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People think that Bob is far more restrictive as a director. He has this reputation. So many interviewers have said to me, "Are you still counting?" I haven't counted since the second week of CIVIL warS. In fact there's an element of chance every night. You can't deliver a text the same way twice, it's impossible, not with an emotional content, which you need, even in a Wilson piece. What is disturbing for most of the actors when they wor* with me Is that I usually startwith an effect, andI don't know why. I saycan you do this, can you move your hand in sixteen seconds, and they say; why? I don't know. I usually start with an effect, and I don't know the cause. But It doesn't metter where you start, because If you start with a cause you'll end up with an effect, and If you start with an effect and you think about it long enough, you'll get causes. So in the long run it's the same thing. But because actors have largely been trained in schools of psychological acting, they want to start with the cause. But I don't see that much difference between those actors who come from the psychological approach to theatre and myself, In the long run. A good actor is a good actor PAUL RUDD, ACTOR It's an interesting kind of trust-I suppose theatre can only survive on these hasty weddings that are arranged between author, actor and director -when It gets this eccentric, where the director is a visionary, or has an artistic scheme that he wants the players to fit into, rather than a mutual molding of the play. While it happens to a degree here that Wilson has seen by one actor's artistic input that the character can be affected by something that isn't there in the writing or in his own very vivid imagination, it is much more Wilson's artistic imagery that is the universal shaft of this production. This is sort of like fill-in-the-dots. And for a while you feel like a dot. And then you understand at some point what the canvas is all holding. I must say it's a confusing way of going about it to me. I've had a fairly broad spectrum of experience but this is really off the bell curve. Bob called me about five days before we actually went into rehearsal and asked me to play Admetus. He'd been wanting me to work with the American Rep, but there were always things conflicting in New York or Los Angeles. I had never seen his work, though I had read and heard about it. So I came and I felt at once the piece was off-center and would challenge the audience. But Bob Wilson was awkward about presenting what he is doing. I was searching all the time. What is it you are trying to achieve here? Because if an actor isn't specific about his choices onstage, nothing reads quicker to an audience. I just fit into the blocking, and we did it without words for a long time, just a mimetic version of the piece. It made very little sense to me but I'm willing to ride. This gossamer relationship between director and performer in the theatre is not flimsy but it's very thin fabric and requires that much more trust to reinforce it. Any break in the trust can have disastrous results. So I was implicitly trustful. I had the sense that the play was willy-nilly going to 100 emerge from all this. This was not a performance piece only, like CIVIL warS, this was much more a play within a concept. Suzushi was terrifically helpful. I'm a great fan of that kind of craft and technique. We worked in classes in the morning to get acquainted with that way of moving and pin-point concentration. It's a bit like the laser work, it's shooting this beam of concentration and exploding so that that energy impresses itself on the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1537-9477
Print ISSN
1520-281X
Pages
pp. 100-102
Launched on MUSE
2018-01-03
Open Access
No
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