Current Production Performance Techniques

The Big Suit

The scene staging for Marina “finding the lost key” as she is putting on her dress exemplifies how Brechtian and naturalistic performance could at times meld within the production. Petra’s portayal of Marina was intersting to watch in that scene as it evolved throughout the production. Although never moving outside the parameters of realism, “the actress playing Marina” became more and more present in a very subtle way.

We, as audience, seeing something that the character Paul does not see as Marina “dresses” herself to manipulate her circumstance and/or environment. So not just getting dressed within the habit and function of getting dressed, but with the deliberateness and purpose of preparing for a presentation. In this case “the actress playing Marina” will present “the key”, the gestus, to the character Marina.

My thought was that the dressing of the actor/character should present a puzzle or dilemma in every instance it occurs on stage. So as opposed to this natural or habitual act, getting dressed becomes this calculated donning of a representation of self.

The suit jacket struck me as the most potent icon. The heavy metaphor, Kalowski’s jacket could almost fall from the flies into the water with a big splash. Of course this is the “real suit” that Paul got married to Kathleen in, not that gray suit made by Kathleen’s relatives. Paul has stolen nothing, unless everyone who marries into money is stealing. (Jackie Onassis, the icon of such a marriage. Marina and Kathleen, with their trench coats and sunglasses were “well suited” at the airport.) So this “real suit” could be made to visually haunt the production, similarly to that shadow in Paul’s motel room.

Chris doesn’t need to don a gun to kill, but only the suit built out of a perversion of his childhood fantasy of Africa. He very deliberately and purposely dresses himself in the Safari jacket and hat of the Great White Hunter. He is dressed to kill.

Not meant as something to mimic, but this old Talking Head video (David Byrne in his famous Big Suit) evokes in visuals and gesticulation, Paul acting/performing/living in a suit too big for him. Wife of Kathleen, heir of Kalowski. His only option is to escape into the pseudo reality of a pulp fiction hero.

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