How to put on a home performance: scripts from the Ozolin and Dorokhov families
Staging a performance yourself is not only fun, but also fashionable. There is a real boom in amateur theaters all over the country, and this is confirmed by all the new festivals and competitions taking place in all corners of the country. Adult acting schools are overcrowded. What is it connected with? Tired of horror stories on TV and bad news, more and more smart energetic people are turning to art, which for many centuries has helped to maintain a fresh outlook on life - to the theater
They say theater is more addictive than any drug. Numerous participants of the Second Moscow Festival of Family Theaters “A Fairy Tale Comes to Your House” will certainly agree with this, which this year brought together about a hundred talented families. All of them are infected with home theater and give it all their free time.
Long winter holidays are ahead, during which you can put on and show friends and family not even one performance, but several. And about how best to do this, we asked professionals - the founders and leaders of the Theater House "Home Theater" directed by Arseniy Epelbaum and actress Olga Zeiger.
How is home theater better than professional?
First of all, it is precisely those artists who the audience wants to see the most that are involved in the performance. When you go to a theatre, it may happen that you don't like the performers - that doesn't happen at home. So success is guaranteed in any case.
Secondly, the performance does not last two hours, but much less. Best of all, if the home performance is short - the minimum time in which you can convey the content. In our children's theater studio, in four 2-hour sessions, we make a play that lasts 10-15 minutes.
Third, you have the most convenient theater hall that you don't have to get to because it's at home. And viewers don't have to stand in line at the wardrobe, don't be shy of strangers - you can take off your jacket and even sit on the sofa with your legs up.
Fourthly, after the premiere there will definitely be a chic banquet, and it will last much longer than the performance and its budget exceeds the budget of the performance. This is what professional artists of any theater dream of most of all.
How to choose a play for a play?
Since we have so many advantages: the performance is played only once, it features favorite artists and success is guaranteed in advance, why don't we take on what "big theaters" always dream of - great works. At least even for "William our Shakespeare"! In a home theater, you can treat great authors without too much reverence - treat them like members of your family. You are a brilliant director, you have brilliant actors, and at the same time you take Pushkin and Beethoven as co-authors - how can a brilliant performance not turn out? Do not be afraid to add or rewrite something - everything is allowed in this theater.
The strongest effect is always the one that breaks stereotypes. If a small child plays a kolobok, this is perceived by everyone as a completely familiar story and is unlikely to cause any aesthetic shock, and this is what we usually achieve in the theater. But if a six-year-old child comes out with a skull and a sword in his hands and says: “To be or not to be!” - then the degree of impact of such a performance increases many times over.
One of the laws of home theater is that the greater the discrepancy between who is playing and what is being played, the greater the artistic effect you will have.
Don't be afraid to take the most serious works, be it the Swan Lake ballet, Romeo and Juliet or Hamlet tragedies, famous biblical stories, etc. The beauty of them is that almost every viewer knows the plot almost by heart, so you don't have to go into details. In addition, you have the opportunity to at least slightly introduce the child to the “correct” literature and music. That is, to lay the foundation for what will then lead him to the conservatory, to the opera or a serious performance, make him open a good book or go to an art gallery.
How to write a screenplay?
1. Shorten the play to the very minimum, leaving only the most important thing out of the whole work - the plot. This, too, has a strong artistic effect: imagine Hamlet played in five minutes. Truly great works do not lose from this, but amaze even more.
2. Break the play into some of the most important, recognizable scenes. Each of them can literally contain several lines that will briefly convey the essence of what is happening.
3. Select a genre. As you can imagine, opera and ballet require long rehearsals. But there is, for example, a shadow theater - a curtain and flat puppets are made very quickly, but everything looks impressive. There is a paper theater with plenty of paper-cut puppets and backdrops.
4. Find music. The more serious it is - even if the theme of the work is not related to the theme of the performance - the better. It is better if the music will accompany all the action. And be sure to find a solemn melody for bows.
How to rehearse?
First of all, there must be one person who cooks everything. There should be a main director who knows exactly when the performance will be ready and how it will look.
This person can prepare everything in advance without too much fuss, for example, a mother comes up to a child and says: “Can you draw a prince’s castle, a skull, a sword for me …” It’s interesting and not difficult for a child to draw for about twenty minutes, but mom already has scenery for paper theater.
Then mom (who is most often the main director) goes to dad and, as if by chance, asks him to find some solemn music on the Internet, something pathetic. Dad finds it in five minutes, writes it down - and now the soundtrack of the performance is ready.
And it is absolutely not necessary to cheat everyone. And after everything is selected, prepared, the music is recorded and the props are made, the main director decides to gather everyone and make the performance “with one jerk”.
How to make a stage and auditorium?
We play theater. And the more academic theater paraphernalia there are, the better it will look and the more fun it will be for everyone.
Make programs and posters, where you indicate not only the first, but also the second line-up of performers (for example, grandmothers will play together, if anything, grandfather will play). Place the child at the door of the room so that he offers to take seats in the auditorium. Offer binoculars. Arrange the visual rows very evenly and number them. Give out tickets. Light up the ramp (by pointing two table lamps at it), give three calls and ask to turn off the mobile phones, turn off the light. This game can go on as long as you like, much longer than the performance itself, and longer than it happens in the theater (especially if one of the audience is stuck in traffic).
Announce that the buffet is open and start serving drinks and sandwiches.
And do not forget the main thing - you, unlike professional directors and actors, are doomed to success!
Of course, a three-year-old is not at all interested in playing Hamlet or something like that. He doesn't understand it. But to be in a situation where he is standing on stage, and all the audience is very happy with what he is doing, is just very important for him. Because it is very important for a child to do so that others like it. By the way, artists differ from other people in that they have this period until old age - it is very important for them to know whether they are doing the right thing and whether others like it.
Don't torture your child with theater: rehearse many times, explain the essence in too much detail. Just briefly tell him the plot - believe me, this will be exactly what most people come to the theater for. And then set simple tasks: “You run here, scream and fall.”
To make a scenery in a paper theater, take a paper roller like fax paper. Draw scenery on it in the order of the scenes. Then fix the roller on both sides of the two bottles. You have scenery that you change by simply scrolling the video back or forward. And the audience immediately understands where the scene takes place. Here you can think of a lot of things, for example, cut out windows in the scenery, behind which figures of people will flicker.
Margarita, Andrei, Ilya
Margarita and Andrey have been seriously passionate about theater for a long time. As a child, Margarita studied at the famous ZIL theater studio and even tried to enter the theater institute in the acting department. And when it did not work out to become an actress, she came to the profession of a cultural organizer. Andrew is an engineer by profession. He came to the same studio, but later, while studying at a technical institute. Over time, Andrei received a second education - a playwright, began to write plays, some of which have already been staged in Russian theaters. Now they work together as methodologists at the Yuzhny cultural center (AMO ZIL recreation center) and hope to bring to life the Theater for All project, in which they want to give a chance to realize the abilities of non-professional playwrights, actors, directors.
“We started staging a family play mainly because of Ilya's son. He dreams of becoming a film actor, so we help him get closer to his dream,”says Margarita. The Ozolins are taking part in the festival of family theaters for the second year. Last year they reached the final with a performance based on the fairy tale by Gianni Rodari, and this year they became the winners.
The Ozolins chose a little-known fairy tale by Ostrid Preusler "The Robber" for the production and wrote the play "There's nothing to be done about it, that's how we are." The main characters of this tale are characters from German folklore Kaspel and Seppel (analogues of our Petrushka). They are played by Margarita and Ilya. Andrey plays the role of a policeman and a thief in one person. The most difficult thing, according to them, was to keep within 10 minutes, and this was one of the prerequisites for performing at the festival.
“We got a political satire on the topic of the day,” says Andrei, “about a policeman who was also a robber, and the whole performance was catching himself. This topic is now acute, so the audience received our performance very well.”
They rehearsed the performance for 3 weeks. Most of all, they were afraid that Ilya would be confused on stage, but he showed himself to be a real artist and did not forget a single word.
Anatoly Dmitrievich, Tamara Pavlovna, their children Natalia and Pavel, daughter-in-law Irina, grandchildren Maxim and Anton
This big, cheerful and very friendly family lives playfully all the time. The performance at the festival of family theaters is just one of the episodes of their creative life. The soul and engine of the family is the older generation, Tamara Pavlovna and Anatoly Dmitrievich. She is a former history teacher, he is a former electrician. Having left the city a few years ago and becoming enthusiastic farmers, they always gather relatives, friends, neighbors in their house. On New Year's Eve they have holidays with Santa Claus, their own skating rink on the pond, on Easter - festivities with masks and costumes. And so, for no reason, friends gather to read new poems, listen to Tamara Pavlovna and daughter Natasha sing, celebrate birthdays …
And for the anniversary of Tamara Pavlovna, her loving husband gave her … a theater! He built a small glass building on the bank of the pond, so now there is always a real stage and auditorium for their performances and concerts.
At the festival, the family showed a performance based on three of Krylov's fables - Dragonfly and Ant, Quartet and Convoy, in which the whole family took part. Anatoly Dmitrievich made all the scenery with his own hands - for a whole month he invented, sawed, painted. Tamara Pavlovna wrote the script (she writes both prose and poetry all her life), sewed costumes and gathered everyone for rehearsals. “The most talented artist we have is Maxim, my youngest grandson,” she says. "He's just a born actor!"
The theater unites the family