Friday, February 8, 2013

Narration in the Theater

In 2010 I had the pleasure of seeing The Master Butchers Singing Club in the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, MN (

The play prominently featured a narrator character, a younger female half Native American, half German. She would stand close to the audience at the front of the stage, and narrate the story, as though she was apart from it. As a viewer, I was unsure of her role in the story, and often the stories she described would be acted out silently behind her.

As the play moves on, they begin to reveal that she is the modern day version of herself, recounting the tale of her parents meeting. About 3/4ths of the way through the play, time "catches up with her" and she stops narrating and becomes a full fledged character in the play.

I believe that in A Handful of Leaves, having a narrator will provide a great creative license for the digital media side of the show. It casts most of the action as something recounted or remembered, and opens up the opportunity for more dream-like, or memory driven images. What the actors act out what the narrator is saying, we will be able to use digital tools to provide images and feelings that are outside of concrete experience of the play.

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