective of Dramatic literature, directing, playwright, research essay or criticism. However where the situation permits other plays and various productions may be briefly viewed for the clarification of certain basics points of interest.
1.3 JUSTIFICATION AND CONTRIBUTION.
The putting up of Adaeze Atugwus My Husband’s Mistress at this period of social deprivation is not entirely for the purpose of recreation for the citizenry, it is as a result of it thematic relevance to the alarming rate of immorality, divorce and distrust that have taken a new dimension and made our environment very unsuitable for existence.
This project will be prove essential not only to theatre documentation but also to the cream of actors, and researches. It is believed that, whoever sees the final production of My Husbands Mistress will be motivated by its message to the male and the females in the society. The production creates ample opportunities for people to critically re-examine their moral values for good.
To the audience who were part of the dramatic experience, the play will rejuvenate their moral ethics for the better. It will also be an added opportunity for the playwright to re-examine her stance in her play from the practical perspective and critical review those areas that required to be written for it to stand the test of time. It will also educate budding actors not only on the thematic impression of the play along but also on the basic challenges encountered in the interpretation of the role.
1.4 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
This project has aided by the uses of library materials. It involved the reading of textbooks and newspapers. Some data were got through personal tutorials and interviews conducted with theatre Practioners in the Department creative parts, University of Port Harcourt. Information was gathered from some staff of the Rivers state Council for Arts and culture. Much was derived from personal working experience with members of the last and the crew for the production of My Husband’s Mistress.
Lastly, through study and experience in acting for the past years the writer was able to again substantial insight into the actor and his rode as it relates to interpretation and realization of the character of Ego.
1.5 DEFINITION OF TERMS
It is pertinent for us to attempt a modest definition of the operative terms in this project. This will aid a proper understanding of the work the terms are acting. Actor, character and realization, this is necessary in order for us to understand the context in which they are used.
THE OXFORD ADVANCED LEARNERS’S DICTIONARY OF CURRENT ENGLISH: Defines acting as:
Doing the duties of another person for a time, the art or occupation of performing in plays, films, television (Hornby 1995:12) some many artist, critics and authors have expressed their desired opinion as regards the definition of the word acting. Acting is the view of Webster Noah in the New Webster’s Dictionary of English Language is! The art of performing in plays of films as a profession (Webster 1993:5)
Acting is an extension of man’s everyday behaviour. It entails the re-enactment of life’s experiences on stage. Acting is therefore the enactment of an experience without our ‘’action space’’ for appreciation by an audience. In the opinion of Toby Cole and Heleen Krich Choney Actors on Acting is!
The right management of the voice to express various
Emotions. (Cole and Chinoy 1979’’5).
It is a twice rehearsed behaviour. A good acting has the capability to make the audience believe that whatever they see on stage is real. Acting is the ability to co-ordinate the individual’s body on stage with the available stage properties.
The art of acting can only be realized through the actor. He is observed to be a trained person whose mastery of his act is reflected in his versatility in the re-enactment of variety of roles on stage. Being the only person seen on stage, he is the vehicle used by both the Director and play-wright in conveying their messages to the audience knows, he serves as a veritable tool in the fulfilment of their recreational desire.
Actors in drama tend to imitate other individuals actions through the assumption of different characteristics of all the theatrical elements, the actor is the closest to the audience and he turns the play into Theatre commenting in this idea Fidget Thomson in The Actors World observes that:
The actor in the visible part of the production which audience
Identifies with… He is the inheritable beam that calumniates and actualizes the message dreamt by the playwright and though t by the director (Thomson 1974:146).
Without the actor the play text remains a static script. Colubues Iroosoanga in his lecture Notes on acting opines that through the actor,
The ideas and emotions of the play are most readily communicated and expressed. His magnetism and power are mostly felt by the audience. (Irosoauga 1998:35).
The actor is a composer of character and all roles are the result of his composition. The composition of character is the work of creation, which assimilates the actor’s craft as an artist. Of all the theatre workers, he appears to occupy a unique position since the jobs of all others revolve around him. Juliana Umukoro in her lecture Notes on Acting costume, make up and speech Training gives that:
The actor must as a result of this development acquire a basic knowledge of the usage of memory, which tend to be one his basic tools (Umukoro 1997:35)
The actor is embedded with the primary duty of getting both his lines and blockings in order to entertain his audience correctly.
Constantin stanislavki in Stainitlavski on the Art of the stage outlines three categories of the actor. These are the imaginative Actor, stage hack? Actor and the creative actor.
This class of actors enters into the feelings only during rehearsals. During the performance, they imitates what they have practiced there by making their acting seemingly unnatural.
STAGE HACK ACTOR
He is the one who merely reproduces the text. He is stiff, the plays the role by using a once and for all worked out method. He is almost automotive.
iii. THE CREATIVE ACTOR
He is the actor who can take up roles and work out ways of proper executive without considering his real personality. He can play any role naturally. No matter the category an actor falls into his duties remain the same to reflect the society and effect change.
A person or community or races mental or qualities that
Make one person, race different from others (Hornby 1995:186)
Oscar Brockett in the theatre: An introduction sees a character as:
The primary material from which plots are created, for incidents
Are developed mainly through the speech and behaviour of dramatic
Personages. (Brockett 1972:7).
A character in a play is that person who the playwright uses in creating dialogue and at the same time conveying his message.
What a character does appears to be the product of an underlying belief, which pre-exist the action Aristotle, in his poetics is of the view that:
An action is generated by personal agents who necessarily possess certain distinctive qualities both of character and thought (Aristotle 1974:24)
This implies then that there cannot be any action without agents or persons. These persons are endowed with peculiar dispositions and ideas. Action therefore, as it is used by Aristotle and predominantly in literary work is oriented towards the attainment of a goal by a character.
This term in this study refers to the achievement of fulfilment of the desire to portray the role. In the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English. Realization is defined thus:
To make real or as if real, to bring into being or act to accomplish (Homby 1995:969).
The realisation of the character of Ego necessitated the writing of this project. The terms above will be used to achieve this objective.
Ejiofor, asoddenye Benjamin Lecture notes on play writing, (AT 315.1, creative Arts Department Uniport 1998.
Hornby, A.S Oxford Advance Learners Dictionary of English Oxford, Oxford New University press 1995.
Wester, Noah The Websters Dictionary of English Language, New York. Lexicon publications Ltd. 1993.
Cole, Toby and Chinoy Krich Helen Actors on Acting Canada: general publishing Company Ltd. 1975.
THOPSON, Fidge The Actions World, New York: Colgate Press Inc. 1974. IRISONGA, Columbus Lecture notes on Acting/Movement, Creative Arts Department, Uniport 1998.
Umukoro Julianah Lecture notes on Acting Costume, make up and Speech Training, Cat 202.1, creative Arts Department, Uniport 1997.
Stanislavski Constantin Stanislavski on the4 Art of the Stage, New York: practice Hall Inc. 1964 Hornby Ibid pg. 186.
Brockett, Oscar Oscar The Theatre! An Introduction New York: Holt Renehart and Winston Inc. 1992.
Aristotle the poetics in Dukcore’s led Dramatic Theory and Criticism: From Greeks to Grotowski, New York: Holt Rinehart and Winston Inc. Hornby Ibid pg. 969 1974.
THE ACTOR AND HIS ROLE: A CASE STUDY OF THE CAHRACTER OF EGO IN ADAEZE ATUEGWU’S MY HUSBAND’S MISTRESS
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